Mindful of: Your Relationship to Giving and Receiving

Dear Integral Meditators,

The article below offers some simple methods for exploring and developing a healthy relationship to giving and receiving through mindfulness.

In the spirit of giving and receiving,



Mindful of: Your Relationship to Giving and Receiving

What is your relationship to the process of giving and receiving? Every day we exchange words, energy and activity with others and our environment  in both healthy and not so healthy ways. How can we use mindfulness to explore how this process is playing out in our life?

Basic awareness practice around giving and receiving
Here is a simple practices you can do to attune yourself to the basic experience of giving and receiving.

  • As you breathe in, feel yourself moving into a state of receptivity and receiving. As you breather out focus on a state of giving. In a literal sense we are taking in and giving out air from and to the atmosphere, but breathing like this also helps us to become aware of the psychological state of giving and receiving that we are alternating between during the day. Do a few rounds of 3-5 breaths like this, with short breaks in between just to explore the experience
  • As a second stage to this exercise, as you breathe in really try and feel yourself receiving energy from the world, and as you breathe out feel yourself giving back to  it. Set up a benevolent cycle of giving and receiving with each breath.

Becoming more mindful of your experience of giving and receiving, and its power
Think of a time when you have received the energy of kindness, care or confidence from someone else. What did it feel like to receive such energy? Was it a powerful experience? Correspondingly think of a time when you gave the energy of confidence, care and kindness to others. What did it feel like to give this? How did the other person/people respond to it? Did you find it easy or difficult?
Now think of a time when you were on the receiving end of difficult energy such as aggression, hatred of confusion from someone. What did it feel like to receive this energy, how did it affect you?
Correspondingly think of a time when you gave the energy of anger or aggression, or anxiety to another person. How did they respond? What did it feel like to give such energy? If you were more aware of what it is like to receive such energy, would you give it out so much?

Giving and receiving in real time with others
As you are going about your daily life, try and be aware of the dynamic of giving and receiving between yourself and the others that you meet.  Become aware of when to open and receive energy from others in a healthy way, and when to close to it. Similarly be aware of how and when you are giving; when it is healthy and appropriate and when it is not really serving either yourself or others. The idea is to try and use your natural intelligence and awareness to set up positive cycles of giving and receiving in your life, so that you are receiving healthy energy from others and also giving healthy and sustaining energy to them in a mutually reinforcing feedback loop.

A couple of fundamental mindful questions to ask yourself during the day:
What is it that I am giving or receiving from myself and/or others right now? Now that I am conscious of it, are there any adjustments I need to make?

© 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

Integral Meditation Asia



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