The path of no escape

“Ground your quest for inner freedom in non-seeking and the path of no-escape!”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores how you can explore the boundaries of your inner freedom through meditation.  It is a subject we will explore in this  Tuesday and Wednesday evenings meditation session, you’d be welcome, live-in-person, or online.

Final reminder for the Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat this Saturday morning.

In the spirit of no-escape,


The path of no escape

Seeking and escaping – Your personal samsara
In my original Buddhist meditation training, the word ‘samsara’ meant the wheel of life, death and rebirth. We all wander continuously in a cycle of being repeatedly born in uncomfortable states of existence, only to die and be reborn in another. On a slightly more subtle level this plays out many times each day; we wonder in and out of uncomfortable, dissatisfying experiences based on the dynamic of our ‘wandering mind’. The essential dynamic of our wandering mind is seeking out pleasant and desirable experiences, and trying to escape from difficult or undesirable experiences. Based on this condition of attraction and repulsion, our mind wonders thru-out the day, never finding a place to rest, or to feel complete and whole. If you watch your mind and its attending feelings for a while, you’ll start to pick up your own ‘seeking and escaping’ pattern fairly easily. What you see there is basically your own personal samsara, or wheel of dying and being reborn from moment to moment.


Dropping your seeking and evading
If you want to attain ‘nirvana’ or liberation from your samsara, then a basic practice is to drop your seeking and escaping mind for a while, and rest in the space of freedom that lies in doing so. In meditation this means:

  • To temporarily stop seeking things you are attracted to, hoping for, excited by or think you might temporarily enjoy
  • Likewise, to stop seeking and avoiding subjects and experiences that you would normally feel aversion for, or anxiety in encountering.

Inwardly and for a while simply stop evading and running towards things in your mind, and let it rest in the present, with what is there for you from moment to moment.


The doorway to your personal nirvana
When you try the above practice for a while, you’ll start to notice a new experience arising for you; a space or doorway that gives you access to an open, free state of being-in-the-moment. In this state you are not chasing or running after, you are simply free to rest and relax in your own company. Form moment to moment, in this space you are liberated from compulsive mental and emotional activity. This experience is the beginning of your own personal nirvana or freedom from wandering around the wheel of birth, death and rebirth!

Seeking and avoiding with purpose
Whilst we build this non-seeking state, of course in our daily life we have to go around seeking the things we need, and avoiding undesirable experiences. But as our practice continues, the nature of our seeking and avoiding changes. It goes from compulsive and unconscious to conscious and practical. We use it when we need it, and when were finished we put it down. It becomes utilitarian and functional, as ultimately our quest for inner freedom has now been firmly grounded in non-seeking and the path of no-escape!


Related articles: Hopefully hopeless

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


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)

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

Integral Meditation Asia

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