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Energy Meditation Meditation techniques Mindful Breathing Mindfulness Qi gong Stress Transformation

Hands on the belly to relax the brain (a short cut to sleeping at night?)

Dear  Integral Meditators,

Greetings from Berlin where I’m traveling right now! Before I left for the holidays, I facilitated a Qi gong workshop, which then led me to start having a look at some old qi gong meditation articles that I had written out a decade or so ago. The method below is one that you can use to help you fall asleep at night, and to relax your nervous system whenever you want to dial down and get out of your thinking mind for a while for a while. Enjoy!

In the spirit of conscious relaxation,

Toby


Hands on the belly to relax the brain (a short cut to sleeping at night?)

This is a very simple technique that I use often in order to calm and reduce conceptual activity and center myself fully in my body. I use it most frequently when my mind is whizzing when I lie down to go to sleep at night, or if I want to take a quick nap during the day and want to move into a state of relaxed non-conceptuality relatively fast. It can be done sitting, standing or lying down:
Simply place your hands one on top of the other on your belly, just beneath your belly button. Close your eyes, relax the brain and simply focus on the feeling of warmth that the resting hands create on the lower belly. If you like you can imagine that the lower belly area is like a magnet, and that energy from the brain is gently being attracted down into the torso by the pull of this magnet. However, to be honest I find that this is not necessary, the natural sensation of the hand on the belly does the work for you, without you having to do a lot else!
Related articlesBasic Qi Gong Belly Breathing
Meditation Technique For Brain Relaxation, Non-Conceptuality and Falling Asleep at Night.

© 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 www.tobyouvry.com


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)

August program coming soon!


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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creative imagery Inner vision Integral Awareness Integral Meditation meditation and creativity Meditation techniques mind body connection Mindful Resilience Mindfulness Presence and being present Primal Spirituality

The calm of solidity – Four mindful techniques

Dear Integral Meditators,

The ‘calmness of solidity’ means the calmness that can be discovered through the solidity and physicality of your body. In the article below I outline four ways that you can cultivate it both formally and informally to increase the level of your own dynamic calm, which is to say your own ability to remain calm and centered under real-time pressure from your life!

In the spirit of the calmness of solidity,

Toby

​The calm of solidity – Four mindful techniques

The ‘calmness of solidity’ means the calmness that can be discovered through the solidity and physicality of your body. It also means the calmness that can be derived from the elements of your physical surroundings and nature. It is one of the four types of dynamic calm that I outline in my previous article Four types of deep calm, four types of dynamic power. In this article I’m simply going to explain four methods that you can use in combination with each other or individually to develop your own dynamic calm, or your ability to remain calm and centered under real-time pressure from your life!

Practices 1&2: Investigating the absence & the presence of calm.
Investigate with curiosity what your body and your breathing feel like when you are not calm. Notice what it feels like to feel ‘not calm’ or unsettled. If you can then practice simply accepting the absence of calm without making ‘a problem out of the problem’ then paradoxically, this gives you access to a certain type of basic calm!
Secondly, remember what it is like to have the presence of calm within your body. Recall times in the past when you have felt the presence of calm in your body, for example when on holiday in a beautiful location, or in the presence of someone you trust. Practice activating the memory of calm, then breathing and living your life from that feeling. Get familiar with it such that, when you are under pressure in daily life, you can deliberately activate your body’s memory of calm. If you do this you can still feel the presence of calm even when your environment may be unsettling.

Practice 3: Using your physical body and senses to calm your mind and emotions.
With this method, you use your sensory attention as your object of focus, giving your mind a simple calm anchor to relax into in the present moment. For example:

  • The weight of your body on the chair,
  • The quality of the light through the window
  • The sound and feeling of the wind, and the call of the birds, as well as the distant traffic sounds
  • The physical movement of your breathing
  • The colours of the objects around you in the room

You can do this in formal meditation, but also out of meditation during the day as you go about your activities. Stabilize your calm by getting out of your mind and into your senses!

Practice 4: Practicing mountain like calm
This final type of calm uses an imaginative key to use in meditation; Experience your body as being like a mountain, your thoughts and associated feelings as being like clouds and your mind or consciousness itself as being like the sky. A mountain is so solid and centred that it really doesn’t mind if the weather around it is stormy, rainy, windy or chaotic. Imagine your own physical body to be like this; calm, solid and massive. This way, even when your emotions and thoughts go crazy sometimes, there is no need even to stop the craziness. Just focus on being the calmness of the mountain, which is proportionally way stronger and more massive!
So, there you go, four techniques to play around with this week if you choose. You can work with them systematically, or just pick the one that works best for 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 www.tobyouvry.com


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)

Saturday 7th July, 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Sunday 8th July, 9.30am,-1pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Concentration creative imagery Energy Meditation Integral Meditation Life-fullness meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Meditation Recordings Meditation techniques Mindfulness Presence and being present Stress Transformation

Dynamic Calm – Free meditation

Dear Integral Meditators,

 

You can Listen to my 5 minute talk and 10 minute meditation on Dynamic Calm HERE!

Toby

Categories
creative imagery Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindfulness Uncategorized

The Mindful Warrior – Using concepts as weapons

Dear Integral Meditators,

Think of your thoughts as being like a weapons, that can be used for good or ill. The article below offers a few pointers to help ensure that you are using your ‘inner weapons’ in ways that are helpful to yourself and others, rather than just using them to cut yourself down all the time!

For those in Singapore, a quick reminder of the Summer solstice balancing & renewing meditation tonight and tomorrow evenings, and this weekends workshop An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism!

In the spirit of the mindful warrior,

Toby


The Mindful Warrior – Using concepts as weapons

One of the goals of mindfulness is to realize that we are currently using many negative concepts against ourselves, and to stop this. The flip side of this is to learn to use positive, balanced and intelligent concepts, and wield them like weapons in our lives.

The way in which we use negative concepts
‘If only this hadn’t happened then I could have…’
‘There is no way I can do this when…’
‘If only I had control over the outcome, I wouldn’t feel so anxious…’
If you look at the conversation in your head, you’ll start to notice many different ways in which your habitual thinking and worldview limits you in ways that prevent you from experiencing pleasure and joy and makes you less effective in dealing with the situation you are faced with. These thoughts are like weapons that you wield against yourself in order to keep you feeling limited, dis-empowered, miserable and generally helpless.

Accepting and releasing these negative concepts
The first step in ‘de-commissioning your negative inner-concepts’ is simply to recognize that they are there. Then you can practice spotting them when they arise, accepting they are there, and then letting them go, not letting them impact us or define our experience.

Noticing the way in which we use positive concepts
If you watch your mind you will also notice that sometimes your mind comes up with positive concepts and ways of framing your experiences that make you stronger and more resilient to the challenges you face. These are the already existing ‘conceptual weapons’ that you have within your mind. Once you have identified them, you can then deliberately start to use them more in your life, leveraging upon them to make you happier and more effective as you go about your day.

Creating new positive concepts and weaponizing them
If you are going through a difficult challenge, you can ask yourself, ‘What are the different ways of framing this experience in ways that are going to help me enjoy it and be more effective?’ If you like, as well as thinking about them, you can write them down, so you have them at hand to look at whenever you need.

Becoming a mindful warrior
Whenever you think about your challenge, you then practice deliberately viewing it from the conceptual viewpoints that you have devised. You practice wielding these concepts like weapons, defending yourself against inner thoughts and views that don’t serve you, and using them to ‘attack’ your life with enthusiasm!

An example
As we move into the high summer period, some of my ‘predictable’ sources of work become less. Of course, there is plenty of room for my mind to conceptualize this in an unhelpful way, which I need to look out for and ‘defend’ myself against. But I also take the time to ensure that I have a number of key ‘conceptual weapons’ that I can use to enjoy this time and make good use of it. For example:
‘Its good because I’ll have more time for creativity and new workshop design.’
‘It’ll give me time to rest properly and renew my energy and enthusiasm.’
‘In previous seasons, sometimes this has been my busiest period, and there is a chance it could happen again.’
‘Whatever happens I have made enough money in the last few months to tie me over…’
These are all simple examples of concepts that I use as benevolent weapons to defend against needless mental suffering and derive maximum enjoyment from my time ahead.
Its not enough to simply ‘think positive’ you have to learn to use the thoughts effectively and mindfully in your day so that they hold weight and mass in the face of your challenges!

© 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 www.tobyouvry.com


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)

Tuesday 19th & 20th June, 7.30pm – Summer solstice balancing & renewing meditation

Saturday 23rd June, 10am-4.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism

Saturday 7th July, 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Sunday 8th July, 9.30am,-1pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Inner vision Integral Awareness meditation and creativity Meditation techniques Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness One Minute Mindfulness Presence and being present

Making mindful use of your to-do list

Dear Integral Meditators,

How can you transform your busy-making ‘to-do’ list into an object of mindfulness? The article below explores one possible way!
Heads up for the Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever next Saturday 16th June, 10-11.30am.
And last few days for the mindful stress-transformation coaching offer, see below 😉

In the spirit of mindful to-doing!

Toby


Stress Transformation Coaching special offer:
Up until Friday 15th June there is a special offer on Toby’s Stress transformation coaching service. Three x 1hour packages are on a 15% special offer (a saving of $95). Contact info@tobyouvry.com for full details.
Stress transformation coaching with Toby is exactly that; it teaches you how you can transform your stress, anxiety and other difficult emotions into forces for the good in your life. The coaching focuses upon:

  • Getting to know and understand the negative or conflicting energy and emotion in your life more deeply and intimately, seeing its potential value
  • Developing the capacity to recycle,  transform and redirect this difficult energy into a positive force that works for you rather than against you
  • Find yourself thriving in situations and circumstances that would previously make you unhappy, fearful, inhibited and so on…Read on…

 


 

Making mindful use of your to-do list

Most of us have a ‘to do list’ most days. Quite often when you hear about practicing mindfulness, we are told to try and put down the to do list in our mind, in order to notice the present moment more.
There is one way that I have of using my own to do-list as a way of increasing my mindful appreciation, and it goes something like this. Every day I have my list of to-dos’. Often, they are written in my diary, alongside my appointments. At various points during the day I will open my diary and, with a little red pen cross off the actions and appointments that I have done so far. I will then pause for a few moments, and give myself a little appreciation for the things that I have done. I will also use what I have done to ensure that I am seeing that today has been a constructive day, where things have been achieved, and I take the time to note and feel good about that. I then proceed with the next few things in the list.
Of course, the list rarely ends, but my approach to my to do list ensures that I am using it to feel good about myself and my day, rather than taking what I have done for granted, and feeling oppressed (and maybe depressed) about the things that I have not yet done!

Structuring unstructured time with your list. 
Sometimes if there is a gap in my routine and I sense a certain amount of anxiety around ‘what I am going to do with this time?’, then I’ll simply write a list of things to do, work, leisure or otherwise that will last me that morning, afternoon, or however long the open space is. I’ll then just get on with the tasks, and cross them off as I go. Then at the end of the time I’ll just look at the crossed-off list of what I’ve done for a short while, just to register and appreciate what I’ve done, and enjoy the fact that my time was well spent.
If you choose to use this way of working with your to-do list, then rather than getting in the way of your mindfulness practice, it becomes an active part of it. Your to-do list becomes a way of honing your attention, developing appreciation, becoming more effective in life, and deriving active pleasure from your achievements, great and small!

© 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 www.tobyouvry.com


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)

Saturday 16th June, 10-11.30am – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Saturday 23rd June, 10am-4.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Life-fullness meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindfulness Presence and being present

Mental framing – Sculpting your view of life

Dear Integral Meditators,

We are never in 100% charge of what we experience in life, but we can determine the way in which we experience what happens. This week’s article explores how to mindfully take advantage of this truth!

In the spirit of sculpting & framing,

Toby

For those in Singapore: This weeks Tuesday & Wednesday evening meditation class focuses on seven mindful positions that can help you master your mind in daily life. One of these seven positions is mindful framing.

 


Mental framing – Sculpting your view of life

We are never in 100% charge of what we experience in life, but we can always influence the way in which we experience what happens. How we influence the way in which we experience something is via the manner in which we pay attention to it, and in particular the way in which we mentally frame it. The essential question with mental framing is “What is the optimal way for me to view what I am experiencing, so that I derive maximum value and minimum unnecessary pain from it?”
This question and the answers we get from it are like mental sculpting. The raw materials are our life experiences, and our ways of mental framing are like the tools used to craft and mould the raw materials into the shape that I desire.
Last weekend I was giving the example to a class of my own workshop creation process. I’ve created over 50 meditation and mindfulness workshops in the last decade. Of these only around 50% have gone on to be successful in the sense of attracting a lot of people numbers. So, if I focus purely on the ‘success rate’, then I’m not going to be a very happy boy in some ways. However, there are many ways in which I can use my mind to frame what I am experiencing after a ‘failed’ workshop in ways that are helpful to me. For example:

  1. ‘It is realistic to expect many of the events that I put on to not attract large numbers. It’s simply part of my evolving work progress, and in fact a 50% success rate is very good in the circumstances!’ – This view helps me accept the experience, feel happy about it and sets me up to continue working with it in the long term without feeling discouraged.
  2. ‘A small number of people in a workshop creates an intimate space for me to have a more meaningful, small scale relationship to the participants’ – Again, this view helps me feel enthusiasm for the experience and helps me to keep my appetite for the work in the long term.
  3. ‘I learned a lot from creating the workshop, so it is feeding my own process of self-discovery and growth’ – This is absolutely and objectively true, I do learn a lot, and so the time was not wasted, indeed it was very well spent!
  4. ‘If it didn’t work in this context, maybe I can try it in another context’ – I’ve seen from my own experience how courses that I have created in one arena later became a part of my mainstream ‘successful’ courses later down the line. No creative process is ever entirely wasted! Indeed, some of my most successful material only finds the right audience two or three years down the line.
  5. ‘This is helping my ongoing learning process about value creation’ – Every time I try something out, or put it out to an audience, I learn more about value creation, in business, in relationships and in life. This learning in turn helps me to make the best of what I meet in each day, and to become more successful in life. What could be better than that?

So, there you go; five ways of mentally framing my situation in ways that help me to view and experience it in a positive AND REALISTIC way. Realistic is in caps because for mental framing to be effective it has to be reality focused. You can’t just fantasize any old BS that just isn’t true!
Mindfulness is all about releasing our potential for learning and growth in the moment. Mental framing is a technique that really we can be using all the time during our day to ‘sculpt’ our reality in a way that is useful and desirable. But to get going you might like to take one or two specific situations in life and practice framing them. Happy sculpting!

Related articles: 
How to mindfully develop your self-confidence
Four positions for wrestling with your dark angels
Mastering your mind through mindfulness

© 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 www.tobyouvry.com


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)

Tuesday 29, Wednesday 30th May – Wesak Meditation

Saturday 2nd June, 9.30-11.30am – The Power of Presence – Mindfulness for managing conflict in your relationships and accessing your inner power

Saturday, 9th June, 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Awareness and insight Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditating on the Self meditation and creativity Mindful Resilience Mindfulness Presence and being present Primal Spirituality

Four functional purposes of moving into stillness

Dear Integral Meditators,

Why bother continuing to cultivate stillness and reduced thinking through meditation? The article below considers four compelling reasons to keep you motivated!

In the spirit of stillness,

Toby

Live in Singapore this week: At this Tuesday & Wednesday‘s meditation class we will be focusing on self awareness though meditation, all welcome!
If your looking to give your meditation practice a shot in the arm, or know someone whose been looking for a place to get started with meditation, then this Saturday we have the Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever at the One Heart center.


Four functional purposes of moving into stillness

Why bother continuing to cultivate stillness and reduced thinking through meditation? It’s useful to have some concrete reasons other than ‘it feels good’, although this is not a bad reason in and of itself! Knowing the four reasons below helps us to persist with our practice, and be able to clearly see the benefits as they start to arise.

1. Our quality of thinking improves – By cultivating stillness we reduce the amount of thoughts in our mind. As the quantity of thoughts reduces, the quality of thoughts tends to increase. Because our mind feels less rushed, we activate our natural intelligenceand tend to think more positively, more reflectively, and more rationally.

We become much more resilient to stress – Imagine holding a bottle of water in front of you without putting it down. For 5minutes no problem, 10minutes your feeling it, 30minutes you are uncomfortable, one hour you might be in pain. If, however you were able to put the bottle of water down for 30seconds once every 5minutes, then you could actually hold that bottle of water out in front of you almost indefinitely, with minimal discomfort. It’s the same with our mental and emotional stress; it is not that the burden in itself overwhelmingly heavy, but because we never put it down it tires us out and feels unbearable. Stilling the mind and putting down our stressful thoughts is like putting down the bottle of water. It enables us to keep on bearing the weight of our stress FAR more easily by regularly putting it down!

We activate out intuitive and unconscious processing capabilities – When you temporarily reduce your everyday mind and thinking by moving towards stillness, you activate the natural unconscious and intuitive processing faculties of your mind. This enables your mind to sift through information, move towards balance and come up with creative ideas without you having to try hard at all. You learn to rest your mind and let it work by itself to come up with useful insights and information that we can use in our life.

We access the deeper self – Behind the everyday thinking mind there is the experience of consciousness itself; that which observes and is aware of the movements of our mind. This ‘observer’ is what I mean by the ‘deeper self’. It remains unchanged and constant even as our thoughts and experiences continually change. By dropping into stillness, we access this deeper, observing self. We can begin to identify with it, and use it as a point of stability, constancy and calm even as the events of our life twist and turn with fortune. Carl Jung called this deeper level of consciousness simply ‘the Self’, with our everyday thoughts, habits and patterns of action being ‘the ego’. In moments of crisis when the ego ‘falls apart’, people sometimes become aware of ‘the Self’.  Dropping into stillness gives us regular access to ‘the Self’, and the support it can offer us.

So there you go, four reasons to keep cultivating stillness! You can find a simple technique for cultivating stillness in my recent article So how do you still your mind?

© 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 www.tobyouvry.com


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)

Saturday 7th April, 4-5.30pm – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Tuesday & Wednesday’s in March/April – Inner Peace, Inner Power – An Introduction to Integral & Engaged Meditation Practice

Saturday 14th April 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Saturday 28th April, 9.30am-1pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self

Sunday 20th May, 10am-5pm – How to do Soul Portraits Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Awareness and insight Integral Meditation Meditation techniques Mindfulness Presence and being present spiritual intelligence

So how do you still your mind?

Dear Toby Ouvry,

You may have heard that meditating means to still the mind, but how do you actually do that, and what are the benefits? The article below considers these questions, and offers a simple practice you can do anytime!

At this Tuesday & Wednesday‘s meditation class we will be doing a class on stilling the mind, so do come along if you are available!

Underneath the article you can find the schedule of classes and workshops for April…

In the spirit of stillness,

Toby


Meditation Means to Still the Mind (Positive Amnesia)

We constantly try to solve our inner problems and find inner peace by using their mind to ”think” our way out, and it is certainly true that we can find many solutions to our problems using our mind.
However, it is also true that peace of mind is available to you at any time simply by stopping thinking and relaxing into a state of non-thinking stillness. If you can stop yourself thinking, then peace and inner well-being will arise naturally and easily from your consciousness. This is because peace, wholeness, and stability are the nature of your consciousness when there are no thoughts getting in the way.
So of course simply stopping thinking and resting in stillness will not solve all your problems. However, it will enable you to enjoy inner peace regularly, and this peace then gives you the perspective that you need in order to face your life challenges with much greater stability and sanity.

So, stilling the mind, is an essential skill that we are trying to develop in meditation. In many meditation schools such as Zen, moving into a state of stillness and non-thinking is emphasized as a major goal right from the beginning, it is THE training. The technique I explain below is a simple, uncomplicated way of moving into stillness that you can use anytime you want.

Stillness through non- thought: Amnesia or becoming a Simpleton.
This meditation technique involves an act of imagination, where you either imagine:

  • That you have suddenly been afflicted with amnesia and can remember nothing, not even your name
  • Or that you have become a complete simpleton. You have become so simple-minded or ”stupid” that you can no longer even string a sentence together!

Sitting quietly, just maintain the recognition of your amnesia or simpleton-ness. When thoughts, memories or images arise, remember that you have amnesia, or that you are too ‘stupid’ to hold the stream of thought together in your mind.
Practicing in this way, let your mind gradually become more and more relaxed, with less and less thought arising. From this absence of thought will come a sense of stillness. When you get good at this, you will be able to let your mind rest in a state of no-thought for longer and longer periods of time. This will give you a tangible experience each day of inner peace, and allow your body-mind mind to relax deeply.

Question: Won’t meditating on no-mind in this way actually make me more stupid, less intelligent and more forgetful??
Answer: Quite simply, no. We are using our imagination here to create a condition of stillness and no-thought. This then allows our mind to really have a good rest and recuperate its energy, which in turn results in an increase in our awareness, clarity and intelligence. It should also result in an improvement in mental factors such as memory.

Once you become used to practising amnesia or being a simpleton, you will discover that you can use it in many different situations in your daily life. For example, if you find that as you walk down the street your mind is commenting in a negative way on all the passers-by, you can simply ”switch it off” and ride out your difficult mood in relative inner silence, without making it any worse than it needs to be.

© 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 www.tobyouvry.com


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)

Tuesday & Wednesday’s in March/April – Inner Peace, Inner Power – An Introduction to Integral & Engaged Meditation Practice
Saturday 14th April 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Saturday 28th April, 9.30am-1pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self

Saturday May 26th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Zen Walking Meditation Workshop

Sunday 20th May, 10am-5pm – How to do Soul Portraits Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Concentration Life-fullness meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience Mindfulness Motivation and scope Uncategorized Using the Energy of Negative Emotions

‘Going through the motions’ as a mindfulness tool

Dear Integral Meditators,

You may have heard or even experienced how mindfulness makes you more productive and increases your potential for success, but how does this actually work in practice? The article below gives a practical example…

In the spirit of quiet power,

Toby

PS: Live in Singapore this week: The Tuesday & Wednesday evening meditation classes this week is the Spring Equinox Balancing & renewing Meditation, all welcome!


‘Going through the motions’ as a mindfulness tool

There are a lot of things that are very necessary and important for you to be successful in life that are not very exciting, motivating or interesting. There are many days when you wake up tired, moody and undermotivated. On such days, even things that normally would excite you or motivate you can seem really uninteresting.
Whether it’s a boring task, or your feeling under-motivated, it’s really important in terms of being successful that you to keep doing what is necessary, whether you feel like it or not! When we do something that we don’t want to do, we sometimes say ‘I’m just going through the motions’. There are three basic stages to mindfully ‘going through the motions’ to get things done:

1. See the benefit of doing the task or action – This morning I went through a long list of old scripts, to see which ones I might want to re-vamp into new meditations. I was tired and it was essentially mundane work, but it was necessary to do before doing the fun, creative work of re-writing new material from the old. The mundane task sets up the completion of the fun, creative task.
2. Accept you don’t feel like doing it – If I’m feeling tired, run down and insecure on an evening, I may not feel like responding politely and considerately to my partners questions, or dealing with my children’s bad moods. But if I’m intelligent and thoughtful, I know that even though I don’t feel like it, it is in my own,  the other persons and the relationships best interests to make the effort. But I accept that I don’t feel like it. I’m going to do it despite the fact that I don’t feel like it!
3. Go through the motions anyway – At this stage I see the benefits of doing the task, I accept the fact that I don’t feel like doing it. Now, I need to go through the motions, just do it! It may feel mechanical and mundane, I may feel I am mentally ‘walking though treacle’, but I just do it. I start writing, I engage politely, I start exercising…I just get going, even if it feels fake. I go through the motions!

The benefits
There are a number of benefits to getting in the habit of going through the motions
You get it done, which feels good – As one writer said “I don’t like writing, but I like having written!” when you complete a task there is a feel good factor and a sense of satisfaction. Sometimes especially if you didn’t feel like doing it!
Sometimes you start to enjoy it and feel good – Once you start and overcome the initial inertia you can find yourself enjoying the activity. You didn’t feel like being polite to your partner, but now the conversation is chugging along very enjoyably!
Mundane stuff can be centering and grounding – If you are doing something boring, the repetition or predictability of the task can create a rhythm that is calming and centering. I noticed this recently painting walls in my apartment. The physical movement and repetition is deeply mind-calming and stress relieving!
You get sh#*t done that sets you up for success – when you habitually ‘go through the motions’ you become capable of doing and achieving things that you could not do if you relied on ‘feeling like it’. GTTM’s gives you the qualities of maturity, discipline and endurance that facilitates the long term fulfilment of deeply held goals and ambitions. You become capable of doing what the ordinary man or woman cannot do.

So, the next time you’re feeling tired, under motivated or despondent, simply set up the next task that you need to get done, and mindfully go through the motions!

Related article: On boredom, creativity & ‘mindful fishing’

© 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 www.tobyouvry.com


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)

Starts Tuesday & Wednesday March 6-7 th – Inner Peace, Inner Power – An Introduction to Integral & Engaged Meditation Practice

March 20&21st – Spring Equinox Balancing & renewing Meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Combining your beginners mind with your experienced mind

Dear Integral Meditators,

The ‘beginners mind’ is a fundamental concept in mindfulness and meditation, particularly in Zen practice. The article below explores how you can go about combining your beginners mind with what I call ‘your experienced mind’, in order to create something that is better than both!

In the spirit of new beginnings and wise experience,

Toby

PS: Live in Singapore this week: The Tuesday & Wednesday evening meditation classes this week is focused on how you can play Positive Mindfulness Games, all are most welcome! … and final call for Mindful Resilience – Sustaining effectiveness, happiness and clarity under pressure through meditation and mindfulness on this Saturday the 17th!


Combining your beginners mind with your experienced mind

Your beginners mind (BM) is your ability to come to a task or experience with curiosity, as if for the first time.  It may be an experience that you have had many times before, or you may literally be doing it for the first time. Either way your beginners mind is a learning mindset. It watches closely, absorbing as much information as it can. Think of a child intensely interested and involved in trying to ride a bike for the first time, and you get the idea. Your BM is happy to try and fail, try and fail, try and fail, until it succeeds.
Your beginners mind helps you to keep on learning as you get older, keep your enthusiasm for life, keep you positively humble. Your BM helps you learn new things faster, and prevents you taking familiar good things in your life for granted. Mentally it keeps you young, flexible and joyful.
The beginners mind should not be confused with simply being naïve, childish, or getting bored easily and so giving up on tasks before they are done or mastered!

Your experienced mind (EM) is the sum total of all your life experience up to this point. It knows a lot of things that are very useful in helping you navigate all the situations and choices that you have to go through each day. You might think of it as the wise old man or woman within you that compares what is happening in the moment to the past in order to see if there are any patterns, experiences or learning’s that you already have that can help you with what you are facing right now.
Your EM helps you to leverage on what you know already in order to prevent you making mistakes. It saves you time, helps avoid pain, and enjoy greater success with regard to  what you are experiencing in the moment. It recognizes that in many situations we are not complete beginners, and that that is a very good thing!
Your experienced mind should not be confused with that part of you that becomes cynical, jaded, or that thinks it ‘knows it all’. It is intelligent, helpful and alert.

Integrating your beginners and your experienced mindsets
From an integral mindfulness point of view, we try to combine the best of our beginner’s mind and experienced mind together, so they are helping each other, and us to meet our life challenges more successfully. One simple way to start doing this is to ask two questions regarding any challenge you have, and want to extract practical learning from:

  1. If I view this situation as if for the first time, what do I see and observe?
  2. What is my past experience and learning telling me about this situation?

Sit with each question for a short while, and see what perspectives and insights come from both. You can then combine them into a wise approach to your experience that combines your ability to learn in the moment (beginners mind) with your ability to use past experience effectively (experienced mind).

A simple example
Forty minutes ago I sat down to write this article. I felt a bit nervous and unsure about the content, but my experienced mind (EM) told me that if I just started mapping it out and writing, I would find the idea translated into an article.  I then set aside my EM and brought my BM to the task, seeing the content ‘as if for the first time, paying attention to the present, being curious and enthusiastic. Now here I am, at the end of my article, my work complete. It’s a simple example. How could you combine your beginners and experienced mind today in order to be successful in your chosen endeavor?

Related article: Appreciating the past to liberate the present

© 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 www.tobyouvry.com


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)

Starts Tuesday & Wednesday March 6-7 th – Inner Peace, Inner Power – An Introduction to Integral & Engaged Meditation Practice

Saturday March 17th – Mindful Resilience – Sustaining effectiveness, happiness and clarity under pressure through meditation and mindfulness – A half day workshop

March 20&21st – Spring Equinox Balancing & renewing Meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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