Depth of Pain = Depth of Pleasure

Hi Everyone,

I hope this newsletter finds you well, many thanks to all of you who came to yesterdays Integral Meditation Practice Workshop, it was a pleasure to spend time practicing mediation with you! Please not there is a six week Integral Meditation Practice Course beginning on 31st of October, click on the link below for full details.

This weeks article covers a subject that is very close to my heart, and one of the areas inmy personal coaching practice that I gain the most satisfaction from; how to re-awaken depth of positive emotionality within ourself by contacting “negative” emotional within ourself that we are afraid of, I hope you enjoy it!

Yours in the spirit of appropriately  liberated emotion,


Upcoming Classes and Workshops at Integral Meditation Asia

Beginning Wednesday Evening 31st October:  Integral Meditation Practice – A Six Week Course in Mindful Living, Energetic Health and Wise Insight Through Meditation

To register or for further enquiries: Email, or call 65-68714117

Depth of Pain = Depth of Pleasure – The Double Bind (and Double Opportunity) of Emotional Repression

One of the reasons why people find it such a challenge to keep up a daily meditation practice is that it starts to reveal to them painful emotions that lie repressed within them that frankly they would rather remain repressed and forgotten. The process of meditation itself causes a release of the “knots” in the mind that hold the pain that we have repressed down, and  this “untying” gives us access to self-knowledge that frankly we might rather we did not have!

However, there is both a carrot and a stick that we can use to encourage us to face our painful emotions with courage:

The stick is this – Whenever we repress or cut ourself off from a deeply felt painful emotion, we also cut ourself off from the entire deep emotional level on which that emotion is based. Because we cut ourself off from an entire level of deep emotional feeling, we deny ourself not only the painful feelings on that level, but also the pleasurable feelings on that level. So, if we habitually repress  negative emotions, we find that we are also no longer sensitive or receptive to deeply felt pleasurable emotions that make life worth living!

The carrot is this – Whenever we find the courage and self-compassion to reach out to and re-integrate painful repressed emotion within us, as we do so we simultaneously re-awaken a level of emotion within us that is open to deep pleasure, appreciation, joy, sensuality, rapture, hilarity and so on.

One of the most common challenges that people whom I do 1:1 coaching with talk about with me is how they feel cut off from life, they feel emotionally dis-engaged from a world that they feel they should be appreciating, connecting with and enjoying much more. Accordingly, much of the main work that I do with individuals as well as teaching them meditation is to seek out the painful emotions that they most often repress, and bring them back in a benign way into the light of their conscious awareness for healing. When this is done, very often they find that because they are no longer repressing emotions that they are afraid of, they suddenly find that the range of positive emotions that become re-sensitized to is quite remarkable. They become “alive to life” once more”.

Facing up to difficult and challenging emotions in ourself takes courage, but if you are a “spiritual hedonist” like me, and want to reclaim your right to daily emotional depth of pleasure, aliveness, spontaneity and positivity, then you know that the courageous effort is always rewarded in a worthwhile manner!

And finally, once you are used to positively confronting tough emotions, meditating everyday feels no longer so much like a discipline as a pleasure.

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


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