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creative imagery Energy Meditation Life-fullness Meditation techniques Presence and being present Walking Meditation

Standing like a tree

Dear Integral Meditators,

Sometimes we may not feel like meditating sitting down because we have been sitting down at our desk all day already. Of course it is possible to lie down to meditate, but there are also a variety of standing meditations that we can do. Standing meditations often focus on energy building and balancing as their objective. The practice of ‘standing like a tree’ I outline below is an example of one such meditation from the qi gong tradition.
If you like the article then do consider coming along to the Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy this Saturday 8th July, 9.30am-12.30pm.
 
In the spirit of connection,

In the spirit of health & energy,

Toby 


Standing Like a Tree

In Qi Gong trees are taken as a role model for our standing posture, as they are strong, stable and balanced, with their roots deep in the earth, and their branches reaching high into the heavens. In the meditation called ‘Standing like a tree’ We try and emulate this in our own standing posture; drawing stability from our connection to the earth through our feet, keeping our centre of gravity low in our belly, our upper body relaxed, our head and shoulders open to receiving energy from the sky, sun and stars.

The meditation
Imagine now that there is a tall, strong, and beautiful tree in front of you (if you can stand in front of an actual tree all the better!). Feel and see its roots extending down into the earth, drawing up energy, water and nutrients. Feel the strength and flexibility of its trunk, and the branches reaching high into the sky, drawing down qi and light from the sky.
Now become the tree. Feel your roots flowing down deep into the earth giving you deep stability and energy. Feel the stability of your trunk, flexible and strong. Feel your branches and leaves reaching up toward the sky and sun, drawing down their qi into your being. Now as you breathe, feel every cell in your body breathing in qi from the earth beneath you and the sky above you. Feel light and qi flowing in and out of every cell in your body as you breathe in and out.

Directing energy with the hands and palms:
We can learn to direct qi though our body in a more powerful way through the positioning of our hands. If you like, you can try the following hand and arm positions as you ‘stand like a tree’. Initially this should not be done for more than five minutes at a time.

  1. Whilst focusing on your roots (the soles of your feet) angle the palms of your hands upward so that they are facing the earth. As you breathe in feel qi rising from the earth below into your body. As you breathe out, feel that earth-qi expanding through each cell of your body.
  2. Now raise your hands and arms up so that they are at shoulder height, parallel to the ground. Face your left palm down, and your right palm up. As you hold this posture, feel qi rising up from the earth beneath you into your trunk/torso, and simultaneously feel the flow of sky-qi flowing down through your crown, head and shoulders. Feel these two energies merging and harmonizing in the centre of your torso.
  3. Now raise your hands above your head, opening the palms to the sky above. Feel as if you have branches and leaves reaching up into the sky, drawing down qi and light from the sun, stars and sky. As you breathe, feel this sky-qi moving and flowing through
  4. Move back to position 2, and then to position 1, ending in the basic standing posture.

Related articleMeditating with trees & plants

© Toby Ouvry 2023, 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

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/Weds evening 7.30-8.30pm– Becoming a self-determining entity – A six-week course in Mindful Self-Leadership

Saturday the 8th July 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy

Saturday July 15th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Energy Meditation Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques mind body connection Mindful Resilience Mindfulness Presence and being present Walking Meditation

Finding your somatic & psychological balance

“Balancing thoughts and emotions can be tricky, as they are so fast moving and changeable. The best place to start building stable balance is in the body. If you can create the feeling of balance in the body, then you can use it as the basis of resilient psychological balance.”

Dear Integral Meditators,

The article below gives you some simple practical poiters for developing mindful balance under pressure, Enjoy!
This Saturday is the Integral meditation deep dive mini-retreat. If you know how, its not difficult to really take your meditation practice sustainably to the next level, and this session gives you then skills and experiences to do so. Live places are filled up, but you can still attend online!

In the spirit of re-beginning,

Toby

PS: Heads up for the next iteration of the Men’s Goup, starting September 14th.


Mindful Balance – Finding your somatic & psychological balance

Being balanced makes you resilient 
Being in a state of balance implies that, even if you are under pressure or stress, the way in which you are experiencing that stress is manageable, and even enjoyable.
Conversely, if we feel imbalanced, then even small experiences of stress of challenge can feel overwhelming.
So, the more stable our access to states of balance, the better!

You can use your body to balance your
mind and heart
Balancing thoughts and emotions can be tricky, as they are so fast moving and changeable. The best place to start building stable balance is in the body. If you can create the feeling of balance in the body, then you can use it as the basis of resilient psychological balance.

The left and right halves: Mindful balancing practices
The practices I’ll explain here involve awareness of the left and right halves of the body. If you get the essential point of these examples, you can invent your own variations

  1. Balancing the left and right halves of the body – Imagine a line of light and energy going from the crown of your head to the perineum, the point between the middle of the legs. This is your body’s vertical centre. Rock your body from left to right very gently and feel the left and right halves of the body coming into balance. Breathe and relax with this feeling of balance between the two halves of the body.
  2. Balancing the left and right halves of the brain – This is the same exercise as above, except instead of focusing on the whole torso, you focus on the left and right halves of the brain, feeling them (as well as your left and right brain functions) come into balance.
  3. Working with other body parts – Be aware of your two hands, feet, eyes, or shoulders. Feel the harmony and balance between them as you breathe and relax.
  4. Balancing asymmetrically and in motion – Once you have a sense of these somatic balancing exercises sitting still, you can do them whilst in motion. For example while walking you can focus on the swinging movement of the left and right arms, or the stepping of the left and right feet.
  5. You can also work with vertical balancing, for example balancing the polarity between the crown of the head and the soles of the feet.

Once you have some experience of those somatic balancing exercises, when you are feeling emotionally or mentally out of balance, you can use the felt sense of balance in the body in order to bring a sense of balance to your psychological state. The simplicity of the body balancing helps the complexity of the mind to align with less effort.

Article content © Toby Ouvry & Integral Meditation Asia 2020. you are welcome to share, but please cite the source, thanks! Contact info@tobyouvry.com

Picture © Adrian Ouvry 2020.


Tues 18th of August & Weds 19th August 7.30-8.30pm – Monthly new moon, new beginnings visualization and envisioning sessions

These are meditation classes done monthly around the turn of the new moon that enable us to open to new beginnings, new possibilities and make a fresh start with regard to:

  • Our health
  • Our inner growth
  • And our life’s purpose and future goals

View full details


Saturday August 22nd, 3-5.30pm – Integral meditation deep dive mini-retreat

These three-hour meditation ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques, Toby will guide you into deep meditation flow states
Read full details


Starting Monday September 14th – The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood

How can you move from coping to thriving in your life as a man?
Much is asked of men in their traditional roles as fathers and sons, partners and husbands, students and teachers, employees and employers. The men’s group is a professionally moderated and confidential forum for men. A forum is a safe place for exploring, learning and sharing the successful perspectives, skills, and strategies needed to address and manage the unique issues, problems, and triumphs in our community.

This is a six-session live weekly program starting Monday, September 14th, 7-8.30pm.
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


Online Integral Meditation & Mindfulness classes

Build focus, beat stress, cultivate wellbeing!

Each session involves simple practices that you can apply to make a real difference to your wellbeing and effectiveness in life…full details of classes

 


At a glance: All upcoming classes and workshops for at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Sunday, 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)

Saturday August 22nd, 3-5.30pm – Integral meditation deep dive mini-retreat

Tues 18th of August & Weds 19th August 7.30-8.30pm – Monthly new moon, new beginnings visualization and envisioning sessions

Starting Monday September 14th – The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood

Coming soon – High performance bootcamp: Using mindfulness to operate at your peak without burning out


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
creative imagery Energy Meditation Enlightened Flow Essential Spirituality Inner vision Life-fullness meditation and creativity Meditation techniques Presence and being present Primal Spirituality Walking Meditation

Aspects of environmental meditation

“Sitting or walking, expanding your awareness to include the presence of the earth, moon, sun and stars”

Dear Integral meditators,

The article below explores environmental meditation, which is a real core of my own practice these days.
If you enjoy the article, then I will be doing an Environmental meditation masterclass – Working consciously with the forces of nature this Saturday 25th July, 2.30-5.30pm, you are welcome to join me!

And another practice strongly linked to environmental meditation: This Sunday the Qi gong workout and Qi gong energy body meditation sessions will be beginning again, online.

In the spirit of the environment,

Toby


Aspects of environmental meditation

Environmental meditation, simply put, is using the different elements of our environment as objects of meditation in order to effect the transformation of our consciousness, and move us into a state of balanced communion with the Earth. It mostly works directly and experientially with what is immediately present in our surroundings. It is one of the most ancient and primal forms of meditation around, and you can find elements of it in both the eastern and western traditions.
Below are a few ways in which you can start to practice environmental meditation

1. Earth, moon, sun, stars – If you look at the basic elements of our environment, you will notice that basically:

  • We have the curved surface of the earth beneath us extending to the horizon around
  • Above and around us we have the dome of the sky, within which are stars.
  • Moving across the dome at various points is the sun and the moon.

Sitting or walking, expanding our awareness to include the presence of the earth, moon, sun and stars, and communing with them in an organic way is one very simple but deep environmental meditation practice

2. Directional awareness – your environment on a literal level consists of a direction in front of you, behind you, to your left and right, with the sky and stars above, and the earth below. All in all, this makes six directions. You can take as a seventh direction within. Wherever you go, you are always in the centre of your own six directions. Put another way, where you are right now is always the absolute centre of your personal universe. Sitting and centring in your own six directions is another simple and transformative environmental meditation practice.

3. The rising light – The rising light is a term coined by a Scottish meditator, RJ Stewart where we practice linking the elements of our environment; earth, moon, sun, stars to four zones of our body:

  • Feet and legs to the earth and the element earth
  • Loins/Sacral plexus to the moon and the element of water
  • Heart to the sun and element of fire
  • Head to the stars and element of air
  • Crown to the element of space, both in the sense of physical space, and of consciousness itself

This is a practice that can be done sitting, standing or walking, focusing on and breathing in and out of each of the different areas of the body in turn.

4. Landscape meditation – Thru-out your life you have visited and experienced many different landscapes. Each of these landscapes contained different elements which had different effects upon you. Some were healing and calming, some where inspiring, some where powerful. To practice landscape meditation here means simply to sit and imagine yourself in different landscapes that you have known and loved in your life, and enjoy the states of body mind and heart that this imaginal practice has on you. You can listen to my own guided meditation with landscape by clicking the link.

5. Communing with the powers of the directions, seasons and elements – This is a deeper and more systematic combination of meditations 1&2 where we practice communing with the ‘spiritual’ or inner powers that overlight the basic elements of our environment:

  • Land, sky and sea
  • The four directions: North, south, east, west.
  • The four seasons: Spring, summer, autumn, winter
  • The four elements: earth, water, fire, air

So, there you, go, a very simple overview of environmental meditation. You can get stated by listening to my guided meditation for practice 4 above, or you can find a basic meditation for practice 2, directional awareness here.

Article content © Toby Ouvry & Integral Meditation Asia 2020


Saturday 25th July, 2.30-5.30pm – Environmental meditation masterclass – Working consciously with the forces of natureIn a sentence: Learn to work consciously with the forces of nature and your environment as well develop powerful meditation states.

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….

Read full details


Tues 21st July 7.30-8.30pm, Weds 22nd July  7.30-8.3pm – Monthly new moon, new beginnings visualization and envisioning sessions
These are meditation classes done monthly around the turn of the new moon that enable us to open to new beginnings, new possibilities and make a fresh start with regard to:

  • Our health
  • Our inner growth
  • And our life’s purpose and future goals

See full details…


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


 


Sunday July 19th & 26th, 5-5.50pm
 – Online Qi gong workout class

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


Restarts Sunday 19th July – Qi gong energy body activation meditation

About the sessions: These are Qi gong meditation sessions to activate and enhance the flow of ‘qi’ or subtle energy in your body. We will then be using this flow for:

  • Enhancing physical health and healing
  • Increased emotional wellbeing and mental balance
  • Access to deeper, more dynamic meditation states to transform and regenerate your body, mind and soul

Full details of class


Online Integral Meditation & Mindfulness classesBuild focus, beat stress, cultivate wellbeing!

Each session involves simple practices that you can apply to make a real difference to your wellbeing and effectiveness in life…full details of classes

 


Coming soon: High performance bootcamp – Using mindfulness to operate at your peak without burning out

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:

Weekly 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)

Tuesday’s at 12.30-1.20 – Ongoing Tuesday Lunchtime meditation class @Space2B

Ongoing Sundays 6-6.50pm –  Qi gong energy body activation meditation (Livestream)

Sunday July 19th, 26th – Qi gong workout class

Tues 21st July 7.30-8.30pm, Weds 22nd July  7.30-8.3pm – Monthly new moon, new beginnings visualization and envisioning sessions

Saturday 25th July 10.30am-12noon – ONLINE Get your meditation practice started now – The shortest & most time effective meditation course ever

Saturday 25th July, 2.30-5.30pm – Environmental meditation masterclass – Working consciously with the forces of nature

Coming in July – High performance bootcamp: Using mindfulness to operate at your peak without burning out


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditation Recordings Meditation techniques Mindful Breathing Mindfulness One Minute Mindfulness Presence and being present Walking Meditation

How to do walking meditation (plus free ‘Mindful moments’ video course)

Dear Integral Meditators,

This week’s post has two components. The second is a series of five free videos for you to follow along to that I did with the Movement for modern life yoga website in the summer. The first is an article on how to do walking meditation.

In the spirit of mindfulness in the moment,

Toby


The Basic Fundamentals of Walking Meditation

Many people who think of meditation often think of a formal exercise involving sitting still on a chair or cushion with our eyes closed. It can come as a bit of a surprise to such people to find out that walking can be considered a form of meditation practice, and that walking meditation can become a major part of our daily routine, contributing substantially to or overall consciousness development and sense of inner peace and centred-ness. It is well worth investing the time and effort in learning to do walking meditation, as we spend a substantial portion of our day walking from one destination to another, and if we know how to walk in a meditative manner, then time spent walking can become time spent relaxing and meditating!

Walking meditation can be simply defined as any walk that we undertake where we are using the process of walking to develop our mindfulness, awareness of the present moment and other states conducive to inner peace and happiness. Below I describe some very simple walking meditation techniques that can be used by anyone. Be sure to begin your walking meditation with a conscious decision to stop worrying about your personal life, work projects etc., and to focus on enjoying the process of walking in the here and now!

Initial concentration builders:

Method 1
Walking at a pace that is comfortable for you note how many steps it takes you to breathe in and breathe out, then combine your observation of your breathing with your steps. Let’s say it takes you three steps to breathe one in breath and three to breathe out. As you take each step on the inhalation inwardly say to yourself “In”, and as you breathe out with each step say “out”. So the basic pattern in this example would be in, in, in, out, out, out, in, in, in, out, out, out and so on. Try and get yourself into a rhythm use it to keep your attention in the here and now.

Method 2
A simple variation on method one. Let’s stay with the rhythm of three steps in and three steps out. As you breathe in you recite “step, step, focus”, as you breathe out “step, step, relax”. Continue in this way using the last step of the inhalation to prompt yourself to focus, and the last step of the exhalation to prompt you to relax. If you like you can substitute other words for the focus/relax combination, for example here/now, present/awareness, calm/ease. Choose a combination that is effective and pertinent to you!
Method 3
Pick an object a distance in front of you, such as a tree. Then, as you walk toward it, try and be mindful of the tree and of the present moment with each step and each breath that you take. Once you reach the object, relax for a few steps/breaths, then pick out another object in the distance to focus on in the same way. Build your mindfulness based upon your awareness of the physical object, your breathing and your steps.

Once you have a little bit of focus:

Method 1
As you walk and breathe, pick one sense power, such as your hearing or sight. Try and focus on that sense power mindfully, being aware of all the information that is coming into your awareness through that sense door. So, if you choose your hearing for example, try and pick out all the sounds that are available to you, the wind in the trees, the bird calls, the distant waterfall, the traffic, and so on… Pay full attention to this one sense power with each step, try and experience this as if it is the first time that you have heard, seen or felt it.
Method 2
Once you have some experience of method 1, expand your sensory awareness to take in the whole experience of walking in the present moment. With each step and breath try and experience walking in and experiencing the physical and sensory world as if for the first time. Allow time to disappear, so that the full power of the present is able to impact itself upon your being.

© Toby Ouvry 2016, 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


Mindfulness in moments free video course:

Simply click on the links to follow along to a five minute meditation on the following topics. You can experience the entire course in its fullnessfor free simply by clicking on the individual links below:

  1. Mindfulness of the body
  2. Finding focus through mindfulness of the breathing
  3. Mindfully releasing stress
  4. Mindfulness of your thoughts
  5. Cultivating stillness

A little more on the mindfulness in moments course:
Perhaps you’re completely new to mindfulness, or perhaps you’ve always been meaning to give it a go. Perhaps you’re just curious to know what it means and what’s the difference between mindfulness and meditation anyway? Either way, meditation and mindfulness teacher, Toby Ouvry, is here to help.
The Mindful in Moments Challenge is designed to help anyone get started and begin reaping the benefits of a daily mindfulness practice. Mindfulness can help you to find inner peace, deal with stress and empower yourself to gain control over how you experience your reality.
Our minds are always focused on something, it’s just a case of whether that is causing us to feel happy and balanced or disconnected and unhappy.  Learn to use mindfulness to become aware of where your mind is going in just 5 minutes a day!


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

Categories
mind body connection Walking Meditation

On Regenerating Your Energy Body and Walking Meditation

This week’s article looks at the need to develop a healthy mind-body connection and how to increase the amount of subtle energy, or ‘qi’ within our body. There is an opportunity for those of you in Singapore to participate in a Qi gong walking meditation class this coming Sunday morning, 4th December; I have placed the full details of this beneath the article.

Finally, I gave a short talk at the end of a Qi gong meditation class last week on why it is that we sabotage our meditation practice due to an unconscious fear of inner space and stillness. You can read a transcript of this talk here in an article I have entitled “Our Anxiety in the Face of Inner Space and Stillness” .

Yours in the spirit of inner and outer energy,

Toby


Article of the Week:

On Regenerating Your Energy Body and Walking Mediation 

Recently I was at a healing event with my wife. One way or another we both had the opportunity to place our hands on various members of the public for healing purposes. One of the things that we both remarked upon in our conversation afterwards was how little qi, or subtle energy seemed to be circulating in the bodies of some the people we had been working with. It almost seemed like although there was clearly a mind in the body somewhere, there was no energetic link between the person’s mind and body to give life force, sustenance and nurturing to the physical being. It was like there was a biological body, then a gap, and then their mind. So, with this in mind I thought I would pass on a couple of meditations that can help improve our mind-body connection, and increase the amount of subtle energy, qi or life force in our energy body

A good mind-body connection is one of the most beneficial and important gifts that we can give ourselves. If we try and meditate without it we will find that our meditation will become rather flat and abstract. Conversely, if our body has a healthy flow of subtle energy and life force within it then any meditation or consciousness work that we do will tend to feel fuller, deeper and more rounded.
With this in mind I thought I would share with you one of the main meditations that I use to help encourage the circulation of qi and life-force within my body, which is a simple energy body meditation, based around the principles of qi gong. It is really easy to learn, and once you are used to it you can do it not only in formal meditation, but also by keeping your awareness of it in your daily life, such as when sitting at your desk or travel ling. Click here to read the instructions for doing the energy body meditation that I have posted on my Qi gong blog

Another great way to improve your mind-body connection is by doing walking meditation. Walking meditation necessarily increases your mind-body connection because you are combining mindful awareness with the movement of your body as you walk. Another advantage of walking meditation is that you can integrate it into your daily routine as you move around from one place to another. You can read the basic introduction to walking meditation that I have recently edited and re-posted on my meditation website.

© Toby Ouvry 2011, 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


Sunday Morning Qi Gong Walking Meditation Classes at the Botanic Gardens

Time and Date of next class: 8-9am Sunday 4thth December

Relax, rejuvenate and regenerate yourself on Sunday morning at the Botanic Gardens.

We will be practicing simple Qi Gong and walking meditation techniques to cultivate our inner peace, balance and sense of connectedness to the Earth and nature. Once learned these are techniques that you will also be able to use at other times in your daily life.

The class will be suitable for regular walking mediators/Qi gong practitioners and first timers.

Meeting Point: 8am by the Bukit Timah Gate of the Botanic Gardens, next to the entrance of the Botanic Gardens MRT station. For a map please click HERE

To register or for further enquiries: Email info@tobyouvry.com or SMS 96750279

Class Fee:  $25

About the Teacher: Toby Ouvry is a meditation teacher and artist who has been practicing Qi gong for over fifteen years and teaching it for seven years. You can find more out about Toby and his work by going to www.tobyouvry.com , or check out his Qi gong blog by going towww.tobyouvry.com/qigong

Background information on Qi Gong:

One of the most ancient and effective forms of preventative heath care in the world today, qi-gong represents a series of invaluable breathing and movement exercises which can help our body and mind keep at peak energy levels in the face of today’s demanding and stressful modern lifestyle and schedules.

Qi-gong is the science of working with the body’s energy field. Literally translated into English it means ‘energy work’, or ‘energy skill’.  In these classes we will be learning the art of moving energy 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
  • Harmonize your nervous and endocrine systems
  • Invigorate your body tissue and organs with oxygen rich blood and vital energy
  • Clear stagnant energy from your system and help build your energy fields to their optimum health levels!

General information on Walking meditation:

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

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

Categories
Awareness and insight Concentration mind body connection Presence and being present Walking Meditation

The Basic Fundamentals of Walking Meditation

www.tobyouvry.com

Many people who think of meditation often think of a formal exercise involving sitting still on a chair or cushion with our eyes closed. It can come as a bit of a surprise to such people to find out that walking can be considered a form of meditation practice, and that walking meditation can become a major part of our daily routine, contributing substantially to or overall consciousness development and sense of inner peace and centred-ness. It is well worth investing the time and effort in learning to do walking meditation, as we spend a substantial portion of our day walking from one destination to another, and if we know how to walk in a meditative manner, then time spent walking can become time spent relaxing and meditating!

Walking meditation can be simply defined as any walk that we undertake where we are using the process of walking to develop our mindfulness, awareness of the present moment and other states conducive to inner peace and happiness. Below I describe some very simple walking meditation techniques that can be used by anyone. Be sure to begin your walking meditation with a conscious decision to stop worrying about your personal life, work projects etc., and to focus on enjoying the process of walking in the here and now!

Initial concentration builders:

Method 1
Walking at a pace that is comfortable for you note how many steps it takes you to breathe in and breathe out, then combine your observation of your breathing with your steps. Lets say it takes you three steps to breathe one in breath and three to breathe out. As you take each step on the inhalation inwardly say to yourself ”In”, and as you breathe out with each step say ”out”. So the basic pattern in this example would be in, in, in, out, out, out, in, in, in, out, out, out and so on. Try and get yourself into a rhythm use it to keep your attention in the here and now.

Method 2
A simple variation on method one. Let’s stay with the rhythm of three steps in and three steps out. As you breathe in you recite “step, step, focus”, as you breathe out “step, step, relax”. Continue in this way using the last step of the inhalation to prompt yourself to focus, and the last step of the exhalation to prompt you to relax. If you like you can substitute other words for the focus/relax combination, for example here/now, present/awareness, calm/ease. Choose a combination that is effective and pertinent to you!

Method 3
Pick an object a distance in front of you, such as a tree. Then, as you walk toward it, try and be mindful of the tree and of the present moment with each step and each breath that you take. Once you reach the object, relax for a few steps/breaths, then pick out another object in the distance to focus on in the same way. Build your mindfulness based upon your awareness of the physical object, your breathing and your steps.

Once you have a little bit of focus:

Method 1


As you walk and breathe, pick one sense power, such as your hearing or sight. Try and focus on that sense power mindfully, being aware of all the information that is coming into your awareness through that sense door. So, if you choose your hearing for example, try and pick out all the sounds that are available to you, the wind in the trees, the bird calls, the distant waterfall, the traffic, and so on… Pay full attention to this one sense power with each step, try and experience this as if it is the first time that you have heard, seen or felt it.
Method 2

Once you have some experience of method 1, expand your sensory awareness to take in the whole experience of walking in the present moment. With each step and breath try and experience walking in and experiencing the physical and sensory world as if for the first time. Allow time to disappear, so that the full power of the present is able to impact itself upon your being.