What’s keeping me from relaxing in the present moment?

“If meditation is keeping our mind in the present moment, then a useful question to ask ourselves each day is: What is it within my experience of the present moment right now that I am resisting?”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article continues the Zen theme, exploring a counter-intuitive way of moving more deeply into the present, but noticing what is getting in the way. This Tuesday & Wednesday  classes are on the theme of ” The Present Moment: Gateway to the awakened state”, so if you enjoy the article, do feel free to join us, live or online.

In the spirit of presence,

Toby

 


What’s keeping me from relaxing in the present moment?

 

If meditation is keeping our mind in the present moment (which is one major foundational understanding of it), then a useful question to ask ourselves each day is “What is it within my experience of the present moment right now that I am resisting?” On one level it seems as if the present moment should be the simplest and most natural space to enter into, and yet we resist.

Rather than giving you the answer to this question in an abstract or philosophical manner, I’ll just outline my experience of this over the last weekend, and then offer some conclusions based around this.

Last weekend (it is now Monday) I noticed an uneasy feeling that was preventing me from feeling comfortable with myself and with my circumstances. It seemed as if my mind was on a hair trigger. As soon as I sat down to try and relax, all sorts of reasons to feel dissatisfied or uneasy would start forming in my mind. Recognizing that I had something of a challenge on my hands, I asked myself the question “What is it that is causing me to feel uneasy in the present moment and unable to relax?” I just sat and breathed with this question for a while, looking into my body and mind for an answer. Rationally I discovered no real reason for the unease; life is going quite well, no big crisis, nothing REALLY to feel bad about. However, when I looked in my body, on the energy level I found that there was what I would describe as a nervous “tick” in the centre of my chest. This is to say that there was a very uncomfortable energy in the centre of my chest that was creating a natural feeling of discomfort and dis-ease within my mind and body.

I could not shift this feeling straight away, and so I made a decision “If I cannot shift this uncomfortable feeling, then I am just going to have to ‘be’ with it, and make sure that I don’t allow it to affect my thinking, feeling and behavior in any kind of negative way”.

Having made this decision, my main task over the next 36 or so hours that it took for this heart energy to clear was simply to “be” with this uncomfortable energy, to accept it.

The act of choosing to be with the uncomfortable feeling, and not allow it to cause a problem is an example of when we need to make an extra effort to be present, even if there is a certain amount of willpower and effort involved.

Key points:

  • Asking yourself the question “What is it that is keeping me from entering into the present moment” is a very useful way of bringing yourself back to the present moment, even if you can feel resistance to it.
  • Asking the question regularly enables you to get to know the reasons you personally avoid being in the present moment much more intimately.
  • Sometimes being in the present moment means exerting your willpower and courage, and being compassionately honest with yourself.
  • Learning to be aware and take care of your mind and body when they are unhappy and uncomfortable is just as important, maybe more so than being present when things are going well.

If you ask this question, you will discover your own reasons for resisting the present moment, and uncover strategies for being able to relax and be present to whatever IS in your life, in a compassionate, attentive manner.

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, 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   

 


Ongoing – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

In a sentence: De-clutter your mind, develop concentration and create focused calm in your life by learning Zen meditation

Overview: The Zen School of Meditation arose from a combination of the teachings of the Buddha with the teachings of Taoism in China during the 6th century AD, where it became known as Chan meditation (‘Chan’ meaning ‘quietude’, or ‘meditation’). Later it was adopted by the Japanese, and it is they that called it Zen.

Zen is a particularly appropriate form of meditation for today’s hyper busy and challenging world because…Read full course details


Saturday 17th, 24th, 31st July, 2-4pm – Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three week course

These sessions are specifically designed to help teens develop their real inner skills that help them be:

  • More effective at achieving their chosen goals
  • Build confidence,
  • Build resilience around stress and
  • Increase their capacity for fun and enjoyment as they learn.

Read full details


Saturday 24th July, 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for emotional intelligence masterclass

In a sentence: Learn how you can use mindfulness to develop your emotional range and skills

Much of our quality of life depends not so much on what we are experiencing, but the way in which we experience it. Our moods and emotional states to a large degree define the quality of our life experience, at work, in our relationships and in our leisure activities. This masterclass will lead you on an experiential journey
Read full details…

 


The new Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner

Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program


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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly 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)

Starts 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Saturday 17th, 24th, 31st July, 2-4pm – Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three week course

Saturday 24th July, 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for emotional intelligence masterclass


Integral Meditation Asia

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