The Mindful Warrior – Using concepts as weapons

Dear Integral Meditators,

Think of your thoughts as being like a weapons, that can be used for good or ill. The article below offers a few pointers to help ensure that you are using your ‘inner weapons’ in ways that are helpful to yourself and others, rather than just using them to cut yourself down all the time!

For those in Singapore, a quick reminder of the Summer solstice balancing & renewing meditation tonight and tomorrow evenings, and this weekends workshop An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism!

In the spirit of the mindful warrior,


The Mindful Warrior – Using concepts as weapons

One of the goals of mindfulness is to realize that we are currently using many negative concepts against ourselves, and to stop this. The flip side of this is to learn to use positive, balanced and intelligent concepts, and wield them like weapons in our lives.

The way in which we use negative concepts
‘If only this hadn’t happened then I could have…’
‘There is no way I can do this when…’
‘If only I had control over the outcome, I wouldn’t feel so anxious…’
If you look at the conversation in your head, you’ll start to notice many different ways in which your habitual thinking and worldview limits you in ways that prevent you from experiencing pleasure and joy and makes you less effective in dealing with the situation you are faced with. These thoughts are like weapons that you wield against yourself in order to keep you feeling limited, dis-empowered, miserable and generally helpless.

Accepting and releasing these negative concepts
The first step in ‘de-commissioning your negative inner-concepts’ is simply to recognize that they are there. Then you can practice spotting them when they arise, accepting they are there, and then letting them go, not letting them impact us or define our experience.

Noticing the way in which we use positive concepts
If you watch your mind you will also notice that sometimes your mind comes up with positive concepts and ways of framing your experiences that make you stronger and more resilient to the challenges you face. These are the already existing ‘conceptual weapons’ that you have within your mind. Once you have identified them, you can then deliberately start to use them more in your life, leveraging upon them to make you happier and more effective as you go about your day.

Creating new positive concepts and weaponizing them
If you are going through a difficult challenge, you can ask yourself, ‘What are the different ways of framing this experience in ways that are going to help me enjoy it and be more effective?’ If you like, as well as thinking about them, you can write them down, so you have them at hand to look at whenever you need.

Becoming a mindful warrior
Whenever you think about your challenge, you then practice deliberately viewing it from the conceptual viewpoints that you have devised. You practice wielding these concepts like weapons, defending yourself against inner thoughts and views that don’t serve you, and using them to ‘attack’ your life with enthusiasm!

An example
As we move into the high summer period, some of my ‘predictable’ sources of work become less. Of course, there is plenty of room for my mind to conceptualize this in an unhelpful way, which I need to look out for and ‘defend’ myself against. But I also take the time to ensure that I have a number of key ‘conceptual weapons’ that I can use to enjoy this time and make good use of it. For example:
‘Its good because I’ll have more time for creativity and new workshop design.’
‘It’ll give me time to rest properly and renew my energy and enthusiasm.’
‘In previous seasons, sometimes this has been my busiest period, and there is a chance it could happen again.’
‘Whatever happens I have made enough money in the last few months to tie me over…’
These are all simple examples of concepts that I use as benevolent weapons to defend against needless mental suffering and derive maximum enjoyment from my time ahead.
Its not enough to simply ‘think positive’ you have to learn to use the thoughts effectively and mindfully in your day so that they hold weight and mass in the face of your challenges!

© Toby Ouvry 2018, 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 AsiaOngoing 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)

Tuesday 19th & 20th June, 7.30pm – Summer solstice balancing & renewing meditation

Saturday 23rd June, 10am-4.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism

Saturday 7th July, 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Sunday 8th July, 9.30am,-1pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing

Integral Meditation Asia

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