Centering to optimize your wisdom

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores how you can keep letting go effectively, and stay wiser by centering properly.  It is a subject we will explore in this  Tuesday and Wednesday evenings meditation session, you’d be welcome! This week unfortunately the class is online only, as I have Covid, which is to say its time to let go a little!

In the spirit of centered releasing,




Centering to optimize your wisdom

“Knowledge is learning something every day, wisdom is letting go of something every day” – Zen Proverb

“We all know that feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount of information coming our way in modern day life. Whilst we definitely need to keep increasing our knowledge, in order to make sure that our wisdom also increases in proportion to our knowledge, we also need to spend time dropping our knowledge and resting in a state of simplicity and conscious ‘forgetting’. This means not just once every few months, but once a day!”

The above is a quote from one of my previous articles on Zen meditation. It’s a nice idea, right? To let go of things in order to feel peaceful and access our wisdom! However, if we want to do this in real time under real pressure, then we need to be properly centred in our body mind. If not then we will often find ourselves overwhelmed by the amount of distraction and information coming our way, particularly if it is charged with personal and/or imbalanced emotion. Below are three simple methods for mindful centering that are designed to increase our capacity to remain calmer under pressure, not get pushed off balance by the complexity of our life, and keep letting go consistently! You can practice these three techniques individually, or as a sequence.

Practice 1: Sitting ergonomically – This first practice involves sitting cross legged or in a chair, or even standing or walking. Hold your body upright, and then over a period of breaths as you inhale, notice any tension in your body. As you breathe out, progressively release all tension that is not structurally necessary to keep your body upright. After a while you are sitting upright and alert, but relaxed. Notice what that feels like, and stay with it for a short while.

Practice 2: Balancing around your vertical core – In this second practice, again sitting or standing, imagine a line of light/energy coming down from the crown of your head to the perineum, the point between the middle of your legs. This line is your body’s vertical core, focus on it gently to get a sense of it. Then rock your body side to side, very small movements, 1-2cm only. As you do so, feel your body’s left and right halves, as well as the left and right halves of your brain coming into balance and harmony. Then rock your body forward and back, feeling the front and back helves of the body coming into balance and alignment.

Practice 3: Breathing in and out of your center – This can be done in conjunction with practice 2, or by itself. Imagine a ball of light about the size of a golf ball in the center point of your torso, midway between the back and the front, left right and top and bottom of your body. This will be somewhere around the center of your chest or stomach. Don’t worry about being too exact, approximate is fine. Then, as you breathe in, gather your energy and awareness into the center of your body. As you breathe out, feel your body relaxing from that center point, so you can feel the energy flowing out from your center to the surface of your skin. Stay with this pattern of breathing for as long as you like; it can either be a short centering exercise, or a longer meditation in itself.

So then from a position of being mindfully centered, we can  navigate our day in a more centered way. In particular we can practice regular periods of letting go, and making wiser choices as a result. This doesn’t mean that you of straight from being confused to enlightened (!), it just means that you are able to access the wisdom that you have, and deploy it in the service of your equilibrium, and of your life!

Further reading: Broader applications of sitting ergonomically: Mindful ergonomics
Meditating on the core of your body

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Saturday Feb 26th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details



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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)

Ongoing January-March – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

Saturday Feb 26th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

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