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"The truth is I was afraid of this training. Even though I have written about men and worked with men for many years, the fact is--as I discovered on the Weekend-- I didn't really trust men-- I'm glad I overcame my fear. This was the most powerful training I have ever done, and the changes it started in me have been both deep and positive."
Mark Gerzon, Author of A Choice of Heroes
What do you mean by 'sacred masculine'?
We regard healthy masculinity as a four-fold archetype embodying elements of the King, the Warrior, the Lover and the Magician. (Archetypes are simply organized modes of human experience...think of them as ways of functioning in the world). The stress and struggles of our personal history and the pressures of society at large tend to force us to adapt in ways that limit the full experience and expression of our masculinity. Some men may lose access to their Lover, their soft, vulnerable or passionate side; others may have lost the ability to express anger appropriately and to feel the focused intensity of their true Warrior spirit. As men begin the process of reclaiming their wholeness they retrieve parts of themselves from each of the Four Quarters. Because he word 'whole' and the word 'holy' come from the same Old English root we consider this process sacred.
Why is the term 'initiation' used?
In traditional cultures, at a certain time, young men were taken away from their mothers' sphere of influence and put through an ordeal that taught them experientially about themselves and the world of men. The initiation challenged the boy to 'put away childish things' and access the more mature aspects of his masculine self. Because our modern culture lacks an informed tradition of male initiation and because many of us did not have close relationships with our fathers, our initiation into healthy masculinity has been hit or miss. Psychologically, un-initiated males are 'puers' (the latin term for boy) and remain stuck in immature ways of relating. Under stress, this weakness at our core may manifest in different, even opposite ways; from depression and lack of focus to tantrums and violence. Either way, it drastically affects our relationships with women and our trust of other men. The training weekend is designed to shed light on the 'un-initiated' parts of ourselves and to begin the process of strengthening and maturing where necessary.
An Order of Men?
The ManKind Project is not a front for any hidden spiritual, economic or political organization or agenda. There is no 'guru'...the network is structured and administered democratically. There is global intention and local attention. Along with many other men's organizations, our aim is a worldwide shift in how masculinity is defined and experienced by men, regardless of race, religion, culture or economics. But this is only accomplished if we enrich and support the lives of our local 'brothers' day to day. While The ManKind Project is by no means exclusionary, the intense weekend experience of the New Warrior Training Adventure creates a common bond that becomes a foundation for true community. This bond is strengthened through ongoing interaction in weekly support groups, advanced trainings and other chosen projects.
Who started it?
The ManKind Project was founded in Milwaukee in 1984 by Rich Tosi, a former Marine Corps officer and corporate executive, Bill Kauth, a psychotherapist and social activist and Ron Herring, Ph. D., a clinical psychologist and educator who had designed intensive accelerated learning events.
Will this training help me in my work/career?
While not a management training weekend, it does address vital issues that have implications in the workplace. Effectiveness at work is directly proportional to our ability to access our full potential. The training is also designed to assist you in bringing your entire life, including your worklife, into focus giving you a clearer sense of your personal mission. You will also learn basic conflict resolution skills that will enhance your ability to deal with interpersonal issues at work.
How might it affect my intimate relationships?
Intimate relationships are fertile fields for projections of all types. It is with our loved ones, more than our friends and associates, that we all too often find ourselves caught in a complicated web of irritating irrationality. Often, at the root of our emotional patterns with our lover are wounds from the past that remain unhealed. During the New Warrior Training Adventure weekend you will begin to address some of your emotional baggage and lighten both your load and the load you ask your loved ones to carry for you.
How might it affect my attitude toward other men?
As a rule in our culture, men do not treat other men with integrity. Racial, class and ethnic prejudice abound. Even among our friends, neighbors and business acquaintances, just below the surface politeness that lubricates our competitive and hierarchical milieu is often a well disguised wall of indifference, distrust and/or outright antipathy. The New Warrior Training Adventure weekend and the ongoing integration groups that follow are specifically focused on ways to overcome the dysfunctionality of man to man communication and interaction in our daily lives. The result is the discovery of new levels of support and camaraderie that continually strengthen over time.
Why aren't the details of the Weekend divulged in advance?
There's all the difference in the world between a concept and an experience. Our commitment is to give you a transformational experience along with information you can use. Traditional initiations utilized fasting, isolation, sleep deprivation, mind altering substances and painful physical ordeals to break down the psyche's natural resistance to change. We use the element of surprise to intensify and deepen the process and we ask you to trust us in this regard. All activities during the weekend are optional but you will get the most benefit if you participate fully. Remember, the training is mostly staffed by volunteers who have gone through the same experience and found it very worthwhile.
Can I get a shorter, cheaper version of this initiation?
No. The weekend format appears to be the bare minimum for an effective process to unfold. Interestingly, in the 20 years since its inception, the content of the weekend has changed very little. While not inexpensive, the cost of the New Warrior Training Adventure is comparable to other transformational weekends yet unlike other weekend trainings, we provide an 8 week facilitated integration program that helps you create your own personal men's group with other men from your training. Most initiates find this an invaluable resource. If you have financial constraints, contact The ManKind Project NM Santa Fe office for information about work trade programs and time payment options.