One of the first steps of a successful personal development journey is to learn why we have the instincts we do and then what to do with the energy that arises from them in the face of extreme stress. One way to do that is to study one version of eastern philosophical personality types—the bhavas, or heroic types.
This article focuses on the instincts and energies of one of the heroic types—warrior-heroes—so has information to support their specific personal development journey. If your heroic type is one of the other two types—either villager-hero or shaman-hero—then the explanations and guidance offered in this article may seem unfathomable or even a little bit “crazy.” No matter your heroic type, though, there is potential value in reading this article because either it helps you get to know yourself better or it can be revelatory in helping you understanding the attitudes and behaviors of others.
Use Your Meditation Skills to Retain Self-Possession
That noted, as a warrior-hero myself, when I walk through time and space which feels like a fiery hell, I take a large part of my mind and turn its focus onto an OM symbol residing in my heart and mind centers which projects never-ending rays of rainbow, white light and love. Due to many years of meditating on that imagery and sensations, during my daily meditation practice, doing so brings to the fore a second attention on the timeless, space-less experience of my essential self in which there is no drama, there is no trauma, there is no judgement or aversion, there is no past, present, or future…..there is just love and joy.
This leaves me both fully engaged, breathing, moving, and living through the circumstances I find challenging, while at the same time being love, breathing love, exhaling love, seeing everything and everyone as love. It is completely possible to hold both of those perceptions equally and in real time, with lots and lots of practice. Both practice on the meditation cushion and practice in “the real world.” After twenty years of constant, unremitting meditation, philosophical, and physical practice I am able to stay engaged and present and completely self-possessed and myself when life puts me in circumstances that presses every single pain button I have. And I’m a Huge Lovebug!! So that means that even when my goals and desires are exploding and disintegrating right before my eyes, I can still be my huge lovebug self, with an open heart. I literally can’t remember the last time I had a regret, or spoke out of turn (“boy, I can’t believe it said those things!”), when times got tough. At this point in my life, nothing, no events, no comments, no emails, no failures, no losses, no heartbreak, nothing can take my inner attention off the fact that this is my life and my life is one of pervasive, unending, profound love.
And, OMG, more than anything in the universe, I want you to have this happiness-life skill, too. I’m just like you! You’re just like me! It’s a human right to feel blissful. To love your life, know your purpose, and by doing so, change the world. All the heroic types have the capacity to master this happiness life-skill. We just have slightly different paths to get there with ease.
For a warrior-hero to become unremittingly self-possessed, their challenge is to acknowledge, understand, and appropriately wield their naturally arising righteous-rage energy in the face of extremely stressful circumstances. Yes, warrior-heroes—in contrast to the other two heroic types—are born to have instinctual righteous-rage energy arise when their will is thwarted. (For instance, when I was a toddler I “ran away” with a suitcase down the street because I was outraged that my parents thought they could tell me what to do. Ugh!) When I find myself seized in the grip of extremely stressful circumstances, I’ve learned to GRASP onto that OM symbol and white, rainbow light of love with every fiber of my being. By doing so, I’m harnessing the power of that naturally arising righteous-rage energy in the face of extremely difficult circumstances, the power that is my birthright as a warrior-hero, and using it to transform myself into a manifestation of light and love, rather than expending that energy lashing out at someone.
Just Because It Feels Right Doesn’t Mean It Is
The righteous-rage energy of a warrior-hero which arises in response to extremely stressful circumstances, arises for a good reason. Warrior-heroes are designed to protect and defend the virtues. This means they must have the capacity to smite others in the name of universal justice when they are otherwise—if mentally and emotionally healthy—champions of selfless love, compassion, and the desire to help make the world a safe, gentle place for all. Righteous rage-energy arises naturally to protect the integrity of a warrior-hero’s mind when they are called to go into battle to defend the Light. This is a theme in the beginning of the sacred Indian text, Bhagavad Gita, where one of the warriors says, in effect, “I want to be a good person and bring peace in the world. Therefore, I don’t want to kill anyone.” Krishna responds, in effect, “Sometimes fighting and killing is a necessary and dharmic action.” For a warrior-hero to be both deeply steeped in and attached to expressing virtuous behavior, while at the same time be able to step up and violently overpower and conquer another when called for, they have to have a righteous-rage mechanism to ride into violent behavior with heart and mind intact.
Though, importantly, this is not to say that every time a warrior-hero’s instincts scream to smite someone it means that doing so is actually an appropriate response to circumstances. In fact, since modern culture has most of us stimulated into some gradation of the Fight-Flight-or-Hide reflex, i.e. “survival energy,” warrior-heroes today often have massive anger management issues from having their righteous-rage energy arise every time someone doesn’t live up to their idea of “right action.” In modern culture, with its lack of philosophical training on things like one’s heroic type, warrior-heroes are running around on auto-pilot, often deeply entranced by their own individual view of “what’s right,” and working to control, intimidate, and punish those around them into having their behavior conform to the warrior-hero’s ideals.
What warrior-heroes have to understand at the outset of their personal development journey is that righteous-rage energy can arise when expressing it is the worst possible option of how to respond to other people’s behavior. Meaning, just because a warrior-hero assesses someone else’s actions as “wrong action,” doesn’t mean that the warrior-hero has the discrimination and training to make that assessment. Yet, the righteous-rage energy arises. Therefore, when a warrior-hero assesses someone as “doing something wrong that needs to be corrected, immediately,” the arising righteous-rage energy has to have, an outlet since expressing it is usually ridiculously inappropriate. In my own life, when self-awareness and self-possession gives me the perspective to that NOW IS NOT THE TIME to express it, despite its arising, I focus on channeling all that righteous rage-energy into GRASPING that OM and rainbow, white light of love with every fiber of my being and then MAGNIFYING it with all my strength of will. This important second step of the internal practice can make the difference between successfully channeling the energy or no longer being self-possessed and lashing out at someone. The second step of magnifying the internal practice is done in the spirit of, “I wonder how far I can make those rays of love go from my heart out into the universe….let’s see.”
Meaning, the second part of the internal practice, after invoking the visualization and sensations, is to redirect the power that arises from the righteous rage-energy away from being expressed externally—like maybe saying something mean to someone—to being expressed internally—like essentially doing your meditation practice in real time. Sometimes the siren call to tear someone apart can feel so right! For people who need an extra layer of inspiration to resist their instincts to lash out, invoking a martial mindset in the moment may help. For example, years ago I used to invoke the image of a bloody and battered warrior, ax and sword swinging, sprinting across the battlefield, screaming to express the courage and rage necessary for battle. (Yes, on top of being fully present to the stressful circumstances and seeing the OM in my heart and mind radiating rainbow white light and love.) I would use that image as inspiration of my power to demand to myself that my naturally arising rage-energy be redirected as I will it to be, for good, and that it magnifies the light and love of my internal practice to the fullest extent possible. Invoking the level of determination it takes someone to run across the battlefield so, enabled me to always be able to keep my external expression one of calm repose. Or put another way, I was feeling thoughts like: ”NOTHING that goes on in my one, precious life can make me behave in a way that inconsistent with my values,” and “I’m strong enough to bear this pain/stress/fear and stay a beacon of Light to show the world what it can be.”
Becoming Consciously Competent At Self-Possession
Don’t misunderstand me, doing this internal practice does not take away the pain of the extremely stressful circumstances (I was taught that it shouldn’t do that or we’d just be trancing out or numbing out or otherwise being delusional and not really where were have been put to maximize our personal development), but I find that doing this internal practice enables me to control my behavior to the extent that I am always able to resist the thrall of my warrior-hero instincts to tear the world apart and everyone and everything in it to shreds in the face of intense external pressure. Moving through time and space that feels like a fiery hell doing this internal practice is sort of like doing two meditation practices simultaneously. The first meditation practice is being completely and fully immersed in the pain and stress of my actual experience. The second meditation practice is embodying the pervasive sense of light and love of the internal practice. It’s like listening to two songs playing at the same time. Or, like I’m walking through two realities at the same time, one on top of the other, fully living in both. Doing this gives me the self-possession to control, no matter how painful or challenging the circumstances of my life, how my body behaves and expresses.
When I was a kid, my dad used to sometimes grip either my upper arm or upper leg and keep squeezing harder and harder to try and make me cry. Most of the time I would bare my teeth at him and REFUSE to cry. If I could manage it, I’d even laugh for a second or two to demonstrate that I can bear whatever he did to hurt me and that he couldn’t force me to behave a certain way. Or, best case scenario, I would be able to turn my face to his while making an expression of extreme boredom. A warrior-hero to the core, these are common reactions for one to have as a child in the face of a controlling or domineering parent. A big ole dose of, “You can’t make me [whatever].”
The internal practice I’m sharing with you today is basically that same process I, and many other warrior-hero, kids have used to not cry in the face of physical pain and injustice. Back then, I was working from a place of unconscious competence. Today, after two decades of studying and practicing eastern philosophy, I control my behavior in a more sophisticated way which improves the quality of how I react when I find myself in extremely stressful circumstances and also contributes to the progress of my personal development journey. By harnessing that OM and rainbow white light of love to control my behavior in the face of extreme stress as an adult, rather than just unconsciously riding my righteous rage-energy in any direction it takes me, I’m more effective at being self-possessed and it’s way more nourishing!
Using Strength of Character To Be Love In Action
To wrap up, please know that the more we practice meditation with inspiring internal imagery and the sensation of love available to invoke at will, plus the more we use the life-skills from our meditation practice in real time, the more we are using our freedom and free will to have our behavior in line with our values and intentions, which marks the birth of accurate self-awareness. When our behavior slowly grows to always no matter what be in line with our values and intentions, the more we’re learning to widen our view of reality, and the more we’re becoming the change we want to see in the world. That’s both epic and sweet!
In my case, I’ve been visualizing an OM radiating rainbow white light while cultivating an inner experience of pervasive love every day for almost two decades. Trust me, I didn’t spent all that time practicing meditation to develop the skill of feeling blissed out, with tears of joy pouring down my face, whenever I sit on a cushion. I spent, and continue to spend, that time in meditation to be good at being the best human being I can be, every moment of every day, in real time. This integration is the entire point of a mediation practice, this integration is the entire point of studying eastern philosophy, this integration is the entire point of working on our personal development. We practice developing happiness life-skills so we can draw on them when we find ourselves in time and space that feels like a fiery hell, when we’re feeling extreme stress. We practice meditation, we study, we self-reflect, we gather together in support of each other’s personal development to learn to integrate our aspirations and values into our day to day behavior, no matter what’s going on.
Please know, if I can learn to harness my inherent warrior-hero instincts so that they express exactly in line with my values and intentions every moment of every day….so can you. Slowly but surely, one step at a time, one day at a time, one success to exult over, one mistake to learn from. This is my wish for you, made with all the love in my heart.
- Make a visual and sensational meditation practice a consistent part of your life so you can starting working to master those experiences enough to reference them in real time
- I use Yoga Nidra
- Write down the internal steps you’d take to be able to control your behavior using this internal practice
- Meaning, re-language this internal practice for yourself
- Start a log of when you “lose it,” or behave in a way that you later regret, and problem solve solutions for what you’re going to do to succeed in following the steps of this internal practice next time
- Review your log in its entirety once in a while to stay present to your personal development progress
Thank you for reading this article. I appreciate the gift of your time and the opportunity to share the happiness life-skills I was taught which have gifted me with a blissful life, in service. With love!
Unmani Saraswati, JD, LLM is the Chief Happiness Mentor of Bliss Revealed along with enjoying a successful eighteen year career as a divorce mediator-attorney and previous law professor. A lifelong student of how to how to have a vibrant experience of life, she earned her credential as a Certified Massage Therapist from the Institute of Conscious Bodywork in 1997 and graduated from Trika Institute’s Seven-Year Tantrik Yoga Study Group Program in 2010. As a Chief Happiness Mentor, Unmani draws on her ongoing study of happiness concepts and life-skills from ancient wisdom traditions, twenty years of daily mediation practice, and her work supporting thousands of legal clients to bring out their best selves in the midst of crisis through mindfulness and education. She teaches the self-paced online program My Bliss Path™ and live streams with subscribing members of the Blissverse Locals community. Also, check out her free videos scattered around, but presently on Minds. To find out more about Unmani’s mission for everyone to have a Healthy Body, Strong Mind, and Happy Heart go to: https://linktr.ee/blissrevealed