Enlightenment, Persistence and Knowing What You Really Want

Dear Integral Meditators,

Do you really know what you really want? This weeks article offers a few points for contemplation on this subject.
In case you missed the midweek article, you can click here to read about:  Meditating with the Tree of Yoga – A Twelve Module Online Course for just Sing$39! (Limited time offer) The offer is valid up until this Thursday, 17th April.

I’ve also created a page on the IMA website devoted to Meditation technology to support your practice. I’ve recently affiliate Integral Meditation Asia with I-Awake technologies, and this page explains a little bit about why and what the benefits are.

Yours in the spirit of wants and desires,


Upcoming Meditation Classes and Workshops at Integral Meditation Asia 

Coming soon: Mindful Self-Leadership

Enlightenment, Persistence and Knowing What You Really Want

Meditating each day on the question “what do I really want” is a really important practice. If you don’t know what you want, then what you think you want will almost certainly be determined by factors such as:

  • What your society and culture thinks you should want
  • What lifestyle advertisements and marketers think you should want
  • What other people around you want
  • What you think your parents would approve of you wanting to want
  • What it is good to want in order to get the approval of significant others in your life’
  • What is easy
  • What will not piss others off
  • Ect…

The list goes on, and so you can see it is actually not a neutral space, if you don’t know what you really want then it is going to be decided for you. So what do you really want??

One way (not the only) way of carving up our wants and desires is into three:

  • Ego or personality level desires that wish to find fulfillment in relationships, work and tangible achievements in our life
  • Soul level wants and desires that tend to centre around the expression of deeper meaning, goodness, beauty and truth in our life
  • Spiritual happiness which here I am going to say centres around a connection to a state of being where all wants and desires are released and simultaneously fulfilled at the same time. That’s enlightenment baby.

All of the above types of wants and desires are valid on their own level, and each of them has their place in our life.

What you want has consequences
When you know what you want, following that will have consequences and sacrifices associated with it. But, life has consequences and sacrifices that will happen anyway, whether they are happening on your terms or not. At least if you know what you want and you go for it, then when the challenging consequences come you can say without conflict or bitterness “I chose this, this is what I want, I accept the consequences”.

When I left University I chose to spend a decade training in meditation and with no regard for conventional career, finances or fitting in, because I wanted spiritual enlightenment. Spiritual enlightenment is what I got, but coming back into the world age 32 I realized that my decade sabbatical had profound consequences in terms of my career, finances and outer freedom. The consequences were real and substantial, but I was happy to take those consequences because I knew what I wanted and the price was worth it (at the end of the day).
Now I run a business, Integral Meditation Asia because I want to teach the path of integrated enlightenment. There are plenty of easier ways to make money and gain recognition in the eyes of others, but I will take that consequence because I know what I want.
The thing is, if you know what you want, you will tend to persist, and if you persist intelligently and wisely, there is a good chance you’ll get what you want

A meditation image for focusing on what you want
Once a week I run up and down the stair well of a local HDB flat a few times (Europe or America, read council or public housing). It is 13 stories high. As a practice to remind me to keep focused on what I want without getting distracted here is what I do; as I am running up the stairs I don’t allow myself to look at the story number as I am going by. As I go higher I can feel my lungs straining and my legs hurting, and I want to distract myself by looking at the numbers, I want to know how much farther to go before the pain stops. But I don’t look; I just keep my head down, keep steady and let the top floor come when it comes. During my week when I feel like getting distracted, doubt myself or am getting (mostly well meaning) but contradictory advice from others, I bring my mind back to this image, clarify what it is I want, and keep going.

The curve ball: What if I don’t know what I want?
Then you know something important. If you don’t know what you want you need to know that, and keep asking the question until you get clarity. The tendency can be if you don’t know what you want is simply to drift and let your desires get filled up with other people’s ideas of what you should want, and then you will be lost.

Every day ask the question, “What do I really want?” and persist.
© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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

Support for you Meditation Practice 

If you enjoyed the article above, and are interested in sound technology that can help you actively pursue the question “what do I want? the following two tracks may be worth considering:


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