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Understanding and working with your Guardian Angel

Dear  Integral Meditators,

Every now and again I do an article on something a little esoteric, usually informed by what is going on in my own meditation process. This week’s article is on how to understand work mindfully with the idea of your Guardian Angel.
If you enjoy it, then on Sunday 27th January, 2-5pm I’ll be facilitating a Meditations for connecting to and working with your Guardian Angel workshop.

In the spirit of our inner guidance,


Working with your Guardian Angel

All of the great wisdom traditions speak of speak of spiritual guardians who can offer us support, guidance and protection on our journey through life. What I am going to offer here is two working definitions of your Guardian Angel that will enable you to start working with it, and the idea of it in a practical manner.

1. If there is a guiding, universal spirit of some kind, and it is benevolent towards us, then your guardian angel is that spiritual force, appearing in the image of a personal guardian.
If you believe in any way that there is a spiritual force that is bigger than all of us and that is working for our wellbeing, then our Guardian Angel the part of that spiritual force that guides and protects us as individuals. Each of us has our ‘own’ Guardian Angel. It could be visualized in a humanoid form, as a light or actually in a number of other ways. The way in which we imagine it enables us to connect to that force in a way that enables us to trust it, feel protected by it and let its influence into our life.
Having understood our Guardian Angel in this way, we can start to relate to it in a personalized, subjective manner, visualizing it and connecting to it as a spiritual friend, ally and confidante.

2. Our Guardian Angel is that part of the ‘divine plan’ that accompanied our own divine spark or spirit when it split off from source at the beginning of this cycle of creation. Its function is to help us to complete our own particular piece of that ‘divine plan’.
This is a slightly deeper definition that follows (in large part) the definition of Dion Fortune in the Mystical Qabalah. Here are two analogies that may help you to relate to this definition:

 Your guardian angel as ‘spiritual software’ – If you think about your spiritual self as being like the original core and centre of your being, then your Guardian Angel is like a special piece of ‘software’ that was built in in order to help you in your path of personal growth. It is designed to help, support, protect, and to provide healing and guidance as your  soul treads its path of evolution in this life. It also has the capacity to connect with and communicate with the Guardian Angels of those around you, communicating and co-ordinating your life paths together in supportive ways.
As R2D2 – You may recall in the first Star Wars movie, Luke Skyalker had an assistant droid robot called R2D2. When Luke was flying his X-wing fighter craft in combat, R2D2 would be sitting behind him in the craft providing information and assistance as he flew. So, in this analogy, you are the fighter pilot, and your guardian Angel is like R2D2, giving you help and assistance as you experience the ‘combat’ of your life path. It is trying to help you even without your awareness, but when you consciously engage with it, then you can start to leverage to a much greater degree on the support that is available.

A simple meditation on and with your Guardian Angel
Sit quietly and centre. Imagine the presence of your Guardian Angel as a light and energy centred in between your shoulder blades, sitting half in and half out of your physical body. The ‘heart centre’ of your guardian angel is sitting just behind your own heart centre/chakra. Feel the energy of your Guardian Angel strengthening and supporting your body, your heart and your mind. If you like you can also imagine the ‘wings’ of your Guardian Angel enfolding and protecting your energy field, forming a circle around you. As you sit, gently start to commune with your Angel, receive its love, talk to it about any issues you want feedback on, mostly just cultivate awareness of its presence, and allow that to inform your experiences as you go through your day.

© Toby Ouvry 2019, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am :5th & 12th January – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturdays January 5th & 19th, 4-5.30pm – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby

Saturday 19th January 2.15-3.45pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 26th January, 1-4pm – Growing your mindful freedom meditation workshop

Sunday 27th January, 2-5pm – Meditations for connecting to and working with your Guardian Angel

Satruday 9th February, 9.30-12.30 – Going from overwhelmed to overwell meditation workshop

Integral Meditation Asia

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Dimensions of mindful perception and understanding (Plus new astrological monthly meditations)

Dear  Integral Meditators,

This week’s article looks at how to improve your perception and understanding through mindfulness. If you enjoy the article, then do consider coming along to the new monthly astrological class next week, which will be on the subject of ‘Sagittarius – I perceive and understand! It is available as a recording for those not in Singapore who may wish to participate.
Full details of this week’s sessions on Compassion, Qi gong and beginners meditation can be found here.

In the spirit of clear perception,


Dimensions of mindful perception and understanding

It’s easy to assume that the way things appear to you is literally objectively true. When someone at work is irritating you, when you are in love with someone, when things feel smooth and relaxed, or anxious and stressful, we can quickly jump to the conclusion that it’s about the situation, and not the state of mind that we are bringing to the experience.
Much of mindfulness is about attention to the moment. If you start to watch what is going on in the moment, you might start to notice that two things are going on simultaneously:

  • The experience itself and
  • The things that your mind is projecting onto the situation.

For most of us these two things; the experience, and our mental projection of the experience are completely mixed up, which can lead to a very muddy perception and understanding of what is going on!

Clarifying perception by isolating the experience – So, the first thing to do is simply notice the objective facts of the experience as far as you can understand them; ‘First this happened, then I said that, then she said this, then I felt that….’ Try and take a ‘birds eye’ or ‘fly on the wall’ view of what you are experiencing, where you are, as far as possible a detached observer.

Getting to know the projection – After isolating the experience itself, you can then start to notice the way you are projecting your own inner material onto the situation. To help with this you might like to consider four interrelated sources:
From your emotional state and mood – If you’re feeling depressed and low, then it’s going to be very easy for a situation to feel hopeless. We all know the experience of some days our feeling not bothered by setbacks, simply because were in a good mood. If your aware of your moods and emotions, you’ll start to see how they impact your perception and understanding of what’s going on.
From your cognitive framework and beliefs – Without realizing it and out of familiarity, we project out beliefs about the world onto what’s happening, onto ourselves and other people. If we believe anyone with a certain type of car is a snob or a yob, then when someone turns up in such a car, that mental label with be almost effortlessly applied to them. Notice how this works for you.
From your history – Someone can appear very attractive to us (or unattractive!) on a romantic level because they remind us of a parent. If I had a hard time with teachers at school, then anyone in a ‘authority figure’ role in my adult life can trigger all sorts of uncomfortable projections. If you observe situations and your response to them, you’ll start to notice how your experience is continuously coloured by your story.
Environmental factors – If I’m in a hot, cramped lift, that can very easily make me irritated with someone I share the space with. When I am feeling well rested and in a physically open and calm space, it’s easier to feel benevolent and generous. Different environmental factors can play a huge part in our experience of ‘this moment’.

Drawing conclusions and understandings
So then, in order to develop a clearer perception and understanding of what is going on ‘in this moment’ here are five questions to consider:
What is literally being experienced here?
What is my emotional state and mood?
How are my beliefs and habitual thought structures working here?
What part of my history is being stimulated by this situation?
Are there any environmental factors that are contributing to the experience?

Related article: Dualistic appearance – what you see and what you think you see

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

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Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am 1st,15th, 22nd, 29th December – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues & Weds, 4th, 5th December – Monthly Astrological meditation – on ‘Sagittarius – I perceive/understand’

Saturdays November 17th & 24th, 4.30-6pm – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby

Saturday 24th November 9.30am-12.30pm – Finding simplicity in the complexity – Meditation from the perspective of Zen

Saturday 1st December 11am-12.30pm
 –  Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Saturday 8th December, 9.30am-12.30pm – Psychic & Psychological Self-defence half day workshop

Saturday 15th December, 1-4pm – Integral meditation practice: Optimize your inner calm, strength and energy

Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Earth Dog Days (& CNY live & online meditation)

Dear Integral Meditators,

How can you use meditation to enrich your imagination in a way that has a positive, practical impact your life? The article below explores how…
Beneath the article you will see the details of next weeks Chinese New Year meditation. You can do it live or online, all welcome!

In the spirit of our wild imaginations,


Earth Dog Days 

Journeying in the imaginal world
There is a whole dimension of meditation that involves working with the imaginal realm. The imaginal realm can be thought of as the intersection of three domains or our experience:

  1. The images language of our own personal imagination and creativity
  2. The collective dream worlds that we inhabit, contribute to and travel to during sleep, and also when we daydream
  3. Deeper dimensions of consciousness that communicate to us through the language of images and intuition

In the simplest terms the imaginal world is a place that we all visit when we temporarily bypass our linear, rational mind, and enter a free-associative state. In meditation we can learn to explore the imaginal realm consciously by setting an intention and direction for our mind, and then following the images and narrative that follows on from this intention.
Here is a simple ‘bare bones’ example of how this can be done, using the theme of the upcoming Chinese New Year of the Dog.

A short Chinese New Year Journeying Meditation
Stage 1, setting your intention:  You begin by set your direction through intention. This creates the basic ‘path’ that your mind can then ‘journey along’ in the meditation. In this case you set your intention to connect to your deeper values using the medium of the dog as companion (it is the CNY of the dog), and the earth element (which is the dominant element this year). Focus upon this intention clearly for a short while.
Stage 2, meeting and journeying: Imagine you are in a landscape or interior space. Let your mind build a picture of the place according to your intuition. Around you in this place there are five doors, each of which is marked by one of the five Chinese elements of fire, earth, metal, water, wood. Identify and picture the earth element door clearly.
Now, from somewhere in the landscape around you, a dog (or dogs) will come to you. S/he will be your guide in this journey. Take a moment to connect to each other. When you are ready, your companion will take you on a journey to the world behind the ‘earth element door’ that you have identified. This journey will lead you to experiences that connect you in a meaningful way to your deeper values.
Stage 3, Returning: Once you have completed your journey, return through the earth door to your original starting position. Bid goodbye to your dog guide, and return back to your awareness of the outer world.

My Own Journey
In my own work with this simple journeying exercise, I am met by an African hunting dog. He takes me through the earth element door to the African Savannah, where I meet his family and experience their life as a pack. They show me the values of working as a team to hunt, mutual respect and affection, and the ability to endure hardships with stamina and patience. When I return from the meditation I think about how I can apply these values of teamwork, respect & affection as well as stamina and patience. I work on integrating them into my family and work life, working as a team, being patient, expressing respect. In this way I discover and explore these values in a deeper way, and allow them to enrich my life.

This week you might like to take your own ‘Earth Dog’ meditation, and see where your imaginal journey takes you!

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Lunar new year meditation 2018: Drawing Strength from your Deeper Values in the year of the Earth Dog

This is a one-hour meditation session that can be participated live at the times & dates below, or as a recording online. If you are participating online, then the link to the recording will be sent to you on the morning of Thursday February  15th 

Time, date location: There are two chances to engage in this meditation class:

Tuesday 13th February, 7.30-8.30pm at ONE Heart, 37 Tambeling Road
Singapore 423580 (Click HERE for map) &
Wednesday 14th February, 7.30-8.30pm at Basic Essence, 501 Bukit Timah Road #04-04 Cluny Court Singapore 259760 (Click HERE for map)

Cost: Sing$20 per class

About the class: This is a chance to welcome in the lunar new year energies of the dog, which will include meditation for attuning to the energies of the lunar cycle & different levels of ‘dog energy’(!) In particular, we will be mindfully aligning with and developing loyalty to our own deeper values. By aligning ourselves with them we will then be looking for signs and inspirations regarding how we can move into a deeper level of leadership in our life. Leadership here means both leading ourself along our own path, as well as being a benevolent leader of others when appropriate.
Toby will be leading the meditation as a simple and profound way, with plenty of room for our own personal contemplation, inner healing and positivity building!

Suitable for: Both beginners & more advanced practitioners of meditation & mindfulness. All are welcome!

To register or for further enquiries: Email, or sms 65-96750279


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Wednesday 13/14 February 7.30-8.30pm – Lunar new year meditation 2018: Drawing Strength from your Deeper Values in the year of the Earth Dog

Saturday 24th February, 1.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Activating, Healing and Awakening our Ancestral Karma

Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Enlightenment as a chase

Dear Integral Meditators,

Its possible you might think of enlightenment as a process of sitting down, going within and finding your inner peace. But what if it were a chase where you had to run, jump, be alert, be fast, be awake? The article below explores this possibility!

In the spirit of the chase,



Enlightenment as a chase

If you look at the different ideas of spiritual enlightenment you may have, and those that are presented in mainstream spiritualties and religions, you might think of it as a process of sitting down, going within and finding your inner peace. What I want to do in this article is tell an originally Welsh story from the Druid tradition that presents the process of enlightenment as a dynamic chase. The story is that of Taliesin, the poet-saint of the Celts.
In the beginning, before he becomes Taliesin, our hero is a nine-year-old boy called Gwion-Bach. Gwion-Bach is given a task (along with his grandfather). It is given by the Goddess Ceridwen; to tend to a Cauldron containing the ingredients for an ‘elixir of enlightenment’. This elixir is for her ugly son Aggfaddu. Because he is ugly, Ceridwen wants to give her son the gift of enlightenment, hence the cauldron. The cauldron needs to bubble for a year and a day. Young Gwion-Bach has to tend to the fire underneath, and keep it burning. The elixir will work on the first person who tastes it, so Gwion is told under no circumstances to taste it!
On the last day of the year-and-a-day-cycle, Gwion is sitting next to the cauldron as usual. Suddenly, a boiling drop from the cauldron spits out and lands on his thumb. Because it scalds, Gwion instinctively puts his thumb in his mouth and sucks! Accidentally he has tasted the elixir and thus becomes instantly enlightened. He realizes he has made the elixir useless to Ceridwens son! The next moment he realizes he is in big trouble with the goddess, and runs out of the hut….
As soon as Ceridwen realizes what has happened, she chases after Gwoin in a vengeful rage. There then proceeds a chase through the four elements, earth, water, air and fire. Seeing Ceridwen is on his tail, Gwion back transforms into a hare. Ceridwen transforms into a greyhound. She is just about to catch him when Gwion leaps into a river and swims off as a salmon. Ceridwen transforms into an otter and the chase continues. Again, just as the goddess is about to catch him, he leaps out of the water and transforms into a wren (a bird smaller than a sparrow), and flies off! The goddess transforms into a hawk, and pursues him through the air. She is on the verge of grabbing him out of the air when he again transforms, this time into a grain of wheat, falling into a barn full of wheat grains amongst which he hides. The goddess then transforms into a hen, picks him out and eats him!
But the story does not end there. Gwion then transforms into a baby in Ceridwens womb. After 9months he is re-born, emerging from her as an enlightened baby, declaring his name to be Taliesin! She then puts him in a sealed bag and throws him in a river (what a Mum!), where he is later discovered amongst the reads by a queen, who adopts him as her child.
A few points from this story:

  • Here the hero/ine is pursued by the forces of enlightenment (here the goddess), who are relentless and dynamic in their pursuit.
  • S/he is placed under maximum duress by the pressure from the enlightened forces. S/he is forced to develop and evolve herself to the limits of her ability. The hero must use all of her resources and cunning to survive!
  • Once achieved, enlightenment is a beginning, and not an end, the work begins here!

Your life challenges as a path to enlightenment
One possible way of using this tale is to then start to think of the obstacles and challenges in your life that are putting you under pressure as ‘the forces of enlightenment’. Their pressure is an invitation to you to evolve and develop. You must grow your inner and outer abilities, to move step by step, day by day toward the next level of enlightenment in your life.
If you choose to play this game, then be alert, be ready, the path to enlightenment begins right here, in this next moment….

© Toby Ouvry 2017, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Starting Tues/Wed September 5th/6th – September & October Five Class Meditation Series: Cultivating Deep Experience of the Present Moment

September 19th/20th: Autumn Equinox balancing & renewing meditation

Saturday September 16th, 10am-5pm –  Shamanic mandala meditation & art workshop

Saturday September 30th, 10am-4.30pm – One Heart Open Day!

Integral Meditation Asia

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

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The Spectrum of Mindful Enjoyment

Dear Toby,

All of us want to experience enjoyment in our life, but sometimes it can feel a little elusive. The article below explores how we can go about consciously cultivating our experience of enjoyment and integrating it into a wide variety of our activities.

In the spirit of enjoyment and fun,


The Spectrum of Mindful Enjoyment

Getting to know your own enjoyment
Think about a time when you have really experienced enjoyment. As you do so get in touch with that enjoyment within your body; what does it feel like somatically? Is it in a particular part of the body? Does the energy of enjoyment seem to have a particular colour or musical tone (In your mind’s eye/ear)? What happens to your body posture when you feel the energy of enjoyment?

I mean real enjoyment
Sometimes we seek ‘fun’ as a way of distracting ourselves from things we feel uncomfortable about. There is a kind of fragile, escapist enjoyment that we sometimes seek that is riddled with insecurity. So just to delve a little further, let’s be clear that what we are trying to connect with here is a ‘real’ open hearted and genuine enjoyment, not the ‘fake’ enjoyment that we sometimes use as a smoke-screen for our discomfort.

To me enjoyment seems to be characterized by a feeling of open heartedness, a smiling quality, a playful confidence and inquisitiveness. You may find that for you the essential ‘ingredients’ of enjoyment could be described slightly differently.

From calmness to excitement – the spectrum of mindful enjoyment
So then with this essential feeling of enjoyment we can then experiment with it; we can practice bringing it into our social interactions, our work, our time alone with ourself. According to the activity our enjoyment could be combined with excitement and vigor such as if we are at a party or playing a game, or it could be combined with feelings of calm and subtlety such as when we are sitting in meditation.

The point about this is that, if you make a point of mindfully cultivating your basic experience of enjoyment you can then practice integrating it into a whole spectrum of your life’s activities from the intense to the quiet. You can use your essential feeling of mindful enjoyment to enhance all of them!

The child and the god/dess within
When we contact our enjoyment mindfully in this way we have the opportunity to re-activate our playful inner child, which for most of us gets lost somewhere on the journey from our historical childhood to our present ‘jolly serious’ adulthood. We also activate our inner god or goddess; that mythic part of us that enjoys being creative for sport and that has real power to change the world for the better.

So let’s get going!
Which activity would you like to focus integrating your own mindful enjoyment with today?

Related articles: Moving From Anxiety to Excitement
Related workshop on 27 June: Developing Your Mindful Self-Confidence

© Toby Ouvry 2015, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in May:

JUNE 2015

Wednesday, June 24th 7.30-9pm  – Integral Meditation Session @ Basic Essence – Meditating on benevolence & inner wealth

Saturday 27th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self-Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through meditation & mindfulness

Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – The Call of the Wild–Meditations for Deepening Your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Green-world


Integral Meditation Asia

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Your Tree of Personal Inspiration

Dear Integral Meditators,
As an artist and a meditator, I have a healthy appreciation of the power of the imagination to affect the way we expereince our reality in very real and tangible ways. The article below explores a fun and imaginative method to receive inspiration through meditation and visalization. Enjoy!

The program of events in May is nearly finnished, see beneath the article for diary dates.

In the spirit of inspiration,


Your Tree of Personal Inspiration

Back when I was a monk one of our visualizations we used to work with was a wish-fulfilling tree which grew up from the centre of a lake (which in turn was in the centre of the world!) Upon the leaves and branches of this tree sat all of the enlightened beings you could imagine. We would visualize them in this way in order to create a connection to them, build a relationship to them and receive their blessings.
One variation on this that I have developed since then is as follows:
I visualize my own ‘Tree of Life’ (you can visualize this tree in any way you choose). On the leaves and branches of this tree are all the people and living creatures from which I derive inspiration and strength. This includes people I know personally, those from the public sphere as well as those who may be from stories, myths and so on.
After visualizing this tree in general, I then set my intention to connect with those on my tree who it would be particularly appropriate at this time in my life, in view of the present circumstances and challenges that I am facing. I then let my ‘imaginative eye’ wonder over the tree and pick out one (or two or three) people or living beings that fit this description.
I then spend time just connecting with them, feeling inspired by their energy, perhaps having a bit of a dialogue with them about an issue I have or choices that I need to make. When I have finished the communion, I bring the meditation to a close.
This is a simple technique that I use that can be very useful for finding inspiration when you need it, as well as developing your visualization, imaginative and intuitive skills. The figures that I connect to change often; sometimes they are ‘enlightened’ figures, other times they are just those who have particular qualities that I may have a need of. It is also an organic and relatively free form way of connecting to the powers of inspiration that do exist in the inner world, and that we can access through meditative awareness.

Related Articles: Meditating on the Power of Your Creative Imagination
When Your Energy Level Follows Your Mind and Imagination

© Toby Ouvry 2015, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in May:

Friday 8th May, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Stillness, Energy, Positivity and Relaxation -A grounding in the basics of Integral Meditation

Saturday 16th May, 9.30am-12.30pm – Growing Your Mindful Freedom – The Essential Meditation of the Buddha: A Three Hour Meditation Workshop

Saturday 16th May, 2.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Activating, Healing and Awakening our Ancestral Karma

Wednesday 20th, 7.30-9.30pm – Going Beyond Happiness (and resilience?) – Using the Wisdom of Paradox to Find a Deeper Level of Fulfilment and Wellbeing in Your Life

Friday 29th May 7.30-9.30pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Travelling deeper into the present moment through integral meditation

Saturday 30th May, 2.30-5.30pm – Enlightened Flow: Finding the Ultimate Relaxation and Release from Stress

Integral Meditation Asia


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Mindfully Integrating the Animal and Instinctive Self

Dear Integral Meditators,

What is your animal or instinctive self? What part is it playing in your life? Why is it important to be mindful of it? The article below offers some thoughts in this subject…

If you are interested in going a bit deeper into your animal and instinctive self, then do check out the Shadow Self workshop on Sunday the 30th November!

Yours  in the spirit of the journey,


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in November/December:

The Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease Online Course

Tuesday 25th November, 7.30-9pm  – Evening event – Integral Mindfulness –Co-creating Professional Success and Personal Wellbeing within Organizations and Leaders

Sun 30th Nov, 9.30am-12.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment

Sun 30th Nov, 2pm-5pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical Meditations And Techniques For Working With your Shadow-Self – A Three Hour Workshop

Sunday December 7th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for Activating, Healing and Awakening our Ancestral Karma

Sunday December 14th, 9.30am-12.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation From the Perspective of  Zen

Mindfully Integrating the Animal and Instinctive Self

Your animal and instinctive self is raw vitality. It is the wild and feral part of yourself that has been around for millions of years on the planet, it is entirely at home in the body, with sexual instinct, with fighting, with doing what is necessary to survive in a tough and uncompromising world. It is also a part of you that has a natural dignity, an unconscious affinity with the whole, that feels entirely at home in a body, on the earth, participating in life.
Obviously we need to exert a certain benevolent control over our animal self, but for many of us the animal and instinctive self has become an enemy, a source of terror, of embarrassment, of shame. We often try and lock our animal self in the cellar of our mind, pretend (and hope) that if we ignore it or pretend it is not there for long enough it will go away and leave us in peace.
There comes a time for all of us where it becomes necessary to make friends with our animal self, to learn to make positive use of our instincts, to stop repressing our passions and instead start consciously and heartily expressing them in our life in positive and authentic ways.
The conscious integration of the rational and self with the animal and instinctive self gives the soul within us all the tools and power it needs to start making a difference in the world and manifest its desires. Without the vital dynamism of the animal self the civilized self becomes a ghost, a cardboard cut out, a shell. It’s very difficult for the soul to do something with a shell!

If you are suffering from an absence of vitality, a lack of confidence, a sense of inner conflict, connecting and communing with your animal and instinctive self is definitely a good area within yourself to investigate!

Questions for becoming more aware of and reclaiming our instinctive and mindful self:
Where is my vitality?
What is my animal self asking of me?
What might it mean to make positive use of my instincts?
How can I make friends with my animal self?
How can I put my animal and instinctive self to positive use?

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website 

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Does God Exist? A Meditators Perspective (and what to tell your kids)

Dear Integral Meditators,

Many spiritual paths and religions and  take “God-realization” as their object of attainment, but what if you can’t find God? This weeks article takes both a playful and serious look at this issue. Complementary reading would be  the article on “The Four Less-nesses of Enlightenment” that I wrote a few weeks back.

Yours in the spirit of the God beyond God,

Upcoming Meditation Classes and Workshops at Integral Meditation Asia 

Coming soon

Does God Exist?  A Meditators Perspective (and what to tell your kids)

A couple of weeks ago my daughter Sasha (8yrs) asked me “Does God really exist? After all you can’t really see him or prove he does”. This is a classic response from a child developing her rational faculties and for whom the previous concept of a creator in the sky, a little like a big father or mother, becomes obviously and patently untrue.
For many of us as we move into adulthood it seems like we are faced with a dilemma; either we accept an unseen, unknowable God on faith, or we decide that he does not exist and that there is no God.

The path of meditation offers a second, non-philosophical perspective on the existence or not of God which is put succinctly in the modern day Zen saying:
There is no-God and he is your creator

The way I answered to my daughter was as follows:

  • God exists in a place called no-thing, and no-thing is the place where everything comes from, so you can find God in everything.
  • God lives in a place called no-where, and no-where is the place where somewhere comes from. So because God is no-where he is the only person you can find everywhere.
  • Gods’ identity is in a place called no-self, which is the place where all selves arise. So at the heart of every self there is no-self, which is where you find God.

So, the idea with these three sentences is that they invite a person enquiring after the existence of God to go beyond the world of ideas, philosophy or theology and move instead into a space of experiential, non-conceptual investigation and curiosity.
With these sentences you just need to read them, and then ‘drop-in’ to the space that they invite you into and to be with that space, to be present to something that lies beyond your mind, beyond rationality, beyond ideas.

  • God is un-findable in the world of things, so if you drop into a space of no-thing, that is where she will be, although of course that would be non-be
  • There is no place where God ‘lives’, so if you go to nowhere, that is where you will find him
  • God does not have a self, so if you let go of your own self completely, then you will find God there

To the cynic this can just sound like word games, but as I say the idea is to use the words to go beyond the words to a non-conceptual, living experience that you then hold and rest in.

After finishing this article I then asked my daughter “So what did you think of those definitions of God that I gave you?”
“Good” she said, not looking up from her book.
“Really I said? Stop reading and come here for a moment”
She stood up and came over to me. I asked her the same question
“So what did you think of those definitions of God that I gave you?”
She looks at me, smiles and said “Excellent!”
Then she rolls her eyes, puts on her most ironic face, then sits down to read again.

I think that is what you call approving non-approval.
© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Support for you Meditation Practice 

If you enjoyed the article above, and are interested in sound technology that can help you more easily get into deeper states of meditation, the following two tracks work well with cultivating formless, timeless meditations:

Beginners Mind

Audio Serenity

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Meditating with the Mirror Self

Dear Integral Meditators,

This mid-week article outlines a creative meditation practice on an aspect of self that I think of as the “mirror self”. One of its main purposes is to stimulate the potential of our imaginative capacity to effect real and dynamic changes in our life.
The meditation is an example of what I have been calling a Greenworld meditation practice, so here is a final reminder of the Greenworld Meditation Workshop I will be running this Sunday 23rd February, and repeating due to demand on Sunday 2nd March.

Below the article you can find full details of the Walking Meditation that I will be running, also on the 2nd March, 8-1030am.

Finally, if the article below looks a little long for you, then you might just enjoy watching the three minute reference to the ‘mirror world’ in the third installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, in the scene entitled “up is down” ;-)

Yours in the spirit of the creative imagination,


Meditating with the Mirror Self in the Greenworld

This is a technique for connecting to a primal and dynamic aspect of ourself that is mythic and imaginative in nature. Its purpose is to experience a new dimension of ourself that is unfettered by the habits of our conventional personality and that offers us a new level of creative participation in our world.
To say that the mirror self is mythic and imaginative in nature is not the same as saying that it has no objective reality, but it is to say that it exists within the reality of the creative imagination.

What or where is the Greenworld?
The mirror self resides in Greenworld. The Greenworld is a place that exists within the primal imagination of the planetary being and group consciousness. It is not so much a physical world so much as an energetic one. It is a place that all of us participate in to a greater or lesser degree in our dreams and imagination. However, rather than being merely a by-product of our imagination it is rather an actual  place that we contact and visit through controlled and conscious use of our imagination.
It has various names in the different spiritual traditions of the world. In Celtic Greek and Roman tradition it is sometimes called the Underworld. In the Tibetan Tantric tradition (which I originally trained in extensively) it is called Dakini Land. It is said to be the land of nature spirits and spiritual beings of various sorts, as well as the land where we may find the spirit of our ancestors.
You might also say that it is a world that has been contacted by artists thru-out the ages for for imaginative inspiration.
I call it the Greenworld. I have been engaged in meditations that directly or indirectly involve it for about 15 years now, and it is a practice that I hold very dear to my heart.

What is the mirror self?
The mirror self, simply put is that aspect of ourself that resides in the Greenworld right now. Since the Greenworld does not exist within the confines of conventional time and space, you could say that our mirror self is ever present, simply waiting to be discovered by us.
The Greenworld is almost like a pure inner world that mirrors out outer world. Hence the self that we meet there we call the ‘mirror self’.
Again, you won’t gain a satisfactory experience of your mirror self by looking for rational and linear ways of connecting to it, for it is connected to by means of the creative imagination. In the integral development of consciousness rationality and the creative imagination are not seen as contradictory to each other, rather as complementary capacities that we can develop together within our consciousness.

The meditation 

The meditation is rather simple:

  • Sit quietly. Be aware your body-mind and bring it to a place of relative stillness by focusing on the breathing for a short while. Then focus your intention on the desire to connect to your mirror self within the Greenworld.
  • Now imagine that you look down between your feet, and see there appears to be another, upside-down you beneath you. It is as if you were sitting on a mirror; the soles of your feet touch the soles of his/her feet. As you look down, s/he looks up.
  • See the form of your mirror self. Likely s/he looks like you but different. Her clothes may come from a much earlier time in history. His body is solid and yet also luminous and radiant. You may notice particular colours and energies around and within her body. Notice and currents of energy that you may feel rising from your mirror self through the soles of your feet.
  • Now imagine that your world ‘flips’ upside down, so that you become your mirror self. Experience yourself as your mirror self. What is it like? How does your body feel? What is the mode of thinking and feeling in your mind?
  • What you are ready ‘flip’ back again and return to the outer world. Take the experiences and perspectives that you gained from your mirror self into your daily life. If you like you can keep an awareness of your mirror self by imagining him/her beneath you whenever you look down, the soles of your feet in contact with hers!

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

An Introduction to Walking Meditation Workshopkuhonbutsu-feetDate: Sunday 2nd March 2014

Time: 8.00-10.30am

Location: Singapore Botanic Gardens, meet by the steps at the Exit of the Botanic Gardens MRT next to the Nursery Gate of the Botanic Gardens (click on link above for map!)

One line summary: Learn how to practice meditation and mindfulness as a walking practice.

Overview: Increasingly many people are becoming aware of a need to find a sense of inner calm, peace and centeredness in order to cope effectively with the stresses and strains of modern life. However, it seems equally difficult to find the quality time for a practice such as meditation or mindfulness that can actually help us to accomplish this.

A solution to this can be found in walking meditation. All of us do a certain amount of walking in our life. By learning mindful walking we can combine the time that we spend walking with time spent cultivating our inner peace, stability and happiness. It is a win-win situation!

This 2.5 hour workshop will be located in the peaceful surroundings of the Botanic Gardens,

The RESULTS that you can expect to gain from engaging in this workshop are:

  • Confidence in practising the basic fundamentals of walking meditation and how to integrate it into your daily routine
  • Knowledge of the technical theory behind walking meditation practice
  • The ability to connect to positive mind-states as well as greater levels of physical energy whilst walking

The level of this workshop: Suitable for beginners, or more experienced meditators looking to integrate mindful walking into their repertoire.

Basic Workshop Structure:

First hour: Warm up, Introduction to basic walking meditation techniques for awareness of good posture, developing relaxed concentration and inner silence/spaciousness. Time for Q&A.
Second hour: Integrating elements of thinking, feeling and imagination into walking meditation in order to generate and enhance both our physical energy as well as positive mind states. Time for Q&A
Final half-hour: Integrating awareness of nature and the natural landscape into our walking meditation in order to enhance positive energy exchange between ourself and our environment, and receive healing and balancing energy from natural elements of the landscape such as trees and water, sun and sky.

In addition the class itself you will also receive: Backup notes covering the basic meditation techniques covered in the class

Feedback from past walking meditation workshops:

1: ”The outdoor walking helped me easily connect to nature on a holistic scale and feel energized nurtured and a strong sense of belonging (perfect timing) it put things into perspective. I felt incredibly at ease and peace.”

2. ”I was amazed at how simple Toby’s steps are, and how ‘portable’ walking meditation can be as a practical, everyday energy balancer or enhancer. You can literally take it wherever you go, wherever you are …in the park, on the beach, in a busy airport, and even in the confines of your own home. An instant, private oasis of tranquillity at your feet!”

Cost of Workshop: $65 per person


To register or for further enquiries: Email, or call 65-9675027

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Re-awakening to Your Vital, Creative and Spiritual Energy

Dear Integral Meditators,

What are you looking to get from your meditation practice? Different types of meditation practice lead to different results. This weeks article looks at the aims of Greenworld meditation, and outlines a simple technique that you can do to enjoy some of the benefits of this type of practice, most prominently a re-awakening of your vital, creative and spiritual energy.

Yours in the spirit of inner vitality,



Re-awakening to Your Vital, Creative and Spiritual Energy

I was talking to someone who regularly attends my workshops the other day about the upcoming “Meditations for Connecting to the Greenworld” workshop. She had been under the impression from the title that the point of a Greenworld meditation would be something to do with being eco-friendly, recycling and so forth.
Actually the Greenworld meditation practice has nothing directly to do with these types of thing, although practising it will in all probability change quite radically the way in which you see yourself in relation to the Planet and to Nature.

So, what is the main purpose of Greenworld meditation? 
Greenworld meditation functions to connect us with a tradition of spiritual practice that has been practiced by people all over the planet for millennia. It is a perennial form of meditation practice, that is to say that it has been long lasting, recurrent and continuing throughout human history. It is a spiritual practice that does not belong to any religion.
Greenworld meditation puts us in imaginative contact with the forces of life within the Planet, and by relating to these living forces we are able to:

  • Heal and regenerate our own vital (sexual), creative and spiritual  self.
  • Participate in the returning to health of the Planetary being/Mother Earth, and play our part in the healing and regeneration of the vital, creative and spiritual energies within nature.

How does Greenworld meditation do this? It works primarily by using our creative imagination to put us in touch with the living and energies of the planetary being and encouraging us to participate in those energies in a fulfilling and health giving way.
The nice thing about the Greenworld meditations is that they are essentially very simple, but once activated they effect changes and transformations within us that are often profound and, subtly or not so subtly life changing.

A Simple Greenworld Meditation
This meditation aims is to connect our own vital, creative and spiritual energy to the same three energies within the planetary being, so that they flow through us freely, and we in turn are empowered to participate in them fully.

Stage 1: Sit comfortably. Be aware of a direction in front of you and behind you, to your left and to your right, above and below. See and feel yourself in the centre of the six directions and spend a short while stilling your body-mind in this centre point.
Stage 2: Visualize yourself in a landscape within nature that you associate with healing, health and regeneration. Sense the Planetary being beneath you as a living force and energy. See the energy from the planetary being flowing up into your body through the soles of your feet, filling your whole body with living energy and light. In particular see three energy centres being filled and energized:

  • The middle point in your lower abdomen , the centre of your body’s vital, relational and sexual energy
  • The point within the centre of your chest, the centre of your body-minds creative and higher imaginative energy
  • The point in the centre of the brain as the centre of your body-minds higher mental and spiritual energy.

Be aware now of the sky and stars above you. See their light and energy coming down through your crown and energizing your head, heart and abdomen with their energy.
Sit comfortably and allow the vital, creative and spiritual energies of the Planetary being below and the sky and stars above feed, heal and re-awaken your own vital, creative and spiritual energies.
This can be done as a short 5 minute energization exercise, or as a longer more contemplative one where you spend a few minutes focusing on the vitality of each of your three energy centres.

I’ll be writing an article mid-week next week on taking this one stage further by engaging in a practice called Connecting to the Mirror Self in the Greenworld.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Sample feedback from Meditation coaching client in 2014:

“I found the sessions were easy to follow and at the same time effective. The principle or technique taught was pretty pragmatic/logical, hence easy to understand and practice.
I have seen a good improvement on my approach and handling of day to day ups and downs, since I do the daily meditation at home.
I would definitely recommend other people to attend the sessions.” – DL

Click HERE to find out more about Toby’s 1:1 Coaching Services