The miracle of attention

“Imagine yourself on the side a mountain looking at the sky. For a time simply try and keep 90% of your attention on the sun, the clear sky and the bright clouds. You are not denying the dark clouds, you are just acknowledging the large expanse of “beautiful sky”, and giving yourself time to take it in and enjoy it”

Dear Integral Meditators,

The article below looks at how you can transform your life (miraculously) by transforming your attention. If you enjoy it, do come along to one of the The Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom classes this week, either on Tuesday or Wednesday, where we shall be focused on this subject!

In the spirit miraculous attention,

Toby


The miracle of attention

The basic proposition of mindfulness is that the world that appears to you can be changed by the way in which you pay attention to it. The art of mindfulness is paying attention to your reality in this moment in the right way, so it gives you the result you want in terms of feeling effective and empowered, as well as ‘happy’ in the way you choose to define that term.
You can think of mindfulness as being ‘miraculous’ in the sense that you can change your experience through your attention in this way. You can literally re-work your reality, transform it and create something else through your focus, kind of like Jesus turning water into wine. It’s not as outwardly explicit as transforming water into wine, but its more miraculous than that in the sense that it offers a genuine, do-able method to grasp control of your perception and experience. The exercise below is one example of how you can start ‘working miracles’ in your life.

Looking out from a mountain side
Imagine you’re sitting on the side of a mountain, looking over a landscape. There is a broad horizon and a big sky in front of you, perhaps with the sun halfway towards setting. There are some clouds in the sky, and some clear patches where the blue and gold of the sky and sun dominate. About 10% of the sky is dark with rainclouds, but the rest is basically a varied and beautiful sky-scape that you can sit and enjoy watching from your mountain-side. As well as the blue and gold, there are lots of other colours, the white of the clouds, and the pinks, oranges and reds when the sun filters through them. On top of this there is also the beauty of the ground level, where there might be fields, lakes and trees.

The sky of your life
Let’s say what Winston Churchill said about worry is true: “When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened”.
So, most of our worries don’t happen, but maybe 10-15% do. So then, let’s say we have sixteen waking hours a day. We can allot 10% of that time to either:

  • Thinking and strategizing about our worries intelligently or
  • Just outright worrying!

If 10% of our day is 90mins, then the rest of our day, fourteen and a half hours, we can focus on:

  • The good things in our life
  • Things that help us feel safe and confident
  • Attention to things that help us to relax, regenerate and calm down when we want
  • Attention to things that that help us to feel excited, empowered and energised
  • Things that cause us to grow and learn

If your inner and outer life are like the ‘sky’ in the image above, then during your average day, 90% of your attention should be on the good things, and 10% on your worries. The hypothesis is then that, if you do this, then you are going to have a very different experience of your life. You will have affected a ‘miracle’ in your life, simply by paying attention in a different way.

Trying it out
For 10-15mins, sit quietly, and if you like visualize yourself on the side a mountain looking at the sky as described above. For that time simply try and keep 90% of your attention on the good stuff. You are not denying the dark clouds, you are just acknowledging the large expanse of “beautiful sky”, and giving yourself time to take it in and enjoy it.
If you train in this way regularly, you train your attention to gradually shift from where it is now towards 90% of it being on the things that energise and feed your wellbeing. In this way, gradually, you effect a miracle in your life.

Related articleMeditation as a positive mindfulness game

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


Saturday 20th & 27th November – Environmental meditation masterclass & mini-retreat – Working consciously with the forces of nature

In a sentence: Learn to work consciously with the forces of nature and your environment as well develop powerful meditation states.

There is much concern and talk today about the state of the environment and the relationship of humankind to nature. These sessions cover methods to:

  • Attune to the energies of our immediate and larger environment
  • Build a living relationship to the landscape around us
  • Access meditation states based upon our environment that provide deep powerful peace, as well as increasing our energy in an harmonious manner
  • Increase our sense of being a participant in the miracle of nature
  • Inspire us to live an embodied life in tune with the living Earth and Universe around, above and below us

Read full details


 

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

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

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

Saturday 20th & 27th November – Environmental meditation masterclass & mini-retreat – Working consciously with the forces of nature


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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‘Head in the Sun’ meditation

“This is a meditation that you can do to enhance your meditative connection to the energy of the sun, which is the source of all life in the solar system. It also helps you move more rapidly and easily into a thoughtless state, which is a basic competency we are trying to build as meditators.”

Dear Integral Meditators,

The article below looks at how to cultivate the wisdom of non-thinking using environmental awareness, and in particular awareness of the sun. It relates to both meditation events this week:
 The Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom, and  the Environmental meditation masterclass & mini-retreat – Working consciously with the forces of nature.
If your curious about how to accelerate your meditation through connection to nature, then either of these are a great session to come along to!

In the spirit of the sun-in-your-head,

Toby


‘Head in the Sun’ meditation

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

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

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

Relaxing your brain – Now become aware of your brain. Scan from front to back releasing tension as you go, from the area behind the temples and forehead (prefrontal cortex), to the brain stem connecting the back of the brain with your spine. Then go from back to front, doing the same; releasing tension as you go.

Visualizing the sun – Now visualize a miniature sun where your third eye would be, midway between and slightly above your eyebrows. See it shining brightly and dissolving away the clouds of your distracting thoughts and mental tension. See and feel your brain and head becoming light, bright, spacious and thought free. You feel like you have the sky with a bright shining sun in the space where your brain is/was. Meditate on this state, relaxing deeply into it. You can/should also feel that as you are doing this, the sun in your head is connected to the energy of the outer, physical sun in the landscape around you.

Being the sun and sky – If you like you can let yourself absorb more deeply into the experience, letting of awareness of the body, and feeling like you become the sun and sky.

When you are ready come back to your body and relax your concentration.

The benefits – This is a meditation that you can do to enhance your meditative connection to the energy of the sun, which is the source of all life in the solar system. It also helps you move more rapidly and easily into a thoughtless state, which is a basic competency we are trying to build as meditators. Using our imagination in this way can be surprisingly powerful, and in general the more we can engage our imagination in our meditation, the more powerful our meditation becomes.

Related articleThe meditators secret weapon (the wisdom of non-thinking)

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   


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

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


Saturday 20th & 27th November – Environmental meditation masterclass & mini-retreat – Working consciously with the forces of nature

In a sentence: Learn to work consciously with the forces of nature and your environment as well develop powerful meditation states.

There is much concern and talk today about the state of the environment and the relationship of humankind to nature. These sessions cover methods to:

  • Attune to the energies of our immediate and larger environment
  • Build a living relationship to the landscape around us
  • Access meditation states based upon our environment that provide deep powerful peace, as well as increasing our energy in an harmonious manner
  • Increase our sense of being a participant in the miracle of nature
  • Inspire us to live an embodied life in tune with the living Earth and Universe around, above and below us

Read full details


 

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

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

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

Saturday 20th & 27th November – Environmental meditation masterclass & mini-retreat – Working consciously with the forces of nature


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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The meditators secret weapon (the wisdom of non-thinking)

“Once you have non-thinking in the mix, you can then return to your senses and thinking refreshed, really enjoying participating in them, rather than feeling stuck on a continuous ‘hamster wheel’ of thinking and sensing. You can start to think better, and have more fun doing so”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at the wisdom of non-thinking, one of my favorite subjects!
If you enjoy the article, I have a new series of meditation classes starting this Tuesday 16/Wednesday 17th  – The Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom, its the last series of the year, full of ways to activate your own natural widsom.

Then this weekend I’ll be starting the Environmental meditation masterclass & mini-retreat – Working consciously with the forces of nature. If your curious about how to bond deeply with nature through meditation, then this is a great session to come along to!

In the spirit of natural non-thinking,

Toby


The meditators secret weapon (the wisdom of non-thinking)

What is it about being a meditator that makes you more resilient to stress, the unknown, uncertainty, misfortune and the multitude of life’s other challenges? This is a question that can be answered in a number of different ways, but the one I want to explore here can be captured in one expression: Non-thinking.

The normal pattern of a person’s attention
For most people whilst they are awake, their attention toggles between:

  • Their sensory awareness, navigating physical obstacles, looking at stuff, listening and so on and
  • Thinking. Thinking about what they experience with their senses, about their work, their problems, what to plan, their pleasures ect…

Sensing and thinking, with the attendant emotions and feelings, is the basic pattern of a person’s consciousness. This is fine if life is all non-stress and enjoyment. But if it isn’t all that way like mine (and I suspect yours), then this pattern can become stressful and tiring, especially when your mind cannot stop thinking about stuff, over-analyzing and generally going a bit too fast.

The pattern of a meditator’s daily attention
So of course, a meditators attention also includes sensing and thinking. But as well as these two, her or his awareness also regularly includes non-thinking, or periods of time where they ‘drop out’ of their mind, and let their sensory attention rest also. They practice doing no-thing, going no-where, and being no-one. They let their mind and attention rest in the regenerative state of thoughtlessness.

The joy and wisdom of non-thinking
Initially, non-thinking looks valueless in the sense of nothing seems to be getting done! However, in this state of non-doing:

  • The self can recover its energy and sense of harmony
  • Problem’s ‘change’ in the sense that when you put them down for a while and come back to them, they literally seem different(!)
  • The joy of simple presence becomes manifest
  • You discover that you can be in charge of the pace of your life, rather than your compulsive thinking

The joy of thinking and the senses
Once you have non-thinking in the mix, you can then return to your senses and thinking refreshed, really enjoying participating in them, rather than feeling stuck on a continuous ‘hamster wheel’ of thinking and sensing. You can start to think better, and have more fun doing so!

Glimpsing non-thinking
Its easy to get discouraged with non-thinking, simply because if you are trying to do it for the first time it can seem difficult to do. However, if you watch your mind, you will start to notice that every now and again, naturally there will be a gap in your thoughts. If you notice those spaces as you watch and stay with them, then you start to glimpse non-thinking, just for a second or two at a time. If you practice this for a few minutes each day, then you’ll go from one second to three, to five to ten and so on. Five minutes of this, five days a week over a month will be enough to build your basic competency, which is not much, especially considering what you have to gain!

The sun between the clouds
Once you have your basic non-thinking space, you can brighten it in the following way: Imagine that the spaces between your thoughts are like watching the sky between the clouds. Imagine the sun is shining in that sky, so it is a bright, living space, rather than a blank, cold one. This simple imaginary practice can accelerate the speed at which you are able to experience the brighter, living dimensions of your consciousness that lie beyond your thinking mind. These levels are deeply regenerative and help give a glow to your whole interior space.
Enjoy your non-thinking!

Related articleAwakening to your innate wisdom

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   


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

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


Saturday 20th & 27th November – Environmental meditation masterclass & mini-retreat – Working consciously with the forces of nature

In a sentence: Learn to work consciously with the forces of nature and your environment as well develop powerful meditation states.

There is much concern and talk today about the state of the environment and the relationship of humankind to nature. These sessions cover methods to:

  • Attune to the energies of our immediate and larger environment
  • Build a living relationship to the landscape around us
  • Access meditation states based upon our environment that provide deep powerful peace, as well as increasing our energy in an harmonious manner
  • Increase our sense of being a participant in the miracle of nature
  • Inspire us to live an embodied life in tune with the living Earth and Universe around, above and below us

Read full details


 

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

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

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

Saturday 20th & 27th November – Environmental meditation masterclass & mini-retreat – Working consciously with the forces of nature


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share

Awakening to your innate wisdom

“As we get older it becomes easier and easier to spend time on auto-pilot, just using our habitual mind to cruise through our day without really being vibrantly alive to our experience. To be a meditator is to commit to that NOT happening”
Dear Integral Meditators,
This weeks article focuses on how to activate your innate wisdom, or your potential for wisdom in the moment, Enthusiasm for this practice then naturally leads to mature wisdom over time.
If you enjoy the article, I have a new series of meditation classes starting on November Tuesday 16/Wednesday 17th  – The Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom, your most welcome to join in, either live or online!

In the spirit of wisdom,

Toby


Awakening to your innate wisdom

“Is there such a thing as One Minute Wisdom?’
“There certainly is,” said the Master.
“But surely one minute is too brief?”
“It is fifty-nine seconds too long. “
To his puzzled disciples the Master later said. “How much time does it take to catch
sight of the moon?”
“Then why all these years of spiritual endeavor?”
“Opening one’s eyes may take a lifetime. Seeing is done in a flash. “

The quote above is from Anthony De Mello’s ‘One Minute wisdom’. Sometime it can feel as if our wisdom is a long way off, or something that we have to work hard and long to acquire over a lifetime, or even lifetimes. From the point of view of experiential mindfulness and meditation however, we can start to connect o our own innate wisdom, that is the wisdom that is already present in us, right now. So how do we do that?

From unconscious to conscious
Meditation from one point of view is to be experiencing something, and to be aware that you are experiencing it. So, for example:

  • You are experiencing my body right now. If you then become aware of your experience of the body, you them move into a meditative relationship, which is to say a conscious one, with your body
  • Similarly, if I am experiencing anxiety, and I then become aware of that anxiety, I move into a mindful state around the anxiety, I am awake to it
  • Likewise, if I am daydreaming, and I become conscious of the daydreaming state, then I ‘awaken’ to it, I become present to it

Innate wisdom doesn’t mean that you always know exactly what to do in any given situation, it means being awake to the situation, knowing you are there, and feeling alive within that moment. If you are conscious of what’s present for you in the moment, then you are then going to be bring whatever knowledge that you have to the table in order to ‘solve’ whatever presenting problems there may be. If there is no presenting problem, then you can simply enjoy being awake and grasping what the moment has to offer.
In the De Mello quote above the Master comments on how long it takes to awaken our innate wisdom:
“But surely one minute is too brief?”
“It is fifty-nine seconds too long. “
You can literally go from being ‘asleep’ unconscious and/or ignorant in one moment, to being ‘awake’ in the next. Its simply a matter of becoming aware or conscious of what you are experiencing. To awaken in this way means you give birth to your wisdom in that moment. It needs only a second!

The strengthening of the conscious mind
From another point of view, meditation can be defined as “The strengthening of the conscious mind and its function”. Rather than being a formal, sit-down practice, in this sense meditation is more of a deep commitment to live consciously rather than unconsciously, to be awake to life rather than sleep-walking though it. As we get older it becomes easier and easier to spend time on auto-pilot, just using our habitual mind to cruise through our day without really being vibrantly alive to our experience. To be a meditator is to commit to that NOT happening. It means to commit to being conscious, and to use the wisdom of being conscious.

“Then why all these years of spiritual endeavor?”
“Opening one’s eyes may take a lifetime. Seeing is done in a flash. “
In this final section of the story, the Master clarifies; we can awaken our innate wisdom in a flash, but this does not make us a Master. However, if we commit to awakening our innate wisdom in this moment, and the next and the next, then our wisdom gradually matures and develops in capability. Mature wisdom takes a lifetime, but the next step is always right in front of you.

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   


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

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


Saturday 20th & 27th November – Environmental meditation masterclass & mini-retreat – Working consciously with the forces of nature

In a sentence: Learn to work consciously with the forces of nature and your environment as well develop powerful meditation states.

There is much concern and talk today about the state of the environment and the relationship of humankind to nature. These sessions cover methods to:

  • Attune to the energies of our immediate and larger environment
  • Build a living relationship to the landscape around us
  • Access meditation states based upon our environment that provide deep powerful peace, as well as increasing our energy in an harmonious manner
  • Increase our sense of being a participant in the miracle of nature
  • Inspire us to live an embodied life in tune with the living Earth and Universe around, above and below us

Read full details


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?

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

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

Saturday 20th & 27th November – Environmental meditation masterclass & mini-retreat – Working consciously with the forces of nature

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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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

Share

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

Share

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

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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