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Reflections on the Awakening Man Retreat


My experience was profoundly inspiring. There is something every special about being able to connect deeply with other men and it is a longing that many of us have. In this retreat we were able to get in touch with both the Sacred masculine and Divine Feminine qualities within us. It was a blessing to be with other men who are strong and focused and also loving and caring. I am deeply moved and very grateful to Pete and the ALP community and have a strong aspiration to do the work!
Esteban, Colombia

This was the first time I ever participated in a men's retreat and I dare to say that is was one of the most important experiences of my life. It was powerful and transformative to embrace a brotherhood with other men and to develop with them both the authentic masculine and also the feminine qualities that we all have too. Those days truly awakened in me what it is to be a free, authentic man in our times, beyond any stereotypes.  It was like a rite of passage into true manhood.
Lucas, Brazil

The retreat covered all aspects of what it means to be a strong authentic, integrally awakened man - from wholehearted intellectual philosophical inquiry and deeply transparent and real discussions about things that men usually don't talk about, to raw, physical experience of the elements and ourselves.  When I think of the men who participated in the men's retreat - my spiritual brothers - I am happy to understand that all of us are closer together than ever before - I experience a kind of male camaraderie that vastly strengthens me and breaks my heart wide open. I believe that the unity that we are bringing into life has meaning and significance that go beyond my understanding. I am deeply grateful for the time we spent together, for the wholehearted engagement and for our evolving brotherhood.

Marko, Austria

I want to express my deep gratitude to you for giving my spiritual longing a profound home. Since I entered the men’s group I never feel alone anymore and my trust in life is just growing stronger. You are a great inspiration and I am very grateful for or strength and persistence. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

What I most appreciated about the retreat was the expression of something beyond camaraderie, a very deep trust. I really believe that is the key to living on the edge of men´s evolution, the key to expressing our full potential. I was left with feeling that we can only go deeper.
Robinson, Germany


In a culture where men don’t usually share about ourselves, our fears, hopes and dreams, it’s really a joy to be able to be open, present, truthful, listening and sharing, participating in a group of other male human beings willing to inquire about our common conditioning and liberation from it. 

In my body memory, a group hug in the dark still resonates... In my eyes still the image of an hypnotic mantle of coals, like a starry night, inviting me to a fearless surrender to the mystery of Trust. Trusting the Universe, trusting yourSelf, trusting your Brothers...
Carlos, Portugal

It was a great privilege to share such a powerful weekend with you all! I really felt open and transparent for the whole time and learned a lot from all the experiences and insights that we all shared. It's amazing how deep we can all go together if we spend quality time like we did last weekend, being sincere and humble with ourselves and the others. I never felt so close to a group of men like I do with you all, in fact, I really felt as one…The night experiences of the sweat lodge, the dips in the waterfalls and fire walking where really powerful, intimate and pure and I have never felt a complicity and union so strong, except with my own brother of flesh! This really shows a lot about who we really are and what we can achieve together…I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a loving and caring group and I really appreciate the time, effort and dedication that Pete invests in each and every one of us and the whole group! Thank you for showing us consistently what is possible and for leading the way…I would also like to appreciate the love, care and support from all the women of the ALP family! With them evolving along with us life they radiate a brightness and joy that makes us feel even more alive and awake…
Ricardo, Portugal

The men’s retreat for me was an opportunity to look deeper into my own soul in a context of brotherhood and support, and begin to face fundamental structures that need to change in my own being. The retreat gave me the space to be vulnerable and honest with myself, and see that what I face is not personal to myself, but is the same conditioning that many others have. It was an opportunity to consider what authentic masculinity is, and to begin to embrace the positive qualities of my gender. 
Glen, USA

As a group of man interested in spiritual awakening we came together for a serious enquiry into men's conditioning in which we highlighted the values that we are able to display as well as the corresponding pathologies that we must be conscious about in order to have a positive transformative impact on the process of evolution. We went through the stages of development of societies in terms of worldview so as to become more conscious about their integration and have a better understanding about the way we feel when facing their typical patterns. The sweatlodge worked as an initiation process into a tribal culture that we generally, as post modern men so often praise but rarely experience, and the firewalking made our intention go through a fire test! Personally it provided a clear answer and opened a door to a new stage of development.
Joao, Porto

This retreat made me see how there is a need to live a life with more clarity and responsibility both individually and collectively as opposed to a meaningless life that is narcissistic and victimized by my own attitudes. The environment, teaching, communion, the vulnerability and the willingness of all who wanted to transcend, was an inspiration and touched my heart deeply leading to surrender and clarity for the way forward.


, Portugal

After this evolutionary weekend I want to thank you for opportunity of being part of such group. Being part of these experiences really helps me to focus on my spiritual path to evolution as we create such a particular environment that opens the gate for a deep level of communication and sharing. This retreat made me want to become an authentic man. This retreat made me want to honor the legacy I have from my father and grandfathers, their capacity to be whole, and wise, gathering a lot of dynamics around them. These are such qualities that I want to revive and take forward in the direction of our evolution so we can all learn from their and our experience and become more and more Integral.

Joao S, Portugal

The men's retreat brought me a kind of male awakening, the awareness of a new source of male strength. Peter offered rich and dense layers of information and questioning on our cultural, historical and biological predicaments as male humans. Our collective inquiry, in an environment of transparency and trust, revealed how pervasive and impersonal our fears are, just as is our post-modern lack of identification with being a man. This alone forged a strong sense of communion in the group, but it was the non-intellectual experiences — like the tribal sweat lodge, diving in the waterfalls at night and the magical experience of
 firewalking under a full moon — that brought the retreat's incredible transformational power to us, in a true, heartfelt brotherhood. Through
 total surrender, letting go of the mind and diving into the strong humility of not-knowing, real change happened. I am experiencing an awakened and awakening manhood in the heart. I don't understand it but it feels wholesome! I am in awe, and looking forward to what is next!
Rafael, Lisbon

I am still amazed and deeply touched by the weekend we shared together. I really feel that I am now sharing a journey with you all, and feel you warmly as my brothers.

The weekend started so powerfully for me with the presentation of spiral dynamics by Pete. This for me really opened me up to understanding the different levels of consciousness we, as a species have evolved through. Not only did it help me understand it on an intellectual level, but I also felt as though I began to accept parts of myself that I had been denying, and thus fragmenting myself as a human being. This was such a liberation for me, and there was still so much more to come!

 I enjoyed every aspect, from the deep soulful contemplation we had together, to laughing, chanting and sweating it out in the sweat lodge. And the weekend felt so lovingly supported, not only by the wonderful women, but also by the strong, committed ethos of the Awakened Life project and all of who are apart of it. A shining example of how an evolving community can break down the prison walls of separation, and light the way to living our true, magnificent potential.
David, UK

Sharing this retreat inspired a huge desire for change within me. After all the reflection it is clear that the answer to the question of what it means to be an Awakened Man in the 21st century lies in each of us. If we are humble and open, and we are aware of our limits and barriers, anything is possible.
Pedro, Portugal

During this event I experienced a magnificent proximity to my most authentic self!
 It was a highly challenging weekend which brought total contact with my fears and with my shadow side, but is this not a great challenge? Growing up is for me to be in absolute truth with myself and all of you. A face to face communion free from victimization and narcissism and united in a common responsibility to collectively grow.

Marco, Portugal

This retreat was very strong for me. I felt a true brotherhood in which I could see everything that conditions me in the liberating light of impersonality. There was deep unity in meditation and communication and thanks to the Firewalking I was able to directly confront the fear that inhibits my spiritual evolution. Above all I am grateful for the peace and serenity this weekend gave me.
Edy, Portugal



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About the project

The Awakened Life Project is situated in a beautiful and wild ecological reserve in the mountains Central Portugal. We offer volunteer programs, courses, events and retreats to support the liberation of the human spirit in a context of evolutionary emergence and communion with the ecological web of life.


Quinta da Mizarela
3305-031 Benfeita
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