“The nice thing about the above meditation is also that it can be done without having to exert much effort; it’s all listening, accepting, opening to. It can be done when you are tired and want to relax, as well as when you want to sit down and really do some focused inner work”
Dear Integral Meditators,
This weeks article explores how you can access and enjoy silence progressively and without too much effort. It’s partly the subject of this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday meditation class, it’ll be a fun one, and your welcome to join is either live or online.
Beneath the article you an find full details of all classes and workshops for October, do have a browse, it’s a full line up!
In the spirit of silence amongst the noise,
Inner listening – Three levels of meditating on silence
Cultivating silent presence is not by any means the only way to meditate, but nevertheless it is a super important dimension of meditation. It is also one that, once you can do it, helps all your other forms of meditation as well as being an end in itself. Here are three ways to meditate on silence, the first is a doorway to the second, and the second is a doorway to the third. For the first two there are two ways to do it; listening inwardly and listening outwardly. They can be combined or focused on separately in any given session, as you wish.
Listening and observing the non-silence
The first practice is to listen to the non-silence or the noise.
On the inner level – As you turn your attention inward, this means to notice your inner conversation, and all the other ‘noise’ that is going on inside your mind, just holding the position of the observer in that space. You don’t try and stop the thoughts, rather you simply listen and notice.
On the outer level – You simply listen to the sounds going on around you, noticing them, and letting them come and go. Like the inner level the key is simply listening and noticing, and letting that be your point of stability as the sounds come and go.
Listening and observing the silence
If you listen to your inner noise in the way described above, then after a while you will notice that it starts to die down a little. Listening inwardly, you will start to notice pockets of silence between the noise. When these start to happen, pay attention to them and start to drop into them, extending the duration of them a little. Over time you will start to have more silence than inner noise. Eventually you’ll start to experience extended periods where it is almost all silence, and you drop into deeper and deeper states of meditation.
On the outer level, you can choose to focus on the silences in between the noises. After a while you will start to notice that silence is all pervasive; even when there is noise, you realize that the noise is contained by silence; that silence is present even when there are sounds around.
Listening to the sound of silence
Once you have some experience of stages one and two, you will have probably started to notice that, when you listen to silence, both inwardly and outwardly, there is a sound. It’s kind of like a high-pitched ringing in your inner ear. If you relax with it, you may find that it makes it easier to let go of discursive thoughts and move into a thoughtless condition. Listening to the sound of silence almost puts you in a trance-like state that is very conducive to meditation and moving into deeper, non-conceptual states of awareness. On this third level the inner and outer dimension of the listening pretty much merge into the same thing, as the sound seems both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ at the same time.
The nice thing about the above meditation is also that it can be done without having to exert much effort; it’s all listening, accepting, opening to. It can be done when you are tired and want to relax, as well as when you want to sit down and really do some focused inner work!
© 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
Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreatLearn how to practice the fundamentals of the most ancient meditation tradition on the planet in a clear, practical and concise manner, and understand its relevance and value to you and the challenges that you face in your life.
The workshop will give an overview and introduce some simple but profound shamanic practices on day one, with a deeper dive into Shamanic meditation practices on day two…read full details
Saturday October 8th, 9.30-12noon – Zen deep-dive mini-retreat
Session overview: 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?
All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:
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 Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice
Saturday October 8th, 9.30-12noon – Zen deep-dive mini-retreat
Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreat
Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light
Saturday October 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat
Tues 1st & Weds 2nd November, 7.30pm – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors
Integral Meditation Asia