Mindful of your moods, emotions and dispositions

Dear  Integral Meditators,

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

In the spirit of moods and atmospheres,

Toby


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

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


Mindful of your moods, emotions and dispositions

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Access your brain’s ‘zero space’ (Plus Engaged Mindfulness book special offer)

Dear  Integral Meditators,

Article below four practical ways of clearing and calming your perception using awareness of the body and brain. They’re very simple to use, and once you know what they are, you can use them to good effect anytime!
Do check out the new Astrological Mastery meditations this week, where we will be exploring Sagittarius – I perceive and understand! And final reminder of the Psychic Self-defence workshop on Saturday.

In the spirit of clear perception,

Toby


Engaged Mindfulness book is on a special 10% offer for the next week (Until end Tuesday 11th Dec)
Christmas is coming up, if you are looking for a meaningful, inexpensive present to pass out to friends, why not order a few copies of ‘Engaged Mindfulness’? It’s a short, 45 page primer on integral mindfulness, broken up into short 1-2page sections. Click here to order your copies…

 


Four aspects of clear perception (The zero space in your brain)

What I want to outline here are four ways essentially to calm and center. The first three relate to three aspects of our awareness, namely:

  • Our instinctive, or primal intelligencewhich resides in the brain stem, the oldest ‘reptilian’ part of our brain. This part of our brain is also wired via our nervous system to our belly area, or our ‘guts’. When we say, “I have a gut feeling about this”, this is partly the area of perception we are referring to.
  • Our emotional and ‘mammalian’ intelligence which resides in the mid-section or limbic area of our brain. This in terms of our body relates to our heart or chest space, where we experience many of our human and social emotions.
  • Our cognitive or thinking intelligence, which is primarily located in the pre-frontal cortex area of the brain. In terms of our body, this is our ‘head’ intelligence.

At any given moment we are receiving impulses and information from these three aspects of our body and our brain. So, in terms of our perception of any given situation, it can be good to ask these questions:

  • What are my guts and reptilian brain telling me here?
  • What are my emotions and limbic brain experiencing here?
  • What is my thinking self and pre-frontal cortex experiencing here?

If you do this you’ll start to be able to tease apart these three areas of your perception and make more conscious choices about your experience in the moment.

Relaxing your instincts, emotions and mind
You can also use this three-fold distinction to relax more systematically:

  • To relax your instinctive self: Focus on relaxing the brain stem just inside the base of the skull and at the top of the spine. Then put one hand on your belly and breathe in and out of it, calming the energy there
  • To relax your emotional self: Focus on the mid-brain area and relax that, then put one hand on your heart/sternum area and breathe in an out of your chest, calming the emotions you sense there.
  • To relax your thinking self: Focus on the front of the brain, and around the temples and forehead. Relax the pre-fontal cortex, then the head area in general.

The zero space inside you head
There is a tiny physical cavity, or space inside your brain. It is in the middle of the brain, just maybe a centimetre or two toward the back from the literal centre. It is the space at the intersection or meeting point between the left and right hemispheres of your brain, and the brain stem which comes up from underneath. Back in the day, Taoist meditators discovered that, if you placed your attention in this physical spot in your head, then your mind calms very quickly, as there is absolutely nothing going on in that space. It’s like a ‘zero space’ of no thought. The Taoist call this space ‘the cavity of original spirit’. So, if you rest your attention there, you can enter a space of no-thought very quickly!
I use these four areas in combination. I first relax my instincts, emotions and thoughts, then I go into the ‘Cavity of original spirit’ for a while. It’s another meditation technique that can also be very useful when you can’t fall asleep at night. A space of ‘no-thought’ is pretty damn relaxing even if you aren’t literally asleep!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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

Dear  Integral Meditators,

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

In the spirit of clear perception,

Toby


Dimensions of mindful perception and understanding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Psychic self-defence & spiritual sources of compassion (plus new power napping track)

Dear  Integral Meditators,

What is the difference between open and closed compassion? And how can you protect yourself from the attacks and imbalances of others around you without withdrawing your compassion from them? The article below explores how…
Heads up for the Psychic & Psychological Self-defence half day workshop on the 8thDecember. If the article speaks to you, then you’ll enjoy the workshop!
Also, our friends at I-awake technologies have got a brand new track out: Stealing flow – Power nap. If you’re looking for a better way to revitalize, this is a great option!

In the spirit of compassion,

Toby


Last 2 days: 10% off on Life-Fullness Life coaching sign ups from now until Wednesday 21st NovemberThe Life-Fullness Integral Coaching Program (LICP) is an integral form of 1:1 coaching with Toby that you can sign up for periods of six-months or three-months at a time. It is mindfulness oriented personal coaching that focuses upon the development of three R’s:

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

Click here for full details of the Life-fulness program


Psychic self-defence & spiritual sources of compassion 

To be competent at ‘psychic self-defence’ means to be able to protect yourself from negative or unbalanced energies that may try and invade your subtle energy field. This energy can come from other people, from an environment, from yourself, or from a source within the inner world. An attack may be deliberate, or it may be unconscious, or co-incidental (just a case of ‘wrong place at the wrong time). In my past articles I’ve written about both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ forms of psychic self-defence. Here I’m going to be writing about how to protect yourself from other people’s negative energy, without withdrawing your compassion for them.
Saying yes and no: A foundational aspect of psychic self-defence is psychological boundaries. On a simple level, this means if you are happy to do something with someone, you say ‘yes’, but if you aren’t, then you know how to say ‘no’. This means not saying yes to people all the time just because you want to please them, keep them happy, or are afraid of their disapproval. If something or some behaviour is not acceptable to you need to know how to firmly and politely say no. It sounds simple, but in practice a lot of people don’t do it well.
Open and closed compassion: So then if you have someone who you may know and whose pain you may have compassion for, you need to be conscious whether you are going to keep your energy field ‘open’ to them, which means taking on some of their energy (and possibly pain), or whether you are going to ‘close’ your energy field to them. Closing means to take a step back from them, and deliberately not allow their energy to affect you too much, even though you may have compassion for them.
Closing your energy field to someone: One traditional visual way to close your energy field is to imagine yourself surrounded by a golden bubble of light. It’s around your body in a circle or egg shape, but you can shrink it to fit your body like a glove when necessary. This bubble is semi-porous, which is to say it lets in the energy that you want to let in, but blocks the energy you don’t want. So if there is someone whose energy you want to block, the bubble doesn’t let any of their energy in. I sometimes also imagine star-shapes spinning on the surface of my golden bubble; when there is someone whose energy I want to block, one of the stars positions itself (whilst spinning) on the point of my bubble directly between myself and that person making that point totally impenetrable.
Opening a channel for spiritual compassion: So then, what if you have blocked your connection to a person, but still want to extend compassion to them? One way to do this is to send it via a spiritual source. So, any spiritual master, or source of spiritual energy that you feel connected to, you simply visualize that source and see compassionate energy flowing to the person from the source. For example, you can visualize a deity above that person’s head and the light of compassion flowing down through their crown. Or you can visualize compassionate healing light from the earth flowing up through their feet into their body. This is also a visualization you can do for yourself if you feel access your own self-compassion is blocked. Visualize yourself receiving it from a spiritual source and let yourself gradually re-open to receiving compassion and healing.

Related articleDiscovering your mindful compassion – Seven ways

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Discovering your mindful compassion – Seven ways

Dear  Integral Meditators,

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

In the spirit of compassion,

Toby


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

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

Click here for full details of the Life-fulness program


Discovering your mindful compassion – Seven ways

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Developing your inner vision (Mindful composting)

Dear  Integral Meditators,

As we meditate we develop our inner vision. This gives rise over time to various experiences of ‘spiritual light and darkness’ that it’s worth spending a bit of time pausing and reflecting upon before jumping to conclusions. In the article below I offer one of my own stories about this.
We’ll be exploring the theme in this weeks Deepavali meditations, and its kind of implicit in the Qi gong meditation we do on Saturday mornings.

In the spirit of clear vision,

Toby


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

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

Click here for full details of the Life-fulness program


Developing your inner vision: The darkness that you encounter in meditation may not be what you think! (Mindful composting)

If you meditate consistently over a period of time, at some point you are going to awaken one or other of your faculties of inner vision. This whole area is a big one, but I want to share just one short story now.
When I first started meditating, I had inadvertently, through some basic hatha yoga, activated my kundalini. As a result, I started to have visions, and the visions that I saw were quite varied, but as often as not they were very dark, dense and apparentlymalevolent in nature. It seemed to happen in waves, for days at a time, then going away, only to come back at a later time. I seemed to encounter dark beings within the dark energy, with hooked noses, long hands and so forth, very Harry Potter.
I found this a bit disconcerting and tried to force these evil visions away with prayers of protection, power mantras and all this type of thing, but the visions persisted causing a certain degree of fear and anxiety. I thought that I must be doing something wrong in my meditation, or I had some form of evil in me that must be magnetizing these funny beings to me.
I was able to clarify the situation as a result of starting to make my own compost. I noticed that when I lay down to bed at night, if I had been doing any work in the garden, and in particular doing composting work, then I would almost always see these same dark beings in my inner vision as I went to sleep. It was at this time also that I started to read a little bit on the idea of nature elementals, the spiritual beings who over-light the fundamental life and death processes of nature. Putting two and two together I realized that what I was seeing in my inner vision was not the forces of darkness in an evil sense, but rather the natural elemental forces of death, decay and breaking down as they exist in the natural world.
These natural forces of death and decay in the natural world are just as important as the life giving forces, and are in no way malevolent. However, for a human such as me encountering them for the first time, they often produce a reaction of confusion and aversion. Once I had clearly understood who and what they were, my fear for them dissolved and I learned to welcome them into my awareness in the same way that I welcomed light, blissful and radiant experiences.
When we start to develop our inner vision we may have some experiences that we do not understand, but it is important not to jump to conclusions too quickly, as what we see may not be what we think it is!

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


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

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

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

Saturday mornings 9-10.15: November 3rd,10th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

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

Tues 6th & Weds 7th November – Deepavali meditation – Connecting to your inner-light

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

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

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


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Playing your roles with freedom

Dear  Integral Meditators,

This weeks articles looks at how you can live your life and play your life-roles with greater freedom and authenticity, using mindfulness.
If you enjoy the article, then do consider coming along to the mindfulness group coaching sessions this month, which will be on this topic…
Reminder of the Samhain meditations Tuesday and Weds, and the Qi gong workout & meditation this weekend. And last 2 days of the special 1:1 coaching offer.

In the spirit of playing our roles with freedom,

Toby


Playing your roles with freedom – The observer selfObserving the world through our roles
For most of us, much of our sense of ‘I’ or ‘self’ is taken up by the different roles that we play in life. For example, professionally we may be a manager, a technician, a banker, a designer. Our family roles take up a huge chunk of our identity; mother, father, son, daughter, elder brother, younger sister. There are many other roles; the sports person, the talker, the cook, the pacifier, the fixer, the list goes on. If you were to try and bring to mind the top three or four roles that you are most identified with in your life, what would they be?
The challenge with these roles is that because we identify with them so closely, we tend observe our world, define ourselves and act from them without choice. They define the person we are and what we are capable of. Sometimes identifying with a particular role has benefits and serves us well. But at other times being over-identified with our roles and attached to them causes us a lot of unnecessary suffering and stress. It prevents us from seeing possibilities and fulfilling our potential.Stepping out of our roles and becoming the observer
So, with mindfulness we learn to step out of our roles, observing ourself and our world with bare attention, as a mere observer.  In this regard it can be very valuable to deliberately and consciously step out of roles we are identified with. For example:

  • As a father I might choose to deliberately step out of my identification with that role, and simply observe my daughter and experience of her from a witnessing position
  • As a meditation teacher I can choose to ‘drop the label’ and observe myself as if I was a no-one.
  • I can step out of my habitual patterns as a business man, and see my daily business activities ‘as if for the first time’, or like a ‘fly on the wall’.

In these examples, I am deliberately stepping out of a role, putting it down, and trying to not see my world coloured by the lens of that role.

Stepping back into our roles with freedom and enthusiasm
Once we are regularly stepping out of our roles, and dis-identifying with them, we can then practice ‘putting them back on’. We can play our roles with enthusiasm and passion, but also with the knowledge that we are not those roles. We are capable of putting them down and stepping out of them when we wish to. We are able to play our roles in life with freedom, enthusiasm and creativity. Our dis-identification with them helps us to play the roles better and more fully.

Exercise: Stepping in and out of our ‘role costumes’
Imagine you have a cupboard in your home. In that cupboard are a collection of costumes, clothes, hats and so on that relate to all the roles you play in your life; mother, daughter, professional trader, lover, friend etc… Take a little time to look thru all these different clothing and costumes. You are none of these costumes, but you put them on in your life, to play your roles. You can play them fully, with commitment and power, but when your done, you know you can take off the costume and put it back in the cupboard. On a deeper level your identity is simply as the observer, the witness, dancing in an out of your roles!

Related articleNo Name (Meditation Spaghetti Western Style)

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


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

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

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

Saturday mornings 9-10.15: November 3rd,10th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

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

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

Tues 6th & Weds 7th November – Deepavali meditation – Connecting to your inner-light

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

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

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


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Nine different forms of mindful centring

Dear  Integral Meditators,

The world  you inhabit and experience is very different when you view it from your inner centre. This weeks article looks at nine different ways in which you can practice mindful centring. Different ways of enjoying your life more in an empowered way by standing in the middle of it.
If you are a complete beginner to meditation, then I’ll be doing a 90minute ‘Get your practice started Now!‘ session this Saturday afternoon, which is an ideal starting point!

In the spirit of the centre,

Toby


Nine different forms of mindful centring

Mindfulness is by its nature a centring activity, so on one level you might say that any form of mindfulness done well is a form of centring practice. What I’ve done below is to compile a list of practices that help you find your centre in different ways. You can then try them out and see which one or combination works best for you. You’ll see I’ve also linked the sections to further articles that explain the technique in some detail.

Body, senses, breathing – Whenever you bring your attention mindfully to any of these three, then by implication you start to bring yourself back to your center, both in terms of physical location, and the present moment. A few moments being aware of your breathing, or one of your senses, or the weight of your body are all ways of establishing a very basic experience of centre.

Curiosity and questioning – From a position of light observational curiosity, try asking a simple question such as ‘How am I feeling today?’, or ‘What do I notice about my surroundings right now?’ Questioning with curiosity focuses attention and encourages your mind toward a point of centre and focus.

Awareness of your non-centre – If you are feeling off-centre and it’s difficult to settle, then using observation and curiosity ask yourself ‘What is preventing me from feeling centred and present?’ Observing your resistance to the present and your centre will, paradoxically, help you find your centre!

The hub of the wheel – Imagine all the motion and commotion; physical, emotional, mental, in your life as being like the circular motion of a wheel. Imagine yourself at the hub of the wheel. All the energy-in-motion is just the spinning of the wheel around you, you are safe, still and centred in the hub.

The eye of the storm – This is like the hub of the wheel, but a different image and metaphor. All the commotion is like a swirling storm around you. You are in the eye of the storm, a still point of calm and ease right in the centre!

Your vertical core – Imagine a line of light going down from the crown of your head to your perineum (point between the middle of your legs). This is your physical body’s vertical centre, or core. Sitting or standing, rock your body from side to side, and then from front to back whilst focusing on your vertical core. Then take a few breaths centring on your vertical centre, connecting to the feeling of balance that comes from it.

Centres along your vertical core – Once you have your vertical core, you can then centre at specific levels of it. For example, you can centre on it at the level of the belly(lower dan-tien), or the heart, or in the head, in the centre of the brain area. With practice you can learn to centre yourself more and more effectively using these particular physical points in the body.

Grounding – Focus attention on the soles of your feet, imagine yourself with heavy boots, or growing roots from your feet, really connecting to the earth. This can be a nice one to do as you walk. You can also practice feeling centring, grounding energy rising up from the earth as a way of connecting to your centre.

Non-doing – Centring through non-doing means to practice for short periods of time doing nothing, or no-thing on the physical and mental level. This helps us to gently settle and centre our mind in our own primary awareness, in the moment.

So, there you go, nine different ways of finding your mindful centre. Enjoy!

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


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

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

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

Saturday mornings 9-10.15: November 3rd,10th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

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

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

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

Tues 6th & Weds 7th November – Deepavali meditation – Connecting to your inner-light

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

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

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Four ways of working with your inner voice

Dear  Integral Meditators,

Whats your relationship to the voices that you find chatting away in your head? The article below offers four ways of becoming more conscious of your inner conversation, and getting it working for rather than against you!
Meditation classes this week will be on how to work with your inner chatter, so same subject as the article. Qi gong workout and meditation this Saturday morning.
You’ll also see below an offer on my 1:1 coaching, if you really want to go a little deeper with experience of calm and wellbeing amidst the storms of life, this is a great opportunity!

Toby


Mindfulness & Meditation Coaching special offer for October
For the next two weeks I have a special offer on my 1:1 meditation and mindfulness coaching sessions:

  • For 3 sessions a month over the next three months (total nine sessions) the offer is $480 per month (Usual price $610)
  • For 2 sessions a month over the next three months (total six sessions) the offer is $350 (usual price $440)
  • Sessions can be done face to face, or via Skype, Zoom or Facetime.

It’s a great opportunity to get some focused coaching for at a reduced outlay. The only conditions are that all sessions must be completed within a four month period of the start date. So, for example if in one of the first three months a session is missed, it can be done during month four.
If you’d like to take up this offer, then simply reply to this email and let me know. If you know anyone whom you think might be interested in it, then do feel free to let them know!


Four ways of working with your inner voice
“Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.” – John Greenleaf Whittier
Your ‘inner voice’ refers to the inner conversation that you are having with yourself in your head during the day. Sometimes this voice can be critical, sometimes it can be supportive. For many of us it can be predominantly a source of insecurity and dis-ease, rather than support. The purpose of working with your ‘inner voice’ mindfully in the ways described below is to help transform it from a potential or actual weakness into a source of strength.
Listening with curiosity – This first exercise is simply observing the voices and conversation you are having in your head. Often when the conversation is taking place we are very identified with the voices, and we often take it very seriously. The idea here is to listen with curiosity, and a sense of detachment and lightness. You’ll notice that there are some ‘positive’ voices, and some kind of ‘negative’ voices. You want to greet both with a little bit of humour and lightness. You are also trying to gently separate your ‘I’ or sense of self from the voices. You aren’t trying to change of ‘fix’ the voice, just listen inquisitively and lightly.Talking back wisely – Method two is to listen to your inner dialogue and to ‘talk back’, gently directing the conversation in a positive way. For example, if your voices are being critical toward you about a mistake or mis-judgment that you made, you can gently point out the reasons why you can be a bit easier and less judgmental on yourself. If you notice that your inner voices are talking about a work project, you can consciously look for and bring in the aspects of the project that are going well, or that you can feel good about. Here you are a participant in the conversation, and gently encouraging it to go in a direction that serves you!

Talking less – This third ‘mindful position’ is to gently encourage the conversation to reduce and ‘quieten down’. You can try gently communicating to yourself and your inner voices that (for the time you are doing this exercise) there really is no need to process or ‘fix’ any of your problems or challenges. Give yourself full permission to relax and think less. You can take as an anchor for your attention your breathing, or one of your senses, and just gently encourage your inner voices to settle down and rest for a while.

Your ‘still small voice within’ – In this final exercise, you listen a bit deeper, beneath the loud chatter of your everyday mind. What you are looking for is a quieter voice within you coming from a deeper level of your consciousness. Its nature is to be kind, and quiet, strong and wise. It’s easily drowned out by the louder voices of the everyday mind, which is why you need to listen for it more closely, in a relaxed frame of mind.
If you like you can even give your ‘still small voice’ a form to key into. For example, you can visualize it as a small candle flame (symbolizing the wisdom of your deeper inner voice) in your heart centre, and focus on it as you meditate, listening to any message that may arise from it. Or you can even visualize it as a person next to you, perhaps a wise man or woman that you can ask questions to about dilemmas that you face.
You can do the above four exercises individually, by themselves. Alternatively you could do them one after the other, for example in a twenty minute meditation you could do each for five minutes, one after the other.
Happy listening!

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


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

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

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

Saturday October 20th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

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

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

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

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


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Four levels of intention for meditating

Dear  Integral Meditators,

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

In the spirit of mindful intention

Toby


Four levels of intention for meditating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Saturday October 20th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

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

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

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

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


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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