Seven essential dimensions of meditation practice

Dear  Integral Meditators,

Once you go beyond the initial beginners level of meditation, what are the essential building blocks that you need to create a well rounded meditation practice? The article below offers a list of seven practices that you can use as a simple template. In relation to it, heads up for a workshop I’ll be doing in October: Integral Meditation for Intermediate and Advanced Meditators

…And a reminder of this weeks sessions: the Tues and Weds Autumn equinox session, and Shamanic mandala meditation on Saturday 😉

In the spirit of well rounded inner growth,


Seven essential dimensions of meditation practice

People come to meditation for many different reasons, and there are a lot of different types of meditation. The following list below outlines seven essential dimensions of meditation practice, that you can use as a way of expanding your own meditation, so that it includes all of them in one form or another:

1) Cultivate conscious intention and motivation– The general principle here is that you should cultivate a conscious intention for doing things, for as much of the time as possible. In particular, your meditation practice can be done with four basic levels of intention: To bring healing and wellbeing to yourself, to develop your own benevolent inner power, to bring benefit to your circle of personal influence, and to bring healing and wellbeing to the world at large.
2) Build a right relationship to your emotions – Meditation should help you to make friends with your emotions; to look after and guide those that are in pain (sadness, anger etc…) and to cultivate and strengthen those that are positive and benevolent. There should be a portion of your practice that is focused explicitly on this.
3) Embodying your values through ethical action – Your actions need to be consistent with the states of mind that you cultivate in meditation, your outer actions should support your inner development. If your action and ethics don’t, match up to the mind-states that you are cultivating, then inevitably this interferes fundamentally with practice 4, building focus.
4) Building your capacity for focus and concentration – Based on an alignment of your outer actions with your inner states of mind (practice 3), you then have as a basic bread and butter activity for your meditation the building of concentration and focus. In the information and smart phone age of distraction, this is more and more of a premium activity.
5) Develop wise insight into the nature of yourself and life – The function of stage 4, focus is to then give your mind the power to look deeply into yourself and your life so as to experience insight into the deeper levels of who you are and what is important in your life.
6) Cultivate your capacity for wise learning in the moment – Meditation should facilitate your capacity for experiential learning in the moment. Essentially this means that you actively practice  observing and learning as you go about your daily activities on a fuller and more creative level.
7) Giving back to the world, engaging in acts of service – As a result of practices 1-6, you should fine that your own happiness, fulfillment and sense of wellbeing starts to be increasingly plentiful and abundant. As a result, the question then becomes ‘How can I go about expressing this abundance to the world as an act of service that will enrich the lives of others?’ The way in which you actively go about answering this question is your final essential practice.

Is there an underlying set of purposes for doing meditation that is common to all different types and traditions? The perennial philosophy says that there is. The list above is one that I have put together on the basis of the ‘one mountain, many paths’, integral approach to meditation that I expound, which in turn is based somewhat on the principles of the perennial philosophy. The order of this list is based very loosely on Roger Walsh’s Essential Spirituality, which is a very worthwhile read.

© 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

September: Saturday 29th , October: Sat 6th/20th , Fri 5th/26th– Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturday September 15th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for transforming negativity and stress into positivity and enlightenment 

Tues 18th & Weds 18th September, 7.30-8.30pm – Autumn equinox balancing & renewing meditation

Saturday 22nd September, 10.30am-5pm – Shamanic Mandala Meditation and Art Workshop

Saturday 29th September, 2-5pm – OneHeart Open Day ‘Activating your journey of healing and empowerment’.

October Events:

Saturday 6th October 1-4pm – Mindful Resilience: Sustaining your effectiveness, happiness and clarity under pressure

Saturday 20th October 10.30am-5.30pm – Integral Meditation for Intermediate and Advanced Meditators

Saturday 27th October, 9:30am – 12:30pm – Meditations for creating a mind of ease, relaxed concentration and positive intention 

Tues & Wednesday 30 & 31 October, 7.30-8.30pm – Samhain Meditation – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Saturday 27th October, 4-5.30pm – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Integral Meditation Asia

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