Reflections on Avatar:  The Way of Connection

A Unique Men’s Retreat Experiential

The movie Avatar (2009) was written and directed by James Cameron.  In this spectacular film, we are given the story of an American man (a former soldier in a wheelchair, named Jake Sully), who agrees to travel to the planet of Pandora to support a team of scientists who are attempting to make friends (and be allies) with the natives there (the Na’vi clan).

In the process of serving his country while on Pandora, Jake first uses new technology to transfer his consciousness into a Na’vi body in the science laboratory.  The Na’vi body has been grown prior with Jake’s genetic material (that came from his identical brother who was on the science team for years).

The genetically created version of the Na’vi hybrid is called “Jake’s Avatar.”  With his new avatar body, Jake can run, jump, and enjoy the Pandora planet without needing a wheelchair.  In doing so, Jake feels literally reborn with the help of his avatar.

At the end of each day inside his avatar body, Jake needs to return his consciousness to the human world and deal with his body in a wheelchair while living with his science team members.

In this movie, Jake essentially learns that with the help of his avatar, the world on Pandora feels more alive, vibrant, and meaningful. He is awakening to his own inner true self, as well as to a life that carries more meaning.  Jake is in the process of transforming physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, psycho-cosmologically, and communally.


Why Avatar for Men Now?

The film Avatar (2009), which was nominated for several academy awards and was still the highest grossing movie of all time as of December 2022, is one of the most potent, consciousness-raising movies of the last fifty years.

Over several decades, I’ve been passionate about helping men raise their consciousness. Avatar is a great key to help men unlock their consciousness potential.  The social and cultural conditioning for most U.S. men over-emphasizes the importance of success, achievement, and status.  When men are not more conscious, authentic, relational, and fulfilled, they seek external validation rather than cultivating healthy self-esteem from within.

Avatar can be a source of inspiration and reflection for men. Through the Avatar Retreat, men learn how to prioritize their own personal growth and well-being. This aids in alleviating some pressure to conform to societal and cultural expectations.  As a result, participants can experience expanded consciousness, greater authenticity, and more fulfilling relationships with themselves and others.


Throughout the retreat together, we’ll be inviting you to reflect more deeply regarding the major themes.  You’ll be given prompts on paper, and space to reflect and write your reflections.   Your experience of this retreat and of the teachings involved is an opportunity to explore your own sacred dance with the following:

  • Intentional awakening and expanding of consciousness by cutting the ropes that hold down our inner hot air balloon
  • Transformation via sacrifice
  • Departure, adventure, resurrection, return
  • Epiphanies of life
  • Facing your own necessary death(s)
  • Purposeful maturation
  • Embodied, or engaged authenticity
  • Living in the ever-widening rings of being, and
  • Giving back, paying it forward, and sharing your giftedness with the world.


“Awaken, in order to die–so that you can truly live.”  –Jeffry


Retreat Description

Participants connect with other men of good character, make time for their own deep reflection and growth, and find their wild, untamed edge of spiritual expansion.


Together We Investigate the Following Elements

  • The thematic arc and elements of the hero’s journey.
  • The essential elements of traditional initiation.
  • Four central spiritual dimensions highlighted throughout Avatar.
  • How ancient Hindu and Māori mythologies dance with elements of Native American cultures in the film.


Primary Outcomes

Participants link the investigative elements outlined in the description above to gain personal growth and spiritual expansion.  Typical outcomes include the following:

  • Identification of one’s path of sacrifice on the road to initiation of higher consciousness.
  • Personal applications of the hero’s journey.
  • Recognition of how initiation elements manifest in one’s life experience.
  • Expanded awareness and consciousness regarding treating others unjustifiably.


Retreat Schedule

This weekend, in-person gathering includes 12 hours of my teachings and facilitation. The standard daily framework is outlined below:

Day and Time Activities and Themes
Friday Night

7 PM to 10 PM

Film Introduction


Short Debrief

Saturday Morning

9:15 AM to 11 AM

Exploration of Consciousness

Three Levels of Consciousness

Saturday Afternoon

1 PM to 2 PM

Where Transformation and Wounding Support Consciousness
Saturday Afternoon

4 PM to 5 PM

The Relationship between Sacrifice and Transformation (Making Things Sacred)
Saturday Evening

7:30 PM to 9:45 PM

The Hero’s ARC of Development

Connections and Accountability


Sunday Morning

10 AM to 11 AM

Understanding the Integration of Masculine and Feminine Energy

Summaries and Takeaways


Retreat Host Responsibilities

The hosts are responsible for providing the following:

  • A working copy of the film Avatar (2009).
  • Audio and visual technology to adequately present the film.
  • Private meeting space.
  • Easel, flipchart, and markers.
  • Printed handouts in sufficient quantity (facilitator will provide the file ahead of time).

Avatar Retreat Testimonials

Request more information about this retreat:

Contact Jeffry