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Mindful of your moods, emotions and dispositions

Dear  Integral Meditators,

In the the foreground or background of each moment you experience, there is a mood, emotion and ‘atmosphere’. The article below explores how to start working with these mindfully in your life.
If you enjoy the article, then do consider coming down to this Saturday  mornings’ group coaching session, where we will be exploring this area experientially.
Full details of this weeks other classes and workshops can be found here.

In the spirit of moods and atmospheres,

Toby


Engaged Mindfulness book is on a special 10% offer for the next until end Tuesday 11th Dec)

Christmas is coming up, if you are looking for a meaningful, inexpensive present to pass out to friends, why not order a few copies of ‘Engaged Mindfulness’? It’s a short, 45 page primer on integral mindfulness, broken up into short 1-2page sections. Click here to order your copies…


Mindful of your moods, emotions and dispositions

This article focuses on how you can start to work with emotions, moods and dispositions, for the purposes of enjoyment, as well as becoming more effective in your life. Let’s start with a few definitions:
Emotions are temporary energetic reactions to particular events; what someone said to you, something that you hoped for not happening, something unpredictable occurring, an experience of good fortune etc. Although they are temporary, if you start watching them you’ll start to notice that have a particular habitual range emotions that you use in your life. This is rather like an artist who has a love or habit of working with a particular colour range.
Moods are emotions that you tend to spend quite a lot of time in. They become the background ‘atmospheres’ within which you live much of your life. Anxiety or curiousity, lightness or heaviness, resentment or appreciation, optimism or pessimism are all examples. They are like the typical ‘weather’ that you might expect to experience in a country at a particular time of year and season.
Dispositions are what you might think of as the primary moods that we tend to live in. We spend such a lot of time in them that they become pretty much our personality; they form some of the basic ways in which we experience our self as a personality.

Something to notice about emotions, moods and dispositions is that you are pretty much always in one – it’s useful to be aware of and take it into account because they open or close avenues of possibility and action for us in each moment. For example, an attitude of optimism opens up emotions of appreciation, pleasure and lightness, but may make us blind to certain problems that we need to look at realistically. Similarly, an attitude of pessimism closes certain desirable emotional states, but also invites some interesting insights into areas of risk in our life that we might do well to look at.
Simply asking ‘What are the moods and emotions present for me in this situation?’ will make us aware of what is there and how it is affecting us.

Centring in difficult moods and emotions
If you are experiencing a difficult mood or emotion, then, rather than try and shift out of it or get rid of it immediately, it can often be most useful to simply recognize it, and centre yourself, so that it isn’t keeping you off balance. Once you are aware and have centred yourself, you can them make a choice whether you want to try and shift out of the mood/emotion or stay with it and see what it has to offer you in that moment.

Identifying your habitual range of mood and emotion.
If you watch your moods, emotions and dispositions you’ll start to have a sense of the ‘mood options’ that you have available to you. You can start to cultivate particular emotions and moods in particular situations where they will serve you particularly well.
You’ll also notice that you have particularly inspiring moods and emotions within your range that open up avenues of action and possibility that will help you go experience life better in the moment and get you where you want to go. So consciously cultivating these moods is a good idea! For example, I have a little post-it message on the picture above my lap-top right now that says, ‘Everything is possible!’ This reminds me to open to and live in a mood that is particularly meaningful and helpful to me right now.
So, a good mindful question to go with this last section might be ‘What mood or emotion can I cultivate that would serve me best in this situation?

© 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)

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

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

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

Saturdays December 15th & 22nd – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby

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

Tues & Weds Dec 18/19th, 7.30-8.30pm – Winter Solstice balancing & renewing meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Dear  Integral Meditators,

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

In the spirit of clear perception,

Toby


Dimensions of mindful perception and understanding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Insight Meditation Integral Awareness Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness Presence and being present spiritual intelligence

Discovering your mindful compassion – Seven ways

Dear  Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at compassion, and how you can go about developing a living, experiential connection to it through mindfulness. The integral TuesdayWednesday  and Space2B classes will be on compassion for the rest of the month…
On Saturday the 17th morning there is the The Six Qi Healing sounds: Qi gong For Self-Healing and Inner Balance Workshop. Then in the afternoon 4.30-6pm the Mindfulness group coaching,

In the spirit of compassion,

Toby


Special offer: 10% off on Life-Fullness Life coaching sign ups from now until Wednesday 21st NovemberThe Life-Fullness Integral Coaching Program (LICP) is an integral form of 1:1 coaching with Toby that you can sign up for periods of six-months or three-months at a time. It is mindfulness oriented personal coaching that focuses upon the development of three R’s:

  • Re-generate your creative self and curiosity in life
  • Re-connect to deeper levels of motivation and meaning within yourself, your relationships and your career
  • Re-awakening to a sense of your own inner confidence, energy and personal power

Click here for full details of the Life-fulness program


Discovering your mindful compassion – Seven ways

Compassion can be deeply transformative. Learning to feel, see and act from compassion can have a huge practical impact on our potential for self-healing, finding purpose in our life, and acting with creative benevolence. Below are a few pointers designed to help you connect to your own present compassion and grow its presence in your life.

Your own present experience of compassion –  It’s nice to begin by reflecting. What does compassion mean to you? Can you recall times when you have experienced it? What did it feel like when you were compassionate? What tends to stimulate it? What is your experience of receiving compassion, not just giving it? Pop these questions to yourself and see where they lead you…Make compassion personal to you, a conscious part of your story.
A definition of compassion – One useful definition of compassion is that it is a state of mind that observes suffering with empathy and wishes where possible to alleviate that pain.  A pre-requisite of compassion is that we care about the person (ourself, others) that we are observing. Love, warmth, caring are the basis for compassion.
Compassion begins with awareness – At the root of compassion is awareness. If you want to have compassion for yourself, you need to be able to sit with your own pain, suffering and discomfort. You must be able to look at it, acknowledge it and accept it. This in itself is a powerful act of compassion. Similarly, awareness of other people’s pain is the beginning of compassion for them. You may have had the experience of being in pain yourself, and then a friend really seeing and acknowledging your pain, extending their support to you. Even if they couldn’t do anything about it, just knowing they understand and they care is a real supporting force for us. Acknowledging the pain of ourself and others with care builds a powerful basis for compassion.
Creating reciprocal loops of compassion – Like love, we need to develop the capacity to give and receive compassion between ourself and others. When we are in pain we need to be able to open to and receive the support of others. When we see others in pain we can give compassion. The idea is to create a wealth of compassion in our life. If we give too much without receiving, we burn out. If we receive without giving, we can become a burden on others.
Practising open and closed compassion – Sometimes we can practice compassion unconditionally, in a completely empathetic, open state. But this is not always appropriate. We need to also know how to ‘close’ our energy system and be more objective with our compassion sometimes. There is definitely such a thing as objective compassion, where we are extending concern to others without drowning in their pain and maintaining a clear boundary around what is ‘theirs’ and what is ‘mine’ to deal with.
Avoiding the saviour complex – Don’t be the person that gets weird kicks from ‘saving’ other people, the world doesn’t need you. Save yourself from your own delusions first, and then with compassion empower others.
Lightness and playfulness are the friend of compassion – In the presence of pain it can be tempting to get all heavy about it. Without dismissing or avoiding the real suffering that is there, it is a positive skill to bring humour and lightness to pain. Explore what ‘playful compassion’ feels like.

A beginning – Sitting quietly, become aware of an aspect of your own pain or suffering, on whatever level (physical, emotional etc). Breathing smoothly and deeply (65-70% of lung capacity), spend a few minutes extending compassion to yourself as you breathe in, and relaxing into the pain as you breathe out. Release what pain you can, but don’t try and force yourself to release the pain before you are ready. Just hold the space and breathe with compassion.

© 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)

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

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

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

Saturday 17th November 9.30am-1pm – The Six Qi Healing sounds: Qi gong For Self-Healing and Inner Balance Workshop

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

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

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


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
creative imagery Essential Spirituality Inner vision Integral Meditation Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Mindful Self-Leadership Presence and being present

Four ways of working with your inner voice

Dear  Integral Meditators,

What’s your relationship to the voices that you find chatting away in your head? The article below offers four ways of becoming more conscious of your inner conversation, and getting it working for rather than against you!

In the spirit of your inner voice,

Toby


Four ways of working with your inner voice

 

“Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.” – John Greenleaf Whittier

Your ‘inner voice’ refers to the inner conversation that you are having with yourself in your head during the day. Sometimes this voice can be critical, sometimes it can be supportive. For many of us it can be predominantly a source of insecurity and dis-ease, rather than support. The purpose of working with your ‘inner voice’ mindfully in the ways described below is to help transform it from a potential or actual weakness into a source of strength.
Listening with curiosity – This first exercise is simply observing the voices and conversation you are having in your head. Often when the conversation is taking place we are very identified with the voices, and we often take it very seriously. The idea here is to listen with curiosity, and a sense of detachment and lightness. You’ll notice that there are some ‘positive’ voices, and some kind of ‘negative’ voices. You want to greet both with a little bit of humour and lightness. You are also trying to gently separate your ‘I’ or sense of self from the voices. You aren’t trying to change of ‘fix’ the voice, just listen inquisitively and lightly.
Talking back wisely – Method two is to listen to your inner dialogue and to ‘talk back’, gently directing the conversation in a positive way. For example, if your voices are being critical toward you about a mistake or mis-judgment that you made, you can gently point out the reasons why you can be a bit easier and less judgmental on yourself. If you notice that your inner voices are talking about a work project, you can consciously look for and bring in the aspects of the project that are going well, or that you can feel good about. Here you are a participant in the conversation, and gently encouraging it to go in a direction that serves you!
Talking less – This third ‘mindful position’ is to gently encourage the conversation to reduce and ‘quieten down’. You can try gently communicating to yourself and your inner voices that (for the time you are doing this exercise) there really is no need to process or ‘fix’ any of your problems or challenges. Give yourself full permission to relax and think less. You can take as an anchor for your attention your breathing, or one of your senses, and just gently encourage your inner voices to settle down and rest for a while.
Your ‘still small voice within’ – In this final exercise, you listen a bit deeper, beneath the loud chatter of your everyday mind. What you are looking for is a quieter voice within you coming from a deeper level of your consciousness. Its nature is to be kind, and quiet, strong and wise. It’s easily drowned out by the louder voices of the everyday mind, which is why you need to listen for it more closely, in a relaxed frame of mind.
If you like you can even give your ‘still small voice’ a form to key into. For example, you can visualize it as a small candle flame (symbolizing the wisdom of your deeper inner voice) in your heart centre, and focus on it as you meditate, listening to any message that may arise from it. Or you can even visualize it as a person next to you, perhaps a wise man or woman that you can ask questions to about dilemmas that you face.
You can do the above four exercises individually, by themselves. Alternatively you could do them one after the other, for example in a twenty minute meditation you could do each for five minutes, one after the other.
Happy listening!​
© 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

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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Four levels of intention for meditating

Dear  Integral Meditators,

Why do you meditate? This weeks article looks at four possible ways of answering that question, and also a simple way of starting to meditate on intention.

In the spirit of mindful intention

Toby


Four levels of intention for meditating

If you are interested in establishing a meditation and mindfulness practice, its useful to ask yourself the question ‘Why am I doing this?’ and be at least somewhat clear about your motivations for doing so. Our intention for doing something is very important as it acts as a kind of compass or guide as we progress though the different stages of our journey. Formally speaking we can distinguish four basic levels of intention that we can cultivate. Each level helps and assists the other levels.

Level 1 – For self-healing and wellbeing: This first level sees meditation as a way of dealing with the stress and strains of our daily life, encouraging mental, emotional and physical healing. Here we are using meditation as a safe space that we can drop into to whenever we want to rest, regenerate and re-gather our strength.

Level 2 – To build your inner strengths: On this second level we are using mindfulness as a way of making our mind stronger and more effective. We can use it to go from being basically happy to being happier, from being somewhat focused to really focused, to go from ‘getting by’ to feeling really good about ourself and our life. You can use meditation to focus on building any inner quality that you like, rather like a gym for your mind and heart!

Level 3 – To bring happiness and relieve the pain of your circle of influence
Here our motivation for meditation is to heal ourself and build our strengths not just so that we will be happy, but so that we can bring healing and happiness to our own circle of influence; family friends, colleagues. Here we sit and meditate with the intention to be a force for the good in our world, in whatever way we can.

Level 4 – To bring happiness to and relieve the pain of the world
This fourth level of motivation extends our benevolent intention not just to our immediate circle of influence, and those that we know, but extends out to include the whole global community of both humans and non-humans. Here we take on the responsibility and ambition to work for the benefit of all living beings, out of love, compassion and solidarity for them.
In order for this fourth level to be sustainable, we need to build a stable experience of levels 1-3 first, otherwise we will quite quickly feel overwhelmed and burned out by the scale of our ambition. We first learn to become very competent at looking after ourself and nurturing our inner strength, then we practice the care and healing of our circle of influence, then we take on, at least in aspiration the wish to become a caretaker of the world.

A short meditation on intention
Stage 1: Sitting quietly, first bring attention to yourself. Practice gently extending compassion to yourself and your wounds, as well as the ambition to use your meditation to build specific inner strengths.
Stage 2: Then visualize around you your circle of influence; family, friends, colleagues, pets etc… Focus on a loving and compassionate intention to benefit them through your meditation practice, and through your daily actions.
Stage 3: Finally imagine around your circle of influence an ocean of living beings, the human and animal population of the planet. Focus on a loving and compassionate to bring all these creatures happiness and relieve their pain. Just focus on the intention, not the ‘how’, and experience what it is like to hold such an intention.

© 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)

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

Saturday October 20th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturday 20th October 1-5pm – Integral Meditation for Intermediate and Advanced Meditators

Saturday 27th October, 9:30am – 12:30pm – Meditations for creating a mind of ease, relaxed concentration and positive intention 

Saturday 27th October, 4-5.30pm – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Tues & Wednesday 30 & 31 October, 7.30-8.30pm – Samhain Meditation – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors


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Simple, or aware, or positive, or creative

Dear  Integral Meditators,

In this weeks article I outline four ways of paying attention that, if you get really good at will render you largely impervious to intimidation from any of the current challenges in your life. Enjoy!

In the spirit of attention,

Toby

 


Simple, or aware, or positive, or creative

What are we fundamentally trying to do with our attention in mindfulness practice? One way of thinking about this question is to divide our daily attention into four ‘types’ Under each type listed below I detail an introduction to what it is and how to go about cultivating it. In each section there is also a link to a full article on each topic.

Simple – This type of mindful attention involves making our attention simple, grounded, uncomplicated by directing it toward our body and senses. You can take any of your senses, your breathing or feelings within your body as your object of attention here. By keeping your attention anchored to your sensory experience, you make your mind simpler, stronger and more relaxed. Without deliberately making our mind simple every day it’s all too easy to live in a permanently complex, stressful, anxious and worried mental world, that feels intimidating and not much fun. Also, when you think less, you also tend to think better!

Aware – This second type of mindful attention seeks only to pay attention and be aware. It observes and notes what is happening in our mind with impartiality, not trying to change fix, judge or alter. There is a lot of basic inner stability that comes just from observing and being curious. There is a world of difference for example between ‘My life is a disaster’ and ‘how interesting that part of my mind should be thinking that my life is a disaster!’ Awareness gives us choice and flexibility of mind. It also makes it more likely that we will then go onto make better decisions based around what we have become aware of.

Positive – This third type of attention means deliberately paying attention to what good there is in our life, or a situation; what there is to appreciate, feel grateful for, or that is to our advantage. It seeks out reasons to feel happy, glad, optimistic, peaceful, enthusiastic, even if we seem to be surrounded by problems and challenges. Developing our daily skill at this type of attention value adds tremendously to our pleasure and wellbeing. It also increases the chances of us being more effective and energized in the face of problems.

Creative – Finally, the creative mode of attention is where we think and analyze in a focused way in order to find solutions to problems. It is completely different from ruminating, over-analyzing or negative worrying. It simply observes the presenting issue with curiosity (fear or anxiety may be present, but we do not allow them to dominate) and seeks to come up with creative ideas as to how a solution could be found, or a step forward can be taken. The creative mode of thinking is not focused exclusively on the positive. It seeks to know obstacles and problems objectively and realistically and seeks ways to find resolution. This way of paying attention is also creative in the face of non-problems. It seeks to innovate, improvise and enjoy whatever circumstances we find ourselves in!

A suggested practicum: For five minutes, focus on making your mind simple by focusing on your body and senses. Then spend five minutes letting your attention roam, and greeting whatever comes up with awareness, or positivity, or creativity. It can be whichever you prefer, but it must be one. You can repeat this cycle as many times as you like in any sitting. Get used to paying sustained mindful attention to your life in these four ways and notice what starts to change!

Related article: Two fundamental mindfulness and meditation questions

© 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)

Begins 14/15th September – Effortless effort – Insight meditation for self-healing and transformation – a five week course

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

Saturday 1st September 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Saturday 11th August, 9-10.15am – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturday 18th August, 9.30-1pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self Workshop


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

Categories
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Two fundamental mindfulness and meditation questions

Dear  Integral Meditators,

What are important questions that you can use to greatly improve your meditation and mindfulness practice, whatever level you are at? The article below offers two…

 

Two fundamental mindfulness and meditation questions

One fundamental mindfulness question that you can ask yourself is “What is the way in which I am paying attention to my experience in this moment?” Regarding meditation, a central one is Which positive object of attention is going to be most useful to me in this situation, right now?

“What is the way in which I am paying attention to my experience in this moment?”
Let’s look at the mindfulness question first. Mindfulness means being aware of what you are doing in the moment, and how you are paying attention to what you are doing. If you ask yourself how you are paying attention to what is happening to you, then you’ll start to notice the way in which your attention is influencing how you experience what you are going through. You can then ask yourself the question “is the way in which I am paying attention here helping me or hindering me to be both happy and effective?” If you can see that your current way of paying attention is working to produce a good result, then you can stay with it. If it isn’t, then you can try making a mindful adjustment that will make an improvement.
For example, if I am in a meeting, and I am feeling impatient because it has gone overtime, I might notice that the impatience is making me both unhappy in the moment, and less effective at bringing the meeting to a successful conclusion. So, I might then decide to make the adjustment of accepting that the meeting is late, and re-focus my attention on patiently getting the best outcome by listening to the other parties, and communicating well.
It is by making many such incremental adjustments each day that mindfulness can really improve out quality of life and make us more effective at what we are doing.

“Which positive object of attention is going to be most useful to me in this situation, right now?”
A meditator is (amongst other things) someone who is concerned with focusing their attention mindfully around a positive object as they go through their daily life. A ‘positive object’ is one that, when we focus upon it helps our mind to feel calmer, more joyful/loving, more confident, grounded, centered and so on. A positive object influences our state of mind for the good when we focus upon it. There are as many different positive objects as there are positive states of mind. The skill as a meditator lies in focusing on the right positive object. For example:

  • If I am experiencing fear, I might take courage, or the recognition of my immediate physical safety as my object of meditation in the moment
  • If my mind is very busy or distracted, then I might practice attention to my body and senses as my positive object, to settle my mind.
  • If I have just received an experience of good fortune, then I can take appreciation of that good fortune as my object of mindful attention.

The skill of the meditator in this context is selecting the right positive object to effectively meet and enjoy the challenge that s/he is going through in the moment. Since life is always changing, the particular positive object will also change as our day/week/month progresses, so we need to keep aware and making adjustments. We can do this by asking ourself this second question.

So, if you can bear in mind these two questions and ask yourself them regularly, then both your mindfulness and meditation practice are going to become more effective. Enjoy!

© 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)

Begins 14/15th September – Effortless effort – Insight meditation for self-healing and transformation – a five week course

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

Saturday 11th August, 9-10.15am – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturday 18th August, 9.30-1pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
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
Insight Meditation Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Self-Leadership Presence and being present Shadow meditation Stress Transformation

Going from clinging on to enjoying (Attachment to appreciation)

Dear Integral Meditators,

What is your relationship to attraction? The article below offers a few thoughts on how you can go about enjoying and appreciating that which you find attractive without clinging or getting unhealthily attached! In short, how to transform attachment into appreciation!

And on the theme of ‘stress transformation’ see the coaching offer below!

In the spirit of pleasure and appreciation,

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…

 


​Going from clinging on to enjoying (Attachment to appreciation)

What are you deeply attached to in your life? Of these, what or who do you cling to in ways that are unhealthy, addictive, undermining to your self-esteem and create destructive patterns of behaviour? Think of one or two right now…

This article offers a few thoughts on how you can transform states of attachment and clinging onto appreciation and enjoyment. From an experiential point of view we have three types of object/person/situation that we encounter:

  • Those that we feel repulsed by or averse too
  • Those we feel drawn or attracted to, magnetised by
  • Those we feel neither attracted to or repulsed by, they are kind of neutral

Right now, we are focused on the second type of object, those we feel attracted to.

Underlying sources of attachment – Not enough, not competent, no joy
So what transforms something or someone that we feel attracted to to something that we feel attached or cling to? Part of it is an underlying sense within ourselves that we are incomplete, incompetent or that we have no joy or pleasure. For example:

  • If I feel incomplete as a man and I meet a woman I find attractive, then I may cling to her as a potential source of ‘completion’. So, what I feel for her is not just an appreciation of her attractiveness, but the idea that by possessing or obtaining her I will somehow ‘fix’ my problem of incompleteness or loneliness.
  • If I often feel incompetent or ineffective in life, then the things that I feel attracted to I may tend to cling to. For example if I feel incompetent in my business practice, I may cling onto a business or romantic partner as a ‘life raft’ saving me from my own confusion in the face of life’s complex challenges.
  •  If I am out of touch with my feelings, both emotional and bodily, then I won’t feel much joy or pleasure in my life. As a result things that I could be enjoying and appreciating such as caffeine, alcohol, sex etc…become objects that I become addicted to, a way of replacing the fundamental absence of joy or pleasure’.

Coming to your objects of enjoyment from the POV of wholeness
If I want to experience objects of attraction in a healthy, pleasurable way then, I need to come to them from with a healthy self-sense, one where I experience myself fundamentally in three ways:

  • I am complete, loved, whole as I am
  • I am competent, adequate (to life’s challenges)
  • I have ready access to the feeling healthy joy and pleasure in my body, today

If you come to the things you currently feel attached to with these three attitudes, then you have the opportunity to transform them from objects of clinging to objects of appreciation and real enjoyment.

Moving from clinging on to appreciating
So then, if I come to people places and things I find attractive in our life with the idea that ‘I am complete, I am competent, and I feel joy’ then:

  • When I encounter an attractive member of the opposite sex it will be easy enough to appreciate them as they are, without needing to ‘possess’ them in order to validate myself.
  • When I face a difficult challenge in my business I won’t be cling to the idea of someone ‘saving me’, but if my business partner helps me out, then I can appreciate and enjoy that!
  • If I have access to joy and pleasure in my body, then I can enjoy sex, caffene, alcohol, endorphins etc…as a complement and enhancement of that, rather than an addiction that I use as a compensation.

Three ‘mindful injunctions’ from this:

  1. Notice when you develop negative attachment or clinging in your life. Study the experience.
  2. Practice coming to the things you feel attracted to from the perspective of ‘I am (already) enough, I am (already) competent, and I have access to joy’.
  3. Emphasize appreciation and appropriate healthy enjoyment of the things you find attractive. Have fun and experience pleasure!

Related articlesGiving your heart whole
Cultivating positive non-attachment
The middle way to enjoying your life fully
Moving from attachment to care


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 26th May 10am-4.30pm – Mastering your Mind Through Mindfulness Meditation Day Retreat with Toby

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

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 Meditation and Psychology Mindful Self-Leadership Presence and being present

Mastering your mind through mindfulness – Seven skills

Dear Integral Meditators,

What does it mean to be a ‘Master of your mind’? In the article below I outline seven mindful skills that I have found to be particularly useful with regard to my mind, thoughts and thinking. They have continued to be effective for me and deliver value over long periods of time.

In the spirit of finding joy in your mind,

Toby

 

 

 


Mastering your mind through mindfulness – Seven skills

What does it mean to be a ‘Master of your mind’? In this article my idea is to outline seven mindful skills that I have found to be particularly useful with regard to my mind, thoughts and thinking. They are designed to help you

  1. Find enjoyment and pleasure in the use of your mind, rather than feeling overwhelmed by it
  2. Develop confidence in the effectiveness of your own mind and thinking process, so that you can use it to navigate your life challenges more successfully

Here they are:
Not losing your senses – Whether your mind is busy or calm, happy or sad, its useful to have your body and your senses as a stable reference point for your mind. Learn to orientate your mental awareness around the stable anchor of your physical experience of this moment, right now.

Committing to be aware of what’s going on in your mind –  You can’t master what you don’t know. Get used to watching the comings and goings of your mind like a curious scientist. Learn to watch without editing what arises. What does a thought look like? How do thoughts and emotions relate to each other? Get to know experientially by observing regularly.

Being aware of the value of attention and the way you are framing what you experience – You can’t control everything you experience, but you can control the way you frame what you experience! If you are on a bad holiday where everything is going wrong, thinking ‘This is going to give me the material for some really funny stories when I get back!’ will give you a very different experience than if you just wallow in the thought ‘This is a crap holiday’! Pay close attention to the way in which you are paying attention.

Centralizing what’s good in the field of your awareness – There are always good things in your life. Make sure you know what they are, and make them front and center, not peripheral in your awareness.

Taking care of wounded, upset, dysfunctional and disowned thoughts – Often the parts of ourself and our mind that need the most attention are the ones that we reject, disown, repress or try and pretend aren’t there. Reverse this attitude. Learn to look after the thoughts in your mind that need your care and attention to heal and return to health!

Balancing mental activity with mental non-activity – Spend time getting familiar with what it feels like not to think. Get comfortable with empty spaces in your mind. Relax into them and enjoy the regenerative calm that comes from developing this skill, and resting in non-activity.

Bringing mental clarity through asking questions – Often our mind is an unexamined miasma of half processed thoughts, memories and feelings. Learn to consciously formulate questions that will help you bring clarity to the mess. Ones like ‘What’s good in my life?’ ‘What do I need to accomplish today?’ ‘What is my intention for doing this piece of work?’ or ‘What can I do to solve this problem’ are simple examples. Questions like this give your mind a target to focus on and ‘hit’. You can’t hit a target that you haven’t set up!

So, seven basic practices, if you like you could focus on one a day over the next three weeks, which would give you times to cycle though each one three times. See how it improves the way you experience and work with your mind, and how much you enjoy it 😉

© 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


Integral Meditation Asia

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