Meditation for cultivating vitality – Three practices

Below are three simple ways in which you can build vital energy in your body through meditation. They can be practised individually or in combination. They have the general meditation benefit of calming and focusing the body-mind, with the addition of specifically promoting the build-up and flow of life-force through the body.

Method 1 – Relaxing into tension:
Rather than fighting and seeking to get rid of tension, discomfort or fatigue in your body, make a point of moving towards it and relaxing into it. Try and locate the principal areas of tension in your body. Once you have identified them, take some time to work with each one in turn. Take a few breaths where as you inhale you allow yourself to feel the tension in that part of the body. Then, as you exhale relax into it and release. The principle here is that, if you focus attention on the area of the body where energy is blocked and work on releasing it, that will allow new energy and vitality to flow into that area of the body. Let your body relax so that vital energy can flow easily to areas where it is needed.

Method 2 – Breathing into your belly
In both the Zen and Qi gong traditions of meditation, there is a lot of emphasis upon breathing into the belly area, where the core of your body’s life-force (see my article on the Dan-tiens in qi gong) is said to be located. Initially, simply placing the palm of one hand on your belly, just beneath the belly button, and focusing on the rising and falling of the abdomen is a good way to start. Then once you have basic familiarity, you can visualize a ball of light about the size of a tennis ball sitting within the centre of the lower belly area. As you breathe in, see the ball glowing gently with vitality and life-force. As you breathe out see the light and energy from the ball expanding out into the rest of your body, filling it with energy. If you do this consistently, you will find that you have a real, tangible feeling of this energy building and expanding as you do the exercise.

Method 2 – Sitting like a pyramid
If you want to bring a sense of solidity and grounded-ness into your belly breathing, imagine your body as being like a pyramid as you sit and do the belly breathing. Imagine your hips and belly are like the broad base of the pyramid, with your chest and head tapering up to a point, so your hips and belly are super stable and broad. As you breathe in and out of the belly, release tension from your upper body downwards into the belly and hips, building the feeling of strength and stability.

Adding a smile
A final simple method you can combine with any of the above methods; add a gentle half smile into the mix:

  • As you release tension from the parts of your body, smile to them gently and warmly
  • As you breathe in and out of the belly, imagine the energy is warm and smiling, positively radiating out from the belly into the rest of the body.

Wishing you enjoyment with your experience of mindful vitality!

Related articles: 
Mindful Centring – three sitting positions
Breathing from your belly

Article and picture © 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 for February

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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, 16th & 23rd February – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturday 23rd February 11-12.30pm –   Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 23rd February, 3.30-5.30pm – Developing Your Self-Confidence Through Mindfulness Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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Mindful sitting – Three centring positions

“The way you sit and stand are psychological positions as well as a physical ones. Its worth doing them consciously.”

Here are three simple ways to centre yourself while sitting. You can practise them individually or together, one after the other. Each of them has a slightly different effect and benefit, all of them are simple and easy to do once you have tried them a few times. They are designed to encourage a feeling in the body that is helpful both to our physical health and energy levels as well as our psychological wellbeing. They can be done standing as well as sitting.

Position 1 – Sitting like a puppet: Sit upright in a chair, imagine that you have a piece of string attached to the crown of your head. Feel it pulling your head neck and torso up a couple of centimetres, so that your posture is upright and vertical. Now imagine you are hanging from the string. Relax all the muscles in the body as much as you can, so that the only muscle work that your body is doing is to keep itself upright. For example, your face does not need to hold any tension for the body to be upright. Progressively go through all the main areas of your body, relaxing them as much as possible. Then simply notice what this feels like, focusing your attention on it for a while.

Often when we are sitting or standing we are holding a lot of unnecessary tension in our body, the idea here is to create a habitual way of sitting that is ergonomic as well as relaxing.

Position 2 – The half-smile: Become aware of the expression on your face. Spend a few moments relaxing the muscles in the face and bringing it into a neutral expression. Then raise the corners of your mouth a few millimetres so that your expression describes a warm half-smile. As you breathe in, focus on the feeling of the expression, as you breathe out, extend the feeling of the expression to the rest of your body, and if you like to any moods, emotions or thoughts in your mind. Centre yourself around your facial expression for a short while, being curious about the effect that it has on you.

Its very easy to spend long periods of the day with holding tension and emotion in our expression that are not helping us. The half-smile helps us to counter this tendency.

Position 3 – Sitting with confidence: The half-smile expression already invites a feeling of gentle self-confidence. Becoming more aware of the body, make small adjustments that help you connect to a feeling of confidence. Even if you don’t feel immediately confident, adopt a posture that helps you start to move that way; shoulders and chest open and relaxed, hands and limbs relaxed. Like the other two positions, practice the posture so that the body becomes familiar with it, and it becomes a habitual, default body posture for you, even when you are under pressure.

So, there you go, three body positions to practice centring yourself mindfully around anytime!

Article and picture © 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 


Shadow Coaching with Toby February Special Offer

Special offer of 15% off Toby’s shadow coaching 3 session package up to end Thursday 14th February. for full details click HERE!
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia for February

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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, 16th & 23rd February – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues & Weds February 12/13th – Monthly astrological meditation – Aquarius: Developing your inner knowing and self-knowledge

Saturday 23rd February 11-12.30pm –   Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 23rd February, 3.30-5.30pm – Developing Your Self-Confidence Through Mindfulness Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

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Unstructured mindfulness – Turning and facing yourself

Dear  Integral Meditators,

What might happen if you spent 5-10mins each day simply turning your attention within you and becoming more self-aware? The article below explores this question, and how you can start to engage in this form of ‘unstructured mindfulness’ practice.
There’s a special offer on on my shadow coaching, details are below!
Finally, a reminder of this coming Tuesday and Wednesday evening class: Monthly astrological meditation – Aquarius: Developing your inner knowing and self-knowledge

In the spirit of self-awareness,

Toby


Shadow Coaching with Toby February Special Offer

Special offer of 15% off Toby’s shadow coaching 3 session package up to end Thursday 14th February. for full details click HERE!
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung

Unstructured mindfulness – Turning and facing yourself

“Focus on holding the position of the observer. If you do this you will notice that there is a feeling of stability within you that comes from the discipline of holding this position, and doing nothing more.”

The value of self-awareness
One of the main points of mindfulness is to increase your self-awareness. The more self-aware you are, the more self-knowledge you will have. The more self-knowledge you have, the more likely you are to make intelligent choices that will lead to you both being effective in your life and nurture your wellbeing.
There are many ways of using mindfulness to increase self-awareness, but essentially, it just means spending regular time turning and looking within.

How you do it – turning and facing
Unstructured mindfulness is simply the act of turning your attention inwards and noticing what is going on within your body, heart and mind. You just turn your attention from the outer world to your inner, or interior world, and watch. You are not following a structure or listening to a voice leading you through a process, you are just turning your mental gaze inwards and noticing what is going on within you, in the moment. If you do this, you will start to become aware of things going on in a way that you were not previously. This means that you are increasing your self-awareness.

Stability comes from the position of the observer
As you are doing this, all you need to do is hold the position of the observer. Watch and notice. Don’t try and fix or alter, simply focus gently on holding the position of the observer. If you do this you will notice that there is an increasingly reliable feeling of stability within you that comes from holding the position of the observer, and doing nothing more.

Two anchors for support
The act of turning and facing yourself can be quite intimidating for some people. With this in mind, here are two simply methods or positions you can use to anchor your mind to as you watch:

  1. The non-emergency of the present moment – Recognize that in this moment, right now, there is no immanent emergency. Relax into the recognition that you are safe, and you can afford this time to just turn inward and watch!
  2. Letting your body breath – If difficult or challenging things come up as you watch your mind and body, let your body breathe in a way that helps you to accept and then release what comes up. If you let it, your body knows how to breath in a way that will lead you and it gradually towards balance and equilibrium.

© 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 


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, 16th & 23rd February – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues & Weds February 12/13th – Monthly astrological meditation – Aquarius: Developing your inner knowing and self-knowledge

Saturday 9th February, 9.30am-12.30pm  – Going from overwhelmed to overwell meditation workshop

Saturday 23rd February 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 23rd February, 3.30-5.30pm – Developing Your Self-Confidence Through Mindfulness Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Free Form Breathing – Allowing your body intelligence to decide

Dear  Integral Meditators,

This weeks article is a short, simple and profound breathing meditation technique for getting in touch with your body’s natural intelligence and wisdom. I do it a lot, and when I teach it people give very good feedback on the immediate effects they notice!
Reminder of the next two classes, this Tuesday and Wednesday’s Chinese New year meditation, and the Aquarius meditation on developing your self-knowledge on the 12/13th February.

In the spirit of our body-wisdom,

Toby


Free Form Breathing – Allowing your body intelligence to decide

One very simple technique that can be used both as a meditation in itself, or in order to prepare for other meditation practices is as follows:
Simply ask your body how it wants to breathe in order to find its point of balance, relaxation and calm. Then simply allow your bodies consciousness to guide the pace, depth and manner of your breathing for a few minutes.

In this exercise rather than imposing a technique or form upon your breathing and body, you allow your body consciousness to guide you in the breathing pattern IT needs to do most in order to find centered-ness, relaxation and calm. It may decide that it needs to breathe in short bursts with an emphasis on the outbreath, it may guide you toward long, evenly spaced breathing or whatever (you may be a little surprised!). The point is that you are allowing your body consciousness to do it, rather than dictating to our body what the rhythm should be.
Once you have done this for a while you’ll find that your mind and body are calmer and more centered, and you can go onto engage in whatever activity you then wish with a greater sense of poise and presence of mind.

© 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 


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

January 29/30th, 7.30-8.30pm – Lunar new year meditation 2019: Being benevolent and big-hearted in the year of the Pig

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, 16th & 23rd February  – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturdays February 9th & 23rd, 4-5.30pm , 4-5.30pm – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby

Tues & Weds February 12/13th – Monthly astrological meditation – Aquarius: Developing your inner knowing and self-knowledge

Saturday 9th February, 9.30am-12.30pm  – Going from overwhelmed to overwell meditation workshop

Saturday 23rd February 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

MARCH

Saturday 16th March, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation for self healing and creating high levels of energy


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Trusting Yourself (Your first Guardian Angel)

Dear  Integral Meditators,

This Sunday I will be doing a workshop on your meditation with your Guardian Angels. Before you start thinking about how you relate to ‘spiritual guardians’, its really important to realize that your first personal guardian is yourself, your mind and your ‘inner signals’.
The article below explores in a practical way how you can build trust in yourself and your inner signals.
Those interested in the workshop, just click on the link below. You can also see my previous article on Understanding and working with your Guardian Angel.

In the spirit of trusting your inner signals,

Toby


This Sunday 27th January, 2-5pm – Meditations for connecting to and working with your Guardian Angel

In a sentence: Learn how you can use meditation as a practical way of connecting to and communicating with your guardian angel.
All of the great wisdom traditions speak of speak of spiritual guardians who can offer us support, guidance and protection on our journey through life. This workshop focuses specifically on the tradition of the personal guardian angel. In the session you will learn what is mean by an ‘angel’ or angelic being, and what is the nature and function of our own guardian angel….click here for full details.


Trusting Yourself (Your first Guardian Angel)

Mindfulness and meditation can give us temporary calm and relief from the continuous activity of our thinking mind, but if we are tempted to use it as a way of escaping from our mind then we should be wary.
Ideally mindfulness should be a way of gaining confidence and trust in our mind and ourself so that gradually our relationship to our thinking mind becomes more and more harmonious and mutually supportive; our thoughts support a healthy experience of self, and our sense of self encourages a reliable approach to thinking about our life experience.
Nathaniel Branden has in interesting definition of self-confidence, he says “Self confidence is confidence in the reliability of our mind as a tool of cognition…it is the conviction that we are genuinely committed to perceiving and honouring reality to the fullest extent of our volitional power.”
So, the long and the short of this is that in order to be genuinely and deeply self-confident, you need to learn to trust your mind, and use it as well as you are able within the limits of your ability.

Pseudo-self confidence
Quite a few people exert a lot of effort building pseudo self-confidence in order to disguise their fundamental lack of trust in their own mind and judgment. We might become very physically fit, or very wealthy, or have read all the right books about being a parent, have gained many educational certificates and degrees, or even become an expert meditator (and other examples ad infinitum) all as a way of building a buffer between ourself and our actual moment to moment experience of reality and life. Fundamentally we don’t trust our mind to be able to deal with it effectively; deep down we lack self-confidence, so we build buffers and things to hide behind.

Three mindful questions for building self-confidence and trust in your mind.
Take a situation in your life, perhaps something that you have experienced today. Ask yourself three questions in turn:
“What am I seeing and experiencing here”
“What are my mind, emotions and senses signalling to me about what I am seeing and experiencing?”
“Am I honouring my own experience and mind here or am I turning away from it?”The answer to the third question will tell you whether you are using this activity and experience to build your self-confidence and trust in your own mind, or whether you are subverting it. As the old saying goes “Many drops of water slowly dripping into a pot will eventually make it full”; in our day by day journey to self-confidence, or to a lack of it, this saying rubs both ways.Generally the challenge here is not that we don’t know enough, but that we know more than we would like, and would rather avoid the responsibility of that knowledge.

© 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 


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

January 29/30th, 7.30-8.30pm – Lunar new year meditation 2019: Being benevolent and big-hearted in the year of the Pig

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am :16th & 23rd February  – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturdays , 4-5.30pm – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby

Saturday 26th January, 1-4pm – Growing your mindful freedom meditation workshop

Sunday 27th January, 2-5pm – Meditations for connecting to and working with your Guardian Angel

FEBRUARY

Saturday 9th February, 9.30-12.30 – Going from overwhelmed to overwell meditation workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Understanding and working with your Guardian Angel

Dear  Integral Meditators,

Every now and again I do an article on something a little esoteric, usually informed by what is going on in my own meditation process. This week’s article is on how to understand work mindfully with the idea of your Guardian Angel.
If you enjoy it, then on Sunday 27th January, 2-5pm I’ll be facilitating a Meditations for connecting to and working with your Guardian Angel workshop.

In the spirit of our inner guidance,

Toby


Working with your Guardian Angel

All of the great wisdom traditions speak of speak of spiritual guardians who can offer us support, guidance and protection on our journey through life. What I am going to offer here is two working definitions of your Guardian Angel that will enable you to start working with it, and the idea of it in a practical manner.

1. If there is a guiding, universal spirit of some kind, and it is benevolent towards us, then your guardian angel is that spiritual force, appearing in the image of a personal guardian.
If you believe in any way that there is a spiritual force that is bigger than all of us and that is working for our wellbeing, then our Guardian Angel the part of that spiritual force that guides and protects us as individuals. Each of us has our ‘own’ Guardian Angel. It could be visualized in a humanoid form, as a light or actually in a number of other ways. The way in which we imagine it enables us to connect to that force in a way that enables us to trust it, feel protected by it and let its influence into our life.
Having understood our Guardian Angel in this way, we can start to relate to it in a personalized, subjective manner, visualizing it and connecting to it as a spiritual friend, ally and confidante.

2. Our Guardian Angel is that part of the ‘divine plan’ that accompanied our own divine spark or spirit when it split off from source at the beginning of this cycle of creation. Its function is to help us to complete our own particular piece of that ‘divine plan’.
This is a slightly deeper definition that follows (in large part) the definition of Dion Fortune in the Mystical Qabalah. Here are two analogies that may help you to relate to this definition:

 Your guardian angel as ‘spiritual software’ – If you think about your spiritual self as being like the original core and centre of your being, then your Guardian Angel is like a special piece of ‘software’ that was built in in order to help you in your path of personal growth. It is designed to help, support, protect, and to provide healing and guidance as your  soul treads its path of evolution in this life. It also has the capacity to connect with and communicate with the Guardian Angels of those around you, communicating and co-ordinating your life paths together in supportive ways.
As R2D2 – You may recall in the first Star Wars movie, Luke Skyalker had an assistant droid robot called R2D2. When Luke was flying his X-wing fighter craft in combat, R2D2 would be sitting behind him in the craft providing information and assistance as he flew. So, in this analogy, you are the fighter pilot, and your guardian Angel is like R2D2, giving you help and assistance as you experience the ‘combat’ of your life path. It is trying to help you even without your awareness, but when you consciously engage with it, then you can start to leverage to a much greater degree on the support that is available.

A simple meditation on and with your Guardian Angel
Sit quietly and centre. Imagine the presence of your Guardian Angel as a light and energy centred in between your shoulder blades, sitting half in and half out of your physical body. The ‘heart centre’ of your guardian angel is sitting just behind your own heart centre/chakra. Feel the energy of your Guardian Angel strengthening and supporting your body, your heart and your mind. If you like you can also imagine the ‘wings’ of your Guardian Angel enfolding and protecting your energy field, forming a circle around you. As you sit, gently start to commune with your Angel, receive its love, talk to it about any issues you want feedback on, mostly just cultivate awareness of its presence, and allow that to inform your experiences as you go through your day.

© 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


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am :5th & 12th January – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturdays January 5th & 19th, 4-5.30pm – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby

Saturday 19th January 2.15-3.45pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 26th January, 1-4pm – Growing your mindful freedom meditation workshop

Sunday 27th January, 2-5pm – Meditations for connecting to and working with your Guardian Angel

FEBRUARY
Satruday 9th February, 9.30-12.30 – Going from overwhelmed to overwell meditation workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Six aspects of mindful self-leadership – (Channeling your inner mountain-goat)

Dear  Integral Meditators,

Setting your own pace and direction in life is a big key to personal fulfilment and esteem. In the article below I detail six aspects of self-leadership that I have found to be useful in terms of my own path.
In next weeks evening classes the monthly astrological meditation will be on Capricorn, where we will be focusing on self-leadership a our object of meditation. If you can’t make it physically, then you can always get the recording!
And a final reminder of Saturday afternoons Mindfulness group coaching session on mindful relationships and communication!

In the spirit of self-leadership,

Toby


Last few days! Up to January 8th: Special offer of 15% off on Toby’s Mindful goals coaching

Get your new year started on the right note This is a 1:1 coaching service with Toby that focuses upon how you can use engaged mindfulness and meditation as a way of achieving specific goals in your life.

  • Are you looking for concrete ways that you can combine improving your mental peace and centeredness with moving forward toward your goals in life?
  • Do you sometimes find yourself struggling to bridge the gap between your life goals and your daily actions/experiences?
  • Would you like to have a personally created mindfulness training program designed specifically for your needs and to help you achieve what you want in life? …click here for full details!

Six aspects of mindful self-leadership – (Channeling your inner mountain-goat)

We can receive support and encouragement from others in our life, but finally we are the ones who are responsible for choosing what we want, and taking the direction that we want to go in. Good mindful self-leadership skill are among the most important qualities that you can develop if you are looking for happiness and personal fulfillment. Here are six aspects of self-leadership that it is worthwhile being aware of and practicing.

Setting your own pace and giving yourself permission
As mammals we are always looking left and right to see what people around us are doing, and making comparisons between ‘where we are, and where they are’. This can result in us speeding up or slowing down in reaction to what’s around. The set your own pace means  know what you want, and set the right pace for you to get things done in the way you want. If everyone is going out to party, and your tired out, then stay in. If everyone else is telling you to go in one direction, but your inner signals are telling you not to, then listen to them and act accordingly. Know yourself and set your own pace and speed.

The courage of acceptance
Accepting who you are, what you are feeling, the situation in front of you. Accepting your anxiety or excitement, your loneliness, your passion or insecurity. Accept and work with what is really present for you in this moment, don’t live in denial of it. This gives you your basic ‘reality orientation’ from which you can then proceed to lead yourself to where you want to go.

Owning your goals and taking responsibility 
What are the goals that when you hold them in your heart you really notice a tangible movement toward enthusiasm, excitement, passion? Identifying the goals that are really, truly important to you, yours and not other peoples is super important. From there the task becomes ‘What can I do today to take myself one step closer to this goal?’ In other words taking full personal responsibility to turning your abstract goal into a tangible reality, one action at a time.

Going beyond boredom and novelty
Going beyond boredom and novelty means having the capacity to be process oriented, consistent, and having the mental stamina to keep on going beyond the point where you can rely on the excitement of a new inspiration and enthusiasm.

Being ok with alone
Finally, if you are doing what you want, in the way that you want to do it, this may (not always, but sometimes) mean that you have to spend periods of time alone, in your own company and not being encouraged or affirmed by others. If you are leading from the front, then it can feel like an isolated position to be in. Being comfortable with that, and even enjoying it enables you to take the direction needed, without fear of loneliness.

Don’t lie to yourself, or make promises to yourself that you don’t keep
This final point is important, because often we can be more conscientious about our promises to others than we are in our conversation with ourself. If you are at all interested in building self-leadership and self-esteem, then really work on keeping your commitments to yourself.

Channeling your inner mountain-goat
One image I like for self-leadership (relating to the start sign of Capricorn) is that of a mountain goat. See yourself and your path of self-leadership as a mountain goat, patiently and agile-ly traveling up a steep mountainside. You have the strength, the patience and the ingenuity to lead yourself all the way to the top. No matter what the obstacles or difficulties you persist, all the way to the peak of your mountain!

Related articlesMindfully dancing between doing and being
Effortless effort – The cycle of mindful growth

© 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


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am :5th & 12th January – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturdays January 5th & 19th, 4-5.30pm – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby

Tues & Weds January 1st, 2nd, 7.30-8.30pm – New year balancing and renewing meditation

Tues & weds January 8th & 9th – Monthly astrological meditation – Capricorn; developing your inner self-leadership 

Saturday 19th January 2.15-3.45pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 26th January, 1-4pm – Growing your mindful freedom meditation workshop

FEBRUARY
Satruday 9th February, 9.30-12.30 – Going from overwhelmed to overwell meditation workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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Relaxing into your potential – Renewal meditation & recording

Dear  Integral Meditators,

I hope your winter Solstice and Christmas breaks are going great! We’re now in that little pocket of time between Christmas and the new year. Here’s a half hour meditation on renewal that I recorded in class recently (click to listen and/or download). It’s one that I really enjoy and find useful. A basic description of the meditation is below.
If you enjoy the meditation, then do have a look at the New Year releasing and inviting meditation that I’ll be doing on the 1st & 2nd of January 😉
Beneath the meditation, I’ve placed some details of a special offer on my 1:1 Mindful goals coaching, and then beneath that details of the schedule for January.

In the spirit of renewal,

Toby


Renewal

Christmas comes around the same time as the winter solstice (northern hemisphere the 21st/22nd December). It is the time when the light of the sun, having reached its lowest ebb begins to gradually become stronger once more, eventually taking us into spring. Here is a simple meditation image that I like to contemplate around this time:

  • Imagine you are a seed in the ground in a winter landscape. Up until now you have been dormant, almost as if dead, but now at this time of the year something awakens deep within you; a spark of light, an awakening of life, right within the centre or core of yourself as a seed.
  • As you meditate on the image of the seed, feel a renewal of light and life deep within your heart of hearts; an awakening of the first seeds of your highest potential as you move forward in to a new cycle of life in the new year.
  • You may not know what this new cycle of life will bring, but for now there is no need to worry about that. For now simply sit quietly and acknowledge the first awakening of this new life deep within you and allow it to nurture and renew you.
© Toby Ouvry 2018, 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

Until January 8th: Special offer of 15% off on Toby’s Mindful goals coaching

Get your new year started on the right note1 This is a 1:1 coaching service with Toby that focuses upon how you can use engaged mindfulness and meditation as a way of achieving specific goals in your life.

  • Are you looking for concrete ways that you can combine improving your mental peace and centeredness with moving forward toward your goals in life?
  • Do you sometimes find yourself struggling to bridge the gap between your life goals and your daily actions/experiences?
  • Would you like to have a personally created mindfulness training program designed specifically for your needs and to help you achieve what you want in life? …click here for full details!

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am :5th & 12th January – Qi Gong workout and meditation class
Saturdays January 5th & 19th, 4-5.30pm – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby
Tues & Weds January 1st, 2nd, 7.30-8.30pm – New year balancing and renewing meditation
Tues & weds January 8th & 9th – Monthly astrological meditation – Capricorn; developing your inner self-leadership 
Saturday 19th January 2-3.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever
Saturday 26th January, 1-4pm – Growing your mindful freedom meditation workshop

FEBRUARY
Satruday 9th February, 9.30-12.30 – Going from overwhelmed to overwell meditation workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Stabilizing your pyramid of consciousness

Dear  Integral Meditators,

What is the simplest, stablest and most basic way to stabilize your mind and attention? The article below explores one answer to this in a practical way.
This week we have the Winter Solstice meditation tomorrow and Wednesday, as well as morning Qi gong, and the afternoon mindfulness group coaching on Saturday.

In the stability,

Toby


Stabilizing your pyramid of
consciousness

Within your field of awareness, you have three basic areas; your senses, your feelings and your thoughts. Of these, which do you imagine is the most stable and reliable? Which of these three moves slowest and is the most predictable? If you watch for a while, you will see clearly from experience that the answer to this is your senses. The mind and emotions can move and change very quickly and unpredictably. Your physical awareness and senses however are much slower moving. For example, if you bring your attention to the sensation of your physical body over a one minute period, you’ll see that it remains fairly constant, even as your mind moves here and there, and your moods shift.

Anchoring your attention to your senses
In mindfulness terms then, if you want to establish basic stability in this moment, the obvious place to go is to your physical body and senses. You can use them as an anchor for your attention. If you think about your attention as like a boat, and your thoughts and feelings as being like the waves, wind and other moving conditions around the boat. Your body and senses then become like the anchor that keeps the boat in one place. You don’t even need to try too hard still your mind and feelings. Just keep coming back to the anchor of your body, and you’ll find this gives you the basic ‘weight’ and stability for a sense of calm to start to come into your mind.

The weight of your body
I find it particularly useful to focus on the weight and solidity of my body. In particular the sensation of the weight where my body is on contact with the floor or surface where it is sitting or standing. So, if you are standing, that would be the soles of your feet, or if you are sitting it’s the back of your legs and butt that is on contact with the seat. If you like you can focus on the weight of your body as you inhale and then feel the tension in your upper body flowing down into the floor through that contact point as you exhale.

Your pyramid of consciousness 
If you think about your consciousness as being like pyramid, with your senses as the broad base, your mind and emotions as the mid-section, and consciousness itself as the top tip (see the article diagram). In this exercise, we are focusing upon stabilizing the ‘base’ of our pyramid by paying attention to the weight of the body. If the base is stable, then everything above it is going to feel basically strong and stable, even when your under pressure.

You don’t need perfect concentration!
Even if as you are focusing on the weight of your body you are only able to concentrate 10-20% of your attention on it, then that is still 10-20% more stability and centre than you have when your lost in your thoughts and feelings. What’s more, if you lose focus on the weight of the body, its very easy to find again, as it is such a simple, obvious sensation. When you have a sensory ‘anchor’ for your consciousness, then even if you ‘get lost’ its easy to find centre again!

This week you might like to spend a few minutes each day ‘stabilizing the pyramid of your consciousness’ by paying attention to the weight of your body.

© Toby Ouvry 2018, 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

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am 1st,15th, 22nd, 29th December – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturdays December 15th & 22nd – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby

Tues & Weds Dec 18/19th, 7.30-8.30pm – Winter Solstice balancing & renewing meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Mindful of your moods, emotions and dispositions

Dear  Integral Meditators,

In the the foreground or background of each moment you experience, there is a mood, emotion and ‘atmosphere’. The article below explores how to start working with these mindfully in your life.
If you enjoy the article, then do consider coming down to this Saturday  mornings’ group coaching session, where we will be exploring this area experientially.
Full details of this weeks other classes and workshops can be found here.

In the spirit of moods and atmospheres,

Toby


Engaged Mindfulness book is on a special 10% offer for the next until end Tuesday 11th Dec)

Christmas is coming up, if you are looking for a meaningful, inexpensive present to pass out to friends, why not order a few copies of ‘Engaged Mindfulness’? It’s a short, 45 page primer on integral mindfulness, broken up into short 1-2page sections. Click here to order your copies…


Mindful of your moods, emotions and dispositions

This article focuses on how you can start to work with emotions, moods and dispositions, for the purposes of enjoyment, as well as becoming more effective in your life. Let’s start with a few definitions:
Emotions are temporary energetic reactions to particular events; what someone said to you, something that you hoped for not happening, something unpredictable occurring, an experience of good fortune etc. Although they are temporary, if you start watching them you’ll start to notice that have a particular habitual range emotions that you use in your life. This is rather like an artist who has a love or habit of working with a particular colour range.
Moods are emotions that you tend to spend quite a lot of time in. They become the background ‘atmospheres’ within which you live much of your life. Anxiety or curiousity, lightness or heaviness, resentment or appreciation, optimism or pessimism are all examples. They are like the typical ‘weather’ that you might expect to experience in a country at a particular time of year and season.
Dispositions are what you might think of as the primary moods that we tend to live in. We spend such a lot of time in them that they become pretty much our personality; they form some of the basic ways in which we experience our self as a personality.

Something to notice about emotions, moods and dispositions is that you are pretty much always in one – it’s useful to be aware of and take it into account because they open or close avenues of possibility and action for us in each moment. For example, an attitude of optimism opens up emotions of appreciation, pleasure and lightness, but may make us blind to certain problems that we need to look at realistically. Similarly, an attitude of pessimism closes certain desirable emotional states, but also invites some interesting insights into areas of risk in our life that we might do well to look at.
Simply asking ‘What are the moods and emotions present for me in this situation?’ will make us aware of what is there and how it is affecting us.

Centring in difficult moods and emotions
If you are experiencing a difficult mood or emotion, then, rather than try and shift out of it or get rid of it immediately, it can often be most useful to simply recognize it, and centre yourself, so that it isn’t keeping you off balance. Once you are aware and have centred yourself, you can them make a choice whether you want to try and shift out of the mood/emotion or stay with it and see what it has to offer you in that moment.

Identifying your habitual range of mood and emotion.
If you watch your moods, emotions and dispositions you’ll start to have a sense of the ‘mood options’ that you have available to you. You can start to cultivate particular emotions and moods in particular situations where they will serve you particularly well.
You’ll also notice that you have particularly inspiring moods and emotions within your range that open up avenues of action and possibility that will help you go experience life better in the moment and get you where you want to go. So consciously cultivating these moods is a good idea! For example, I have a little post-it message on the picture above my lap-top right now that says, ‘Everything is possible!’ This reminds me to open to and live in a mood that is particularly meaningful and helpful to me right now.
So, a good mindful question to go with this last section might be ‘What mood or emotion can I cultivate that would serve me best in this situation?

© Toby Ouvry 2018, 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


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am 1st,15th, 22nd, 29th December – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues & Weds, 4th, 5th December – Monthly Astrological meditation – on ‘Sagittarius – I perceive/understand’

Saturdays December 15th & 22nd – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby

Saturday 15th December, 1-4pm – Integral meditation practice: Optimize your inner calm, strength and energy

Tues & Weds Dec 18/19th, 7.30-8.30pm – Winter Solstice balancing & renewing meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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