With the emergence of the science of heroism there now exists both theoretical and empirical literature on the characteristics of our everyday hero. I seek to expand this inquiry and ask what the causes and conditions of a superhero could be. To address this I investigate the origins of mindfulness, Buddhist psychology and the assertion that its practitioners who have attained expertise in mindfulness practices can develop supernormal capabilities. I then explore any evidence that mindfulness practices have unfolded the supernormal potential of its practitioners.
I found a growing base of empirical literature suggesting some practitioners exhibit indicators of enhanced functioning including elevated physical health and resistance to disease, increased immunity to aging and improved cognitive processing, greater resilience and fearlessness, more self-less and pro-social behaviors, some control over normally autonomic responses, and possibly some paranormal functionality.
I propose in search of the superhero, that if conventional mindfulness training can already augment mental and physical capabilities, a more serious inquiry and translation of its advanced methods into mainstream psychological theory is warranted.