This page is dedicated to the words of our brothers who have participated in the work of the The Bridge. We hope you find their words inspiring, uplifting and supportive. Many men who attend The Bridge tell us that these words helped them to make the decision to attend a future event. If something touches you, shoot us an email or give us a call.
This following section of words comes from the men who just completed the February 2013 Bridge event held in Cazadero, California.
“The Bridge event weekend is an opportunity to explore the experiences in one’s life that have lead them to the place they are now. I found the elements of ego and self/belief and Portal very opening to understanding how I function in this world and how I would like to function. I left this weekend feeling very peaceful and grounded.”
“The Bridge is a powerful experience. It is a place to meet the truth of my being and examine my life. I am refocused and energized about the excitement and joy in my life. The opportunity to connect with the other men and to let down my guard and be my true self is an incredible experience. Thank you, Jay!”
Doug, Engineering Supervisor.
“The Bridge is a great experience of mystery and camaraderie. It’s a great way to explore your soul and have an experience of your essence.”
“I was looking for a ground breaking, earth shattering experience. I’ve had them before in Jay’s presence. But the Bridge is wholly different in experience: subtle and understated – yet no less profound and impactful. I sought relief from the tension and stress, pressure I consistently put upon myself. And I found it, not through a god smack / lightning bolt of irreversible change, but through a gentle reminder and a sort of psycho-spiritual night light being illuminated, easy to miss but undeniably there. Thank you, Jay.”
This following section of words comes from the men who just completed the July 2012 Bridge event held in Baldwin, Kansas.
“For me, the Bridge was a life changing talk about cutting the bullshit and really bonding with other men! This is the only place I have ever experienced anything like that!”
Tony from Missouri. Real Estate Broker
“I came in wanting to overcome my inability to speak with confidence to others. After the burial and the following morning, I gained the insight that I have such a continuous fear of rejection and non-acceptance from others. I was able to say for the first time – To Hell With It!
I also found that I struggle to make deep connections with others. I learned that may be due to the fact that I speak pretty quickly and usually drive straight to the point. I then realized that I do this because of things my Dad told me when I was young as well as from a couple of books I have read.”
Anton from Missouri.
“I came to the Bridge hopeful to receive guidance and to bond better with the masculine. I learned many new things about myself and had my first real bonding with a group of men, many of which I had met for the first time this weekend. I’m going to do this again next year!”
Wesley from Missouri. Observer / Trainer
“I found this event to be: Transformative, Opening, Clearing, Shifting, Moving, Daring, Confronting of Self, Honoring, Self Journey, Owning, and Raising Consciousness.”
Daniel from California. Banking Consultant
I can highly recommend The Bridge. I flew in from Florida, but am from Israel. It’s the first in for me in a men’s retreat. I worked well for me and all the participants. Jay was a cool leader, leading by example, and so were his supportive elders. For me, the burial ceremony would probably remain the strongest memory. I was inside Pacha Mama, Mother Earth for the whole night till dawn.
David Kenny from Israel. Peace Builder
This following section of words comes from the men who just completed the May 2011 Bridge event held in Baldwin, Kansas.
“If you are ready and willing to share the experience of your ancestors, I would encourage you to enter the unknown, while at the same time bringing an open mind, where the impossible does exist within each and every one of us as men!”
Moses from Missouri, Counselor / Program Manager
“The Bridge is an awesome opportunity for any man to challenge the false limits that he may have placed on himself. I felt a great awakening inside myself to possibilities that I didn’t feel existed prior to the weekend. I value the time that I spend with men who are willing to share their truth and listen to my truth. I greatly value the insights that they have shared with me. Today I have again found my courage and my heart, they are intact and well!”
Doug from Missouri, Engineering Supervisor
“As a meat eating, poker playing, everyday normal American, this event is not ethereal hyperbole. It is accessible and digestible, yet challenging and extremely beneficial. There is so much here at this event that I struggle to see how it could not completely satisfy the needs of a group of men that are scattered across the development spectrum. I highly recommend attending and I look forward to meeting you because I can’t see missing this event!”
Gary from Texas, Managing Member
“It was a no bull opportunity to take a deep and honest look at the depths of my being. I found many pieces of what has made me that I had not fully dealt with. I found ways to deal with my issues and made progress in acceptance or moving to clear the conflict they cause me. I found strength and support in sharing in this process with the other men. I took assessment of where my life is and where I really want it to be. I found a need to refocus my pathway in life. This is truly a life changing event if you let it be.”
Bob from Missouri, Military Analyst
“My experience was men being men, without the bullshit. There was camaraderie among the men. However, it was an opportunity for all of the men to discover their own real truth. I discovered my life experience, both good and bad, and what makes me who I am.”
Brian from Missouri, Production Assembly
“The most powerful experience I had during the Bridge was when the men let go of things they had done and that had been done to them. For me, this was an extremely powerful exercise in releasing “burdens” that weigh heavily on my mind. While this was a very difficult exercise that took a great deal of courage, it was also very rewarding. Also, the “death ritual” was an experience I will never forget!”
Jason from Missouri, Team Leader
“I feel the Bridge is one of the greatest experiences I have had. It showed me a way to look at things differently and objectively. If a person is looking to really test themselves and look at who they really are and where they stand with it, then the Bridge is the place to be. Thanks for the opportunity for this gift in my life!”
Fred from Missouri, Ramp Operator
“The Bridge fed a part of my soul that I didn’t know was hungry. Since I was 10, I’ve been told by my mother that men are liars and cowards, told by sitcoms that men screw things up and women must clean them up, told by myself that as a man I was slow and ineffective. Until this event I’ve never had someone prove me wrong about these beliefs. The men at The Bridge took a shovel to the bullshit I was buried under. For five days, living among a group of men… and we survived without the help of women, or government or television, by nature and the strength of our spirit. I pushed myself to come here, but once I arrived I was carried by the strength of the other men. In the first rounds of sharing in the circle, men were willing to share their deepest secrets with me and darkest sources of shame, to trust me with this information. Underground it was my turn to trust men that I would not be left buried under the weight of the earth. That in my stuck place I could still have my needs met, I was still respected and nurtured by men.
Most importantly, because this space was held, I could complete my journey alone. I learned there about the force that keeps my heart beating and air in my lungs. How strong it is! How it wants nothing more than to flee from death and revel in the ecstasy of motion, and that which moves and is alive. At last, exhausted, my body was too weak to continue its vain attempt to move the earth off itself. I had to surrender to stuckness. The part of me that thought I would be moving forever died right there. I know now this life force will at some point leave my physical body. And because of this I cherish it! Most importantly, I got the blessing of other men and the chance to bless them with my presence. I got to feed a part of my soul that I did not know was hungry.”
Dan from Massachusetts (Age 22)
“What I got out of The Bridge is the true foundation of what man is in the depth of his soul. I found meaning behind my fears and dove into the truth of why we are who we are. And we cannot change who we are until dive into the fear and embrace it and make it our strength instead of our weakness. Then we can change our energy. The Bridge has given me a chance to look at my life and deal with the true essence of how I became myself and to turn the events of my life that I hated into positives to complete the man I am.”
Aaron from Missouri
“From the moment of the sweat lodge I felt I was marked for death by a symbol of initiation. I felt alone in my plight and yet a part of a group that would experience the same. Guided by men whom have experienced a similar rite of passage before, I did not know what I was in for and fear began to set in. I came to The Bridge to drop an old part of myself and give birth to a deeper, more authentic one.
What I found through the process was much more than I had hoped. I found myself among men whom have experienced deep wounding, shame, fear and tremendous pain, just as I have. These men shared with me the courage to admit these weaknesses and express a true vulnerability that has left an opening within me like a river cutting its way through the landscape of my defenses. Where I was once a frightened, timid and shamed boy, I am finding that I have a voice to speak what I feel and think without doubt of who I am as a person. There is a place of honor inside where I used to feel shame, and it is real, the shift has really happened in me.
I still do not know what it means to be a man, but that definition does not bother me because since I have participated in this initiation with other men, I feel I no longer have the desire to prove myself as a man. This is because I belong to and have been accepted by a group of authentic men that I can call my brothers, thereby accepting what I was unable to accept within myself. These brothers witnessed and honored me as I buried an old and dead part of my former self. I am honored to have participated in the group and lastly, I feel an honor within myself for who I am and what I have to say.
Michael from California
“Another layer of my onion has been released. I am aware of a life long pattern of behavior that has never served me well. It has been a continuous block I have used to avoid walking through my fear. I learned that I have used embarrassment and withdrawal to avoid the pain of accepting ME just as I am. YES!!”
Don from Missouri
“What I got out of The Bridge is a reconnection with men speaking with the deepest issues of their current lives. With such honest sharing, the issues in my own life appeared to be issues that several others were experiencing. So I recognized that we all are, in our own way, dealing with complications. I felt such a sense of community which makes me feel stronger… definitely stronger to deal the thoughts that sometimes torture my mind. A catharsis of letting go through speaking about the pain of issues I’ve never expressed and the shame of events that I’ve never expressed. Just voicing it to others was like a shower after trenching through mud. With such honesty from all, I could feel I am not alone in life. Trying to be strong like a one man army, is absurd. The personal walls are torn down and I am with an army of others. The fears become common and then laughable that I took it so personally. During the weekend, I was digging into the wound, releasing the puss, tension and then healing it with care and support. Get the imaginary bullet out and then wash the wound and expose it to the sun…then the body has strength to heal.
It’s like a hospital for the mind, no distractions, a time to find the bullet, remove it and begin to feel the light force again, before the mind breaks down the body. This is an event that goes to the core. It was totally like preventative medicine.”
Daven from California.
“What I got out of The Bridge is the blessing and meaning of real friendship – and that it does not take a lifetime or even years, but maybe only the experience of a vulnerable open heart shared and witnessed in a group to cement the bond.
Also, when confronting my own fears with a group of men in a setting of beauty and under the loose, but skilled guidance of an experienced facilitator, the lines and boundaries get blurred and even melt. It is then the magic / love / light penetrates and oh brother, watch out, because I then enter the land of miracles.”
David from California
“I came to The Bridge with fear of the burial ritual. That was my conscious awareness of my fear, digging my grave and being buried for ten hours. I was willing to experience whatever came up in the process. However, what I discovered was my greatest fear was my resistance of my own feelings for myself. Through the burial experience I came to the place where I had to surrender to the acceptance of who I am… a true reality check of who I am in the present moment. For me, this whole Bridge experience centered around my lifetime of resistance versus my total acceptance of who I am today.
The pain that exists in my knees is a tremendous metaphor for my life. The sweat lodge presented a tremendous challenge because I had used a deep tissue liniment on both knees earlier in the day. In the sweat lodge, that only made the pain and burn deeper. Then I rubbed that sweat in my eyes and it burned tremendously. I felt the macho need to prove I could take it (resistance learned from my dad) and just suck it up. I finally came to the point where I could not take it anymore and had to ask for help. A wet towel was brought it. I made it through to where I needed to be – acceptance.
All of the various rituals and processes led me to seeing my need to let go of resistance and embrace acceptance of my existence the way I am. The two energy exercises Saturday evening were very powerful for me. What struck me from those two exercises was the deep feeling of accepting love from everyone in the room. The warmth and depth of that feeling was incredible.”
Ron from Missouri
“Being a first time participant at The Bridge, I didn’t know what to expect or receive. But once here, I immediately felt welcomed and part of a group of men that truly felt like a brotherhood, something I have never before experienced. I witnessed and became a part of a great sense of camaraderie in every sense of the word. There was no hierarchy, all egos were “checked at the door” and every man was equal.
I felt I was able to express myself with no inhibitions or fear of shame or embarrassment. I was able to be myself and was accepted for who I am. I was blessed with the knowledge that we all have our own issues and realized that I was not alone.
The group circles were a unique experience for me, allowing me to open up and express my feelings without judgment from the other men – a feeling I will take with me and try to apply in my daily life when I leave here. Each of the attending men are special in their own way, but we all came together as one. We all shared, we all offered of ourselves, and we all loved. The Bridge opening my eyes as well as my heart and honestly gave to me a deeper understanding and insight to my fellow man, for which I am grateful. I would whole heartedly recommend every man to experience this great sense of real and true brotherhood.”
Christopher from California
“During The Bridge I had the opportunity to unplug from the outside world. I had the chance to share my deepest fears with a group of men without the fear of being judged. I have taken something from every man that was in attendance. I realized that I have a bad habit of making assumptions about my life and making those assumptions true in my own mind.”
Kendrick from Missouri
“What I got out of The Bridge is a new respect for my innate wisdom, and for my own power to reclaim that wisdom. I also got the courage to pursue a life’s purpose, in my case, a means of earning money – that I have blathered about for several years (Editor Note: Frank is a Photographer!) I renewed my hope for men’s power to renew my “western culture’s” overall direction of consumption of Earth’s resources as its primary drive.”
Frank from Illinois
“I am a 23-year-old male who has lived a life absent of a father. Sitting with the men of The Bridge was my first experience being truly surrounded by male energy. Over the course of the event, I was able to grapple with my estrangement from my male self, and accept and integrate it. This event and the men involved provided me the space to shed my boyhood self and helped build the platform to launch myself into the world as the man I truly am.”
Steele from California
“If there is an experience which helps men to transform themselves into powerful creators of their own reality, it is The Bridge. If you want to really get in touch with your Divine Masculine and claim your power, do this event. You won’t be regretful. It is raw, it is wild, it is intense, it is real you.”
Koray from Idaho
“This event is an opportunity to look deep into the soul and breadth of our experience as men in this world. I experienced deep understanding of how I became the man I am. I saw clearly what it was that shaped my view of my father. I clearly saw the impact of my family disconnectedness. I am more able now to accept responsibility for my masculinity. I now know what the expressions of my rage came from. I have been able to admit and voice my failures as a warrior. I made intentions to make amends to those harmed and to those I have damaged as a result of my failures.”
Grenville from California
“The Bridge was a journey to places deep in my soul. I encountered my demons, acknowledged them, and brought forward positive emotions, which had bee missing in my life. It was a true transformational experience. We all have the capacity to love, trust, suffer and heal; and the Bridge is our tool to take us to all of our edges.”
Andy from California
“This was a weekend of learning for me, I learned so much of how I withhold, give, resist, love and most importantly see and acknowledge my self.
There were some very challenging times, and some very glorious. This is for those men who want to be the best man they can be – for themselves! (It is easy to be a man for someone other than yourself). I have renewed hope and enthusiasm for my path as a spirit in a male body. I am committed (re-committed) to fully experiencing and being responsible for my triumphs and pitfalls – it is the lesson I need. I am empowered to share myself with any others, male or female, who is whole and genuine. The honesty was cherished, validated, acknowledge, listened to, acted on, and fully respected. I was finally able to allow myself to fully participate without fear or reservation.”
Tony from California
“Through the many years of my dysfunctional existence, I sought after my divine inner spirit. This pursuit lead to drugs, sexual dysfunction, and endless self-loathing. Consequently my actions lead to psychiatrics, group counseling, inhibiting medication, and despair for the filling of my void. All hope was seemingly lost.
I then found out about the Bridge event. Even before attending, I had grouped the Bridge with all the other forms of conventional treatment and assumed it would just be another exhausting futile attempt to fix me. My assumptions were wrong. For the first time I saw my world through the eyes of a supreme man, a man with a new found loving connection to my very essence. I an now armed to the teeth with the tools necessary to begin to face life on life’s terms and LOVE IT.”
Chris from California
“The Bridge has supplied me with a unique experience to look at myself and find what lays hidden beneath the surface.”
Hans from California
“The support of this group of men carried me into confidence. By way of a ritual that the men carried out in my honor, I found something about me that has been missing. If you find yourself to be open to honest sharing, this event will be very powerful for you, and if you don’t find yourself open, then perhaps even more so.”
Ray from California
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