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That Essential Feeling of Being Alive

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article is a simple reflection on mindfulness as the simple act of opening to life as you find it. Happy reading!

In the spirit of the journey,


That Essential Feeling of Being Alive

We’re all looking deep down for that essential feeling of being alive. A lot of our actions; seeking a particular type of work, seeking romance, traveling, studying, watching or reading stories, achieving this or that. All of these things are ways in which we seek to connect to that essential feeling, and yet often it can remain elusive; we feel a disconnect; we mistake it for the excitement of a new activity and then get bored; we need to have achieved all the things we think we need to before we give ourself permission.
The open secret here is that we are all alive now, and all we really need to do to connect to feeling truly alive is to open to it in the moment that we find ourself in at any given time, to simply be what and who we are now.
Our conceptual mind gets confused about this, it thinks that there need to be criteria met, goals achieved, boy/girl met, rank achieved. After we have gotten these, then we can give ourself permission to feel alive (!) But the thing about needing criteria to be ‘met’ before you allow yourself to open to life is that once one set of criteria is met, we tend to create another set of criteria in its place that we have to meet; another reason to withhold that essential feeling of being alive from ourself for another moment, day, week, month, year…
An essential dimension of the way of mindfulness is to open to the feeling of being alive first, and then decide what you are going to do to express and enjoy that feeling further. The approach for many people is to give yourself a list of things to do/get/achieve and then, at some point in the future you may be able to open to being fully alive.
Right now I’m getting over a few days of fever. On one level I’ve felt like these days have been somewhat crummy/not fun/unfortunate/painful (insert adjective here…) for me, but despite this I’m always kind of fine with what happened because at the core of my basic experience is this essential, fundamentally pleasurable feeling of being connected to life, to being here and to participating. This is the sort of way that mindfully connecting to being alive starts to affect your experiences on a day to day level.
Don’t wait for that essential feeling of life to come to you, it’s right here, now, waiting for you to open to it!

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

February 2016

Ongoing on Wednesday’s (Jan 13th, 20th) 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday  February 27th, 2.30-5.30pm – Growing Your Mindful Freedom – The Essential Meditation of the Buddha: A Three Hour Meditation Workshop

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