Welcome to the simple, positive, creative & aware training page. In it you will learn how to practice this integral meditation combination effectively, & you can then use the meditation recordings & readings below to practice.
As I said in the original article on this meditation: “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.”
The Integral Meditation Training pages are a free resource, but if you feel you have benefitted, & would like to donate to the Integral Meditation training pages & project, you can do so via PayPal or if in Singapore you can do so directly by PayNow on +6596750279. Thanks!
Retreat events this month include a short one: This Saturday morning’s Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat, & for the main event for October, theIntegral Meditation Two Day Retreat on the weekend of the 28/29th. The two day retreat is a great opportunity to really deepen your meditation practice in a profound way. Don’t be deceived by the relative shortness of the time span, the methods we use are designed to get practitioners into the ‘zone’ right from the get go…. The new video I have created, entitled ‘Subjects to objects – How meditation helps you grow to greater degrees of freedom’ explores the essential dynamic of meditation, and how short bursts of meditation such as retreats can really catalyze that process!
In the spirit of turning subjects into objects,
Summary: This video discusses two main subjects related to meditation. The first part explores why and how a meditation practice helps individuals grow as individuals. Meditation is described as a process that transforms subjects of consciousness (e.g., body, emotions, ego) into objects of consciousness, leading to reduced identification with these aspects and increased inner freedom. It aids in personal evolution by moving from one level of consciousness to another. The second part focuses on the long-term effects of a meditation practice, emphasizing that continued meditation leads to increasing degrees of freedom from the objects within one’s consciousness. This liberation allows individuals to endure stress calmly and undertake challenging tasks with ease. The analogy of dissolving salt in water is used to illustrate how a larger, more expansive mind mitigates the impact of suffering and stress. Ultimately, meditation enhances the quality of life, making it less painful and more enjoyable.
In case you missed it this weeks article: Fourteen types & levels of mindful intention
We almost always have an intention, even in our dreams. Some of these intentions are conscious, some of them are unconscious. These intentions drive our actions & acts as the context for our experiences, shaping them substantially. What intentions have you been oriented around today, and how have they been shaping your experiences and actions? One way you could define mindfulness is ‘Living with conscious intentionally’…read full article
Recently my daughter Sasha decided to take up meditation, not because of me, but because she felt like it! Her initial observation was this “Dad, at first when I closed my eyes it felt dark and confusing. But I waited and then after a while it all went white, and I started to feel clear and refreshed”. Her observation and experience is simple but fundamental, and it explains a lot about why it is worthwhile taking up meditation; where initially we thought there was just a dark, dull space, we discover a bright, clarifying, regenerative inner space that we can go to each day to center and rebuild our inner strength.The quiet space behind/beneath the noise
What Sasha discovered is that, lying just beneath the surface of our ”noisy” everyday mind is a level of consciousness that is naturally relaxing, quiet and bright. Two more images that express it in a slightly different way are:
The water beneath the waves – On the surface of the ocean the waves are noisy and active, if you dive beneath them to a few meters down, the atmosphere becomes still, spacious and clear
The space in the room – Normally when we walk into a room, our attention is taken by the objects in the room; the people, the furniture, pictures and so on, the room appears active and crowded. If instead we pay attention to the open spaces in the room, we experience the room very differently, as something full of space and calm.
Black & white meditation & enlightenment
In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition that I was originally trained in the deeper level of enlightenment realization was called ‘the mind of clear light’, because it resembles the clear light of dawn before the sun has risen. Preceding the mind of clear light is ‘the mind of black near attainment’ which is essentially like a pitch black night. So, on these deeper levels of meditation, our experience also goes from ‘black to white’! So my daughters experience is quite a typical beginners experience that mimics an advanced one.
So, if you sit patiently and watch your mind for a few minutes each day, you can start to have this experience too. In the short term it will be relaxing, regenerative and clarifying. In the long term it is the beginning of your path to the the more profound levels of ‘white space’, ‘living emptiness’ or ‘clear light’ that has been enjoyed by advanced meditators for millenia.
“How can I align my expectations and my reality in this situation?”
There are plenty of ways of building your inner peace and resilience, the article below explores one that I’ve found to be very important over the years! You can also watch my short video on the subect here.
Matching your expectation with reality (the sleeping or waking baby)
On a practical level I find my peace of mind depends a lot on aligning my expectations with my reality. If I can do this, then my sense of inner calm and peace remains resilient. If on the other hand my expectations and my reality clash, then that is a recipe for inner conflict.
Here is a simple example: At the moment I have a one-month old baby, so I have to get up a couple of times a night to feed her. Last night, both my feeds were very smooth; she woke up, I fed her, she hiccuped a little, but then drifted off to sleep quickly, and so then could I.
Tonight, I have exactly the same routine, there is a danger however. That danger is that, now that last night went so well, I may have an expectation that tonight will go just as smoothly. If tonight I expect my baby to behave just as well as she did last night, and then she doesn’t fall asleep, is cranky or otherwise fussy, then my expectation will be frustrated, and my inner stability upset.
In reality I have to go into tonight thinking that it may be an easy night, or it may be a tough one. I need to treat it as if I were doing it for the first time, and not let my expectations get ahead of me. That way, I can face whatever happens in reality as stably and calmly as possible. Because my expectation and my reality are aligned, then I can face what comes with a mindfully unified front!
Of course, you can apply this principle to all other life situations. The essential mindful question here is:
“How can I align my expectations and my reality in this situation?”
If you can answer this question successfully, then your chances of both success, effectiveness and enjoyment are optimized, even in stressful situations.
Watch Toby’s one minute video on matching your expectations with reality:
Relationships form a major part of our happiness and enjoyment in life, but that can also be difficult, complicated, challenging and confusing. This two-hour masterclass focuses on practical skills to help you get the most out or your relationships, both professional and personal. By changing the way you pay attention, you can change your relationships! You will learn:
There is much concern and talk today about the state of the environment and the relationship of humankind to nature. This is a workshop that will introduce you to simple, ancient meditation techniques to….
This is a Qi gong session that begins with movement, breathing and energy work to thoroughly energize and refresh your body, nervous system and energy meridians and regenerate your physical, energetic, mental and spiritual being…read full details
Are you a high-potential individual who often feels overworked, stressed, sleep-deprived, or mentally and physically exhausted? Yet, you are expected to be on your A-game everyday, make clear decisions, problem solve, and be fully focused and present for your employer and teams? Do you wonder if performance in your career and your well-being are a zero-sum game, and see your well-being fall to the sidelines under the ever increasing work commitments.
At a glance: All upcoming classes and workshops for at IMA:
How can you travel while staying indoors? This is a good question to ask! I’ve been meditating on landscape for decades now. Its a simple way to enjoy meditation time, and often a surprisingly quick path to deep meditation states. Here’s a 25minute guided meditation on how to meditate on landscape from the comfort of your chair/cushion:
By recalling our own direct interactions with nature and landscape we can perhaps learn more about meditation than from years of studying books and techniques (although I recommend that to!)
Please note these are just suggestions, once you have a feel for it you can connect to any aspects of the weather, landscape and nature that work for you!…read full article
All classes in Singapore time. Not in Singapore? Check the time for your country HERE.
How to sign up: Simply message firstname.lastname@example.org or +6596750279 with the time of the class that you wish to attend. The link to attend each class is next to the class. Then make payment using the methods detailed below.
Cost: SGD$30 per class, or set of 4 classes for $100
Payment can be made in Singapore using PayNow on +6596750279, Or you can use the PayPal Link HERE to pay from anywhere in the world.
To pay for a set of 4 classes on PayPal, click HERE.
THIS WORKSHOP IS ALSO AVAILABLE ONLINE AS A LIVE-STREAM SESSION!
This is s a practical introduction to Qi gong for those who want to understand the principles and develop their own practice. It also offers a series of simple practices for coaches, trainers and therapists that they can use with their clients to help them to build energy and wellbeing…. read more about the course
“We all want a place where we can feel ‘at home’. We can change house, town or country in order to feel more at home, but the one thing we cant change is our physical body. If we feel at home in our body, then wherever we are in life, we can ‘sit’ in a place where feel comfortable”
Dear Integral Meditators,
This weeks article explores the importance of being comfortable in your own skin, and how you can start going about becoming so in your daily life! You can watch my video on the same topic HERE. This weeks Tuesday and Wednesday evening class will be on the same subject.I have also done a new write up and video for my Business coaching offering. If this is something that you are interested in for yourself or for your organisation, then do check it out!
In the spirit of the journey,Toby
Getting comfortable in your own skin
Finding a home in your body
We all want a place where we can feel ‘at home’. We can change house, town or country in order to find a place where we feel more at home, but the one thing we can’t change is our physical body (at least in this particular life!) If we feel at home in our body, then wherever we are in life, we can ‘sit’ in a place where feel comfortable. Getting ‘comfortable in our own skin’ then is a foundational mindfulness skill that continues to give us value the more we cultivate it, wherever we are!
Looking after your physical well-being
On an obvious level, looking after our health is an important part of feeling comfortable in our skin. The better we can sleep, balance our diet and build ‘good energy’ on our body, the easier it is going to be to sit within the presence of our body enjoyably.
Accepting and liking your physical body
On the psychological level, its important to be aware of your relationship to your body. If you don’t like your body, or even ‘hate’ it for not looking the way you want or would like, then its difficult to sit comfortably with it. So, whatever your body looks like, moving towards a space of acceptance and liking of your body is super-important to relaxing and being present with yourself.
Being comfortable with the range of emotions present in your body
Quite often our mind will ‘jump out’ or run away from our body because there are emotions present in it that we aren’t comfortable with (Eg: resentment, anger, sadness etc….). So, learning to hold space benevolently for a wide range of emotions and remain in you body is an important skill. The more comfortable you can get with uncomfortable emotions, the more stable your ability to be at home in your own skin will be.
Being comfortable with your self!
An extension from your previous point, in order to sit and be present in your own skin, you need to like yourself, or at least be working toward self-acceptance. Otherwise your mind will be continually trying to ‘escape’ your own presence, as it is such an uncomfortable place to be! Since your physical body is the place in the present moment where you always encounter yourself, then it’s difficult to be there if you don’t like who you are.
Finding a place to get comfortable
Cultivating comfort in your own skin takes a bit of practice, so it can be good to have a specific chair or place in your home where you can just take a few minutes to practice. You can practice anywhere, but having a pleasant place that you enjoy can be a good support as you get going.
A short exercise
For a few minutes, simply invite your mind to come home to rest in your physical body. Notice how fundamentally comfortable or not you feel sitting ‘inside your skin’. Notice any resistance you may have, and encourage your mind to gently enjoy resting within the presence of your body. Breathe, relax and get as ‘at home’ as you can. Reasons to escape into your mental world will come up, but for now really emphasize making your body your home, a source of regeneration, well-being and resilience.
In daily life
Notice times in the day when you become uncomfortable in your body. Cultivate an awareness of your body and an ability to get increasingly comfortable in your own skin, even in times of stress or dis-ease.