Essay Brotherhood

Awakened Life!

The Awakened Life Project

The seed that was to become The Awakened Life Project was sown when Pete and Cynthia Bampton bought an abandoned mountain farm of Quinta da Mizarela in Central Portugal in 2007. This leap into the unknown was propelled by their shared vision to create a beautiful place dedicated to the liberation of the human spirit in a context of communion with the surrounding nature.

While trust in the vision was strong, how it would manifest was completely unknown. Then the magic started to happen, and with the inspired participation of an international stream of volunteers, some of whom stayed and became residents and co-creators for periods of time, the Quinta gradually developed into small thriving community and retreat centre.

Over time the Quinta has hosted silent meditation retreats, women’s and men’s retreats, evolutionary awakening retreats, permaculture courses and residential intensives. Some volunteers and retreat participants who were lit up by their experience were moved to deepen their involvement together. As Cynthia and Pete created forums to meet this interest the Project gradually flowered and expanded beyond the location of the Quinta to form a growing network of people and related communal projects dedicated to discovering and manifesting the spiritual truth of unity in this world. The Men’s Collective grew out of this work.

Peter Bampton, Founder

In a time in which there are few clear, inspiring role models and developmental signposts for men and in which there is a general awareness of the oppression that women have and do endure in a patriarchal context, it is a lesser known truth that men are also suffering under the weight of psychological and cultural patterning, largely shaped by patriarchal values. Usually cut off and self-contracted in their confusion because of the taboo against showing their vulnerability, men rarely discover relationships of real profundity with other men and women do not hear what men do not say.

Clearly if we are to truly Awaken and come together in deep Brotherhood in the 21st century we cannot return to the mythic dogmatisms and patriarchal rigidities of traditional masculine culture and we also want to transcend the materialistic bias of the modern male rational mind. However, we also have to unravel the distorting and depolarising impacts of a postmodern culture in which most spiritually inspired, progressive men usually tend to morph into “sensitive new age guys”, insidiously denying and suppressing the grit, spunk and pure passion of a healthily embodied masculine.

Bernard Erken, Belgium

For almost 2 years I am part of the Awakened Life Project, a project deeply rooted in the radical teachings of non-duality. The Awakened Life Project aims to liberate human beings from their belief in separation and limitation, which is a way one could define ego. In this context ego is understood to be not a static entity but rather as an “activity”, a conditioned movement of contracting the Infinite Consciousness that we all ARE.

Both women and men suffer under the status quo. As a man I am constrained either to the macho behavior, to “man it up”, and show that I “have balls” or to its postmodern reaction of being a sensitive nice guy. Neither orientation embraces the true potential that being embodied as a man represents. So along with my brothers in the Awakened Life Men’s Collective I am stepping out of these conditionings to embrace my natural strength, one-pointedness, integrity, loyalty AND my sensitivity, vulnerability, my capacity to deeply feel and let the pain of the world in.

In leaning into this I am left with the UNKNOWN for our cultural background has not produced models or maps I could refer to and thus, potentially, a new masculinity is to be re-invented. This is one of the themes we explore in our Men’s Collective in a context of ego-transcendence, which from a certain perspective could be described as bearing the fears of the unknown.

Rui Santos, Portugal

Right now I feel I already have a lot to give back to the world and I’m still just getting started. I’m learning every day to go deeper and deeper into the exploration of what means to live a life beyond ego, in love with the mystery, being love, being god, being together with other god lovers. With the time passing by, I feel the bond between us is stronger and stronger. The more we dive deep, the more we feel in touch with the inherent love that we all are as humanity. We feel the pain of the world together and we fight to bring love to humanity the best we can do. We cry together, we smile together; we hug each other with the certainty that together we are stronger, being courageous to be ourselves and to bring to the world whatever wants to be expressed in this manifest world. I know limitation is not real and that there is only one Heart here. I fight every day to make that the principle on which my life is based. I don’t want to be anything else than myself, my True Self, the Spiritual Heart that animates everything.

Marco Milo, Italy

There is no turning back. Not anymore. We know too much, we have seen too much, we experience too much love and communion to go back to our small insignificant position of not being enough, of not being capable of taking responsibilities.
We are men now. And as men we have the capabilities to thrive in the face of any adversities.
There is only one way: the way forward, where the only limit is the infinite.
My body is exhausted. It needs rest. It needs time to integrate the beauty, the love, the communion and the compassion of what it really means to be a man and to be part of a Men’s Collective.
But my spirit is high, high as it has never been. The smiles, the struggles, the beauty of all my brothers are very present in me. And every time I let myself touched by it, tears of joy come to the surface.

I am overwhelmed by love.

I am love.

A New Men’s Liberation – Documentary

We feel that the discovery and actualisation of what some have called the Sacred Masculine is absolutely essential as we confront the next stage in the evolutionary unfolding of our human story in this tipping point time of converging crises and multidimensional systemic reconfiguration.

We have been inspired to create the documentary A New Men’s Liberation because our hearts are overflowing and we feel we have so much to share about our individual and collective transformational process that reaches far beyond self-improvement, therapy and peak experiences. Enjoy the Trailer.

About Awakened Life Men's Collective

What is an authentic expression of an integrated and Awakened manhood in the 21st century? What are the untapped potentials that can be catalysed through an evolutionary spiritual Brotherhood? Grounded in the revelation of our essential freedom and prior unity, we – the men of the Awakened Life Men’s Collective -are endeavouring to find out!

Founded by spiritual teacher Peter Bampton in 2009, the growing circle of the Awakened Life Men’s Collective has evolved into an experiment that has radically transformed the lives of many men from a wide range of backgrounds, ages and nationalities.

Peter is the author of The Fire of the Heart, co-founder and spiritual director of The Awakened Life Project, founder and leader of The Men’s Collective, and the founder of Evolusa.

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