News & Announcements

September 11-16: Mens Conference in MN

It is less than 2 weeks until the beginning of the 2012 Minnesota Men’s Conference, “Bears at the Tree of Slumbering Honey“.  There is still time to sign up! We all know times are tough right now, especially financially for many of us. If you would like be at the conference this year and can not afford the entire fee please call me and let’s see if we can work something out. Also, if anyone would like to contribute to the scholarship fund or would like to help sponsor someone who needs assistance please call me. Remember Vets, you are all welcome here to join us on this journey of “coming home” to a community.

Warrior and ShamanThe best way to reach me is on my cell phone: 860-942-1658. I can take a Credit Card over the phone or feel free to send a check at the address below.  I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Craig Ungerman, 406 Lowell Davis Road, No. Grosvenordale, CT 06255, 860.942.1658


Southern California Men’s Retreat was a Huge Success!!!

photo credit: Owen McGoldrick

Twenty seven Men made the “hard climb up the mountain” to our first Southern California Men’s Retreat on MT. Pinos at El Camino Pines. Eleven veterans graced our group with their presence along with three amazing street poets, several anti-war protesters, a few conscientious objectors, a bunch of Men’s Conference veterans and several other brave men who all courageously shared and listened to each others stories along with the BIG story for three days and three nights.

Photo credit: Owen McGoldrick

Mother Nature did her part on Friday by providing us with a foot  of snow and she threw in some thunder and lightning for good measure.  

Here are some comments by a few of the men who attended:

“Extremely therapeutic. Extensively healing. A hospital for the soul”
— Taylor Maxie

“As a veteran of many men’s group retreats with Robert Bly (which jumped started the whole movement), I have to say that after attending the retreat focused on war veterans, the experience got deep and very soulful much quicker and was extremely powerful.  The healing was deep and rich.  With the pending tension across the globe, this work is on the cutting edge, and extremely urgent.”—John Densmore

“There was a haunting beauty to the whole thing and it was all blanketed by snow and the contrasting and continual log fire that seemed to represent our hearts. The snow covered the rage and hurt of past war wounds and becalmed everything…..It seemed the Spirits knew we were there and what we were doing….. This was a peak experience for me.”— Owen McGoldrick


A Letter from Miguel Rivera:

Miguel calling with the Conch

This year I am participating in a series of conferences. The first one took place in Southern California– April 12-15, 2012. It was a very rewarding men’s retreat entitledTHE HARD CLIMB UP THE MOUNTAIN: Reclaiming Our Sanctuary and the Seeds of Our Community.

The motivation for wanting to have events of this nature grew out of the concern with how to deal with the rising number of suicides among the active service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not to mention the large number of military personnel returning with PTSD to the United States.  It seems that the attempts by some of the established rehabilitation methods are not sufficient in dealing with the severity of the problems, and they will not go away by just prescribing medications and a perfunctory Memorial Day parade.

I have been a teacher at Robert Bly’s Minnesota Men’s conference since 1993. Last fall Dr. Ed Tick author of “War and the Soul” was invited to bring his work. After the conference all of the teachers decided to focus future conferences on veterans issues.

The retreat in Southern California was one the first of several this year in which we will try to create a place where veterans can come and begin the healing process that will integrate them into the community. This is also a plea on my behalf to find sponsors for the veterans of all wars that want to attend but cannot do so because of funds.

I am also reaching out to anyone I know in the Therapy/Healing community/Men’s groups to see if they want to sponsor a vet or know someone that will benefit by attending.  Please contact us with any questions you have. I will also talk to any group about what it is we do.  The goal is to make these events ongoing, in order to create long term healing in our community and in the country.

Contributions are tax deductible and can be made through Soldier’s heart:

Indicate the event you wish to sponsor.
Every single dollar counts, no amount is too small.

Thank you,
Miguel Rivera

April 12-16th, Men’s Retreat in Southern California

Reclaiming Our Sanctuary and the Seeds of our Community

When a veteran returns home with his soul frayed by war, or when a man survives prison or the meanest streets,  his intense experiences make for an extra-ordinary transformation of his life.  Such a transformation often comes as an “accidental initiation.”  Yet, without the care of elders and mentors “accidental initiations” leave one incomplete, at best; and a few become more violent and destructive.  True rites of passage can only be finished when a living community confirms the value of our wounds and welcomes us home.

photo credit: Owen McGoldrick

For thousands of years, when men felt their souls unraveling, they went with other men into the natural world to find and restore a balance to their lives.  In nature men can re-create balanced relationships with the primal elements– fire, water, earth and air.  Men can renew acquaintances with other living beings.  On mountaintops, beside lakes, and in the deep woods, men can gather to recognize and validate one another’s experience in the presence of elders, wild beings, and other men.  With an exchange of stories, with ceremonies and rituals we can create our sanctuary.   We can remember the veterans who served and fell. We can honor those who served and are still with us.  We can address the grief and sorrows lodged in men’s hearts.   We can re-weave the disparate strands of self and soul in the sanctuary of a living community.   And we can plant seeds that allow this sanctuary and this created community to strengthen and spread its roots and branches into our homes and in the communities where we belong.

Memorial Weekend Men’s Retreat – Upstate New York – May 24th-27th

May 24th-27th, 2012 at YMCA Camp Dudley on Lake Champlain.

When we forget or are forgotten, how do we return home?  How do we recover the vital parts we have lost, left behind or had taken from us?  When we return home as strangers, or watch strangers return to our midst, how do we recover and re-affirm the humanness we share?  Together men may rediscover the ingredients for a full return to home. They may gather the dismembered and forsaken ways and shape them into disciplined practices, which awaken deep longings for our true and rightful home.

For thousands of years, men of cunning and daring have outwitted the societal drive for instant gratification by diving into the long work of rediscovering self and soul.  They dig into the earth for nourishment.  They swim the rivers of sacred memory.  They soar with the winds of renewed purpose.  They remember the flow of living in a whole and purposeful manner.

Please join us on this Memorial Day Weekend on the shores of Lake Champlain in the Adirondack Mountains to restore the meaning of Memorial Day, to grieve and heal our wounds and to reconcile veteran and civilian men. Teachers: Miguel Rivera, Ed Tick, Danny Deardorff, poet Bruce Weigl, Doug Von Koss and Tom Gambell.

Veterans and the Effects of War

Robert Bly’s 27th Annual Minnesota Men’s Conference and Dr. Ed Tick, director of Soldier’s Heart, joined together for the 2011 conference: “When the Waters Rise: Men and the Work of Renewal,” to be held at Camp Miller near Sturgeon Lake, MN on September 13 -18, 2011.

In 2011 we called out to all men in our society who have been physically, spiritually, emotionally and psychically traumatized by deep and unresolved grief.   Chief among these are our warriors – our veterans.  Ed Tick joined forces with our talented group of internationally acclaimed teachers to help create a safe place for veterans, civilians, anti-war demonstrators, refugees, the young and the old to come together to tell our stories to one another and address the invisible and unhealed wounds of past and current conflicts. Continue reading

Praising the Soul in Women and Men

The University of Minnesota Librarires maintain the Robert Bly archives, and they sponsored a special conference called Robert Bly In This World in 2009. One of the presenters, the poet Thomas R. Smith, wrote an very insightful essay that has recently been published within the book that came out of those proceedings. The essay is entitled “Praising the Soul in Women and Men: Robert Bly and the Men’s Movement.”   Thomas R. Smith has also released a short excerpt from that book chapter which can be downloaded and previewed. Its called ” THE BIRTH OF THE MYTHOPOETIC MEN’S MOVEMENT

Sept. 1st: Ben Merens interviews Miguel Rivera and Dr. Ed Tick

Listen to this radio show online tomorrow (Thursday) if you can, or check it out later online in the archives. Miguel Rivera and Dr. Ed Tick are doing another Live radio interview this Thursday, September 1st at 5:00pm CST (6:00 EST, 3:00 PST, 4:00 MST) with Ben Merens on Wisconsin Public Radio out of Milwaukee. LIsten in online and email or call in questions or comments!

To join Ben’s program live:
e-mail WPR at
toll-free 1-800-486-8655

Ben’s program archive link:

The first radio show spot Miguel and Ed did with Caroline Casey a few weeks ago was great
and you can also listen to it by podcast online:

It is less than two weeks until the beginning of the 2011 Minnesota Men’s Conference, “When the Waters Rise: Men and the Work of Renewal“.  There is still time to sign up! We all know times are tough right now, especially financially for many of us. If you would like be at the conference this year and can not afford the entire fee please call me and let’s see if we can work something out. Also, if anyone would like to contribute to the scholarship fund or would like to help sponsor someone who needs assistance please call me .

The best way to reach me is on my cell phone: 860-942-1658. I can take a Credit Card over the phone or feel free to send a check at the address below.  I am looking forward to hearing from you.

All Blessings,

Craig Ungerman
406 Lowell Davis Road
No. Grosvenordale, CT 06255


At this year’s conference we will work together to create a genuine homecoming for troops and veterans, rites of passage for all men no matter what our histories, and reconciliation between veteran and civilian men.

We were pleased to welcome Ed Tick to this conference for the first time in 2011. Ed has been working for veterans for over 30 years, pioneering the psycho-spiritual restoration and healing of the warrior. He is director of Soldier’s Heart and author of War and the Soul. Continue reading

Amazing Collaboration with Caroline Casey, Miguel Rivera and Ed Tick

Despite Mercury being in Retrograde, Miguel Rivera and Ed Tick collaborating with Visionary Activist Caroline Casey on August 18th turned out to be a fantastic one hour conversation. Don’t miss this great show! Listen to the podcast on line at

download MP3 file
Subscribe to Podcast:

see also the interview with Ben Merens –  Wisconsin Public Radio on Sept. 1st

Here is an excellent article about the work of Dr. Edward Tick … online at The Sun Magazine:
Like Wandering Ghosts:
Edward Tick On How The U.S. Fails Its Returning Soldiers
The Sun Interview  | June 2008 | issue 390