Dipping under & dancing within time

Dear Integral Meditators,

A lot of the mental stress that we feel is based upon our experience of time, so approaching the way in which we experience time mindfully, consciously & with awareness is really important. The article below explores practical ways of beginning to do this.

Toby

PS:  For those in Singapore, tonight’s and Wednesday evenings see the beginning of a new meditation class series: Five Class Meditation Series: Cultivating Deep Experience of the Present Moment  all welcome!


Dipping under & dancing within time

A lot of the mental stress that we feel is based upon our experience of time, so approaching the way in which we experience time mindfully, consciously & with awareness is really important. What I want to explain here is two methods of meditating on time for reducing mental stress when we are under pressure. These methods can be done formally as sitting meditations, or they can be done informally, as contemplations while we are going about our daily lives. Like all meditation techniques they can be used as methods for building our inner strength, focus, concentration and calm. Where these methods come into their own is as ways of liberating us from the ‘tyranny of time’, inviting us to feel as if we are the master of our time, rather than it being the master of us.

The pre-present moment – Getting out of time by dipping under it
Time is essentially a mental construct; past, present and future are essentially ideas that we use in order to function. Whenever you choose to ‘drop’ these concepts, you enter what I call the ‘pre-present moment’. This is the space before time existed, or was brought into our existence by mind. You can open a door to the pre-present moment using your imagination. For example, one technique I teach is imagining yourself as a rock or stone at the bottom of a river. Because you are a stone, you have no thoughts. Time essentially doesn’t exist from your point of view. If you like you can imagine time as the water flowing above you and past you in the river. You simply sit there and relax as the stone; inert, non-thinking, entirely peaceful and relaxed, at the bottom of the river, in the pre-present moment. I sometimes vary this image, for example the other day I imagined myself as sand on a beach, or the seaweed in the water. All of these images are doorways to the relaxing experience of the pre-present moment. By ‘ducking under time’ in this way for short periods, you can return to to your experience of time and your life feeling refreshed and with a new perspective.

The present moment in time – Dancing with linear time
The present moment in time is always right here, and here, and here. The more you can pay attention to your experience of this moment right now, the more you are going to feel that you are able to cope and thrive as the past and future dance around you in your mind. A really simple way to do this is to just use your breathing to center yourself in the present moment. Try and stay focused in the present moment just for three breaths, then relax for a few moments and watch your mind exploring the past and future. Then come back again to the breathing for three breaths. Keep coming back to the breathing for a few rounds, really centering yourself in the present so that you start to feel really solid and grounded there.
As a second stage to this practice, as you are doing your three breaths, at the bottom of your exhalation, rest in the natural point of stillness and presence that is in that pause. By doing this you can further deepen your anchor in the present-moment-in-time.

So, there you go, two simple methods for building a more positive, mindful relationship to time, as well as managing your mental stress more effectively!
© Toby Ouvry 2017, 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 Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Starting Tues/Wed September 5th/6th – September & October Five Class Meditation Series: Cultivating Deep Experience of the Present Moment

September 19th/20th: Autumn Equinox balancing & renewing meditation

Saturday September 16th, 10am-5pm –  Shamanic mandala meditation & art workshop


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