The freedom of awareness

“If our freedom is our awareness, we gain our freedom by choosing to focus, to remain conscious, even when large parts of us want to run away from what we are seeing and experiencing.”

 

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article focuses on liberation through awareness.  If you enjoy it, then it will be the subject of the first class of my new series: The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed. The first session on the 5th & 6th of April, you are welcome to join us in the journey, in person or online!

And heads up for this Saturday’s Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In the spirit of freedom,

Toby

 

 


The freedom of awareness

“I have no freedom : I make awareness my freedom,
I have no power : I make the rhythms of nature my power”
– The Warriors Creed

We are not in charge of everything that happens to us in our life, but we are potentially in charge of the way in which we pay attention to our experience, mentally frame it, and make it into something worthwhile. We have the freedom of awareness. To own this freedom we need to commit to remaining remain conscious in our life. Remaining deeply conscious isn’t always easy, but it is fundamental to all of our growth. To quote Nathaniel Branden:
The primary choice to focus, to set one’s mind to the purpose of cognitive integration, is causally irreducible: it is the highest regulator in the mental system; it is subject to wo/man’s direct, volitional control. In relation to it all other choices and decisions are sub-regulators
And
The choice to focus one’s mind is a primary, just as the value sought, awareness is a primary. It is awareness that makes any other values possible, not any other values that antecede and make awareness possible. Awareness is the starting-point and pre-condition of goal-directed (value directed) human action – not just another value along the way, as it were. The decision to focus one’s mind (to value awareness and make it one’s goal) or not to focus, is a basic choice that cannot be reduced further.”
So, if our freedom is our awareness, we gain our freedom by choosing to focus, to remain conscious, even when large parts of us want to run away from what we are seeing and experiencing.

Other benefits of choosing to remain conscious include:

  • I will know truly that I am alive in the moment, in all of its uniqueness
  • I will prime myself to learn from what I am experiencing
  • I will gather confidence in facing my fears and tribulations
  • I will tend to make better choices and be more effective
  • I will flow and transition better between activities and circumstances

Meditation – Cultivating the conscious mind
To meditate essentially means to cultivate the strength of the conscious mind, to commit to remaining aware. The conscious mind might be though of as the CEO, or leader of the different elements of our consciousness. The stronger the conscious mind, the easier it is for it and us to make better executive decisions. Thinking about it in this way we can see that if we wish for the freedom of awareness in our life, a meditation practice is going to help a lot! Below is a very simple two stage meditation practice for cultivating the power of your conscious mind:

  1. For the first half of the meditation, simply breathe through your nose and in a relaxed, focused manner stay aware of the breathing, take it as your object of concentration. If you like you can really emphasize breathing with awareness of the solidity of your body, or you can let your mind become wide and open, with the breathing at the centre of this wide, open experience.
  2. For the second half of the meditation, think about the next period of time in your day, whatever is ahead of you. Plan what you want to focus your awareness on for this time. Anticipate times when you might get distracted or block your awareness for whatever reason. Imagine executing these activities in a state of focused, conscious awareness. Notice what this feels like and looks like in your minds eye.

Once you have finished the meditation, you then focus on remaining conscious in the way that you had imagined in your meditation; you practice the freedom of awareness in your daily life.

Related articleWorking Samadhi – The way of the mindful warrior

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 www.tobyouvry.com


Starts Tuesday 5th/Wednesday 6th April 2022 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

In a sentence: Establish the inner strength, skill and courage needed to make you resilient in the face of life’s challenges, and thrive in both times of adversity and times of peace.

Overview: The Warriors Creed is a poem by an unknown Samurai in the 14th century. It outlines a code of conduct and a state of presence based around a series of inner qualities that can be cultivated through mindful contemplation, then applied to our daily life…read full details


 

Saturday April 9th, 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


Saturday 23rd April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

These 2.5hour Zen ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one-hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart…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)

Saturday 9th April, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Starts Tuesday 5th/Wednesday 6th April 2022 – The Way of the Mindful Warrior – Meditating with the Warriors creed

Saturday 23rd April, 9.30am-12noon – Zen meditation deep dive mini-retreat

Tues 17th/Weds 18th May: Wesak meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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