Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Samurai Brotherhood?

The Samurai Brotherhood is a community for conscious men. It was originally begun in 1996 by Vancouver author, therapist, and teacher Phil T. Mistlberger. For more details about the history of the Brotherhood, click here.

Our purpose is to provide a space where men can come together to grow in their masculinity and become self-aware, awake men. Our philosophy is based on the Code of the Conscious Warrior, a set of 14 pointers designed to offer a framework of guiding principles for the modern man.

The ‘Samurai’ part of our name evokes the Samurai principles of inner discipline, loyalty and honour, and ‘Brotherhood’ signifies the importance for men of belonging to a mutually supportive community.

The group is a forum in which to explore what it means to be a conscious, self-aware man in today’s world. It aims to help men to access and embody their masculine essence in a balanced way and support them in becoming stronger and more confident, focused, balanced and grounded. It can help men to align with their life purpose and be a more effective presence in the world, to live at their edge, overcome limiting patterns from the past, and find peace both inwardly and outwardly.

Why ‘Samurai’?

When the ‘Samurai’ name was chosen (back in 1996) it was with some consideration. While keeping in mind some potentially ‘negative’ connotations associated with this name (i.e. appropriation), my sense of what West coast men (in particular) needed factored into my choice, and I decided at the end that the virtues of the samurai, as spelled out in many of the texts available on their creeds, outweighed the negatives. Over the years response to the name has run at about 99% positive, as I think many 21st century younger men seek to understand warrior virtues and embody them.

What does a typical men’s group meeting involve?

Each squad in the Samurai Brotherhood has its own distinct approach to leading meetings that is shaped by the captains (leaders) of that squad. The framework for every squad is a weekly meeting, 7pm-10pm on either Monday or Tuesday evenings (depending on which squad you are assigned to). During a meeting, you can expect to dive into open-sharing, discussing specific topics, engaging in process work, or physical/grounding exercises.

What can I expect to get out of joining the Samurai Brotherhood?

There are many benefits that are unique to every individual in our brotherhood. The primary benefit is being part of a conscious community of men who are committed to their own growth.

The benefits of group work include:

  • Finding more meaning, direction and fulfilment in life.
  • Becoming a better father/husband/partner/lover.
  • Relating to women better.
  • Improving your relationships with other men, such as your father, your boss, work colleagues and friends.
  • More effective performance in your work, sports or hobbies.
  • Rediscovering your inner power and your purpose in life.
  • Being more grounded and present.
  • Developing key masculine qualities such as accountability, reliability and commitment.
  • The fulfilment that comes from sharing your skills, knowledge and experience with other men in ways that help to nurture them.

A couple of detailed accounts have been posted in our blog from our existing members about their experiences with the Samurai Brotherhood:

Who may join the Samurai Brotherhood?

Anyone who identifies as a man and is aligned with our values and the Code of the Conscious Warrior may apply to join the community. Our community is inclusive of men of all sexual orientations and ethnicities, including trans-identified men.

How do I join?

The main way to join a Samurai Brotherhood squad is to fill out our application form here. We also host Open House events that occur several times a year. Check our Events page for upcoming dates of our opening houses. You can also contact the Brotherhood directly. We can accommodate new men if they are interested in trying regular meetings right away.

How does the joining process work?

Once you’ve committed to joining, you will be assigned to a squad. We require a minimum 4 meeting commitment for new members as we are not a drop-in group.

Is there a fee?

Yes, there is a modest fee required for participation. The membership cost is $100 (+tax) per month. For In-Person groups, the fee is reduced to $65 (+tax) per month after 3 months. (The fee does not change for Ronin Groups)

Why is there a fee?

Aside from general operating costs, we require a fee to be a member of the Samurai Brotherhood as it is a statement of commitment. We usually value things we pay for, and when we have something to lose, we are more invested and as a result we will be more likely to see positive results.