Meditation – The state of things

“As meditators we are trying to develop our capacity to shift from one state of mind to another consciously and deliberately, and be able to do so at will.”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at a fundamental way of understanding meditation, and how you can start applying it to your own practice. I hope you enjoy it!

Final reminder for the  Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment that I will be doing this Saturday August 15th, 2.30-5.30pm. You can see the classes and workshops for the week after beneath the article!

In the spirit of the right state,

Toby


Why meditate? – Three purposes

What is meditation?
You may have your own idea of what meditation is, and there are many different types of meditation, for different purposes. One over-arching definition that I find very useful is this: “Meditation is state training”. What this means is that, as meditators we are trying to develop our capacity to shift from one state of mind to another consciously and deliberately, and be able to do so at will.

The three basic states
There are many different states of mind (actually what we mean here is states of body, mind and heart, not just mind). Our three basic states are waking, dreaming and deep, dreamless sleep. We are in one or another of these three states all of the time. As a meditator one of the thing you are trying to to do is to be able to navigate between these three states volition-ally, which takes a bit of time.

The varieties of waking state
Even within the waking state we experience a huge variety of states, a few examples:

  • We can be loving or angry and frustrated
  • Energized or tired
  • Confident or anxious
  • Content or dis-satisfied
  • Calm or agitated

Part of the art of being a meditator is to direct ourselves into positive states, so that more and more of our waking state is experienced in the in the context of harmonious, balanced enjoyment. This in turn naturally improves our quality of life.

Three purposes of meditation
Overall we can say that our meditation has three overarching aims:

  • To continue to develop and strengthen positive states that we are already competent in. For example if you are already quite loving, you train to become even stronger in this area.
  • To develop your ability to navigate difficult or challenging states of mind better. For example how to hold, accept and work with sadness, rather than feeling like a victim of it or overwhelmed by it.
  • To expand the range of useful states available to us, like an artist expanding the colour range with which she works. For example if you are unfamiliar with acceptance, or find courage difficult, then you could focus on developing either of these in your meditation practice, to make these states available to you

Designing your practice
Here is a fifteen minute practice that includes all three purposes. Of course there are other ways of including all three aims of meditation in your own practice, this is just one possibility:

  1. For the first five minutes, focus on a state that you are already familiar with. So if you already know how to meditate on gratitude or appreciation, then you can do that.
  2. Secondly, seek out a state that is a little challenging for you, and spend five minutes breathing and relaxing with it (see for example my article on ‘Sitting down to tea with your problems‘)
  3. For the last five minutes, focus on a state that you are learning about, or that is relatively new to you. The list of options here is very large, whatever state you want to grow in your life and experience. For example recently I have been working with ‘positive fear’ (that is a subject for another article!)

Enjoy your state training!

Watch Toby’s video on “Meditation as state training:

 

Related articleIs your meditation a type of therapy, an art-form or a spiritual practice?

Article content © Toby Ouvry & Integral Meditation Asia 2020. you are welcome to share, but please cite the source, thanks! Contact info@tobyouvry.com

Cover picture © Catriona Bryce 2020.


Saturday August 15th, 2.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment

One sentence summary: Learn how to understand, re-direct and make use of stress, anxiety and difficult emotions through mindfulness and meditation.
what if there was a way in which we could learn to work with these negative and difficult energies in such a way that we could transform and redirect them, making them sources of positive and empowering energy, helping us to accomplish our goals and awaken to a new level of fulfillment
Read full details


Tues 18th of August & Weds 19th August 7.30-8.30pm – Monthly new moon, new beginnings visualization and envisioning sessions

These are meditation classes done monthly around the turn of the new moon that enable us to open to new beginnings, new possibilities and make a fresh start with regard to:

  • Our health
  • Our inner growth
  • And our life’s purpose and future goals

View full details


Saturday August 22nd, 3-5.30pm – Integral meditation deep dive mini-retreat

These three-hour meditation ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques, Toby will guide you into deep meditation flow states
Read full details


Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?

Read full details


Online Integral Meditation & Mindfulness classes

Build focus, beat stress, cultivate wellbeing!

Each session involves simple practices that you can apply to make a real difference to your wellbeing and effectiveness in life…full details of classes

 


At a glance: All upcoming classes and workshops for at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Saturday August 15th, 2.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment

Tues 18th of August & Weds 19th August 7.30-8.30pm – Monthly new moon, new beginnings visualization and envisioning sessions

Saturday August 22nd, 3-5.30pm – Integral meditation deep dive mini-retreat

Coming soon – High performance bootcamp: Using mindfulness to operate at your peak without burning out


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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