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The BEST Retreat EVER!!!

Recently I was profoundly blessed to be both the leader and a participant in the most extraordinary spiritual event of my life - the Strong Spine & Open Heart Awakening Man Retreat 2020.

The Retreat began with a weekend that was open to the public in which 13 men joined 25 men of the Awakened Life Men's Collective, and then the 25 of us continued on together for another 5 days.

During that time I gave teachings that pointed to the immediacy of "Waking Up" to the Spiritual Reality of Consciousness Itself here and now, and to the transformative work involved in truly "Growing Up" so that our manhood can become an evermore authentic and integrated expression of the truth of our Prior Unity. However, the "Teaching", (which included much content from the Adi Da, the Greatest Realizer of all time), happened in such wild, creative ways in this Retreat that, as each day unfolded, it truly became an ecstatic event of Collective Emergence that catapulted us all far beyond what we could have ever imagined possible.

Below are some testimonials from the men of the Awakened Life Men's Collective which convey the Multidimensional Wonder and Radical Freedom and Deep Love-Bliss that overwhelmed us all and through which each and every man broke new ground.

It is my sincere hope that these writings and photos will open your Heart and, if you are a man, inspire you to reach for an expression of Awakened Manhood that is so desperately needed in the world today.

You can find out more about the Awakened Men's Collective here.

Pete Bampton, June 2020.


Rui Ribeiro, Portugal:

Awaken and Grow. This was the theme of the Men’s Retreat and this is what I actually experienced. These days were an awakening to the beauty and importance of being in a collective with other men who seek to live from their most genuine being, who seek to live a more integrated and harmonious masculinity, who seek to live intimate relationships with other men, from a place of vulnerability, dropping the masks of a conditioned masculinity. I woke up even more to the enlightening, transforming and healing potential of open and authentic sharing. I woke up to the enormous wealth of complicity and mutual support, as one who holds a fragile, and at the same time, sacred treasure.

These days of Retreat were also a time of growth. I grew in the ability to rescue the strength and power of my masculinity. I grew in confidence and in the ability to surrender to the abundance of life. I grew up in the desire to express my voice in a more authentic and spontaneous way. I grew up in the desire to allow myself to feel and enjoy the pleasure of life with all the intensity and freedom. I grew in the ability to commit myself to other men to take full responsibility for my life. I grew even more in gratitude to Pete Bampton for the mastery with which he led the entire Retreat, for his deeply wise and challenging teachings, which helped us to recognize our childhood dependencies and our adolescent characteristics of independence, pride and arrogance. I grew in gratitude to all the other men with whom I lived this wonderful retreat, who contributed to enhance the will and commitment and to be a more whole, more coherent adult.


Alex, Portugal:

This was the Best Time of my Life!

I learned and experienced a blast of Bliss and Awareness about what it means and how to live with a Strong Spine and Open Heart.

How Shiva, the Masculine Principle and Shakti the Feminine, intertwine and unfold in time and space.

How all polarities encompass the whole, as we experience the Renunciate and Tantric aspects of Spiritual Life.

The very practical meaning of Waking up and Growing up, all the Teachings both from Pete and Adi Da, about the Absolute and the Relative.

Thank you Pete Bampton, and all my Brothers for an off the roof transformational ecstatic Love retreat of Growing Up.

Brotherhood, intimacy, The Fire of the Heart exploding, burning ego limitations, fueling surrender to That Which Already Is.

Thank you all Sisters that flooded us with incredible Fire of the Heart Love that inspired and ignited what was about to happen!

I am Blessed to be in this Sangha with my Teachers, to whom I bow and all Brothers and Sisters to whom I express my deepest appreciation.

Thank you Quinta da Mizarela for harbouring and nurturing this container of Love.

Ricardo, Portugal:

I have been participating in all of the Men’s Awakening Life Retreats since its inception, about 5-6 years ago. As with any retreat, it is a unique opportunity to break free and gain some distance from the constant demands of day-to-day tasks, commitments and challenges. But it is much more than a simple “rest time” for Life, inserted in the beauty and tranquility of Quinta da Mizarela. Meditation, Pete’s Teachings, self-questioning and sharing groups, as well as different ceremonies and physical activities, provide a unique opportunity for other men to catch a glimpse of this rare Collective. For us who are already part of this Collective of Men, it allows us to further deepen our confidence, commitment and intimacy, which is the basis of the continuous work of discovery, exploration and transcendence, and which is so unique and valuable.

The theme of this year’s retreat was our transition to authentic, mature and awake men. The love and care between us has never been as strong and true as it is today! By making a commitment to embrace and manifest our sacred masculine qualities (such as strength, focus and perseverance), as well as our sensitivity, humility and surrender, we open ourselves up to an infinite potential in our individual expression and in our relationships. This new male culture makes me smile at the strength and beauty of its expression, gives me hope for the potential for healing and growth in our relationships, and makes me curious about what we can create together, every moment.

Thank you Pete for showing us what is possible, for being such a strong, authentic and free masculine expression, and for supporting and challenging us to remain firm to our deepest understanding and potential. I am grateful to the men of this Collective, for the commitment, surrender, inspiration and together for manifesting a new culture, so necessary in the times in which we live. I am also grateful to new men who dare to participate in this retreat, and give themselves with an open heart to a new reality and potential. May we together continue to “Be the Change we want to see in the World!


Lawrence, UK:

I have just finished an incredible, life changing Men’s Retreat with the Awakened Life Project. Guided by Peter Bampton, he created a safe unshakeable ground of trust that seems to effortlessly arise from his heartfelt wisdom, intelligence and stillness of presence. It was a special and completely unique intimate experience to be amongst other men where I felt able to surrender into the few days we were together. It was a time of intensity, joy, love and deep learning and insight, which I could see was shared by all. I have been fundamentally impacted by this experience and I have no hesitation in recommending it.

I am resting in ecstatic wide open love and wonder and heartfelt gratitude for being in your being, as your being. For sharing the last seven days with you. I write below my expression and transmission of this. I love you all with an immense openness, joy and intimacy.

In Love

My heart is overflowing
In and As Love

Your voices, distinct in unique beauty
Clear as the mountain water, in my head, in my being

In Love

With one shut of my eyes
Your radiant faces alive, immense, immediate to behold, in my being

In Love

Your surrender to stand in Truth, to expose, to strip bare
Unshakeable bones of raw nothingness, white hot fire
Infernos igniting, instant expansion
Everlasting transcendence
A screaming explosion of consciousness

In Love

Silent stillness, beings resting in being, shimmering with radiant light
Ripples upon waves of consciousness
Perceptively humming the infinite glorious breath of the divine

In Love

My whole being vibrates to yours
The ecstatic frequency of love

God smiles
We all smile

Sergio C, Portugal:

This Retreat was one of the most intense experiences of my life. There were seven days where everything happened: meditation, silence, fasting, but also physical exercise, fighting and much more. All these different activities have had their place and their importance this week! Physical activities and fighting served to awaken in us the deep masculine strength that is so often repressed in our society; others like meditation, periods of silence and fasting served to go deeper and dive into our Nature, absent from the constraints!

Texts, videos and teachings were transmitted to us by Pete, powerful tools that helped us to move forward together in this retreat. Yet the secret of this week, more important than the power of any activity, was the power of the Collective!

The impact that a group of men can have on my life and the lives of each of these men is incredible! The degree of trust, love and spirit of the group, led to a harmonious mutual aid – as if it were a living organism – in which each does his part and encourages the others to do theirs. In this way everyone benefited and everyone transcended themselves!

Thanks to all the members of the group giving themselves, something magical and mysterious can happen. We went deeper than ever, developed a Collective Spirit stronger than ever, helping each other to a point never seen before! And we didn’t have to be friends for many years for this to happen. The common motivation for growth and for transcending ourselves individually and collectively moved us all in a common direction and left no one out. This motivation was the catalyst and a superior magic just happened!

Thanks to our Teacher, Pete, for leading this Collective and this retreat in such a brilliant way! The way in which he lives his own teachings is extraordinary and shows how to be free is, and must be, our highest priority. His expression is free, his commitment is infinite and love for all of us, instigates us and sets an example for us to do the same, in his image. To the Collective, to the volunteers who gave their energy and who helped to materialize the retreat, to the Core Men, and to the mysterious Force that was and is Always Present: AHÓ !!!

Marco, Italy:

Pure love. A collective transformation. An initiation into manhood. A rite of passage into embracing our own power and putting it in service of the whole. This is in a nutshell what happened last week.

Moving from times of renunciation, no sleeping or sleeping in the cold freezing mountains waking up covered by ice, no eating and no speaking, to times of ecstatic crazy wisdom, hugging, fighting, competing, bathing naked in the cold water.

In all of this one common denominator: bearing the intensity of the moment, no matter what.

For 7 days we entered into a different dimension, where time and space had no meaning. We were together for one week, and yet it seemed a lifetime and at the same time it is “already” over.

The level of intensity was arising with the days passing by. The Fire of our Hearts was burning relentlessly. The silence and the screaming were accompanied by the sound of cracking embers.

And with that, the recognition of the trust in ourselves, in each other, in the group and in our teacher was getting more and more established. We were strong, we were vulnerable, we were men.

Nothing was too much anymore.

The fear of doing something wrong, of not being able to support the process left space to the trust in the mystery of life. And with that trust it came the recognition that we, as an Awakened Men’s Collective, can go anywhere together.

The more we were stepping into our own power and the more we were able to sustain the process of what was happening. No matter how strong and implicating the process was. There was always the knowing, the presence and the skills to support it.

There was no option to hold back, to not be part of what was happening. The circle of fire demanded everyone to be fully present. The only option was to surrender to God. To let go to the idea of being small, little children, immature adolescents. There was no space for that anymore. There was only one possibility: To have the courage to embrace our own power, as individual and as a group. To lead and to be led. To take risks and to trust.

And now what?

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 presents 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.

Nothing more, but nothing less.


Bernard, Belgium:

This Retreat was a total embrace of the relative aspect of what it means to live an Awakened Life, that aspect that looks deeply into the dysfunctional patterns and maladaptation to Life. In other words, the Growing up or Descent, that should go hand in hand with the Ascent or Waking up to Transcendent Spirit, to incarnate, so that genuine Transformation can occur.

Pete led us in a journey beyond any spiritual correctness in which practices of renunciation and tantric practices of ecstasy merged into one continuum. In it, the psychoactive teachings consistently operated in the background. 

The Love and human qualities emanating from our Teacher and among the brothers magnified the ever present Spirit and/or the resistances of the separate self. In complete surrender to The Power That Knows The Way, Pete let the perfection of the process unfold, and the end result was that nothing was left aside and what needed to come up to the surface did.

The Retreat revealed for me how my spiritual pride and avoidance of compassion prevented me from truly living Spirit, rather than only finding refuge in It. The Love and deep Care of a band of Spiritual brothers has blown off the roof. That is a lot to let in!

Only the sky is the limit!

Joel, France:

I am speechless and still stunned by what happened. This is by far the most extraordinary Men’s Retreat I have ever participated in. There was obviously a Great Mystery at work, an Great Intelligence behind the scenes. None of us could have predicted or make up what took place.

The theme was about Growing Up, becoming an integrated and authentic man – leaning into whatever understanding, clarity, breakthrough and commitment it takes for all of us to no longer indulge in our childish or adolescent behaviour, to become that integrated and mature man ready to Serve and Love.

As we all gave ourselves to the process, what started building up is an incredible field of collective transformation; At first more subtle, and ultimately utterly delirious. It was like a Fire building up in the center of our gathering, and as we offered in sacrifice our uncompromised willingness, courage, vulnerability and love, it grew to the point of burning all of us. Is that even a metaphor? That Fire was what IS Real- certainly more than what got burned!

Amidst all the joys, tears, screams and laughter; the sweat and the cold, the pleasures and the pains, the fears, frustrations and breakthroughs, the depths and silence, the fasting and the pizzas…it was the collective blissful incomprehensible Ecstasy that was shot through it all. Our center of gravity was consistently removed from our ordinary egoic self-centered one. Freedom was our context and Love outpoured without constrictions….

Having been through that Fire together, I feel a weight has been lifted off my all being, and I can now look at the world with new eyes. I experience strength and ease, clarity and determination, Love in and as Freedom, in a way not experienced before.

None of it would have been possible without Pete’s guidance. While, on one hand, he seemed as overwhelmed and surprised as us, on the other, with the strength of his surrender and the clarity of his vision, he became the guiding instrument in the hand of that Mystery, a channel for the crazy wisdom to teach us and show us the Way….

So, this is IT! All of us present know, from the inside out, that there is no coming back possible. Something has happened that cannot be undone. I am grateful beyond words that such an opportunity was given to me, and I am so proud to be part of our Awakened Life Men’s Collective and Sangha.


Floris, Holland:

I’m completely blown away! This was the single most beautiful coming together as men I have ever experienced. It was my 4th men’s retreat and each year the retreat is better, more profound, but this year was out of this world. I will try to explain why but I realise that the “why” is something that words are too limited for to fully describe.

A few words that come to mind when thinking of last week’s men’s retreat.

Love! Genuine brotherhood! Growing up! Waking up! Power! Vulnerability! Care! Surrender! Wild! Ecstatic! Collective Intelligence!

Having been part of the Awakened Life Projects Men’s Collective for about 4 years now I already knew and understood that the men we are raised to be in today’s society have nothing to do with what real men are. This retreat we surrendered into being like I never… and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. We fought for each other’s and our collective Freedom tirelessly. Short nights and long days and evenings of sitting in a circle, wrestling, taking ice cold dips, walking on fire, etc., and giving ourselves trustingly and vulnerably to the collective intelligence that knows the way. No man was ever left behind. Ego was seen and blasted into oblivion with brotherly Love. Light would be shone on shadows of the past, brought into awareness, seen and broken through. Constantly taking a step further into the unknown leaving behind habits and patterns, burning them up in the Fire of the Heart.

My body seemed to be vibrating at a higher level of energy. Quite literally it was buzzing, somewhat comparable with butterflies in your belly but all over the body. It seemed a mixture of excitement, wonder and awe with an increased sensitivity to the pain and joy of others. It is pure Love, uncovered and seen, through the surrendering of my fears. I allowed myself to be that Love, in giving and receiving. I am that Love, as is everything else, always.

I want to acknowledge Pete, our Teacher. He is such a beautiful, selfless and powerful leader that surprises in each and every moment, taking risks to shake us out of our habitual comfort zone. Without him this would not have been possible and I’m eternally grateful that he gives his life to this so freely. He cares more for my liberation than I do. He is my Teacher and I bow to him! And with it I bow to Love!


David, UK:

One week that transcended time.
I came to this retreat with no expectations and yet this was more than I imagined that it could be. We were both new men and old, but the interest and togetherness rendered time obsolete. The Love and intimacy we shared with each other, the ease of being, and a real relationship that I have not experienced before. At times we were wrestling with paradoxes the mind could not fathom, and yet our hearts were opening to the potential that are possible. And at other times we were literally wrestling with each other, finding our inner primal warrior spirits and pushing our limits of physical confrontation. It was hugely liberating and wholesome, and gave voice to that part of me that is so often squashed by societal ideas of what is “allowed” or “correct”.

The theme of “Growing Up” could not have come at a better time for me. The opportunity to understand more why as men we are still holding on to our childish and adolescent tendencies, our limitations and the deep held beliefs that somewhere something is wrong with us. Yes, I am a work in progress, but the fact that fundamentally “I” am already whole and complete in my essence, meant that all our inquiry, of what we are still facing in terms of growing up, was held with lightness and humour.

There were so many dimensions to this Retreat, I couldn’t possibly go into them all in this testimonial. Pete led us as a true demonstration to what is possible. He was always available and at service to what wanted to be. He was direct in a way other Teacher’s may not dare to be, he pushed us to go beyond what we thought we could handle, and he stood and fought for our Liberation. He demonstrated that this new Men’s Culture is possible. There is a fire burning inside of me, the Fire of Liberation for all! I know it is possible; we just lived it in a way that shows it is possible. This is what I want to give my Life to.

Joao, Portugal:

A surprising crescendo, feeding off the energy of life force itself.

To renounce and to feast.

It doesn’t matter,

The Great One is found in every action,

In every state. All fleeting, but my True Self.

Landscapes inspire the soul,

Medicines enliven and highlight the secrets of manifest reality,

The Master sets course with simple instructions,

We follow,

Dazzled by the blinding light of wisdom

We trust,

The Heart recognizes Love

And the intention to set Free from limited existence

Being shines forth.

The Awakening Men’s Retreat is the ultimate setting for the emergence of the Real Man of the 21st century; a man that integrates strength, wisdom, love and purpose; with a capacity to stand strong for the truth and to melt in communion with his brothers; with the wisdom to lead and the softness to care. We integrate all aspects of humanity in male form, we come to understand our limitations; we dare to overcome our difficulties and transcend our weakness by handing it over to our brothers.

Fabio, Portugal:

Wow what a journey! This was definitely the best retreat ever! I’ve learned how to be in contact with my masculine force and with a maturity that I’ve never seen before!

Being inspired every single day by everyone and everything is breath taking! Having passed some days already I truly feel a change in me and in others, how cool is that?

Big responsibility comes with great fun and a fully living expression! This proved to me that it is possible to feel the same warmness with men, and to embrace all the feelings with no holding back! This is the true power of a unique brotherhood and spiritual energy unforgettable.

I’m still cooking with so many of the things that I experienced in this Retreat that are mind-blowing every time I remember them. If I could summarise in one phrase that would be: Grow up and be willing to take risks to free yourself, no matter what!

True LOVE obliterated every last bit of contraction in me! – Finally, I AM!

Javi, Spain:

From the last June 5 to 12 of this 2020, the Men’s Retreat was organized by Awakened Life Project, and from here, with just a couple of days after returning to the battlefield of daily life, I will try to express something. But language conventions cannot fully capture it, since it would be like collecting in words the infinite nuances of human relations brought to a terrain where the rules of the status quo are pulverized, as long as the courage of men is given over to True Love, that transcends time and space, to emerge in the moment, in the now, from the eye of the hurricane of Freedom, accepting the consequences, embracing fear, without hesitation, embracing love, without hesitation.

In a space that opens on our feet, where the unknown takes over human experience, and only the intuition of the Heart, becomes the compass, which guides us over the wildest waters that I have ever experienced.

During these days, in my personal experience, we passed from the renunciation of pleasures, with fasting and strict meditations, cold water baths in Fraga de Pena, or the high-altitude lake of the Serra da Estrela. On the roof of Portugal, sleeping in the open with the stars as the ceiling and very low temperatures; with the silence of Being Itself, without escape, in contact with the soul. And then we ventured towards ecstasy, in which joy collided with Truth, and in that collision, Happiness, Freedom, that does not exist as an experience, but is always available, that belongs to us, no matter what, was our Home.

In this Retreat we observed the aspects, in which, despite being adults, we continue to behave like children or adolescents, the aspects in which we continue to be irresponsible for our actions and individual freedom, the aspects in which we continue to fall behind our potential, in the illusion of the ego, in which we tell ourselves that we are mortal and hold back, throwing our life in the trash.

And after the retreat, I can assure you that I have grown. To stand side by side with those brave, admirable men, capable of decoding the traumas of the past, without victimisation or guilt, to move forward with responsibility, assuming their power and male freedom, well these men created a wild, frightening space for the ego, which was completely exposed and demolished, and which in turn, is the safest space, in which to expose all fears, and to be welcomed into that safe container, where what is sought is your True Self.

I continue to vibrate, very intensely, because life is intense, and scary, and wonderful, full of all those things that can be collected on the spectrum of human experience. I just want to live it, with my deepest understanding,

Thank you Peter Bampton for being a Human Being, a Maestro, an example, a guide to be myself in these times, and to explore my full potential. For being the prism through which the light of pure Consciousness penetrates, and projects all the colors of Love on us.

Thanks to those men, my brothers, who with their courage illuminate a wild, unexplored, unpredictable space. Laughing and crying with you is to grow. All of you show me what Freedom truly means.

And for all who read this testimony, I challenge you to experiment, to allow yourself to love yourself, allow yourself to forgive, allow yourself to feel everything that arises in your experience, no matter what. Allow yourself to be you, whatever the consequences, allow yourself to break the chains of the status quo, allow yourself to grow, allow yourself to be happy. Do not postpone your mission to fully serve in this world as an agent of Love, because is what a human being is meant for. You deserve to be who you really are, beyond masks and narratives, the world itself deserves you as a True Self. Embrace the Awakening!

Poul, Denmark:

It’s no exaggeration that this Retreat was the best Men’s Retreat ever!

I feel that “Growing Up“ was the theme that fit perfectly the need of the brotherhood at this time – personally as well as collectively.

The last night was a very real demonstration of how mothers and fathers have the power to distort the perception and the development of their sons (and daughters). The brotherhood was bursting like when Chinese fire crackers in sequence get lit. One transformative event after another!

It was all so very, very real, and I felt a fear and resistance (sometimes to the point where I was almost passing out), but it never was a problem, because although I felt a conditioned fear of the intensity, I was sure that what happened was what Wanted to Happen, and that the transformations happened because of the strength of the group, which was a Loving container, that didn’t splinter.

For the first time I really believe that I can transform to what I vowed before walking on “fire”, to be a mature, integrated, adult man, and at the same time the potential of the Men’s Collective has become so amazingly real to me.

Robinson, Germany:

These days where really something, something deeply transformative for all of us 25 men. Many times we have asked ourselves what is possible if we lean in, as an Awakened Collective, with no holding back. What happened during these days was exactly that, the expression of what is possible, the meaning in action of what it is to live life fully. There was a lot of beautiful togetherness, adventure, sleeping under the sky, diving in the pristine waters of the mountains, meditating for more than 10 hours in a row, but the collective intelligence that was present in our many, sometimes wild, sharing circles, some more than 7 hours, was something beyond words.

Crazy wisdom! It feels like everyone was committed to settle for not less than real transformation, for oneself and for everyone present. For myself personally I got the clarity about what I have to give if I am not holding back, and the fact that if I settle for less I am not honoring the Gift that was given to me. I tasted how it is to live an Awakened Life. And now I cannot settle for less any more.

Sergio P, Portugal:

When trying to convey a sensation through words, naturally something is lost of its inherent beauty and intensity. It is this “something” that I experienced during the 7 days of the Awakened Life Project Men’s Collective Retreat that remains deeply embedded in all the tissues of this body, and that reverberates profusely through this Being named Sérgio.

This “something” is the rapturous and sometimes intimidating energy that sizzles in the Collective Fire of the Spiritual Awakening of the Collective of Men, in which each of our Brothers in this process of liberation contributes to maintaining its strong and blazing flame. This something is the energy of Liberation achieved through creative friction and Love, so that each one of us Brothers, representing ONE, can realize that we are Already Free.

This energy was radiating through the eyes of all of us present at the Retreat and this energy infected everyone around us. I am grateful to our Teacher, Pete, for the Teachings that go a long way to highlight cultural patterns and limitations, thus launching the first spark for the spiritual combustion that remains fondly in the memory of these days.

Once this Fire is Awakened within each one of us, it is useless to run away or pretend that we have forgotten its existence. The question I leave to everyone who reads this text is this: do you want to continue trying to pretend and ignore its existence, or do you want to live Truly, experiencing the deepest Freedom and Love?


Pedro P, Portugal:


Reflecting on this Retreat brings the image of the formation of a giant wave until its culmination in an explosion of foam! Looking back I cannot point to any particular thing we did or that was shared that ignited this. In fact, every single thing that our Teacher, Pete, initiated, was a brushstroke in a total masterpiece. From the physical wrestling with which we opened the Retreat, to the “Tug of War”, to the Temascal/Sweat Lodge, from the deep sharing’s, through fasting, silence, meditation and so on, until the last night around the fire (which really was the Cherry on the top of the cake!), it was all hitting the bull’s-eye every time.

Now I can see how it was unbelievably unfolding by itself from the very beginning up to the very end of the Retreat. Pure Magic!!! It was a constant, progressive and smooth movement like is the one of the wave. Every Single activity was adding speed, volume and a shape on the wave, and we were the surfers, we were gradually surrendering more in deep trust, faith, dealing with whatever was arising. We all started to catch the wave one after another, and it became progressively more and more raw, until we started to surf the wave collectively. Pete demonstrated his brilliant mastery in his heartfelt orientations (in which he took quite some risks with some of the men), and was always walking his talk and never holding back whatsoever. We were clearly being taken. It was effortless. What a Joy!!! I am eternally grateful.


Tiago, Portugal:

It seemed just like One Movement driven by Love and Devotion, Trust and Surrender to God and to the Great Mystery of Life. It seemed out of any dimension of time and space, and it seemed that it could go on forever. It seemed that each one of us started as little whirlpools and, as we deepened our togetherness, intimacy and love, in wide open wonder to a collective force that suddenly was everywhere, suddenly there was no more of those whirlpools that came to the retreat. There was just the Ocean, that was touching and recognizing Itself in each one of us, with Its own agenda, everywhere, out of control, just an explosion of Love, Freedom and Revelation of Truth.

We were ecstatic, just surrendering in recognition of this Great Truth, just witnessing and being the vehicle of what is and what wants to manifest. It was crazy and wild and mind-blowing and ecstatic and overwhelming, and at the same time it is what we long for deep inside and know is the Truth… A Ring of Fire burned everything in Its way… a giant wave smashed everyone and left us in the one single ocean of Love that we all are… Everybody thought they knew what was possible, but now we had a real taste of it!! I´m left with nothing but the glimpse of Freedom and with a posture of total surrender and submission to the Great Mystery of Life! I´m Available!


Pedro M, Portugal:

Release control and immerse yourself in the gift of spiritual brotherhood! Grow, Integrate and Transform – the collective Awakening of a group of men committed to being Free and to realizing the Truth in this existence.

What a crazy trip were these 7 days of pure Transformation! Guided and inspired by Pete, 25 men rescued the essence of the Divine Masculine and manifested in a form of courage, humility and openness a radically Free male culture, without taboos and without conditioned reference points.

Infused by Adi Da’s Live Transmission, a collective surrender to the Mystery of Life took place in which selfishness, fear and pride, gave way to an unconditional surrender that elevates the Spirit and intelligence of a collective to the recognition of the potential to be in relation to the level of the purest and highest humanity.

It is difficult to say what happened! Everything was enhanced by the static recognition that Love is the condition for all conditions. This Love can be hard or it can be soft – it is a penetrating and unstoppable Love that wants to free humanity from all suffering and the sense of separation. This Love made possible a collective catharsis in which the rescue of the injured child and adolescent burned in the Fire of the Heart of God.

A new Man is emerging! A mature, healthy, courageous and sensitive adult is on his way to illuminate new possibilities. There is a glimpse of the potential of a man who is radically Free, completely surrendered and at the service of what transcends him. I am immeasurably grateful to my teacher Peter Bampton, for being a Free Radical, for fighting for the Freedom of each of his students, for his Love, Devotion and Dignity and for always pointing to what is possible beyond any limit. What’s next Pete?

Sergio S, Portugal:

This retreat was the most amazing and terrifying experience of my life.
I never Learned so much about my relative body mind complex. I’m eternally grateful to Peter for these Teachings about our childish and adolescent chronic behaviours and how they can also be seen from a perspective of Chakra imbalance. It became more clear what I have to do to overcome my specific conditioning. On the other hand I realized that I’m so fucked up that I can barely function in this world. Hopefully or not, I was not alone on this!

Between panic and grace, fear and peace, I traveled into the darkest places of my mind, and have been rescued with True Love from my brothers, for which I am forever grateful.
It was a hard rollercoaster but it was all about growing up. Dramatization doesn’t solve the problem, and frequently is itself the problem.
In the end, this Retreat was another manifestation of what I recognized before. That Love is the only Truth. Love heals and nothing is missing.

The process is happening and it’s already complete.
I am growing and I am already free.
I don’t need to understand because nothing is needed.

Everything Is already.
Love is and I love you all.

Luis, Portugal:

Although I've only been for the three days weekend at this Retreat I can say for sure that it was a very amazing weekend. What a rare event of male bounding and spiritual unity this has been. The organization also has to be congratulated, everything was done with great care and love (I keep remembering the candles from the sweat lounge to the water flow). Overall there was this feeling of being part of a great brotherhood of men celebrating something bigger than themselves, celebrating life, and their True nature...

Joao Pedro, Portugal:

In this Retreat I had the opportunity to grow and to be challenged in were I am grounded. I saw myself giving to every experience during the Retreat but there was some holding on to something.

Now there's more clarity on this, there's fear of being nobody, of letting go of the control. And with more clarity comes more relaxation.

One important understanding for me was to really get what intimacy means and give myself to the intimacy that we live in every moment in this collective of men and Sangha. And go beyond the sexual or gender limitations or ideas I had about intimacy.

There was a moment were I spontaneously kissed Pete, as a natural response to a pure expression of free love. There's nothing I need to prove, there's only give to this collective transformation.


Rui S, Portugal:

A Love Brotherhood. The intimacy springs naturally from the heart itself. This intimacy is expressed through us. We are the intimacy connected in one organism that is ever-present. 

The recognition comes with an extreme edging quality. A sense of continuous creative and free tension. The soul is boiling and purifying. The Heart is on fire with various attempts from the mind to grasp it. What is going on here? The mind tries and tries but only finds ground in the surrender, surrendering to what is here, to the one heart that is animating all of us. And when the attention becomes free, then the Heart shines. 

Your smiles, your faces, your bodies, your shapes, all different and unique, all the jokes, all the surrenders, all the genuine interest and pure curiosity shines through you with so much power. To be it, is to go beyond any idea of brotherhood. Brothers in the heart, living in the edge, not holding back. 

I don't know what's going on here and I don't need to know. In the next and every second, the answer is, it just is, refreshing and new, purifying any temptation of putting it into a box. There is no brotherhood. There is just love, pure presence with each other. 

What a ring of fire. The flames went high since the beginning. As a collective of man, we were challenged as never before to let go of all garbage, all wrong ideas that kept us separate, alone and small. What was left was pure joy and togetherness between men. It was an ecstatic gathering of warriors. No space for nice guys and no space for macho jerks. All of us connected as never before, animated by the great one, the one universal organism that was expressed through us. By the end our bodies were tired and our minds surrendered, we were living fully each second supporting each other the best we could. There was no space for less than pure love. Everything else just burned and something unexplainable happened. Something changed forever the way we relate with each other. A new level of intimacy came to the forefront. The brotherhood was now stronger than ever before. 


Jos, Holland:

A continuous process of completely blowing my mind.

A continuous increasing presence of ecstatic energy, nectar of love. Love between brothers, love for nature, love in every expression. This awareness of love continues after the retreat.

Now I realize that I never knew what brotherhood really means. This brotherhood is very strong and continues growing. It is unimaginable where this goes. It seems limitless…

The theme “Growing Up” was really on the spot. Celebrating my 57th  birthday during this retreat and the sharing was very special. A milestone in my life, being aware of taking responsibility of more than “personal life”, which is really an illusion.

Living and serving instead of surviving.

Seeing through the history from the position of being, gave me again the realization: there is only the current moment.

Letting this in, makes me very humble and brings me to continuous surrendering.



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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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