What Real Power Does Mindfulness Give You?

Dear Integral Meditators,

When you think of mindfulness, do you think of power? If not the article below explains why you should!

 


What Real Power Does Mindfulness Give You?

We talk about mindfulness in terms of relief from stress, bringing more presence to our life and so on, but what about power?
One way mindfulness (when well practiced) gives us greater power is by giving us awareness of choice. The more consciousness we bring to any given situation, the larger the number of choices we will be aware of regarding how to act, how to feel and how to approach the situation.  Conversely, the less conscious awareness that we bring to a situation, the fewer the choices that we will have, and therefore the less power.
Without mindfulness we are essentially limited to our instinctive and habitual patterns of reacting and responding to our life’s challenges (and joys), with mindfulness we can even innovate choices, options and possibilities that we have never considered before as we actively bring our intelligence to bear upon the situation fully.

Our mind is basically our primary tool for surviving, adapting and thriving in the outer world of our career and relationships, and the inner world of our relationship to ourself. Mindfulness is the practice of learning how to use and apply the potential of our mind in daily life. Looked at in this way there is nothing more powerful and valuable than mindfulness. Do you have time for a little now?

Related articles:
You Always Have a Choice
Six Mindful Questions for Effective Decision Making

Check out the Upcoming workshops and events at Integral Meditation Asia

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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The Easiest Way to Avoid Death

 

Dear Integral Meditators,

What does it mean to live like you are alive? That could have been another title for the article below.

Yours in the spirit of being alive,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in December:

Sunday December 14th, 9.30am-12.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation From the Perspective of  Zen


The Easiest Way to Avoid Death

…is to avoid living. If you just fit in, do what others are doing, stay out of (too much) trouble, forget about what your real, deepest and most visceral desires are, and generally anesthetize yourself from the reality that you are alive, then the pain and anxiety of the inevitability of death won’t worry you too much. If you anesthetize yourself from life, your feelings and your reality, then you can arrive at death and act with genuine surprise, “Hey, how can this be happening to me, this isn’t fair!”

If on the other hand you commit to life, to being alive, to bringing as much consciousness, value and feeling and vibrancy to each moment of your life, then inevitably you are going to become more and more aware that your life is fleeting, impermanent, and that it will inevitably end, sooner or later (we don’t know). To be vitally aware that we are alive is to invite awareness of death and impermanence, and to feel the anxiety and challenge of that awareness.

The thing is that, by committing to be alive now, and feeling the anxiety of our transience, we are truly and urgently in a position to make use of the opportunity to be alive, to make a difference, to communicate values and meaning whilst we can.

Or we can sleepwalk through life and then act angry when we are about to die.

It is our choice, today, each day.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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The Gifts and Wounds of Our Ancestors (+Soul Portrait Sale, +3 Free Meditations)

Dear Integral Meditators,

The article below explores how we can consciously bring to light the way in which our ancestors have played a role in who we are and what we experience today. If you are in Singapore and are interested in exploring this theme further, then do check out the details of the Meditations for Activating and Healing Your Ancestral Karma this Sunday, 7th December.

Check out the Three Free Mindfulness Meditations that I recently posted on the IMA website!

Last but not least, check out the details of the bi-annual soul portrait sale immediately below.

Yours in the spirit of gifts and wounds,

Toby


Special Soul Portrait Winter Sale 02-14th December!

From the 2nd-14th December I am offering a 15% discount on all Soul Portrait orders. For this limited time only the prices for Soul Portraits will be as follows:

For an Individual Soul Portrait:
  • For an A4 size (297x210mm) portrait Singapore $260 Sing $220
  • For an A3 size (297x420mm) portrait Sing $390 Sing$330
  • For an A2 Size (594x840mm) Sing $585 Sing$495

For Couples* (Ideal for weddings, Anniversaries and Valentines!):

  • For an A4 size297x210mm portrait Sing $340 Sing$290
  • For an A3 size 297x420mm portrait Sing $490 Sing$415
  • For an A2 Size (594x840mm) Sing $730 Sing$620

For further enquiries or to order a Soul Portrait please contact me by email:  info@tobyouvry.com

or by phone on 65-96750279

This is a great opportunity to get a Soul Portrait for yourself or as a gift for any of your friends or family for a very reasonable price!

To have a look at slideshows of past Soul Portraits click HERE

To look at past individual Soul Portraits click HERE

 


The Gifts and Wounds of Our Ancestors

Living as securely, affluently as we do to today, and having the choices that we have has a lot to do with the efforts of past generations. Specifically to us as individuals, our immediate ancestors, parents, grandparents and great grandparents have a lot to do with the opportunity we have today to lead a happy, fulfilling and creative life today. You could say we are the inheritors of their gifts.

Conversely we are also an inheritor of their wounds, their unresolved inner conflicts, their vulnerabilities, their struggles, their blindspots & their burdens. Quite often the gifts and the blindspots of our ancestors are interrelated. For example:

  • I am aware of the gift of freedom that I was given from my Grandfathers in their fighting, surviving and perhaps killing in the two world wars. I am also aware of the emotional wounds and handicaps that come with such a sacrifice.
  • I am also aware of the gifts of my Grandmothers as women; their sacrifice and their patience. I am also aware of the wounds that they carry from playing this role and the limitations that it placed upon them.

Thematically, many of the issues that we may now be facing in our life are a continuation of the patterns of previous generations. For most people this goes on quite unconsciously, but by bringing mindfulness and reflection to our relationships to our ancestors we can develop the capacity to consciously guide and direct the energy that flows into us from our ancestors, and thus make better use of it.

A mindful reflection on your ancestors
Take the image of an ancestor that you wish to connect with and reflect upon, perhaps from an old photo. Visualize this image in front of you and allow your mind to mindfully free-associate for a while; notice the feelings, images and memories that may come up.
Now ask your ancestor (as if they are actually present) three questions:

  • What are your gifts to me?
  • What are your wounds?
  • What is it that you wish to communicate with me at this time?

Listen for the answers that come back, and dwell for a while in a state of:

  • Appreciation for gifts received
  • Healing and release of wounds inherited
  • Clear understanding of their message from them to you at this time in your life

We are the ancestors of future generations
Another question that we need to ask ourselves regularly is of course; what are the gifts that I wish to pass onto future generations, and what are the wounds they will have to deal with if I remain the way I am currently?

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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Caring For Your Life-force Through Meditation: Four Levels

Dear Integral Meditators,

I’ve been focusing in my own practice over the last week on taking care of my life-force or libido through meditation. The article below is really some thoughts I have put together as a result. I hope you enjoy it!

Yours  in the spirit of the journey,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in November/December:

The Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease Online Course

Sun 30th Nov, 9.30am-12.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment

Sun 30th Nov, 2pm-5pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical Meditations And Techniques For Working With your Shadow-Self – A Three Hour Workshop

Sunday December 7th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for Activating, Healing and Awakening our Ancestral Karma

Sunday December 14th, 9.30am-12.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation From the Perspective of  Zen


Caring For Your Life-force Through Meditation: Four Levels

Your life-force (as we will be defining it in this article) is your ‘psychic energy’ or ‘libido’. It manifests on the physical, psychological, soul and spiritual levels of your being.

Simply put if your libido or life-force is healthy then it will manifest as a healthy ‘appetite’ for life. If your libido is low then your appetite for life diminishes correspondingly.
Here is a brief resume of the way in which our life-force manifests on the four levels (the soul and spiritual level being counted as one):

Your life-force on the physical/biological level – On this vital level of your being a healthy libido manifests as appetite for food, drink and sex/sensuality, and healthy emotions. It can be sustained by the appropriate engagement with these basic activities (eating & drinking healthily, enjoying sex and sensuality appropriately, feeling emotions fully). Correspondingly it can be damaged by eating and drinking unhealthily, over indulging in sex (or unhealthy expressions of sex) and negative emotions.

Your libido & life-force on the psychological level – On the level of your ego the libido manifests as striving, desiring and willing (to use the Jungian terms). From this we can see that to maintain a healthy psychological libido we need goals to strive towards, and a healthy pleasure in striving for and achieving those goals. Correspondingly our psychological ‘appetite’ can be damaged if we lack motivation, goals and objectives to strive for in life, or if our self-esteem & confidence are low.

Your life-force & libido on the soul& spiritual level – This level of libido is really the psychological level expressed at a deeper level of our being. It involves the pursuit of “the true, the beautiful and the good” as we feel compelled to explore and express them in our life. One way of understanding our own ‘spiritual path’ is how our psychological process of striving, desiring and willing evolves and transforms toward a creative expression of truth, beauty and goodness.

From this we can see that looking after your life-force is a multi-disciplinary activity, ranging from physical diet to psychological motivation to a deeper contemplation of the meaning of your life. Each one of these levels has something to offer you in terms of the overall experience of your life-force and the power of its energy.
Moreover, our life-force can shift from one level to another and back again. For example we can find a new lease of psychological motivation as a result of a changed diet, or we can find a renewed enthusiasm for emotional or sexual expression as a result of finding a deeper level of meaning on the soul level of our being.

Healing, balancing and renewing your life-force thorough meditation.

One very simple way in which you can use meditation as a way of enhancing your life force and libido is to just take the discipline of sitting still and relaxing in a focused, aware way for a certain period of time each day. This will:

  • Enable your physical body to relax and begin regenerating its biological life-force
  • Enable your psychological being to relax and begin regenerating its motivation and energy
  • Enable your soul to become receptive to spiritual and intuitive inspirations that inspire it toward greater meaning and creativity.

You can further enhance this function of meditation as you are sitting and relaxing by:

  • Deliberately imagining and encouraging your body to move into a state of deep, regenerative relaxation
  • Deliberately not pursuing thoughts and discursive thoughts in the mind so that your psychological being can regain its clarity and focus
  • Consciously inviting, being receptive to and noting intuitive inspirations & idea  that arise whilst you are enjoying the process of relaxing your body and mind

This very simple process of meditation, sitting in a state of receptive awareness in the way I have described is not the whole story when it comes to looking after and increasing our life-force on the physical, psychological and soul/spiritual levels, but it will help all of the other efforts that we make to do so!

Two more thoughts: Enhancing your life-force meditation a little further:

1. There are certain simple ways of directing the energy in your body-mind that can enhance and increase the flow of life-force. You can see a couple of simple examples from my qi gong blog here:
Building and strengthening your Qi/Light Body by connecting to Planetary Qi
Qi gong standing exercises 1: Light body standing form/Earth light standing form

2. You can use bio-field and neuro-flow technology to achieve a more rapid and deeper entry into a regenerative state of mind. The one I’m using a lot at the moment is called Harmonic Resonance Meditation, if you’re interested you can scroll down to see the coupon code to get 25% off any of the products at I-Awake technologies.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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 


November 26 – December 2,
2014

25% OFF ALL iAwake Products

25% OFF Discount Coupon Code: 

THANKSGIVING2014

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Mindfully Integrating the Animal and Instinctive Self

Dear Integral Meditators,

What is your animal or instinctive self? What part is it playing in your life? Why is it important to be mindful of it? The article below offers some thoughts in this subject…

If you are interested in going a bit deeper into your animal and instinctive self, then do check out the Shadow Self workshop on Sunday the 30th November!

Yours  in the spirit of the journey,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in November/December:

The Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease Online Course

Tuesday 25th November, 7.30-9pm  – Evening event – Integral Mindfulness –Co-creating Professional Success and Personal Wellbeing within Organizations and Leaders

Sun 30th Nov, 9.30am-12.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment

Sun 30th Nov, 2pm-5pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical Meditations And Techniques For Working With your Shadow-Self – A Three Hour Workshop

Sunday December 7th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for Activating, Healing and Awakening our Ancestral Karma

Sunday December 14th, 9.30am-12.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation From the Perspective of  Zen


Mindfully Integrating the Animal and Instinctive Self

Your animal and instinctive self is raw vitality. It is the wild and feral part of yourself that has been around for millions of years on the planet, it is entirely at home in the body, with sexual instinct, with fighting, with doing what is necessary to survive in a tough and uncompromising world. It is also a part of you that has a natural dignity, an unconscious affinity with the whole, that feels entirely at home in a body, on the earth, participating in life.
Obviously we need to exert a certain benevolent control over our animal self, but for many of us the animal and instinctive self has become an enemy, a source of terror, of embarrassment, of shame. We often try and lock our animal self in the cellar of our mind, pretend (and hope) that if we ignore it or pretend it is not there for long enough it will go away and leave us in peace.
There comes a time for all of us where it becomes necessary to make friends with our animal self, to learn to make positive use of our instincts, to stop repressing our passions and instead start consciously and heartily expressing them in our life in positive and authentic ways.
The conscious integration of the rational and self with the animal and instinctive self gives the soul within us all the tools and power it needs to start making a difference in the world and manifest its desires. Without the vital dynamism of the animal self the civilized self becomes a ghost, a cardboard cut out, a shell. It’s very difficult for the soul to do something with a shell!

If you are suffering from an absence of vitality, a lack of confidence, a sense of inner conflict, connecting and communing with your animal and instinctive self is definitely a good area within yourself to investigate!

Questions for becoming more aware of and reclaiming our instinctive and mindful self:
Where is my vitality?
What is my animal self asking of me?
What might it mean to make positive use of my instincts?
How can I make friends with my animal self?
How can I put my animal and instinctive self to positive use?

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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 


25% off for 1 Week Only
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Opening the Energetic Heart maximizes meditation’s capacity for quieting the Mind, unlocking your Purpose and fulfilling Your Highest Potential
Discount Coupon Code:
(apply during checkout) 
 
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Good until Nov 30, 2014
 

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Motivating Yourself to Meditate Part 2 – Meeting Your Deeper & Higher Needs Through Meditation

Dear Integral Meditators,

This is the second in the series of ‘Motivating yourself to meditate’ articles, you can read the first HERE if you have not done so already.

Hot of the press; new workshop on 7th December ‘Meditations for activating, healing and awakening our ancestral karma‘ follow the link to have a look!

In the spirit of enjoying our deeper and higher selves,

Toby


Motivating Yourself to Meditate Part 2 – Meeting Your Deeper & Higher Needs Through Meditation

In the first in this series of articles on motivating yourself to meditate I took a look at how it is that meditation can help us to meet some of our basic needs, or needs 1-3 in Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I this article I want to look at how meditation helps us to start to satisfy our “higher” needs; specifically needs 4-6 of Abraham Maslow’s human needs hierarchy:

  1.  Esteem needs – For competence, approval & recognition
  2. Aesthetic and cognitive needs – For knowledge, understanding, goodness, justice, beauty, order, symmetry
  3. Self-Actualization needs

4. Esteem Needs – Competence, approval, recognition.
One of the basic things that any form of authentic meditation technique will improve is your concentration. With better concentration your ability to be competent in any given area of expertise that you set yourself is going to improve. So, meditation helps your esteem needs in this regard by helping you increase your mind power and therefore become competent faster. This in turn will likely lead to approval and recognition from your teachers, peers and society.
With regard to the need for approval and recognition, I would say that consistent meditation will help you to make approval and recognition into a preference rather than an all consuming need. This is because meditation takes us gradually away from “doingness needs” and toward “beingness needs”

  • “Doingness needs” are the needs that we have to prove our worth by deeds, job titles and all the other bench marks that conventional society lays down as meaning “successful”.
  • “Beingness needs” are the needs that arise from already seeing, feeling and experiencing ourself as whole, complete and worthy as we are. Meditation encourages a daily connection to our own state of beingness, that is to say as whole, complete and worthy as we are right now. In a state of beingness, our own needs are perceived as being already met, and so our “needs” actually start to focus more and more on the needs of others around us. We are happy as we are, so we have more energy to focus on the wellbeing of others.

In conclusion, when our beingness needs are met (which they will be increasingly through balanced meditation), of course we can be happy when we are measured as “successful” by the conventional benchmarks of society, but if not it is no big disaster, as our sense of beingness ensures that we feel happy and complete as we are.

5. Aesthetic and cognitive needs – Knowledge, understanding, goodness, justice, beauty, order, symmetry
With our beingness needs increasingly being met by meditation (as outlined in section 4 immediately above), an increasing amount of energy is opened up within us to look into “bigger questions”:

What is the meaning of life?
Why am I here?
What is fairness?
What is justice?
What is beauty?

This is level 5 of Maslow’s Hierarchy, our aesthetic and cognitive needs. A regular meditation practice will not answer these questions per-se, as a lot of meditation practice is about reducing the content of the mind, not filling it! However, what meditation will do systematically over time is to open us up to a full functioning awareness of our intuitive, archetypal and spiritual minds. This naturally helps us to articulate a considered response to the big questions that are posed by our aesthetic and cognitive needs.
A final point; meditation prevents us from getting “stuck” on the existential questions that are posed by this level. “What is the meaning of life?” is a question that may never be fully answered, and this is right and good. Meditation enables us to recognize the point where question asking and philosophizing ceases to be useful and relevant, and to move into states of silence and pure awareness.

6. Self Actualization: 
Actually, up to the last century or so, the main focus of meditation has traditionally been enlightenment, or needs associated with levels 5 and 6. It is only in more recent times that meditation has been advocated as a potential solution to the stress, mental busyness and anxiety of modern life, which has made it useful and relevant on the level of our survival needs  (levels 1&2 of Maslow’s hierarchy) and level 3, emotional wellbeing. Through history the predominant reason that people have meditated is to commune, merge and create a state of union with their spiritual being, which in turn exists in a state of one-ness or unity with the Universe. So, in terms of the sixth and highest level of our needs; Self Actualization or enlightenment, meditation is actually the most effective, tried and tested method for accomplishing this need.

Check out the Upcoming workshops and events at Integral Meditation Asia
© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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Motivating Yourself to Meditate Part 1 – Looking at How You Can Meet Your Needs Through Meditation

Dear Integral Meditators,

Why meditate, why continue meditating? Why is it worth persisting? The article below considers these questions….

Thanks for reading!

Toby

 


Motivating Yourself to Meditate Part 1 – Looking at How You Can Meet Your Needs Through Meditation

One reason why people find it difficult to hold down a regular meditation practice is that it is very easy for meditation to get knocked down our priorities list. It seems like there are so many things that need our attention. It is easy to think that we have so many “important” priorities that we can put off meditating until tomorrow, and so it goes on. We never really get serious or consistent about our meditation practice because it is not enough of a priority.
So, what I am going to do in this and next week’s article is have a look at Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and see how meditation can help with these basic needs.  If we have a clear idea about how meditation helps us with our human needs, then we will keep it high on our priority list and make sure that we do it!

A quick outline of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, he starts with the most basic first, and then ascends in terms of depth and complexity:

  1. Physiological needs – Food and drink
  2. Security needs – Shelter, physiological safety
  3. Belongingness and love needs – Affiliation, acceptance, affection
  4. Esteem needs – Competence, approval, recognition
  5. Aesthetic and cognitive needs – Knowledge, understanding, goodness, justice, beauty, order, symmetry
  6. Self Actualization

How meditation helps us with these basic needs:

Needs 1&2: Physiological and security needs
I am guessing that if you are reading this article, you will have your basic food, drink and shelter needs being met. You may not be in Buckingham Palace, but you aren’t homeless either right? Although many of us have our basic needs met, many of us remain stuck psychologically in “survival” mode, fighting our way through a hostile universe oblivious of the good fortune of having our basic needs met.
Meditation helps us with this by helping our mind to be calm enough to appreciate and enjoy the fact that our survival needs have been met. Meditation gives us the presence of mind to enjoy life’s simple pleasures; Food, drink, shelter and a basic quality of life. Without peace of mind studies show that those in first world countries are no happier than those in 3rd world countries. Meditation makes sure this does not happen to you!

Need 3: Belongingness and love needs
A daily meditation practice is a statement to yourself that you are important and lovable enough to deserve happiness and peace of mind. Belongingness and love needs are often projected outward onto other people, but in reality our primary love relationship is with ourself. If we get this right it will help our love relationships to others.
Meditation also puts you in touch with a source of love inside you that might be termed as “Universal” or unconditional. This love starts to rise up in our mind whenever we truly touch mental peace and calm (see article on the Two Main Lessons of Love). You deserve to receive love every day right? So give yourself that pleasure by sitting down and doing a bit of meditation every day! One final point here, meditation by its nature makes us more mindful, relaxed and aware. This quality of mind helps us to see that there is love being directed toward us all the time by our friends, family and colleagues. A relaxed, meditative mind can open to this love and receive it deeply into our being, instead of shutting it out.
So, in my next article mid-week next week, I’ll write a few thoughts on needs four, five and six, but I think if you contemplate the above three, there is plenty of reason to renew your determination to find time and space for at least a little meditation each day!

Read part 2 of this article: Motivating Yourself to Meditate Part 2 – Meeting Your Deeper & Higher Needs Through Meditation

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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When the Mask Cracks the Light Shines Out

Over the last few months I have had the good fortune to be able to catch up with a few old friends from school days. The conversation immediately becomes 200% more engaging and compelling between us when we discover that we have been through a similar psychological challenge or difficulty, or where we have come face to face with a part of ourselves that we did not like to admit was there. When this happens the tone of the conversation always goes from ‘pleasant’ to genuinely soulful.

Last weekend I facilitated a stress transformation workshop. It was great to see people becoming excited about the ways in which they could make use of the parts of themselves and their personality that they considered obstacles to happiness, that they considered ‘dysfunctional’ or weak.

We spend a lot of time investing in our ‘persona’, the face that we present to society; to cultivating and preserving a mask behind which we can hide our insecurity and vulnerability. We protect this mask, strengthen it, try to keep both it and ourselves ‘looking right’ in the eyes of those around us. Any cracks that appear in the mask often invoke a crisis in us, something we should avoid at all costs.

The funny thing is that when circumstances come together to crack open the mask of our persona, it is often the very opportunity that our soul has been waiting for to shine its light into the world, to start making a difference.

It’d be a shame to miss such opportunities because we were too busy trying desperately to repair our mask.

Related article: Enlightened Imperfection

Upcoming workshops and events at Integral Meditation Asia

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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Simple and Bad, Simple and Good

Dear Integral Meditators,

How do you become really good at meditation and mindfulness? How do you become really good at anything? This weeks article offers a perspective.

I’d like to invite all in Singapore to a free event on the Tuesday 25th at 7.30pm: Integral Mindfulness –Co-creating Professional Success and Personal Wellbeing within Organizations and Leaders . Also, if you know people in companies and organizations who you think may be interested  in bringing mindfulness training into their setup, do feel free to pass the invitation onto them!

Yours in the spirit of simple and good,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in November:

 Still on promotion price until Tuesday 28th October – The Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease Online Course

Tuesday 25th November, 7.30-9pm  – Evening event – Integral Mindfulness –Co-creating Professional Success and Personal Wellbeing within Organizations and Leaders

Sun 30th Nov, 9.30am-12.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment

Sun 30th Nov, 2pm-5pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical Meditations And Techniques For Working With your Shadow-Self – A Three Hour Workshop


Simple and Bad, Simple and Good

You may have heard the story about the way a great poet evolves:
First his/her poetry is simple and bad,
Then it is complicated and bad,
Then it becomes complicated and good,
Finally at the level of mastery it becomes simple and good.

If you want to develop your meditation and mindfulness practice it is also like this. The key is to recognize that that way to become a great meditator is to accept and enjoy being a bad meditator so that organically over time you become a good one, and eventually a master.

Of course this is a way of approaching any task in life. When I first started trying to run a business as an ex-monk and ex-artist I was simple and bad at it, then I was more complicated but still quite bad! Now I occasionally peak to the complicated and good level, with occasional ‘zen moments’ of good simplicity, rapidly lost!

If I could pick a skill that I would like to pass onto my daughter as she grows up, I think the skill of learning to be simple and bad, but then to persist and be happy to fail well and learn would be in the top three. If she has this skill she can become good at whatever she wants, and success in one form or another will be, as a result difficult, to avoid. If she has this, she will be fine.

Because I have this skill of being mindfully happy to be simple and bad whenever necessary, I know ultimately I’ll be fine, and in all probability successful in my chosen endeavours.

If you have it you probably will be too.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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Mindfully Enhancing Your Psychological Development

Dear Toby,

We have a remarkable amount of power to catalyze our psychological development through mindfulness. The article below explains one easy to apply method.

Final call for this Sunday’s Transforming Stress into Positivity and Enlightenment!

Yours in the spirit of empowered perspective,

Toby


Mindfully Enhancing Your Psychological Development

What is psychological development? Or, put another way, what does it mean to be psychologically evolved? One simple way of answering this question is that the more psychologically evolved you are, the greater the number of perspectives or viewpoints you will be able to take on any given situation.

  • An unevolved person can consider the situation only from their own point of view
  • A more evolved person can view the situation from the perspective of a friend, family member or well known ‘other’ person
  • Moving along, an even more evolved person will consider the situation objectively
  • A still more evolved person will consider/be able to enter into the perspective of people s/he does not know personally but who are involved in the situation

Then there is considering the question from different lines of intelligence:

  • What does this situation look like when evaluated emotionally?
  • Cognitively?
  • In terms of values or ethics?
  • Physically or somatically in terms of touch and sensation?
  • Spiritually?
  • In terms of Gender?

And others:

  • Economically
  • Aesthetically/poetically/artistically
  • From a child’s position
  • From an old persons position
  • From the perspective of history
  • Anthropologically
  • Socially
  • Politically
  • Generationally (as in past, present and future generations and how they see things)

And it so it goes on….

Here is a mindfulness exercise for stimulating your capacity for perspective taking:
Take a situation in your life that you want to investigate. Time yourself for 5 minutes. During that time write down or think about that situation from as many different perspectives as you can think of. Then pause and reflect upon what you have written or thought about allowing it to;

  • inform and change your understanding of what you are experiencing and
  • influence and inform the choices that you make

You may be surprised how powerful this exercise is, and how much intelligence and creative power you have when you really access the power of your own perspective taking!

Related article: Six Questions for Effective Decision-making


© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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