Mindfulness-Based Heroism: Creating Enlightened Heroes

“Interweaving observations and questions drawn from the science of heroism, the paper explores the relevant theory, practices and scientific outcomes of mindfulness. It finds that there is evidence that heroically relevant qualities are trainable with the suite of mindfulness techniques and that an enduring experience of self-lessness and service of others (the enlightened hero) may well be within the grasp of the serious practitioner.”

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Process of Spiritual Opening / Awakening

Process of Spiritual Opening / Awakening

The following is intended as a rough sketch of the journey of spiritual opening. It is not exhaustive or intended to be exact but aims to give a picture of some of the process. Pre-state: Egoic Identification. This is the normal state of identification with external events. Pleasure if things go well, pain if things go badly.It is not absent of virtue or insight into right action but is essentially disconnected or experientially ignorant of the natural state hence its well-being is essentially event-based and cognitively driven. This is also known as the Wheel of Samsara, the hedonic treadmill etc. Stage 1: Awareness/Mindfulness. This can be described as the cultivation of awareness or the skill of mindfulness – seeing thoughts, feelings and sensations as simply phenomena. It includes watching these passing mental events with neutral, non-judgmental awareness (Clear Mind) and not resisting all emotional / physical movement but greeting it with internal openness (Open Heart).This internal equanimity to pain or pleasure is not to be confused with non-action if life events demand a skilful response. Stage 2: Purification. This is typically a disturbing stage of releasing attachment. It can be characterised by a sense that one’s sense of identity normally found in the status of one’s quality of life conditions (Relationships, Work, Money, Health and Leisure) is becoming less solid, cohesive evenunhinged / not in control. With guidance or ongoing disciplined practice this intermittent but regular burning stage begins to create an increasing lightness of energy and availability/susceptibility to irregular spiritual openings/awakenings or satoris. Stage 3: Satoris. Intermittent awakenings/mystical experiences or gaps in the normal sense of identity replaced... read more

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