How Death Opens the Masculine Heart w/ John Wineland (003)

January 9, 2019

Men This Way GUEST Banner John Wineland

Are you still afraid of death?

Did you know that emotional presence … that thing women often cite as the reason they don’t trust men … is something you can relax into?

And are you aware you can play a significant role in helping your partner heal past traumas?

This conversation with John Wineland was deeply moving for me, because death was present when he and I spoke.

And death does well to open the masculine heart.

Just a few months earlier, John made an excruciating decision that is every parent’s nightmare – when he took his 21 year old daughter, Claire Wineland, a young lady who was just a light of inspiration in the world, off life support, ending her rollercoaster journey with cystic fibrosis.

Although John shares some of what he’s learning through this painful experience – and it is PROFOUND! – this interview isn’t specifically about that, because John is actually a renowned coach and teacher who travels world-wide, teaching his vision of embodied men’s work and deep relational practice for couples. He’s been leading men’s groups for decades, and is also a long-time student of author David Deida, the man whose teachings completely changed the way I see the world, and understand myself, and women, forever.

John writes extensively about Masculine Leadership, and you can catch him throughout Europe and the U.S. leading workshops on embodied men’s work, spiritual intimacy and sexual practice.

Definitely stay tuned for john’s 5 Key Takeaway’s at the end of this episode of Men, This Way.

Alright … Let’s dive …


6:46 ~ Fundamental events in John’s early life

9:02 ~ The role of mentors in John’s life and the amazing friends he has as his support network

11:11 ~ The need to be supported by other men when going through difficult times

12:30 ~ The passing of Claire Wineland

13:20 ~ What John has learnt from this difficult experience

15:36 ~ Post- and Pre-death lessons

17:56 ~ Why it matters for men to learn to be present with their emotions and thoughts

19:14 ~ How to deal with our emotions with integrity

20:10 ~ Integrity is not just about our word (hint: emotional integrity)

21:44 ~ The role of grieving in our lives and the importance of being open to it

24:31 ~ How as we become more embodied we become more empathetic to those around us

25:03 ~ “Men it’s time to take responsibility for the sins of our fathers and brothers”

27:51 ~ Masculine leadership is about awareness and knowledge of what affects those around us

28:47 ~ How men benefit from taking responsibility and being part of their partners’ healing process, and thus bring great value to their partners

31:01 ~ A core practice for a truly fulfilling, intimate relationship

32:39 ~ “There is one way of breathing that is shameful and constricted. Then there is another way. A breath of love that takes you all the way to infinity.” – Rumi

33:37 ~ The link between sexual yogic practice and martial arts

33:52 ~ Always own the central line

35:26 ~ How to know what to say “Yes” to and what to say “No” to

37:07 ~ How men can benefit from slowing down strategizing and instead just being present

38:12 ~ The relationship between fear and action, and the need for a “container” when experiencing fear

40:35 ~ The biggest challenge facing men in the world today


42:52 ~ KEY INSIGHT: Make death an ally

43:56 ~ KEY MAN TO LEARN FROM: David Deida. Groundbreaking work in relationships.

45:13 ~ KEY RESOURCE (most impactful, inspiring book, movie, podcast): Carlos Castaneda’s books. Journey to Ixtlan in particular.

46:07 ~ KEY INVESTMENT (the best thing you spent money on, under $10,000): Taking a chance on … (listen to find out)

46:31 ~ KEY PRACTICE (7-day challenge to the men listening): Horse stance practice. An opportunity for grounding and heart-opening.


Find John @

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  • Interview with John Wineland was absolutely amazing. Thank you. My biggest take away was your comment about your truck. I gave away my truck (also my car) before moving overseas – supposedly for good. Boy do I miss my truck! I don’t cry over the ended relationship but I sure as hell cry over my truck, which was also my daughter’s first vehicle. To get her to drive the truck to school her senior year I had to tell her that “boys like girls who drive trucks!” Did I know that – nope, but turned out it was true. Thank you much, Bryan, for everything. What an awesome man you are. I absolutely love men, the awesome masculine energy of men, and you are simply the best of the best in this regard.

  • John, my warmest heart for you, for your daughter and her mother. Bryan thank you for opening up the «taking the responsibility, not the blame» discussion. I find it easier now to explain, if I have a reaction or feeling that has little to do with the man I’m with, but comes from my history. It’s so much more releasing and heartopening, than to be met with «yeah, but that’s not me», «so all men are bad?», «women hurt men, too!»

  • Hi Bryan,

    I watched some of your videos and read some of your stuff. I really like your work. This interview with John Weiland was great… Except for one thing. I found myself annoyed whenever you talked about yourself. It felt like you were plugging your own work when the focus should’ve been on John exclusively. Uncool.

    The feeling inside me is hesitancy to want to listen to your stuff because when you plug yourself I get kind of an icky feeling inside.

    Just wanted to share that… For my own embodiment, and also perhaps you might find it useful.

    Keep up the awesome work!

    • I appreciate your feedback. Interviewing is certainly a new practice for me. To be clear, I do intend for this podcast to be more conversations of depth BETWEEN men, not merely one man asking another man questions. Still, I will surely take your experience in and sit with it. Thank you.

  • As a woman, I so appreciated listening in on your conversation. Any trepidation I had about treading in on sacred territory, such as death, with folks I don’t know dissipated when I heard the levels of openheartedness in your voices. I was left uplifted and heartwarmed. Thank you, gentlemen.
    I do have to slightly differ with you on the inception and perpetuation of grief, however. Again, as a woman, and as a mother of three stellar young men (26, 16 and 14), I recognize the vital importance of owning up to our bs. It’s vital to the health and wellbeing of the world.
    Refusing to accept what isn’t men’s alone to accept, such as blame, holds just as much power to heal as the owning up part does. Both parts are necessary to achieving equity and egalitarian balance. This can only happen when man is connected to his heart, which can only fully be achieved in the absence of shame.
    Unconditional love, validation, forgiveness, redemption…all these incredibly important things are experienced in the early, tender years…generally, it’s we womanfolk doing the work of teaching the hows and whys of our emotions. I think the scourge we are all facing is an epidemic of self-loathing to unprecedented degrees. I am actually honored to share the burden of healing the sins of my mothers and sisters. We hold such power. I have raised my sons on my own, largely. I’m truly grateful to know that gentlemen, such as yourselves, are willing to lead deep discussions…I’ll be listening to more 🙂

    • Thank you Kathleen for your beautiful words and for the essential work (that’s not quite the right word) that you’re doing to raise good men. 🙂 Bryan

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