Men have been gathering together around circles of fire since time began, but for many those days are a distant ancestral memory. Thank goodness for the East Bay Nation of Men (EBNOM), a monthly meeting of guys who get together at 7:30 a.m. every second Saturday at Lake Chabot Park so that, as they say, "men can be men, without the mask of bullshit." Formed in 1991 by a handful of men who had attended a Sterling Institute men's weekend, EBNOM has grown its numbers to about seventy men, who gather monthly for breakfast and talk — and also fire circles. Smaller teams of five to eight meet on a weekly basis, each with its own unique personality and flavor: Check out Jabberwocky, or Mountain Men, or the oldest team, Bushwackers. The group's code is simple, inviting men to "show up, speak the truth, keep your word" — all within the context of the particular support only men can offer one another. Sure, men may be from Mars, but in EBNOM circles, there's nothing wrong with that.
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