For thousands of years boys would have an initiation process where the men would initiate them into becoming a man. We’ve lost this ritual in our culture over the past few hundred years. However, what has happened is that boy’s initiating themselves through gangs, sports, or some other sort of ritualistic behavior. Initiation is still happening; however the way it has manifested in the world has been in the form of men destroying one another and the world around them.
There is an energy inside of men that has also existed for thousands of years. It is a kind of warrior energy. In the past, this energy was used in productive ways where men would quite literally go out and hunt for food. This warrior energy was very necessary for the survival of human beings. This energy warrior energy remains in the genes of all men who are alive today. However, men no longer have to use it to hunt. As we’ve all seen much of this energy has been used by men to destroy themselves and the world around them. In this processes, this warrior energy has received a negative view from the world we live in. The energy is powerful, and when harnessed and cultivated it can be used in a new way. In a way that protects, serves, and empowers men to fully engage their masculinity in a healthy way – in a new way.
Can you imagine seeing a man who is able to use this old warrior energy in a new, powerful and loving way? Well, it’s happening to men everywhere right now. It’s through a weekend that is called, “The New Warrior Training Adventure” that is held by The Mankind Project.
The Mankind Project is an International Non-Profit men’s organization that offers Warrior Weekend training and follow up weekly group meetings. The Organization focuses on accountability, integrity, and connecting to feeling for men. The training challenges men to develop their abilities as fathers, leaders, elders, and mentors, as a way of offering their deepest gifts of services to the world and learning how to harness and use the warrior energy inside of their genes to serve.
My experience with the New Warrior Weekend training was amazing. I am extremely grateful for it, and I will treasure it the rest of my life. Everything that occurs on the weekend is secretive. The reason for this is to ensure that each man has a unique experience that is his own – untainted by another man’s perception. This “secretiveness” brought up fear and anxiety for me prior to going to the weekend. I had no idea what I was about to get myself into, but I was ready for whatever was about to happen. I was looking for a big change in my life, and wasn’t sure what it was. I believed I’d find it on the weekend. What I found was not what I expected. It was beyond my imagination, and changed my life forever – in a profound way.
The thing I remember most after returning from my weekend was the first person I saw. It was a 2 year old boy who was my neighbor’s son. I bent down on one knee and called him over to me. He ran over to me and wrapped his little arms around me and gave me big hug. The thing that stands out about this for me the most is that prior to this weekend the same little boy would run away from me and he would never come to me. I would try to reach out to him or get him to come to me and he would just run away. The experience I had with this little boy after my weekend was all the verification I needed for what happened on that weekend.
The powerful thing that sets this weekend apart from other experiential kinds of weekends is what happens after the weekend. The work I did on the weekend was huge and it was just the tip of the iceberg. However, there are weekly groups that are set up where men can continue to meet, share, connect, build community, and support each other in growing together on an ongoing basis. Since I went through my weekend in October of 2005 I’ve attended these weekly meetings on a fairly regular basis. This has led to continual growth and enrichment for myself, while having the privilege and honor of watching and supporting other men as they grow as men. If I did not have this community of men to rely on and support me on an ongoing basis, I have no idea where I would be or who I would be right now. I can say that this work has changed my life forever and I am extremely grateful to be a part of it.
The Mankind Project has a thriving community in San Luis Obispo. There are several weekends held in Santa Barbara every year. There is also a local group that meets every week and conducts an open meeting to All men within the SLO community. If you are man or know of a man who may have an interest in attending one of these groups we welcome you to visit us and see what’s happening inside. These open meetings are held every week. Check for details and times and days of the week.
For more details contact Mike Brown at 805-534-1342.