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Insight Meditation Life-fullness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology mind body connection Mindful Resilience Mindfulness Presence and being present

Awakening to independence and adulthood

“To be a truly independent adult means that the playful child in you can explore and enjoy her/himself in the safe space created by your independent self. We are aiming to create a complementary polarity between the two!”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores adulthood as an object of mindful attention and development. The  Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom classes this week, either on Tuesday or Wednesday are on the subject of the article, so if you enjoy it do feel free to come along, live or online!

In the spirit of mindful independence,

Toby

 


Awakening to independence and adulthood

This is an article on how to mindfully stand in your own independence and sense of being adult. I want to use two quotes, the first a short story from Anthony De Mello from the book ‘One Minute Wisdom’:

“ADULTHOOD”
To a disciple who was always at his prayers the Master said, “When will you stop
leaning on God and stand on your own two feet?”
The disciple was astonished. “But you are the one who taught us to look on God as
Father!”
“When will you learn that a father isn’t someone you can lean on but someone who
rids you of your tendency to lean?”

Here are a couple of mindful points following on from the story:

  1. Am I generally co-creating with other people (or God) instead of just leaning on them?
  2. Trusting in God and trying up your camel – In the story the Master encourages the disciple away from an unhealthy dependence upon God. This doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t pray at all, it’s just the psychological approach needs to be attended to. As the camel saying implies, the ‘independent adult’ part of the deal is to tie up your camel, or take responsibility for your challenges and life-path!

The second quote is from Nathaniel Branden on parenting, from his ‘Six pillars of self-esteem’:

“The proper aim of parental nurturing is to prepare a child for independent survival as an adult. An infant begins in a condition of total dependency. If his or her upbringing is successful, the young man or woman will have evolved out of that dependency into a self-respecting and self-responsible human being who is able to respond to the challenges of life competently and enthusiastically. He or she will be “Self-supporting” – not merely financially, but intellectually and psychologically.”

Some questions for contemplation here:

  • How am I encouraging my own inner child and self toward confident adult independence in my life and relationships?
  • What areas of my life do I currently tend to become overly dependent upon others?
  • When do I tend to feel child-like in the sense of unable to organize myself in the face of my challenges?

Exploring independence and adulthood somatically
The two quotes above encourage us to explore adult independence intellectually. We then need to ground that feeling of independent adulthood into a feeling, something that we can sense in our body, a way of holding ourself in the world.
Sit comfortably, and bring your attention onto your body and breathing. Once you have settled, explore images and ideas around feeling:

  • Confident and independent
  • Competent and, in a balanced way, ‘adult’

Once you have one or two powerful images and ideas in mind, simply try and bring their energy and sensibility into your body. Try and hold yourself in these ways. Notice what happens to subtle aspects of your body posture, facial expression and sense of inhabiting your own space. Breathe, relax an let your body and cellular structure get used to the experience. In your daily life you can practice holding your body in this way, speaking and acting from this space. By doing this you can quite rapidly enhance this fundamental sense of adulthood and independence.
Final point: To be a truly independent adult means that the playful child in you can explore and enjoy her/himself in the safe space created by your independent self. We are aiming to create a complementary polarity between the two!

Related article: Self-responsibility, becoming a self-determining entity

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, 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   


In case you missed this article last week: ‘Head in the Sun’ meditation

This is a simple meditation that combines cultivating a thought-free state with environmental awareness. Specifically, we use brain-relaxation in combination with awareness of the suns light to create the desired experience.

Finding the sun – This first stage is nice to do, and enhances the experience, but is not essential. Glance outside and locate the sun, physically in the sky. Get a sense of where it is in your current landscape. If the sun has gone down already, get a sense of where it is beneath the horizon.

Sitting in landscape – Then take a seat (this can also be done standing or lying and, when your used to it, walking) Send your awareness out to the horizon line in the landscape around you. Get a feel for the curve of the earth’s surface extending around you from your feet, the sun in the sky above, and the living planet beneath you. Breath and relax with this for a short while.
Read full article


Starts Tuesday 16/Wednesday 17th November – The Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom

In a sentence: Learn the art of ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom through integrative meditation
Overview: The Wisdom of Awakening series is an ongoing series that looks at different ways to ‘wake up’ and live your life fully and playfully through meditation. The premise of the sessions is that inner wholeness and wisdom are not something that are far away, rather they are something that we can awaken to ‘instantly’ through certain types of mindful attention. In this four class series we take instant awakening, miraculous-ness, independence and sensitivity as our doorways to awakening….read full details


 

Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby
 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Starts Tuesday 16/Wednesday 17th November – The Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
creative imagery Energy Meditation Inner vision Life-fullness Meditating on the Self meditation and creativity Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience Motivation and scope

Connecting to higher, deeper emotions (Enjoying emotional resilience)

“What feeling tones are you going to enjoy today?”

Dear Integral Meditators,

Our day-to-day emotions often grind us down. Unless we are careful, this can be our main experience of emotions, which is an energy sapping experience! But emotions can also inspire us, and create energy in us. What if we were able to spend more time in our day connecting to these types of emotional state? This Saturday I will be doing my Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass, which is designed to help you do exactly that; spend more time in emotional states that are energising and fulfilling. You are most welcome to join me.

My Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop on Saturday the 28th August is also one that works a lot with feeling tones, colours and images. It’s one worth considering from the perspective of emotional range.

In the spirit of feeling tones,

Toby


Connecting to higher, deeper emotions (Enjoying emotional resilience)

Emotions can inspire you
Our day-to-day emotions often grind us down. The frustration of work, the anxiety around an uncertain future, the fatigue of having to tell the kids to do things five times in a row, the low-grade resentment towards others, loneliness, clinging, nervousness…the list goes on. Unless we are careful, this can be our main experience of emotions, which is an energy sapping experience!
But emotions can also inspire us and create energy in us. What if we were able to spend more time in our day connecting to these types of emotional state?

Emotions as feeling tones
One way of thinking about emotions is that they are the ‘feeling tones’ associated with particular thoughts, people, places, things and environments. To connect to your higher, deeper emotional states notice what thoughts, people, places, things, memories stimulate these higher, harmonious and or deeper feeling tones within you. If you start to look, you’ll see you have access to a range of this type of emotions:

  • Memories of significant meetings and moments with humans, animals and places
  • Particular pieces of music or art
  • Landscapes that you know well
  • Moments in stories or movies

Getting familiar with your current range of higher, deeper emotions
By remembering and focusing on these ‘higher feeling tones’ you can make them more present in your everyday life. Once they become more stable you can use them to inspire and energise you though the day, so that you become an ’emotionally resilient’ and strong person. You can learn to radiate these emotions out from you into the world, so that you start affecting the people and places around you in a good way, rather than being a victim of the emotional ambience that surrounds you.

Two examples
The first example from my own life is I am currently listening to a lot of Sergio Leone’s music as I work. It’s kind of gritty and angelic at the same time, and gives me a sense of inspiration, courageousness and tenacity, amongst other things. It’s not a superficial ‘positive’ type of emotional time, its deep and visceral and heartfelt, which is what makes it so inspiring to me.
Childhood memories of ponds – The second example contrasts with the first. Whereas the first example is more dynamic the second is calm and contemplative. When I was a child I spent a lot of time seeking out and exploring ponds. Much of the time I was simple looking deeply into the water in silence. If I think about those times, the feeling tone associated with it rapidly activates and I find myself in a deeply calm emotional state.
Expanding your range
If you take these two examples, you might even see that there are higher and deeper emotions that you can be activating today that you haven’t experienced in a long time, but that are available to you.
What feeling tones are you going to enjoy today?

Related articleYour emotional feeling tones

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, 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   


In case you missed the earlier article: Finding permanence within the impermanent and fulfilment within the dissatisfying

It is well known that the one of the Buddha’s main teachings was that of impermanence, that ourself and all the things within and around us are in a state of continuous change. Buddha taught that our ordinary everyday existence has the nature of transience and, when we cling too tightly to changeable things, dissatisfaction, pain and suffering arise.
What is not quite so well known or understood is that Buddha also taught that by closely observing that which is impermanent and unsatisfactory we can discover in that very same act of observation that which is permanent, reliable, liberating and fulfilling. Liberation and permanence exist in the same space as impermanence and dissatisfaction.
Read article


Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

In a sentence: Learn how you can use mindfulness to develop your emotional range and skills

Much of our quality of life depends not so much on what we are experiencing, but the way in which we experience it. Our moods and emotional states to a large degree define the quality of our life experience, at work, in our relationships and in our leisure activities. This masterclass will lead you on an experiential journey to:

  • Understand what feelings, moods and emotions are and how to build an effective relationship to them
  • How to consolidate and expand your existing emotional strengths
  • How to deal with difficult and challenging emotions, and even turn them to your advantage
  • How to increase the diversity/range of emotions that are available to you for enjoyment, pleasure and life-effectiveness! Read full details…

 


Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop

Overview: The Tree of Life is an ancient and comprehensive system of meditation, personal development and inner growth represented by the diagram of a tree. Although it is best known as a ‘western’ tradition of spiritual growth (Judaist, Christian, Islamic), the fundamentals of the Tree of Life practice can be found in different ancient systems of meditation and mindfulness throughout the world. This workshop is a practical introduction to how to meditate with the Tree of Life in order to:

  • Stimulate holistic and integrated inner growth
  • Consciously develop different levels and states of consciousness in meditation, and learn how to transition or journey between them in the inner world
  • Stimulate the development of your creative, imaginal and visualization skills
  • Make systematic, organized contact with guides, teachers, healing forces and archetypal energies within the inner world
  • Practice different types of meditation to build different strengths, and help you deal with different inner challenges…read full details

 


The Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner. Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program


Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Starts 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Awareness and insight Enlightened Flow Essential Spirituality Insight Meditation Integral Meditation Integrating Ego, Soul and Spirit Meditating on the Self Meditation techniques Presence and being present spiritual intelligence The Essential Meditation of the Buddha Zen Meditation

Finding fulfilment within the dissatisfying

“Meditation enables us to enjoy the ever changing and transforming world around and within us, whilst at the same time resting secure in an identity that is not subject to that change, that is reliable, solid and liberated”

Dear Integral Meditators,

My Tuesday & Wednesday  classes this week continue the theme of Meditation from the perspective of Zen, where we will be meditating with some of the content of the article below…

This  coming Saturday is the Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass, and do check out my Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop on Saturday the 28th August!

In the spirit of meditation,

Toby

 


Finding permanence within the impermanent and fulfilment within the dissatisfying

It is well known that the one of the Buddha’s main teachings was that of impermanence, that ourself and all the things within and around us are in a state of continuous change. Buddha taught that our ordinary everyday existence has the nature of transience and, when we cling too tightly to changeable things, dissatisfaction, pain and suffering arise.
What is not quite so well known or understood is that Buddha also taught that by closely observing that which is impermanent and unsatisfactory we can discover in that very same act of observation that which is permanent, reliable, liberating and fulfilling. Liberation and permanence exist in the same space as impermanence and dissatisfaction.

So, where is this permanence and fulfilment?
When we are looking for permanence in the here and now, we are looking for that which is not changing from moment to moment. Within the world of things, this type of permanent object is unfindable; our body and mind are changing from moment to moment, our world is changing everyday, friends and acquaintances come and go, we live and die in a state of continuous flux and change.
Amidst all of this change two things stay the same, and they are right under our nose; Our experience of inner and outer space, and our experience of awareness itself:

  • While all the outer world is in a state of change, the outer space that contains and provides a context for that change remains stable.
  • While the inner world of our mind is in a state of constant flux, with thoughts coming and going, the experience of awareness in our mind is always present, and fundamentally unchanging, like the sky that forms the background for clouds and the changing qualities of light during the day.
  • Whilst our sense of self in the world of form (based on our ego, or psychological self-image) always changes (good person, bad person, successful, failure, good looking, ugly etcthe core experience of witnessing awareness itself remains unchanging, always constant, always non-judging, and steady in the face of all change.

So, when we look for something reliable, permanent, something within which we can truly rest at ease and find liberation from all our travails, the Buddha and similarly the teachers of all the great wisdom traditions teach that it is not found as something separate from your moment to moment experience, it is just that at the moment we are looking in the wrong way.
To find a place of permanence where you can rest at ease and find respite from the challenges and travails of your life, you simply need to look at your moment to moment experience right now and notice three aspects of it:

  • The inner and outer space that provides a context for our inner and outer world and
  • The experience of pure awareness itself.

Awareness has no qualities other than to observe, to bear witness to what is appearing in this moment.
Having become aware of the pervading sense of space, and of awareness itself, you simply allow your sense of self to rest in that sense of spacious-awareness, and enjoy its stability and reliability, how it does not change in the face of the continuously changing world of form.
One of the main points of meditation is simply this; to be able to rest your sense of self that sense of spacious-awareness, and identify that spacious awareness as you, your true self, or “real” self. Doing so enables us to enjoy the ever changing and transforming world around and within us, whilst at the same time resting secure in an identity that is not subject to that change, that is reliable, solid and liberated.

Related article: Tackling a-void-ance: Meditation for healing and transforming loneliness and emptiness

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, 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   


Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

In a sentence: Learn how you can use mindfulness to develop your emotional range and skills

Much of our quality of life depends not so much on what we are experiencing, but the way in which we experience it. Our moods and emotional states to a large degree define the quality of our life experience, at work, in our relationships and in our leisure activities. This masterclass will lead you on an experiential journey to:

  • Understand what feelings, moods and emotions are and how to build an effective relationship to them
  • How to consolidate and expand your existing emotional strengths
  • How to deal with difficult and challenging emotions, and even turn them to your advantage
  • How to increase the diversity/range of emotions that are available to you for enjoyment, pleasure and life-effectiveness! Read full details…

 


Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop

Overview: The Tree of Life is an ancient and comprehensive system of meditation, personal development and inner growth represented by the diagram of a tree. Although it is best known as a ‘western’ tradition of spiritual growth (Judaist, Christian, Islamic), the fundamentals of the Tree of Life practice can be found in different ancient systems of meditation and mindfulness throughout the world. This workshop is a practical introduction to how to meditate with the Tree of Life in order to:

  • Stimulate holistic and integrated inner growth
  • Consciously develop different levels and states of consciousness in meditation, and learn how to transition or journey between them in the inner world
  • Stimulate the development of your creative, imaginal and visualization skills
  • Make systematic, organized contact with guides, teachers, healing forces and archetypal energies within the inner world
  • Practice different types of meditation to build different strengths, and help you deal with different inner challenges…read full details

 


The Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner. Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program


Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Starts 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Saturday August 21st 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for Emotional Intelligence Masterclass

Saturday August 28th, 10am-5pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Biographical creative imagery Insight Meditation Life-fullness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques mind body connection Mindful Resilience Presence and being present Zen Meditation

What’s keeping me from relaxing in the present moment?

“If meditation is keeping our mind in the present moment, then a useful question to ask ourselves each day is: What is it within my experience of the present moment right now that I am resisting?”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article continues the Zen theme, exploring a counter-intuitive way of moving more deeply into the present, but noticing what is getting in the way.

In the spirit of presence,

Toby

 

 

 


What’s keeping me from relaxing in the present moment?

If meditation is keeping our mind in the present moment (which is one major foundational understanding of it), then a useful question to ask ourselves each day is “What is it within my experience of the present moment right now that I am resisting?” On one level it seems as if the present moment should be the simplest and most natural space to enter into, and yet we resist.

Rather than giving you the answer to this question in an abstract or philosophical manner, I’ll just outline my experience of this over the last weekend, and then offer some conclusions based around this.

Last weekend (it is now Monday) I noticed an uneasy feeling that was preventing me from feeling comfortable with myself and with my circumstances. It seemed as if my mind was on a hair trigger. As soon as I sat down to try and relax, all sorts of reasons to feel dissatisfied or uneasy would start forming in my mind. Recognizing that I had something of a challenge on my hands, I asked myself the question “What is it that is causing me to feel uneasy in the present moment and unable to relax?” I just sat and breathed with this question for a while, looking into my body and mind for an answer. Rationally I discovered no real reason for the unease; life is going quite well, no big crisis, nothing REALLY to feel bad about. However, when I looked in my body, on the energy level I found that there was what I would describe as a nervous “tick” in the centre of my chest. This is to say that there was a very uncomfortable energy in the centre of my chest that was creating a natural feeling of discomfort and dis-ease within my mind and body.

I could not shift this feeling straight away, and so I made a decision “If I cannot shift this uncomfortable feeling, then I am just going to have to ‘be’ with it, and make sure that I don’t allow it to affect my thinking, feeling and behavior in any kind of negative way”.

Having made this decision, my main task over the next 36 or so hours that it took for this heart energy to clear was simply to “be” with this uncomfortable energy, to accept it.

The act of choosing to be with the uncomfortable feeling, and not allow it to cause a problem is an example of when we need to make an extra effort to be present, even if there is a certain amount of willpower and effort involved.

Key points:

  • Asking yourself the question “What is it that is keeping me from entering into the present moment” is a very useful way of bringing yourself back to the present moment, even if you can feel resistance to it.
  • Asking the question regularly enables you to get to know the reasons you personally avoid being in the present moment much more intimately.
  • Sometimes being in the present moment means exerting your willpower and courage, and being compassionately honest with yourself.
  • Learning to be aware and take care of your mind and body when they are unhappy and uncomfortable is just as important, maybe more so than being present when things are going well.

If you ask this question, you will discover your own reasons for resisting the present moment, and uncover strategies for being able to relax and be present to whatever IS in your life, in a compassionate, attentive manner.

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, 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   

 


Ongoing – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

In a sentence: De-clutter your mind, develop concentration and create focused calm in your life by learning Zen meditation

Overview: The Zen School of Meditation arose from a combination of the teachings of the Buddha with the teachings of Taoism in China during the 6th century AD, where it became known as Chan meditation (‘Chan’ meaning ‘quietude’, or ‘meditation’). Later it was adopted by the Japanese, and it is they that called it Zen.

Zen is a particularly appropriate form of meditation for today’s hyper busy and challenging world because…Read full course details


Saturday 17th, 24th, 31st July, 2-4pm – Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three week course

These sessions are specifically designed to help teens develop their real inner skills that help them be:

  • More effective at achieving their chosen goals
  • Build confidence,
  • Build resilience around stress and
  • Increase their capacity for fun and enjoyment as they learn.

Read full details


Saturday 24th July, 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for emotional intelligence masterclass

In a sentence: Learn how you can use mindfulness to develop your emotional range and skills

Much of our quality of life depends not so much on what we are experiencing, but the way in which we experience it. Our moods and emotional states to a large degree define the quality of our life experience, at work, in our relationships and in our leisure activities. This masterclass will lead you on an experiential journey
Read full details…

 


The new Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner

Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program


Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Starts 6th&7th July – Integral Meditation from the Perspective of Zen – A 10 week series

Saturday 17th, 24th, 31st July, 2-4pm – Mindful Life-skills for Teenagers – A three week course

Saturday 24th July, 9.30-11.30am – Mindfulness for emotional intelligence masterclass


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
creative imagery Integral Awareness Integrating Ego, Soul and Spirit Life-fullness Meditating on the Self meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques mind body connection Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness One Minute Mindfulness Presence and being present

Optimistic Stoicism

“There is a wonder in the continuous change that surrounds us. It invites us to notice that the ‘perfect happiness’ that we are seeing for may be hidden in plain sight, right amongst the present messy unfolding of our life today.”

 

Dear Integral Meditators,

This year has been full of twists and turns. This weeks article explores one approach to navigating the winding path of our lives well!

In the spirit of optimistic stoicism,

Toby

 


Optimistic Stoicism

‘Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.’ ~ Tony Schwartz

For most people lack of certainty leads to a feeling of anxiety due to uncertainty, and a state of mind that is tiring, uncomfortable and that wears us down. The sense of uncertainty makes our world smaller, less seems possible, and what is possible seems unlikely to be that good!

Stoicism as a philosophy encourages us to look at the worst-case scenario in any given situation, and accept that it may happen. It also encourages us to not hope (too much) for our problems and misfortunes to change, but to endure them with fortitude. There is a certain strength and stability that comes from being stoic, and a certain peace of mind that comes from not hoping for anything better. For example, in the long stretch of time where we’ve all been going through Covid lockdowns, it’s useful to accept that this may be a long term issue that doesn’t go away fast. This enables us to settle into the space that is created, and work with it, rather than against it.

Optimism as a philosophy contrasts to Stoicism. It invites us to think that good things can happen anytime, it can work out better than we thought it would, and that the problems we have can be stepping stones to a life currently better than we can imagine. Reflection on my life shows that it is indeed true, amazing things that I could not have envisaged have happened to me, sometimes despite my mindset!

The ‘embracing of paradox’ that Tony Schwarz refers to above is represented quite well by the contrasting philosophies of optimism and Stoicism. Both hold true in their own way, and both are worth cultivating! In conversations with coaching clients recently, I have found the session exploring how we can cultivate ‘optimistic stoicism’ to create a mindset that is ready for and can account for ‘bad sh$#t happening’ but is also bright, playful and looking for the best; we are fully open to the possibilities for the future, whilst being ready for anything! Two images that I love come to mind:

  • Firstly, the Islamic saying about trusting in Allah/God but not forgetting to tie up your camel
  • Secondly the Biblical expression from Jesus about learning to be both innocent as doves and wise as serpents

So, in mindfulness terms, we are trying to notice our relationship to uncertainty, and open to it, with the paradoxical attitude of ‘Optimistic stoicism’!

A final tip of the hat to ‘Wabi-Sabi’ mindfulness which is a philosophy I’ve appreciated for a number of years now, and that to me speaks very much to the ‘optimistic stoic’. Wabi-sabi invites us to open to the broken, the imperfect, the incomplete and the unfinished in our life with appreciation. There is a quiet beauty in decay and ageing. There is a wonder in the continuous change that surrounds us. It invites us to notice that the ‘perfect happiness’ that we are seeing for may be hidden in plain sight, right amongst the present messy unfolding of our life today.

If you enjoy this article, then do check out my workshop this Saturday on Wabi-Sabi mindfulness – The art of creative leadership and self-leadership

Related articleOpening to an abundance of possibility

Watch Toby’s 45 second mindfulness video on Optimistic Stoicism:

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, 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   


Tues 22nd & Weds 23rd June, 7.30-8.30pm – Summer solstice balancing & renewing meditation
The Summer Solstice (Called by the Celts ‘Alban Hefin’, or ‘the Light of Summer’) is the high point of summer in the northern hemisphere, the point of the Suns maximum power in the year, & the longest day. It is a good time to attune the life-force in the earth & creative energies within ourselves. We will be taking the time to get in touch with our own inner power, solar confidence & expressive self.

At the summer solstice, we can think about the autumn & winter periods that lie ahead of us, what our goals & expectations are, & sow the seeds on an inner level of the things that we wish to manifest over the next few months.
Full details



Saturday 26th June, 2-5.30pm
 – Wabi-Sabi mindfulness – The art of creative leadership and self-leadership workshop

In a sentence: Learn how to work creatively with uncertainty, imperfection and life’s inherent messiness to realize your leadership and self-leadership potential.  Manage stress and anxiety better using mindfulness in combination with the practical philosophy of Wabi-Sabi.
Principle aspects of Wabi-Sabi include:

  • An appreciation of the beauty of the impermanent, the imperfect and incomplete
  • A recognition of the value of humility
  • A willingness to engage with the unconventional

Read full details


Weekend of 9,10,11th July – The Integral Mindfulness Program for Coaches, Counselors & Therapists – Creating sustainable high performance and & wellness
Overview: This is a weekend, three-session dynamic mindfulness program designed for:

  • Those looking for an engaged, practical mindfulness course designed to build resilience, effectiveness and wellness in the face of work and life challenges
  • Trainers, coaches and therapists looking to integrate mindfulness into their own professional practice with clients
  • People who have been through basic conventional mindfulness training programs and are looking for the next level of practice and performance

The essential content of the course is ten separate but interlinked mindfulness meditation practices…
Read full details


The new Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner

Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program:

 

 

 

 

 

 


Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Ongoing Tues/Wednesday – Meditations for physical, emotional & environmental health & regeneration – A 7-week course

Tues 22nd & Weds 23rd June, 7.30-8.30pm – Summer solstice balancing & renewing meditation

Saturday 26th June, 2-5.30pm – Wabi-Sabi mindfulness – The art of creative leadership and self-leadership workshop

Weekend of 9,10,11th July – The Integral Mindfulness Program for Coaches, Counselors & Therapists – Creating sustainable high performance and & wellness


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Awareness and insight Energy Meditation Integral Awareness Life-fullness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Self-Leadership

Meditating with your parental self

“If we are already, or have aspirations to be an outer parent, needless to say the better our relationship to inner parenting we have, the more equipped we are to be a competent outer parent”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article focuses on how to start working with the psychological sub-personality known as the ‘inner parent’. Its something that we focus on quite extensively in my Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program.

In the spirit of inner parenting,

Toby


Meditating with your parental self

Who is your parental self?
The mature adult or parental-self (for this article let’s consider them the same, although they can be distinguished) is that part of your psyche that embodies the mature ego. It is able to bear responsibilities in life, knows how to plan for the future, and to nurture and protect the lower levels of self (child and youth), ideally with a balance of firmness and love

Why is it important to get to know this part of yourself?
From the above definition we can see that our parental self is vital for living a fulfilling, healthy life. We need it to navigate problems, set goals (and stick to them), interact with others successfully, and look after other aspects of our inner psyche, principally our inner child.
If we are already or have aspirations to be an outer parent, needless to say the better our relationship to inner parenting we have, the more equipped we are to be a competent outer parent!

Two aspects or dimensions of our parental self
Like our outer parents, our inner parent has two dimensions, or aspects; the mother and father. Here is a bit more detail on them (Definitions taken from Nathaniel Branden, the Six Pillars of Self Esteem, page 265ff):
The mother-self is the component of the psyche containing an internalization of the personality, perspective, and values of an individual’s mother (or older female “mother figures” who had an influence and impact during childhood. We are dealing with the individual and historical, not the generic or universal “Mother”. (This is very different from Transactional Analysis’s generic “parent ego-state. Mother and Father are both parents, but they are very different and should not be treated as a psychological unit; they often send very different messages and have very different attitudes and values.)
The father-self is the component of the psyche containing an internalization of the personality, perspective, and values of an individual’s father (or older male “father figures” who had an influence and impact during childhood.)
Our parental selves are a psychic reality, that we are interacting with all the time, it’s just a matter of whether we are doing it consciously or unconsciously. The exercises below offer a few pointers for getting started.

Free association on your parental selves.
Bring to mind the words ‘my mother self’ or ‘my father self’ (choose one or other at a time initially). Holding it within your awareness allow your mind to start to free –associate feelings, images, memories, thoughts, desires and actions/activities with your mother or father-self. At this stage the main thing is to focus on being curious as to what sort of memories, feelings and so on arise when you contemplate the idea of your mother or father self. Whether these feelings and memories are pleasant or unpleasant is secondary, the main thing is simply to see what comes up without editing any of the content.
After a while ask yourself the question “What does my mother or father-self look like?” Allow your mind to build an image of your mother and father-self; s/he may simply be an image of yourself as a mature adult of a certain age, but equally s/he may be different from your literal, historical mature adult-self in some way; for example, s/he may resemble one of your parents or other adult role models that you have had.

Asking opinions and perspectives
Once you have a visual on both your inner parents, you can start getting to know them; their opinions, perspectives and how they function. You can start to discern which parts of them are working well and are healthy, and which parts are dysfunctional and in need of healing. Together with them you can create an inner parental self that is consistent, can be relied upon and is both firm and loving to your child self.

Related articleMeditating with your inner child

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, 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


Saturday 19th June, 9.30-11.30am – Deep dive breathing meditation masterclass

This masterclass teaches six complementary breathing techniques that will help you:

  • Connect to your body’s natural intelligence and capacity to move towards balance and harmony
  • Release stress and tension on progressively deeper levels
  • Combine relaxation with sustainably higher energy levels
  • Make your life and activities into a ‘flow’ state
  • Develop systematically deeper states of physical, psychological and spiritual concentration
  • Reduce over active thinking and cultivate stillness
  • Cultivate breathing patterns that are conducive to physical health and well-being

Read full details


Tues 22nd & Weds 23rd June, 7.30-8.30pm – Summer solstice balancing & renewing meditation
The Summer Solstice (Called by the Celts ‘Alban Hefin’, or ‘the Light of Summer’) is the high point of summer in the northern hemisphere, the point of the Suns maximum power in the year, & the longest day. It is a good time to attune the life-force in the earth & creative energies within ourselves. We will be taking the time to get in touch with our own inner power, solar confidence & expressive self.

At the summer solstice, we can think about the autumn & winter periods that lie ahead of us, what our goals & expectations are, & sow the seeds on an inner level of the things that we wish to manifest over the next few months.
Full details



Saturday 26th June, 2-5.30pm
 – Wabi-Sabi mindfulness – The art of creative leadership and self-leadership workshop

In a sentence: Learn how to work creatively with uncertainty, imperfection and life’s inherent messiness to realize your leadership and self-leadership potential.  Manage stress and anxiety better using mindfulness in combination with the practical philosophy of Wabi-Sabi.
Principle aspects of Wabi-Sabi include:

  • An appreciation of the beauty of the impermanent, the imperfect and incomplete
  • A recognition of the value of humility
  • A willingness to engage with the unconventional

Read full details


Weekend of 9,10,11th July – The Integral Mindfulness Program for Coaches, Counselors & Therapists – Creating sustainable high performance and & wellness

10% early bird offer: Up until the 22nd June SGD$765 (Course price $850)

Overview: This is a weekend, three-session dynamic mindfulness program designed for:

  • Those looking for an engaged, practical mindfulness course designed to build resilience, effectiveness and wellness in the face of work and life challenges
  • Trainers, coaches and therapists looking to integrate mindfulness into their own professional practice with clients
  • People who have been through basic conventional mindfulness training programs and are looking for the next level of practice and performance

The essential content of the course is ten separate but interlinked mindfulness meditation practices…
Read full details


The new Mindful Self Knowledge coaching program

This is eight-month coaching program with Toby is designed to facilitate your own personal mindful self-discovery process. It focuses on:

  • Awareness of how your past experience has influenced who and how you are today
  • Confidence in approaching your present experience with playful fullness and enthusiasm
  • Giving you the inner tools to face your choices and your future in an empowered, dynamic, and authentic manner

Read full details

Watch Toby’s video on the Program:


Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Ongoing Tues/Wednesday – Meditations for physical, emotional & environmental health & regeneration – A 7-week course

Saturday 19th June, 9.30-11.30am – Deep dive breathing meditation masterclass

Tues 22nd & Weds 23rd June, 7.30-8.30pm – Summer solstice balancing & renewing meditation

Saturday 26th June, 2-5.30pm – Wabi-Sabi mindfulness – The art of creative leadership and self-leadership workshop

Weekend of 9,10,11th July – The Integral Mindfulness Program for Coaches, Counselors & Therapists – Creating sustainable high performance and & wellness


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
A Mind of Ease Awareness and insight Inner vision Insight Meditation Life-fullness Meditating on the Self Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience Presence and being present spiritual intelligence The Essential Meditation of the Buddha Zen Meditation

Liberation from the seeking mind

Stop seeking and practice arriving

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at meditation as a type of non-seeking through which you can find inner liberation. Its a practice that I enjoy tremendously myself!

The Integral Mindfulness Program for Coaches, Counselors & Therapists in July is now no longer on a 20% early bird offer, but you can still pick it up at a 15% early bird price.
And heads up for the  Deep dive breathing meditation masterclass on the 19th!

In the spirit of liberation, ,

Toby


Liberation from your seeking mind

Observing your seeking
If you watch the patterns of movement in your mind, you will start to notice that it is almost always seeking for something:

  • Seeking relief from boredom or loneliness
  • Seeking validation
  • Seeking pleasure
  • Seeking solutions
  • Seeking relief from insecurity
  • Seeking worth or to be complete
  • Seeking to know or find

All of these types of seeking are natural for us, and to a degree healthy, but they are also one of the primary causes of our anxiety, stress and exhaustion. If our seeking is compulsive, neurotic, or if we are never able to put it down, peace of mind and calm become very difficult.

Liberation from what?
In the great wisdom traditions, and certainly the Buddhist tradition that I was initially trained in, it is the discontented, neurotic seeking mind that we are trying to find liberation from. If we can become free from the seeking mind, and the desires associated with, then we become inwardly free. This liberation does not mean that we never have any desires ever again, but it indicates a change in the power balance. Rather than being run by our seeking and desiring, we are able to choose to engage or dis-engage our seeking mind at will. We learn how to abide in a state of non-seeking, or ‘arriving’ . In this state we experience ourself and our world as complete and fulfilled. When we rest in this state calmly and freely, we experience inner liberation.

Stopping seeking and practicing arriving
So the basic meditation practice here is to ‘stop seeking and practice arriving’. Sitting quietly, you watch your seeking mind for a short while, and then you put it down, and let it rest. You practice going no-where and seeking no-thing. You start to notice and sink deeper into the inner freedom and completeness of your non-seeking mind.

A place to sit
Inwardly as you start meditating if you like you can imagine yourself sitting in a place within nature, or in a holiday resort that you have been to and enjoy. The point about this is to get your body, mind and heart more ‘in the mood’ to stop seeking and really relax.

Returning to seeking with appetite and pleasure
If you can drop your seeking mind, then the pleasure, relaxation and ease that come from non-seeking then means that you can return to your everyday seeking and fulfilling activities with pleasure, appetite and joy. If seeking is an addiction, it becomes exhausting and dis-empowering, but if we do it volitionally and consciously it becomes a balanced complement to non-seeking.

Related Article: Just tea/solve no problem

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, 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

 


Saturday 19th June, 9.30-11.30am – Deep dive breathing meditation masterclass

This masterclass teaches six complementary breathing techniques that will help you:

  • Connect to your body’s natural intelligence and capacity to move towards balance and harmony
  • Release stress and tension on progressively deeper levels
  • Combine relaxation with sustainably higher energy levels
  • Make your life and activities into a ‘flow’ state
  • Develop systematically deeper states of physical, psychological and spiritual concentration
  • Reduce over active thinking and cultivate stillness
  • Cultivate breathing patterns that are conducive to physical health and well-being

Read full details


Tues 22nd & Weds 23rd June, 7.30-8.30pm – Summer solstice balancing & renewing meditation
The Summer Solstice (Called by the Celts ‘Alban Hefin’, or ‘the Light of Summer’) is the high point of summer in the northern hemisphere, the point of the Suns maximum power in the year, & the longest day. It is a good time to attune the life-force in the earth & creative energies within ourselves. We will be taking the time to get in touch with our own inner power, solar confidence & expressive self.

At the summer solstice, we can think about the autumn & winter periods that lie ahead of us, what our goals & expectations are, & sow the seeds on an inner level of the things that we wish to manifest over the next few months.
Full details



Saturday 26th June, 2-5.30pm
 – Wabi-Sabi mindfulness – The art of creative leadership and self-leadership workshop

In a sentence: Learn how to work creatively with uncertainty, imperfection and life’s inherent messiness to realize your leadership and self-leadership potential.  Manage stress and anxiety better using mindfulness in combination with the practical philosophy of Wabi-Sabi.
Principle aspects of Wabi-Sabi include:

  • An appreciation of the beauty of the impermanent, the imperfect and incomplete
  • A recognition of the value of humility
  • A willingness to engage with the unconventional

Read full details


Weekend of 9,10,11th July – The Integral Mindfulness Program for Coaches, Counselors & Therapists – Creating sustainable high performance and & wellness

Early bird offer: Up until the 7th June SGD$680 (Course price $850)

Overview: This is a weekend, three-session dynamic mindfulness program designed for:

  • Those looking for an engaged, practical mindfulness course designed to build resilience, effectiveness and wellness in the face of work and life challenges
  • Trainers, coaches and therapists looking to integrate mindfulness into their own professional practice with clients
  • People who have been through basic conventional mindfulness training programs and are looking for the next level of practice and performance

The essential content of the course is ten separate but interlinked mindfulness meditation practices…
Read full details


Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Ongoing Tues/Wednesday – Meditations for physical, emotional & environmental health & regeneration – A 7-week course

Saturday 19th June, 9.30-11.30am – Deep dive breathing meditation masterclass

Tues 22nd & Weds 23rd June, 7.30-8.30pm – Summer solstice balancing & renewing meditation

Saturday 26th June, 2-5.30pm – Wabi-Sabi mindfulness – The art of creative leadership and self-leadership workshop

Weekend of 9,10,11th July – The Integral Mindfulness Program for Coaches, Counselors & Therapists – Creating sustainable high performance and & wellness


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
creative imagery Energy Meditation Inner vision Integral Awareness Life-fullness Meditating on the Self meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques mindful dreaming Presence and being present

Meditating with your child-self

“Our inner child is important because it connects us to our creativity, our emotional health and spontaneity, our playfulness and vitality. Do you remember how much energy you had as a child!”

Dear Integral Meditators,

If you enjoy this weeks article and are a parent, then do check out my  Mindful Parenting – Practical Techniques for Bringing Awareness, Appreciation and Enjoyment to the Experience of Parenting coming up on Saturday 8th May.
An entirely new series of meditation sessions next week, Tues/Wednesday 4th/5th May –Meditations for physical, emotional & environmental health & regeneration – A 7-week course
Details of all that’s on in May below the article!

In the spirit of our playful child,

Toby

 


Meditating on your child-self

The child self is one of a number of inner aspects of ourself that, if we meditate upon, we find ourselves connecting to in an experiential and enriching way. Other examples of this type of inner self, or sub-personality include the female self (if you are a male), the male self (if you are a woman), and the wise self, to name but a few.
Our inner child is important because in health it connects us to our creativity, our emotional health and spontaneity, our playfulness and vitality (remember how much energy you had as a child?!) Below I point out a few definitions and ways of beginning to relate to your inner child.

Definitions of your child self:
The child self is that part of us that is child-like in nature. You could say it has three aspects:

  • That part of us that is simply child like in nature; playful, naive, creative, innocent, gullible, needs looking after and so on
  • The historical child, that is the child within us whose character has been shaped and informed by our own literal historical upbringing; experience with parents, peers and other significant others, what happened to us in school, how we were treated and learned to gain approval and so on. The child within us now that is a product of our personal historical experience, and our response to that
  • The spiritual child within us – that part of us that is ever young, ever new, ever creative, ever both innocent and wise, whose light helps us begin again each time we burn out.

A psychological definition:
“The child-self is the component of the psyche containing the “personality” of the child one once was, with that child’s range of values, emotions, needs and responses; not a generic child or universal archetype, but a specific, historical child, unique to an individual’s history and development.” – Nathaniel Branden, definition taken from the Six Pillars of Self Esteem, page 265ff.
Notable Quote: “I have never worked with a depressed personality whose child self did not feel hated (not merely ignored or rejected) by an older part.” – Nat Branden

Meditation pointers for the child-self:

Free association: Bring to mind the words ‘my child-self’. Holding it within your awareness allow your mind to start to free –associate feelings, images, memories, thoughts and desires around your child-self. At this stage the main thing is to focus on being curious as to what sort of memories, feelings and so on arise when you contemplate the idea of your child self; whether these feelings and memories are pleasant or unpleasant is secondary, the main thing is simply to see what comes up without editing any of the content.
Connecting to your child-self: Imagine yourself in a place that you knew and loved as a child. As you sit or stand in that place, imagine your child self comes to meet you there. Spend time with your child, talking, connecting and building trust. Starting questions for the interaction might include:

  • What do you need from me to help feel happy and secure?
  • Is there anything that you want to say to me or offer me at this time?
  • What do you think about this (choose your domain) aspect of our life?
  • How can we find more time for play in our life together?

Like outer children, your inner child needs parenting with an appropriate about of firmness and love. By connecting to your inner-child you can also become a better parental self, both toward your inner-child, and toward outer children!

Related articleYour shadow child

Article © Toby Ouvry 2021, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Starts Tues/Wednesday 4th/5th May – Meditations for physical, emotional & environmental health & regeneration – A 7-week courseOverview:  This is a meditation series designed to give you the practical skills to:

  1. Heal and regenerate the energy of your physical body and internal organs
  2. Revitalise and transform your emotional vitality
  3. Work with the landscape of  your local  environment to effect a healing of the land

Read full details


Saturday 8th May, 2-5pm – Mindful Parenting – Practical Techniques for Bringing Awareness, Appreciation and Enjoyment to the Experience of ParentingIn a sentence: Learn how you can enjoy your experience of parenting more, manage emotions more effectively, and become a better parent by using mindful awareness

  • Are you a stressed out parent (or stressed about becoming one) and looking for ways to manage that stress more effectively?
  • Would you like to improve your capacity to parent in a way that creates an improved experience of the parent-child relationship both for you and your kids?
  • Would you like to be able to demonstrate calm and being present to your children in a way that will help them to become more calm and present themselves?

Read full details


Saturday 15th May – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing Masterclass & Mini-retreatQi-gong is the science of working with the body’s energy field. Literally translated into English it means ‘energy work’, or ‘energy skill’.  In this workshop Toby will be teaching the art of moving subtle energy and life force into and around our body using a series of simple and easy to apply techniques that will enable you to:

  • Re-establish your body’s natural bio-rhythms
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Balance the energy in your body and mind, leading to inner peace and wellbeing

Read full details here


Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Starts Tues/Wednesday 4th/5th May – Meditations for physical, emotional & environmental health & regeneration – A 7-week course

Saturday 8th May, 2-5pm – Mindful Parenting – Practical Techniques for Bringing Awareness, Appreciation and Enjoyment to the Experience of Parenting

Saturday 15th May – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing Masterclass & Mini-retreat

Tuesday 25th & Weds 26th May – Wesak Full Moon Meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Energy Meditation Inner vision Integral Awareness Life-fullness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Mindful Confidence Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness Motivation and scope Presence and being present Uncategorized

Big-hearted, luminous kindness

 “Extending kindness to yourself has a healing effect on your body, heart and mind. Extending it to others creates positive connection on all sorts of levels. Going deeper into meditation with kindness enables us to contact a luminous dimension of our consciousness that is one half of the enlightened state.”

Dear Integral Mindfulness,

This weeks Tuesday and Wednesday classes will be meditations on kindness. In the article below I give some practical pointers to develop a robust kindness that can be relied upon to keep us energized and centred under stress….

If you missed it, then do check out last weeks article on the  Re-discovering joy in your thinking – Five aspects of mindful mental mastery.  If you enjoy it, I’ll be Mindfulness meditation for mastering & stilling the mind – Masterclass & Mini-retreat on Saturday 17th April, and the Meditation for beginners workshop on the 10th April. Both cover practices related to mental mastery that you can start to use right away!

In the spirit of kindness,

Toby

 


Big-hearted, luminous kindness

Making kindness a basic state that you work with consciously everyday has many benefits. Extending it to yourself has a healing effect on your body, heart and mind. Extending it to others creates positive connection on all sorts of levels, and going deeper into meditation with kindness enables us to contact a luminous dimension of our consciousness that is one half of the enlightened state.

Big-hearted, luminous kindness
Kindness is really an extension of awareness. Whenever we pay attention to something or someone with caring awareness, we are practicing kindness. Kindness is a pleasant state in and of itself, but it also invokes a dynamism that encourages us to act and speak kindly. If you pay attention to yourself and others with kindness, you will quickly start to connect to the pleasure of it, and the healing qualities that it contains.

Big-hearted kindness means empowered kindness
When we practice kindness, ideally behind it should be the sense that our heart contains enough strength and power to be benevolent. We are being kind because we can, because we wish to, because we see the benefits, and because we wish to be a cause of the good in our life and in the life of others. When we meditate on kindness we are looking to find this type of kindness, that comes from a space of freedom, empowerment and choice. We should have a sense that it comes from a part of our creative nature, and a part of the art of the way we live. Sometimes this is not easy, so it is very much a discipline as well as an art!

Kindness to be liked and not dis-approved of
Sometimes we can find ourselves being ‘kind’ not because we feel benevolent or strong, but because we feel obliged, or we don’t want to be dis-approved of. If we notice this is the case, then we need to be a little bit careful. This is kindness essentially based around fear and a need for approval. Rather than being big-hearted, this type of kindness can be a type of weakness, and can lead to certain types of wishy-washy-ness and a weakening of our sense of inner strength and empowerment.

Reciprocal kindness
Of course when we are being kind to others, we find they return the favor. In this way we set up loops of kindness where everyone benefits and ‘wins’. Something to watch out for here is that, sometimes we can act kindly with an ulterior motive, which can become a kind of cynical or in-authentic kindness.

Luminous kindness
In meditation terms, the unitive or non-dual energy of spirit can be separated into two parts. These may be thought of of as bliss and emptiness or, conceived another way as a kind of primal luminosity flowing within the space of infinity. The psychological state of kindness corresponds in some essential ways to the luminosity, or bliss. So, if you first generate kindness on the level of human energy and emotion, and then stop thinking and relax into the inner spaciousness of your consciousness, you can start to get a feeling of this primal bliss or luminosity gently radiating out through the inner, infinite space of your consciousness.

Article © Toby Ouvry 2021, 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


In case you missed it, last weeks article: Re-discovering joy in your thinking – Five aspects of mindful mental mastery

Human beings are the mental Ferrari’s of the biological world. Our brains and minds are an incredibly powerful and creative instruments, which have enabled us to do incredible things. However, for many people this amazing capacity for thinking and conceptualizing is working against them. Most of us often feel:

  • That we cannot control the quantity or pace of our thoughts
  • That the content of our thoughts is often stressful or negative
  • We find ourself thinking about our problems in a way that makes them worse
  • Thinking feels exhaustive and addictive, we feel mentally overwhelmed and cognitively overloaded
  • The joy in our thinking is absent

Mental mastery, or mastery of the mind involves :

  • Exercising benevolent control over the quality and quantity of our thoughts
  • Turning useless, stressful ways of thinking into appropriately critical, useful ways of thinking
  • Avoiding cognitive overload and mental exhaustion
  • Learning to re-discover joy and enthusiasm in our thinking

Read full article

 


Saturday 10th April, 3-4.30pm – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now (Live & Online) – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Once sentence summary: Learn the practical fundamentals of how to meditate and begin your own meditation practice in this short 90minute workshop
You may have heard how meditation can increase:

  • Your quality of life
  • Your sense of inner security and well-being
  • Your ability to love and be loved
  • Your concentration
  • Your ability to access inner peace

Read about the workshop


Saturday 17th April 11.30am-1.30pm & 2.15-5.15pm – Mindfulness meditation for mastering & stilling the mind – Masterclass & Mini-retreat
In a sentence: Develop the mindful skills that will enable your mental health and wellbeing to thrive, and how to still and focus our mind. Make your mind a source of quiet confidence & cease feeling overwhelmed by mental over-activity and busyness.

Overview: Would you like to:

  • Develop ways of working with your mind that will enable it and you to thrive?
  • Learn how you can connect to an inner stillness that is able to withstand the stresses and strains of your daily life, helping you stop feeling mentally & emotionally overwhelmed?
  • Feel as if you are in control of your mind, rather than it controlling you?

Read full write up…


Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops for at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Starts Tuesday/Wednesday evening February 23rd/24th – Meditations for thriving and energy creation amidst Covid – A seven week course

Saturday 10th April, 3-4.30pm – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now (Live & Online) – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Saturday 17th April 11.30am-1.30pm & 2.15-5.15pm – Mindfulness meditation for mastering & stilling the mind – Masterclass & Mini-retreat


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Integral Awareness Life-fullness Meditating on the Self meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership Presence and being present

Representing your values – Mindful self-trust 

“The more we are able to access the innate feeling of trusting ourself, the more relaxed and confident we will then tend to feel about our ability to represent our values consistently and capably; we feel we are in integrity with ourself.”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at self-trust as a quality we can develop through mindfulness. If you enjoy it, we will be meditating on it in the Tuesday and Wednesday meditation class this week.

Beneath the main article you can also find another one on overcoming passivity, in case you missed it!
In the spirit of self-trust,

Toby

 

 


Representing your values – Mindful self-trust

One fundamental way to build your own self-esteem and trust is to act with integrity, which is to say in accordance with your own values. If you are consistently speaking acting and being in a way that you are representing yourself appropriately, then you are going to feel secure within yourself, and that you are in the presence of someone trustworthy.
Here is a simple three stage cycle that you can use to build trust in yourself and your integrity.

Intention – “How can I act with integrity in this situation, what are my values here?” Firstly, in any given situation you need to turn up with the intention to represent your own values.
Consistency and reliability – “Am I consistently following through with my values?” Secondly, you need to be consistent about it. It’s not enough to begin with the intention, but then forget it half way and end up acting in a way that doesn’t represent our values at all.
Capability – “What are the skills I need to represent myself with integrity here?” Thirdly, you need to assess your capability to act in accordance with your values. Sometimes it is not that you don’t want to, or that you aren’t consistently trying, it is just that you lack the skill and capability to act in such a way. In this case you need to learn the appropriate skill to become capable.

Doing what you say you will do
So of course, there are a huge number of ways that these three stages can play out according to circumstance, but on a simple level it’s about doing what you say (to yourself) you will do, and demonstrating to yourself on a daily basis that you are trustworthy and can be relied upon.

  • If you say to yourself you are going to do some research into starting a new business tomorrow, then tomorrow do the research
  • If you say to yourself that you are going to talk to your partner about the difficult subject you have both been avoiding, then make sure you do so!
  • If you are being bullied at work and say your going to learn how to handle it better, then go and find someone who can teach you or coach you. If you don’t have the capability, then learn it

The state of self-trust
The state we are aiming for here is one that, when we are in our own company, we feel as if we are with someone whom we feel comfortable trusting

  • We trust the power of our conscious intention
  • We feel we can rely on ourself and our consistency
  • We may not have all the skills to deal with all scenarios, but we can trust ourselves to be pro-active, and acquire the skills we lack (when we do lack them) to become capable and effective

The feeling of trust invites integrity
The more we are able to access the innate feeling of trusting ourself, the more relaxed and confident we will then tend to feel about our ability to represent ourself and our values consistently and capably; we feel we are in integrity with ourself. It becomes a mutually enhancing circle of integrity and trust that we can use to feel energised and enthusiastic about our life, even and particularly when we are under pressure or navigating uncertainty.

Article © Toby Ouvry 2021, 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


In case you missed this article: Overcoming passivity (Centered, responsive, creative)

Part of the benefit of an engaged mindfulness practice is that, because we are more centered, we tend to feel less intimidated by our challenges, and by the anxiety that they stimulate within us. As a result, it is easier for us to turn toward our challenges, to face them directly, and respond consciously, creatively and dynamically to them. This in turn increases our sense of positive participation in and enjoyment of life. It becomes a playground for us to learn, develop and get stuck into, rather than a frightening, intimidating trap waiting to get us!
Read full article

Watch Toby’s 45 Second mindfulness video  – Overcoming passivity:


Saturday 27th March, 10.30-12.30 & 2-5pm – Psychic & Psychological Self-defence Master class & retreat

In a sentence: Learn how you can effectively defend yourself from negative people, energies and places outside of yourself, as well as the fears and problematic emotions that you feel present within yourself using simple & specific mindfulness & meditation techniques.

Overview:

  • How can I keep myself strong, directed & happy when other people around me are negative, unhappy or even consciously or unconsciously verbally/psychologically attacking me?
  • When I am under stress and can feel my own negativity, anxiety, depression, anger & so on surfacing, how can I defend myself effectively?

Read full details


Tues 23rd & Weds 24th March – Spring Equinox balancing and renewing meditationThe Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere marks the mid-point between the cooler, darker seasons of the year and the lighter, warmer ones. The forces of day and night, light and dark are of equal strength. As such it represents time to emphasize balance and harmony, both in our life and meditation practice.

It is also good time to attune the life-force in the earth and creative energies within ourselves. We will be taking the time to get in touch with the new ideas, energies and creativity within ourselves as they emerge like new plants and flowers in spring…read full details


Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops for at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Starts Tuesday/Wednesday evening February 23rd/24th – Meditations for thriving and energy creation amidst Covid – A seven week course

Saturday 27th March, 10.30-12.30 & 2-5pm  – Psychic & Psychological Self-defence Master class & retreat

Tues 23rd & Weds 24th March – Spring Equinox balancing and renewing meditation

Tues 23rd & Weds 24th March – Full Moon Meditation & Manifestation Session

 

 


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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