Combining Your Meditation and Mindfulness Practice Together (Meditating on relaxation)

Dear Integral Meditators,
What is the difference between meditation and mindfulness? Are they the same or different? This weeks article looks at working definitions of both and how they can be combined into an effective daily practice, enjoy!

In the spirit of the mindful journey,

Toby


Combining Your Meditation and Mindfulness Practice Together

To be mindful of something means to bring a certain focused,  non-judgmental awareness and attention to something in order to understand it and get to know it better.
To meditate means to focus your attention very specifically upon a particular state of mind in order to really ground it experientially for you and to integrate it into the foundational, habitual structure of your consciousness. Combining meditation and mindfulness together into a single practice optimizes the effects of both. Let’s take a simple example of how to do this using the basic but profound quality of relaxation.

Mindfully investigating relaxation.
What does relaxation meant to me? When in my life have I felt truly relaxed on all levels? By asking yourself questions like these you can begin a process of mindful enquiry where you bring to mind different experiences of relaxation that you have had in the past. As I’m sitting here writing, I am thinking of a beach in Langkawi that I have been to where I had a particularly relaxing time. As I remember and picture the beach and my experiences there I notice my body, mind and heart starting to respond to those memories; the cellular structure of my body relaxes and rests at ease.

Meditating on relaxation
Now that my process of mindful enquiry has helped me find a mental, physical and emotional state of relaxation, I can now meditate on it. To meditate on relaxation, I simply practice focusing upon and holding that state of relaxation with meditative concentration; breathing it in and breathing it out. By meditating on relaxation in this way I really allow my body mind and heart to ‘soak’ in the feeling of relaxation, so that I really become very familiar with the feeling. By meditating on relaxation I can integrate it much more deeply into my daily, habitual consciousness, and thus I can start to use it more and more effectively; when I find myself under pressure at work, when I feel emotional stress in my relationships and so on…

If you understand how to combine meditation and mindfulness in this way, then you can basically accelerate the development of any inner quality or experience that you want. For example if I want to develop my creative energy I can first mindfully investigate what creativity means to me, and recall times in the past when I have felt in ‘the creative flow’. Having investigated mindfully in this way I can then use meditation to ‘soak’ my body-mind in that state of creative flow so that it becomes a stronger and stronger part of my basic habitual psychological makeup.

Perhaps this week you might like to start working with combining your own meditation and mindfulness practice together taking the example of relaxation above. Alternatively pick any quality that you want to develop right now and use that!

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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


Upcoming events at Integral Meditation Asia in October

Every Wednesday, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday 3rd October, 2.30-5.30pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop

Sunday 11th October, 8.00-10.30am – An Introduction to Walking Meditation Workshop

Wednesday  14th October 2015, 7.30-9pm – Evening Event: Integral Mindfulness –Co-creating Your Professional Success and Personal Wellbeing

Saturday 17th October, 2.30-5.30pm  Meditation & Mindfulness for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 3 Hour workshop

Saturday October  31st, 9.30am-12.30pm – Engaged Mindfulness: Take Control of Your Life Direction and Wellbeing Through Awareness, Curiosity, Courage and Care – A Three Hour Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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