Fundamental sensuality, fundamental wealth & sustainable compassion

Dear Integral Meditators,

Where is your fundamental wealth and abundance to be found? This weeks article explores this question, and how to develop your connection to your inner resources.
If you enjoy the article, then we will be exploring it in some depth in this week’s Tuesday & Wednesday class, and final reminder for this Saturday’s  Zen deep dive-mini retreat!

In the spirit of the fundamentals,

Toby


Fundamental sensuality, fundamental wealth & sustainable compassion

Your fundamental sensuality
Sit or stand for a while, focusing on breathing into your body, and gently feeling its fundamental vitality or life-force. If you do this, you will notice that your body and body awareness starts to become sensual. This sensuality is a feeling in the body that is warm and alive. You can enhance this feeling using the breathing in this way: Inhale into the core of your body sensing its living nature. Breathe out relaxing your whole body into this feeling. You can build a flow state that is focused, relaxed and positively sensual like this. You could call this practice connecting to your fundamental sensuality, or vitality.
The thing about your fundamental sensuality is that it feels good, feels positive. It makes your body feel more comfortable, alive and happy. As a result, it is easier for you to direct your thoughts in a positive manner, and generate a variety of enjoyable emotions. Fundamental sensuality also encourages basic reality orientation, in the sense that it places us in contact with the immediate moment, taking us into our body, rather than getting lost in our mind.

Your fundamental warmth & wealth
Once you have some experience of your fundamental vitality or sensuality, you can practice directing its warmth toward yourself. You will discover that this feels friendly and pleasant, and encourages the sense of being both well disposed and supportive toward yourself. Chogyam Trungpa called this our ‘fundamental warmth’. When we focus on ourselves with warmth, it naturally gives rise to self-compassion and sensitivity in a way that encourages healing and integration, rather than wallowing in pain.

Sustainable compassion
With some experience of focusing your fundamental warmth toward yourself, the feeling then starts to come that you are fundamentally wealthy in the inner sense of the word, that you have an abundance of resources. If you then take this warm awareness and vitality and turn it around, then it becomes warmth and natural compassion for others. You feel as if you can generate warmth and compassion for others easily and without much effort, not because you are obliged to, but because you can and it feels quite natural to do so. Moreover, you can focus this warmth and compassion upon others with confidence that it won’t run out, and that if you need a source to recharge yourself from, then you can simply turn your fundamental warmth back toward yourself and receive it for a while. So, this position then gives us real confidence in our capacity to be compassionate and benevolent toward others, without fear of burning out or getting our batteries ‘run down’ by them, even if they are so called ‘energy vampires’ who specialize in using people’s sympathy to take energy from them!
So, the basic practice here has three stages:

  1. Developing your fundamental sensuality
  2. Directing it toward yourself to build your fundamental warmth and self-compassion
  3. Turning your fundamental warmth outward to the world and generating consistent compassion and generosity toward others in a way that is sustainable, and doesn’t lead to exhaustion.
You can build this up gradually, there is no hurry. But the idea is that, over time your energy becomes more and more resilient both intra-personally in your relationship to yourself, and inter-personally in your relationship toward others and the outer world.

Related articleCompassionate presence, awakened action
What is the point in being more present?

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, 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 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

In a sentence: Establish the inner strength, skill and courage needed to make you resilient in the face of life’s challenges, and thrive in both times of adversity and times of peace.

Overview: The Warriors Creed is a poem by an unknown Samurai in the 14th century. It outlines a code of conduct and a state of presence based around a series of inner qualities that can be cultivated through mindful contemplation, then applied to our daily life…read full details


Saturday 14th April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

These 2.5hour Zen ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one-hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart…read full details


Saturday May 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your 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)

Ongoing – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

Tues 17th/Weds 18th May: Wesak meditation

Saturday May 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Saturday 14th April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

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What is the point of being more present?

“Imagine you are a tree with deep roots. When wind, rain and storms come, your branches get blown around, but you don’t worry, because the strength of your roots is more than capable of dealing with the stress. You can even enjoy the play of the weather and the extremity of it. Being more present is like that, you can choose to be a bit more like that”

 

Dear Integral Meditators,

 

Why strive to be more present? I hope the article below encourages you to keep persisting!
This week there is a break in the  Tuesday & Wednesday class.  but if you scroll down below you can see all events for May, including the Zen deep dive-mini retreat, and the Qi-gong and Taoist breathwork clinic.

In the spirit of presence,

Toby


What is the point of being more present?

Why is mindfulness a discipline focused on being more present? If I become more present to each moment and my life, what is likely to happen? Here’s a list of six capacities that start to come online when you choose to become more present:

Stability & sanity – Presence implies that you are aware of what is going on in your immediate sensory environment, at least to a degree. This gives a point of grounding and stability for our awareness; not lost in our mind, but present to our senses. From this comes what I would call ‘basic sanity’ or basic reality orientation; our observations and life-strategies start to come more from what is seen and experienced, rather than what our mind is fantasizing about.

Self-awareness and self-regulation – Following on from point one, being present invites a greater awareness of ourself. If we are self-aware in a reasonably balanced manner, then the chances of us doing things to help restore and remain in balance increases. We start to use our natural intelligence effectively.

Creativity – Once we have some stability in the present, this then invites a creative response to the present. We start to recognize each moment as an opportunity for self-expression, innovation and evolution. Life becomes playful, fun and enquiring, rather than automatic, monotone and predictable.

Wonderment – When we start to combine presence with creativity, the world starts to glow, starts to feel more technicolor. The term ‘spiritual’ ceases to become about beliefs and philosophy, and more about the direct perception of our world, which becomes mysterious  (in a good way) and invites adventure,  curiosity and luminosity.

Appreciation & generosity – Presence invites appreciation of what is, and a sense of being rich, very inwardly wealthy. We experience what we have in a new way, where we really know it. More than this we start to sense within us an infinite resource of life-fullness. This in turn invites a sense of generosity, a sense of benevolence “I have so much, I’d love to pass some onto you” type thing!

Thinking well about the future and past
Solidly grounded in the present, we can re-configure the way we reflect on the past and plan for the future, we can choose how we frame them, we can enjoy the opportunities of the future, rather than being weighed down by anxiety around uncertainty. We become better at learning from the past and creating (see point three) our future.

So, I hope this has convinced you to persist with any practices you may have for being more present in your life, most of my articles are implicitly about presence and the capabilities that come from it. To end with, here is a simple picture:
Imagine you are a tree with deep roots. When wind, rain and storms come, your branches get blown around, but you don’t worry, because the strength of your roots is more than capable of dealing with the stress. You can even enjoy the play of the weather and the extremity of it.
Being more present is like that, you can choose to be a bit more like that today if you want, and why wouldn’t you?

Related articleCompassionate presence, awakened action
Inner strength – gathering your energy into one place

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, 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 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

In a sentence: Establish the inner strength, skill and courage needed to make you resilient in the face of life’s challenges, and thrive in both times of adversity and times of peace.

Overview: The Warriors Creed is a poem by an unknown Samurai in the 14th century. It outlines a code of conduct and a state of presence based around a series of inner qualities that can be cultivated through mindful contemplation, then applied to our daily life…read full details

 


Saturday 14th April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

These 2.5hour Zen ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one-hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart…read full details


Saturday May 28th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your 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)
Ongoing – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

Tues 17th/Weds 18th May: Wesak meditation

Saturday May 28th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Saturday 14th April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Inner strength – Gathering your energy into one place

Dear Integral Meditators,

This week’s article that aims to use playful techniques to build different but complementary dimensions of our inner strength. Enjoy!
The themes in the article are some that we will be exploring in this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday class.  You are welcome to join us at both events, either live or online.

In the spirit of inner strength,

Toby


Inner strength – Gathering your energy into one place

The unified body-mind – Understanding inner strength
This is an article that aims to use playful techniques to build different but complementary dimensions of our inner strength. The working definition of inner strength we will work with here is a mind and body that are unified. This is to say the energies of our mind are mainly focused in our body, and our biological or body intelligence are working in harmony with our rational or reasoning mind. Other aspects of this unity include:

  • Our intuition and our intellect
  • Our mind and emotions
  • Our conscious and unconscious selves

Positively anally retentive – Using your perineum to gather your attention
Meditation and mindfulness are central methods for bringing your mind into the present moment and into your body. One technique that I find very helpful to centre my attention in my body a little faster and stronger is to employ the perineum as I breathe. Essentially it looks like this:
As you breathe in and out gently (to about 20-30% of your strength) contract your perineum, so as you breathe in, there is a gentle sense of solidity in the inside of the bottom of your hips.
To tense the perineum, first locate your anal sphincter, then go up into your body about 3cms, you will find another ring of muscle. If you tense that, you will feel the web of muscles in your perineum activating.
This method is a simple way to ‘retain’ your energy in your body as you breathe, and has a solidifying and gathering effect. Its kind of like being anally retentive, but in a good way!

The eye of the storm – Courageously breathing into your centre
The second technique which you can do (either with the first or on its own) is to locate the approximate physical centre of your torso, somewhere between the heart and stomach level, and:

  • As you breathe in gather your energy into your physical centre
  • As you breathe out, relax from that centre point

It’s not easy, especially when your anxious to firmly decide not to be distracted and to rest in the moment. If you like with this second exercise, imagine you are in the eye of the storm of your life. As you breathe in, courageously gather your energy into your centre. As you breathe out, hold your energy in the centre of the storm like a mindful warrior!

The sacred reef – Compassion and accessing your intuition
If you practice mindfulness techniques like those above, you will find that your linear thinking mind starts to settle down. As you move toward stillness, you will find your non-linear, intuitive mind coming online. This is a bit like when you dive beneath the surface of the ocean (your everyday mind), before you hit the deep ocean (stillness), you encounter coral reefs that are vibrant and full of colour and life (the intuitive and imaginal level). It’s worth hanging out on this level and getting to know it, as there are lots of great ideas down here that may come to you. Also, when you are in this state it is relatively easy to feel wonder, connection and compassion for life and the world. This experience helps us to return to our everyday world feeling that life is sacred, and that the people around us (and we ourselves) are worthy of attention, compassion and cherishing. This compassion and reverence for life hugely adds to our inner strength as we go through the world and encounter our tribulations.
Enjoy exploring these different dimensions of your inner strength!

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, 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 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

In a sentence: Establish the inner strength, skill and courage needed to make you resilient in the face of life’s challenges, and thrive in both times of adversity and times of peace.

Overview: The Warriors Creed is a poem by an unknown Samurai in the 14th century. It outlines a code of conduct and a state of presence based around a series of inner qualities that can be cultivated through mindful contemplation, then applied to our daily life…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)
Ongoing – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

Saturday 23rd April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

Tues 17th/Weds 18th May: Wesak meditation

Saturday May 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

 


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Letting things come to you

It’s worth noticing then that sometimes we can get a good way to getting what we want by noticing what’s around us, and then letting things come to us, rather than running after them

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article is a contemplation on how to work mindfully with the limitation on your life in order to get a bit more of what you want. Enjoy!

If you enjoy the article, why not come along to this Saturday morning’s  Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat, which will be looking at three in depth methods for consciously going with the flow of things!

This weeks Tuesday & Wednesday class focuses on meditation for integrating “Readiness and appropriate action” and  “Emptiness and fullness” into our daily life. The Way of the mindful Warrior continues! You are welcome to join us at both events, either live or online!

In the spirit of letting things come,

Toby


Letting things come to you

I was at the beach this weekend. There was a decent reef out in the shallows beyond the sand. I was interested in taking a mask and swimming out to see the life on the reef, but that morning I was with my toddler, and so had to stay with her in the water. Walking with her slowly along the line between the sand and the rocks, some of the fish being curious started to swim around us. I stood still for a while, and before long there was a whole little Community of fishes swimming around for us to look at, including a few varieties of parrot fish 🐠.
I was wanting to swim out to the reef, but was
limited by my circumstances. However, by accepting where I was and then waiting in an observant way, I found that I got, in part what I was interested in; finding a pleasant combination of fish-watching and time with my child.
I guess my observation here would be that sometimes in life we are anxious to go and get the things that we want, and the mindset that we have around it is a striving and seeking one. If we can’t get what we want, or we are prevented from seeking it by limitation, then we can get frustrated. It’s worth noticing then that sometimes we can get a good way to getting what we want by noticing what’s around us, and then letting things come to us, rather than running after them!
What are the situations in your life where you could be letting things come to you a little bit more?

Related articleNon-striving

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, 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 23rd April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

These 2.5hour Zen ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one-hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart…read full details


Ongoing – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creedIn a sentence: Establish the inner strength, skill and courage needed to make you resilient in the face of life’s challenges, and thrive in both times of adversity and times of peace.Overview: The Warriors Creed is a poem by an unknown Samurai in the 14th century. It outlines a code of conduct and a state of presence based around a series of inner qualities that can be cultivated through mindful contemplation, then applied to our daily life…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 scheduleOngoing 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)

Saturday 9th April, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreatOngoing – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

Saturday 23rd April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreatTues 17th/Weds 18th May: Wesak meditation


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

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Honesty, enemies, friends, mindfulness – Three ‘warrior meditations’

The invitation is to look at ourself and our life and embrace it fully, to accept it in an un-reserved and pro-active manner. When we ‘love our fate’ in this way we look honestly at the difficulties of our life, and open to them

 

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article focuses on three short ‘warrior meditations’. They will be the subject of this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday class, you are welcome to join us, either live or online!

In the spirit of opening,

Toby


Honesty, enemies, friends, mindfulness – Three ‘warrior meditations’

Here are three mini “warrior-meditations” that I have put together. Each of them can be done as a meditation in itself, or combined into a three-stage practice. Each of them contains a core idea, which functions as the real ‘engine room’ or ‘energy creation room’ of the practice. Their inspiration was this passage from the ‘Warriors Creed’:
“I have no authority; I make honesty my authority
I have no enemies; I make carelessness and indifference my
enemies
I have no friends; I make the earth and sky my friends”

Working with honesty – Amor Fati
‘Amor Fati’ is a (Roman) Stoic saying that essentially means to ‘love one’s fate’ or to ‘embrace one’s fate’. The invitation here is to look at ourself and our life and embrace it fully, to accept it in an un-reserved but also pro-active manner. When we ‘love our fate’ in this way we are looking honestly at the challenges, mis-fortunes, limitations and difficulties of our life (as well as the good things), and opening to them. “This is my path and I embrace it fully and honestly, without looking away, or trying to run away, or moan. It is my path to own and build my inner strength, resilience and wisdom from.” Approaching our life in this way, we can be honest and at the same time joyful and accepting of all that we experience.

The Enemies of carelessness and indifference
To quote Franz Kafka: “You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something that you are free to do, and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.”
In the face of our own suffering and pain, and the over-whelming suffering of the world, it is easy and understandable when we try and numb ourselves, turn away, pretend we don’t care, and become indifferent. We pay a high price for this, for by cutting ourself off from caring we cut ourself off from joy and love and a multitude of other experiences that really put us in touch with why life is worth living. So here the meditation is to keep on remaining sensitive to the world, to care about ourself and others, and to commit to not numbing ourself. We can face our life and the world one day, one activity and one moment at a time, without getting overwhelmed, and make like Arthur Ashe; “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Friendship with the earth and sky
Humans are lonely creatures. We often seek company in order to relieve our loneliness but, as the saying goes, and I’ve heard many people say it about their experience “I’ve never felt so alone as when I’m in company”. One way to work on feeling less lonely that I’ve found tremendously useful is to simply be aware of the landscape that I live and move in, and feel myself to be in a supportive, friendly communion within. A simple meditation for this is to place your awareness on the horizon around you, sensing the sky and stars above and around you, and the living earth beneath you. As you breathe in, feel the energy of the earth and sky moving into you, and into your physical centre. As you breathe out, feel your energy expanding out from you centre out into the landscape. Feel yourself to be at home in the centre of the landscape you inhabit, feel it to be your friend. As you walk around in daily life, rather than just focusing on the pavement two metres in front of you, keep your head up a little, and be present to what’s around you, and of the horizon. Make friends with the earth sky and the things that you find therein…

Related articleWorking Samadhi – The way of the mindful warrior

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, 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 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

In a sentence: Establish the inner strength, skill and courage needed to make you resilient in the face of life’s challenges, and thrive in both times of adversity and times of peace.

Overview: The Warriors Creed is a poem by an unknown Samurai in the 14th century. It outlines a code of conduct and a state of presence based around a series of inner qualities that can be cultivated through mindful contemplation, then applied to our daily life…read full details


Saturday 23rd April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

These 2.5hour Zen ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one-hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart…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)

Saturday 9th April, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Ongoing – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

Saturday 23rd April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

Tues 17th/Weds 18th May: Wesak meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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The freedom of awareness

“If our freedom is our awareness, we gain our freedom by choosing to focus, to remain conscious, even when large parts of us want to run away from what we are seeing and experiencing.”

 

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article focuses on liberation through awareness.  If you enjoy it, then it will be the subject of the first class of my new series: The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed. The first session on the 5th & 6th of April, you are welcome to join us in the journey, in person or online!

And heads up for this Saturday’s Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In the spirit of freedom,

Toby

 

 


The freedom of awareness

“I have no freedom : I make awareness my freedom,
I have no power : I make the rhythms of nature my power”
– The Warriors Creed

We are not in charge of everything that happens to us in our life, but we are potentially in charge of the way in which we pay attention to our experience, mentally frame it, and make it into something worthwhile. We have the freedom of awareness. To own this freedom we need to commit to remaining remain conscious in our life. Remaining deeply conscious isn’t always easy, but it is fundamental to all of our growth. To quote Nathaniel Branden:
The primary choice to focus, to set one’s mind to the purpose of cognitive integration, is causally irreducible: it is the highest regulator in the mental system; it is subject to wo/man’s direct, volitional control. In relation to it all other choices and decisions are sub-regulators
And
The choice to focus one’s mind is a primary, just as the value sought, awareness is a primary. It is awareness that makes any other values possible, not any other values that antecede and make awareness possible. Awareness is the starting-point and pre-condition of goal-directed (value directed) human action – not just another value along the way, as it were. The decision to focus one’s mind (to value awareness and make it one’s goal) or not to focus, is a basic choice that cannot be reduced further.”
So, if our freedom is our awareness, we gain our freedom by choosing to focus, to remain conscious, even when large parts of us want to run away from what we are seeing and experiencing.

Other benefits of choosing to remain conscious include:

  • I will know truly that I am alive in the moment, in all of its uniqueness
  • I will prime myself to learn from what I am experiencing
  • I will gather confidence in facing my fears and tribulations
  • I will tend to make better choices and be more effective
  • I will flow and transition better between activities and circumstances

Meditation – Cultivating the conscious mind
To meditate essentially means to cultivate the strength of the conscious mind, to commit to remaining aware. The conscious mind might be though of as the CEO, or leader of the different elements of our consciousness. The stronger the conscious mind, the easier it is for it and us to make better executive decisions. Thinking about it in this way we can see that if we wish for the freedom of awareness in our life, a meditation practice is going to help a lot! Below is a very simple two stage meditation practice for cultivating the power of your conscious mind:

  1. For the first half of the meditation, simply breathe through your nose and in a relaxed, focused manner stay aware of the breathing, take it as your object of concentration. If you like you can really emphasize breathing with awareness of the solidity of your body, or you can let your mind become wide and open, with the breathing at the centre of this wide, open experience.
  2. For the second half of the meditation, think about the next period of time in your day, whatever is ahead of you. Plan what you want to focus your awareness on for this time. Anticipate times when you might get distracted or block your awareness for whatever reason. Imagine executing these activities in a state of focused, conscious awareness. Notice what this feels like and looks like in your minds eye.

Once you have finished the meditation, you then focus on remaining conscious in the way that you had imagined in your meditation; you practice the freedom of awareness in your daily life.

Related articleWorking Samadhi – The way of the mindful warrior

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, 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 5th/Wednesday 6th April 2022 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

In a sentence: Establish the inner strength, skill and courage needed to make you resilient in the face of life’s challenges, and thrive in both times of adversity and times of peace.

Overview: The Warriors Creed is a poem by an unknown Samurai in the 14th century. It outlines a code of conduct and a state of presence based around a series of inner qualities that can be cultivated through mindful contemplation, then applied to our daily life…read full details


 

Saturday April 9th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details


Saturday 23rd April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

These 2.5hour Zen ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one-hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart…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)

Saturday 9th April, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Starts Tuesday 5th/Wednesday 6th April 2022 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

Saturday 23rd April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

Tues 17th/Weds 18th May: Wesak meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Envisioning & presence – Climbing the mindful mountain

“Envisioning involves visualizing with hope, optimism and appropriate ambition a goal that you want to achieve in the future, being specific about what it looks like”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores how to combine future, present and timeless presence into a complementary, mutually supporting practice. If you enjoy it, it will be the subject of this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday meditation class, you are welcome to join us, live or online.

Next week the new weekly meditation program begins: The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed. Details below, or just click on the link for the full write up.

Finally, new event for April on Saturday 23rd, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

In the spirit of the envisioning & presence,

Toby


Envisioning & presence – Climbing the mindful mountain

This is an article about:

  1. How to connect what you do each day to the life you want to manifest
  2. To link your medium and long term goals to your everyday actions.
  3. To enjoy this process and build Confidence in yourself as you do it

It consists of three parts:

  1. The view of the mountain
  2. Climbing step by step the next part of the journey
  3. Watching the sky from the side of the mountain

The view of the mountain and the destination
This first section involves visualising with hope, optimism and appropriate ambition a goal that you want to achieve in the future. For example, I could take how I would like my business to have grown in the next 2-3years.

  • How much money am I making?
  • Who are my clients?
  • What’s my state of mind?
  • Where am I working?
  • What are the main components that create value in my work?

I build a picture in my mind of what it looks like. I enjoy being specific about building an ‘inner template’ that I can enjoy inhabiting as if it were true already. The image I build should be achievable, not just fantasy, but it should be as if things had turned out well, and our efforts had translated into manifestation.
This first stage is like when we are climbing a mountain; we look up at the path and plot our course before proceeding. Note that we are being deliberately and consciously future focused for this time.

Step by step
So, once I have the ‘big picture’ that I am working toward, once I have the view of the mountain to climb, I then focus on the next specific stage of the journey; climbing. As a climber this is when I put my head down and just take one step after the next on the path immediately ahead.
With regard to my business, this is where I identify the specific tasks today that I want to focus on doing to take me on the next step of my business journey.  At this point I am focused on present moment in time, attending with relaxed attention to the tasks of my day, one after the other, mindfully.
Often when we are going about our day, future thinking comes in in the form of worry or anxiety, getting in the way of our being effective at what we are doing in the moment.  Here we are trying to reduce this type of activity, using the task at hand.
If in my business I do a day of tasks related to creating it, one after another, then this is time well spent with regard to my big picture, future goal. I also have the sense of confidence and achievement of having executed effectively the tasks I have set myself, even if they weren’t all easy or pleasurable.

Watching the sky 
At points in the journey up your mountain, you want to sit down, look to one side and enjoy the view of the sky and landscape around you. Here you are not focused on the future, or the task at hand, rather you focus on the pleasure and regenerative energy of non-doing, non-thinking and just being. Imagine you are looking out on the landscape. It’s a clear day with plenty of blue sky, few clouds and plenty of sunlight. Just relax into the discipline of doing no-thing, going no-where and allowing all of your energy to come into the present moment. Not just the present moment in time, but the present moment out of time, the eternal present, a place of timeless regeneration and luminous ease. This period in your day enables you to stay fresh, enthusiastic and inwardly young as you continue your journey up the mountain, it prevents burnout and keeps it all in perspective.

These three mindful activities enable us to manifest our goals, connecting our visions
to our actions, without burning out. A part of your day, and your mindfulness practice can be dedicated to each of these.

Related articleWorking Samadhi – The way of the mindful warrior

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, 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 April – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details


Starts Tuesday 5th/Wednesday 6th April 2022 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

In a sentence: Establish the inner strength, skill and courage needed to make you resilient in the face of life’s challenges, and thrive in both times of adversity and times of peace.

Overview: The Warriors Creed is a poem by an unknown Samurai in the 14th century. It outlines a code of conduct and a state of presence based around a series of inner qualities that can be cultivated through mindful contemplation, then applied to our daily life…read full details


Saturday 23rd April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

These 2.5hour Zen ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one-hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart…read full details


http://integralmeditationasia.com/workshops-classes/zen-meditation-deep-dive-mini-retreat/

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)

Ongoing January-March – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

In April – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Starts Tuesday 5th/Wednesday 6th April 2022 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

Saturday 23rd April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

Tues 17th/Weds 18th May: Wesak meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share

Working Samadhi – The way of the mindful warrior

“With working samadhi, all our actions an expression in one form or another of the confidence, generosity & compassion that arises from meditative presence in action”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores a practice called ‘Working Samadhi’ which for me is one of the most compelling ideas in meditation! If you enjoy it then do check out  the new meditation program beginning in April:  The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed. Details below, or just click on the link for the full write up.

This weeks Tuesday and Wednesday evenings meditation session, is the annual Spring Equinox balancing & renewing meditation. you’re welcome to join us,  live-in-person, or online.

In the spirit of the mindful warrior,

Toby


Working Samadhi – The way of the mindful warrior

Why meditate?
Meditation in its most simple definition means to hold a focused, relaxed space of awareness. This state of awareness sits in the middle of two extremes:

  • On the one side, there is being distracted and lost in thought, or conceptuality
  • In the other side there is sleep or inertia

So, with meditation we are in a state of relaxed presence, in the moment. We are alert, undistracted and relaxed, avoiding the extremes of thinking or sleep.
Initially we meditate using simple objects like the body and breathing, but we can really build a meditative state around a wide variety of objects. Meditation enables us to achieve what I like to call singularity; the ability to gather all of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual energy into a single energy or presence in the moment. It gives us the strength of calmness, but also acts as the basis for a whole range of empowering states, from joy to compassion, self-trust, confidence and so on…

Working samadhi – Combining singularity and movement
The ability to hold a meditative state whilst sitting or standing takes some work. As our practice develops, if its trajectory is healthy, we find ourselves able to hold the state of singularity more and more in our daily activities. This eventually leads to a state called ‘working samadhi’.  Genuine working samadhi means, to quote John Daido Lori:
Working samadhi (means) we’re able to stay with what we are doing and not disconnect from the moment by chasing thoughts, pre-occupied with something other than the activity at hand, wishing we weren’t there. This single-mindedness on any and all facets of life is working samadhi…. It’s our aliveness and presence, moment to moment. Each instant is lucid and complete.
Within that working samadhi, karuna – real compassion – begins to appear. Compassion is wisdom in action. It is not merely doing good.”

Experiential learning in the moment
With working samadhi, our life becomes our meditation, and all our activities become an expression of the meditative state. This then enables us to find meaning and learning in all our activities, whether they are superficially ‘spiritual’ or ‘mundane’. Everything becomes an expression in one form or another of the confidence, generosity & compassion that arises from our ‘meditative presence in action’.

The mindful warrior
Unless you are careful, there is no guarantee that your sitting meditation starts to translate into working samadhi. For some, meditation can become an escape from daily life, or even an addiction that winds up in them not really being able to function normally without regular periods retreating into solitary meditation. To step into working samadhi takes a lot of confidence and courage, and an ability to skillfully embrace our messy chaotic reality whole-heartedly.

Yourself as a mindful warrior
With your capacity to sustain singularity, not just in formal meditation but in complex daily life, our path opens up into that of the ‘mindful warrior’. Someone who trusts themselves enough to start openly expressing their joy, compassion, inner wealth and generosity in the world, without fear of getting burned, burned out or intimidated. To finish this article, I’d like to leave you with a quote from Chogyam Trungpa (From ‘Cutting through spiritual materialism’) on the compassion that arises essentially from working samadhi. If you imagine yourself like this in your daily life, it gives a taste of what it’s like:
We could say that compassion is the ultimate attitude of wealth: An anti-poverty attitude, a war on want. It contains all sorts of heroic, juicy, positive, visionary, expansive qualities. It implies a larger scale thinking, a freer and more expansive way of relating to yourself and the wold….it is the attitude that one has been born fundamentally rich, rather than one must become rich. Without this kind of confidence meditation cannot be transferred into action at all.”

Related articleKaruna – Compassion arising from wisdom

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, 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 April 9th, 9.30-11.30am
 – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details


Starts Tuesday 5th/Wednesday 6th April 2022 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

In a sentence: Establish the inner strength, skill and courage needed to make you resilient in the face of life’s challenges, and thrive in both times of adversity and times of peace.

Overview: The Warriors Creed is a poem by an unknown Samurai in the 14th century. It outlines a code of conduct and a state of presence based around a series of inner qualities that can be cultivated through mindful contemplation, then applied to our daily life…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)

Ongoing January-March – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

Saturday April 9th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Starts Tuesday 5th/Wednesday 6th April 2022 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

Saturday 23rd April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

Tues 17th/Weds 18th May: Wesak meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share

Karuna – Compassion arising from wisdom

“Karuna is not just intelligent intellectual or philosophical insight, it is wise compassion arising from visceral embodied, non-conceptual/non-verbal presence and seeing”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores ‘karuna’ or compassion arising from wisdom.  It is a subject we will explore in this  Tuesday and Wednesday evenings meditation session, you’d be welcome, live-in-person, or online.

Reminder of next Saturday’s  Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat , and excited to announce the new meditation program beginning in April:  The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed . Details below, or just click on the link for the full write up.

In the spirit of karuna,

Toby


Karuna – Compassion arising from wisdom

Ordinary compassion
Ordinary compassion is something that we all possess. It happens when we observe the suffering of others with any degree of empathy. It leads us to sympathize, to wish them to be free of their pain, and if possible, do something to help. This kind of compassion is to a greater or lesser degree present in humans, and also to a more limited degree animals.
This kind of compassion is the source of many good things, and also a source of pain; with so much suffering in the world, and so few resources, when is the pain ever going to end?! When my brother and sister-in-law were doing NGO work in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, they used to have to have a compulsory once every seven-week holiday, so that they didn’t get psychologically overwhelmed by the scale of the suffering they saw worked with.
This compassion can also cause us to withdraw from the world, to feel despair, to cut off from others in order to stop feeling the pain of seeing pain!

Karuna
Karuna is defined as ‘compassion arising from wisdom’. It’s a particular type of spontaneous compassion that arises from the discipline of being present mindfully, which then leads to a particular way of seeing and insight into ourself and the world, as-they-are.
With karuna, our compassion arises spontaneously, intuitively, and without sentimentality. If there is something that can be done in the moment, then we do it. If nothing can be done, the same karuna arises, but it does not give rise to inner conflict or despair. We simple do what we can, with what we have in the moment, and then let go.
Karuna arises from something called ‘working samadhi’, which is essentially the ability to keep focused and present in your daily life in the same way that you are able to in a formal sitting meditation. From this we can also see that a pre-requisite for karuna is the ability to focus the mind in formal meditation; if you can’t do it in sitting meditation, you won’t be able to do it in daily life. The wisdom that gives rise to karuna is not just intelligent intellectual or philosophical insight, it is wise compassion arising from visceral embodied, non-conceptual/non-verbal presence and seeing.
I’ve talked about compassionate presence this in my precious article (see link at the bottom. All I’m going to do to finish this entry off is to leave a quote by John Daido Loori on karuna, which is as beautiful and pithy an explanation of it as I have found. Keep meditating!

Working samadhi…begins to manifest in activity now. We’re able to stay with what we are doing and not disconnect from the moment by chasing thoughts, pre-occupied with something other than the activity at hand, wishing we weren’t there. This single-mindedness on any and all facets of life is working samadhi….It’s our aliveness and presence, moment to moment. Each instant is lucid and complete.
Within that working samadhi, karuna – real compassion – begins to appear. Compassion is wisdom in action. It is not merely doing good. At the beginning of our practice, many of us experience an overwhelming, bleeding-heart impetus to save the world, mixed with equally overwhelming despair that there are just too many problems and too few resources. As practice matures, our awkward attempts or pessimistic withdrawals are replaced by genuine compassion arising from practice and realization. We see what we can do and we do it. We do it without even reflecting, or knowing why we’re doing it. Compassion happens. It happens the way we grow our hair. It is that simple and that mysterious.”
Quote, John Daido Loori – Chapter 5, ‘Path of Enlightenment – Stages in a Spiritual Journey

Related articleCompassionate presence, awakened action

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, 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 & Weds March 22nd & 23rd – Spring Equinox balancing & renewing meditation

The Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere marks the mid-point between the cooler, darker seasons of the year and the lighter, warmer ones. The forces of day and night, light and dark are of equal strength. As such it represents time to emphasize balance and harmony, both in our life and meditation practice.

It is also good time to attune the life-force in the earth and creative energies within ourselves. We will be taking the time to get in touch with the new ideas, energies and creativity within ourselves as they emerge like new plants and flowers in spring.



Saturday March 19th, 9.30-11.30am
 – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details


Starts Tuesday 5th/Wednesday 6th April 2022 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

In a sentence: Establish the inner strength, skill and courage needed to make you resilient in the face of life’s challenges, and thrive in both times of adversity and times of peace.

Overview: The Warriors Creed is a poem by an unknown Samurai in the 14th century. It outlines a code of conduct and a state of presence based around a series of inner qualities that can be cultivated through mindful contemplation, then applied to our daily life…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)

Ongoing January-March – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

Saturday March 19th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Tues & Weds March 22nd & 23rd – Spring Equinox balancing & renewing meditation

Starts Tuesday 5th/Wednesday 6th April 2022 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

Tues 17th/Weds 18th May: Wesak meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share

Inner interior design – Structural calm & the state of stillness

“Create ‘inner furniture’ that is conducive to calm. This then helps you create more easily and deeply your inner ‘room’ of stillness”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores how you can combine structures and states of consciousness together in your everyday practice.  It is a subject we will explore in this  Tuesday and Wednesday evenings meditation session, you’d be welcome, live-in-person, or online.

Also please note change in time for the Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat, it is now Saturday March 19th, not 26th as was previously.

In the spirit of inner furniture,

Toby


Inner interior design – Structural calm & the state of stillness

Two types of consciousness work
It’s a useful distinction to understand that there are two basic and complementary ways that we can work with our consciousness; states & structures.
States are primarily what we work with in meditation. We cultivate a state of calm, a state of focus, a state of acceptance, a state of love and so forth. A state is like a mood, and atmosphere, an energetic experience. The idea is to give ourself a range of states through meditation that we can drop into and hold competently in a way that we can use them regularly and at will in our daily life, so that they can enhance our enjoyment, competence and balance.
Structures of consciousness are the moving, habitual components and patterns of our consciousness. A state is a ‘being’ phenomenon, a structure is a ‘doing’ phenomenon. Structures are:

  • The way we tend to think
  • How we deal with emotions
  • Our philosophy and belief structures (conscious and unconscious)
  • The way we manage the parts of our personality (inner child etc…)
  • The way we approach social interactions and conversation
  • The way we fight or flow with our body energy

Room and furniture
You can think about states as the rooms in your ‘inner house’. They are the basic spaces that you spend a lot of your time in. The structures then are like the objects and furniture that you place in the rooms. They are the actual things that you use to sit, work, relax, cut, sleep and so on. This image and analogy is useful for getting a sense of how the two interact, and how both are necessary for wellbeing and functional effectiveness. Working with them is like becoming a good ‘internal interior designer’!
Below I outline a simple one-two practice for creating structural calm and then a state of stillness. It’s an example of how you can put together a state and structure one-two punch that mutually enhance each other.

Working with structures for calm & peace
Sitting comfortably, direct your attention for a period to thoughts, images and memories that help you connect to calm. Here just be creative, for example:

  • “You’ve got time with this work project, its ok to relax for now”
  • The memory of a favourite landscape/s that, when you are there help you connect to calm
  • Anchoring your attention habitually to the breathing
  • You can include physical objects on your environment that when you look at or listen to help you feel calmer
  • The memory of a time when you felt safe, secure, relaxed

Once you start to get going, you’ll discover many ways of using your mind, memory and sensory attention in a structured way to move you toward calm

Working with states for stillness
You will have probably found that by cultivating structures that connect you to calm, that you will be feeling calmer already. From here we can then move into cultivating a state of stillness. We can do this very simply by breaking it down into three components:

  • Focusing on being physically still, and inviting the movement in our mind to start to slow
  • Dropping time, letting go of past and future, becoming fully present
  • Releasing our awareness of the space and directions around us. Coming back to our body, and allowing our awareness of our environment to fade

When we let go of time, movement and space, we move into a state of stillness. Just stay with the breathing and relax into the state of stillness.

Putting them together in daily life
Having a set of mental structures and focus points in your life gives you a way of creating ‘inner furniture’ that is conducive to calm. This then helps you create more easily and deeply your ‘room’ of stillness. The state feeds off of the structure, and the structure can feed off of the state.

Related articlesDropping out of time and into stillness

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, 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 & Weds March 22nd & 23rd – Spring Equinox balancing & renewing meditation

The Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere marks the mid-point between the cooler, darker seasons of the year and the lighter, warmer ones. The forces of day and night, light and dark are of equal strength. As such it represents time to emphasize balance and harmony, both in our life and meditation practice.

It is also good time to attune the life-force in the earth and creative energies within ourselves. We will be taking the time to get in touch with the new ideas, energies and creativity within ourselves as they emerge like new plants and flowers in spring.



Saturday March 19th, 9.30-11.30am
 – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your 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)

Ongoing January-March – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

Tues & Weds March 22nd & 23rd – Spring Equinox balancing & renewing meditation

Saturday March 19th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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