Mindfully dis-agreeable

Dear Integral Meditators,

One of the reasons we shy away from dis-agreeable people and energy is that it can feel pretty volatile, even violent at times. This doesn’t mean we can avoid it however, it makes it an even more important aspect of ourselves that we need to master in the right way. The article below explores how to do start doing this.

Heads up for this weeks Live & Online Monthly Full Moon Meditation & Manifestation Session on Tuesday & Wednesday evenings, and for the start next Monday of  The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood.

In the spirit of agreeably dis-agreeable,

Toby


Mindfully dis-agreeable

Recently I’ve been encountering some dis-agreeable people in my life, and I’ve also noticed my coaching clients are facing a few as well! Being by nature a fairly agreeable person, I find dealing with people who are dis-agreeable quite challenging. This is not necessarily because they are ‘bad’ and I am ‘good’. Rather it is because they feel comfortable and even enjoy conflict, whereas for me I prefer reconciliation, co-operation, consideration and other ‘agreeable’ ways of interacting. Over the years it’s become very clear to me that, if you are a kind gentle person without an appropriately dis-agreeable side, then this places you at a big dis-advantage in life. You need to have access to gentleness and kindness, balanced by the capacity to manage conflict appropriately.

The higher and lower expressions of dis-agreeable
One of the reasons you might be reluctant to embrace your dis-agreeable side is that you confuse it with outright negativity. You may equate dis-agreeable with qualities like:

  • Delusional and paranoid
  • Grumpy or negatively angry
  • Unreasonable
  • Emotionally immature or stunted
  • Sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies
  • Physically or psychologically abusive or violent

However, dis-agreeable can also mean the appropriate, balanced capacity to be appropriately

  • Assertive and powerful
  • Just and fair
  • Protective of self and others
  • Defend boundaries
  • Stand up to bullies
  • Tell the and/or your truth

This second list of dis-agreeable qualities I think you can see are important to develop and own within yourself.

Agreeable is always good?
Contrastingly, we often have the idea that ‘agreeable’ is always a good quality. It means you are a person who is kind, caring, conciliatory, looking for compromise, considerate and so on. However, the lower quality of imbalanced agreeable people includes

  • Being submissive and weak
  • Running away from conflict
  • Avoiding reality, living in a dreamworld
  • Can’t speak up for themselves
  • Avoids an argument of conversation that needs having
  • Is an escapist
  • Represses their anger and becomes vulnerable to depression or low self-esteem

So then, to learn to be ‘good’ at dis-agreeability means:

  • To learn to be happy to be in conflict with someone and hold your space/position
  • Stop hoping the other person will be reasonable, and just take each transaction one at a time without overly stressing about it
  • Learn to tolerate and even enjoy dis-agreements
  • To not be intimidated by the anger or aggression of others
  • To own your own positive anger and aggression in the service of the good and the true

One of the reasons we shy away from dis-agreeable energy is that it can feel pretty volatile and even violent at times. This doesn’t mean we can avoid it however, it makes it an even more important aspect of our energy that we need to master in the right way!
The next time you are in a space where there is conflict, and where there are dis-agreeable people around, pay attention, there is a lot to train in and get mindfully better at!

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


Tues 19th & Weds 20th October – Live & Online Monthly Full Moon Meditation & Manifestation Session

About the meditation: We all live our life within an environment that consists fundamentally/experientially of the Earth, Moon, Sun and Stars. The monthly lunar cycle describes our relationship to the Moon, and the powerful influence that it has on our life. In the physical world we see this influence most obviously in the tides of the sea. In our inner life we experience it as the coming and going of energy, moods and emotions within our psyche. This meditation, done on or around the full moon capitalises on the heightened lunar energies at this time of the month to…read full details


Starts Monday October 25th – The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood

How can you move from coping to thriving in your life as a man?

Much is asked of men in their traditional roles as fathers and sons, partners and husbands, students and teachers, employees and employers. The men’s group is a professionally moderated and confidential forum for men. A forum is a safe place for exploring, learning and sharing the successful perspectives, skills, and strategies needed to address and manage the unique issues, problems, and triumphs in our community…read full details


Tues & Weds 26&27th October – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Samhain (Aka All hallows eve, or Halloween) is the time in the northern hemisphere when we enter the darker months of the year & winter. Traditionally it is said to be the time when the veil between the world of the living and the inner world of our ancestors is said to be thinnest. Consequently, it is an ideal time for us to commune with our ancestors in meditation…read full details


Friday 5th November 7.30-8.30pm – Online New moon beginners mind, health visualization & envisioning session

About the session: This class is done monthly around the turn of the new moon and enable us to open to new beginnings, new possibilities and make a fresh start, specifically with regard to physical health and psychological wellbeing
A picture speaks a thousand words” as the saying goes! In meditation we use  two main methods:

  • Visualization – The conscious use of images and imagery to invoke a better present moment and future experience of health
  • Envisioning – The seeking of spontaneous inner visions that connect us to sources of health & support in the imaginal world, and inspire us toward greater levels of energy energy and wellbeing

Read full details


 

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

Life Coaching and Meditation coaching 3-6month packages are on a 15% offer up until Weds 20th October. If getting some coaching is an idea you have been contemplating, then this is a good opportunity to get it and save some money on the price. 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

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

Saturday October 16th & 23rd, 10am-4pm – Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing

Starts Monday October 25th – The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood

Tues & Weds 26&27th October – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Friday 5th November 7.30-8.30pm – Online New moon beginners mind, health visualization & envisioning session


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Is meditation difficult or easy?

Dear Integral Meditators,

Should you expect meditation to be difficult or easy? In my article below I outline a away of understanding meditation why it could be considered to be both difficult and easy, and also neither. It also shows how you can make meditation something that is not separate from your daily activities and experience.
Last call for this weekends Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing. Also, heads up for next weeks Live & Online Monthly Full Moon Meditation & Manifestation Session on Tuesday & Wednesday evenings.

In the spirit of energy,

Toby


Is meditation difficult or easy?

Meditation – the point between relaxation & focus, concepts & inertia
There are many different ways of practising meditation, what I want to explain in this article is the space that meditation occupies. If we can identify it clearly, then we can start to see the commonality of different meditation practices despite their differences. This in turn makes it easier for us to start to put together combinations of different meditations together in an integrated, complementary manner, without feeling they are contradicting each other.
Focus and relaxation – All meditation states involve a combination of focus and relaxation. In order for our attention to settle on something, we need to be relaxed enough and focused enough. Too much focus leads to the tension of over-exertion, whilst too much relaxation leads to our attention wandering away anyhow.
Conceptualization and inertia – Meditation occupies a space where we are experiencing something, and we are aware of that experience. If we start to conceptualize or think, our mind moves away from direct experiencing, getting lost in thought, and in the world of ‘past’ and future’. If we start to fall asleep (inertia), our mind also loses its grip on the awareness of its experience in the moment, and away from meditation.

Both difficult and easy?

So, from this point of view then, meditation seems simple. If I want to meditate on my body, I just need to pay attention to the sensation of my body, and be aware of that experience. If I do that, I can say I am in a state of awakened meditation in the moment. If you try that, then you also start to see that although the injunction is simple, it is not always so easy to do. Our attention keeps veering towards thinking on the one hand, and sleep on the other, toward trying too hard and over focusing, and relaxing too much. This simultaneous difficult-ness and easiness is captured quite well in the story of Layman Pang, as Zen Master living in the 8th century, and his wife and daughter, who were also realized masters:

Laymen Pang complained: “How difficult it is! How difficult it is! My meditation is like drying the fibers of ten thousand pounds of flax by hanging them in the sun.”
His wife replied: “Easy, easy, easy. It’s like touching your feet to the ground when you get out of bed. I have found the teaching right in the tops of flowering plants.”
His daughter, Ling-chao, hearing both outbursts, showed them the truth: “My meditation is neither difficult nor easy. When I am hungry I eat. When I am tired I rest.”

You can practice meditation right now simple by pausing from what you are doing, and becoming aware of what you are experiencing in the moment. That’s meditation. If you can sustain that awareness, then to that degree you spend more and more of your time in an awakened state. But that’s not easy. But it’s not difficult either, and the next step is always the one in front of you. Hence Ling-Chao’s classic Zen quote above “When I am hungry I eat. When I am tired I rest.”

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 October 16th & 23rd – Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing

In a sentence: Learn unique Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and improve your meditation.

Overview: According to the ancient Chinese view, the vital force provided by air through breathing is even more important to health and longevity than that provided by food and water through digestion. The way in which we breathe is also a direct reflection of the levels of stress that we are feeling; when we feel calm our breathing becomes deep and regular, when we feel stress our breathing becomes shallower and quicker…read full details


Tues 19th & Weds 20th October – Live & Online Monthly Full Moon Meditation & Manifestation Session

About the meditation: We all live our life within an environment that consists fundamentally/experientially of the Earth, Moon, Sun and Stars. The monthly lunar cycle describes our relationship to the Moon, and the powerful influence that it has on our life. In the physical world we see this influence most obviously in the tides of the sea. In our inner life we experience it as the coming and going of energy, moods and emotions within our psyche. This meditation, done on or around the full moon capitalises on the heightened lunar energies at this time of the month to…read full details


Starts Monday October 25th – The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood

How can you move from coping to thriving in your life as a man?

Much is asked of men in their traditional roles as fathers and sons, partners and husbands, students and teachers, employees and employers. The men’s group is a professionally moderated and confidential forum for men. A forum is a safe place for exploring, learning and sharing the successful perspectives, skills, and strategies needed to address and manage the unique issues, problems, and triumphs in our community…read full details


Tues & Weds 26&27th October – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Samhain (Aka All hallows eve, or Halloween) is the time in the northern hemisphere when we enter the darker months of the year & winter. Traditionally it is said to be the time when the veil between the world of the living and the inner world of our ancestors is said to be thinnest. Consequently, it is an ideal time for us to commune with our ancestors in meditation…read full details


 

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

Life Coaching and Meditation coaching 3-6month packages are on a 15% offer up until Weds 20th October. If getting some coaching is an idea you have been contemplating, then this is a good opportunity to get it and save some money on the price. 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

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

Saturday October 16th & 23rd, 10am-4pm – Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing

Starts Monday October 25th – The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood

Tues & Weds 26&27th October – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Friday 5th November 7.30-8.30pm – Online New moon beginners mind, health visualization & envisioning session

 


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Meditating with an energy ball (Drawing energy from the un-manifest)

Dear integral Meditators,

If you can imagine that,  level of consciousness itself there is basically a limitless reserve of energy. One question coming from this might then be “How can I tap into that level in order to experience more energy for myself on the mental and physical level?” The article below explores this question in a practical and experiential manner. If you enjoy it, the technique is one we will be using as part of this weeks Polarity meditation class.
Heads up for this weekends Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing. If you’ve been looking for a really consolidated set of breathing-for-health techniques, this is it!

My Life Coaching and Meditation coaching 3-6month packages are on a 15% offer up until Weds 20th October. If getting some coaching is an idea you have been contemplating, then this is a good opportunity to get it and save some money on the price.

In the spirit of energy,

Toby


Meditating with an energy ball (Drawing energy from the un-manifest)

In many schools of meditation, speaking in simple terms, we work with three levels of mind, consciousness and energy:

  1. The gross physical and sensory
  2. The subtle mental level
  3. The very subtle level of consciousness itself

If you can imagine that, on the third level of consciousness itself there is basically a limitless reserve of energy. One question coming from this might then be “How can I tap into that level in order to experience more energy for myself on the mental and physical level?” The following meditation is one that I have been working with a long time, originally arising from the Qi gong practice that I have had since the 90’s. It’s extremely simple, just requiring a bit of focus and some familiarity. Also helpful is a playful, child-like approach to the visualization. It can be done sitting, standing or lying down.

The meditation
If you are doing this sitting upright, then you can place your hands in your lap, palms facing up, as if they were cupping a ball. You can make the ball football size, or smaller or bigger if you like according to preference. Football size is a good place to start.
Building the ball – Now you need to start to visualize a ball of light sitting in your hands. You can change it up later on, but if you start with just a simple white light, then that works well. Build the image and focus upon it, trying to ‘feel’ it as much as see it.
In the centre of the ball imagine there is a point of light. Imagine it is a point of light through which the energy of universal consciousness can flow out into this world. Imagine light and energy flowing out from this point of light and filling the ball, as if the point of light were a miniature sun.
Feel the ball of light gently pulsing with this energy, and radiate out up through the palms of your hand into your body. You can also feel it radiating out into your body directly through the surface facing your belly and legs. As it does this, you will feel it highlighting areas of your body where there may be energy blockages, heaviness, tension etc… Just let it work with your body’s energy in an organic manner, bringing balance, energy and renewal to your cellular structure.

That’s basically it! It’s a great exercise for

  • Practising mindfully building images and thought-form
  • Developing your awareness of subtle energy and how to work with it
  • Clearing you body of imbalanced energy, particularly anytime you feel that it is out of balance

I use this a lot after facilitating classes or if there has been a heavy day of coaching or socializing, just as a way of processing relatively easily and effortlessly the energy that has been passing though my body-mind in the course of the day’s interaction’s.
You can find a classical Qigong standing version here: Holding your buddha belly

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   


 

Last week article: Basic Deep breathing – How to & the benefits

The benefits
Basic deep breathing is a fundamental health and meditation practice, that provides many benefits, here is a little list just to get your appetite for the practice:
According to ancient Taoist view, the vital force provided by air through breathing is even more important to health and longevity than that provided by food and water through digestion. As most spiritual practitioners and meditators are aware, our breathing also links the activity of our consciousness with our body. Deep breathing is a way to…read full article

  • Stimulate and regulate your glands
  • Improve metabolism and sleep
  • Improve the condition of your heart and respiratory system
  • Promote vitality and open energy channels within your etheric body
  • From the mental and emotional levels, mastering one’s breathing promotes deeper relaxation, de-stresses ones over stimulated nervous system and gives much more increased mental clarity.
  • From the spiritual perspective, mastering one’s breathing provides a basis for developing deep concentration and a nurturing connection to one’s soul

The basic technique
Here are some basic pointers for good quality, basic deeper breathing. It may look a little complex when you first read it, but once you have tried it a few times you’ll see its quite easy.

  • Sitting or standing in an upright position, breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth, or in thru the nose out through the nose
  • Aim to breathe 5-10% deeper and longer, or 65-70% of your lung capacity
  • Make the length or inhalation and exhalation either roughly equal, or slightly longer on the exhalation
  • Start your inhalation by sending the air down to the bottom of your lungs, filling them from the bottom up. Notice movement of the belly when you do this.
  • Once you have a sense of the start, then focus on expanding the mid-lung/ribcage in the middle part of the inhalation, and notice the slight rising of the collar bone as you fill the clavicles, or top part of the lungs
  • Make the pace of the inhale and exhale smoothly and even
  • Option to contract the pelvic floor gently to about 30% of muscle strength during the inhalation, and at the top of the inbreath. Relax pelvic floor as you exhale.
  • Option to pause briefly at the top of the inbreath, and/or bottom of outbreath. Do not pause so long as you find yourself out of breath!
  • If you want to emphasize oxygenating the body and building energy, do the breathing a little more strongly. If you want to emphasize the breathing to calm your mind and move toward a meditative state, do it in a quieter, gentler manner.
  • You can start with short periods of time, such as 3 minutes a day, and build up to longer, though longer does not need to be more than 10mins at a time
  • You can breathe in ‘sets’ of say six breaths at a time, with short pauses in-between to relax and get a sense of the enjoyable effects of the practice.

Wishing you well in your breathing!

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 October 16th & 23rd – Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing

In a sentence: Learn unique Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and improve your meditation.

Overview: According to the ancient Chinese view, the vital force provided by air through breathing is even more important to health and longevity than that provided by food and water through digestion. The way in which we breathe is also a direct reflection of the levels of stress that we are feeling; when we feel calm our breathing becomes deep and regular, when we feel stress our breathing becomes shallower and quicker…read full details


Starts Monday October 25th – The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood

How can you move from coping to thriving in your life as a man?

Much is asked of men in their traditional roles as fathers and sons, partners and husbands, students and teachers, employees and employers. The men’s group is a professionally moderated and confidential forum for men. A forum is a safe place for exploring, learning and sharing the successful perspectives, skills, and strategies needed to address and manage the unique issues, problems, and triumphs in our community…read full details


Tues & Weds 26&27th October – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Samhain (Aka All hallows eve, or Halloween) is the time in the northern hemisphere when we enter the darker months of the year & winter. Traditionally it is said to be the time when the veil between the world of the living and the inner world of our ancestors is said to be thinnest. Consequently, it is an ideal time for us to commune with our ancestors in meditation…read full details


 

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

Life Coaching and Meditation coaching 3-6month packages are on a 15% offer up until Weds 20th October. If getting some coaching is an idea you have been contemplating, then this is a good opportunity to get it and save some money on the price. 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

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

Tues 19th & Weds 20th October – Live & Online Monthly Full Moon Meditation & Manifestation Session

Saturday October 23rd, 10am-4pm – Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing

Starts Monday October 25th – The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood

Tues & Weds 26&27th October – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Friday 5th November 7.30-8.30pm – Online New moon beginners mind, health visualization & envisioning session


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share

Basic Deep breathing – How to & the benefits

Dear Integral Meditators,

Back in the early 1990’s I took up Taoist deep breathing in response to a crisis of health and energy that I was having in my final year of University. I found it of tremendous benefit in navigating my way out of that crisis without taking a break from my finals, or needing to take time out after graduating. I’ve been using it for both support and enjoyment ever since. The article below explains the benefits and how to get started. If you enjoy it and what to have a deeper look, then you can attend my Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing on the 16th & 23rd of October.

Also, quick heads up for the re-start on Monday October 25th of The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood, got a whole new set of stimulating subjects for discussion and experiencing there…

In the spirit of  health,

Toby


Basic Deep breathing – How to & the benefits

The benefits
Basic deep breathing is a fundamental health and meditation practice, that provides many benefits, here is a little list just to get your appetite for the practice:
According to ancient Taoist view, the vital force provided by air through breathing is even more important to health and longevity than that provided by food and water through digestion. As most spiritual practitioners and meditators are aware, our breathing also links the activity of our consciousness with our body. Deep breathing is a way to:

  • Stimulate and regulate your glands
  • Improve metabolism and sleep
  • Improve the condition of your heart and respiratory system
  • Promote vitality and open energy channels within your etheric body
  • From the mental and emotional levels, mastering one’s breathing promotes deeper relaxation, de-stresses ones over stimulated nervous system and gives much more increased mental clarity.
  • From the spiritual perspective, mastering one’s breathing provides a basis for developing deep concentration and a nurturing connection to one’s soul

The basic technique
Here are some basic pointers for good quality, basic deeper breathing. It may look a little complex when you first read it, but once you have tried it a few times you’ll see its quite easy.

  • Sitting or standing in an upright position, breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth, or in thru the nose out through the nose
  • Aim to breathe 5-10% deeper and longer, or 65-70% of your lung capacity
  • Make the length or inhalation and exhalation either roughly equal, or slightly longer on the exhalation
  • Start your inhalation by sending the air down to the bottom of your lungs, filling them from the bottom up. Notice movement of the belly when you do this.
  • Once you have a sense of the start, then focus on expanding the mid-lung/ribcage in the middle part of the inhalation, and notice the slight rising of the collar bone as you fill the clavicles, or top part of the lungs
  • Make the pace of the inhale and exhale smoothly and even
  • Option to contract the pelvic floor gently to about 30% of muscle strength during the inhalation, and at the top of the inbreath. Relax pelvic floor as you exhale.
  • Option to pause briefly at the top of the inbreath, and/or bottom of outbreath. Do not pause so long as you find yourself out of breath!
  • If you want to emphasize oxygenating the body and building energy, do the breathing a little more strongly. If you want to emphasize the breathing to calm your mind and move toward a meditative state, do it in a quieter, gentler manner.
  • You can start with short periods of time, such as 3 minutes a day, and build up to longer, though longer does not need to be more than 10mins at a time
  • You can breathe in ‘sets’ of say six breaths at a time, with short pauses in-between to relax and get a sense of the enjoyable effects of the practice.

Wishing you well in your breathing!

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 October 16th & 23rd – Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing

In a sentence: Learn unique Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and improve your meditation.

Overview: According to the ancient Chinese view, the vital force provided by air through breathing is even more important to health and longevity than that provided by food and water through digestion. The way in which we breathe is also a direct reflection of the levels of stress that we are feeling; when we feel calm our breathing becomes deep and regular, when we feel stress our breathing becomes shallower and quicker…read full details


Starts Monday October 25th – The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood

How can you move from coping to thriving in your life as a man?

Much is asked of men in their traditional roles as fathers and sons, partners and husbands, students and teachers, employees and employers. The men’s group is a professionally moderated and confidential forum for men. A forum is a safe place for exploring, learning and sharing the successful perspectives, skills, and strategies needed to address and manage the unique issues, problems, and triumphs in our community…read full details


Tues & Weds 26&27th October – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Samhain (Aka All hallows eve, or Halloween) is the time in the northern hemisphere when we enter the darker months of the year & winter. Traditionally it is said to be the time when the veil between the world of the living and the inner world of our ancestors is said to be thinnest. Consequently, it is an ideal time for us to commune with our ancestors in meditation…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)

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

Saturday October 23rd, 10am-4pm – Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing

Starts Monday October 25th – The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood

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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Mastering the cycle of thoughts & emotions

‘Everyday, for most of the day, your thoughts and emotions are interacting with each other. Your basic sense of wellness or not on the psychological level depends in large part on how you are managing this dependent relationship’

 

Dear Integral Meditators,

The article below looks at mastery of thoughts and emotions, and how we can start to master the dynamic between them using mindfulness.
If you enjoy the article, them this weeks Tuesday and Wednesday polarity meditation classes will be focused on this subject!
Live attendance is limited to 10pax per class, so advanced booking is necessary if you want to coe live, rather than online.

In the spirit of inner balance,

Toby


Mastering the cycle of thoughts & emotions

Thoughts and emotions – Our basic everyday psychological dynamic
Everyday, for most of the day, your thoughts and emotions are interacting with each other. Your basic sense of wellness or not on the psychological level depends in large part on how you are managing this dependent relationship. So, to begin, start to watch and notice the dependent relationship between thoughts and emotions in your daily life. Also notice that in this cycle are actions and reactions. We think, then we feel, then we do, we experience a reaction to what we do, which creates feeling, that creates thoughts, that creates actions and so on….

Noticing the influence of the body and environment
If you start to watch, you will also notice feeling and instincts from the body affecting this cycle; a balanced body makes it easier to think and emote well, an imbalanced one makes it more difficult. You will also notice that the inverse is also true; you can to a large degree create wellness in the body by thinking and feeling in a balanced way.
Your environment and outer interactions stimulate a lot of thinking and feeling. Again, notice the dependent relationship; you can create outer wellness by balancing your thinking and feeling, or your thinking and feeling can create outer chaos for you!

Not letting difficult feelings become negative emotions and thoughts
This is a principle that I’ve been using a lot recently. You can substantially break the cycle of negative thinking and emoting by accepting, owning and looking after difficult feelings, not letting them provoke further reactions. Yesterday afternoon I was feeling fairly low and despondent, by accepting and looking after the feeling, and focusing on some good thoughts and experiences, I was feeling back to balance and wellness by the early evening. It could have spiralled, but it didn’t because I held to the principle.

Being guided by the higher mind and intentions
Another super practical principal I find works well is to allow my thinking to be guided by higher philosophical principles. For example, if I can hold to and align my thinking around the Platonic principles of the good, the beautiful and the true (another triad is justice, compassion and harmony), then I find my thinking tends to help me navigate out of a bunch or situations that would otherwise create a lot of negativity emotions wise.

The wheel of fortune
Imagine your everyday thinking and feeling as like a wheel spinning around you. You are sitting in the ‘hub’ of the wheel, watching it spin. As you watch, you can choose to occasionally intervene in the dynamic; introducing thoughts and emotions, or letting go of them. As you relax into the process notice how you can:

  1. Maintain balance by simply watching and holding that observational position
  2. Affect the balance by intervening strategically

This is a simple image that can take you a long way in meditation, and bring you experiential mastery of the polarity between your thoughts and feelings.

Related articlesFinding the center of the wheel
A wheel spinning  out of balance

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   


Ongoing weekly sessions – 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


Saturday October 16th & 23rd – Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing

In a sentence: Learn unique Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and improve your meditation.

Overview: According to the ancient Chinese view, the vital force provided by air through breathing is even more important to health and longevity than that provided by food and water through digestion. The way in which we breathe is also a direct reflection of the levels of stress that we are feeling; when we feel calm our breathing becomes deep and regular, when we feel stress our breathing becomes shallower and quicker…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)

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

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

Saturday October 23rd, 10am-4pm – Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing

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

Share

Three examples of mindful stress-transformation

Dear Integral Meditators,

One major premise of my stress transformation techniques is that it is your perception of stress defines your experience of it. Positive/growth enhancing stress and negative/debilitating stress are subjective and potentially changeable for the better. The article below explores three examples from my life recently where I have been practicing changing my perception in order to transform the experience of my stress.

If you’d like to really get to grips with your own stress, and see what you can transform it into, the do consider my  Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment Masterclass & Mini-retreat this coming Saturday. You can attend it live or online.

In the spirit of flow,

Toby


Three examples of mindful stress-transformation

One major premise of my stress transformation techniques is that it is your perception of stress defines your experience of it. Positive/growth enhancing stress and negative/debilitating stress are subjective and potentially changeable for the better. Here are three examples from my life recently where I have been practicing changing my perception in order to transform the experience of my stress.

Relaxing and flowing with impermanence – During the Covid pandemic, the Singapore government has been making regular tactical changes to its approach to the disease. It has meant that sometimes I have been able to do live meditation classes, sometimes not. Sometimes this affects my income negatively, sometimes it has improved it. I have found myself with gaps in my schedule as a result of Covid, but then sometimes overly busy and scrambling. I have taken this disruptive environment as a training in relaxing and flowing with impermanence, rather than something that is in the way of my wellbeing. As I have practiced relaxing and flowing with the change, I have found that the calm of the flow has helped me make decisions that have helped me surf the challenges of the reality that I (and all of us) are faced with.

Angry at obstacles – In many mindfulness systems anger is something to be avoided, released or calmed. All of these methods are potentially useful and valuable. But anger is also a powerful emotion that, if harnessed can be used to positive ends. Recently I have been deliberately focusing on the anger within me coming from problems that repeatedly get in the way of me doing my work. When I do get the opportunity to sit down and be productive, I have focused on my anger and irritability to start, and then directed that force to getting things done in the time that I have available. I use it to focus on what I am doing and get s#*t done. Once my allocated work time is up, I then change into a mode of relaxation and acceptance. In this way I use my anger consciously as a focusing and productivity tool.

Thinking slower and better to tackle overwhelm – Having a baby right now, being self-employed, also having a teenager and being quite recently married is a recipe for sometimes feeling overwhelmed. I have all of these things going on in my life, and recently there have been a series of unexpected events that have further come onto my agenda. Because of this the feeling of overwhelm has often been present for me. The instinct with overwhelm is either to panic and get busier, or give up and feel despair. What I have been doing is deliberately slowing down my thinking process (by about 15%), and then trying to think 15% better quality about what’s happening. As a result, I have been consistently surprised about how effective I have been in my choice-making and capacity to focus on tackling one issue at a time. The net result is that my confidence has increased, and my sense of satisfaction at being able to basically keep it together in dis-orienting circumstances.

So, there you go, three examples from my life right now. I hope they inspire you to be thoughtful about your own stress-transformation process, and how you can use your stress to grow mindfully during this phase of your journey.

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   


Ongoing weekly sessions – 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


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)

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

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

Saturday October 23rd, 10am-4pm – Breathwork Masterclass & Mini-Retreat– Improve physical immunity, wellbeing and inner peace though deep breathing

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

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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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