Your thoughts as light-rays, your mind as the sun

“Let the light rays of your thoughts re-absorb back into your sun-like mind, and rest in that sense of wholeness and integration”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores a method I was taught many years ago by my Tibetan teacher as a way of resting on you primal mind or primal awareness.  If you enjoy the article, then we will be exploring its theme in this weeks Tuesday and Wednesday meditation class, you are welcome to join us!

Also, heads up for the new Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat this Sat 29th Jan. Movement, mobility, breathing and meditation are all intimately related!

In the spirit of lightrays,

Toby


Your thoughts as light rays, your mind as the sun

This meditation is a variation of one that I was taught at a Buddhist festival many years ago. Its aim is to help us to move from a busy thinking state to a state of warm, clear awareness in a relatively easy-going and relaxed manner. One issue that it addresses well is that it helps us to work with our thoughts, rather than against them as we move toward a meditative state.

Imagining the sun
First of all, you might like to imagine yourself sitting in a landscape with the sun above you, radiating it’s light all around you. You can use this time to set a bit of a mood and ambience by picturing the nature and landscape around you as pleasant, relaxing and sensual.

Imagining your mind as the sun
When your ready, you can then gently start to imagine your mind as the sun. You can imagine it located in your heart centre, or in the centre of your head as you prefer. See it radiating light all around you. Breathe in and out with this image and sensibility. At a certain point, start to see your mind as the sun, and the thoughts and images in your mind as like light-rays radiating from the sun.
Here by ‘mind’ we are really referring to our essential mind, or consciousness itself which is the source and basis of our thoughts and thinking.

Absorbing the light-rays of your thoughts
Once you have gotten used to the sense of your thoughts as being like light-rays radiating from your sun-like mind, you can then imagine that, when a thought comes up, that it is just a light-ray. Then let the light ray absorb back into your sun-like mind, and rest in that sense of wholeness and integration.

Relaxing into your ‘true nature’
If you practice the stage above for a while, then you’ll start to feel a sense of wholeness and integration in both your body and your mind. By becoming like an (increasingly) thought free sun, you will find yourself actually connecting with and experiencing your mind-as-consciousness-itself. In the great wisdom traditions, this experience is known as recognizing your true nature, or the fundamental essence of what/who you are beneath and beyond your physical being and psychological persona.

Practical tip: Connect to the warmth
As well as the light element of this form, if you can feel the warmth of the sun, and translate it to a feeling of emotional warmth and joy, then this makes the experience more complete. It also invites our emotional nature to participate as well as our  intellect.

Related articles: Head in the sun meditation
Witnessing like the sun

Related articleBecoming a man or woman of no rank

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


In case you missed it, from last week: Your spiritual ancestors

Two types of ancestors
We live within the energetic field of our ancestors and family, past and present. Becoming aware of this and working with it is an important dimension of our spiritual practice that can really enhance the richness of our life. It can also provide important keys to resolving blockages and conflicts, both within ourself and in our relationships…read full article


Saturday Jan 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details

 


Tues & Weds Feb 1st & 2nd – Lunar New Year Meditation 2022: Developing your inner power in the year of the Tiger

About the class: This is a meditation to welcome in the lunar new year energies, and attune to the astrological animal of the year, the Water Tiger! In particular, we will be mindfully aligning with and developing our inner and outer power as well as other primal characteristics of the Tiger.
Toby will be leading the meditation as a simple and profound way, with plenty of room for our own personal contemplation, inner healing and positivity building! Full details here

 


 

Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby
 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Ongoing January-March – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

Saturday Jan 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Tues & Weds Feb 1st & 2nd – Lunar New Year Meditation 2022: Developing your inner power in the year of the Tiger


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Sitting in equality

“When we sit in meditation, we can put all of our roles and the baggage that comes with them down and relax. Phew, what a relief!”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores the relief and the sense of inner power that comes from sitting in a state of equality. If you enjoy the article, then we will be exploring its theme in this weeks Tuesday and Wednesday meditation class, feel free to join us!

Also, heads up for the new Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat on Sat 29th Jan. Movement, mobility, breathing and meditation are all intimately related!

In the spirit of equality,

Toby


Sitting in equality

Functional hierarchy, existential equality
All of us exist in hierarchies, without which the groups we are a part of could not function, for example:

  • We have grandparents, parents and children in families, existing in a hierarchy recognised by all.
  • We generally work for some form of ‘boss’, and have others under us who execute work for us. Your boss maybe also has a boss, or clients she works for, and perhaps those under you have people who work for them
  • There is also a less formal though no less powerful hierarchy the happens in social and cultural gatherings

Noticing the labels and the power dynamics
All of these hierarchies require labels and roles. You will notice that you have become quite attached and identified with some of the roles that you play. Perhaps its because you have been playing them for a long time. Perhaps it is because they reward your sense of worth in some way. Sometimes we are attached to the roles simply because we fear that, without the role we are a nobody, and not worth anything! Can you identify 2-3 roles that you are identified with in this way?
You’ll notice also that the roles give rise to power exchanges and a sense of being important/not important, better than/worse than, leader/follower.

Putting down the labels, sitting in equality
Part of the pleasure of being in a meditation circle or group is that, when we sit down and enter meditation, we have the opportunity to drop all of the usual labels and roles that we ‘put on’ in life, and simply sit with equals. One member might be a CEO, another might be a house husband, another a recovering addict. Some might be old and mature, others young and less so. When we sit in meditation, we can put all of these roles down and relax. Phew, what a relief!
We discover that there is a person inside us who is free of our everyday labels, of our position in the ‘hierarchy’ of things, and all of the power play that goes with that. We discover a stable sense of value and worth as a person that is no less (or more) than any of the people around us. This is something that we can learn to experience and ground ourself not just intellectually, but viscerally in our body. We can notice the feeling in the body that comes from sitting in a state of equality & the power that comes from it.

Taking it into daily life
In your daily life, notice that when you meet other people, according to the labels you give them, and give yourself in relation to them, that you have a differing sense of your own value and worth. With our sense of equality in meditation, we can notice this and, at the same time experience all those we meet as equals, free from the labels we might instinctively project upon them and they upon us.

Squash winner, squash loser
Two weeks ago, I played squash on Sunday and won every single game I played. This week I lost every single game! So, in terms of labels, I was a big winner one time, and a big loser the other. Amidst both those experiences there was a sense of myself simply as a person, not better or worse than those I was playing against, regardless of the result. This gave me the ability to walk away with a sense that I had enjoyed both experiences, and the company I was in. It’s a simple example, but it gives a bit of insight into the potential of the state of equality to provide a stable psychological base for us in daily life, from which the possibility of happiness and fulfilment each day looms larger.

Related articleBecoming a man or woman of no rank

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


In case you missed it, from last week: Your spiritual ancestors

Two types of ancestors
We live within the energetic field of our ancestors and family, past and present. Becoming aware of this and working with it is an important dimension of our spiritual practice that can really enhance the richness of our life. It can also provide important keys to resolving blockages and conflicts, both within ourself and in our relationships…read full article


Saturday Jan 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details


Tues & Weds Feb 1st & 2nd – Lunar New Year Meditation 2022: Developing your inner power in the year of the Tiger

About the class: This is a meditation to welcome in the lunar new year energies, and attune to the astrological animal of the year, the Water Tiger! In particular, we will be mindfully aligning with and developing our inner and outer power as well as other primal characteristics of the Tiger.
Toby will be leading the meditation as a simple and profound way, with plenty of room for our own personal contemplation, inner healing and positivity building! Full details here


 

Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby
 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Ongoing January-March – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

Saturday Jan 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Tues & Weds Feb 1st & 2nd – Lunar New Year Meditation 2022: Developing your inner power in the year of the Tiger


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Meditating with your ancestors

“Our ‘spiritual’ ancestors, those that we feel related to in terms of shared values, experience and interest. Sometimes we can feel as close of not closer to our spiritual ancestors than our blood ancestors.”

Dear Integral Meditators,

Becoming aware of this and working with our ancestors is an important dimension of our spiritual practice that can really enhance the richness of our life. It can also provide important keys to resolving blockages and conflicts, both within ourself and in our relationships. The article below is a reflection on one of my experiences of working with ‘spiritual ancestors’.

If you enjoy the article, this Saturday 15th Jan, I’ll be doing my Meditations for activating the gifts & healing the wounds of our ancestors, which is a consolidated introduction to this field of practice. You are welcome to join live or online!

If you read the article you’ll also see it is related to the upcoming Lunar New Year Meditation 2022: Developing your inner power in the year of the Tiger, which is another fun meditation you might enjoy.

In the spirit of the ancestors,

Toby


Your spiritual ancestors

Two types of ancestors
We live within the energetic field of our ancestors and family, past and present. Becoming aware of this and working with it is an important dimension of our spiritual practice that can really enhance the richness of our life. It can also provide important keys to resolving blockages and conflicts, both within ourself and in our relationships.
There are basically two types of ancestor and ancestral field. One is our blood ancestors, the family, past and present that we are related to biologically. The other group of ancestors you might call our ‘spiritual’ ancestors, those that we feel related to in terms of shared values, experience and interest. Sometimes we can feel as close of not closer to our spiritual ancestors than our blood ancestors. Spiritual ancestors can be people we know in the outer world, past figures from history. Or they can be beings/characters that we meet in dreams or meditation who then subsequently play an important part in our inner life and work. The story below is an example of this later group.

Meeting the Fu Lu Shou & the Earth Store Buddha
One evening around 2008-9 whilst living in Singapore, I was taking a bus home after teaching a meditation class. A short way into the bus ride a clearly drunken older Chinese man walked onto the bus. Looking down the bus he saw me and started walking toward me. I was praying that he wouldn’t sit near me, but sure enough, he plonked down right next to me! It tuned out that he had been the building manger for the first campus of the UWC (an international school in Singapore), so he liked talking to Ang Moh’s (white people). We shared a very pleasant 15 minutes of him storytelling to me about the old days before he got off at his stop and I travelled back home. After this seemingly chance event, for the next month or so in my meditations and before sleep I found myself in the presence of three fierce looking old Chinese men looking at me very intently, as if examining me. I asked who they were and they said they were the Fu Lu Shoh, the Chinese ‘folk gods’ of fortune, prosperity and longevity. I understood that, through my meeting on the bus I had connected with these guardians of the local group soul (Singapore is 70% Chinese, and I was married to a Chinese woman at the time), and that they were welcoming me into a ‘contract’ with them, whereby I could work in some ways on a ‘soul level’ with the local Chinese population, whom they (the Fu Lu Shoh) where the guardians of.
Later in that month I did a Chinese New Year meditation, where I was taken underground (in the meditation) to a cave, where there was a big, fat Buddha, in a coat of many colours, surrounded by gold and other treasure. I understood from our interaction that he was the ‘Earth Store Buddha’, and that, whilst I was in Singapore and Asia, he would provide me with the wealth and resources that I needed to do my work in this part of the world within the local culture and society. After this, I would go down to visit him once a year in mediation over Chinese New Year, just to touch base, affirm ties and commune around what possible projects and inner work lay ahead.
This little sequence of events and happenings is a simple example from my experience of working with spiritual ancestors. In this case it was/is kind of like these inner world beings adopted me, and made me part of their family, even though I was a foreigner, and not related by blood ancestry to them. It was an is a very touching personal interaction that I cherish.

Related articleThe gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com   

Image by Ma Deva Padma. Buddha of Compassion


Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

This series of 10 classes is an introduction to simple, practical Zen and Taoist meditations that can temporarily help us to reduce our stress and thrive joyfully in daily life. They can also, practiced regularly offer us experiential insight into our true nature and help us to answer some of our deepest life-questions and attain a truly stable sense of inner transformation. The sessions can be attended as a complete course in itself, or each class can be taken as a practice in and of itself…read full details


Saturday January 15th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for activating the gifts & healing the wounds of our ancestors

This workshop explores relevant and living ways in which we can connect to our own ancestral inheritance in a manner that is appropriate for and empowering to our contemporary lives.

In particular the workshop will offer practical meditations to:

  • Engage in a living communion with both our close (recent in time) and ancient (distant in time) ancestors
  • Awaken fully to the gifts and potentials (spiritual, psychological and material) that our ancestral karma has to offer us
  • Heal damaged or imbalanced ancestral karma that we may have inherited

Read full details


Saturday Jan 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details


Tues & Weds Feb 1st & 2nd – Lunar New Year Meditation 2022: Developing your inner power in the year of the Tiger

About the class: This is a meditation to welcome in the lunar new year energies, and attune to the astrological animal of the year, the Water Tiger! In particular, we will be mindfully aligning with and developing our inner and outer power as well as other primal characteristics of the Tiger.
Toby will be leading the meditation as a simple and profound way, with plenty of room for our own personal contemplation, inner healing and positivity building! Full details here


 

Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby
 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Begins Tues 11/Weds 12th January – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

Saturday January 15th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for activating the gifts & healing the wounds of our ancestors

Saturday Jan 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Tues & Weds Feb 1st & 2nd – Lunar New Year Meditation 2022: Developing your inner power in the year of the Tiger


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Your deep time project

“With a ‘deep time’ goal the work we do today will not even nearly be finished when we die. Essentially, we entrust it to the next generation, we focus on our process, without knowledge of how it will finally end up…”

 

Dear Integral Meditators,

I hope you’ve all been enjoying the Christmas break! I’ve been staying near some historical sights over the break, and this has gotten me reflecting on the way in which our sense of time influences both our sense of what’s possible in our lives. The article below is an exploration of this and its applications to mindfulness practice.

And if your looking for a meditation course to get stuck into in 2022, we will be kicking off with  Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures a ten part series on Jan 11/12th.

In the spirit of deeper time,

Toby


Your deep time project

I’ve been spending the Christmas period in the west country of the Britain, near Glastonbury, Somerset. I’ve seen around Glastonbury Abbey and Tor, as well as Wells Cathedral, which are both medieval buildings, over 800 years old. I’m also hoping to go around Stonehenge tomorrow which is of course a stone-age construction, between 4-5 thousand years old. For all of these buildings, the women and men that began the construction would have not have seen the final building. In fact, they would have been at least 3-4 generations before the completion of the structure. It’s interesting to think then of the mind-set of those working. Essentially, they were working as an offering to future generations, and as a sense of offering something up to the divine, or something bigger than their temporal selves.

The speed of time today
Reflecting upon this, and spending a bit of time walking in these places, sensing into the presence of the deeper-time energy, it got me thinking about how much of our time these days is pretty much the opposite of deep time. We need our phone and internet connection fixed now. At work, often we are thinking of the goals for the next 24 hours, few days, a week. There never seems to be enough time in the day, and everything needs to be done all and at once, now. All of this is in stark contrast to a ‘deep time’ goal, where essentially the work we do today will not even nearly be finished when we die. Essentially, we entrust it to the next generation, we focus on our process, without knowledge of how it will finally end up…

Your own sense of deep time
With the current ‘ecological crisis’ (I put it in quotation marks because in reality it has been building for a long time, not just now), I was thinking how useful this ‘deeper time’ medieval/stone age mindset would be, where the aim was extended across multiple generations, and well beyond our own life-span. If we all re-learned to think across generations, and into the deeper future, our sense of what and how we are creating in our lives would change radically.

Your own deep time projects?
So, then the question might be, “What are my own deep(er) time projects?” The ones that I will be offering up to the next generation to take and interpret in their own way, and build upon. These projects are the opposite of the ‘immediately done, now, today’ stuff that occupies so much of our head-space and energy. It’s the opposite of Instagram likes, short-term attention span, quick-fix. Are there any areas of your life at the moment that involve deep-time projects, and a deep time mindset? If not, what would such a project look like for you, what could you instigate or get involved in?

Deep time and your peace of mind
The interesting thing about spending regular periods of your day in ‘deep time’ is that the cadence and atmosphere of these periods is slower, less stressed, even-minded, peaceful, regenerative. It gives the option to ‘drop out’ temporarily of our short-term goal mindset into a different space that invites a different range of thoughts and emotional states.

Deep time and your medium-term resilience
If your everyday ‘time-range’ extends from the short-term to the long-term, then finding the inner resilience, even-mindedness and stability to get thru medium term challenges and goals becomes relatively easy. For example, we are all at the end of our second year of uncertainty coming from the Covid crisis. Getting through the ups and downs of this is much easier if you are dropping into a deep-time mindset regularly, as two years isn’t such a long time, relatively. I’m now in the 21st year of my post-monk meditation coaching business. There have been a lot of ups and downs during that time, but with a deeper time mindset, and the even-minded resilience that comes from that, it feels like the beginning rather than the end!

Related articleMeditating on time

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com   


Tues & Weds 4th & 5th January – 2022 New year & New Moon releasing and inviting meditation

This meditation session is focused upon setting up the 2022 new year energies in a way that invites the best possible experience moving forward. We will be:

  • Releasing and letting go of energies, events and experiences from the past year that may hold us back from moving into our full potential
  • Developing a flexible, soft, ‘beginners mind’, renewed and ready to be ‘born again’ with energy and enthusiasm in 2022
  • Focusing both consciously and intuitively upon the inviting of new energies, aspirations and goals that we wish to bring in and manifest over the course of the new year…read full details

Begins Tues 11/Weds 12th January – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

This series of 10 classes is an introduction to simple, practical Zen and Taoist meditations that can temporarily help us to reduce our stress and thrive joyfully in daily life. They can also, practiced regularly offer us experiential insight into our true nature and help us to answer some of our deepest life-questions and attain a truly stable sense of inner transformation. The sessions can be attended as a complete course in itself, or each class can be taken as a practice in and of itself…read full details


Saturday January 15th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for activating the gifts & healing the wounds of our ancestors

This workshop explores relevant and living ways in which we can connect to our own ancestral inheritance in a manner that is appropriate for and empowering to our contemporary lives.

In particular the workshop will offer practical meditations to:

  • Engage in a living communion with both our close (recent in time) and ancient (distant in time) ancestors
  • Awaken fully to the gifts and potentials (spiritual, psychological and material) that our ancestral karma has to offer us
  • Heal damaged or imbalanced ancestral karma that we may have inherited

Read full details


 

Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby
 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Tuesday 21st December,  7.30-8.30pm, SG time – Winter solstice balancing & renewing meditation (Online only)

Tues & Weds 4th & 5th January – 2022 New year & New Moon releasing and inviting meditation

Begins Tues 11/Weds 12th January – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

Saturday January 15th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for activating the gifts & healing the wounds of our ancestors


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

Share

Gateway to a new beginning

“When we practice our beginners mind, we are recognizing the value of maintaining lightness and playfulness in life” 

Dear Integral Meditators,

What would be different in your life if you were able to approach each day with fresh eyes, and open to all that may be possible? This weeks article focuses on how to develop your beginners mind, and open this potential within you!

If you enjoy the article, then do consider attending the new course starting this week  Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding picturesa big aspect of this course is really going deeper into our beginners mind.

Also, this Saturday 15th Jan, I’ll be doing my Meditations for activating the gifts & healing the wounds of our ancestors, click on the link to check it out!

In the spirit of every day a new day,,

Toby


The gateway to a new beginning

A beginner’s body-mind is a way of entering the present moment and whatever greets us there as if for the first time, a bit like a young child. It is curious, open, flexible.

The principle of lightness and playfulness
Our beginner’s mind is light and playful. As the years go by and we build up a body of life experience, that experience can become like a weight that we carry around. It can take away our capacity to feel playful and spontaneous. When we practice our beginners mind, we are recognizing the value of maintaining lightness and playfulness in life. We are choosing to value them enough to practice them, to take care of them and, if necessary to rehabilitate them in the face of traumas, disappointments and pain that we may have had to go through. Without them our life becomes heavy, takes on a cynical air, an air or defeatism perhaps. In the light of this danger then, we practice the discipline of our beginner’s mind.
A beginner’s mind is also a great base for a meditation practice. The process of simplification and letting go in meditation helps us to return to a state of beginning. The principal of the beginner’s mind in turn helps us access a state of meditation more easily.

Accepting and releasing the weight of past joy and suffering
Imagine that you are sitting in front of a gateway. Beyond the gateway is a landscape and world that is bright with possibility. The gateway has two pillars on either side:

  • The one on the left is dark and scarred, somewhat twisted. This left pillar represents all of your past sufferings, pain, trauma, disappointments and so on. Looking at it you can feel the weight of this past experience, and its hold on you
  • The one on the right is beautiful and colourful. It represents your past and joys, happiness’s and success. When you contemplate this pillar, you feel good, but you can also sense the attachment and or clinging to these past joys that may be preventing you from opening to the new joys and opportunities of your present and future.

Observing these two pillars gently move toward a state of acceptance of both the pleasures and the pain of your past. They are what they are and cannot be changed. See yourself sitting between these two pillars, in the centre of the gateway, moving toward acceptance.
When you are ready, over a series of breaths feel yourself putting down the weight of these past experiences, good and bad, letting them go. Feel yourself opening to the possibilities of the present and the future, like a flower opening to the rays of the sun at sunrise. The landscape in front of you is new, bright, filled with potential. You yourself feel light and playful in the face of this new day and new beginning.
Once you have the feeling of your beginner’s mind, simple stay with it in meditation, allow yourself to soak it up. Don’t be discouraged if you get distracted every now and again, just keep the atmosphere light and playful. If your mind moves away, just bring it back to the beginning!

Anytime you want to return to your beginner’s mind during the day, simply see yourself sitting in the gateway, and spend a few moments returning to this state, allowing to feed your wellbeing, your resilience in the face of your challenges, and your sense of what is possible in your life, today.

Related articleCombining your beginners mind with your wise mind

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com   


Watch Toby’s video on meditation as a path to greater creativity, lightness and joy:

 


 

Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

This series of 10 classes is an introduction to simple, practical Zen and Taoist meditations that can temporarily help us to reduce our stress and thrive joyfully in daily life. They can also, practiced regularly offer us experiential insight into our true nature and help us to answer some of our deepest life-questions and attain a truly stable sense of inner transformation. The sessions can be attended as a complete course in itself, or each class can be taken as a practice in and of itself…read full details


Saturday January 15th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for activating the gifts & healing the wounds of our ancestors

This workshop explores relevant and living ways in which we can connect to our own ancestral inheritance in a manner that is appropriate for and empowering to our contemporary lives.

In particular the workshop will offer practical meditations to:

  • Engage in a living communion with both our close (recent in time) and ancient (distant in time) ancestors
  • Awaken fully to the gifts and potentials (spiritual, psychological and material) that our ancestral karma has to offer us
  • Heal damaged or imbalanced ancestral karma that we may have inherited

Read full details


Saturday Jan 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details


Tues & Weds Feb 1st & 2nd – Lunar New Year Meditation 2022: Developing your inner power in the year of the Tiger

About the class: This is a meditation to welcome in the lunar new year energies, and attune to the astrological animal of the year, the Water Tiger! In particular, we will be mindfully aligning with and developing our inner and outer power as well as other primal characteristics of the Tiger.
Toby will be leading the meditation as a simple and profound way, with plenty of room for our own personal contemplation, inner healing and positivity building! Full details here


 

Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby
 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Begins Tues 11/Weds 12th January – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

Saturday January 15th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for activating the gifts & healing the wounds of our ancestors

Saturday Jan 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Tues & Weds Feb 1st & 2nd – Lunar New Year Meditation 2022: Developing your inner power in the year of the Tiger


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Your unique insignificance (& meditation events for Jan 2022)

“Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun” – Alan Watts

Dear Integral Meditators,

“Unique insignificance” is a term that I created in my article below to help create a harmonic between the ourselves and our fleeting reality. I hope you enjoy exploring it!

This weeks Tuesday & Wednesday meditation is the  2022 New year & New Moon releasing and inviting meditation. Its a great way to set up the energies for 2022, your welcome to come along.

And if your looking for a meditation course to get stuck into in 2022, we will be kicking off with  Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures a ten part series on Jan 11/12th.

In the spirit of your uniqueness,

Toby

 


Your unique insignificance

You are a unique, one-off event
Although on one level you look a lot like other people, when you look a little closer you start to see that there has, in fact never been anyone exactly like you born on the planet before. After you die, no one exactly like you will be born ever again. You are a unique, one-off event, created by a series of conditions in time and space. In this sense you have intrinsic value and significance that you can feel genuinely interested in and good about. You are like any of the flowers that blossom in spring each year.  Now is your time to enjoy that, rejoice in that and own the creative potential of it. Really dwelling on this is a powerful object of mindfulness.

Getting a sense of scale
It is also true that, in the bigger scheme of things you are completely insignificant. You are one of 8 billion people on the planet. God knows how many people came before you, and how many will come after you. You exist on a small, dust-particle-like planet in a solar system that is one amongst 100-200 billon solar systems in our galaxy. Our galaxy in turn is one of about 125 billion galaxies (observed so far) in this universe. In this sense you just don’t matter at all. Instinctively this makes many people feel a bit uncomfortable. But if we can acknowledge and accept this, then there is actually a sense of liberation and empowerment that comes from ‘getting lost’ in the enormous context that surrounds us.

Singing your song
On one level then we are like a unique flower temporarily blooming, and we grasp this and sing our unique song as loudly, creatively and as vibrantly as possible; we have meaning and significance that we can really value and cherish.

Relaxing into your insignificance
Also, and as well, we and all that we do has no real significance or meaning. In the bigger scheme of things, we are completely negligible. So, in this sense we can let go of our anxiety about ourself and our life. We can relax into our general lack of consequence.

Creating a complementary polarity
Superficially these two perspectives and ways of experiencing ourselves look contradictory, as if one can only be true if the other is false. Looing a little deeper, we start to see that they are actually compatible and potentially completely complementary. It can be easier to own our unique path if we remember that in 100 years no one will remember us at all. If we are singing our own unique song fully, it becomes easier to accept our fleeting-ness and impermanence. We can enjoy and grow into our unique insignificance powerfully and strongly, authentically and without compromise.

Related articleTipping your hat to the gods of chaos

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com   

 


Tues & Weds 4th & 5th January – 2022 New year & New Moon releasing and inviting meditation

This meditation session is focused upon setting up the 2022 new year energies in a way that invites the best possible experience moving forward. We will be:

  • Releasing and letting go of energies, events and experiences from the past year that may hold us back from moving into our full potential
  • Developing a flexible, soft, ‘beginners mind’, renewed and ready to be ‘born again’ with energy and enthusiasm in 2022
  • Focusing both consciously and intuitively upon the inviting of new energies, aspirations and goals that we wish to bring in and manifest over the course of the new year…read full details

Begins Tues 11/Weds 12th January – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

This series of 10 classes is an introduction to simple, practical Zen and Taoist meditations that can temporarily help us to reduce our stress and thrive joyfully in daily life. They can also, practiced regularly offer us experiential insight into our true nature and help us to answer some of our deepest life-questions and attain a truly stable sense of inner transformation. The sessions can be attended as a complete course in itself, or each class can be taken as a practice in and of itself…read full details


Saturday January 15th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for activating the gifts & healing the wounds of our ancestors

This workshop explores relevant and living ways in which we can connect to our own ancestral inheritance in a manner that is appropriate for and empowering to our contemporary lives.

In particular the workshop will offer practical meditations to:

  • Engage in a living communion with both our close (recent in time) and ancient (distant in time) ancestors
  • Awaken fully to the gifts and potentials (spiritual, psychological and material) that our ancestral karma has to offer us
  • Heal damaged or imbalanced ancestral karma that we may have inherited

Read full details


 

Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby
 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Tuesday 21st December,  7.30-8.30pm, SG time – Winter solstice balancing & renewing meditation (Online only)

Tues & Weds 4th & 5th January – 2022 New year & New Moon releasing and inviting meditation

Begins Tues 11/Weds 12th January – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

Saturday January 15th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for activating the gifts & healing the wounds of our ancestors

 


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Monk socks/Going undercover

Dear Integral Meditators,

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season! Winter solstice coming up next Tuesday, if you are  interested in marking this with a meditation, then you’d be welcome to come along to my online  Winter solstice balancing & renewing meditation (Online only) , on Tuesday 21st December,  7.30-8.30pm, SG time…

I’m at my parent’s place at the moment. yesterday my brother went up to the loft and brought down a bag with several pairs of burgundy socks, mine from my days as a monk back in the 90’s (see picture). This got me thinking about those times, and the article below is one thing that came out!

In the spirit of integration,

Toby


Deep undercover (An ex-monk returning to the market-place)

Some of you may remember the 2002 Hong Kong movie ‘Infernal affairs’ with Tony Leung about a policeman who goes deep undercover in a Triad gang, and then becomes the favourite of the ‘Godfather’ of the gang. The movie then follows his identity crisis as he moves deeper into his criminal role.

“Can I stay in your jail?”
When I was a young Buddhist monk staying in Singapore, I stayed for a number of months in the spare room of a student of mine, who lived in a local HDB apartment. He was a plainclothes policeman who had been undercover for a number of years in the local nightclub and drug scene. Like Tony Leung (but in a different way) he had gone deep into his role, and lost himself in the cars, the booze and the lifestyle of his role. Eventually after losing his marriage and having a bit of a breakdown, he had given up his undercover role, returned to mainstream policing, and become very devoted to Buddhism and meditation practice, which he had used a way of returning to relative normalcy and stability.
My undercover policeman had started coming to my class a couple of months earlier, and I had been staying at a number of different places in Singapore, just improvising really. When I learned that he was a policeman, I figured I could ask him if he had any spare jail cells that I could use to stay in. When I asked him, he looked very serious and thoughtful for a while, then said “No, but I have a meditation room in my apartment, and you can stay there!” And this is how I ended up staying with him.

Coming out of or going back undercover? – Returning to the marketplace as an ex-monk
When I returned to lay life as a monk in 2001, it felt a bit like I was simultaneously coming out of and going undercover:

  • In one way I felt I was coming out of an undercover role, or an alternate reality that I had been living as a monk, and the universe that surrounded that
  • On another level I felt I was going undercover in the sense that I was clearly now coming from quite a different perspective and experience from most of those around me in everyday society. So I was kind of having to ‘look normal’ whilst being quite different in reality!

Transforming but staying the same
Since that time, twenty years ago, I have remained in this situation, in many ways operating according to the same principles that I learned, practiced and created as a monk. Essentially what this means is that my main motivation for being in the world is to help with the evolution of the consciousness of groups and individuals my coaching and teaching meditation and mindfulness. On another level I have changed fundamentally. I am a business owner, I have a couple of kids, I’m married, I have a relatively complex secular life.

The integration is the path, not the problem
To hold these two polarities in places sometimes seems like a tricky process, like holding together two realities that seem to contradict each other. Over the years I have realized increasingly that the task of bringing together these two realities in an integrated way is not in the way of my path, it is my path. The path for me is very much the process of spiritualizing the secular, and secularizing the spiritual, so that together a greater wholeness is created in the world.
In what ways are you ‘working undercover’? And what is the transformation that might be affected within yourself and within society if you were successful in your role?

Related articleAm I happier now than when I was a Buddhist Monk? (Repetition and inner growth)

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com   


Tuesday 21st December,  7.30-8.30pm, SG time – Winter solstice balancing & renewing meditation (Online only)

This will be a chance to reflect on the spiritual meaning of Christmas and power of the winter season. We will look at the different ways our own inner light can ‘die and be re-born once more’.

It is a good time to attune to the creative energies within ourselves. We can think about the new year & spring periods that lie ahead of us, what our goals & expectations are, & sow the seeds on an inner level of that which we wish to manifest over the next few months…read full details

 


Tues & Weds 4th & 5th January – 2022 New year & New Moon releasing and inviting meditation

This meditation session is focused upon setting up the 2022 new year energies in a way that invites the best possible experience moving forward. We will be:

  • Releasing and letting go of energies, events and experiences from the past year that may hold us back from moving into our full potential
  • Developing a flexible, soft, ‘beginners mind’, renewed and ready to be ‘born again’ with energy and enthusiasm in 2022
  • Focusing both consciously and intuitively upon the inviting of new energies, aspirations and goals that we wish to bring in and manifest over the course of the new year…read full details

Begins Tues 11/Weds 12th January – The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

This series of 10 classes is an introduction to simple, practical Zen and Taoist meditations that can temporarily help us to reduce our stress and thrive joyfully in daily life. They can also, practiced regularly offer us experiential insight into our true nature and help us to answer some of our deepest life-questions and attain a truly stable sense of inner transformation. The sessions can be attended as a complete course in itself, or each class can be taken as a practice in and of itself…read full details


 

Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby
 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Tuesday 21st December,  7.30-8.30pm, SG time – Winter solstice balancing & renewing meditation (Online only)

Tues & Weds 4th & 5th January – 2022 New year & New Moon releasing and inviting meditation

Begins Tues 11/Weds 12th January – The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Conscious or default positivity?

“Conscious positivity allows for a tremendous range of feelings and emotions to be present that may not be ‘positive’, but that if we repress or deny would take us away from our authentic response to what is going on, and to move away from the truth

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at the phenomenon of ‘positive thinking, and makes a few distinctions that will be helpful in your own practice of it.

I’m in the process of putting together the program for later in the month, and the new year, a few details below the article.

In the spirit of conscious positivity,

Toby

 


Conscious or default positivity?

“There is a meaningful difference between default positivity and conscious positivity. Default positivity is when we turn to positivity as a mechanism, a bypass, a defense against owning or feeling the shadow. Often birthed in challenging life experiences, this pseudo bliss trip can keep us alive during tumultuous times, but it can also become an embedded way of being that detaches us from our truth. Conscious positivity is birthed in authenticity and awareness.” – Jeff Brown

What really constitutes positive thinking? On the surface of it looks fairly simple, “Just look on the bright side of life”, “See the good in the situation”, “Make lemonade out of lemons”, “No point in dwelling on it (the negative or difficult)”.
However, if we start to look at it a bit more closely, it becomes much more nuanced. Below are a few distinctions that may be useful.

Default or reflex positivity
Default positivity is the position of automatically / quickly adopting a ‘positive’ perspective or reaction on order to smother or repress difficult feelings (emotions, thoughts, reactions) that we feel uncomfortable about or threatened by. It is a way of bypassing the thing that we are really experiencing.

An example
Recently I won a court case. It had been one that had been going on for a while. It was certainly a relief to have won, but the after the victory experience was a bitter-sweet, mixed emotion affair with a degree of ambiguity. If I had been uncomfortable about those feelings of ambiguity, I could have felt the need to go out for a celebration, affirm the victory with friends and people congratulating me. I could have spent a lot of time inwardly talking to myself about the victory and how it was born of strength and courageousness and all that. I could have created a ‘high’. I didn’t do that, but I’d felt the need to cover up my feelings, I could have reverted to this type of reflex positivity.

Conscious positivity or mental framing
Conscious positivity allows for a tremendous range of feelings and emotions to be present that may not be ‘positive’, but that if we repress or deny would take us away from our authentic response to what is going on, and to move away from the truth. By ‘truth’ I mean our own inner truth, but also a connection with the objective, outer truth of what’s going on. Conscious positivity comes from a place that is inwardly confident enough and wise enough to allow for difficult and contradictory feelings to be present, whilst at the same time framing what’s going on in a constructive way.

An example
To return to the example of the court case above, it would be true to say that:

  • I felt rather sad that the situation had come to this point
  • I felt somewhat sorry for the other party
  • I felt quite angry about the silliness of it all
  • I reflected on it as partly a comment on the contradictory state of mind and emotions that many people seem to be stuck in these days

Whilst allowing for all these things, I also practiced conscious positivity, noting that:

  • I had achieved my stated objectives, and that there would be genuinely good results coming
  • I felt I had developed aspects of my character that will stand me in good stead in the future
  • I noted the increase of knowledge I had around the legal profession and process
  • I gave permission to myself to feel genuinely good, even in the face of my own ambiguity

Positivity without suppression or denial
The example above, is an example of conscious positivity, and avoiding the temptation and pitfall of default positivity. What are the areas of your life that you could start making the distinction between these two, and what possibilities might it open up for you?

Related articleMindfully balancing positive thinking with healthy realism

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com   


Tuesday 21st December,  7.30-8.30pm, SG time – Winter solstice balancing & renewing meditation (Online only)

This will be a chance to reflect on the spiritual meaning of Christmas and power of the winter season. We will look at the different ways our own inner light can ‘die and be re-born once more’.

It is a good time to attune to the creative energies within ourselves. We can think about the new year & spring periods that lie ahead of us, what our goals & expectations are, & sow the seeds on an inner level of that which we wish to manifest over the next few months…read full details

 


Tues & Weds 4th & 5th January – 2022 New year & New Moon releasing and inviting meditation

This meditation session is focused upon setting up the 2022 new year energies in a way that invites the best possible experience moving forward. We will be:

  • Releasing and letting go of energies, events and experiences from the past year that may hold us back from moving into our full potential
  • Developing a flexible, soft, ‘beginners mind’, renewed and ready to be ‘born again’ with energy and enthusiasm in 2022
  • Focusing both consciously and intuitively upon the inviting of new energies, aspirations and goals that we wish to bring in and manifest over the course of the new year…read full details

Begins Tues 11/Weds 12th January – The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

This series of 10 classes is an introduction to simple, practical Zen and Taoist meditations that can temporarily help us to reduce our stress and thrive joyfully in daily life. They can also, practiced regularly offer us experiential insight into our true nature and help us to answer some of our deepest life-questions and attain a truly stable sense of inner transformation. The sessions can be attended as a complete course in itself, or each class can be taken as a practice in and of itself…read full details


 

Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby
 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Tuesday 21st December,  7.30-8.30pm, SG time – Winter solstice balancing & renewing meditation (Online only)

Tues & Weds 4th & 5th January – 2022 New year & New Moon releasing and inviting meditation

Begins Tues 11/Weds 12th January – The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Inner sensitivity – Listening to yourself

 

“Become an ear that gives heed to every single thing the universe is saying”

 

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores sensitivity, and in particular sensitivity through listening as an  object of mindful attention and development.
The   Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom sessions is this week, either on Tuesday or Wednesday are on the subject of the article, so if you enjoy it do feel free to come along, live or online!

In the spirit of sensitivity,

Toby


Inner sensitivity – Listening to yourself

SENSITIVITY
“How shall I experience my oneness with creation?”
“By listening,” said the Master.
“And how am I to listen?”
“Become an ear that gives heed to every single thing the universe is saying. The
moment you hear something you yourself are saying, stop.” – Anthony De Mello, One Minute Wisdom

This article is essentially a series of ‘pointing out’ instructions regarding how you can mindfully listen to yourself. By ‘listen’ I really mean be sensitive to the inner dialogue that is going on within you not just on the mental, cognitive level, but also:

  • On the sensory and somatic level – What your body is communicating to you through sensations
  • On the emotional level – What feelings and moods are communicating themselves to you non-verbally
  • On the intuitive level – The messaged that are just ‘popping into your awareness’ and that often seem to have nothing to do with your everyday psychological inner narrative

So, when I say ‘listen’ below, implicitly I also mean be receptive to senses, feelings and intuitions.

Listening to your inner commentator without commenting on the inner commentary
The first position we adopt is to work on allowing the inner commentary to happen without a secondary commentary judging the commentary. For example, if the inner voice is saying “I feel afraid”, then try and stay with that. Often there is a second voice that comes up to say something like “Don’t be silly, only weak people are afraid”, and tries to push “I am afraid” out of your awareness. Try and stay with the primary inner comment, not the secondary one. Put the second one down, and listen to the first voice (or sensation, or feeling) without judging it or pushing it away.
The first practice then is hearing the primary commentary non-judgmentally. Don’t be a hurry to get past this one, invest quality time in it!

Putting down the commentary
When you are ready, you can practice putting down the primary inner commentator. On a sensory level this would be relaxing and releasing tense sensations in the body, letting the body come into balance. On an emotional and feeling level similarly, it means gently releasing present emotions, and allowing the emotional nature to return to a calm, balanced condition for a period.
Part of the trick of this second position is to let go of the need to comment on stuff, just for a while. No need to judge, fix, solve, just a space of allowing, relaxation and presence.
At this stage you can also start to notice the other things that are there when your normal everyday voice is silent, that you might poetically call “voices from the Universe to you!”

Reworking the commentary
When you let the commentary come back online, you can start suggesting constructive changes to your inner commentator, that invite the commentary to become different and perhaps better. But don’t be in a hurry to get to this stage, if you do the preceding stages, then this one will start to come fairly naturally, in its own time.

Listening to others
When you can listen to yourself in the way described above, you can apply the same template to listening to others, and to your environment. You’ll be surprised at how differently what you hear is as a result!

Related articleFour ways of working with your inner voice

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com   


In case you missed this article last week: ‘Head in the Sun’ meditation

This is a simple meditation that combines cultivating a thought-free state with environmental awareness. Specifically, we use brain-relaxation in combination with awareness of the suns light to create the desired experience.

Finding the sun – This first stage is nice to do, and enhances the experience, but is not essential. Glance outside and locate the sun, physically in the sky. Get a sense of where it is in your current landscape. If the sun has gone down already, get a sense of where it is beneath the horizon.

Sitting in landscape – Then take a seat (this can also be done standing or lying and, when your used to it, walking) Send your awareness out to the horizon line in the landscape around you. Get a feel for the curve of the earth’s surface extending around you from your feet, the sun in the sky above, and the living planet beneath you. Breath and relax with this for a short while.
Read full article


Starts Tuesday 16/Wednesday 17th November – The Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom

In a sentence: Learn the art of ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom through integrative meditation
Overview: The Wisdom of Awakening series is an ongoing series that looks at different ways to ‘wake up’ and live your life fully and playfully through meditation. The premise of the sessions is that inner wholeness and wisdom are not something that are far away, rather they are something that we can awaken to ‘instantly’ through certain types of mindful attention. In this four class series we take instant awakening, miraculous-ness, independence and sensitivity as our doorways to awakening….read full details


Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby
 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Starts Tuesday 16/Wednesday 17th November – The Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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Awakening to independence and adulthood

“To be a truly independent adult means that the playful child in you can explore and enjoy her/himself in the safe space created by your independent self. We are aiming to create a complementary polarity between the two!”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores adulthood as an object of mindful attention and development. The  Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom classes this week, either on Tuesday or Wednesday are on the subject of the article, so if you enjoy it do feel free to come along, live or online!

In the spirit of mindful independence,

Toby

 


Awakening to independence and adulthood

This is an article on how to mindfully stand in your own independence and sense of being adult. I want to use two quotes, the first a short story from Anthony De Mello from the book ‘One Minute Wisdom’:

“ADULTHOOD”
To a disciple who was always at his prayers the Master said, “When will you stop
leaning on God and stand on your own two feet?”
The disciple was astonished. “But you are the one who taught us to look on God as
Father!”
“When will you learn that a father isn’t someone you can lean on but someone who
rids you of your tendency to lean?”

Here are a couple of mindful points following on from the story:

  1. Am I generally co-creating with other people (or God) instead of just leaning on them?
  2. Trusting in God and trying up your camel – In the story the Master encourages the disciple away from an unhealthy dependence upon God. This doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t pray at all, it’s just the psychological approach needs to be attended to. As the camel saying implies, the ‘independent adult’ part of the deal is to tie up your camel, or take responsibility for your challenges and life-path!

The second quote is from Nathaniel Branden on parenting, from his ‘Six pillars of self-esteem’:

“The proper aim of parental nurturing is to prepare a child for independent survival as an adult. An infant begins in a condition of total dependency. If his or her upbringing is successful, the young man or woman will have evolved out of that dependency into a self-respecting and self-responsible human being who is able to respond to the challenges of life competently and enthusiastically. He or she will be “Self-supporting” – not merely financially, but intellectually and psychologically.”

Some questions for contemplation here:

  • How am I encouraging my own inner child and self toward confident adult independence in my life and relationships?
  • What areas of my life do I currently tend to become overly dependent upon others?
  • When do I tend to feel child-like in the sense of unable to organize myself in the face of my challenges?

Exploring independence and adulthood somatically
The two quotes above encourage us to explore adult independence intellectually. We then need to ground that feeling of independent adulthood into a feeling, something that we can sense in our body, a way of holding ourself in the world.
Sit comfortably, and bring your attention onto your body and breathing. Once you have settled, explore images and ideas around feeling:

  • Confident and independent
  • Competent and, in a balanced way, ‘adult’

Once you have one or two powerful images and ideas in mind, simply try and bring their energy and sensibility into your body. Try and hold yourself in these ways. Notice what happens to subtle aspects of your body posture, facial expression and sense of inhabiting your own space. Breathe, relax an let your body and cellular structure get used to the experience. In your daily life you can practice holding your body in this way, speaking and acting from this space. By doing this you can quite rapidly enhance this fundamental sense of adulthood and independence.
Final point: To be a truly independent adult means that the playful child in you can explore and enjoy her/himself in the safe space created by your independent self. We are aiming to create a complementary polarity between the two!

Related article: Self-responsibility, becoming a self-determining entity

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com   


In case you missed this article last week: ‘Head in the Sun’ meditation

This is a simple meditation that combines cultivating a thought-free state with environmental awareness. Specifically, we use brain-relaxation in combination with awareness of the suns light to create the desired experience.

Finding the sun – This first stage is nice to do, and enhances the experience, but is not essential. Glance outside and locate the sun, physically in the sky. Get a sense of where it is in your current landscape. If the sun has gone down already, get a sense of where it is beneath the horizon.

Sitting in landscape – Then take a seat (this can also be done standing or lying and, when your used to it, walking) Send your awareness out to the horizon line in the landscape around you. Get a feel for the curve of the earth’s surface extending around you from your feet, the sun in the sky above, and the living planet beneath you. Breath and relax with this for a short while.
Read full article


Starts Tuesday 16/Wednesday 17th November – The Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom

In a sentence: Learn the art of ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom through integrative meditation
Overview: The Wisdom of Awakening series is an ongoing series that looks at different ways to ‘wake up’ and live your life fully and playfully through meditation. The premise of the sessions is that inner wholeness and wisdom are not something that are far away, rather they are something that we can awaken to ‘instantly’ through certain types of mindful attention. In this four class series we take instant awakening, miraculous-ness, independence and sensitivity as our doorways to awakening….read full details


 

Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby
 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Starts Tuesday 16/Wednesday 17th November – The Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

Share