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Summoning Warriors for the Human Spirit
Training to be the Presence of Insight and Compassion
Throughout history, at the end of every civilization, a predictable pattern takes hold:
People are threatened by fear and abusive power.
People forget who they are. They attack one another.
They abandon what has always saved humans—relationships and community.
Terrible leaders gain power. They rule by fear.
The people lose all good sense. A feverish compulsion takes hold.
A frantic greed grasps for personal pleasures, distractions, numbness.
Leaders encourage this and take everything for themselves.
This is the age of destruction.
Why Warriors for the Human Spirit are needed
In dark times, people no longer remember that we also can be generous, creative and kind. We forget that humans only get through terrible times together.
Whatever forces create physical suffering—wars, tyrannies, famines, floods, migrations—the true threat is when fear turns into hatred and hatred turns into violence. This descent into barbaric behaviors is the true destructive force.
We lose the memory of who humans truly are. We are caring, aware, vibrant human spirits who want to be together. Who want to do good for those we love. Who want to do good for what we care about.
Dark times always threaten the human spirit.
Who are Warriors for the Human Spirit?
In dark times, in every culture, there are always a few people, only a few, who step forward to protect the people. They dedicate themselves to serving others, to relieving suffering, to embodying the best human qualities so that others may remember what it means to be a good human being.
This is no easy task. To stay present, to be steadfast, to persevere, to resist distractions, to hold the pain and suffering–these few people dedicate themselves to this work.
It is not a trivial decision. It is not an easy path. It demands training that doesn’t end and community that strengthens over time. Today, these people are Warriors for the Human Spirit.
Warriors for the Human Spirit are leaders, activists, and citizens who want to make a meaningful contribution in this time of increasing assaults on the human spirit and all life. To serve well, to be effective with their energy and influence, they train to refrain from fear and aggression and to embody the best human qualities of generosity, insight, and compassion.
They are leaders who have already developed skills in their fields, e.g. healthy community, participative processes, equity and justice, environmental activism. Yet these hard-won skills and wisdom are not sufficient. A new category of skills and capacities are needed if they are to act wisely and well, persevere, and use their influence and power to offer sane, life-affirming responses as challenges to people and planet intensify.
Skillful means of a Warrior for the Human Spirit
Warriors train in the skillful means to:
• Refrain from using fear and aggression to accomplish their ends
• Maintain a stable mind in conflicted situations
• Expand perceptions to see more clearly to act more wisely
• Notice biases, judgements, and triggers to respond rather than react
• Focus on the work that needs doing, not the work they want to do
• Create Islands of Sanity wherever possible
• Maintain a keen sense of humor
• Rely on moments of grace and joy
• Participate generously in a global community of Warriors
Training to be a Warrior for the Human Spirit
Since 2015, Berkana’s work is to train Warriors.
The Warrior path requires dedication and discipline.
It is a lifelong path of service and self-sacrifice. Historically, only a few people dedicate themselves to this role. Warriorship is not for the masses.
As of May 2020, Berkana has trained ~ 400 people from 30 countries. We have used in-depth retreats, on-line classes, self-organized groups, and strong community to continue to deepen our Warrior skills.
As the darkness deepens, more people are stepping onto this path to serve and protect the human spirit and the spirit of life. Berkana will continue to respond to the needs of this time and train the Warriors.