Awakening to where you are (Polarity meditation & sitting)

“Polarity meditation gives us access to immediate, simple states of awakening, whilst at the same time allowing us to work with a wide variety of opposing forces in our life, creating a state of balanced harmony, between them, rather than imbalance and conflict

Dear Integral Meditators,

Awakening in meditation is very simple, but it s also very complex. Starting next week, I’ll be offering a brand new polarity meditation course. I’ve written an article on some of the basic concepts below, and you can also see a video intro that I have created here: A video intro to polarity meditation
I’ll be doing a special introductory session, live and online this Tuesday & Wednesday 14th/15th September, all are welcome.

In the spirit of awakening,

Toby


 Awakening to where you are (Polarity meditation & sitting)

Awakening in meditation
To awaken in meditation, certainly from the perspective of Zen meditation, but also implicitly in other forms, involves experiencing what is present for us in the moment, and becoming aware of that experience. I’ll use a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh in his book ‘Zen Keys’ to clarify this:
“Sitting meditation is not to think, reflect or loose ourselves in concepts or discriminations. It is also not to remain immobile, like a stone or the trunk of a tree”
How can we avoid two extremes of conceptualization and inertia? By dwelling in the present moment, right in the midst of our experience, under the lamp of mindfulness. Direct experience and awareness of direct experience are the ways to avoid these extremes. These words may seem complicated, but the experience itself is quite straightforward”
According to this understanding of meditation, to become awakened, or to awaken to our own Buddha nature in the moment is not something that we need to wait for. Rather it is something that we just need to recognize, and then rest in that recognition. Again from the book ‘Zen Keys’, the five principles of Soto Zen sitting meditation can help elaborate on this point:

The five meditation principles of Soto Zen ((Ts’ao T’ung Zen sect)

  1. Sitting meditation, even without a subject of meditation, is enough
  2. Sitting meditation and awakening are not two different things
  3. One must not wait for awakening
  4. There is no awakening to attain
  5. The mind and body are one

Different types of awakening, and awakening in the place you are
So, from one point of view, all forms of awakening are the same in the sense that they are awakening to the experience of the moment. But from another point of view, there are many different kinds of awakening according to the context. In polarity meditation the awakening occurs the point of balance, or harmony between two poles or opposites. Since there are many different types of polarized energy in our life, there are many different points of balance that we can awaken within. Here is one example to help illustrate this based on our physical body’s polarities:

Awakening to your body’s vertical centre: Sitting up, imagine your body’s vertical centre as a line of light/energy going from the crown of your head down to your perineum.

  • With small movements, rock your body from side to side, feeling the left and right halves of your body coming into balance either side of your bodies vertical core
  • Then rock your body forward and back with small movements. Feel the front and back halves of your body coming into balance around your vertical core
  • Then sit quietly and be aware of the sense of balance arising from the left and right, front and back halves of you body coming into balance with each other
  • Staying with this experience, simple move into a state of awakened presence around the feeling of balance in your body

This is one simple fundamental polarity meditation form that you can go deeply into.

There are a huge number of different ‘balance points’ that we can explore and awaken to for example:

  • Between our experience of calmness and excitement
  • Between resilience and vulnerability
  • Between seriousness and playfulness
  • Between our inner and outer life
  • Between ambition and humility

Polarity meditation gives us access to immediate, simple states of awakening, whilst at the same time allowing us to work with a wide variety of opposing forces in our life, creating a state of balanced harmony, between them, rather than imbalance and conflict.

There are a thousand ways to wake up in meditation, all of them are different, and all of them are the same!

Related articlePolarity meditation – Working consciously with tension

Watch Toby talking about Integral Polarity Meditation:

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 


Begins Tues 14/Weds 15th September – Integral Polarity Meditation – Exploring Earth, Lunar & ‘Vertical’ Polarities

In a sentence: Learn how to integrate different aspects of yourself and your world into complementary polarities in order to increase your internal harmony, strength and wellbeing

Overview: Polarity meditation is a tradition of meditation that has its precedent in both eastern and western forms of meditation. In the east it is found in Taoist meditation with yin & yang, and in the west within the Tree of Life & Qabalah. In this series we will be focusing on polarities
Read full details


Tues & Weds 21st & 22nd September – Autumn equinox balancing & renewing meditation (Live & online)
The Autumn Equinox in the northern hemisphere marks the mid-point between the warmer, lighter seasons of the year and the cooler, darker ones. The forces of day and night, light and dark are of equal strength. As such it is a great time to emphasize balance and harmony, both in our life and meditation practice….read full details

 


Saturday 25th September – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment Masterclass & Mini-retreat
One sentence summary: Learn how to understand, re-direct and make use of stress, anxiety and difficult emotions through mindfulness and meditation
Overview: Stress, anxiety, fear, anger, attachment – Ordinarily we see these states of mind and emotion as negative; things that get in the way of our happiness and wellbeing, and prevent us from achieving the goals and quality of life that we would like.
But what if there was a way in which we could learn to work with these negative and difficult energies in such a way that we could transform and redirect them, making them sources of positive and empowering energy?…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)

Tues 14/Weds 15th September – Introduction to Integral Polarity Meditation – The Path of the Middle Way

Begins Tues 14/Weds 15th September – Integral Polarity Meditation – Exploring Earth, Lunar & ‘Vertical’ Polarities

Tues & Weds 21st & 22nd September – Autumn equinox balancing & renewing meditation (Live & online)

Saturday 25th September – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment Masterclass & Mini-retreat

Tues & Weds 26&27th October – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and 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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Polarity meditation – Working consciously with tension

“When opposing forces in our life start to complement and strengthen each other, then we start to become capable of levels of both personal performance and enjoyment that are well beyond the reach of most people”

Dear Integral Meditators,

Polarity meditation is a practice that I’ve been working with for many years. It’s principles are one of the bases of my Life-fullness- life coaching practice. Starting next week, I’ll be offering a brand new polarity meditation course. I’ve written an article on some of the basic concepts below, and you can also see a video intro that I have created here: A video intro to polarity meditation
I’ll be doing a special introductory session, live and online next Tuesday & Wednesday 14th/15th September.

In the spirit of harmony in polarity,

Toby


Polarity meditation – Working consciously with tension

Natural tension
Our lives are full of tension, naturally. Without this tension life would lack vitality and challenge. The tension in our life arises from the polarisation of opposite forces and energies. These forces demand that we find and hold a point of balance or tension between them. For example:

  • Our work life and family life
  • Our thinking and feeling
  • Between alone time and social time
  • Between who we are and who we want to be become
  • Between resting and exerting ourselves
  • Between what we want and what others want from us
  • Between being assertive and being patient

Tension leads to stress, but of what type?
All of this tension from polarity leads to stress in our life. However, stress can either be constructive or destabilizing:

  • Negative Stress is: Any form of stress that inhibits our ability to respond adequately, appropriately and successfully to the challenges of life, and to learn from such challenges
  • Positive stress, or Eu-stress is: Any form of stress that improves our ability to respond adequately, appropriately and successfully to the challenges of our life, and to learn from such challenges.

One of the main points of polarity meditation is to enable us to become aware of the tension arising from polarity in such a way that we are able to make what is currently negative stress in our life into positive, constructive stress. It aims to give us the confidence to feel that, whatever life throws at us we have the capability to put it to use in order to grow and thrive. Increasingly we find fewer and fewer situations that we find intimidating or negatively stressful

Working consciously with polarity leads to superpowers
If we can start to get the opposing forces in our life working together, then we discover that we create ‘inner super-powers’. These are the result of two polarities harmonizing and mutually strengthening each other, creating a result that could not happen with just one of these forces in isolation, for example:

  • By harmonizing the forces of our thinking and feeling together we create unusual psychological strength
  • By harmonizing our doing and being we create supernormal resilience and stamina
  • By harmonizing what we want and what others want from us, we develop great relationship skills

When opposing forces in our life start to complement and strengthen each other, then we start to become capable of levels of both personal performance and enjoyment that are well beyond the reach of most people.

Starting your practice
To get a sense of what polarity meditation and mindfulness look like, here are three points to consider to start working with the polarity of your thinking and feeling:

  1. Observe way in which your current thinking and feeling interact.
  2. Notice whether they are working like a team in harmony, or whether they seem to be in conflict much of the time
  3. Experiment mindfully with one simple way that you can improve the balance between your thinking and feeling. For example, practice generating an enjoyable feeling or emotion that you are familiar with, and then looking at and thinking about your life on the basis of that good feeling.

Notice how in simple ways like this you can start to make the polarity of your thinking and feeling into a team that works together for you, rather than against you. Notice how you can create complementary tension and positive stress. Welcome to the world of polarity meditation!

Related articleThe middle way

Watch Toby talking about Integral Polarity Meditation:

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   

 

 

 

 


Begins Tues 14/Weds 15th September – Integral Polarity Meditation – Exploring Earth, Lunar & ‘Vertical’ Polarities

In a sentence: Learn how to integrate different aspects of yourself and your world into complementary polarities in order to increase your internal harmony, strength and wellbeing

Overview: Polarity meditation is a tradition of meditation that has its precedent in both eastern and western forms of meditation. In the east it is found in Taoist meditation with yin & yang, and in the west within the Tree of Life & Qabalah. In this series we will be focusing on polarities
Read full details


Tues & Weds 21st & 22nd September – Autumn equinox balancing & renewing meditation (Live & online)
The Autumn Equinox in the northern hemisphere marks the mid-point between the warmer, lighter seasons of the year and the cooler, darker ones. The forces of day and night, light and dark are of equal strength. As such it is a great time to emphasize balance and harmony, both in our life and meditation practice….read full details

 

 


Saturday 25th September – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment Masterclass & Mini-retreat
One sentence summary: Learn how to understand, re-direct and make use of stress, anxiety and difficult emotions through mindfulness and meditation
Overview: Stress, anxiety, fear, anger, attachment – Ordinarily we see these states of mind and emotion as negative; things that get in the way of our happiness and wellbeing, and prevent us from achieving the goals and quality of life that we would like.
But what if there was a way in which we could learn to work with these negative and difficult energies in such a way that we could transform and redirect them, making them sources of positive and empowering energy?…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 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Starts Wednesday September 8th – The Integral Mindfulness & Meditation Online Program with Toby September ’21-March ’22

Tues 14/Weds 15th September – Introduction to Integral Polarity Meditation – The Path of the Middle Way

Begins Tues 14/Weds 15th September – Integral Polarity Meditation – Exploring Earth, Lunar & ‘Vertical’ Polarities

Tues & Weds 21st & 22nd September – Autumn equinox balancing & renewing meditation (Live & online)

Saturday 25th September – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment Masterclass & Mini-retreat

Tues & Weds 26&27th October – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and 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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Dynamic Calm (Plus new Online Integral Meditation & Mindfulness Course)

“The main point about a koan is that it is a dynamic and experiential way to break through you overactive, anxious conceptual mind into a direct, non-thinking experience of awareness itself.”

Dear Integral Meditators,
My Tuesday & Wednesday  classes this week explore the Zen koan. If you enjoy the article below, then feel free to join us, live or online!

Beneath the article you will see the details of my upcoming The Integral Mindfulness & Meditation Online Program, stating on September 8th. Its on Early bird offer until 2nd September.

In the spirit of dynamic peace,

Toby

 

 


Dynamic peace – The Zen Koan

Defining the Koan
The Zen koan is a device traditionally employed by a Zen Master in order to help the disciple let go of his or her over dependence upon their conceptual mind, and to help them to engage with their reality in a direct and non-conceptual manner. It also serves to awaken the disciple to their intuitive, creative and/or awakened mind. The koan can take the form of a saying, a story, a conversation or an action.

Three examples of Zen Koans
Firstly, here is one of the most famous:
‘What is the expression of your face before you were born’
Koans are not designed to be explored like a crossword puzzle, and there is no neat and tidy conceptual answer to them. There are however meanings that we can see within them that could be expressed in a conceptual manner. For example, ‘Your face before you were born’ encourages us to look deeply at what we really consider to be our true face, is it this physical form? Is it our psychological profile or personality? Or is our original face the radiance of our consciousness that lies prior to thought, feeling or physical form?

Second example, the story of Bodhidharma, the founder of Chan and Zen Buddhism’s journey from India to China, and his meeting of the Chinese Emperor:
 “Upon seeing the greeting party that had been arranged for him, and hearing the Chinese Emperor begin to engage in a long and somewhat pompous speech, Bodhidharma took of one of his shoes, and placed it upon his head!”
As the emperor engages in his speech, Bodhidharma does something to short-circuit the flow of conceptual activity, and bring us right back into the moment through his unconventional activity. Perhaps something you can try with one of your more boring and pompous uncles or Aunts at Christmas, New Year or Deepavali(!)

Another favorite of mine is taken from a Zen Poem by a musician called Deuter:
‘The body cannot become the Buddha, the mind cannot become the Buddha, only what cannot become the Buddha can become the Buddha.’

Two creative examples
Recently, I created two Koan-like images for my Zen class students, the image of a broken-arrow as a koan for aimlessness, and a sign with nothing on it for the meditation practice of signlessness.

A path to dynamic peace
The main point about a koan is that it is a dynamic and experiential way to break through you overactive, anxious conceptual mind into a direct, non-thinking experience of awareness itself. Within this direct awareness we find peace, calm, and a doorway to the awakened state, not sometime in the future, but right here and now.

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   

 


Integral Mindfulness & Meditation Online Program with Toby September ’21-March ’22

Start date: Wednesday 8th September

Early Bird offer until Thursday 2nd September, $50 off (see pricing below)

This is a 24week, online integral mindfulness and meditation program. Each week a 45minute class and mindfulness session recording will be sent to you. You can then listen to it in at a time that is convenient for you. The recording will be accompanied by reading material and short articles.

In the sessions you will learn a multitude of practical mindfulness skills and capabilities that you can integrate into your daily life and personal practice. Included are breathing techniques, flow methods, ways of developing your emotional and cognitive intelligence, building concentration and focus and many more. You can see a complete list of the subjects covered below.

Listen to Toby introducing the Program:

 

 

 

 

 

Complete list of course sessions:

  1. How to build mindful flow
  2. Integrating mindfulness of the body and breathing (Integral body-mind scanning)
  3. How to practice unstructured mindfulness – Turning and facing
  4. Building concentration in an age of distraction
  5. Building benevolence and goodwill toward yourself and others
  6. On Compassion, and how to create your own meditation objects
  7. On non-judgmental Awareness, and making better judgments
  8. Overcoming distractions, and even using them as aids to meditation
  9. Natural breathing and wave breathing forms
  10. On bare attention and witnessing
  11. Letting come letting go, going with the flow
  12. Resting in safety and thriving wisely on risk
  13. Meditation as a positive mindfulness game
  14. On being mindful of emotions
  15. How to balance thinking with feeling
  16. How to think less and think well (Think better or don’t think)
  17. Finding the hub of the wheel of your mind
  18. Connecting to natural happiness
  19. Mindfulness of the present and non-present moment
  20. How to transform frustrations into motivation
  21. Becoming a man or woman of no rank
  22. The Yin and yang of mindful thinking
  23. Choiceless awareness and making conscious choices
  24. Balancing knowledge with wisdom (Balancing accumulating and letting go)

The cost of the programEarly-Bird up until Thursday 2nd September, save $50! SGD$470 (Price goes up to $520 after that).

To make payment: If in Singapore you can use PayNow on +65 96750279, or if you are abroad you can use the Paypal link HERE.

 


The Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner. Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program


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 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Starts Wednesday September 8th – The Integral Mindfulness & Meditation Online Program with Toby September ’21-March ’22


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Signless-ness – Meeting your reality as it is

One of the main points of contemplating signlessness is to realize that the world that we experience directly, and the world that we ‘think’ we see with our conceptual mind are two different things”

Dear Integral Meditators,

My Tuesday & Wednesday  classes this week will be on the subject of signless-ness, so here’s an article on the subject. Enjoy, and your welcome to join the session, either live or online.

My Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop is this Saturday the 28th August. Its one of my all time favorite systems of meditation. I know I have a lot of favorites, but this is a stand out!

In the spirit of signs that are empty,

Toby

 


Signless-ness – Meeting your reality as it is

Definition of Signlessness
Here is a traditional definition of the Zen concept of signlessness from Master Thich Nhat Hanh: “Signlessness is the nature of the non-conceptualization of things.”

One of the main points of contemplating signlessness is to realize that the world that we experience directly, and the world that we ‘think’ we see with our conceptual mind are two different things. By learning to see the world ‘as it is’ free from the coloration of our conceptual mind, we can start to liberate ourself from past conditioning and habitual ‘negative’ thinking and feeling.

A signlessness symbol from aa Zen Guide
Imagine you are sitting in a landscape within nature. Then imagine a Zen master walks up to you, bows and hands you a small road sign, with no symbol or words in the middle, just an empty space. Take this as an invitation into the practice of signlessness. Sit with this for a short while and just let your intuition to explore the significance of the symbol…

The essential meditation on signlessness
Is simply  to move into a state of non-conceptuality or no thought, where our mind became signless in the sense of an absence of conceptual activity.

A few points on signlessness
One of the main points of sitting in a state of ‘signlessness’ is to learn to distinguish the world as it is from the world that our conceptual mind imagines or projects is there.
The appearance of our world together with the world that we project upon our reality is called dualistic appearance in Zen Buddhism. It is cited as the main reason why we experience so much confusion, conflict and pain in life.

One simple example of how dualistic appearance disrupts our direct experience of reality is seeing a cockroach. In reality a cockroach is a harmless creature with no power even to give us a small bite. But when many people see a cockroach, their conceptual mind immediately reacts by projecting the image of a cockroach that is aggressive and loathsome. As a result, they experience fear and/or aversion. This is one simple example, but in reality, dualistic appearance is disrupting our connection to the world and life as it is almost all the time. Practicing signlessness helps us to start to see this experientially. By seeing through the illusion created by our conceptual mind. We find depth and stability as we meet life as it is, rather than the illusion projected by our conceptual mind.
Here it is important to note that we are not rejecting conceptuality as all bad. It can have many good qualities. The main thing that we are trying to do is not to confuse conceptuality for reality.  Once we have distinguished the world as it is from our conceptual world, we can then use concepts in a playful and positive manner to enhance our expereince life. For example, if we was habitually conceiving our body as healthy and energised. This way of conceptualizing our body will help us to substantially influence our health and wellbeing if practiced in conjunction with other good habits such as a good diet etc…

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 last week article: Connecting to higher, deeper emotions (Enjoying emotional resilience)

Emotions can inspire you
Our day-to-day emotions often grind us down. The frustration of work, the anxiety around an uncertain future, the fatigue of having to tell the kids to do things five times in a row, the low-grade resentment towards others, loneliness, clinging, nervousness…the list goes on. Unless we are careful, this can be our main experience of emotions, which is an energy sapping experience!
But emotions can also inspire us and create energy in us. What if we were able to spend more time in our day connecting to these types of emotional state?…read full article

 


Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop

Overview: The Tree of Life is an ancient and comprehensive system of meditation, personal development and inner growth represented by the diagram of a tree. Although it is best known as a ‘western’ tradition of spiritual growth (Judaist, Christian, Islamic), the fundamentals of the Tree of Life practice can be found in different ancient systems of meditation and mindfulness throughout the world. This workshop is a practical introduction to how to meditate with the Tree of Life in order to:

  • Stimulate holistic and integrated inner growth
  • Consciously develop different levels and states of consciousness in meditation, and learn how to transition or journey between them in the inner world
  • Stimulate the development of your creative, imaginal and visualization skills
  • Make systematic, organized contact with guides, teachers, healing forces and archetypal energies within the inner world
  • Practice different types of meditation to build different strengths, and help you deal with different inner challenges…read full details

 


The Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner. Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program


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 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Connecting to higher, deeper emotions (Enjoying emotional resilience)

“What feeling tones are you going to enjoy today?”

Dear Integral Meditators,

Our day-to-day emotions often grind us down. Unless we are careful, this can be our main experience of emotions, which is an energy sapping experience! But emotions can also inspire us, and create energy in us. What if we were able to spend more time in our day connecting to these types of emotional state? This Saturday I will be doing my Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass, which is designed to help you do exactly that; spend more time in emotional states that are energising and fulfilling. You are most welcome to join me.

My Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop on Saturday the 28th August is also one that works a lot with feeling tones, colours and images. It’s one worth considering from the perspective of emotional range.

In the spirit of feeling tones,

Toby


Connecting to higher, deeper emotions (Enjoying emotional resilience)

Emotions can inspire you
Our day-to-day emotions often grind us down. The frustration of work, the anxiety around an uncertain future, the fatigue of having to tell the kids to do things five times in a row, the low-grade resentment towards others, loneliness, clinging, nervousness…the list goes on. Unless we are careful, this can be our main experience of emotions, which is an energy sapping experience!
But emotions can also inspire us and create energy in us. What if we were able to spend more time in our day connecting to these types of emotional state?

Emotions as feeling tones
One way of thinking about emotions is that they are the ‘feeling tones’ associated with particular thoughts, people, places, things and environments. To connect to your higher, deeper emotional states notice what thoughts, people, places, things, memories stimulate these higher, harmonious and or deeper feeling tones within you. If you start to look, you’ll see you have access to a range of this type of emotions:

  • Memories of significant meetings and moments with humans, animals and places
  • Particular pieces of music or art
  • Landscapes that you know well
  • Moments in stories or movies

Getting familiar with your current range of higher, deeper emotions
By remembering and focusing on these ‘higher feeling tones’ you can make them more present in your everyday life. Once they become more stable you can use them to inspire and energise you though the day, so that you become an ’emotionally resilient’ and strong person. You can learn to radiate these emotions out from you into the world, so that you start affecting the people and places around you in a good way, rather than being a victim of the emotional ambience that surrounds you.

Two examples
The first example from my own life is I am currently listening to a lot of Sergio Leone’s music as I work. It’s kind of gritty and angelic at the same time, and gives me a sense of inspiration, courageousness and tenacity, amongst other things. It’s not a superficial ‘positive’ type of emotional time, its deep and visceral and heartfelt, which is what makes it so inspiring to me.
Childhood memories of ponds – The second example contrasts with the first. Whereas the first example is more dynamic the second is calm and contemplative. When I was a child I spent a lot of time seeking out and exploring ponds. Much of the time I was simple looking deeply into the water in silence. If I think about those times, the feeling tone associated with it rapidly activates and I find myself in a deeply calm emotional state.
Expanding your range
If you take these two examples, you might even see that there are higher and deeper emotions that you can be activating today that you haven’t experienced in a long time, but that are available to you.
What feeling tones are you going to enjoy today?

Related articleYour emotional feeling tones

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 the earlier article: Finding permanence within the impermanent and fulfilment within the dissatisfying

It is well known that the one of the Buddha’s main teachings was that of impermanence, that ourself and all the things within and around us are in a state of continuous change. Buddha taught that our ordinary everyday existence has the nature of transience and, when we cling too tightly to changeable things, dissatisfaction, pain and suffering arise.
What is not quite so well known or understood is that Buddha also taught that by closely observing that which is impermanent and unsatisfactory we can discover in that very same act of observation that which is permanent, reliable, liberating and fulfilling. Liberation and permanence exist in the same space as impermanence and dissatisfaction.
Read article


Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

In a sentence: Learn how you can use mindfulness to develop your emotional range and skills

Much of our quality of life depends not so much on what we are experiencing, but the way in which we experience it. Our moods and emotional states to a large degree define the quality of our life experience, at work, in our relationships and in our leisure activities. This masterclass will lead you on an experiential journey to:

  • Understand what feelings, moods and emotions are and how to build an effective relationship to them
  • How to consolidate and expand your existing emotional strengths
  • How to deal with difficult and challenging emotions, and even turn them to your advantage
  • How to increase the diversity/range of emotions that are available to you for enjoyment, pleasure and life-effectiveness! Read full details…

 


Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop

Overview: The Tree of Life is an ancient and comprehensive system of meditation, personal development and inner growth represented by the diagram of a tree. Although it is best known as a ‘western’ tradition of spiritual growth (Judaist, Christian, Islamic), the fundamentals of the Tree of Life practice can be found in different ancient systems of meditation and mindfulness throughout the world. This workshop is a practical introduction to how to meditate with the Tree of Life in order to:

  • Stimulate holistic and integrated inner growth
  • Consciously develop different levels and states of consciousness in meditation, and learn how to transition or journey between them in the inner world
  • Stimulate the development of your creative, imaginal and visualization skills
  • Make systematic, organized contact with guides, teachers, healing forces and archetypal energies within the inner world
  • Practice different types of meditation to build different strengths, and help you deal with different inner challenges…read full details

 


The Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner. Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program


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 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share

Finding fulfilment within the dissatisfying

“Meditation enables us to enjoy the ever changing and transforming world around and within us, whilst at the same time resting secure in an identity that is not subject to that change, that is reliable, solid and liberated”

Dear Integral Meditators,

My Tuesday & Wednesday  classes this week continue the theme of Meditation from the perspective of Zen, where we will be meditating with some of the content of the article below…

This  coming Saturday is the Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass, and do check out my Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop on Saturday the 28th August!

In the spirit of meditation,

Toby

 


Finding permanence within the impermanent and fulfilment within the dissatisfying

It is well known that the one of the Buddha’s main teachings was that of impermanence, that ourself and all the things within and around us are in a state of continuous change. Buddha taught that our ordinary everyday existence has the nature of transience and, when we cling too tightly to changeable things, dissatisfaction, pain and suffering arise.
What is not quite so well known or understood is that Buddha also taught that by closely observing that which is impermanent and unsatisfactory we can discover in that very same act of observation that which is permanent, reliable, liberating and fulfilling. Liberation and permanence exist in the same space as impermanence and dissatisfaction.

So, where is this permanence and fulfilment?
When we are looking for permanence in the here and now, we are looking for that which is not changing from moment to moment. Within the world of things, this type of permanent object is unfindable; our body and mind are changing from moment to moment, our world is changing everyday, friends and acquaintances come and go, we live and die in a state of continuous flux and change.
Amidst all of this change two things stay the same, and they are right under our nose; Our experience of inner and outer space, and our experience of awareness itself:

  • While all the outer world is in a state of change, the outer space that contains and provides a context for that change remains stable.
  • While the inner world of our mind is in a state of constant flux, with thoughts coming and going, the experience of awareness in our mind is always present, and fundamentally unchanging, like the sky that forms the background for clouds and the changing qualities of light during the day.
  • Whilst our sense of self in the world of form (based on our ego, or psychological self-image) always changes (good person, bad person, successful, failure, good looking, ugly etcthe core experience of witnessing awareness itself remains unchanging, always constant, always non-judging, and steady in the face of all change.

So, when we look for something reliable, permanent, something within which we can truly rest at ease and find liberation from all our travails, the Buddha and similarly the teachers of all the great wisdom traditions teach that it is not found as something separate from your moment to moment experience, it is just that at the moment we are looking in the wrong way.
To find a place of permanence where you can rest at ease and find respite from the challenges and travails of your life, you simply need to look at your moment to moment experience right now and notice three aspects of it:

  • The inner and outer space that provides a context for our inner and outer world and
  • The experience of pure awareness itself.

Awareness has no qualities other than to observe, to bear witness to what is appearing in this moment.
Having become aware of the pervading sense of space, and of awareness itself, you simply allow your sense of self to rest in that sense of spacious-awareness, and enjoy its stability and reliability, how it does not change in the face of the continuously changing world of form.
One of the main points of meditation is simply this; to be able to rest your sense of self that sense of spacious-awareness, and identify that spacious awareness as you, your true self, or “real” self. Doing so enables us to enjoy the ever changing and transforming world around and within us, whilst at the same time resting secure in an identity that is not subject to that change, that is reliable, solid and liberated.

Related article: Tackling a-void-ance: Meditation for healing and transforming loneliness and emptiness

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   


Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

In a sentence: Learn how you can use mindfulness to develop your emotional range and skills

Much of our quality of life depends not so much on what we are experiencing, but the way in which we experience it. Our moods and emotional states to a large degree define the quality of our life experience, at work, in our relationships and in our leisure activities. This masterclass will lead you on an experiential journey to:

  • Understand what feelings, moods and emotions are and how to build an effective relationship to them
  • How to consolidate and expand your existing emotional strengths
  • How to deal with difficult and challenging emotions, and even turn them to your advantage
  • How to increase the diversity/range of emotions that are available to you for enjoyment, pleasure and life-effectiveness! Read full details…

 


Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop

Overview: The Tree of Life is an ancient and comprehensive system of meditation, personal development and inner growth represented by the diagram of a tree. Although it is best known as a ‘western’ tradition of spiritual growth (Judaist, Christian, Islamic), the fundamentals of the Tree of Life practice can be found in different ancient systems of meditation and mindfulness throughout the world. This workshop is a practical introduction to how to meditate with the Tree of Life in order to:

  • Stimulate holistic and integrated inner growth
  • Consciously develop different levels and states of consciousness in meditation, and learn how to transition or journey between them in the inner world
  • Stimulate the development of your creative, imaginal and visualization skills
  • Make systematic, organized contact with guides, teachers, healing forces and archetypal energies within the inner world
  • Practice different types of meditation to build different strengths, and help you deal with different inner challenges…read full details

 


The Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner. Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program


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 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Aimlessness – The broken arrow

“Practiced in balance, the aimless life and the ‘on purpose’ life are complementary and mutually enhancing polarities within our mindfulness practice”

Dear Toby,

Much of meditation is about learning to appreciate spaces and absences as much as objects and things. This weeks article is an invitation to discover the value of an aimless life, with all that it has to offer us…
My Tuesday & Wednesday  classes continue the theme of Meditation from the perspective of Zen, where we will be meditating with some of the content of this article.

Do check out my Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop on Saturday the 28th August!

In the spirit of aimless presence,

Toby

 


Aimlessness – Less thinking, more awareness

The broken arrow
Imagine you are in a landscape with a Zen master. Imagine s/he takes out an arrow, holds it up and breaks it in two.  The broken arrow symbolizes the practice of aimlessness, because you cannot aim a broken arrow(!) Aimlessness here is the practice and experience of being whole and complete, here and now. It is not feeling the need to chase our bodily, psychological and spiritual desires all over the place.

Here is a working a definition of Aimlessness from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh:
“Aimlessness is the attitude of someone who does not feel the need to run after anything, realize or obtain anything. It is for example not pursuing enlightenment as an object of knowledge.”

Aimlessness as a spiritual discipline invites us to let go of our instinctive grasping of enlightenment as something that we have to know or attain on an intellectual/physiological level, and helps us to connect with the enlightenment experience as something that is present within us here and now, revealed to us progressively as we let go of the various different levels of conditioning and conception within our consciousness.
On an intellectual and physical level, it helps us to move our body-mind into a state of deep, restful alertness, or regenerative presence. It helps us to recover from cognitive overload, and give our body a change to heal, rebalance itself and let go of stored tension.

Usually aimless-ness has a bit of a negative connotation. It implies we lack direction in our life, that we lack willpower or are indecisive. With mindful aimlessness we are trying to discover it as a meditative practice, and become an ‘aimlessly awakened person’.

Practicing aimlessness
You can practice aimlessness anywhere. You simply choose to set aside a certain amount of time, during which time the ‘aim’ is to let go as fully as possible of all aims, desires and objectives, and rest in the ‘resulting’ state of presence. Practicing aimlessness means relaxing more and more into a state of awareness, and letting go of thinking and imaging. The last few days I have just been setting my timer for 5-10mins at a time, and sitting quietly wherever I am at the time. It is wonderfully relaxing particularly if you have been feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Aimlessness is closely related to four other ‘lessnesses’: Form-lessness, time-lessness, self-lessness and home-lessness.

Combining aimlessness and desire-lessness with our desires, and with living ‘on-purpose’
It is possible to have desires, and to work to execute them without getting attached to them. It is possible to have a dynamic and active life where we are working to fulfill appropriate desires, and at the same time develop and nurture our experience of aimlessness. It is only when we become attached or overly invested in our desires that they then have to power to take us out of our centre and cause us suffering and pain. Practiced in balance, the aimless life and the ‘on purpose’ life are complementary and mutually enhancing polarities within our mindfulness practice.

Related articleNot over-sharpening your blade (the three ‘uns’)

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   


Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

In a sentence: Learn how you can use mindfulness to develop your emotional range and skills

Much of our quality of life depends not so much on what we are experiencing, but the way in which we experience it. Our moods and emotional states to a large degree define the quality of our life experience, at work, in our relationships and in our leisure activities. This masterclass will lead you on an experiential journey to:

  • Understand what feelings, moods and emotions are and how to build an effective relationship to them
  • How to consolidate and expand your existing emotional strengths
  • How to deal with difficult and challenging emotions, and even turn them to your advantage
  • How to increase the diversity/range of emotions that are available to you for enjoyment, pleasure and life-effectiveness! Read full details…

 


Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop

Overview: The Tree of Life is an ancient and comprehensive system of meditation, personal development and inner growth represented by the diagram of a tree. Although it is best known as a ‘western’ tradition of spiritual growth (Judaist, Christian, Islamic), the fundamentals of the Tree of Life practice can be found in different ancient systems of meditation and mindfulness throughout the world. This workshop is a practical introduction to how to meditate with the Tree of Life in order to:

  • Stimulate holistic and integrated inner growth
  • Consciously develop different levels and states of consciousness in meditation, and learn how to transition or journey between them in the inner world
  • Stimulate the development of your creative, imaginal and visualization skills
  • Make systematic, organized contact with guides, teachers, healing forces and archetypal energies within the inner world
  • Practice different types of meditation to build different strengths, and help you deal with different inner challenges…read full details

 


The Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner. Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program


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 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Saturday 17th, 24th, 31st July, 2-4pm – Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three week
course

Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share

Compassionate presence, awakened action

“As your life experience unfolds, often your compassion for others increases because you can relate to them more as you ‘know how they feel’. If we combine this with practicing simply being present every day, then this can make the power of our compassionate presence grows exponentially”

Dear Integral Meditators,

Compassion isn’t always easy. Making room for compassion for others sometimes feels like a tall order, especially when we are struggling to find compassion for ourself. The article below explores how opening to compassion for others can sometimes be the best way to work with our own pain and stress.
My Tuesday & Wednesday  classes continue the theme of Meditation from the perspective of Zen, where we will be meditating with some of the content of this article.

Last call for the Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three day course starting this Thursday.

In the spirit of compassionate presence,

Toby


Compassionate presence, awakened action

Compassion isn’t always easy. Making room for compassion for others sometimes feels like a tall order, especially when we are struggling to find compassion for ourself, and to bear the burden of our own stress and wounds. I want to start by inviting an awareness that sometimes (not at all times), opening to compassion and compassionate action toward the world, can actually be the best way to help change our own experience. As Robin Wall Kimmerer says:

‘Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.’

So, it’s always worth making room for others in our world-view. Its not just sacrificing ourself or ‘being good’, it is an intelligent, wise way of getting by!

Using our own pain
One of the simplest ways to work on transforming our own pain is to use it as a doorway to compassion:

  • If you are suffering from loneliness, you can imagine the millions, or even billions who share this experience in the world. You can find examples in your own life of people you know
  • Your physical sickness can open you to the awareness of the worse and more permanent experience of others
  • Work stress? Oppressive colleagues or bosses? You can bet there are many others who have the same and worse, and you can probably find examples in your own close circle of influence.

If you stopped to think in this way, what would be the main challenges of your own that you can start to mindfully use to develop your compassion for others?

Doing what you can in the face of the limitless
In terms of acting upon your compassionate awareness and impulse, it can feel a bit intimidating. In Mahayana Buddhism, the vow of the Bodhisattva is as follows:

‘However many living being there are, I vow to liberate them all (from their suffering),
However many delusions I have, I vow to conquer them all.
However many spiritual truths there are, I vow to Master them all.’

Well, that can feel like an overwhelming amount to do! One of the best ways to deal with this issue is simply though presence and attention to the presenting circumstances. As Nkosi Johnson says:

“Do what you can,
with what you’ve been given,
in the place where you are,
with the time that you have.”

Ask yourself the question: ‘In this moment, today, what opportunity is there for me to act compassionately and do what can be done to reduce the pain and suffering of others and myself? What can be done, with what I have at my disposal, where I am now, in this moment?’

Awakened, compassionate presence
Often the best response to suffering is presence. To witness and acknowledge the pain in front of us enables us to

  • See it and act if there is something we can do
  • If there is nothing we can do, then sometimes simply acknowledging that we see the pain of others can help them. As a friend of mine the other day said to me ‘Thanks Toby, this helps a lot’. All I had done was say that I saw what his pain, and I believed that in the long term the things that he was going through were forging and forming him, rather than defeating him, and that although he could not see it yet, he was becoming someone stronger than he could imagine!

Compassionate presence comes from practice + life experience
As your life experience unfolds, often your compassion for others increases because you can relate to them more as you ‘know how they feel’. If we combine this with practising simply being present every day, then this can make the power of our compassionate presence grow exponentially. For example, simply practicing ten minutes of my meditation on ‘Sitting like a mountain’ from last week’s article, we can anchor our compassion more deeply in this moment, and in the centre of our being, even as the storms and floods of our life come and go.

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   


August 5th, 6th, 7th, 2-4pm – Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three day course

These sessions are specifically designed to help teens develop their real inner skills that help them be:

  • More effective at achieving their chosen goals
  • Build confidence,
  • Build resilience around stress and
  • Increase their capacity for fun and enjoyment as they learn.

Read full details


Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

In a sentence: Learn how you can use mindfulness to develop your emotional range and skills

Much of our quality of life depends not so much on what we are experiencing, but the way in which we experience it. Our moods and emotional states to a large degree define the quality of our life experience, at work, in our relationships and in our leisure activities. This masterclass will lead you on an experiential journey to:

  • Understand what feelings, moods and emotions are and how to build an effective relationship to them
  • How to consolidate and expand your existing emotional strengths
  • How to deal with difficult and challenging emotions, and even turn them to your advantage
  • How to increase the diversity/range of emotions that are available to you for enjoyment, pleasure and life-effectiveness! Read full details…

 


Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop

Overview: The Tree of Life is an ancient and comprehensive system of meditation, personal development and inner growth represented by the diagram of a tree. Although it is best known as a ‘western’ tradition of spiritual growth (Judaist, Christian, Islamic), the fundamentals of the Tree of Life practice can be found in different ancient systems of meditation and mindfulness throughout the world. This workshop is a practical introduction to how to meditate with the Tree of Life in order to:

  • Stimulate holistic and integrated inner growth
  • Consciously develop different levels and states of consciousness in meditation, and learn how to transition or journey between them in the inner world
  • Stimulate the development of your creative, imaginal and visualization skills
  • Make systematic, organized contact with guides, teachers, healing forces and archetypal energies within the inner world
  • Practice different types of meditation to build different strengths, and help you deal with different inner challenges…read full details

 


The Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner. Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program


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 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Saturday 17th, 24th, 31st July, 2-4pm – Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three week
course

Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share

Zen Mountains, Zen Doorways

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article outlines two simple meditation techniques. ‘Zen mountain’ is a sitting form that I have been using in the recent Zen series as a basic practice. This Tuesday & Wednesday  classes are on the theme of  “Host and guest in Zen meditation”, so if you enjoy the article, do feel free to join us, live or online.

The ‘Mindful Life Skills for Teenagers‘ will be doing another round August 5,6,7th. Under the current restrictions we have room for 5-6 kids, so let me know sooner rather than later if you are interested!

In the spirit of  mountains and doorways,

Toby


Zen mountains, Zen doorways

This article outlines two simple meditation techniques. ‘Zen mountain’ is a sitting form that I have been using in the recent Zen series as a basic practice. ‘Zen doorways’ is a method to use in daily life to increase your sense of presence, and appreciation for what is available to you in each moment.

Sitting like a mountain
Sink your centre or gravity down into the belly & hips – Sitting comfortably with a straight back, as you breathe in, be aware of any tension in the upper body; head, face, neck, shoulders. As you breathe out, release the tension down into your belly and hips, so that you are lowering the centre of gravity in your torso down into your belly.

Breathe from the bottom of your lungs, focus on your belly – As you begin your inhalation, send the air down into the bottom of the lungs, so that you are filling them from the bottom up. If you do this you will notice the belly moving out a centimeter or two as you inhale, and moving back to resting position as you exhale.

Imagine your body like a mountain, broad at the hips and narrow at the top – Feel your torso to be tremendously stable and solid. If you like you can even imagine your body as a mountain that you know, so that you really get a feeling of it being like a mountain. If you want to take the image a stage further, imagine your belly as a cave in the heart of the mountain as you feel it moving.
Let your mind gradually settle as you focus your attention on your belly-breathing and mountain-like body.

Zen doorways
Each time you walk through a doorway, take breath, and breathe yourself into the present moment, with an appreciation of what the present moment is offering you at that particular time.
Another nice variation on this is, each time you pass through a doorway, imagine that you are in your Zen retreat, say, passing under the branch of a tree, stepping on pine needles, or through the temple doorway. This way every time you go thru a door, you take yourself back to the Spirit of Zen using your creative imagination.

Related articleBody-Mountain, Cloud-Thought, Sky-Mind

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   

 

 


August 5th, 6th, 7th, 2-4pm – Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three day course

These sessions are specifically designed to help teens develop their real inner skills that help them be:

  • More effective at achieving their chosen goals
  • Build confidence,
  • Build resilience around stress and
  • Increase their capacity for fun and enjoyment as they learn.

Read full details


The new Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner

Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program


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 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Saturday 17th, 24th, 31st July, 2-4pm – Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three week course

August details coming soon!


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Four Types of Present Moment

“Drop your sense of time temporarily, become like a tree or a rock or a baby, with awareness that has forgotten all sense of time and abides in the peaceful space of the pre-present”

Dear Integral Meditators,

What if I told you there were four types of present moment, not just one? This weeks article explores four aspects of the present moment, each of which has its own value. . This Tuesday & Wednesday  classes are on the theme of “Different dimensions of Zen meditation/presence”, so if you enjoy the article, do feel free to join us, live or online.

Then this Saturday I’ll be putting on my  Mindfulness for emotional intelligence masterclass, Our moods and emotional states to a large degree define the quality of our life, so coming along is definitely time well spent!

In the spirit of  the journey,

Toby

 


Four Types of Present Moment

Normally when we think or talk about meditating “in the present moment” the assumption is that there is only one type of present moment. Actually, there are many types of present moment experience we can tap into. Here are four. With each one I detail what it is, how it helps us, and how to do a simple meditation upon it.

The Primal Pre-Present

The pre-present is essentially the “present moment” before we had any idea of time. We could also think about it as being the “pre-conceptual present”. Babies are always in the pre-present moment, because their minds have not developed the power of conceptuality, they have no idea of what the past or future is. Their mind remains placed firmly in the here and now, before time existed!

Likewise, animals live in the pre-present because they have non-conceptual minds. Trees and rocks also abide in the pre-present, the time before concepts and before the past and future.

Meditating on the pre-present enables us to relax, return to a state of innocent awareness, and tap into a state of deep regeneration and re-energization.

You can meditate on the pre-present simply by deeply observing a (peaceful) baby, or an animal, or sitting quietly in a landscape. Just drop your sense of time temporarily, become like a tree or a rock or a baby, with awareness that has forgotten all sense of time and abides in the peaceful space of the pre-present.

The Present Moment in Time

This is the type of present moment that we most often think of as the present moment. Our experience that is in the here and now, accompanied by the feeling of there being a past from which we have come, and a future toward which we are going. We cultivate this type of present moment experience by paying close attention to what is going on right now, on the immediate task at hand. Cultivating this form of present moment awareness helps us to be more grounded, to manage stress more effectively, and appreciate all that is good in our life.

You cultivate this form of present moment awareness by spending specific periods of time in our daily routine where trying to do just one thing, and whilst doing it, training our mind to be fully present to the task at hand, not wondering anxiously about the future or re-living the past.

The Timeless Present

The timeless present is the space of awareness beyond timeOnce we have become conceptually mature as adults, that is learned to operate within the space of past, present and future, the assumption can be that time is something “out there”. In reality time as we understand it conceptually is an invention of the human mind. To meditate on the eternal present is to recognize that the entire realm of past present and future are all contained within the context of the timeless, and that this eternal, timeless present is always present, right here, right now.

The timeless present in many ways resembles the primal pre-present, but to be able to appreciate and value the timeless present we have to have gone into conceptual time, understood and lived within it, and then see through its illusion. So you could say that the timeless present is the post-transient present!

Meditating on the Timeless Present gives us maturity of vision, depth of perception, a sense of everything possessing its own natural perfection, and opens us up to our first classical “enlightenment experiences”.

We can meditate on the timeless present by recognizing that every aspect of our experience right here right now is contained within the embrace of the timeless present, and learn to relax our awareness into that ever present, eternal space.

The Intuitive Present

The intuitive present is when we have gained substantial experience of the timeless present, and have developed the capacity to function in conventional time whilst at the same time remaining connected to timelessness. As Ajahn-Chah says, it is the meditative experience of our mind being like “still water that moves, and moving water that it still”. From a present moment perspective, it is as if time and eternity now fit together in our experience like a hand in a glove. Conventional time is like the glove, the timeless present is like the hand within.

The intuitive present is not the same as our intuition in general, which can come in many forms such as our instinctive or emotional intuition.

Accessing the intuitive present signals the development of our capacity to engage fully in worldly life and spiritual life side by side, to live in the world whilst not being of the world so to speak. Our experience of the intuitive present gives us a powerful tool to see everything that we experience within the context of our unfolding path to greater awakening.

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   

 


Saturday 24th July, 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for emotional intelligence masterclass

In a sentence: Learn how you can use mindfulness to develop your emotional range and skills

Much of our quality of life depends not so much on what we are experiencing, but the way in which we experience it. Our moods and emotional states to a large degree define the quality of our life experience, at work, in our relationships and in our leisure activities. This masterclass will lead you on an experiential journey
Read full details…

 


August 5th, 6th, 7th, 2-4pm – Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three day course

These sessions are specifically designed to help teens develop their real inner skills that help them be:

  • More effective at achieving their chosen goals
  • Build confidence,
  • Build resilience around stress and
  • Increase their capacity for fun and enjoyment as they learn.

Read full details


The new Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner

Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program


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 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Saturday 17th, 24th, 31st July, 2-4pm – Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three week course

Saturday 24th July, 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for emotional intelligence masterclass


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share