The Power Of The PIT
The PIT – the Primary Integration Training – is one of MKP’s greatest strengths.
It’s run on an evening basis over 8 weeks or as a weekend intensive course.
Its effects are powerful and long-lasting. It is substantially different – both in energy and content – from the initiation weekend, but most men find the experience just as deep and rewarding.
And it forms a vital bridge between the initiation weekend itself and our on-going men’s groups (also known as Integration Groups or iGroups, and in some cases, Mission Groups). The PIT and these iGroups are the foundation stones of our community.
I never cease to be amazed at the courage of those who embark on this journey and the transformations wrought in their lives. On an eight-week cycle or weekend intensive, participants change before my eyes.
Men find an outlet for the grief they carry, face their fears and learn to trust themselves and others on a far deeper level.
The PIT uses well-honed process work, and also teaches key skills – particularly container-building and mission work – that are carried through to the iGroups. In a very real sense the profound experience of the initiation weekend is now integrated into men’s lives.
At its heart, the power of the PIT is that it gives men the skill and confidence to start making the principles of MKP real in their own lives.
I know my own life changed as a result: I found the authentic voice and sense of meaning I had always been searching for. I remain deeply grateful for that, and I am touched and moved when I see similar changes taking place for my fellow brothers.
My PIT – From Despair To Hope
The PIT is the follow up to the weekend Adventure, the NWTA. It tends to be smaller in size, but offers as much learning and insight as the original weekend.
And I arrived at my PIT on a wave of conflicting emotions. Not long previously I had decided to turn my back on all this MKP stuff. I pulled the fluffy blanket of my distractions around me and try to forget about MKP and all the men I’d met.
And then a PIT came up at the Old Priory Barn in Bradford-on-Avon….despite my conflicting emotions, it was just down the road. I signed up.
Yet I was still not convinced I would do the whole weekend and I dealt with this by saying to myself “let’s just try Friday, be open, see what happens.”
What happened to me was that the processes on Friday created a small shift in perspective, so when I was cycling back that night this came up for me: a person in one of my patterns appeared, all flattened in 2D – it was like I was viewing the raw material of my pattern without the energy that I give it.
It came to me that I have a choice to not make a drama out of this raw pattern by giving it energy – and with this hindsight I see that MKP and its processes are part of dissolving that energy.
I arrived Saturday morning enthused and had a really interesting conversation about patterns with one of other men participating as we waited to go in.
I mentioned the drama and I really felt connected and able to contribute ….. this, however, would change throughout the course of the day.
During the morning discussion around wounds and archetypes I felt the resonance of my wound from its quarter.
Can these wounds ever be healed? Are there some that are just too deep?
These are very poignant and powerful questions for me, for all of us. We were all here to try though, and one man very eloquently said that to help heal our wounds we have to revisit them – dive back into them…
And that was it…. I see it now. I didn’t want to visit it, I’d spent so long being a prisoner in my wound I didn’t want to f*cking revisit it – especially by choice.
I’d built a nice tower of denial thank you very much and was very comfortable in it with all my lovely distractions. I’d built a tower on dodgy foundations and it didn’t matter what I built it from, drugs, distractions, power etc., it was always in danger of toppling and throwing me into the shit of despair.
I could soar as the eternal puer (Peter Pan) or sink into the underworld of the senex (the old fool) but the wound was always there.
I could pretend all I liked, but it didn’t go away. So I would guess my magician uses an awful lot of energy creating this denial to protect me from feeling the overpowering effect my wound.
I was in a bit of a spot here… I was here to revisit the wound, the very thing the tower of denial was built to protect me from. I became resentful, withdrew, spent the break on my own, brooding.
I did want to go there. But I did go there in my process that afternoon. I ripped off the scab and dived in, cried some grief, and felt like I’d ripped open a big wound in my chest.
I really wanted to participate and give my all to these men who had supported me, but I was finding it very difficult to focus. I left after the checkout and didn’t participate in the evening meal.
After a disturbed night, and vowing never to return, I arrived back on the Sunday morning.
The Sunday really help me reintegrate.
The meal time really stands out because it was so opposite to the Saturday’s.
I sought out company and chatted with few men on a bench by the river and I enjoyed it.
It’s funny, it may sound like such an ordinary thing to do but it has beauty in its simplicity, and when you isolate you can’t participate in that beauty.
There is a world of difference between forcing yourself to be with people and actually wanting it.
The remaining processes on Sunday afternoon, I found pretty excruciating – it was hard both to give the gifts of insight to the men and receive them.
However sitting here a week later I’m profoundly grateful to them for those insights. What I am taking away is a shift in perspective. Before the PIT I was sure I’d had enough of my work and MKP but I’ve left with renewed purpose.
I rewrote my mission statement and did my mission stretch this week – something I could only have dreamed of doing just a year ago. I’m taking away with me the amazingly powerful stories of the men who opened their hearts and shared this weekend.
I’m struck by how similar we all are and how we struggle with the same things.
Time and again I hear a man story that resonates with me and slowly affirms that I’m not alone, the more I hear them.
I’m taking away with me the amazing dedication of the men who staffed – always there and willing to help a man get more out of his process with their insights and encouragement.
I’m taking away with me in admiration for the structure of the PIT in its weekend form: the gentle Friday introduction, the full-on Saturday then an affirming reintegration on Sunday.
A very powerful and effective triad. I would like to finish by blessing all the men who attended that weekend – may they shine in all their magnificence. And a blessing to all the men everywhere who do this work – may they also shining their magnificence! AHO!
A Very Grateful Brother
One Man’s PIT Experience
In the PIT, we learn key skills – particularly life skills and Archetypal awareness – that are carried through to the iGroups and into most men’s lives.
This program forms a vital bridge between the initiation weekend and the on-going iGroup work that most men step into – which I believe are the foundation stones of our community.
At its heart, the power of the PIT is that it gives men the skill and confidence to start making the principles of MKP really work in their own lives in an ongoing and lasting way.
For me, it was a really personal and powerful transformational experience. I got the opportunity with a small group of brothers to dig deep into my stuff, get a deeper understanding of process work and let go of a lot of patterns that no longer served my best interest, with loving support.
I would say it’s as important as the NWTA to anchor what has been experienced on the weekend.
Importance of mission, the four archetypes that exist within me, identifying them and using them rather than being used by them. All this is essential in keeping me moving forward to becoming my mission.
The Ride of My Life
Two days after leaving Dartmoor, where I’d done The ManKind Project’s PIT training, I found myself on my surfboard, waiting for the next set of waves to swell.
Maybe 20 feet away, swiftly with complete grace, two dolphins sprang from the water right before my eyes. For that brief moment we occupied the same space. In the same way, my PIT journey was like those jumping dolphins between the spaces of ride-able waves in my life.
As a young man, just 20, I came to MKP enthusiastic and absolutely “in”.
Yearning to explore in depth some unsavoury experiences of my childhood, I threw myself at the PIT only a month after my Warrior training.
What I found waiting for me was a relaxed yet firm environment with the structure, expression and support I needed to touch places within, places that up until now I had only feared.
At the PIT, I was privileged to bear witness to the journeys of nine other men. Their unreserved emotion and willingness to engage with themselves has enriched my view of men hugely.
I felt ultimate trust in my brothers, and a deep sense of joy to be a part of their important work with MKP.
I feel as though I’m now part of, and in receipt of, a safety net that will always be below each of our bold swings in life.
The net my brothers have woven for me is sprung so that when I fall, the net catapults me further than my momentum can conjure.
Equally when I’m in mid-swing focused on the manoeuvre at hand, they can step back and admire my acrobatics!
But that’s enough imagery. I recognise the courage and level of maturity that it took for me to adventure into MKP at a comparatively young age. But doing so has enriched my life deeply.
Being side-by-side with men of greater experience, who have lived and learned some important lessons of life, I got a real burning sense that all young men should have the opportunity to do the same.
With that, I’d like you to think of any young men you may know, and the profoundly positive effect MKP could offer them, as it has me.
Perhaps mention it, and reassure them that being around older people is constructive, reassuring and fulfilling. There’s a sense that a great number of young men of my generation lack decent male role models who can teach them the ways of mature, integrated masculinity.
For me, MKP has certainly addressed that gap in my life, and shown me that role models are abundant, you just need to look with an open heart and mind to find them.
I feel as if I’ve confronted dark seeds within myself before they were left to fester throughout my adult life, which is deeply reassuring for the future.
I now have, thanks to the group’s help and my keenness to delve deep, a new space and awareness within that allows me to truly feel, express and release emotion.
Of course it’s easy to pretend that it’s all plain sailing. There are still obvious parts in myself that I feel it’s important to explore, to be able to stride wholeheartedly towards all life has to offer.
But I rest easy now, knowing that the incredible space I was privileged to be a part of, will again be open, ready and waiting for me when the time is right.
I’m at a period in my life where I feel that my trajectory is in many ways defined by my present state of mind and body, meaning that I can recognise opportunity, and shape aspects of my life so they are harmonious with my deepest values.
Deciding to journey into MKP, completing The Adventure Weekend and the PIT, has been one of my greatest decisions and achievements yet. And now I’m excited at the prospect of what the future holds.
I’ve heard stories of surfers and dolphins riding the same waves together. I’ll let you imagine that, and my intended future journey with MKP.
Video – What Is Shadow?
This is an introductory video for shadow work – a kind of process work for examining your Shadow. We have reproduced it here because after the brief introduction it talks about exactly what we mean by shadow.