Mindfulness, Meditation & Non-Ordinary Reality

Dear Integral Meditators,

Its the Easter weekend, which is potentially a time for a little bit of deeper reflection, so this weeks article focuses on the relationship between mindfulness, meditation and altered states of mind. I hope you enjoy it!

On a slightly different note, you can see a 15 minute video of me talking about mindfulnesson the Movement for Modern Life website, which is also a website worth checking out if your interested in online yoga.

In the spirit of the journey,

Toby


Mindfulness, Meditation & Non-Ordinary Reality

Regardless of who we are and what our belief systems contain, when we take up meditation and mindfulness we can sometimes find ourselves experiencing some slightly unusual side effects of our practice, that might be termed ‘non-ordinary’ states of mind. For some people these start quite early on in their practice, for others they can pop up unexpectedly after years of experiencing nothing like them. They are useful to know about, because they do happen, and so if they start happening to you, then there is no need to panic, they have been happening to people for thousands of years! Here are some of them:

The seeing & feeling of light and energy – This is where we experience lights, colours and energies in our inner vision. Common colours include purples, greens, yellow/oranges, white, but the full spectrum can occur. This can also (often but not always) be accompanied by the feeling of energy moving through the body, for example up and down the spine. Sometimes there can be the feeling of energy without the seeing of lights or colours.

The seeing of visions and images, lucid dreaming – We can find ourselves experiencing visionary sequences, like waking dreams. These are different from merely imaginary journeys in that we feel as if we are observing the sequences objectively, without any active contribution on our part.

The hearing of sounds and voices – The hearing of non-physical sounds and voices sometimes occurs.

Prehension and clear knowing – Prehension; the knowing of events before they occur. Clear knowing; the understanding of or insight about something without needing to process information conceptually or rationally.

Synchronicity or déjà-vu – The increase in the occurrence of meaningful co-incidence in our lives, or finding ourselves visiting places in the physical world that we have ‘seen’ or ‘been to’ before, but we don’t know how or why.

Bliss (or its opposite, discomfort) – States of exceptional physical and mental bliss and comfort. Occasionally we can experience temporary energetic discomfort in an area of our body, but this usually then leads to an increased sense of wellbeing in that part of the body, like the unblocking of a blocked pipe – energy flows better and more cleanly afterwards.

Peak states – Temporary states of awareness where the mind feels open clear and spacious, or where there are genuine and spontaneous feelings of love and universal connectivity to everyone/everything.

Keeping your feet on the ground
It should be noted that all of the above experiences can happen to non-mindfulness practitioners, but the fact that you are taking the time each day to build the power and depth of your mind in meditation does increase the likelihood of these states popping up periodically!

Don’t let non-ordinary states disconnect you from ordinary reality.
If they do start to happen, then there is no need to panic, and no need to think you are suddenly superman/woman, just keep calm and carry on as usual. Having said that, there is also no doubt that these experiences can be very powerful and transformative, so if you can find a more experienced practitioner to get feedback from, then of course this can be very useful.

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday  April 16th, 2.30-5.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment – A three hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

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Dropping Your Hope & Fear

Dear Integral Meditators,

What would happen if, just for a while, and on a regular basis were to put down both your fears AND your hopes? The article below explores this from a mindfulness perspective.

Final reminder of the workshop this Saturday in Singapore: March 19th, 2.30-5.30pm – Psychic & Psychological Self-Defence – Practical mindfulness meditation techniques for taking care of your energy, mind & heart in the face of the push & shove of daily life.

In the spirit of liberated hope and fear,

Toby


Dropping Your Hope & Fear

Much of the roller coaster that our mind and emotions are on during the day is due to the things we are hoping for, and the things we are afraid of. For example:
Hope: ‘If I can just get this job, I’ll be able to afford the lifestyle I want for me and my family’
Fear: ‘If I screw this talking engagement up, all the people attending are going to think I’m a jerk and laugh at me.’

The point of mindfully dropping our hopes and fears is not to get rid of them permanently, but rather:

  • To awaken more fully to the possibilities of the present moment as we find it
  • And to see that hope and fear are things that we can pick up and put down, rather than being an intrinsic part of every moment of our life.

When we drop hope and fear, we find ourself alert and present to the life that we find in front of us, rather than lost in fears and hopes regarding the past and future. In many ways we are in a much better position to ‘size the day’.
When we are not slaves to our hopes and fears, we can make better more conscious use of them – responding more intelligently to our fears, and planning more effectively with regard to our hopes and dreams.

You can do this practice in three simple stages:
1) Spend time mindfully observing the movement of your hopes and fears as they come and go on your mind. See how your addictive attachment and involvement in them causes you to get lost in your mind and less sensitive to the present as you find it.
2) Gently put down your fears and hopes for a set period of time. During this period the rule is simply that you don’t dwell on your hopes and fears, you just put them down and don’t pick them up.
3) At the end you can pick up your hope and fear again, but with the awareness that they are tools to be used by you, not masters whose voice you must obey.

Liberating yourself from your hopes and fears enables you to use and enjoy them better.

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday  March 19th, 2.30-5.30pm – Psychic & Psychological Self-Defence – Practical mindfulness meditation techniques for taking care of your energy, mind & heart in the face of the push & shove of daily life – A three hour workshop

Saturday  March 26th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment – A three hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Six Aspects of Good Psychic Self Defence

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article is a practical exploration of psychic self defence, specifically from a mindfulness perspective, I hope you find it practical & useful!
If the topic is of interest to you and you are in Singapore, then do consider joining the event on Saturday  March 19th, 2.30-5.30pm – Psychic & Psychological Self-Defence – Practical mindfulness meditation techniques for taking care of your energy, mind & heart in the face of the push & shove of daily life.

In the spirit of the journey,

Toby


Six Aspects of Good Psychic Self Defence

Psychic self-defence is that art of effectively defending yourself and your energy from negative people, energies and places outside of yourself, as well as the fears, inner demons and problematic emotions that you feel present within yourself.

Below are six fundamental aspects of psychic and psychological self-defence that are practical and useful to know.

1. Don’t attack yourself !– sounds obvious, but often we are the ones who are attacking ourselves most vehemently with negative thoughts, judgments, regrets and so on. Make the mindful effort each day to be a friend to yourself, extend warmth and support to yourself, and thereby make yourself automatically more resilient to negative energies from other people or from your environment.

2. Develop your psychic awareness – Ask yourself the question “What is my body’s intuitive and instinctive response to the energy of this person (or place or situation)?” Temporarily stop rationalizing/thinking and enter into a state of awareness where your are opening to the feedback that your body, senses and feelings are giving you about your experience. If you do this regularly your awareness of the subtle psychic dynamics of any given situation will naturally increase.

3. Know your vulnerabilities – Make list of times, places and people in your life right now around which or whom your energy and mind tend to become chaotic, fragmented or confused. Take time to explicitly focus on these experiences mindfully, get to know them and take care of them. Make a note of your vulnerabilities,  so that when you find yourself under pressure in real time you will be ready and bringing your full attention to what is going on.

3. Building your sources of support – When you are under pressure energetically and psychologically you can feel isolated and alone. As well as supporting yourself (see point 1 above) being aware of and receiving positive energy and support from friends, family, close colleagues and others who are ‘for’ us is a really important part of fending of negative psychic energy.

4. Disciplining your attention & choosing your attitude – Negative psychic environments and people can make it very easy for our own attention to be drawn to negative contemplation, thinking and feelings. When you feel under attack be very conscious about where you are placing your attention, don’t allow it to settle upon objects that break up and fragment your attention.

5. Practising non-resistance – This is a technique that I discuss at some length in my article ‘Soft Forms of Psychic Self-Defence’, but essentially it means learning to let negative or difficult energy pass through you; letting it come and letting it go without resisting or holding onto it.

6. Say no to people – Cultivate your awareness of the intentions of others and what they are projecting onto you, why they are saying what they are saying, what it is they (consciously or subconsciously) want from you. If you don’t feel comfortable receiving any of these things, say no, either literally, or by inwardly simply choosing to not receive or engage with the energy they are extending to you. Keep the boundaries regarding what you are prepared to accept and not accept clear, and assert them.

A practical exploration of psychic self-defence in your own life
You might like to pick a situation you are experiencing in your life right now where you feel under attack energetically, feel fragmented or confused, or that is a challenge for you. Go thought each of the six points above with your challenge in mind and think about how you can apply them to your own circumstances on a practical level.

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday  March 19th, 2.30-5.30pm – Psychic & Psychological Self-Defence – Practical mindfulness meditation techniques for taking care of your energy, mind & heart in the face of the push & shove of daily life – A three hour workshop

Saturday  March 26th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment – A three hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

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Dropping Your Self

Dear Integral Meditators,

What happens when you simply stop thinking about yourself for a while? What benefits might there be? The article below explores these questions in a mindfulness context, enjoy!

In the spirit of the no-self,

Toby


Dropping Your Self

When I was a Buddhist monk doing my studies there was a lot of emphasis placed upon the  study of the self, and the study of the no-self. What it all basically boils down to on a practical level is this; we are deeply attached to our idea of what we think of as ‘I’. This attachment to our idea of who we think we are acts as the foundational basis of almost every thought, emotion and action that we have/do, and it gives rise to a huge amount of stress, anxiety, pain and confusion.

Dropping your I
So, one of the quickest ways of finding a freedom, or liberation from this confusion is simply to spend periods of time where we simply stop thinking about ourself, or ‘drop the I’. You can do this as a mindfulness meditation by choosing a fixed period of time, say 5-15mins to sit quietly. During this time there are basically two rules:

  • You can think about anything you like except your I or self
  • You drop all the labels that you usually associate with your idea of who you are; job title, gender, pretty/ugly, strong/weak (etc), position in society, married or single, successful or looser. Any concept, idea or habitual way you have of thinking or describing yourself or I; drop that

Your job for the time you have set aside is simply to drop the self and be aware; put it down and not pick it up.

The discovery of a new self in the no-self
When we drop the self in this way, one of the things that we discover is an open spacious experience of self that we were previously unaware of. It is a self that is free from labels and preconceptions; a self that is open to the moment, to learning and to being genuinely creative and spontaneous. Because it resists all labels we might describe it as a ‘no-self’, but it might also be described as a deeper self or truer self. In Buddhism one of the terms used to describe it was our ‘Buddha Nature’; it is our deeper nature and everyone without exception has it.

Picking your everyday I back up
Once you become familiar with dropping your everyday I, you can then pick it back up again and use it in your daily life, but you always know that you are free to pick it up or put it down; you have a choice, and you are free to choose. You are not a slave to your I.

Relaxing and Awakening together
Dropping your I is a simple but profound practice that we can use to both deal with our everyday stress and challenges more effectively, building our concentration, and awakening to a new, deeper awareness of who we are and what we might be. It can be done on the train or even whilst walking. If you have a few moments after reading this article, you might like to try it straight away!

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday  March 19th, 2.30-5.30pm – Psychic & Psychological Self-Defence – Practical mindfulness meditation techniques for taking care of your energy, mind & heart in the face of the push & shove of daily life – A three hour workshop

Saturday  March 26th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment – A three hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

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Think Well or Don’t Think

Dear Integral Meditators,

What would happen to your quality of life if you chose to think more carefully about what you think? This weeks article explains a practical method with which you can start to explore this question.

In the spirit of thought-art,

Toby


Think Well or Don’t Think

Here’s a mindful game that you can play with yourself. Take a period of time, say between 3-15 minutes. In this time frame your principle object of mindfulness is going to be your thoughts. The rules are that whatever you are thinking about you should either think about it well or simply stop your thinking. To think about something well means:

  • To take a consciously positive perspective on what is going on or
  • To make an objective mental note/observation or
  • To make the thoughts caring, constructive and/or allowing

This morning I did this exercise on the train to work. I was feeling a little emotionally strained and confused, and it would have been quite easy for my train of thought to reflect that emotionality, creating instinctively negative perspectives on my life. Amongst the thoughts that I brought to mind during the exercise were:

  • It is ok to feel emotionally strained, we all do, but I’m not going to allow that strain to create a negative dialogue in my head
  • Objectively speaking my feelings do not reflect many of the aspects of what is happening in my life, which are fundamentally pretty good – I feel fortunate, and things are essentially on track
  • I’m going to choose to adopt a playful and light stance to my present experience, even though part of me feels a bit wounded right now.

So you get the idea, I am just being really conscious about my thoughts, I’m not letting difficult feelings produce a negative inner dialogue, I am expressing disciplined empathy and care for my experience, I am using an objective perspective appropriately. If my thinking is not in any of those categories, then I simply choose not to think, just to be present to each moment and hold it with awareness.
Give it a try, you may be surprised at how quickly being mindful of your thoughts can start to have a real, tangible influence on the quality of your life. You can also try applying the same principles to your conversation with other people to make it an inter-relational mindfulness exercise.

Sculpting your feelings
One thing that this practice also gives us the ability to do is start using our thinking to skillfully sculpt and shape the way we feel. We can start to use our mind as a precision tool that we can use to benevolently shape our raw emotional energy.

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

February 2016

Ongoing on Wednesday’s (Jan 13th, 20th) 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

March classes coming soon!


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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The Discipline of Emptying (Emptying to Fill)

Dear Integral Meditators,

I’ve had a few conversations recently with clients who really feel as if they have been mentally drained by the sheer volume of information that they have to deal with on a day to day basis. I could certainly sympathize with their story, and I think it is a challenge that a lot of us face. This weeks article focuses on using mindfulness as a way of emptying out our mind on a regular basis in order to prevent information overload and make it more resilient when we have a lot of things coming at us.

In the spirit of emptying,

Toby


The Discipline of Emptying (Emptying to Fill)

One aspect of mindfulness meditation is the practice of what I would describe as ‘the discipline of emptying’. This means taking time each day to reduce the amount of information that your mind is processing, and allow it to become more empty.
The function of emptying from a practical point of view is:

  • To make your mind a more relaxed, enjoyable place to be, a place where you like to hang out, rather than a place that you find yourself trying to escape from, but (of course) stuck in!
  • To allow the things that are unimportant – the ambient noise in your head to get de-cluttered and released
  • To allow the important things to start coming to the surface of your awareness so you can prioritize them
  • To have enough space to really appreciate what is happening in your life and enjoy it in the moment
  • To bring attention to the problems that you really need to pay attention to, but that you are avoiding by just ‘keeping yourself busy’

At the present time in my life I practice a ‘big emptying’ of my mind once or twice a day in meditation for 20-30mins at a time, but I have also gotten in the habit of pausing for a minute or three once every 20mins if I am working by myself. So for example if I am doing a three hour shift in the afternoon in my office, then I will be pausing once every 20mins, relaxing, emptying, getting my energy back, re-focusing on my goals. I presently find this way of micro managing my time to be both relaxing and productive.

The Emptying Sink
One simple image that you can use for the discipline of emptying is that of a sink filled with water. Your mind is the sink, the contents of your mind is the water. Pull the plug in the sink and see the water draining away. As you do so, feel all the contents of your mind emptying away, so that by the time the sink gets empty, you feel like your mind is totally relaxed and empty too. Sit and relax in this ‘empty sink’ space for a while. When you are ready, let your mind start filling up again, but focus on filling it up with things that:

  • You are appreciating and enjoying at the present time
  • The things that are most important and that you need to focus on
  • Challenges that you may be avoiding but need to address

Regularly empty your full mind, in order to fill it again with better quality, more enjoyable content!

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

February 2016

Ongoing on Wednesday’s (Jan 13th, 20th) 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday  February 27th, 2.30-5.30pm – Growing Your Mindful Freedom – The Essential Meditation of the Buddha: A Three Hour Meditation Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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That Essential Feeling of Being Alive

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article is a simple reflection on mindfulness as the simple act of opening to life as you find it. Happy reading!

In the spirit of the journey,

Toby


That Essential Feeling of Being Alive

We’re all looking deep down for that essential feeling of being alive. A lot of our actions; seeking a particular type of work, seeking romance, traveling, studying, watching or reading stories, achieving this or that. All of these things are ways in which we seek to connect to that essential feeling, and yet often it can remain elusive; we feel a disconnect; we mistake it for the excitement of a new activity and then get bored; we need to have achieved all the things we think we need to before we give ourself permission.
The open secret here is that we are all alive now, and all we really need to do to connect to feeling truly alive is to open to it in the moment that we find ourself in at any given time, to simply be what and who we are now.
Our conceptual mind gets confused about this, it thinks that there need to be criteria met, goals achieved, boy/girl met, rank achieved. After we have gotten these, then we can give ourself permission to feel alive (!) But the thing about needing criteria to be ‘met’ before you allow yourself to open to life is that once one set of criteria is met, we tend to create another set of criteria in its place that we have to meet; another reason to withhold that essential feeling of being alive from ourself for another moment, day, week, month, year…
An essential dimension of the way of mindfulness is to open to the feeling of being alive first, and then decide what you are going to do to express and enjoy that feeling further. The approach for many people is to give yourself a list of things to do/get/achieve and then, at some point in the future you may be able to open to being fully alive.
Right now I’m getting over a few days of fever. On one level I’ve felt like these days have been somewhat crummy/not fun/unfortunate/painful (insert adjective here…) for me, but despite this I’m always kind of fine with what happened because at the core of my basic experience is this essential, fundamentally pleasurable feeling of being connected to life, to being here and to participating. This is the sort of way that mindfully connecting to being alive starts to affect your experiences on a day to day level.
Don’t wait for that essential feeling of life to come to you, it’s right here, now, waiting for you to open to it!

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

February 2016

Ongoing on Wednesday’s (Jan 13th, 20th) 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday  February 27th, 2.30-5.30pm – Growing Your Mindful Freedom – The Essential Meditation of the Buddha: A Three Hour Meditation Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Getting ‘Out of Your Head’ (Plus new Solar Infusion track from I-Awake)

Dear Integral Meditators,

What would happen if instead of thinking all the time you were able to ‘get out of your head’ and relax when you wanted to? The article below describes a simple mindfulness technique that you can use to start doing this.

This Thursday (tomorrow) is the launch of the Integral Mindfulness On line Course, if you are looking for a ‘ground up’ introduction to mindfulness practice that is elegant, simple and practical, then do check it out!
Finally, I-Awake technologies have a new product, ‘Solar Infusion’ out this last week, I have placed the details below the article.

In the spirit of getting out of our heads,

Toby



Getting Out of Your Head

Here is a simple mindfulness exercise for ‘getting out of your head’ and into your body:
Sitting down, begin by noticing that your energy and sense of who you are tends to locate itself in your head and behind your eyes. It feels like ‘you’ are in the ‘control center’ in your head. Having noticed this, now try gently to ‘sink’ your sense of gravity down from your head into your torso. Initially try and go just a little way down into the torso, perhaps to the level of the collar bone. Then after a while try going a bit further down, say into the middle of the chest. Take some time to breathe, be present and notice how your experience starts to change when you bring your center of gravity down in this way; how your head starts to empty of thoughts and relax, how your sensory awareness of what is happening in your torso starts to increase.
One of the problems that we have about our problems is that often we can’t stop thinking about them. One of the ways in which mindfulness meditation helps us to deal with our problems is, once we have thought about an issue as much as we need, to then be able to stop thinking about it further.One of the ways we can do this is by lowering the center of our awareness down from our head to our heart or chest in the way described above.

This morning I woke up after a very busy day and late night the day before. My mind was still full of residual thoughts and emotions from the previous day and I did not have time to do my usual meditation before leaving to go to work. So, in between getting up and breakfast I just took a few moments to bring my center of gravity down into my torso from my head, relaxed and breathed. I did the same thing in between breakfast and leaving the house, and also on the bus into work. As a result, although I could still feel the emotional turbulence in my mind and body, I was able to simply sit with it and allow it to settle without thinking or over analyzing it.
This week you might like to try mindfully ‘getting out of your head’ for a couple of minutes at strategic times in your day and start to enjoy the greater sense of control and relaxation that it gives you over your mental faculties!

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

Ongoing on Wednesday’s 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday  February 27th, 2.30-5.30pm – Growing Your Mindful Freedom – The Essential Meditation of the Buddha: A Three Hour Meditation Workshop


Solar Infusion – Journey of Illumination

Solar Infusion is a 40-minute psychoacoustic composition specially designed to foster the experience of moving into coherence with the essence of life-force energy, allowing you to relax deeply and attune to the highest expression of your being.

 

 Solar Infusion can help you:

  • Move through depression and sadness

  • Lighten your negative thoughts and perspectives

  • Set the stage for even deeper meditation and healing

  • Help release mental & emotional dross, so you can hear your intuitive wisdom voice

  • Feel a powerful pick-me-up when you are tired, drained, and lacking in inspiration

  • Stay centered and happy during the winter if you live in a cold clime

  • Journey to a place of centeredness, compassion, and higher understanding

  • Open your heart and increase feelings of joy and gratitude

Click HERE to learn more and to listen to the free sample track!

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

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The Imperfect Jug (On mindful doing)

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at how we can use mindfulness not just to ‘be’, but also when we are doing, and use mindfulness to do things a little bit better.
Last chance to catch Integral Mindfulness On line Course starting on Feb 4th  at a discounted rate, at the end of Friday 29th January it will go up to its full price.
For those in Singapore, do check out this Saturdays Course  Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment – A Three Hour Workshop , all welcome!

In the spirit of the imperfect jug,

Toby


The Imperfect Jug (On mindful doing)

I have a glass jug in my kitchen that I use to pour my water. Technically it is a flawed jug in the sense that, if you try and pour the water out beyond a certain speed it drips water onto the table. Furthermore if you don’t pour it fast enough it also drips. So when I am pouring I have to really pay attention and do it at just the right speed so that it pours cleanly without spilling.
Initially I found this jug really annoying, particularly when I am in a hurry. But then I realized that it’s actually showing me something. When I am in a hurry I try and pour too fast, which then means I have to wipe up the water from the dripping, which takes up more time and effort than if I’d just poured more slowly. So, in order to get a ‘clean pour’ so to speak, I have to slow down a little, relax, focus and pour not too fast, not to slow.
This has now become a symbol or metaphor for me regarding how I mindfully work and do things in general:

  • If I try and work too fast I start to make mistakes, which I then have to correct, which takes more time than if I had slowed down a little and not made the mistake.
  • Similarly if I work too slow, I lose my rhythm and focus, which means I waste time getting distracted or do something sloppily that then have to re-do.

So to me mindful doing in my daily life is like pouring water from the jug; not too fast, not to slow. I try and hit an optimal pace where I am getting things done, but not going so fast that I make unnecessary mistakes.

What is your optimal pace in the different activities you do in your day? It can be a worthwhile mindfulness practice asking yourself this question, and then trying to optimize the momentum with which you do things in your life.

Make your mindful doing like pouring of the imperfect jug; not too fast, not too slow!

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

JANUARY 2016

Ongoing on Wednesday’s (Jan 13th, 20th) 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday, January 30th, 2.30-5.30pm  – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment – A Three Hour Workshop

Starts 4th February – Transforming Stress into Happiness – An Introduction to Integral Mindfulness Meditation – A Five Week On line Course

Click the link to find out about the special 1:1 meditation and mindfulness coaching offer in January!


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

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Effortless Effort – The Cycle of Mindful Growth

Dear Integral Meditators,

The path of mindfulness when engaged in properly can offer us a relatively effortless, gradual, ergonomic and aesthetically beautiful path of personal growth. In the article below I break the process down into four essential stages that can be applied to any area of your life that you may wish to work with using mindfulness. Its simple. Not always easy, but simple!

The Integral Mindfulness On line Course starting on Feb 4th is now passed its early bird offer, but up until until 29th Jan you can still get 10 bucks off the price. And there are still 10 days before the January 20% offer on 1:1 coaching expires, so do have a look if you are interested!

In the spirit of effortless effort,

Toby


Effortless Effort – The Cycle of Mindful Growth

Mindfulness invites us upon an experiential journey of learning and self-knowledge. How does it do this? I’m going to break the process down into four stages:

Intention – To begin with we start with the intention to investigate something that we wish to understand more deeply – our emotions, our beliefs, our relationships, anything that we want to work with.
Attention – Secondly we then practice placing our attention or focus on that area of our life or experience. This is not just for a few seconds, but over an extended period of time.
Enquiry – With our attention we then dwell upon our object of observation, not trying to ‘solve it’, ‘fix it’ or ‘judge it’, but simply seeking to see it clearly and understand it.
Insight – The point of our focused enquiry is to produce insight; an essential, experiential new understanding of what is happening. This experiential insight then enables us to make positive changes in our life.

Unlike other personal growth methods, mindfulness focuses upon change and growth through experiential insight and understanding rather than through sheer willpower. Because of this the change that we facilitate through mindfulness (when done well) is gentle, natural and relatively effortless. When we see what is going on clearly, we change naturally. When we do not see what is going on clearly our efforts to change generally miss the point – It’s difficult to have an effective strategy to change something you don’t understand.

A simple example:
Let’s say I am feeling confused. Firstly I develop the intention to investigate and understand the nature of my confusion.
Secondly I sit, turn my attention inward and focus it upon how the confusion shows up in my body, emotions and mind.
Through my attentive enquiry I notice that the feeling of confusion is centered physically in my brain – It feels like a fog sitting in the frontal part of the brain and forehead.
Through my enquiry I discover the insight that simply by placing my awareness gently upon this front part of my brain I can clear the fuzzy feeling and my head feels clearer, and so I find a solution to this aspect of my confusion.
As a result of my had feeling clearer I can then start to see clearly the emotions in my heart and chest that are causing the confusion on a deeper level, and so the cycle of mindfulness continues to go from attention to enquiry to insight in a circular process helping me to deal with my experience of confusion on progressively deeper and deeper levels in different ways.

What area of your life would you like to practice the cycle of mindfulness with today, or this week?

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

JANUARY 2016

Ongoing on Wednesday’s (Jan 13th, 20th) 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday January 16th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Transforming Your Stress into Happiness – Meditation & mindfulness for cultivating a state of optimal flow in your mind, body, heart and life – A three hour workshop

Saturday, January 30th, 2.30-5.30pm  – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment – A Three Hour Workshop

Starts 4th February – Transforming Stress into Happiness – An Introduction to Integral Mindfulness Meditation – A Five Week On line Course

Click the link to find out about the special 1:1 meditation and mindfulness coaching offer in January!


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

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