Strength of Character

This will carry me through the day. I would buy this man a scotch in a heartbeat!

"Being manly is not about your strength..it's about your strength of character. You want to be a real man, then respect the women in your life." ~ Steve Hofstetter

I'm out.

Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


The Monster in Me

Boysen Hodgson, MKPUSA communication man, is live on the Internet talking MKP, men, and whatever else comes up. Tune in Weds, Jan 20 @ 3:30pm eastern time. Maybe he'll mention the NWTA....ummmm, you bet he will! Call in and ask him a question. I dare ya!

See http://www.blogtalkradio.com/inspiredmasculine/2016/01/20/the-monster-in-me.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


We are...

We are about celebrating masculinity, we are about teaching integrity and accountability.

We are about laughter and tears.

We are about the pleasures of sonhood, fatherhood, brotherhood, and even cousinhood.

We are certainly about friendship.

We dare you and challenge you and bless you to come into our space and play with us.

We are about the joy of being a man.

We are the ManKind Project; men helping men be better men.
For more details or answers to your questions, message me here or see ManKindProject.org.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf  


Sportmanship & Intergity

Sportmanship is more than doing the right thing. It's about integrity. When I do the right thing even though it may be unpopular or I may lose, then I am living in my most integral self; in sportsmanship.

Think about the last time you saw this kind of thing on the playing field. Maybe in baseball, where it is clear everyone in the stadium knows the correct call but the team who benefits does not step up to say what is right. It happens in all sports at all levels.

In the ManKind Project, we look at how and where we live our lives in and out of integrity. We learn to own what we do, how we do it, and how it affects the world around us.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


In the Fire of Change

"It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back."

From The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer


What I want to know is if you will stand with me in the fire of change.

Will you stand with me and change the things in you that don't work; that hold you down; that you fear; that keep you small and safe from rejection. Will you stand with me while I do the same?

In the ManKind Project, men stand together in the fire of change; working and sweating and dragging change into today, kicking and screaming. Sometimes, it isn't pretty to see at the time. But in the light of discovery and reflection, men find lasting change that they can carry into tomorrow.

Will you stand, with me, in the fire of change?

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf


MKP for 5 Minutes

This video explores what the ManKind Project stands for, offers a brief history of the founding and creation of the New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA) and looks at the different benefits that men get from being involved.

The ManKind Project asks you to fundamentally examine the way you were socialized and to move through the obstacles that will prevent you from fully living your purpose in the world.

Featuring Snake Bloomstrand, Jim Mitchell, Schuyler Cunningham, Matt Auron, & Carl Griesser

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


The Dance You Do

This is a great piece. Sort of an FAQ for NWTA.

Enjoy...and then sign up and stop dancin'!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

The Dance from MKP New England. Author unknown.

OK, now let's be honest about what happens next. Getting to one of the trainings is actually fairly easy. They're offered all over the U. S. and in many other countries-United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa, Australia. You can find out the dates online and begin the registration process in about 30 seconds. But what usually happens in the process of getting there is The Dance. One step forward, two back. You know you're dancing when you have one of these thoughts:

  • "I'm too different (old, young, gay, straight, fat, thin, poor, rich, black, white) to go." There's no excuse that's too trivial to be used as the reason I can't change.
  • "That's way too much money. I'd rather buy toys or pay the rent." That's right-it does cost some money-averaging $600. However, so that money is not the major obstacle, the New England Men's Network has an innovative co-creative payment policy which allows the amount to slide, based on how much a man can afford & how much they get from it.
  • "Wouldn't it be possible to read a book or magazine article and get to the same place?" No, actually the training is an experience, not a set of ideas. Sorry, you'll need to show up, and not just with your brain. You should pack your body, your passion, and your soul, too.
  • "I'll do that someday-next year, next millennium. Only now I'm not quite ready. I need to. . . (return some library books, mow the lawn, de-fragment my hard drive)." One of the most common things men say after they go through the training is, "What was I doing for the last twenty years?" The best time to do the training adventure? Right now.
  • "I'm in therapy, so I don't really need this." Or "I'm not in therapy, so I'm not prepared for this." Nice try, both of you.
  • "All right-this is some sort of pyramid scam with a lot of people getting rich, right?" The Mankind Project is a non-profit organization. The vast majority of those who staff a training pay money themselves for the privilege of staffing, and devote huge chunks of time and energy to make the training happen. The training leaders get paid, but not much. If people get rich from the trainings, the enrichment has nothing to do with money.
  • "I know how these workshops go: You get a little insight, a little warm-and-fuzzy bonding, then you go back to your life and do business as usual. Pretty soon you ask, remind me-what exactly did I get out of that?" Actually, that's probably right, if the training were the only thing a man did. The heart of the Mankind Project is the I-Groups which start after the training, composed of those who have finished a weekend. These usually meet weekly, and (here's the good news) after 6-8 weeks of learning the ropes with a facilitator, they run on their own with no cost to the members.
  • "This is a bunch of navel-gazing. Men who have a good experience together, gain some insight into themselves, then resume destroying the planet and terrorizing their families without making a real difference." A key part of MKP is action in the world-men define themselves as men of service. There are many areas of possible service-working with kids, building a more compassionate company, saving the planet, working in prisons. Even being present with your family is a kind of service.
  • "Hold it-this sounds like some sort of religious cult. I already have a religion, thank you." Or "I can't stand religion, so count me out." Men from all major religions are currently active in the MKP-Jesuits, orthodox Jews, Muslims, and Protestant Christians. Also, many are involved who see themselves as non-religious.
The point I'm trying to make about The Dance is that it's normal, maybe even necessary. A man shouldn't enter the change process lightly. When we approach change of any kind, one part of us says optimistically, "Maybe I'll change," and another part freezes and says, "Oh, oh. . . Maybe I'll change." This is true whether it is a job change, moving in with a domestic partner, or buying a house. Change is serious business. If you're doing The Dance, this means that you're taking the process seriously. It means that all parts of you have their eyes wide open.

Entering the weekend is jumping into the unknown. You don't know what's going to happen. There's no syllabus, no schedule circulated in advance. So the dance you do when you're deciding about going to a weekend is the same dance you do when you're entering the dark future of any change in your life. You may or may not know a man who has gone through the weekend. If you do, he may be enthusiastic, but is generally vague about what happens. One thing I guarantee, though. You will be challenged-physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and personally. (Yeah, ok, a lot of adverbs). So another unknown is this: how will you respond to the challenges? Will you isolate? Lie to yourself and everyone else? Blow up? Freeze up? Screw up? Open up?

Doing the weekend is an adventure. No, you haven't done this before. After you're done dancing, if you decide to do it, you may have a hard time explaining to the significant people in your life what you're doing and why. You may have a hard time explaining it to yourself, like Edmund Hillary did when he made that feeble statement about Everest: "because it's there." But you know, as you stand at the foot of the mountain in your life, that there is something which demands that it be climbed--that there is something about that one peak that will orient things and won't let you rest. No, the weekend won't climb the mountain for you. That's your life and your job. But it may help you name the mountain, it may help you begin to hear its insistent whispering.


Be a Man...Three Words.

A MUST view!!!! Alexithymia....an inability to put emotions to words. Giving it a word does not make it more real. But it is real and that is the work of the ManKind Project.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


Everything is Happening, All the Time

A link to a post by a dear man, Boysen Hodgson; an MKP man.


MKP is about change in a world filled with challenges. Come with us! Be the change. Be the Heart. Be more than you ever thought possible!

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


Old vs. New

This post, which used to appear at the Chicago MKP center, is about what an old warrior looks like and why a new warrior is better placed to create a stronger man in this day and age.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf  

What is the New Warrior?

The Old Warrior competed with the elements, other animals, and other males, through force where necessary, for the ancient prize of survival. Our histories are filled with tales of combat and competition, male against male, tribe against tribe, nation against nation, for territory, food, women, and more. And competition and domination worked, we survived, when many did not. The memories of the struggle of the Old Warrior haunt our bones, and live and breathe in each of us today.

The New Warrior has looked at his Old Warrior in the eye. He has learned to spot the shadow of his Old Warrior, and to make new, healthy choices in his life. The New Warrior commits himself to living a life of passion, energy, and feeling beyond survival, to harnessing and openly directing his warrior energy into a personal Mission of Service in the world.

The New Warrior is a man for today’s world, ready for full, vibrant, equal partnership with other men and women. For most of us, the struggle for physical survival is over. The New Warrior has put down the sword, picked up his own heart, and placed it in service to himself and others.
What are the Characteristics of a New Warrior?

A man who has been taken the journey of the New Warrior Training Adventure is offered the opportunity to take on the characteristics of a New Warrior and take his place in the world carrying those traits with him into his family, his work, and his community. It is these traits and his choice to do his own personal growth that enables him to face the struggles of life, to attain his personal successes, and to forge ahead in his life’s journey with clarity and intention. These characteristics become the fundamental values of the New Warrior, by reshaping and redefining a man’s awareness of his world, his choices, and his feelings. These values include:

* Responsibility — A New Warrior is responsible for his life, his feelings, his choices, and his actions. He chooses his reactions.
* Integrity — A New Warrior’s choices and actions are consistent with his intentions, mission and commitments. He keeps his promises.
* Congruency — A New Warrior’s actions equal his thoughts and words. He does what he says he will do. He “walks the talk”.
* Self-awareness — A New Warrior examines his thoughts, feelings and behaviors. He is aware of his “shadows”, patterns, and limiting beliefs that compromise his integrity with these principles.
* Accountability — A New Warrior “owns” to another man when he is out of integrity. He acknowledges and owns the consequences of his actions, and the choices and intentions behind them.
* Clarity — A New Warrior discerns and articulates his feelings and judgments. He seeks understanding. He knows what he wants. He knows who he is. He knows the choices he wants to make.
* Mission — A New Warrior seeks to discover his true Mission of Service and to live in integrity with it.
* Commitment — A New Warrior clearly articulates his pledge or promise to do something. His intentions are clear and he follows through.
* Action — A New Warrior takes action to live his mission and fulfill his commitments. He asks for help when he needs it. He asks for what he wants. He moves through his fear. He takes risks.
* Service — A New Warrior offers himself through acts and deeds without expectation.
* Authenticity — A New Warrior is sincere and honest in all of his dealings. He is aware of and owns his feelings. He speaks his truth. He comes from his heart. He is genuine and real.
* Directness — A New Warrior speaks clearly to another man of his perceptions, feelings and judgments towards him. He neither practices nor tolerates sideways comments or “gossip”.


A Man's Quest

"A man must go on a quest to discover the sacred fire, in the sanctuary of his own belly to ignite the flame in his heart, to fuel the blaze in the hearth, to rekindle his ardor for the Earth.
Sam Keen

Men are not born men, but born boys. We must travel the terrain of coming male maturity with caution, bravado, fear, reluctance, joy, and passion. What stands in the way is the fear of losing our childhood security (imagined or real, as it may be).
What does a man have to give up to stand as a mature man in his mature masculine? What does a man need to look at letting go of to then grasp the maturity his body aches for?
In the ManKind Project, men are encouraged to look at what they need to do to step into a male maturity that is honoring of the man, as well as the world around him.
Men are not born men, but born boys. The world does not need more adult-sized boys running around pretending to be men. Rather, the world needs men to take their place as boys who have stepped into manhood in a courageous, fiery, honoring way.
The time is now; men are waiting.
I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf


Not a Cult

I find it pretty amazing how many people seem to attach the word "cult" to any organization that has a limited membership. The a ManKind Project has a limited membership. Men.

Is the AARP a cult because it is limited to folks over 50? Oh, and the Girls Scouts are for girls. Man, that is some risky stuff, putting girls together without boys to keep it equal (sarcasm intended).

I found this great blog article (below) that pretty much dispels the cult issue for MKP. Not that there ever was one to begin with...

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf

The ManKind Project New Warrior Training Adventure Weekend

by Rion on 04/05/2011

My first foray into Men’s Work started when I was 28. I had met some men in my community that were heads and shoulders above the majority of the population in characteristics such as appropriate self-confidence, integrity, awareness, and life purpose. They inspired me to become like them. When I asked a few of them, they responded with suggestions like Mentoring, Rites of Passage, and Initiation. All sounded good to me, so I asked where to sign up. Several of the men all talked about men’s group, men’s work, and encouraged me to check out an organization with whom all had done an initiation weekend: The Mankind Project.

I was encouraged not to take any of the dogma too seriously, but to examine what they were aiming at and find opportunity for personal reflection and growth. They knew me well enough to know that my rebel would find any authoritarian dogma and just shut my ears to the wisdom, no matter how transformational it might be. I am sworn to confidentiality about what actually happens in the weekend, but I can assure you there is no circle-jerk, animal sacrifice or blood-letting. That disclaimer aside, the work is nothing short of miraculous. What I witnessed in my fellow man that weekend brought me to tears, shouts of rage, utter awe, and beaming pride. If you question what it is to be a man, how to bond with men beyond sports, chasing women or getting drunk, your questions will be answered.

Let me clarify on one this one point: Mankind Project is not a New Age, Touchy-Feely, Crystals and Meditation Organization. Mankind Project is getting to the core of being a man: including but not limited to our judgements of our own anger, sex, lies, bullshit, purpose, and confusion. If you want to know what is holding you back from being the man you were born to be, you will get a chance to look into a mirror so unobscured by distortion, you will probably look away in denial. The great thing about this work and this organization is that the weekend is just a gateway. It is opening up the door, looking inside, and seeing some parts of yourself – your shadow – that maybe you didn’t even know existed. It’s about being given a chance to examine what the word “integrity” means and to see how much of a man of integrity you really are. It is the opportunity to do the work to transform yourself into the powerful, brave man you were destined to become. It is the opportunity for you to examine and destroy old stereotypes and myths of what being a man never was even though you forced yourself to live up to such impossible standards. Most of all, it is the opportunity to be loved, accepted, and seen, just as you are, by a group of men, without judgement.

After the initiation weekend, Mankind Project provides meetings on a weekly or monthly basis depending on your location. Here you get to continue to do the work, get reflection, and have a safe place to express your emotion, challenges and accomplishments. I have had the joy of recommending this weekend to several of my brothers in the community, and was floored to see their experiences seemingly more transformational than my own. There are several men in my life who I would love to see engage in this weekend, but have such a stigma around what these types of workshops are, they consider themselves above it or it having no use. It is to these types of men that I specifically make this appeal: If you are interested in living your purpose, knowing your dark side, and being the best man you can be in your relationships, your job, and your play, enroll in the Mankind Project’s Initiation: The Mankind Project Warrior Weekend.


Speaking Your Turth

It may take ten thousand years, but it starts with you. It starts with me. It starts with honor and tolerance and care that one person is worth as much as another.

It is an honor to hear this man take the MKP message he holds and put it out into the world.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


The Mystery Man at Miller Park

When men do good, the world is a better place. I get so sick of hearing about the bad stuff some men do. It is true, some men do bad stuff. But really, its the same as it has always been, most men are good and work hard to be there best they can be. It's just that doing good doesn't make headlines.

So the headline for today is: The Mystery Man at Miller Park; from the Huffington Post.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


Dear Section 113, Row 17, Seat 22:

Forgive me for not getting your name yesterday. I really should have because I wanted to pray for you by name. My husband's company gets several sets of tickets to Milwaukee Brewers games every year that come available for the employee's use via a lottery system and we just happen to get four free tickets to see the Brew Crew play the Washington Nationals on Sunday, August 4th.

The weather was absolutely perfect for a day at Miller Park, but my anxiety level was still high because -- let's face it -- I was bringing THE CHILDREN. Not just the big kids, not just one of them, but all three boys. Together. At the same time.

Isaiah was jacked up for his trip to the ballpark and his behavior reflected that. Every 30 seconds came pleas for cotton candy, sunflower seeds, popcorn, ice cream, balloon animals, face paint, and other such nonsense. Micah behaved like, well... Micah and Thomas didn't have a seat so he was basically crawling all over the place for the entirety of the game.

To put it bluntly, I was grateful for my cold beer. All three of them.

But you were not annoyed by the number of times you were jabbed in the back as Thomas crawled like a monkey from seat to seat. Instead, you turned around and frequently engaged in conversation with my children, proclaiming that Thomas would be stealing his big brothers' girlfriends in about 15 years so I had better be ready.

You couldn't have been older than 24 or 25 and you were clearly at the ballpark yesterday to spend some time with the lovely young woman you had your arm around. Still, you made it a point to chat with Isaiah and encourage him to try to catch a foul ball and even took it upon yourself to race him down to the Brewers dugout three times in the middle of innings in the hope of getting a game ball tossed his way. You promised my son, "We will get you a ball, kiddo." (For the record, Daddy also brought Isaiah down there and struck out as well.)

In the ninth inning, the Brewers were actually up by a couple runs (miracle of miracles!) and were three outs away from a victory. You told Isaiah to be ready, that as soon as that third out was achieved, you would bring him down to that dugout and wait for a ball. This was the time. This time, for sure, a game ball would be his.

But luck was not on his side, it would seem. In the crowd of fans all competing for attention, you two came up short. You walked Isaiah back up to our seats, giving him a reassuring pat on the back, but the disappointment on his face was evident.

That's when you knelt down and gave him a Milwaukee Brewers baseball. His eyes lit up, he took it from you slowly and you told him, "Hey, I promised you a ball."

I'm not sure when you got that ball. Maybe it was a side thought on a run up to the concession stands for a beer or soft pretzel. Perhaps you left your seat and went to the stores specifically to get Isaiah a ball. All I know is that you still tried like crazy to get him a game ball, knowing that you had a secret backup plan in place to make my son, a complete stranger to you, feel like a million bucks.

Thank you for what you did for my son at Miller Park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. As we were preparing to leave the stadium, I reached out my hand to offer my sincere thanks for your act of kindness. To my surprise, you pulled me in for a hug.

As we shuffled out of the stadium, Isaiah wouldn't stop talking about his very own Brewers baseball and how it was one of his "special treasures." It can be so easy to forget sometimes how small acts of kindness can have such a huge impact on our fellow humans. Holding open a door, offering a seat on a bus or subway, paying for a stranger's coffee. All teeny little choices that can become a bright spot in an otherwise difficult day.

But you did more than that, sir. You made my boy feel like a rockstar. You didn't have to. You chose to. And I am sincerely grateful to you for it. When my wiped-out children were tucked into bed last night, I took a few minutes to thank God for you. I asked that He bless you and draw near to you wherever you were. I prayed that the Lord would encourage you and honor your kindness by bringing joy to your heart.

But I would still love to find out your name so I can send you a proper thank you note. :)

The Grateful Mother in Row 18

UPDATE: Due to the power of social media, it took a matter of hours before I was told the name of the kind stranger who gave my son the souvenir baseball at Miller Park. As soon as I could, I sent him a message on Facebook to properly thank him for his act of kindness and also to apologize for the sudden overwhelming and unexpected media frenzy over the story! He was extremely gracious and said that my post was very touching. I offered to treat him to lunch or a gift card somewhere, but he declined and told me I could give it to someone who needs it more than he does. We now know our Mystery Man is a 22-year-old college student named Chad who is studying to become a teacher. Both he and my family have been invited by the Brewers back to Miller Park to take in another baseball game and we hope we can find a common day when we all can return.


3 Questions

The three questions we ask you before you sign up for the NWTA:
  1. Are you doing this for YOU? The New Warrior Training Adventure is for men committed to bettering their lives, healing their souls, creating community and connecting with the world in authentic service. The decision to do the NWTA should be one that you make for yourself - not for someone else. You may be feeling apprehension or fear. That's great. Chances are you know that something powerful and mysterious is awaiting you. That is the adventure. Your adventure.
  2. Are you ready to challenge yourself and show up fully? The Hero on a Journey has to face difficult truths about himself, even the reality of his own mortality. The hero chooses to act in the face of these challenges rather than shrink back. The New Warrior Training Adventure is a Hero's Journey - an initiation into the mature masculine. It happens real time and surrounded by other men also facing the most difficult aspects of themselves. Each man's path is unique and yet all share common characteristics. The success of a community of men depends on the success of each individual man. Your participation matters.
  3. Are you committed to your personal growth for the long term? The New Warrior Training Adventure won't tell you what to think or what to do with your life. Our intention is to create a process to help you reveal your deepest needs and deepest gifts. The New Warrior Training Adventure lasts about 48 hours. Your growth and evolution as a man are life-long. We have a global community of men who support each other to continue growing, healing, connecting and serving others in the world. Becoming an agent of change takes time and effort. We are looking for the next generations of leaders and luminaries who will help all of us survive and thrive.
Sign up at http://nwta.mkp.org/How-Do-I-Register.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf



"And the battle's just begun
There's many lost, but tell me who has won
The trench is dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters
Torn apart"
Sunday Blondy Sunday, U2, 1983

I have heard this song a million times and "felt" the words, today.

Tell me who has won? How long must we sing this song? How long?

When will we learn to see past all the words and noise to that fact that we are all in this together?

Shaky my head in disbelief at where we are as a species....

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


All Else is Madness

"To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness." The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

What in your life are you not accepting?

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


Healthy Masculinity

Today, I am posting a reprint of a great article by Craig K. Comstock from the Huffington Post.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


Healthy Masculinity
By Craig K. Comstock; from the Huffington Post

Seven men have been back in our valley for a few days after an intensive weekend training. They call each other "brothers," though they're not from the same family of origin. They are being welcomed home by an evening audience of 60, including wives, partners, kids, and men who have done the training earlier.

One by one they hold a ritual "talking stick" tied with ribbons from past groups and tell not what they've been through but how it's changed them. What they've just completed is the "training adventure" created and run by the ManKind Project (MKP).

"In my life I have never trusted a man, until recently," says one recent trainee. "Trust was taken away when I was 2.5 years old. This training is the first time I've ever allowed myself to fall apart. In the container created by the staff, it felt safe to cry, scream, chant. Now I have handfuls of mentors. This weekend has given me back my life." Another called the training "sacred work."

MKP has the main goal of "healthy masculinity" and structures the weekend training as an initiation, inspired in part by Jungian thought. Our society has a bit of an initiation gap, unless you count volunteering for basic training, and learning how to follow orders and to kill. Yes, fraternities offer some undergrads an experience called an initiation, and religious groups hold confirmation ceremonies and bar mitzvahs for young teens. But as compared with tribal initiations, including vision quests, these contemporary efforts, however necessary or worthy they are, serve a limited purpose and fail to deal with some of the gaps in our culture.

The biggest gap, says MKP, is a lack of trust and emotional intimacy among men. At the homecoming, almost all of the returning trainees spoke about this. In part, our society is based on the unproven assumption that individual selfishness is somehow invariably transformed by an "invisible hand"* into public good. In the movie called Wall Street, Gordon Gekko expresses this belief in the famous "greed is good" speech. In the competitive race that we take for granted, men are taught to deny feelings and to focus less on their personal missions than those of their organizations.

In the mid-1980s MKP was created over a kitchen table in Milwaukee by three friends, a teacher, an ex-Marine, and a psychotherapist who, having observed feminist "consciousness raising," wondered whether something could be done for men. Affiliated regional groups have so far trained more than 43,000 men, including the seven whose homecoming ritual I watched.

The first question that comes up for me about any group that professes to change people in basic ways is whether it's a cult. A cult has dogma. MKP has none and supports tolerance with regard to race, religion, and sexual orientation. A cult usually has a charismatic leader. MKP officials are temporary and, in some cases, self-deprecating like the Dalai Lama who calls himself "a simple monk." A cult often extracts as much money as it can, on a continuing basis. MKP charges enough for the weekend training to pay for the rental of the facility, enrollment, insurance, and the like. Any further activity is optional.

Even though MKP lacks the stigmata of a cult, I was not eager myself, a decade ago, to experience the training by going off to a campground for a weekend, confronting my shadow side, articulating a mission, and who knew what else. However, the other experiences of initiation I'd earlier stumbled into had made me curious and hopeful.

For example, I had done a vision quest with Angeles Arrien, a Basque who earned a doctorate in anthropology and now lives in the San Francisco area. During the week in the high desert of Arizona, one of the participants asked Arrien to arrange his formal initiation as a man. She sent all the men off to question the would-be initiate in detail about his fears and worst qualities. When that was done, she asked him to choose the man most unlike him to act, in the ritual, as "questioner." As it happened, I was chosen and given a painted wooden mask to wear.

My job was to lead a parade of men into a circle of the women and then challenge the guy's right to be initiated and thus be called a man. Of course, by design, I had derogatory material from his own lips. I assumed I'd be done in a few minutes, but Arrien motioned for me to continue much longer. I suppose this was, for the man on the spot, part of the "ordeal" typical of the classical initiation. He met the tests and was welcomed into the circle.

Earlier I'd done the Hoffman Process, also a week-long residential workout. It dealt with one's family of origin and, in particular, the "patterns" that each child learns from parents and regards as natural when they are not unconscious. Here I'd been one of the people undergoing initiation and discovered what it is like to uncover one's "shadow" with the help of a savvy and persistent teacher. Pleasant? Not at all. Challenging? Very. Liberatory? Amazingly so, at least with regard to basic family patterns.

In an initiation, the stage prior to the ordeal is "descent," which in the case of the Arrien workshop and the Hoffman process involved going to a new place, separate from my normal world. In the case of the MKP weekend, we gathered at a camp ground near the Columbia River -- an equal number of trainees and of a volunteer staff drawn from men who had already done the "adventure."

After the "ordeal," the next stage of initiation is the "return," which includes, on an optional basis, not only the welcome home evening but also weekly "integration groups" that continue for 10 sessions. These often lead to small circles of men who meet regularly. In my case, I benefited from five or so years in a group that called itself "the relentless optimists," and took a special interest in "social inventions." We always started a meeting with a "check in" in which each of us could tell what was currently happening in our lives. It is a basic belief of MKP that healthy masculinity is good for all living beings, including buddies, who, in circles, are enabled to discuss matters more personal than sports, office politics, or world affairs.

One lovely feature of the welcome home evenings is the invitation to members of the audience to speak, the theme being how the initiates seem to have changed. At that point, they have been home for four days and nights. I heard praise for the preliminary changes from wives, girl friends, even children, as well as from male friends who in some cases had nudged initiates into the training.

Sitting next to me at the recent welcome home was Bill Kauth, who was one of the founders of MKP, and who was later invited to fill the role of "visionary" for the organization. In his thought-provoking 2012 report, Kauth quotes writer Duane Elgin, psychotherapist Bill Plotkin, poet David Whyte, psychologist Dacher Keltner, editor of Greater Good magazine, and Lynn McTaggart, who is called a bridge between science and spirituality.

"Most of us," Kauth says in his report, "suffer from a broken 'attachment bonding' which makes it difficult to truly connect with others." MKP provides "significant healing over time by just being together in a safe container and more immediately thru the various forms of shadow work."

Challenging the common belief that society can best be built on the assumption that humans are primarily or overwhelmingly selfish, Kauth quotes research showing that people are also "hard-wired to give, to live the give-away." Here he alludes in part to the dazzling young writer Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics, for whom Kauth organized a workshop on the West Coast.

What does MKP do? "We build trust," says Kauth. "We bond with each other." Apart from the good done for individuals, perhaps the training is a preparation for coming out of our cocoons and into community? With his wife, Kauth has written a recent book called We Need Each Other: Building Gift Community.


I'll Meet You There

"Out beyond ideas of Wrongdoing and Rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, and even the phrase 'eachother' doesn't make any sense."

Rumi, c. 532 A.D.

In my view, men are men first; everything else second. That is where I start from; we at least have "man" in common.

As men, we share common bonds on masculinity and maleness. We have common biology, fears, and joys.

In the ManKind Project, men are embraced for who they are; men. I welcome you to look into the New Warrior Training Adventure and the ManKind Project. We are full of all kinds of men who are men first; everything else second.

I wish for a chance to meet you there; out beyond ideas of Wrongdoing and Rightdoing.

I'm out.

Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf



Get off your ass and live now! What are you waiting for? Permission?

Here I give you permission!

Say you I love you to someone. Mend a broken relationship. Sing a song. Hold your children. Smile at a stranger. Do some service for someone. Hold a door open.



I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf



Just about every weekend, ManKind Project men come together to work with new men who are seeking; seeking whatever it is for them to be a man.

What are you seeking? Take a couple minutes to see if these men found what you are seeking.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


Four Archetypes from the Boys to Men Program

from the Boys to Men Program.

I am the Eternal, Golden Lover within all men.

Without me...

You will feel alone & not connected to other people and to the world. Nothing will excite you or turn you on. You will be depressed.

Too much of me and...

You will easily become addicted to what you want. You can't be loyal to anyone or anything. You will dream your life away and never be satisfied.

When I am with you:

You will have a sense of Wonder and see Beauty around you. You will know the joy of surrender and will love being carried away. You will feel like you belong.

You will know how to fall in love and you will not be afraid to be sad.

I am the Eternal, Golden Warrior within all men.

Without me...

You will let others run over you and tell you what to do. You won't be able to finish a project. You won't be able to defend what you love. You will be unable to suffer.

Too much of me and...

You will seek power & glory for its own sake and stay stuck in having to be a Hero. You will feel threatened by authority. You will always have to win. You won't be able to tell your Enemy from your Friend. You will look like a bully and your children will fear you.

When I am with you:

You will defend your own boundaries & the boundaries of others. You will serve a cause greater than yourself. You will know how to think for yourself. You will be able to endure pain and know how to stick it out to the end.

I am the Eternal, Golden Magician within all men.

Without me...

You will be unresponsive & dull. You won't have a sense of humor & will not get jokes. You won't care about much.

Too much of me and...

You will be a manipulator and will think other people are stupid. You will be a mean trickster. You will be aggressive in a passive way.

When I am with you:

You will be curious about how the world works. You will see beneath the surface of things. You will want to know the Truth. You will think about what you do before & after you do it.

I am the Eternal, Golden King within all men.

Without me...

You will be weak and give your power away. You will easily be impressed and your standards will be low. You will be invisible.

Too much of me and...

You will need to be the center of attention and will insult & put down other people. You will be obsessed with power. You will never be satisfied.

When I am with you:

You will feel generous and people around you will feel stronger when they are with you. You will be calm, compassionate, and strong. You will know what is important & what is not. You will be creative.

You will know where you are going in life. People will look up to you and you will bless them.

The Whole Man

I am the Whole Man. I am wild by nature and I have all the energies in me both gold and shadow. Inside me lives a deep Lover and a strong Warrior. Inside me lives a capable Magician and a just King. The Shadow aspects of these four are present within me too. I have a dark Lover and Warrior and a shadow Magician and King. It is my challenge to manage all of these energies. You are on your way to becoming a man and you will need to learn to contain all these energies. What energy do you feel strongest in you right now? Which one is weakest? Well done. You are taking your first steps toward manhood.


Christian, Butterfly Man


Caring Deeply is Not Enough

I challenge you to take 20 uninterrupted minutes to shift how you see violence toward women, children, and other men.

Caring deeply is not enough. You owe to all the children, women, and men.

The men in the ManKind Project do this work. I am proud of that. But more needs to be done.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


Knock, Knock

When you wonder, as a father, how you might affect your children, watch this.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


"But here you are in the ninth
Two men out and three men on
Nowhere to look but inside
Where we all respond to Pressure"

Billy Joel; Pressure, 1992

How do you respond to pressure? Do you fight it, enable it, sink into it?

As men, we all have pressures. It's all about what we do with them.

By the way, this song is best played really loud!

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf


So, I’m Scared

ManKind Project man, Colin Berry nails what it looks and feels like to sit in a weekly IGroup.

Check it out below and at here.

I'm out.
Bravehearted Old-faithful Wolf

Men’s Group Saves My Life

By Colin Berry

We pull in to the parking lot a few minutes before starting time: a Toyota Corolla, a trio of pickups, a BMW, an old GMC van. Me in my Honda. We gather in a circle under the sodium lights, seven or eight of us on any given week, chatting and joking and trading quick hugs.

At 7:30 p.m. sharp, however, cell phones are turned off. Talk stops. A certain tension settles in. One man lights a bundle of sage and, one by one around the circle, each of us gets wreathed in ceremonial smoke.

It’s Monday night, and men’s group is starting.

Our group is four years old and a dozen members now, and we meet upstairs, in an off-hours yoga studio in East Los Angeles. We’re a mixed bunch: an accountant, a union electrician, an engineer, a voiceover director, three writers. Family men and bachelors, a blend of religions. Gay and straight, several races, and ages from 30s to 60s.

In any other context, the twelve of us would have little in common. Here, however, we’re bound by several things: a commitment to our own personal growth; support of other men in their growth; and participation in a weekend men’s initiation, from a few months to a few years ago, as part of The ManKind Project, the parent organization our group is part of.

What this means is I know these men have my back. It means on any given week, I can bring whatever is going on for me and trust these men to hold it. Trust that they won’t try to placate me, or fix me, or gossip about me later to their wives or buddies. That when they have judgments about me—and I know they will—they’ll own them clearly and cleanly in a way that respects both of us. This alone is worth coming every week.

The night is structured for men to experience a handful of male archetypes: the Lover, gentle and curious; the Warrior, fierce and focused; the Magician, a master of mystery and transformation; the King, a benevolent source of wisdom and blessing. At times, a given man on any given week may experience loving connection, deep sadness, razor-sharp rage, and a head-clearing epiphany or two. Every week it’s different.

I’ve been in a group for nearly 10 years, and at different times I’ve had the chance to sob about my mom’s death; reconnect with the white-hot flame of my personal power; acknowledge shame I was feeling at times in my life about the state of my finances; had “conversations” with my sisters, my father, and my late brother, as well as Gestalt-style dialog with specific parts of myself—my perfectionist, my lazy motherfucker, my frightened little boy. I’ve meditated, danced like a fool, played parts in other men’s psychodramas, and nearly puked. Groups I’ve been in have watched movies, gone bowling, laid flagstone, and played poker. I know and trust some of these guys better than folks in my own family.
I have an opportunity to hold myself accountable every week.

As a group member, I have the chance every week to hold myself accountable for things I’ve said I’ll do, for myself or others. This is a big part of our work. I can also hold other members accountable. If I come to group angry at a man, we have a facilitated process whereby I can “clear” with him. This is one of the most elegant and electrifying moments of the night. Whatever the data is between us, I can lay it out, talk about the feelings his actions have brought up in me, and levy my judgments and projections upon the man.

If that sounds like a pile-on, let me say that nine of 10 times that I clear with a man, it’s because he’s got or done something I don’t like about myself, and by the time I figure this out and the exercise is over, the two of us are usually smiling and hugging. (And he can always clear with me if he needs to.)

Are we psychologists? Nope. Do we encourage men to be authentic? To be the best they can be? Yes and yes. It’s like the quote from Thich Nath Hanh: “The most precious gift we can offer anyone is the fullness of our attention.”

Other than in a therapist’s office, I’ve never seen the kind of male positivity anywhere else. In groups, I’ve seen guys who were fully disconnected from their emotions begin to move more nimbly among them. I’ve seen men crushed by shame—about their bodies, their collapsing marriages, their joblessness, their mounting age—step into powerful and positive new beliefs about themselves. I’ve seen men at opposite ends of an ideology speak their truths to one other and uncover the common threads at the root of their beliefs.

But here’s what I don’t want you to know about men’s group: when I pull into the parking lot every week, I’m scared.

I’m scared because I know that for the next three hours, my unflattering parts will have nowhere to hide. Unlike the normal world, where I’m rarely held fully accountable, I know here I will be. Unlike daily life, where my ego is so adept at hiding my authentic human self—with its doubts, fears, shame, and shadows—here I sit exposed. If I speak bullshit, men will call me on it. Here, masks are off and personas checked at the door.

So, I’m scared.

But I’ll also tell you this: at 10 p.m. as we’re locking up the studio and getting back in our cars, I feel 100 times better. Every week. Authenticity, it turns out, feels better than artifice, and spending three hours in a roomful of genuine men has—for me—the effect of making me feel fantastic. Back in my Honda, pulling out of the lot and back into real life, I feel like the world is a safer place with my men and me making a genuine difference. For a few hours, in one room in this vast city, we’ve put ourselves and a few others on the road to being better men.