12.17.2007

Men's Health -- Yours and Mine

Prologue posted 12.17.2007:

Dan Fogelberg passed into the Spiritworld, peacefully, at home in Maine with his wife Jean at his side on Sunday, Dec 16, 2007. Farewell, Dan; your voice and music will travel with me the rest of my days.

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This may seem unrelated to ManKind Project and NWTA, but it's a men's health issue, and that in and of itself relates back to my work in MKP.

I offer that men are mostly taught to tough it out. In some ways that is a trait to be proud of. But when it stands in the way of your health, then it is time to make some changes.

Through my men's work, I have found strength to stand for myself in ways I had not before. Now I take my health more seriously and take time to have a physical every other year.

A while back I found out that Dan Fogelberg had contracted advanced prostate cancer. It moved me to be tested. So maybe it will move you?

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf
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From: Dan Fogelberg ~ News:

In May of 2004, Dan was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

A personal letter from Dan Fogelberg
Dated: August 13, 2005

First, let me send everyone some very good news. In our first 14 months of treatment, we have succeeded in slowing the progression of my prostate cancer down to an almost negligible level. Jean and I are thrilled and incredibly relieved and finally feel like we can at last take a breath. While we understand that what we're dealing with is a long term condition that will have to be dealt with, monitored and treated for probably the rest of my life, we are terribly encouraged to have come so far, so fast. It has certainly been the most trying experience of our lives and yet has proven to be one of the most illuminating as well.

I cannot adequately express my gratitude to all of the thousands of wonderful people who have sent us such incredibly moving and supportive e-mails via the Living Legacy web site. I am quite certain that the love and prayers that have been directed to us from all over the world have had a tangible and potent healing effect. It is truly overwhelming and humbling to realize how many lives my music has touched so deeply all these years. Each one of you who have taken the time and effort to reach out to Jean and I have helped immeasurably to uplift our spirits and keep us looking strongly forward during some very rough moments. I thank you from the very depths of my heart.

I currently have no plans to return to the concert stage or the recording studio in the foreseeable future, but who knows? At least for now, I prefer to keep my options open.

Again my deepest thanks and love to all,

Dan

Now for the sermon.

To each and every man....
I cannot encourage you strongly enough to get a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test and DRE (Digital Rectal Exam) EVERY YEAR.

The medical community suggests this for men over 50, but black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer should start getting tested at 40 - 45 years of age.

The PSA test is a simple blood test...it only takes a minute or two. The DRE, okay, every man squirms at the thought of this exam, but hey, it too takes only a minute or two, and IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE.

Prostate cancer can be very slow growing or very aggressive, but detected early while it is still confined to the prostate gland, it can usually be treated and cured successfully.

Once it spreads beyond the prostate it is called Advanced Prostate Cancer (PCa). At this point it becomes imminently more life threatening and harder to treat. Do yourself and your loved ones a huge favor and GET CHECKED REGULARLY. I promise you, you DON'T want to go through what I'm going through if you can avoid it.

Education and awareness are key, I urge you to follow the link below to the Prostate Cancer Foundation web site and read up on how best to protect yourself and reduce your likelihood of contracting this terrible disease.

Prostate Cancer Foundation

12.12.2007

Evel

Today, I say good bye to a man that was a part of my childhood; Evel Knievel (1938-2007).

I grew up on the excitement of being a little boy watching a man jump a motorcycle over things. Hey, I can do that on my 20-inch, yellow-banana-seated Schwinn Stingray! I was inspired by the excitement.

Later, as I became a young man and then a man, I realized this was a wounded man. I can live with that. I am a wounded man. I think we all carry some wounds.

That he drank and got into trouble with the law, was sad for me. I wanted him to be bigger than the wounded man he was. I wanted him to be the parts of me I could not access.

So for now, I wish for him that he finds peace and what ever he was looking for.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

11.14.2007

What Has Gone Undiscovered

I am fascinated with the Mars Rover program that landed some 45 months ago on Mars.

Could it be that the rovers, that were supposed to last only three months, are simply indestructible. Not likely.

But, it is s very special to think that in the time that they have driven at a snail-like pace a combined 11.7 miles we have seen a great deal of life pass by here on Earth.

Forty-five months is a long time. In that time, my new baby girl was conceived and born, I changed jobs, I saw my oldest girl get married, my Marine son-in-law completed two tours in Iraq (and will return next week back home, in one piece), I reached ten wonderful married years with my sweet partner, I created a new iGroup in my town, and another three thousand men have gone through the New Warrior Training Adventure.

All the while, these two little machines are busy trundling around the Mars surface discovering what has since gone undiscovered.

In that time, I wonder what you discovered about you. Did you discover that you need the friendship of, mentorship of, and community of men you can trust?

Come with me and discover what has gone undiscovered.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

11.07.2007

Cross to the Opposite Side

"In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To the river so deep
I must be looking for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it's too hard to cross

And even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and stand on the shore
I try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find what I've been looking for"

The River Of Dreams, Billy Joel, 1993

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I gotta tell ya, being on the other side is so much better than where I was before.

For years I stood on the side of the river wondering what all the sadness and pain was about. I thought "is this it?" Is this all there is to life; puttering along with the status quo?

One night in October of 1999, I made the cross to the opposite side of the river.

Men, trustworthy men, were there to bless my journey and to say "I see you and your value." They stood with me while I challenged my life and my body to be better than I ever was.

These men, ManKind Project men, were men just like me that had made the crossing ahead of me.

Now, I am one of those men that has made the crossing ahead of you. Now, I hold the space for you to come and look at your life; to challenge yourself to be better than you could ever imagine.

I see you and you have value. Make the crossing. It's not too hard.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

11.06.2007

A Process of Healing; Emotional Awareness

A Process of Healing One Man at a Time
from Journeyman; a MirrorMan Films documentary

"If we do not initiate the boys, they will burn the village down." African proverb

To achieve authentic manhood, men and boys must first learn nurture and validate themselves from the inside so that they can truly accept that they are good enough. But usually boys and men will need unconditional acceptance from the outside before they can incorporated that knowing into their core. The first step into this deeper world is learning and practicing emotional awareness. Men and boys need to know their own feelings and intuitions. Next comes a process of “uncovering” the soul from disabling family and cultural baggage. Here is where men and boys identify the masks they wear as well as the costs these masks have had. Now they have a chance to see themselves and their unique gifts in a deep way. With this clarity they can begin to get a more complex understanding of how the larger culture works, and how to integrate their gifts into the new world they see. This leaves them free and empowered to give services to society that spring naturally from honoring their own creative calls. They can balance this with a realistic understanding of limitations and responsibilities.

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In the ManKind Project, men take up a space to learn these very tools, as stated above. This is not voodoo or magic; it's the way boys learn to be men.

Being emotionally aware means you stop and listen to your feelings, your heart, and your intention before you "burn down the village." It means you are accountable for your actions; not from the outside, but from within yourself. In yourself is where real accountability lies.

What are you waiting for?


I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

11.05.2007

Manhood

"A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman, and it is confirmed only by other men. Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all."

Camille Paglia

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Now, I can't speculate on what makes a women; that's for women to determine and it is none of my business. Though, I can agree with men must become men. It is a revolt against the energy that is mother; as that is our most intimate connection to the feminine.

Only men can accompany the boy to manhood. Men are boys who have made the transition into manhood. This is no task for the faint of heart. Boys are strong, courageous, and clever. Boys must be guided with love and fierceness into manhood.

There are many men out there in the world who are boys awaiting the transition to manhood. They struggle to stand in a place of man-strength that honors all and understands change and eldership. These boy-men often fight against their own aging and the aged; essentially becoming king killers without even knowing it.

Are you a man longing for an honorable transition into manhood? Are you ready to take the leap of faith that other men have the energy and focus to hold space for you to become a man?

The New Warrior Training Adventure waits for you. Men are waiting for you.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

10.31.2007

Truth and Trust

One day I was awakened to the fact that I did not trust men. It shook me, because I had to admit that I was lacking something I thought I had.

The way it was though was I had no real reason to trust men. Men had screwed me my whole life. I had been cheated to, lied to, been left out to dry alone, abandoned, shamed, and basically shafted by every man or boy I could think of.

The most common was being lied to. What I recalled was every man or boy I had known had lied to me in big ways, not just little, nothing lies, but big ones.

My neighbor cheated on his wife while extolling the virtues of manhood to me. My school friends had no grasp of truthfulness. My friend through my twenties turns out to be lying about his sexual preferences the entire time I knew him. My brother lied to me so many times it still makes my head spin. The list goes on and on....

When I went to my New Warrior Training Adventure, I stood in a space that was safe to say "I do not trust you simply because you are a man." I was able to get clear on who I did not trust. It was me. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was just like them. I had a laundry list of ways I had screwed other men and boys. I could recite a million ways I had lied to them. Well, of course I couldn't trust males.

Nine years later, I feel very clear that I am trustworthy and that there are men who are, as well. I find most of those men in the ManKind Project. I am clear that if a man in the project lies to me, I can go to him and we can work it out. I can find support to deal with whatever comes my way.

Are you looking to get truthful about who and what you are? Are you willing to stand in a space and say what is true for you? Are you ready to be a man who has looked at his ways of living and whether they work or not?

Come on...I'll be there...you can trust me.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

10.26.2007

Awakening the Numb

"When men who have spent their formative years in extroverted action first turn toward the unknown country of the soul, they soon reach a desert -- the vast nothingness. Before rebirth comes the painful awareness that we have long been dead. Before feeling comes the dreadful knowledge that we have been anesthetized and are numb."

Sam Keen

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Ten years ago I noticed the numbness. It enveloped me like a dark blanket. I could fix anything, create anything...but I had no clue who I was.

I walked into the New Warrior Training Adventure in October of 1999. I was afraid of what I might find in me, in other men, in the outside world. Fear is no place to lay your head. It ain't home. The ManKind Project offered me a place to awaken myself; to find a place to lay my head that wasn't cold, empty, and fear-based.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf
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10.22.2007

Oz

"But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
That he didn't, didn't already have"

Tin Man, America, Written by Dewey Bunnell, © 1974

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Look, the ManKind Project can't give you anything you don't already have. You have the heart and soul you came here with.

The question is; what will you do with it?

How great are you willing to be? Are you willing to stand in your space and claim it for you?

I am willing to stand with you and support whatever you choose.

The New Warrior Training Adventure can't give you anything you don't already have. You have the heart and soul you came here with.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

10.18.2007

Boys in Their Forties

Today, I am posting a part of an article pertaining to the ManKind Project from The Republican in Springfield, Massachusetts. Go here to read the full text.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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A few good men; Young, bored and Springfield -- and the men who are trying to help

By Bill Peters

"But when I talked to Springfield resident Boysen Hodgson, the director of the New England Branch of the ManKind project, an internationally-known men's retreat group, it seemed noble, and right, to at least tinker with the code of of guyhood.

"We end up with guys who have been doing men's work for twenty-five years... and guys who are in complete crisis and have hit bottom, for whom this is their last-ditch effort," he says.

But despite differences in background, most men tend to be nervous about success, and fear being reduced by an opportunistic world. Hodgson says that most men "get stuck as adolescents. We end up being eighteen-year-old boys in our forties; we end up being eighteen-year-olds as parents."

Due to proprietary reasons, Hodgson wouldn't describe any activities of ManKind's retreats in detail, beyond "journaling, some physical challenges, and some emotionally challenging activities." But as a men's group, the Hemingway-meets-Yanni rhetoric is all there. The retreat is called the New Warrior Training Adventure. Mission statements contain passages like "The New Warrior is tough and loving, wild and gentle."

But does the very packaging of the ManKind Project risk alienating the men who most need the help? I asked Hodgson if the delicate way we talk about gender allowed any room for humor -- often a man's only raft in a lake of PC conversation.

"I'll answer with a joke: We're totally humorless," he deadpanned. But he went on with a smile: "But being aware of something doesn't mean that it's not funny anymore."

Sentimentality happens during the retreats, but ManKind's mission is anything but. Hodgson talks about self-ownership, admitting to failed ambition -- often the tender core of any man gone wrong. A ManKind bumper sticker says "Know Fear."

10.08.2007

This is For Him

I did some grieving work around my brother's passing in my MKP iGroup last week.

I remembered that I wrote this piece for him after he passed last Oct 16th, 2006.

So this is for him.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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For my brother, Scott

It saddens me deeply to not be at the service today; to read these words in person; to see him spread to the ocean where he told me he loved to play.

I knew Scott most as a boy. I knew the pure Scott. I think I was closest to the pure Scott than any other person. My brother was my best buddy growing up. We were pretty much inseparable until Scott went off the junior high and I was in 6th grade, in a different school. We moved often as kids and we often had only each other to play with. No matter; we found plenty to do.

I knew the Scott who loved to:
  • skateboard and BMX
  • play baseball, football, hockey and ice skate
  • build forts in the woods
  • sit with me for hours and play with our toys
  • throw snowballs and build snowmen
  • fish for bluegills and small mouth bass with my grandpa Jess
  • eat huge thanksgiving dinners with both our grandparents
  • play with our hot wheels cars and pretend we are both race car drivers
  • backpack and hike with me
  • play in the Kelley’s barn

I knew the Scott that:
  • feared heights and told almost no one
  • hated his glasses and told anyone who would listen
  • was afraid to tell my parents he was afraid
  • fought with me over the things brothers fight over
  • called me Randy Pandy with great joy in his voice, even though he knew it hurt my feelings and let me call him Scotty Potty, because I was littler than him
  • I had to bite, and hard, to get him off me
I miss that pure Scott that I knew as a boy. I miss him so much.

And now as I live in this life, without him, I remember him. Our relationship was what it was. I feel deep sadness, yet, there is nothing to be done but accept the way it was.

In my spiritual beliefs, Scott has already returned to this time and space as another person; maybe this time a little girl in Iowa or a little boy New Zealand, or perhaps he is right here. Look around, he may be near. He has moved on to another journey filled with lessons to learn.

To honor him in my spiritual beliefs, I ask you face west, to lift your voices and three times speak his name as I knew him; toward the setting sun, to the oncoming night, to the magician, to the hibernating Bear that seeks within the darkness the gift of renewal:

Scott Allan Maynard
Scott Allan Maynard
Scott Allan Maynard

Aho!

I wish my brother love and peace in his next journey.

10.03.2007

Stretching and Yoga

In ManKind Project iGroups, men are encouraged to make stretches.

A stretch is a place or thing I have wanted to go, but something has held me back. Usually my unfounded fear! The beauty of the stretch process is that it makes no difference if I make the stretch or not. What matters is what it was like to try and what I experienced in making it or not. There is no shame in not making a stretch; just the chance to look at what came up and why.

So, a while back I was getting ready to attend an ManKind Project gathering/celebration of the 10th anniversary of the first Northern California New Warrior Training Adventure. I have wanted to try yoga for many years but my fear of doing it "right" and looking ridiculous stood in my way.

I made a stretch in my iGroup to attend the Saturday morning yoga class taught by another ManKind Project man. My fear was up pretty high when I made the stretch but subsided quite a bit just stepping into the idea of doing it.

To make a long story short, I went to that class and the one the next morning (taught by a different ManKind Project man). I really enjoyed it. There was still some fear around doing it right and I was not able to do it like some of the men who do it all the time. But I stayed with it and really got a lot out if it.

Now, I am looking at adding yoga to my day. Maybe in the morning with my six-year-old girl and my fourteen month old girl.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

9.19.2007

Men and Community

What moves me today is the gratefulness I feel toward my community of men called the ManKind Project.

Outside of my weekly iGroup, I spend Monday lunch time with men who are either interested in the New Warrior Training Adventure or men in the ManKind Project community. I enjoy the time to connect with these men and to reconnect with my needs and wants as a man.

I need time to talk about just regular stuff and these lunches are great for that. I get to get caught up on other families and other men's lives. We talk about what our life is and where it's going.

A couple days ago we honored a man who had been through his New Warrior Training Adventure weekend the day before. We welcomed him back and heard his stories and shared our stories about our New Warrior Training Adventure.

I feel grateful to have these men in my life.

I want you to know, as well, that the New Warrior Training Adventure is just a small part of what is available to a man in the MKP.

Come and sit with us; sit with men who care about an nurture community.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

9.11.2007

8.20.2007

Teaching a Man

“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.”

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

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One thing I enjoy about the ManKind Project is that the organization prides itself on not telling a man what or how to do something; or how to do or be anything for a that matter.

The journey belongs to the man in the New Warrior Training Adventure and in the groups and experiences that he may sit in afterward.

Yeah, there is some structure, but if you don't like it or it doesn't fit for you, you are welcome to speak to that and you will be listened to.

Can you think of a place in your world where everything about you is accepted and honored? I can; the ManKind Project and the 40,000 men who call it there's.

Jump in with me!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

8.01.2007

Shark Warrior Speaks

A man's experience in the New Warrior Training Adventure is a beautiful thing. I hear over and over again how it was transformational, enlightening, powerful, life changing, etc.

This post is from a man who took completed his NWTA just a few weeks ago. I asked him if he would write a piece about his experience, so here it is unedited.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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I was doing a lot of reading about our current society contrasted with older so-called "primitive" societies in regards to rites of initiation. These other cultures had a very ritualized and sacred process that clearly delineated boyhood from manhood.

It is clear to me that our world today is full of boy-men, chronologcally aged men with the mindset of boys. How was that I could recognize this so easily? Let me just say that there is a saying in this community, "You spot, you got it."

When it came down to it, I really had no idea what it meant to be a man? Think about that for a while. What does it mean to be a man? Is there a certain age that you reach where you are deemed a man. Do you have to have children and be a father? Steady job? Owning a house? When I asked myself that question, I could not answer it. The more I thought about it, the more distressed I became. Was I still a boy trapped in a man's body? Although, I was 33 years old, I still felt confused and like I was missing something.

Serendipitously, I stumbled upon the Mankind Project and the New Warrior Training Adventure. I was reading something on the computer and there was a reference to TMP. The name intrigued me and I googled it. That was exactly what I was looking for. I called the contact man and when he described the weekend and the work, I knew that it was exactly what I needed.

I can honestly say that the weekend was one of the best and most profound experiences of my life. It was completely transformational. It is one thing to read about these concepts and understand them intellectually, it is quite a different thing to actually experience them by taking a hard look at yourself on the journey to manhood.

Shark Warrior

7.24.2007

Radio Free Warrior

It takes a leap of faith to attend the ManKind Project's New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA).

But, not much of one.

There is a ton of information on this and other Web sites that can tell you pretty much what to expect. I think the biggest thing you can't get very easily is first hand words from men who have attended the training.

I found this great radio piece from Contact Talk Radio in Bellevue, Washington where three men and the host, who have all attended the NWTA, share their experiences.

It's an hour long and you can download the 23 meg mp3 file here.

Enjoy...and take the leap.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

7.16.2007

Two Wolves -- A Cherokee Tale

From the Minnesota MKP Center.

A Cherokee Grandfather, teaching Tribal ways and philosophies on life to his grandson, spoke:

A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight between two wolves.

One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false-pride, superiority and ego.

The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

Looking straight into his grandson's eyes, the Old man continues:

This same fight is going on inside you and every person in the world.

His grandson thinking about this phenomenon for a moment, asks his wise old grandfather:

Which wolf will win?

The Cherokee grandfather replies:

The one you feed.

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So I would ask you, which one will you feed? It's a choice.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

6.22.2007

Partnership

Sometimes, I am just in my joy. Today is one of those days.

My sweet partner supports my work in the ManKind Project. She helps me set up my week so that Thursday night I can make off to my iGroup. I hope she knows how grateful I am for that effort.

The fruits of that labor is the strong, compassionate, loving, courageous Warrior she gets to experience in her world.

Today, I am sitting in the joy of my partnership with my sweet women, Dancing Wolf.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

6.20.2007

Fallen Firefighters

Thank you men, for your service and sacrifice.

Top row; L to R: Bradford 'Brad' Baity, 37, Capt. Mike Benke, 49, Melvin Champaign, 46.
Middle row; L to R: James 'Earl' Drayton, 56, Michael French, 27, Capt. William 'Billy' Hutchinson, 48.
Bottom row; L to R: Mark Kelsey, 40, Capt. Louis Mulkey, 34, Brandon Thompson, 27.

This touches a place in me that, had I not chosen to sit in a circle of men, I would not have access to. Their place as public protectors is an honorable occupation. I feel deeply saddened at the loss of these men.

One of the men that sits in my iGroup is a firefighter. I honor him, today, for his service to the community and me.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

6.11.2007

Sacred--Not Secret

Today, I sat with a man who completed the New Warrior Training Adventure over this last weekend. He attended a ManKind Project open house that I hosted a few weeks back and has sat in my iGroup twice since the open house.

It was joy to hear one thing in particular. He was very pleased that I had not told him anything about how the weekend would go. He went in with his own notions and not any of mine. He told me that he found this one thing to be very important. Had I told him what to expect or some of what happens, I would have polluted his experience; hence it would have been partially based on my experience.

The weekend processes and ways are not a secret; we don't hold them as secret. We do hold them as sacred, and that is very different. Sacred is, as define by Merriam Webster, highly valued and important. We hold that your weekend is yours and not for me or any other man to decide how it should go.

If you decide that the training is right for you, don't ask another man who has been through the training to tell you about what goes on there...he won't tell you.

And it should be that way.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

6.04.2007

Meeting in the Long House

"Since the dawn of time, men in every culture have met alone together to approach their gods and find their collective magic. Every young boy knows this instinctively - ‘No Girlz Allowed’. The women in our lives are now getting to appreciate, not be threatened by this. Because, all along, women have historically always gathered together on the most sensitive levels of Anima. Men have lost their true Male Spirit and have bought into substitutes - and are just now slowly regaining this sacred sanctuary. They come home to their families after men’s group as better spirited men.”

Aaron Kipnis, From Knights Without Armor, ISBN: 0-87477-704-6

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When I sit in a circle of men, I come to know what I am and who I am.

What I am is a man and who I am is so multi-faceted that there is no room to begin to write it down. All men are this way; simple as that, really. We all carry the same luggage and we are all infinitely different; and yet we can sit in circle and support each other in our journeys.

What the ManKind Project and the New Warrior Training Adventure bring to the table is a place for men to be who they are; not what they do or what their job is, just who they are.

There is no substitute for sitting in a circle of men; simple as that.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

5.22.2007

Dreams His Dreams

"To every man the mystery
Sings a different song
He fills his page of history
Dreams his dreams and is gone."

Dan Fogelberg, River Of Souls, 1993

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How will you fill your page before you are gone? Will you reach for your heights? Will you be a mentor of boys and other men? Will you walk in peace and peacefulness?

Time is passing to fill your page in history.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

5.16.2007

The Gift in Arizona

Today we look at a great program in the Arizona Mankind Project Center where the New Warrior Training Adventure is attended for no fee.

Read on and stop putting off the training because you don't think you can afford it.

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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From Warrior Space; MKP Arizona's Community Place

Imagine a time when the NWTA is available for ANY man to attend... Imagine a time when every MKP Center is filling weekends with 40+ men... Imagine a time when there is such a demand for the NWTA that centers worldwide are holding 10, 12, or even more trainings per year to accommodate the demand...

Imagine inviting a man to the next weekend and when he asks, "what is the registration cost" and you say, "you do not pay for your weekend, another man has paid for you already". Imagine what you can do without dealing with that money shadow!

This is my vision of what the power of the GIFT program that we are developing in AZ has. The GIFT program is simple. There is no cost to attend a Arizona NWTA (New Warrior Training Adventure). Upon completion of the weekend, each man is asked to support the next man on the next NWTA. The support is based on what the man got out of the weekend and what he can give.

There have been three GIFT weekends in Arizona in 2006 and 2007. The next one is in April.

The GIFT committee is working to tweek and adjust the program a little more every weekend, to make it as successful as possible. The committee was formed prior to the January weekend on Mt. Lemmon, and we are very pleased with the results. Coming into our second GIFT weekend as a committee we are planning on another success!

This program is NOT just for the council and the GIFT committee, but for the Arizona community as a whole. We all need to be supporters of the program as we talk about the weekend and enroll the men in our lives. It will take the commitment of all of us to see this program grow into something that is sustainable.

I was thinking this morning as I was driving to the grocery store, what would happen if every man in our community gave just $10 a month to the GIFT program. I know I spend far more than $10 a month on needless stuff! Imagine how many men could be paid for with something so small... It's about thinking out of the box. It's about commitment to this work. It's about creating a world of men living in mission. Imagine... WOW!

I invite any man in the community or elsewhere to get involved in the GIFT program. There are many ways you can help! It's exciting, and it's building momentum! We have already been contacted by several centers to find out how we're doing it, and I've heard buzz from a few others. Change is happening!

In Service, Roger Webb

5.14.2007

Four Quick NWTA Questions -- 2; Agustin Gurule

Number 2 in a series of New Warrior Training Adventure interviews of men in the ManKind Project.

I am posting these interviews to show how men experience the New Warrior Training Adventure.

Thank you, Agustin!

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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Four Quick NWTA Questions

When and where was your NWTA?

March 2002, Camp Krem in Northern California

What motivated you to attend the NWTA?

While working on a men's retreat planning committee I witnessed a man on the committee who is a New Warrior. I admired his insight and demeanor. I wanted that for myself. I asked him where he got that. He invited me to the next NWTA.

If a man asked you why he should attend, what would you tell him?

You should attend if you want to transform your life to be the man you have always wanted to be. Attend if you want to take personal control of your own life NOW IN THE MOMENT instead of living based on your childhood coping mechanisms. Attend to experience what it is like to actually feel all your emotions.

What keeps you in the ManKind Project?

I keep attending my weekly meeting with my circle of other New Warriors because they mirror for me what I must do on a week to week basis if I am to be fully conscious, full awake in my life.

I keep volunteering to staff NWTAs because of the sheer joy I get out of my own personal growth and the transformation that I see in the men attending each NWTA.

I am a blessing to other men as they bless me. That is why I stay.

5.08.2007

The Skeptic Returns

It is with great joy and honor that I publish this piece, today.

A man contacted me yesterday using the new meebo chat feature to tell me he has returned from his New Warrior Training Adventure.

He tells me of his gratitude for my blog and how his world has changed. So, I ask him if he would share this with you. He says yes and here it is.

Another man steps into the world of change and possibility. Are you the next man?

I'm out.
Old-faithful Wolf

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By Keef Roberts; King Lion; May 2007; Camp Monroe, Greater Carolinas Center

I'm harsh and cold by nature. Very cat-like. And I'm salty (you, gentle reader, have been politely warned). I will not take garbage from anyone, unless I deserve it, and they can prove that I deserve it. I'm the one that happily risks home and security for a principle, rightly or wrongly. You mean I get the short end of the stick with the job and the compensation? Right. I'm out. Find another joker, I'm not your man, you don't deserve my sweat, you can't pay me enough to put up with that crap.

Please do not confuse this, gentle reader, with "my way or the highway." I actually really dislike people like that -- and that *is* a righteous hatred. I am rigid, but I will happily change my view if you can account for it. Otherwise, if you're not accountable, get the hell out of my face. And I have found our society never to be accountable.

Of course it comes as no surprise with that attitude that I'm perhaps the ultimate skeptic. I was invited to join MKP, so I read up on them, devouring any information that I could find, because, as with many groups, there is controversy outside of it, that I'm sure people considering the journey are aware of, if they're not thinking the same things themselves on their own. I'd read them all and regarded all information with the utmost suspicion, which I held as a virtue. I did not even sign up for the training until the very last moment possible, out of sheer suspicion.

Speaking in grand, sweeping generalizations, a dangerous game if there ever was one, I distrust all media and all marketing as biased, with an underlying "agenda" for lack of a better word. I truly believe down to my toenails that it is a rare thing (if not impossible) that any information regarding any product or organization is 100% accurate -- simply factual, without a capitalist aim – due to the connotations of the language required to disseminate the information. I am hard, snobby, and jaded in the extreme. Politically I might be far to the left of Noam Chomsky! I grow so frustrated at what I see as a lying, thieving, insane culture that I would drop out of it without blinking, if I thought it were possible. But the purest soul in that sense that I can think of is none other than Ted Kaczynski -- the Unabomber. I believe his saga is a perfect example of what happens when one attempts to drop out of society altogether and not to accept the paradox it is in at least some form or fashion. The isolation gets worse, and then one gets into some really bad shit.

Yet there's a hunger to make things better in my life, and in the lives of others who live in sync with me. My ideal world might not be yours, but there is room for a win-win situation (I hate to use the word compromise, because it implies the only solution is for opposing sides to both lose something, which often can be avoided). It's simply a given that we're going to fight a little bit about making it happen.

As I read and attempted to make a decision I thought, well, there's me, the pro men's group claptrap, and the anti men's group claptrap. Two of those are deceptive, if not three. I definitely qualify -- that's a given as well – I'm ignorant, so any snap judgment I make is going to be biased. So which one is closest to truthful? My decision to attend was largely based on sheer distrust of both sides, thinking, well, I will have to experience it to make an intelligent decision whether this will work for me ultimately.

Is the verdict still out? Does my harsh generalization apply to MKP? We're off to an unbelievable start and I'm still drunk with joy that I attended, but I will have to wait through several months of post initiation work before I can answer that question with ultimate honesty, completely unhampered by personal desire or sentiment -- and I may never get there. I know which way I want it to go but I'm wise enough not to steer it. But I welcome the work involved in finding out the answer, and from the looks of things I already know it today. You'll note, by the way, that there are no plans to stop the journey.

So what got me to attend, holding such a pessimistic, despairing view of society, and not being likely to discard it? There were two basic ideas that got me to say yes.

First, I realize that one cannot receive without giving. If you do not push the boulder, it will not roll down the hill, as it were. If you do nothing, nothing will happen. Void begets void, but action begets reaction.

Second, Tom Waits once wrote about traveling that the pleasure was in the chase and not the apprehension. Or more succinctly, when on a journey, treasure that you're building your memory bank – don't waste valuable energy moaning that they don't make the tea properly, or the food is too spicy or bland for your taste. Keep it interesting by keeping it changing – relax and enjoy the ride.

Having what I needed to say yes, I gave it a fair chance. So I cheerfully stepped into the unknown, knowing that I would be challenged and it would not always be comfortable. It is healthy to do so with the bullshit detector firmly in place. It helps me to hone it even better than it is now, and to seek truth wherever I may find it.

I jumped in, with both feet, to find unbelievable joy and happiness. Know the outcome was there all along. It is important. Without the start of my journey, I'd still be looking for that outcome today.

One of the joys was finding out that my view was welcomed and discussed rather than covered up. It was debated, not fought with marketing, considered a valid argument, and no one bombarded me with well-rehearsed rhetoric. There was no sales pitch. No one gave me "what I wanted to hear", or attempted to pacify my view in any fashion. Instead, we engaged in a true argument (in the diplomatic sense), one in which all parties could learn and take something from. This was *impressive* to say the least. My skepticism is harsh, unflinching, and extremely cold. Yet it is welcomed as a manifestation of one facet of human experience, and I got the message that it is not a negative trait of my personality – it actually helps me to be a better man in the long run provided I know how to use the energy with accountability.

So I'm hopeful that you, dear reader, have some background to understanding the power I've experienced from MKP. It is from the heart, pure sentiment, pure soul, staring down the face of my own neuroses. I seek truth. And truth is to be shared freely, never sold. Sounds like so much rhetoric doesn't it? It's not. Words fail me, gentle reader, in describing the rewards. Those will have to do.

Chris Squire of the rock group Yes once wrote a song that said "hear me when I say to you it's really down to your heart; it's the beginning of a new love inside – could be an ever opening flower ... Now without a trace of doubt I feel it in every hour." I've never seen truer words. While I still remain healthily skeptical, I can honestly say this is the direction I'm pointed in, and I'm drunk with happiness. More, please. All conciliation is indeed possible.