Resting in Safety, Thriving on Risk

Dear Everyone,

Do you ever have the experience when you sit down to meditate but you find that your mind and body are so tightly wound up that it takes three quarters of the session to stop fighting with them and actually enjoying some peace of mind?

The practice of “Resting in Safety” is one that I have found very helpful for myself, and that students seem to respond very well to when I teach it.

Yours in the spirit of a mind of ease,

Toby


Resting in Safety, Thriving on Risk

Learning to Rest in a Sense of Safety
Sit comfortably for a moment, and simply imagine these three things:

  • That right now you are safe from any physical threats to your wellbeing.
  • That all psychological attacks and threats to your wellbeing, whether from others or from within your own mind have ceased temporarily; you can relax psychologically.
  • That the creative forces of the Universe are fundamentally friendly toward you and wish you well, rather than disliking you or wishing to destroy you. You are surrounded by the “spiritual” energy of the Universes friendship and good intention toward you.

Now, having taken in these three points, simply rest in the feeling of ease and wellbeing that comes from recognizing and relaxing into these three experiences; physical safety, psychological safety and “spiritual safety”arising from the Universes benevolent intention toward you.
Breathe with this mind of ease for a short while and really allow your mind and body to “soak” in the experience.

Learning to rest in the experience of physical, psychological and spiritual safety is one of the practices that I teach people to help establish a stable context for their meditation practice. Once the mind is relaxed and resting in the experience of safety, it is comparatively easy to then start focusing the mind in a concentrated way, and move into deeper meditative states.

Thriving in a World of Risk
Of course in the “real world” we are all experiencing almost continuous low intensity risk and danger, and occasionally relatively high intensity danger.

  • When we cross the road, without an awareness of the danger and risk we could have an accident.
  • Without having a positive,  appropriate capacity for self-criticism, we would have no way of making adjustments when we are behaving inappropriately.
  • When our office colleague is attacking us verbally or psychologically, it is naïve to pretend it is not happening, and we sometimes need to make quick and appropriate steps to protect ourself.
  • The Universe, whilst on one  level creating and sustaining our life, also seems quite prepared to treat us with complete indifference sometimes, and sometimes as entirely expendable.

The basic point with learning to rest in a sense of safety is that very often our biological and psychological self is exaggerating the real threats to our being, and thus we spend much of our time in a state of worry and high tension, when actually we could be relaxing and enjoying our life a whole lot more.
Moreover, when a real threat does come along if we are feeling relaxed and well rested, then there is a far greater chance that we will be able to respond to the risk appropriately, dynamically and decisively.
Learning to mindfully rest in safety is a simple and wonderful practice that you can do for a couple of minutes at a time, a few times a day to create a habit on your mind that will serve you for the rest of your life.

© Toby Ouvry 2012, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Tobyas the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

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