In June 2022 we, the Awakened Life Men's Collective, gathered in the Alentejo heartland of South Portugal for our annual retreat. It was a profound, ecstatic and groundbreaking 10 day journey of further initiation into an authentic Awakened Manhood.
This retreat began with us all watching Pete's recent interview with Charles Eisenstein
about the urgent need for an initiatory culture from boyhood to manhood on the first evening, and then we dived into a day of deep silence and meditation.
In our first group meeting Pete brought the theme of Initiation forward in relationship to the fundamental male condition of either choosing arrogance/casualness on one hand or some form of weakness on the other, when challenged to transcend the separate self or ego. A few men were directly confronted with the demand to go beyond this conditioned reaction when challenged, and so the very real "drama" of an Initiation into a strength and vulnerability sourced in humility was spontaneously activated.
Then, over the next two days, we had zoom video sessions with Sol Petersen, live from New Zealand, in which this wise elder graciously guided us into an exploration of the masculine archetypes - the Warrior, the Magician, the Lover and the King. Far from being merely conceptual or theoretical, these considerations landed in the consciousness of our Collective in such a way that they immediately became psychoactive. The Collective was clearly at a stage of maturity such that this precious input could be intuitively "felt", and hence was a catalyst that launched us into an adventure of further growth.
In the middle of the retreat we engaged in two Ayahuasca ceremonies and a Temascal (Sweat Lodge) led by shaman, Ramon Peregrino, whom Pete has known for several years. Preparing the sacred space, and constructing the Tipi and the Temascal, were integral parts of this ecstatic and for some, deeply challenging, shamanic process. Along with the invaluable guidance of Ramon, the plant medicine served our process by enlivening the archetypal energies in the Collective and illuminating the tendencies toward arrogance and weakness in several of the men. All were washed of their conditioned "act" and opened into devotional communion with the Very Divine. The depth of grounded humility and radiant surrender in the Collective after these ceremonies was palpable.
The days following the ceremonies included explorations into an authentic masculine assertiveness sourced in devotion, the dynamic play of polarity, and the true meaning and embodiment of "tantra".
The final day was joyously spent walking the wild coastal trails of the Serra da Arrábida and a delicious vegan dinner in the laid-back fishing town of Setúbal.
The video, testimonials and photos below will give you a taste of this extraordinary individual and collective journey of discovery, which we all feel was a journey that we were privileged to take for the further conscious evolution of all "mankind". Enjoy!