Andy, Judd Brewer "sold" his research to a lot of meditators (his subjects) as academic, motivated by curiosity. This just feels "bait and switch-y" to me, so I'm just disappointed in what's come from it if this app is "it.". I was hoping for something deeper and more meaningful to the spiritual community. It's a visceral, emotional reaction I'm having. I'll get over it pretty quickly.
You say that you consider using mindfulness to relieve anxiety as being related to the path to awakening and that's very interesting to me because I don't really see the connection. Care to elaborate?
Edit: To be clear, anxiety has never really been one of my personal issues. With the exception of a few years with a PTSD-related fear of heights, for the most part when fear shows up in my life it's usually trying to tell me something and I'm grateful for it. So I may be ignorant of something important here.
I recently had some insights into how dissatisfaction presents in my every experience. (On a side note, that part of the experience is now in my face all the time, and I can't see how I didn't notice it before, it's so freakin' obvious.) I found that I experience that dissatisfaction as turning into anxiety at some point, with the downstream thoughts centering around, "There's something wrong here and now. Whatever is going on in this moment, it's not quite right. There's got to be something else that's better, but that something else never seems to come."
For me, then, the relationship between anxiety and awakening is that anxiety is a downstream effect of wanting to change the experience of this present moment, and awakening is "grokking", as Noah puts it, that there's no need to change how that presents.
I have a relatively traditional Buddhist view of awakening. In my understanding & experience, anxiety arises from kinks in the chain of dependent origination such as dualistic perception, early psychodynamic wounds & disproportional mental-emotional-behavioral reactionary patterns. So rather than fundamental awakening just being about an intuitive grokking of the way things are without needing to change them, I think it is about both surrender & action - hand in hand. That is likely different than the stance of others on here.
Okay. I don't necessarily disagree with that. But the methods I've chosen to work with that have been spiritual and more about getting to the root of things. This type of anxiety to me hasn't been a bad thing to be "relieved" but a helpful red flag for where work needs to be done. I guess that's just not something I would ever consider outsourcing to an app geared toward conventional mental health since the goals to me are quite different.
I aim for excellence in spiritual practice but when it comes to conventional mental health I am perfectly content to merely toe the line enough so that my neighbors don't get out the pitchforks.