Awakening to where you are (Polarity meditation & sitting)

“Polarity meditation gives us access to immediate, simple states of awakening, whilst at the same time allowing us to work with a wide variety of opposing forces in our life, creating a state of balanced harmony, between them, rather than imbalance and conflict

Dear Integral Meditators,

Awakening in meditation is very simple, but it s also very complex. Starting next week, I’ll be offering a brand new polarity meditation course. I’ve written an article on some of the basic concepts below, and you can also see a video intro that I have created here: A video intro to polarity meditation
I’ll be doing a special introductory session, live and online this Tuesday & Wednesday 14th/15th September, all are welcome.

In the spirit of awakening,

Toby


 Awakening to where you are (Polarity meditation & sitting)

Awakening in meditation
To awaken in meditation, certainly from the perspective of Zen meditation, but also implicitly in other forms, involves experiencing what is present for us in the moment, and becoming aware of that experience. I’ll use a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh in his book ‘Zen Keys’ to clarify this:
“Sitting meditation is not to think, reflect or loose ourselves in concepts or discriminations. It is also not to remain immobile, like a stone or the trunk of a tree”
How can we avoid two extremes of conceptualization and inertia? By dwelling in the present moment, right in the midst of our experience, under the lamp of mindfulness. Direct experience and awareness of direct experience are the ways to avoid these extremes. These words may seem complicated, but the experience itself is quite straightforward”
According to this understanding of meditation, to become awakened, or to awaken to our own Buddha nature in the moment is not something that we need to wait for. Rather it is something that we just need to recognize, and then rest in that recognition. Again from the book ‘Zen Keys’, the five principles of Soto Zen sitting meditation can help elaborate on this point:

The five meditation principles of Soto Zen ((Ts’ao T’ung Zen sect)

  1. Sitting meditation, even without a subject of meditation, is enough
  2. Sitting meditation and awakening are not two different things
  3. One must not wait for awakening
  4. There is no awakening to attain
  5. The mind and body are one

Different types of awakening, and awakening in the place you are
So, from one point of view, all forms of awakening are the same in the sense that they are awakening to the experience of the moment. But from another point of view, there are many different kinds of awakening according to the context. In polarity meditation the awakening occurs the point of balance, or harmony between two poles or opposites. Since there are many different types of polarized energy in our life, there are many different points of balance that we can awaken within. Here is one example to help illustrate this based on our physical body’s polarities:

Awakening to your body’s vertical centre: Sitting up, imagine your body’s vertical centre as a line of light/energy going from the crown of your head down to your perineum.

  • With small movements, rock your body from side to side, feeling the left and right halves of your body coming into balance either side of your bodies vertical core
  • Then rock your body forward and back with small movements. Feel the front and back halves of your body coming into balance around your vertical core
  • Then sit quietly and be aware of the sense of balance arising from the left and right, front and back halves of you body coming into balance with each other
  • Staying with this experience, simple move into a state of awakened presence around the feeling of balance in your body

This is one simple fundamental polarity meditation form that you can go deeply into.

There are a huge number of different ‘balance points’ that we can explore and awaken to for example:

  • Between our experience of calmness and excitement
  • Between resilience and vulnerability
  • Between seriousness and playfulness
  • Between our inner and outer life
  • Between ambition and humility

Polarity meditation gives us access to immediate, simple states of awakening, whilst at the same time allowing us to work with a wide variety of opposing forces in our life, creating a state of balanced harmony, between them, rather than imbalance and conflict.

There are a thousand ways to wake up in meditation, all of them are different, and all of them are the same!

Related articlePolarity meditation – Working consciously with tension

Watch Toby talking about Integral Polarity Meditation:

 

 

 

 

 

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   

 


Begins Tues 14/Weds 15th September – Integral Polarity Meditation – Exploring Earth, Lunar & ‘Vertical’ Polarities

In a sentence: Learn how to integrate different aspects of yourself and your world into complementary polarities in order to increase your internal harmony, strength and wellbeing

Overview: Polarity meditation is a tradition of meditation that has its precedent in both eastern and western forms of meditation. In the east it is found in Taoist meditation with yin & yang, and in the west within the Tree of Life & Qabalah. In this series we will be focusing on polarities
Read full details


Tues & Weds 21st & 22nd September – Autumn equinox balancing & renewing meditation (Live & online)
The Autumn Equinox in the northern hemisphere marks the mid-point between the warmer, lighter seasons of the year and the cooler, darker ones. The forces of day and night, light and dark are of equal strength. As such it is a great time to emphasize balance and harmony, both in our life and meditation practice….read full details

 


Saturday 25th September – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment Masterclass & Mini-retreat
One sentence summary: Learn how to understand, re-direct and make use of stress, anxiety and difficult emotions through mindfulness and meditation
Overview: Stress, anxiety, fear, anger, attachment – Ordinarily we see these states of mind and emotion as negative; things that get in the way of our happiness and wellbeing, and prevent us from achieving the goals and quality of life that we would like.
But 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?…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

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)

Tues 14/Weds 15th September – Introduction to Integral Polarity Meditation – The Path of the Middle Way

Begins Tues 14/Weds 15th September – Integral Polarity Meditation – Exploring Earth, Lunar & ‘Vertical’ Polarities

Tues & Weds 21st & 22nd September – Autumn equinox balancing & renewing meditation (Live & online)

Saturday 25th September – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment Masterclass & Mini-retreat

Tues & Weds 26&27th October – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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