Doing and Being: Mindfulness, Health, and Quiet Ego Characteristics Among Buddhist Practitioners
September 16, 2010 — barry
H. A. Wayment, B. Wiist, B. M. Sullivan, M. A. Warren (2010) Doing and Being: Mindfulness, Health, and Quiet Ego Characteristics Among Buddhist Practitioners. Journal of Happiness Studies , Online first , 11 Sept 2010.
ABSTRACT: We examined the relationship between meditation experience, psychological mindfulness, quiet ego characteristics, and self-reported physical health in a diverse sample of adults with a range of Buddhist experience (N = 117) gathered from a web-based survey administered to Buddhist practitioners around the world between August 1, 2007 and January 31, 2008.
Practicing meditation on a regular basis and greater experience with Buddhism was related to higher psychological mindfulness scores. Psychological mindfulness was correlated with a latent variable called “quiet ego characteristics” that reflected measures based on Bauer and Wayment’s (Transcending self-interest: psychological explorations of the quiet ego. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, pp 7–19, 2008) conceptual and multidimensional definition of a “quiet ego”: wisdom, altruism, sense of interdependence with all living things, need for structure (reversed), anger/verbal aggression (reversed), and negative affectivity (reversed). In turn, quiet ego characteristics were positively related to self-reported health.
Our findings provide continuing support for the key role psychological mindfulness may play in psychological and physical well-being.
from Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, Volume 2, Issue 1, February 2010, Pages 37-45
Classical physics, anchored in materialist reductionism, offered adequate descriptions of everyday mechanics but ultimately proved insufficient for describing the mechanics of extremely high speeds or small sizes, and was supplemented nearly a century ago by quantum physics, which includes consciousness in its formulation. Materialist psychology, modeled on the reductionism of classical physics, likewise offered adequate descriptions of everyday mental functioning but ultimately proved insufficient for describing mentation under extreme conditions, such as the continuation of mental function when the brain is inactive or impaired, such as occurs near death. “Near-death experiences” include phenomena that challenge materialist reductionism, such as enhanced mentation and memory during cerebral impairment, accurate perceptions from a perspective outside the body, and reported visions of deceased persons, including those not previously known to be deceased. Complex consciousness, including cognition, perception, and memory, under conditions such as cardiac arrest and general anesthesia, when it cannot be associated with normal brain function, require a revised psychology anchored not in 19th-century classical physics but rather in 21st-century quantum physics that includes consciousness in its conceptual formulation.
While most people would like healthy, satisfying relationships in their lives, the truth is that everyone has a hard time with intimate partnerships. The poet Rilke understood just how challenging they could be when he penned his classic statement, “For one person to love another, this is the most difficult of all our tasks.” Rilke isn’t suggesting it’s hard to love or to have lovingkindness. Rather, he is speaking about how hard it is to keep loving someone we live with, day by day, year after year. After numerous hardships and failures, many people have given up on intimate relationship, regarding the relational terrain as so fraught with romantic illusion and emotional hazards as to be no longer worth the energy.
Although modern relationships are particularly challenging, their very difficulty also presents a special arena for personal and spiritual growth. To develop more conscious relationships requires becoming conversant with how three different dimensions of human existence play out within them: ego, person, and being. Every close relationship involves these three levels of interaction that two partners cycle through— ego to ego, person to person, and being to being. While one moment two people may be connecting being-to-being in pure openness, the next moment their two egos may fall into deadly combat. When our partners treat us nicely, we open—“Ah, you’re so great.” But when they say or do something threatening, it’s “How did I wind up with you?” Since it can be terribly confusing or devastating when the love of our life suddenly turns into our deadliest enemy, it’s important to hold a larger vision that allows us to understand what is happening here.
RELATIONSHIP AS ALCHEMY
When we fall in love, this usually ushers in a special period with its own distinctive glow and magic. Glimpsing another person’s beauty and feeling our heart opening in response provides a taste of absolute love, a pure blend of openness and warmth. This being-to-being connection reveals pure gold at the heart of our nature — qualities like beauty, delight, awe, deep passion and kindness, generosity, tenderness, and joy. (Read the rest of this article at:)
Spirituality: The Third Tier
June 10, 2009, 8:52 AM
Filed under: Spititual | Tags: Inspiration, Kabbalah, Philosophy, Religion, Spirituality, Theology, Thoughts
The three tiers, water, air, and space. This is my attempt to try and make the spiritual world seem physically plausible. Not an easy task since this world is beyond our five senses. Regardless, I’ll give it a try. In the “A Creation Story”, which is included in the page section of this blog, I talk about the universe existing in ten dimensional form. What kind of whooya is that? What does that mean, ten dimensional form? It’s just a way of saying ten different densities. To illustrate this, I’m going to put life in three different Tiers. Tier number one is water, or life that exists in a high density living condition, below the oceans. Tier number two is air, or life that exists in a medium density living condition, above the oceans. Tier number three is space, or spiritual life that exists in a much lower density.
To understand the difference between tier number three (spiritual space) and tier number two (air), let’s look at the difference between the two tiers we’re most familiar with, air and water. I think we can all agree that life exists both in the air and below the ocean. If we take a closer look at the difference between life in water and air, then maybe, we can understand the difference between our existence and spiritual existence.
What does life below the ocean (fish, water animals) know about life above the ocean? Absolutely nothing. Sure, they see the life above the ocean for a short time when they get caught in our fishing nets and traps. Overall, they do not know or understand what exists or, what is happening above the ocean. That’s because their living conditions are in a much higher density (water) and they cannot exist in our world (air). Only because of our superior intelligence, can we exist in theirs.
From the Co-Intelligence Institute:
Six basic manifestations of co-intelligence
If we are going to take wholeness, interconnectedness and co-creativity seriously, we are going to have to face some very challenging implications regarding intelligence:
First: Intelligence must involve more than logical reason, since rationality constitutes only a tiny piece of our full capacity to learn from and relate to life.
Second: Intelligence must involve more than learning how to control and predict things, since that does not engage the powerful co-creativity of life.
Third: Intelligence must be far more than personal, since even ants can together generate an intelligence that’s greater than they have individually.
Fourth: Intelligence needs to reach far beyond the obvious, since whatever is obvious is connected to things that aren’t so obvious, and intelligence should engage with the wholeness and relatedness of things, as much as possible.
Fifth: Intelligence should be able to arise among us and through us, as a result of our kinship in the interconnected family of life.
Sixth: It would seem likely that some form of intelligence would exist beyond us–in and beyond the living world–built into the very wholeness of life.
There is more to intelligence than brains and logic. There is multi-modal intelligence.
There is more to intelligence than successfully predicting and controlling things. There is collaborative intelligence.
There is more to intelligence than individual intelligence. There is collective intelligence.
There is more to intelligence than solving the problems in front of our faces. There is wisdom.
There is more to intelligence than a solitary capacity exercised within the life of a single entity. There is resonant intelligence.
There is more to intelligence than human intelligence. There is universal intelligence.
These are the six basic manifestations of co-intelligence identified so far.
A very interesting article on neuroscience and the religious experience……
The Dalai Lama, a lifelong champion of non-violence candidly stated that terrorism cannot be tackled by applying the principle of ahimsa because the minds of terrorists are closed.
The shocker, at least to the thoroughly programmed leftist mind, was:
The head of the Tibetan government-in-exile left the audience stunned when he said “I love President George W Bush.” He went on to add how he and the US President instantly struck a chord in their first meeting unlike politicians who take a while to develop close ties.
Speaking as a heterodox American Buddhist, here’s what I think the Dalai Lama is implying. Non-violence is an upaya (frequently translated as “skillful means”). That is: it’s a means to an end, rather than an absolute value to be applied irrespective of the utility of its application. “Provisional means” is another translation of upaya, and I think it’s particularly useful in this case. Non-violence is a valuable and subtle strategy provided it actually works to reduce or eliminate harm and injury. And it only works when its designated target is at a sufficiently high developmental level. The Spiral Dynamics model championed by Ken Wilber (though a theory that requires careful handling) has some application here.
Wikipedia helpfully explains a classic example of upaya:
A famous story from the Lotus Sutra, often given as an example of upaya, is that of a man who comes home to find his house on fire and his children inside entertaining themselves with their favorite playthings. He calls out to his children to leave the house, but they do not believe it to be on fire, and they do not stop playing with the toys. Thinking about how he may use expedient means, the man tells his children that he has arranged for them to receive gilded carts and toy oxen to play with, and that these entertainments await just outside the gate of the house. Hearing this, the children then run from the burning house and are saved.
There’s irony galore in this situation and the questions it provokes. How do we find the skillful means for dealing with terrorists? How much damage do we let them do while we stand compassionately by, waiting for their minds to open? How long might we realistically expect that to take? Can a stubborn attachment to non-violence be seen as naive, even childish? And if it is, what means can detach some people from it? And how long might that process take?
The Dalai Lama can sometimes display an infectious childlike wonder. Will this recent request to relinquish childish expectations prove equally acceptable to his admirers?
Especially the guy who just gave that big speech. You know, the one where he talked about setting aside childish things.