The experiential self: Meditation, vividness & charisma

“Genuine charisma is a natural extension of being grounded in experience. It’s a side effect of you really being here, it doesn’t take a huge effort. A quality closely related to it is what I call your natural dignity. It’s what happens when you relax into your fundamental nature and don’t overthink yourself”

 

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores what I often call the ‘experiential self’ connecting to which is one of the main goals of meditation. If you enjoy the article then  do consider joining us live or online for the this weeks  The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for bringing integration, depth & vividness to your life, on Tuesday or Wednesday. The theme of the session will be on the experiential-self and mindful charisma.

And reminder of this Saturday mornings Zen deep-dive mini-retreat where, amongst other things we shall be meditating on Signlessness – Meeting your reality as it is.

In the spirit of vividness of experience,

 

Toby

 


 

The experiential self: Meditation, vividness & charisma

Meditation

How do you get into a state of meditation? From one point of view, very simple. Basic meditative presence is the space that lies between being lost in thought and asleep, or unconscious. If you can ground your attention in the present moment, for example by focusing on the breathing and body, then there you are. In the present, not lost in thought, not asleep; meditation!

The experiential self & conceptual self

One of the main focuses for me with meditation is to bring us back to the experiential self. When we are lost in thought, our primary experience of self is conceptual, the self is living in the world of concepts. In meditation we come back to our experience of reality in the moment; we experience ourself viscerally and vividly, directly, non-conceptually – We are really alive to our self and life now.

For many of us we are often and mainly lost in our conceptual self, and as a result we experience life indirectly, secondarily through thought. Meditation is designed to fix this imbalance so that we are primarily experiencing and secondarily thinking.

If you think about your experiential self as being like the hero/ine of your life, and the conceptual self as being like the heroes’ side-kick, for example Luke Skywalker and his little robot R2D2. We are trying to make sure that in our own life we don’t confuse our side-kick for our inner hero/ine!

Journeying into doing & being vividly

From our basic experience of the experiential-self we can go in two directions:

  • Deeper into states of being and presence
  • Actively into states of doing

From this we can see that meditation when understood correctly involves being-states and doing-states. We can sit still and be, or we can go into active or working meditation.

Whether you are doing or being, doing so with your experiential self-ensures that you do both vividly, viscerally in a way that is committed to really being alive

Charisma – Owning your space

Here’s the proposition: If you really get good at living in your experiential self, then you will discover your own personal charisma. We all have different personalities, so there are many ways of being charismatic. When you are really connected to the reality of yourself in the moment (not lost in a conceptual image of it) then you arrive in the moment in full colour, with confidence, with presence, with personality. Charisma is a natural extension of being grounded in experience. It’s a side effect of you really being here, it doesn’t take a huge effort. A quality closely related to it is what I call your natural dignity. It’s what happens when you relax into your fundamental nature and don’t overthink yourself

The Work (two types)

So then, from the experiential-self come two types of work:

  • The work of being and embodying in the moment – This is not the work of achieving something in the future, it is qualitative work, the work of making this moment as high-quality as possible
  • The work of doing – From the embodying self in the moment we can then launch ourself into meaningful projects where, with the assistance of the conceptual self, we are setting goals and working toward a future result. The main thing with this is that your ‘doing work’ is that you have identified the ‘deepest inclinations of your heart’ and follow that.

With the experiential self, you’re daily doing and being start to complement and harmonize with each other; busyness and peace, presence and doing, charisma and invisibility all weave themselves together into a vivid and fulfilling tapestry describing the journey of your life.

There is a lot more to this of course, but finishing with a short story from Anthony De Mello:

CHARISM(A)

The disciple was a Jew. “What good work shall I do to be acceptable to God?”

“How should I know?” said the Master. “Your Bible says that Abraham practised

hospitality and God was with him. Elias loved to pray and God was with him. David

ruled a kingdom and God was with him too.”

“Is there some way I can find my own allotted work?”

“Yes. Search for the deepest inclination of your heart and follow it.”

Related article: Your body of presence (Sitting sumo-style)

© Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

 


Starts Tues /Weds 23/24th November – The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for bringing integration, depth & vividness to your life

Overview: The Wisdom of Awakening series looks at different ways to ‘wake up’ and live your life fully and playfully through meditation. The premise of the sessions is that inner wholeness and wisdom are not something that are far away, rather they are something that we can awaken to ‘instantly’ through certain types of mindful attention…read full details


Saturday December 10th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Session overview: These 2.5hour Zen ‘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 and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart.. read full details


Saturday December 17th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation.

In this mini-retreat and clinic: Toby will lead a series of practices over two hours.

  • The first hour will focus on yang/dynamic movement and breathing forms for creating energy and removing blockages.
  • The second hour focuses more upon gentler, yin forms designed to increase harmony in the body-mind, stimulating physical recovery and inner peace

 



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

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

Starts Tues /Weds 23/24th November – The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for bringing integration, depth & vividness to your life

Saturday December 10th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Saturday December 17th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Wednesday Dec 21st, 7.30-8.30pm – Free Winter solstice balancing & renewing meditation (Online only)


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share

Interiority – the cave of the heart

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article is kind of a sister article to last weeks on the cave and the market place. It focuses on the inner confidence that comes from learning how go within yourself competently.
If you enjoy the article then  do consider joining us live or online for the first of  The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for bringing integration, depth & vividness to your life , on Tuesday or Wednesday.

In the spirit of interiority,

Toby


Interiority – the cave of the heart

INTERIORITY
The disciple asked for a word of wisdom.
Said the Master, “Go sit within your cell and your cell will teach you wisdom.”
‘But I have no cell. I am no monk.”
‘Of course you have a cell. Look within.”

The confidence of going within
One of the things that this (very) short story by Anthony De Mello speaks to is the confidence that comes from going within. As an ex-monk, and as someone who has sat and gone within a lot, I know that, even if my life-challenges seem insurmountable, if I can just sit quietly and really go within the cave of my heart, after a few minutes I will start feeling better as I rest in the stillness. After a little while longer I’ll start to hear and have ideas arising from within that give me new positive perspectives around the problems I’m having. This for me is what the Master means when he says: “Go sit within your cell and your cell will teach you wisdom.”

Committing to go within, listening compassionately and courageously
The challenge for many people is that they do not yet have the confidence that by really committing to going deep into the cave (or monastic cell) of their heart, they will discover many of the answers to their problems. In fact, the first thing that we have to face going within is a more direct awareness of our mental and emotional discomfort. This is the very discomfort that most people are running away from in life and or seeking to drown out!

The cave or cell your heart
So, when we commit to going within, a useful first set of positions to work with are:

  • To really commit to going within with courage and decisiveness
  • Rather than fearing the voices and emotions that we may find there, we can listen to them with a degree of compassion and understanding
  • We can go in there in the spirit of curiosity and with an open mind. What we find might be different from what we think

Stilling the voices in the cave
Once we have committed to going within, to discover the wisdom of our inner voice we need to cultivate and become comfortable with the ‘non-voice’ of silence. To do this it can be useful to work on three simple angles (see my previous article on the cave and the market place):
Stilling time – Letting go of past and future
Stilling space – Withdrawing your awareness from your immediate physical environment
Stilling movement – Stilling your body except for your breathing

Letting the silence of your cave show you wisdom
If you can get comfortable with the silence, then you are standing at the threshold of ‘the voice in the cave/cell of your heart that will teach you wisdom’. Sometimes it speaks as a voice, sometimes as the silence itself, sometimes as ideas and intuitions.
It can be useful for some people to actually imagine a cave or cell that they have been to, to give a bit of atmosphere to their inner cave (after a while you won’t need it, but it’s a great entry point). When I was a teenager, my family lived in Portugal at the foot of a big hill that ended at a beautiful beach on the Atlantic coast. On the top of the hill there was an ancient sacred site called the Santuário da Peninha where there were cells that, centuries ago the monks meditated and worshipped. In the cliffs by the beach at the bottom of the hill there was a lovely cave you could access from the sea. Sometimes I see myself sitting in one of those places at the beginning of the meditation. Perhaps you have an equivalent place that you know and can use at the beginning of your meditations?

Related readingInner sensitivity – Listening to yourself
Inner listening – Three levels of meditating on silence

© Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

 


Starts Tues /Weds 23/24th November – The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for bringing integration, depth & vividness to your life

Overview: The Wisdom of Awakening series looks at different ways to ‘wake up’ and live your life fully and playfully through meditation. The premise of the sessions is that inner wholeness and wisdom are not something that are far away, rather they are something that we can awaken to ‘instantly’ through certain types of mindful attention…read full details


Saturday December 10th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Session overview: These 2.5hour Zen ‘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 and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart.. read full details

 



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

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

Starts Tues /Weds 23/24th November – The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for bringing integration, depth & vividness to your life

Saturday December 10th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Saturday December 17th, 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

Share

The cave & the market place (Being in but not of the world)

The cave & marketplace are two images to play with to get the feeling of how to really be in the inner world and really in the outer world, and to be able to do both properly. This way we can be in the world but not of the world, participating but not entangled

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores the movement into the ‘cave of our heart’ and then out again into the world. There are some distinctions in how to do this that are really important both for our peace of mind and for our high functioning in the world.
If you enjoy the article then  do consider joining us live or online for the first of  The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for bringing integration, depth & vividness to your life , on Tuesday or Wednesday.
A final reminder for next Saturday’s Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat.

In the spirit of the cave & the marketplace,

Toby


The cave & the market place (Being in but not of the world)

During the day many people are caught in the middle ground between being either:

  • Fully deep within themselves and at peace
  • Fully in the world and committing to being present there

By the ‘middle ground between’ I basically mean being stuck in our heads, too anxious to be committing full bloodedly to the world of experience, but at the same time not fully detaching and relaxing into the silence within…we are neither in the world or out of the world, but rather stuck in the echo chamber of our own mind, talking to ourselves!

One of the things we are trying to do in integral meditation practice is to master the movement fully into the cave of our heart, and also the movement to fully out and into the world. We are trying to commit fully to a wholehearted interior experience of silence, and a full exterior experience of the world. We are not lost in between, in the fuzzy clouds of our mental miasma and abstract nervous thoughts.
This quote from Anthony De Mello captures it quite well:

DEPTH
Said the Master to the businessman; “As the fish perishes on dry land, so you perish
when you get entangled in the world. The fish must return to the water — you must
return to solitude.”
The businessman was aghast. “Must I give up my business and go into a monastery?”
“No. no. Hold on to your business and go into your heart.”

Two images for meditation:

1. The cave of your heart
Centre yourself within your physical heart-space. Imagine in there is a mountain, perhaps one you know. In the side of the mountain there is a cave, just right for sitting and meditating. See yourself sitting in this cave, going deep into your heart and sitting in silence. You can cultivate stillness and silence by:
Stilling time – Letting go of past and future
Stilling space – Withdrawing your awareness from your immediate physical environment
Stilling movement – Stilling your body except for your breathing
Commit to going deep inside and contacting the peace that lies there.

2. The marketplace of your life
Imagine in a valley beneath your cave is a town and a marketplace. See yourself emerging from your cave and waling down the mountain. Enjoy entering fully into the sights, sounds smells and activity of the marketplace; commit to being fully present in the world. When you are in the market place, really be there, be with the people, be with the ups and downs, be curious, courageous and caring. Imagine the market place transforms into your daily life circumstances now. Be fully there with whatever you are having to deal with. Don’t hide away in the abstraction of your mind, let it be vivid and real, don’t miss your life as it happens!
You can use these two images in meditation to play with the feeling of how to really be in the inner world and really in the outer world, and to be able to do both properly. This way we can be in the world but not of the world, participating but not entangled.

Just to finish, here is a quote from Dion Fortune that speaks to this in a different but complementary way. It will be of use once you get to the intermediate and advanced levels:
No one is capable of the deepest meditation who cannot meditate in a railway station whilst waiting for his train. This involves two things, the power to go so deeply into meditation so as to be completely withdrawn from the physical environment, and the power to keep count of time and return at will.” *

© Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

 


Starts Tues /Weds 23/24th November – The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for bringing integration, depth & vividness to your life

Overview: The Wisdom of Awakening series looks at different ways to ‘wake up’ and live your life fully and playfully through meditation. The premise of the sessions is that inner wholeness and wisdom are not something that are far away, rather they are something that we can awaken to ‘instantly’ through certain types of mindful attention…read full details


Saturday November 26th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat
In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details

 

 



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

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

Read full details


All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

Saturday November 12th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Starts Tues /Weds 23/24th November – The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for bringing integration, depth & vividness to your life

Saturday November 26th, 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

Share

Cultivating your positive imperfectionist

Even when inactive our positive imperfectionist is a benevolent and supportive feeling/atmosphere in our psyche, encouraging us to get stuck in to the activities that we feel motivated around and not to live in fear of trying”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores some ways to begin freeing yourself from the ‘negative perfectionist, with the help of a new friend, the ‘Positive Imperfectionist’. Quite a lot of my coaching work with people relates to this area. With your PI in place it becomes surprisingly possible to do difficult and very worthwhile things. I hope you enjoy it! If you do, then then this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday class will be focused on this subject. You are welcome to join us, live or online!

Next week sees the beginning of the final class series of the year: Tues /Weds 23/24th November – The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for bringing integration, depth & vividness to your life , do check it out!

In the spirit of positive-imperfectionism,

Toby


Cultivating your positive imperfectionist

The prevalence of negative perfectionism
If you have been around any kind of inner-development circles; meditation groups, psychotherapy, coaching etc, one of the phenomena that you may have come across will be the ‘negative perfectionist’. This is a part of many people’s psyche that is obsessed with doing things ‘correctly’ or flawlessly. This part of us is also very inclined to judge us quickly and harshly for any perceived failures flaws of mistakes that we make in our life. There are different forms of uncomfortable and sometimes excruciating psychological pain that it subjects us to as it points out the stupidity of our actions, the inappropriate things that we said, the things we could and should have done better. Even when inactive, it lives within our awareness as an ever-present threat, causing us to live in fear and discouraging us from doing things that be ‘risky’, might go wrong or otherwise expose our imperfection and how generally inadequate we are (!)

Some of the narratives of the negative perfectionist:

  • If you can’t do it right first time you may as well give up
  • You are your actions, if you mess one or more up, you are an idiot
  • People around you are judging you just as harshly as I (the negative perfectionist) am judging you, look how stupid you are making us look!
  • You are guilty until proven innocent, I’m expecting you to mess this up somehow
  • Why do you always find something for me to dislike about you
  • Don’t expose yourself to risk, better to hide than to fail
  • No matter what you achieve, it will never be enough for me
  • You are neither likable nor competent
  • You are isolated and alone

Do any of these sound familiar?

Your positive imperfectionist
For most people then it is well worth cultivating your positive imperfectionist. This is the inner voice within you that is ok with messy and imperfect. It encourages incremental improvement. It urges us to keep going even if we are not very good at something to begin with. It is forgiving and light, and quick to point out progress or improvement we make. It sees the value in failure, and sees mistakes as learning opportunities. Even when inactive it is a benevolent and supportive feeling/atmosphere in our psyche, encouraging us to get stuck in to the activities that we feel motivated around

Working on the narratives of the positive imperfectionist

  • If at first you don’t succeed, try again, having learned from the last attempt
  • You are not your actions, your fundamental value is secure
  • You have friends and encouragers around you, listen to them, feel supported
  • You are innocent until proven guilty! You are accountable for your actions, but don’t think failing sometimes makes you weak!
  • I believe in you
  • Keep trying, no risk no reward
  • You are already enough, try and see how much more you become
  • You are likeable
  • You are not alone

Any one of this last set of sentences can be an object of meditation. Internalizing them one by one will help you recognize and consolidate the voice of your positive imperfectionist. What are you waiting for?

Related articlesMindful Optimism

© Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

 


Starts Tues /Weds 23/24th November – The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for bringing integration, depth & vividness to your life

Dates and titles:
Tues 23/Weds24th November, Class 1
 – Everyday depth: being in the world but not of the world
Tues 6/Weds 7th November, Class 2 – Going within: The cave of the heart
Tues 13/Weds 14th June, Class 3  The experiential self: Meditation, vividness, charisma, ego
Read full details


Saturday November 26th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat
In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details



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

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

Ongoing – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Saturday November 12th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Starts Tues /Weds 23/24th November – The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for bringing integration, depth & vividness to your life

Saturday November 26th, 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

Share

Cloud-watching: Primarily present, secondarily thinking

“One of the main functions of mindfulness and meditation is to make your way of engaging with life primarily experiential, and secondarily conceptual”

Dear Toby,

Why should we be interested in meditating? This weeks article gives some thought to this with the aim of helping us re-connect to our ‘experiencer’. If you enjoy it then this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday class will be focused on this subject. You are welcome to join us, live or online!

Also, final shout out for this Saturdays Zen deep-dive mini-retreat!

In the spirit of experiential cloud-watching,

Toby


Cloud-watching: Primarily present, secondarily thinking

One of the main functions of mindfulness and meditation is to make your way of engaging with life primarily experiential, and secondarily conceptual. What do I mean by this?
Starting out in childhood we were all primarily present moment oriented. We could spend hours being present as we played or interacted with others. Mostly we were present to what was there, and occasionally we began to think and conceive ideas.
As we were educated, the system that we were educated in was and is primarily verbal-linguistic in nature; It’s about developing the power of our thoughts and concepts. By the time we come out of our education, secondary or tertiary, we tend to see our world primarily through a conceptual lens. Its what we think about life, what we believe about it that starts to dominate and often determine our experience. We become primarily thinking and conceptual, and secondarily experiential beings. The problem with this is that we then lose touch with our direct experience, we spend most of our time literally ‘lost in thought’ and less and less time actually living and experiencing life. As a result, our life lacks vitality and vivid-ness, because we experience it conceptually, second hand, rather than experientially, first hand.

Two types of purpose in life
One way of finding purpose in life is to reflect upon your values and then set up goals that will help you to achieve things in the future that are congruent with those values and that will therefore make you happy.
A second approach to purpose is to understand that, regardless of your goals, the main meaning in life from an experiential point of view is to feel and experience being alive. If you lack this, then you lack the main experience that gives fulfilment, even if we have meaningful goals and projects.
These two purposes are really complementary, it is ‘both and’ rather than ‘either or’. However, without the second, the first will be empty. To practice mindfulness of the moment serves to ensure that we remain in touch with the experience of being alive, being fed by life-in-the-moment as we journey toward our goals.
The proposition would be this: Even if some of your life goals are not fulfilled, if you live fully and experientially in the moment then you will feel that your life has been a full, vivid and fulfilling place, that you have not wasted your time thinking of being somewhere else whilst it passed you by!

Cloud-watching: Experiencing your thoughts rather than being lost in them
One way to start coming back to the moment is to learn to watch your thoughts whilst grounded in the present, rather than being lost in them. To do this:

  • Sit and ground yourself in your body as you breathe. Feel as if it is like a mountain, solid, stable and immovable in the present moment. Anchor your attention to it, and your experience of the here and now
  •  Now start to watch your thoughts from the stability of the present moment. If your mind is like the sky, the thoughts are like clouds coming and going. If there are many cloud-thoughts, stay stable and just watch. If there are fewer with some spaces in between, then enjoy the combination of thoughts and spaces between the thoughts (like the sky between the clouds)
  • Notice the clouds to make you more present, not take you away from it!

When you watch your thoughts and the spaces between your thoughts, they simply remind you of what is in the present. You turn them from something that takes you away from your immediate experience to something that helps you connect to it. You become primarily an experiencer of the present, and secondarily a thinker!

Related articlesEnvisioning & presence – Climbing the mindful mountain
Body-mountain, thought-cloud, mind-sky

© Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

 


Saturday November 12th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Session overview: These 2.5hour Zen ‘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 and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart.. read full details



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

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

Ongoing – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Saturday November 12th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Saturday November 26th, 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

Share

Working mindfully with your stomach energy

Dear Integral Meditators,

Meditating with your internal organs is a tradition of mindfulness that comes primarily from Qi gong, however there is good reason for everyone to be interested in it as the benefits are so extensive both physically, psychologically and spiritually.
The article below explores some of the focus points and benefits of the practice, and how to start. Enjoy!
Beneath the article are all the events for November, starting with this week’s Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors, on Tuesday & Wednesday.

In the spirit of strength-in-your-centre,

Toby


Working mindfully with your stomach energy

Acknowledging & appreciating your stomach
Our body is working hard for us all the time, different organs doing different jobs. All of them depend upon the energy that our stomach and digestion make available to us by processing our food. Reflecting on this naturally brings us into a state of appreciation for our stomach, and the importance of it as a lynch pin that enables almost everything we do in our life. Like our other organs however, we often only notice our stomach when it stops working or becomes ill. If we start to acknowledge our stomach, extending some warmth and cherishing to it we discover that we can look after and build the strength of the stomach through mindfulness, thus avoiding it becoming imbalanced in the first place. Health is something that we can co- create with our organs, as they respond to our care and attention.

The importance of the location and psychological energy of your stomach
The anatomical location of our stomach is right in the literal centre of our torso. The way in which our stomach feels affects our overall sense of strength, out posture, our confidence. Quite often we store our stress and anxiety in our stomach, hence the expression “I have butterflies in my stomach” when nervous for example. If our stored stress and anxiety is sitting right in the centre of our being, this can be a substantial dis-advantage. Regularly checking in with the stomach can help us to take care of and release the anxiety, and replace it with balanced, confident energy. This in turn can affect all sorts of things:

  • Our physical posture
  • Our emotional range
  • Our comfort in our own skin
  • The way we think and relate to the world

Clearing out your stomach energetically
As well as extending appreciation to the stomach as described above, we can also work with it energetically. Here is an example:
Focusing on your stomach, imagine it surrounded by a bright yellow ball of light. As you breathe in imagine this ball becoming bright and powerful. As you breathe out, feel its energy cleansing your stomach, helping it to relax and release anxiety and other stored inbalanced energy. After you have done this for a while, then do the same breathing pattern, but imagining building the energy of confidence, self-trust and resilience in your stomach. This makes the centre of your torso feel strong and robust, so that your body and posture has a centre-point that it can rely on. Try this for a week for five minutes per day and notice for yourself the difference that starts to manifest within you.

Other area that benefit from working on your stomach
Work on your stomach also affects your pancreas, gall bladder and digestion as well, so any focus on the stomach also works implicitly on these particular organs.

Concluding thoughts
Mindfulness of the body is a foundational practice for many traditions of meditation. Working with particular organs specifically can make the practice both more varied and increase the range of benefits. Working with the stomach is one example of starting to access the potential of this type of work.

Related articlesMeditating with your internal organs
Lighting up your pathways – Helping your brain to help you

© Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

 


Tues 1st & Weds 2nd November, 7.30pm – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Samhain (Aka All hallows eve, or Halloween) is the time in the northern hemisphere when we enter the darker months of the year & winter. Traditionally it is said to be the time when the veil between the world of the living and the inner world of our ancestors is said to be thinnest. Consequently, it is an ideal time for us to commune with our ancestors in meditation. In this meditation, we shall focus upon… Read full details



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

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

Ongoing – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Tues 1st & Weds 2nd November, 7.30pm – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Saturday November 12th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light

Saturday November 26th, 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

Share

Three Simple Creative Awareness Forms

“One of the things that we learn when we take up meditation is to appreciate how pleasurable the simple act of awareness can be”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This article explores three ways of stimulating your capacity for meditative awareness. They are practices in themselves, or they can be practiced together in combination.
If you enjoy them, the practices will be a part of this Tuesday and Wednesdays’ meditation class, you’d be welcome to join us, live or online.

Final call for this weekend’s Shamanic meditation workshop!

In the spirit of the pleasure of awareness,

Toby

 


 

Three Simple Creative Awareness Forms

Here are three simple meditation forms that you can do anytime, either as a short 1-5 minute practice in a spare moment, or as a longer meditations when you have more time.

1. Developing appreciation of simple awareness.
One of the things that we learn to appreciate when we take up meditation is to appreciate how pleasurable the simple act of awareness can be.
Take a minute now and just allow your mind to rest on an object. It could be the sounds as they come and go in the moment, or the play of the light across the landscape or cityscape as you look out of the window. Just allow your awareness to rest on that single area for as long as you want. As you do so, feel your mind and body moving into a state of rest and regeneration. Feel how pleasant the simple experience of relaxed, open awareness is.

2. Observing yourself in the third person
We habitually view our daily life and the events that happen in it in a first person, subjective manner. This awareness exercise offers another perspective on our life that we can work on integrating.
Sitting down, imagine that, rather than seeing life through the eyes of your physical body, imagine that you are outside your body, maybe two or three meters away observing yourself. Recall the events of the last 24 hours, and mentally see yourself engaging in your activities. As you observe yourself, you may find that feelings and emotions come up. If so, that is fine, just allow them to. The thing that you want to try and avoid as you are watching yourself is to start analyzing it or making judgements about what you are seeing. Simply be an objective observer and try and experience as fully as possible what it is like to be free from an obsessive first person experience of your life.

3. Finding your inner light by relaxing into the darkness of your mind.
Relax your mind as much as possible, as if you are falling asleep. Allow your awareness to be enveloped by the deep, silky darkness that is normally experienced as you start to drift into unconscious slumber. The key here is to ALMOST fall asleep, but NOT to actually fall asleep! Keep a part of your mind alert and awake as the main part of your mind and body relaxes deeply.
Think of the darkness that you experience as you are relaxing in this way as being like the darkness that a baby experiences in the mother’s womb, or like the darkness of deep night when we are all asleep. Rest in this darkness as fully as you can without losing that small element of aawakeness!
After a while imagine that you sense within the darkness a point of light. A little bit like the first rays of sun as it is still beneath the horizon at dawn. Focus on this point of light and allow it to become gradually stronger and more pervasive, like the rays of the sun spilling across the horizon as it rises. Gradually, without trying too hard, let the inner light within your mind begin to fill the darkness until your mind feels bright and radiant like a morning sun.
The key with this exercise is to relax as fully into the darkness before you attempt to find the light, and not to try too hard to find the light. If you relax deeply into the darkness, the light will actually start to emerge in its own time. However, you can stimulate it a little bit by imagining the point of light emerging from the darkness as described above.

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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


Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreatLearn how to practice the fundamentals of the most ancient meditation tradition on the planet in a clear, practical and concise manner, and understand its relevance and value to you and the challenges that you face in your life.

The workshop will give an overview and introduce some simple but profound shamanic practices on day one, with a deeper dive into Shamanic meditation practices on day two…read full details

 


Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light

About the class: Deepavali is traditionally (amongst other things) the annual celebration in the Hindu Calendar of the triumph of the light ever the darkness, of good over evil. In this session we will be taking some time to connect to our own ‘inner light’ in meditation, as a way of conquering the ‘darkness’ of our own inner confusion and fear….read full details


 

Saturday September 24th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details

 



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

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

Ongoing – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreat

Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light

Saturday October 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Tues 1st & Weds 2nd November, 7.30pm – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share

Lighting up your pathways – Helping your brain to help you

Dear Integral Meditors,

This article explores ways of being mindful to help develop an appreciation toward your brain. I hope you enjoy it. If you do them it will be a part of this Tuesday and Wednesdays’ meditation class, you’d be welcome to join us, live or online.

In the spirit of a bright brain,

Toby

 

 

 


Lighting up your pathways – Helping your brain to help you

This article explores ways of being mindful to help develop an appreciation toward your brain. My experience over the years is that you can significantly change the health of the different internal organs and zones of the body using meditation. Since your brain is such an important aspect of our body-complex, time spend in mindful appreciation of your brain is well spent.
Like other areas of out body, often we only notice our brain when it starts to go wrong or malfunction. It doesn’t take too much wisdom to see the benefit of not waiting to that point before we start to look after it!

Caring attention to your brain
You can start mindfulness of the brain simply by noticing it sitting there in your skull, and paying attention the feelings and sensations that you have in and around it. Any areas of tension or ‘brain-fog’ that you notice there you can gently encourage the brain to release. Awareness itself is a healer, and just this opening stage can be quite powerful if done with reasonable quality attention

Smiling to your body and brain
In the Qi gong tradition of meditation there is a practice called ‘smiling to the internal organs’ which is a form of health meditation. This can be easily applied to the brain as follows:
Step 1: Relax your facial muscles. Then raise the corners of your mouth a few millimetres, so the expression on your face is that of a gentle half smile. Notice the natural warmth of the energy that is generated from this.
Step2: Imagine the warm energy of the smile as a miniature sun that gathers in the space between your eyebrows, maybe about the size of a golf ball. Then imagine that mini-sun moving to different parts of the brain. Focus your smiling energy in each area for a short while seeing it radiate its healing and energizing there. For example, you could move it:

  • First to the prefrontal cortex at the front, just behind the forehead and temples
  • Secondly to the mid-brain or limbic-zone, responsible for much of our emotional and social processing
  • Finally to the back, the primal/reptilian zone of the brain and the brain stem where our fight or flight responses are located

Move the smiling energy back and forth into each area for a while, and then finish by relaxing your attention and letting your brain absorb the effect of this process.
As well as being good for your brain, you’ll also notice that this meditation has a soothing effect on your thoughts, making it quite easy to feel mentally calm.

Mindfulness and brain density
Evidence has shown that regular meditation increases the gray matter in the:

  • Insula – which is linked to interoception; self-awareness; empathy for emotions. (Holzel et al.,2008; Lazar et al., 2005)
  • Hippocampus – associated to visual-spatial memory; establishing context; inhibiting amygdala and cortisol. (Holzel et al.,2008; Luders et al., 2009*)
  • Prefrontal cortext (PFC) – related to executive functions and attention control. (Larzar et al., 2005; Luders et al., 2009*)
  • Regular meditation reduces: Cortisol thinning linked to aging in insula and PFC. (Lazar et al.,2005)

The experiments above were just measuring the effects of a very general mindfulness practice, nothing brain specific. The proposition would be that the meditation that I describe above would have a rather more explicit and positive effect on the brain than the one done in the research.
Actually, I find that doing the brain meditation itself and the good feelings that come from it is rather more motivating than research. But if it motivates you to get practising, then by all means use it to get up and running!

Related readingMeditation Technique For Brain Relaxation, Non-Conceptuality and Falling Asleep at Night.
Access your brain’s ‘zero space’

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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


Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreatLearn how to practice the fundamentals of the most ancient meditation tradition on the planet in a clear, practical and concise manner, and understand its relevance and value to you and the challenges that you face in your life.

The workshop will give an overview and introduce some simple but profound shamanic practices on day one, with a deeper dive into Shamanic meditation practices on day two…read full details

 


Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light

About the class: Deepavali is traditionally (amongst other things) the annual celebration in the Hindu Calendar of the triumph of the light ever the darkness, of good over evil. In this session we will be taking some time to connect to our own ‘inner light’ in meditation, as a way of conquering the ‘darkness’ of our own inner confusion and fear….read full details


 

Saturday September 24th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details

 



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

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreat

Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light

Saturday October 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Tues 1st & Weds 2nd November, 7.30pm – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share

Inner listening – Three levels of meditating on silence

“The nice thing about the above meditation is also that it can be done without having to exert much effort; it’s all listening, accepting, opening to. It can be done when you are tired and want to relax, as well as when you want to sit down and really do some focused inner work”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores how you can access and enjoy silence progressively and without too much effort. It’s partly the subject of  this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday meditation class,  it’ll be a fun one, and your welcome to join is either live or online.

Beneath the article you an find full details of all classes and workshops for October, do have a browse, it’s a full line up!

In the spirit of  silence amongst the noise,

Toby


Inner listening – Three levels of meditating on silence

Cultivating silent presence is not by any means the only way to meditate, but nevertheless it is a super important dimension of meditation. It is also one that, once you can do it, helps all your other forms of meditation as well as being an end in itself. Here are three ways to meditate on silence, the first is a doorway to the second, and the second is a doorway to the third. For the first two there are two ways to do it; listening inwardly and listening outwardly. They can be combined or focused on separately in any given session, as you wish.

Listening and observing the non-silence
The first practice is to listen to the non-silence or the noise.
On the inner level – As you turn your attention inward, this means to notice your inner conversation, and all the other ‘noise’ that is going on inside your mind, just holding the position of the observer in that space. You don’t try and stop the thoughts, rather you simply listen and notice.
On the outer level – You simply listen to the sounds going on around you, noticing them, and letting them come and go. Like the inner level the key is simply listening and noticing, and letting that be your point of stability as the sounds come and go.

Listening and observing the silence
If you listen to your inner noise in the way described above, then after a while you will notice that it starts to die down a little. Listening inwardly, you will start to notice pockets of silence between the noise. When these start to happen, pay attention to them and start to drop into them, extending the duration of them a little. Over time you will start to have more silence than inner noise. Eventually you’ll start to experience extended periods where it is almost all silence, and you drop into deeper and deeper states of meditation.
On the outer level, you can choose to focus on the silences in between the noises. After a while you will start to notice that silence is all pervasive; even when there is noise, you realize that the noise is contained by silence; that silence is present even when there are sounds around.

Listening to the sound of silence     
Once you have some experience of stages one and two, you will have probably started to notice that, when you listen to silence, both inwardly and outwardly, there is a sound. It’s kind of like a high-pitched ringing in your inner ear. If you relax with it, you may find that it makes it easier to let go of discursive thoughts and move into a thoughtless condition. Listening to the sound of silence almost puts you in a trance-like state that is very conducive to meditation and moving into deeper, non-conceptual states of awareness. On this third level the inner and outer dimension of the listening pretty much merge into the same thing, as the sound seems both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ at the same time.

The nice thing about the above meditation is also that it can be done without having to exert much effort; it’s all listening, accepting, opening to. It can be done when you are tired and want to relax, as well as when you want to sit down and really do some focused inner work!

Related articles:

Inner sensitivity – Listening to yourself

The way to silence

Meditating on the Sound of Silence

Four ways of working with your inner voice

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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


Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreatLearn how to practice the fundamentals of the most ancient meditation tradition on the planet in a clear, practical and concise manner, and understand its relevance and value to you and the challenges that you face in your life.

The workshop will give an overview and introduce some simple but profound shamanic practices on day one, with a deeper dive into Shamanic meditation practices on day two…read full details

 


Saturday October  8th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Session overview: These 2.5hour Zen ‘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 and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart.. read full details



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

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Saturday October  8th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreat

Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light

Saturday October 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Tues 1st & Weds 2nd November, 7.30pm – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share

Mindfulness, productivity, self-regulation & the 85% rule

Mindfulness in its pure form is essentially enhanced reality orientation. It involves involves specific forms of attentional & awareness practices that are designed to release our natural intelligence & our potential for experiential learning in the moment

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article essentially points out how mindfulness and productivity go together to help you enjoy your life and realize your goals, or to go from coping to thriving, I hope you enjoy it!

In the spirit of  enhanced reality orientation,

Toby

 

 

 

 


Mindfulness, productivity, self-regulation & the 85% rule

Basic reality orientation – Coping well enough to perform
In order to hold down a job, or maintain a harmonious social and family existence we all need a degree of mindfulness. We all need to be taking social cues, focusing on our work, and making appropriate adjustments well enough to do these things acceptably. Failure to meet our reality with this basic level of mindfulness would lead to:

  • Inability to hold down a job
  • Lack of stable relationships
  • Continuous instability within the family unit
  • Being considered unstable and even ‘insane’ by the conventional measures by which it is assessed in society

Enhanced reality orientation – Moving from coping to thriving
Mindfulness in its pure form is essentially enhanced reality orientation. It involves  specific forms of attentional & awareness practices that are designed to release our natural intelligence & our potential for experiential learning in the moment.

  • By paying attention in a high-quality manner to our work we can be more successful at it without necessarily working harder (aka working smarter)
  • In our leadership and relationship life we can create high functioning interactions that lead to great teams and stable friendships
  • We can learn to pick up on inner cues and signals from our body-mind, and learn to regulate our energy in a way where we feel well and thriving not just in the short term, but in the medium and long term.

With the students that attend my mindfulness sessions at INSEAD, one of the things that I am trying to teach them is how to arrive at 50years old (my age) from where they are (30+) in a way where they feel they have energy, enthusiasm and are ready to leap into the next life-project. This is as opposed to what they see in may of their seniors who are exhausted, stressed out and cynical. To do this they (and you!) need to self-regulate effectively. Below is a simple exercise around the 85% rule that is one example of this.

The 85% rule
This rule basically states that, if you are 85% exhausted, and then you stop and rest, your body-mind will recover reasonably fast and you can then continue where you left off. If you go substantially beyond the 85%, you move your energy levels move more and more ‘into the red’. Moving beyond 85% means that you really are exhausted, and it takes a much longer time to recover effectively from that type or level of exhaustion. So, in this practice the object of mindful self-regulation is to not go beyond 85% exhausted in any given activity in your work or life. By doing this you can actually become more productive in the medium to long term and in a way that is sustainable and enjoyable. The key here is:

  1. To know what the signs that you are approaching the 85% marker are
  2. To recognize and accept those signs
  3. To stop what you are doing and focus on the (enjoyable) discipline of recovery
  4. Recognizing the signs of recovery, and getting back to it with enthusiasm!

If you can do this then this simple way of orienting yourself mindfully around the reality of your energy levels gives you one of the keys to mindful thriving and productivity.
What are your own personal inner signs for points 1-4 above? How can you start orienting yourself around these signs mindfully today and begin plotting your own path of mindful thriving?

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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


Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreatLearn how to practice the fundamentals of the most ancient meditation tradition on the planet in a clear, practical and concise manner, and understand its relevance and value to you and the challenges that you face in your life.

The workshop will give an overview and introduce some simple but profound shamanic practices on day one, with a deeper dive into Shamanic meditation practices on day two…read full details

 



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

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

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

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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

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

Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Saturday October  8th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreat


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Share