Ten essential mindfulness practices

Dear Integral Meditators,

Mindfulness is, in essence the art of attention training. Looked at this way there are many, many ways of paying attention, and so there are a huge variety of mindfulness practices. The list below lists ten ‘mindful domains’, each of which play an important part in a truly integral mindfulness practice.

If you enjoy the article, then do have a look at the new Integral Mindfulness Program, which explores many of these practices in depth!

In the spirit of mindful wellbeing,

Toby


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  • People who have been through basic conventional mindfulness training programs and are looking for the next level of practice and performance

Early bird offer: Get 20% off if you sign up before end Monday August 19th. Click here for full details


Ten essential mindfulness meditation practices

Mindfulness is, in essence the art of attention training. Looked at this way there are many, many ways of paying attention, and so there are a huge variety of mindfulness practices. The list below lists ten ‘mindful domains’, each of which play an important part in a truly integral mindfulness practice

  1. Grounding your attention in your body, sense and breathing awareness – The quickest route to basic psychological sanity and stability is through the senses. We should be aiming to develop ‘mountain like stability’ on our body and senses, which enables us to feel centred and stable even in the biggest life storms.
  2. Practicing the non-emergency nature of the present moment – Most situations in our life are not an emergency, yet we spend much of our life in minor (or major) crisis-mode. Recognising present safety and relaxing properly enables us to enjoy our life, and when it does arise to engage risk and danger wisely and intelligently.

With practice 1& 2 solid, we can then commit to increasing your range of functional states and perspectives through:

  1. Cultivating effective focus and concentration – Specifically with integral mindfulness we look to develop high quality ‘mindful flow states’, both in and out of meditation. These flow states are a combination of relaxation and focus, and act as the basis for sustainable, effective concentration
  2. Witnessing, observing, listening, being present – We should be continually stepping back and improving our capacity to observe what is going on within our field of awareness as an observer; being present, witnessing and nothing more.
  3. Committing to be aware – Number five is simply an ongoing commitment to turn and face ourselves, and notice what is going on within. It means consistently turning the light of our awareness inside with curiosity, courage, care
  4. Developing your emotional intelligence – Specifically: Being comfortable feeling emotions ( (both positive and negative), cultivating engaged detachment (the capacity to feel emotions fully and engage with them deeply without being consumed or victimised by them). Cultivating acceptance, appreciation, joy and benevolence/caring as our baseline emotional states. Getting to know the emotions we currently label as ‘negative’ well enough to find and leverage upon their value.
  5. Cognitive intelligence – The skills of thinking less in terms of quantity, thinking better in terms of quality. Also combining ‘positive thinking’ and attention to the good with critical thinking and effective risk assessment.
  6. Intentionality and responsibility – Living our life deliberately and ‘on purpose’. Expanding the depth and range of our intention and motivations for our actions. Setting intention before our actions, so that our actions are aligned with our highest intentions.
  7. Developing your capacity for creative awareness that accesses the non-linear, unconscious, intuitive and imaginative aspects of our potential.
  8. Having an enlightenment practice – A commitment to ongoing insight into the formless, timeless causal dimension of existence. Learning to rest our attention in it and gradually focus our fundamental sense of identity there.

Article content © Toby Ouvry & Integral Meditation Asia 2019.


Upcoming classes and workshops

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm (Restarts 21st August) – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings (Restarts 13th August), 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, June 15th, 29th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturday 10th August, 2-5.30pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 24th August, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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Mindful of: Your tone of voice 

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Dear Integral Meditators,

So much of our life is spent communicating, it’s definitely worthwhile investing out time, attention and intelligence to ´craft’ your messages and their tones wisely and benevolently. This weeks article explores some practical ways of doing this!

Final reminder of this Saturdays  Practical introduction to Qi gong workshop, 9.30am-1pm, Tuesday meditation classes re-start next week 😉

In the spirit of tone,

Toby


Mindful of: Your tone of voice 

I have recently come to the end of a three week holiday where we have been travelling in France, Spain and England. As you probably know, holidays can be fun and relaxing, but they can also be quite stressful, as the different personalities of all those traveling run up against each other!
One of the ways that I have focused on mindfulness practice as I have been traveling is to be aware of the tone of my voice as I communicate. I have found this to be a super useful way of managing my own moods, and saying what I want to say in a way that is helpful to my fellow travellers.
Speaking is not just what you say, it’s the way that you say it. Even with very basic words such as ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ here are a huge variety of tones with which you say it that completely change the message and mood.
So, as a mindfulness practice tone of voice can be thought of as consisting of two questions:

  1. ‘What do I want to say?’
  2. ´What is the best way to say what I want to say?’

The first question is about the basic message. The second is about the delivery; what is the tone of voice and way of wording your message that will maximise the chance of it being effective, and giving the best result for everyone concerned? If you spend a few moments before you speak on these two questions, then it’s surprising the changes that you can make for the better.
So much of our life is spent communicating, it’s definitely worthwhile investing out time, attention and intelligence to ´craft’ your messages and their tones wisely and benevolently.

Here are two other areas to pay attention to around tone:
Your tone tells you your mood– Quite often we are not fully aware of our mood or emotional state until we say something, and our tone tells us a lot about what we are feeling. So simply listening to your tone of voice can be a very interesting and useful thing to pay attention to.
Increase your range of positive tones -Get to know what a range of positive tones sound like and practice them. For example, an assertive tone (as opposed to aggressive), loving/caring, light (as opposed to heavy), serious, inquisitive, sincere, calm, or joyful. Try and develop the range of tones that you have available to use consciously.

Article content © Toby Ouvry & Integral Meditation Asia 2019.


Upcoming classes and workshops

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm (Restarts 21st August) – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings (Restarts 13th August), 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, June 15th, 29th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturday 10th August, 2-5.30pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 24th August, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Mindful with your handphone – Four ways

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Dear Integral Meditators,

If you can be mindful with your handphone, then for most people that means a lot of time each day being mindful! The article below explores how…

In the spirit of being mindful with your mobile,

Toby

PS: Last Wednesday evening class this evening until August, on the subject of How to drop your problems.


Mindful with your handphone – Four ways

I was talking with a colleague this morning about how difficult it is to manage stress with a handphone. Messages coming in, social media, games, it can be so difficult not to get stressed when your always reaching for your phone at the first sign of anxiety or boredom. With this in mind here are four simple ways to use your handphone to become more mindful:

  1. Notice it as a physical object – Rather than opening the screen, use your phone to come to your senses by noticing its colour, its weight and feel in your hand, it’s texture and the little scratches. Decompress your mental stress by coming to your senses.
  2. Message 15% slower – Normally we text fast, making mistakes as we go along, and holding a lot of unnecessary tension in our face and body. Relax your body and face, and type a little slower. If you do this then texting will become more relaxing. You’ll probably get just as many done as there will be fewer typos, and the content you write will be better!
  3. Use it to measure your anxiety – if you notice yourself reaching for your phone impulsively and often, it’s likely due to underlying anxiety or stress. Notice when this is happening and, instead of going on screen, spend a few breaths just looking after your anxiety and extending care and awareness to yourself.
  4. Ask yourself “What good can I do with my phone?” – Use your phone on purpose; text to bring happiness to others, to develop a skill (egg: learn a language), educate yourself, to journal on the way back from work. There are many meaningful and fulfilling ways you can use your phone to create a better life for yourself and others, it begins by asking yourself this question. Go for it!

Enjoy being mindful with your phone!

Article content © Toby Ouvry & Integral Meditation Asia.


Upcoming classes and workshops

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)

Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street


Integral Meditation Asia

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Still water that moves – Meditation for greater creativity

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After we learn to still our mind, we then move onto another stage in meditation where we experience a heightened state of creativity. It becomes like “Still water that moves, and moving water that is still”.
Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores how to access deeper creativity through meditation, and explains a simple technique that you can start practicing with. The Tuesday and Wednesday evening classes will be on this subject, so if you want to practice, do come down! Schedule of sessions is beneath the article.In the spirit of deeper creativity,

Toby


Still water that moves – Meditation for greater creativity

One of my favourite expressions from Ajahn Chah is where he refers to the achievement of a state in meditation where our mind becomes like “Still water that moves, and moving water that is still”. Part of what this means is that, after we learn to still our mind, we then move onto another stage in meditation where we experience a heightened state of creativity. In this state our mind is still, and yet on a subtle level we experience flashes of creative inspiration from our intuitive consciousness. Our mind moves in a creative way, whilst at the same time being still and quiet. This is a paradoxical state of mind, as normally we think of our mind as either still or moving. This deeper state involves both.
Below is a simple meditation that you can use as a way of moving into stillness, and then going beyond it to a state of heightened creativity.

  1. Centring and focusing – Imagine a flame of light about 6-8cms high right in the centre of your chest, at the level of your heart. As you breathe in, breathe your attention into that flame in the centre of your body, as you breathe out, relax your body-mind from that centre. Build relaxed concentration in this way.
  2. Decompressing tension – As you continue to breathe, you will notice different emotions, tensions and thoughts from the day coming up. Simply acknowledge these and keep focused by using the flame at your heart. It may take a while for your body-mind to settle, be patient.
  3. Moving into stillness – Gradually move into stillness, get accustomed to the feeling of it.
  4. Inviting creativity – After a while you may notice that, within the stillness there are deeper, intuitive and creative movements in your mind. These movements are different from the normal distractions or discursive thoughts. Pay attention to them and what they might be showing you. If you like you can take a particular topic and let your intuitive mind explore it.

This is a really simple way of opening a door in your consciousness to your own deeper creativity and inspiration. It also works perfectly well as a meditation to calm your body, mind and heart.
Enjoy exploring!


Upcoming classes and workshops

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)

Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, June 15th, 29th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Four mindful questions, four times a year

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Dear Integral Meditators,
Asking questions to yourself mindfully and reflectively, without hurrying, can be a very useful way of resetting your energy, and moving forward with greater clarity and purpose. The article below outlines four that I ask strategically during the year.
If you enjoy the article, you can join me in working with these questions on Tuesday or Wednesday evening this week at the Summer Solstice meditation! Final reminder of this Saturday afternoons Meditations for Quietening the Mind workshop for those interested…In the spirit of thoughtful questions,Toby


Four mindful questions, four times a year

These are four questions that I ask myself, and invite you to ask yourself four times a year. I do it at the quarter points of the year, which is to say the Winter and Summer solstices in December and July, and the Equinoxes in March and September.
Two of the questions are backward looking, over the previous 2-3months, and the other two are forward looking, toward the coming 2-3months.
I find that asking these questions to myself mindfully and reflectively, without hurrying, is a very useful way of resetting my energy, and moving forward with greater clarity and purpose. Here they are:

  • What is it that I can appreciate and have enjoyed the most about the last few months?
  • What are the wounds or burdens that I have been carrying that I am ready to put down or release?
  • What am I ready to give birth to manifest in my life right now?
  • If I were to pick one, maximum two goals that were my absolute priority to achieve/manifest over the next few months, what would it/they be?

 

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Upcoming classes and workshops

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)

Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, June 15th, 29th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tuesday/Wednesday 18th&19th June – Summer Solstice balancing and renewing meditation

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 15th June, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 22nd June, 2-5pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop


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Mindful of your intensity level

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“By being mindful of our intensity level we can avoid burning out thought long term over-exertion, and also avoid unnecessary under-productivity. It’s an easy way to avoid extremes and hit your ‘sweet spot’ in terms of both quality of life and productivity!”

Dear Integral Meditators,

What is your habitual ‘speed and intensity level’? This weeks article explores how you can start to set the pace that serves you in your life!

In the spirit of balanced intensity,

Toby

 


Mindful of your intensity level

Think about your pace and intensity in life as having four speeds:

  1. 1-2 – Sleep or complete relaxation
  2. 3-4 – Low effort mode, doing just enough
  3. 5-6 – Flow state, a balance of focused effort and relaxation
  4. 7-10 – High intensity effort

Take a moment to reflect on which ‘speeds’ you tend to be in for much of your day. As you do so you might start to recognise that you tend to favour one or two speeds, and not the other two. Ideally as mindfulness practitioners, we should be looking to have each of these levels of intensity available to us, and use them consciously according to our need.
So, for example much of the productive part of our day would be at the ‘flow-state’ level of 5-6 on the scale; a balance of focused relaxation. This level enables us to get work done at a pace that is sustainable over a period of time, without getting exhausted or burned out.
Occasionally we might peak up to a high intensity 7-10 when we really want to get something done in a faster way (eg: in an emergency), but then after we would need to consciously dip back down to level 2 (3-4 intensity) for a while in order to restore our energy level. Of course we would be going down to level 1 by getting enough sleep and absolute rest.
The point about this four level structure of intensity is that, if we have it in mind we can then start to mindfully manage our effort and energy during the day. We avoid burning out thought long term over-exertion, and also avoid unnecessary under-productivity. It’s an easy way to avoid extremes and hit your ‘sweet spot’ in terms of both quality of life and productivity!
A useful question to ask ourselves is ‘How much effort and intensity do I need to compete this task?’ Quite often I find that its slightly less than I think. If I relax a little and bring just enough intensity to the task, that brings me to the optimal level of effort.

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, June 1st, 15th, 29th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 15th June, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Tuesday/Wednesday 18th&19th June – Summer Solstice balancing and renewing meditation

Saturday 22nd June, 2-5pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Compassionate listening

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‘Stilling the mind opens a space for us to listen to our inner wisdom, which is always there, but often hidden by the noise’

Dear Toby,

This weeks article is on how to mindfully listen a bit better, to ourselves and others. If you enjoy the article, then do have a look at the workshop on 22nd June: Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind .

In the spirit of  listening,

Toby


Special coaching offer until 12th June: 15% off Toby’s Stress Transformation coaching 

Transform negative stress into positive energy, make strengths from your current weaknesses, become resilient and confident in the face of life challenges!


 

Compassionate listening 

There is an old definition of meditation that is quite useful to consider:

Prayer is talking to God, meditation is listening to God”.

If our mind is talking to itself all the time, how are we going to be able to listen to the intuitive wisdom, or the “still small voice” of our inner self as it offers us advice and support and in our life’s journey? Listening in a reflective, meditative manner is important for this reason. It is also important as a practise for helping us to develop our compassionate heart with other people. If, when we are with others, we consciously quieten our mind and really attend to what they are saying, often they will notice and appreciate what we are doing for them.
There is a book by Michael Ende called “Momo” that is about this power of listening. Momo is a little girl who is able to heal all those who come to her simply by deeply and attentively listening to the stories that they tell her about their life.
The second aspect of really listening to people is that we see more clearly where they are coming from, and so be much more likely to act in ways that are appropriate and helpful to both them and us. So, when you are with others, try and see your listening to them as a meditation, it will help both them and you!
I want to end this article by outlining three ways NOT to listen that I had drummed into me during my Tibetan Buddhist training, using the anlalogy of a pot:

Don’t be like an upturned pot
An upturned pot cannot receive any liquid into itself. Similarly, if we are not really listening (to ourself or others), we are like an upturned pot; nothing is going in!
Don’t be like a leaky pot
A pot with a leak cannot not hold what it liquid, it is useless. If we are not really paying attention, even if we hear what is being said, it simply “goes in one ear and out of the other” so to speak!
Don’t be like a bad smelling pot
You pour fresh juice into a dirty and bad smelling pot the fresh liquid becomes contaminated instantly. Similarly, if we are listening to someone, and there is a continuous negative inner commentary going on in our mind, this poisons everything that we are hearing. As George Michael once said (was it the title of one of his albums?) “Listen without prejudice”

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, June 1st, 15th, 29th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 15th June, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Tuesday/Wednesday 18th&19th June – Summer Solstice balancing and renewing meditation

Saturday 22nd June, 2-5pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Mindful thinking: 15% less, 15% better

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“One of the basic principles of integral mindfulness is to emphasize quality over quantity, with the recognition that, if you slow down enough to do things properly, the actual quantity of things that you get done is often more.”

Dear Integral Meditators,

I’ve been going through a busy time at work and with a house move last few weeks. In the article below I share a method I’ve been using to help deal with the stress!
The Tuesday and Wednesday evening meditation classes will be on the subject ‘How to meditate on Non-doing’, if you fancy coming along your welcome!

Classes and workshops for June are beneath the article.

In the spirit of thinking better,

Toby


Mindful thinking: 15% less, 15% better

One of the basic principles of integral mindfulness is to emphasize quality over quantity, with the recognition that also, if you slow down enough to do things properly, the quantity of things that you get done is often more.
With regard to thinking, one of the mindful principles that I have been applying is to try and think 15% less in terms of volume of thoughts, and then make the actual quality of my thoughts 15% better. I have found that by deliberately slowing my mind in this way I:

  • Become a lot more conscious and deliberate about what I think and don’t think
  • I have time to notice thought patterns that are repeating themselves and making me feel negative. I can make the choice simply to stop these thoughts, because I am going slow enough to see them
  • The quality of my thoughts kind of naturally improves from the ‘thinking slower’ part. The more consciously I think, the easier it is to choose patterns of thinking that are effective, and that ‘frame’ what I am experiencing in a constructive way

In the last few weeks, as well as being busy at work, I have been moving house, with all the logistical and emotional stress that that entails. With so many things to do, it is super easy for the speed of my mind to accelerate to a very stressful speed due to the overstimulation. So I have been practicing the ‘15%’ technique above, dealing with the thoughts that come up by deliberately not over-hurrying, and focusing on quality of thought, rather than quantity.

This week you might like to try it, see how it can help you navigate your thoughts and life-challenges more effectively!

Related articleMental framing – Sculpting your view of life

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

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)

Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, June 1st, 15th, 29th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tuesday/Wednesday 18th&19th June – Summer Solstice balancing and renewing meditation
FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 15th June, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever
Saturday 22nd June, 2-5pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Lazy compassion (compassion & care through awareness)

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“If you want to develop your compassion and caring, one of the best places to begin is by improving the quality of your attention”
Dear Integral Meditators,This week’s article focuses on a simple, profound technique for developing compassion in a way that doesn’t require a lot of effort!
The Tuesday and Wednesday evening meditation classes will be on the subject of compassion, if you fancy coming along!

In the spirit of compassion,

Toby


Special offer on Toby’s Qi gong healing sessions; 15% off until Thursday 23rd May

“Of all the different things that I tried, I found that 10-15minutes of daily Qi gong flow had the biggest and most sustainable impact on my energy levels and wellbeing…” – Click herefor more details


Lazy compassion (compassion & care through awareness)

I was doing mindfulness coaching with some executives recently. At one point in the session I asked them to complete the sentence ‘Compassion to me means…’ a number of the replies went something like this:

  • Listening more
  • Being more empathetic
  • Paying attention to the needs of others
  • Caring
  • Taking the time to understand

If you look at all the way in which they completed the sentence, you can see that all of them are simply ways of directing awareness to ourself or others:

  • Listening more begins by paying attention to others, or to ourself
  • Being empathetic to people’s needs follows from awareness
  • Caring and understanding comes quite naturally from focusing mindfully on a person or situation

From this we can see that if we want to develop our compassion and caring, all we need to do is practice being more mindfully aware, and increasing the quality of our attention. You can understand this from your own experience; if you recall the last time you really felt that someone was extending their compassion to you, you’ll see that much of that experience came from the feeling that they were paying you attention fully, in a way that made you feel understood and valued.
So ‘lazy compassion’ comes from simply recognizing that all you need to do to begin developing and increasing your compassion is to pay attention; to yourself, to others, to your environment. When you practice non-judgmental awareness of any of these things, the warmth of your own human compassion will begin to extend quite naturally to your objects of attention.

Sky and sun
Think of your awareness as being like the space of the sky, and your compassion like the rays of the sun.  Just bring your sky-like awareness to people and things, and then let the sunlight rays of your natural compassion follow the direction of your attention. In the Buddhist teachings where I first learned meditation your natural compassion was called ‘Buddha nature’; whenever our minds become clear and unclouded our natural compassion begins to shine out.

Practicing
Bring your attention to your body, sustain gentle non-judgmental awareness upon the body for a short while. Recognize that all you need to do to extend compassion to your body is to bring your attention to it; caring and compassion will follow that awareness. Do the same with your mind and emotions. Then:

  • Extend it out to include significant others in your life, then perhaps to people you don’t know or even have a difficult relationship with.
  • Extend your awareness to aspects of your environment, to the non-human creatures that are there. Make the circle of your compassion as large as you like!

In your daily life, whomever you are paying (mindful) attention to, allow your compassion to connect with them through the simple act of awareness.

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

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)

Monday 6.30-7.20 & Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tuesday 21st&22nd May – Wesak meditation on compassion

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 18th May, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Taoist meditation: Moving toward harmony (plus offer on Qi gong healing sessions)

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“Life is always changing, the point of balance in our circumstances is always changing. The challenge of meditating with the Tao is to be aware of this continuous flux, and make appropriate adjustments in your consciousness and action to keep in balance”.

Dear Integral Meditators,

Taoist and Qi gong meditation was the first formal meditation practice that I had. To this day I still use the principles of it daily. The article below outlines one of those principles, that of harmony and balance.

In the spirit of harmony,

Toby


Special offer on Toby’s Qi gong healing sessions; 15% off until Thursday 23rd May

“Of all the different things that I tried, I found that 10-15minutes of daily Qi gong flow had the biggest and most sustainable impact on my energy levels and wellbeing…” – Click herefor more details


Taoist meditation: Moving toward harmony 

One way Taoist meditation could be defined is being focused on ‘finding balance and harmony between polarized, opposing forces’. These forces can be categorized as either

  • Yin – Feminine, receptive
  • Or Yang – Active, dynamic

One point of interest here is that a person or thing is not fixed in their yin or yang nature. Something is always yin or yang IN RELATION TO something else.
For example: I may be a yin, quiet, introverted person in relation to my crazy, party animal brother, but I may relatively speaking be a yang, sociable talkative person in relation to my solitude-loving sister.
Life is always changing, the point of balance in our circumstances is always changing. The challenge of meditating with the Tao is to be aware of this continuous flux, and make appropriate adjustments in your consciousness and action to “stay in the Tao”, or keep in balance.
For example: In the morning I may be behind in my work, so I have to focus on being very active and dynamic before lunch. After lunch I may have caught up on my work, but my body is tired, so I need to slow down, rest and recuperate.
From this definition we can understand that Taoist meditation (and I think we could expand that to meditation in general) is not an entirely passive activity, but a way of coming back into balance, coming back into the middle, and avoiding the extreme/imbalanced expressions of either yin or yang.

A Practical Question for daily practice:
A basic question that we need to ask ourselves is “Where is my optimal point of balance right now, and what actions can I take to reconnect to that balance to the greatest degree possible?”
Try asking yourself this question once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening for a week. see where it takes you….

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

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)

Monday 6.30-7.20 & Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, May 11th & 18th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues 7th & Wednesday 8th May – Monthly Astrological meditation: Taurus – I have: Being mindful of your relationship to manifestation, wealth and possessions

Saturday 11th May, 1:00pm – 4:00pm – Mindful self confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief and self-trust

Tuesday 14th & Wednesday 15th May – Wesak meditation on compassion

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 18th May, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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