Compassionate presence, awakened action

“As your life experience unfolds, often your compassion for others increases because you can relate to them more as you ‘know how they feel’. If we combine this with practicing simply being present every day, then this can make the power of our compassionate presence grows exponentially”

Dear Integral Meditators,

Compassion isn’t always easy. Making room for compassion for others sometimes feels like a tall order, especially when we are struggling to find compassion for ourself. The article below explores how opening to compassion for others can sometimes be the best way to work with our own pain and stress.
My Tuesday & Wednesday  classes continue the theme of Meditation from the perspective of Zen, where we will be meditating with some of the content of this article.

Last call for the Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three day course starting this Thursday.

In the spirit of compassionate presence,

Toby


Compassionate presence, awakened action

Compassion isn’t always easy. Making room for compassion for others sometimes feels like a tall order, especially when we are struggling to find compassion for ourself, and to bear the burden of our own stress and wounds. I want to start by inviting an awareness that sometimes (not at all times), opening to compassion and compassionate action toward the world, can actually be the best way to help change our own experience. As Robin Wall Kimmerer says:

‘Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.’

So, it’s always worth making room for others in our world-view. Its not just sacrificing ourself or ‘being good’, it is an intelligent, wise way of getting by!

Using our own pain
One of the simplest ways to work on transforming our own pain is to use it as a doorway to compassion:

  • If you are suffering from loneliness, you can imagine the millions, or even billions who share this experience in the world. You can find examples in your own life of people you know
  • Your physical sickness can open you to the awareness of the worse and more permanent experience of others
  • Work stress? Oppressive colleagues or bosses? You can bet there are many others who have the same and worse, and you can probably find examples in your own close circle of influence.

If you stopped to think in this way, what would be the main challenges of your own that you can start to mindfully use to develop your compassion for others?

Doing what you can in the face of the limitless
In terms of acting upon your compassionate awareness and impulse, it can feel a bit intimidating. In Mahayana Buddhism, the vow of the Bodhisattva is as follows:

‘However many living being there are, I vow to liberate them all (from their suffering),
However many delusions I have, I vow to conquer them all.
However many spiritual truths there are, I vow to Master them all.’

Well, that can feel like an overwhelming amount to do! One of the best ways to deal with this issue is simply though presence and attention to the presenting circumstances. As Nkosi Johnson says:

“Do what you can,
with what you’ve been given,
in the place where you are,
with the time that you have.”

Ask yourself the question: ‘In this moment, today, what opportunity is there for me to act compassionately and do what can be done to reduce the pain and suffering of others and myself? What can be done, with what I have at my disposal, where I am now, in this moment?’

Awakened, compassionate presence
Often the best response to suffering is presence. To witness and acknowledge the pain in front of us enables us to

  • See it and act if there is something we can do
  • If there is nothing we can do, then sometimes simply acknowledging that we see the pain of others can help them. As a friend of mine the other day said to me ‘Thanks Toby, this helps a lot’. All I had done was say that I saw what his pain, and I believed that in the long term the things that he was going through were forging and forming him, rather than defeating him, and that although he could not see it yet, he was becoming someone stronger than he could imagine!

Compassionate presence comes from practice + life experience
As your life experience unfolds, often your compassion for others increases because you can relate to them more as you ‘know how they feel’. If we combine this with practising simply being present every day, then this can make the power of our compassionate presence grow exponentially. For example, simply practicing ten minutes of my meditation on ‘Sitting like a mountain’ from last week’s article, we can anchor our compassion more deeply in this moment, and in the centre of our being, even as the storms and floods of our life come and go.

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   


August 5th, 6th, 7th, 2-4pm – Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three day 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 August 21st 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 to:

  • Understand what feelings, moods and emotions are and how to build an effective relationship to them
  • How to consolidate and expand your existing emotional strengths
  • How to deal with difficult and challenging emotions, and even turn them to your advantage
  • How to increase the diversity/range of emotions that are available to you for enjoyment, pleasure and life-effectiveness! Read full details…

 


Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop

Overview: The Tree of Life is an ancient and comprehensive system of meditation, personal development and inner growth represented by the diagram of a tree. Although it is best known as a ‘western’ tradition of spiritual growth (Judaist, Christian, Islamic), the fundamentals of the Tree of Life practice can be found in different ancient systems of meditation and mindfulness throughout the world. This workshop is a practical introduction to how to meditate with the Tree of Life in order to:

  • Stimulate holistic and integrated inner growth
  • Consciously develop different levels and states of consciousness in meditation, and learn how to transition or journey between them in the inner world
  • Stimulate the development of your creative, imaginal and visualization skills
  • Make systematic, organized contact with guides, teachers, healing forces and archetypal energies within the inner world
  • Practice different types of meditation to build different strengths, and help you deal with different inner challenges…read full details

 


The 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 August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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