Your Thoughts as Emails

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at how we can be more mindful of our thoughts by considering them in the same way that we might consider emails. I hope you enjoy it!

In the spirit of mindful thinking & non-thinking,

Toby


Yours Thoughts as Emails

In Taoist philosophy there is a saying that goes that your lifespan can be measured in the number of heartbeats we have each day, the lesson being that you should relax more, let it beat more slowly and therefore live longer!
What if instead we were to measure your lifespan in relation to the number of thoughts you have each day? What if our lifespan in this sense meant not how long we would literally live in terms of physical age, but how long our mind remains active, flexible and fully capable/functional? In this case thinking too much would have the consequence of our mind and intelligence ‘burning out’ due to over use, like a car that breaks down before its time due to the bad driving technique of the owner.
If you thought about your mind in this manner, would it cause you to reconsider the way you think, and the number of thoughts that you give energy too each day?

Your Thoughts as Emails.
This is a simple mindfulness exercise to help us become more aware of our thoughts, and more discerning with regard to the energy we give them. To do it we think of our mind as the inbox in a computer, and our thoughts as emails.

We can divide the daily emails we receive into three parts:

  • Those that are either of no interest to us, or are outright spam
  • Those that are of functional value
  • Those that we derive active pleasure and meaning from receiving

To do this as a mindfulness practice sit still for a while and turn your attention to the ‘inbox of your mind’, with thoughts coming in being like the emails. As you watch the thoughts come in, drop or ‘trash’ the ones that are irrelevant or ‘spam’. The functional thoughts, set to one side temporarily. Try to dwell only upon the thoughts that are meaningful or pleasurable; that enhance your experience of the present moment. If there are no thoughts coming in, then just enjoy having an empty inbox!
Initially you may need to do this in an undistracted space, but after a while you can learn to play it as a game at any time, for example when you are traveling between locations or in between tasks, or walking along the street.
When you are going about your daily tasks you can include the functional thoughts in your mental process as they are obviously necessary for getting things done, but try and keep your spam filter operational; dropping/trashing the thoughts that are garbage, unnecessary, negative and so on.

Here’s to a long life of pleasurably mindful thinking!

© 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 May 28th, 2.30-5.30pm – Finding Liberation Through the Witness Self – Connecting to Peace, Abundance and Creative Freedom Though Mindfulness Practice

JUNE
Saturday 11th June, 10am-5pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism

Starts Thursday June 9th – Thursday Evening Integral Meditation Classes @ Bencoolen Street


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

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Moving From Being a Consumer to a Producer

Dear Integral Meditators,

Is your life a product of your own creative and independent thinking, or is it merely a pastiche of the ideas that you have received from others around you? Possibly it is a mixture of both. This weeks article examines the idea of the ‘mindful producer’ and how we can start to use it to become more of a creative producer in our lives and choices.

In the spirit of mindful production,

Toby



Moving From Being a Consumer to a Producer

To be a consumer in this context means to consume the creative ideas of other people, of society, of your culture, and become a ‘product’ of that consumption. To be a producer means that you are a creative producer of your own choices and ideas in your life; You are actively creating ‘products’ in your life, rather than consuming other peoples.

To be a mindfulness practitioner means to be actively interested in using your awareness, attention and intelligence to become an active producer of your own life, rather than allowing it to become merely a product of what other people around you think it should be.

Let’s take a simple example. If my group of friends are all wearing the latest pair of branded jeans, and in order to become an accepted member of that social group (and their ideas) I am told that I really should be getting a pair of jeans like this, in order to be one of the ‘cool set’. If I am a ‘consumer’, then really I have no choice but to get a pair of trendy jeans because that is the only way I can see to keep on belonging to that group. If I am a ‘mindful producer’ then I might choose not to get the pair of jeans because they might cost more that I’m willing to pay, and/or I don’t personally like the design, and/or I have other fashion ideas that I like better and want to express. Because I am mindfully considering what it is that I want to do with my life, I cease becoming merely a consumer of the culture around me, and instead become a creative producer of my own life path and direction.
Here we are talking about jeans, but we could be talk about your career path, relationship choices and other fundamentals in the same way.

Becoming a mindful producer is not easy
Early on in life we are taught to jump through hoops and play the game others created;

  • ‘If I can just pass this exam then I’ll be accepted to the next level of school’
  • The advert suggests to us that by buying their product we will become a successful member of society – no need to think about it for yourself, just possess the object
  • Well established patterns and ideas of success and happiness seem to be so certain and solid, why would I think to challenge them?
  • By stepping outside of other people’s ideas of what I want and what I do I’m taking risk, stepping into uncertainty, courting disapproval, why would I want to do that?

And of course market forces in the world have an active interest in keeping us merely consumers, buying into and digesting products that they have designed.

What do you have to gain from becoming a producer?
Becoming a producer takes a type of engaged mindfulness where we are taking responsibility for our choices and for articulating our deepest needs and wants and expressing our individuality in a benevolent and creative way. It is a challenging and sometimes difficult habit that we are creating so as to find deeper levels of fulfillment, enjoyment and meaning in our day to day life.

You can still enjoy being a consumer
Of course we cannot avoid being consumers, but we can enjoy being conscious consumers; digesting only the things that are useful, healthy and supportive to the life that we wish to live and express!

If you were to express 5% more of you ‘mindful producer’ today, and each day for the rest of this month, what might change?

© 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 May 28th, 2.30-5.30pm – Finding Liberation Through the Witness Self – Connecting to Peace, Abundance and Creative Freedom Though Mindfulness Practice


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Witnessing – Being That Which is Not

Dear Integral Meditators,

What does it really mean to ‘be the mindful witness?’ and why is it useful to us? This weeks article seeks to answer these questions in a practical way.
For those in Singapore, last call for the upcoming workshop: Saturday April 30th, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence: Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation

In the spirit of the witness,

Toby


Witnessing – Being That Which is Not

Really the first basic ‘position’ that you are being asked to take with your mindfulness practice is that of the witness self. Other ways of describing this is to say we are trying to:

  • Become the observer self
  • Strengthen our capacity for taking and keeping a 3rd person, detached perspective
  • To dis-identify with that which we observe arising within our mind, body and environment. To watch but not to engage

Dropping all that is not the witness
Then the question may arise if I am becoming the observer of my mind, body and environment, who am I? Who is the observer? One way to clarify this is to carefully and systematically note that the witness self is:

  • Not any element of your environment or senses
  • Not your body or any part of it
  • Not your feelings or emotions
  • Not any part of your mind

If you drop all of these one by one, what you are left with is awareness itself; that which is conscious and observes. It has no form, and because it has no form it exists out of time in the eternal NOW. The witness is present at all times in your mind, as it is the basis of your consciousness itself. However most of the time it is invisible to us, or in the background of our awareness, hidden by our identification with the activity of our body, mind and senses.

Getting started with witnessing
To become the mindful witness then, simply do the exercise above, stripping away all that is not the witness, and then practice recognizing and resting in that which is aware, that which is witnessing; pure awareness or consciousness itself. As the witness you can then start to observe in a detached manner the contents of your consciousness, body and senses, simply be that which is the watcher rather than identify with what is being observed.

The benefits of mindfully being the witness self

  • It is relaxing and calming
  • It gives you more objective perspectives on your experiences, both the good and the bad
  • It gives you a deeper experience of who you are, and answer to the question ‘Who am I?’
  • It gradually liberates you from the attachment, clinging and consequent fear and anxiety that comes from being over identified with the contents of your mind, your body and senses.

An image: The Watchman
I sometimes think of the witness self as like being a soldier on guard duty. As s/he stands on guard his job is simply to watch and scan his environment, to witness it with awareness and alertness. If he should see something that needs action then he is ready, but the vast majority of his time is spend simply being the watcher, the observer, the witness or watchman. Practice being the Watchman; that which observes and witnesses with alertness and discipline.

© 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 30th, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence: Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

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Making Objects of Your Subjects

Dear Integral Meditators,

How does mindfulness help you grow and develop your mind? This weeks article considers this question from the perspective of subjects and objects, and offers a simple practice to start focusing upon.

In the spirit of inner growth,

Toby


Making Objects of Your Subjects

Mindfulness essentially is about learning to watch and observe your inner life objectively, like a witness.
One of the ways in personal growth can be explained is this: What previously we used to identify with absolutely at one stage of our growth becomes an object that we can dis-identify with and consider objectively when we move onto the next level.
Here are two quotes from developmental psychologists that explain this idea, the first is from Harvard psychologist Robert Kegan: “I know of no better way to describe development than that the subject of one stage of development becomes the object of the subject of the next stage.” The second is from Jean Gebser “The self of one stage (of development) becomes the tool of the next (stage of development)”.

Two examples:
When I was a baby, I was completely subjectively identified with my body. Thus when my body was hungry ‘I’ was hungry, and there was no self, other than the I that was hungry. Thus if I was hungry I had no choice than to be upset because my ‘I’ was completely identified with the hunger. As I grew up, I learned to distinguish my ‘self’ from my body, and thus I can recognize ‘My body is hungry’, and separate my sense of I-ness from the hunger. This enables me to exert self-control so that I can be hungry but not upset.
At a relatively low level of development I may be completely identified with my emotions. When my emotions are angry ‘I’ am angry, and I have no choice but to be angry because I completely identify with my emotions as being self. As I move to the next level of my inner growth I develop the capacity to detach from my emotions, so that when I experience anger I am able to separate ‘me’ from my anger. By doing this the anger becomes an object of my awareness rather than the subject, which in turn gives me the choice as to how I am going to deal with it; the anger is in my mind, but it is not ‘me’.

Mindfulness as the stimulator of inner growth
So, mindfulness works as a tool of inner growth simply by encouraging us to make objects of our subjects; to take the aspects of our body and senses, mind and emotions that we are currently very identified with, and simply learn to observe them as objects.

Videotaping
One image that I got from Ken Wilber’s new book Integral Meditation (highly recommended!) is that the process if mindfully turning subjects into objects is like videotaping; you simply watch an aspect of your mind or self that you are currently very identified with. Imagine you are behind a camera videotaping it; just watch, observe and film, don’t get involved.

‘People are so stupid’
Over the last day or so I have been caught up in a certain view of some people that is essentially very frustrated with their (perceived) stupidity, I notice that ‘I’ am very identified with this frustration with this sense of their laziness, lack of drive, lack of curiosity. So I chose this as my object of ‘mindful videotaping’ sitting down, acknowledging it and them simply watching it, witnessing it, videotaping it. As the observer I note:

  • The frustration feels like this, in this area of my body
  • The inner dialogue or conversation in my mind around stupid people sounds like this
  • The outer events in my life giving rise to the frustration and judgment are this, this and this

As I continue to watch my frustration and judgment, gradually it ceases to become ‘me’ and becomes instead an object of my awareness. It is in my mind but it is not me. This in turn enables me to make conscious choices about what I am going to do with the emotion, which is mostly just let go of it, and make a conscious choice about what, if anything I am going to do about the situation.
Like most other aspects of mindfulness, the aim of turning subjects into objects is to give us greater inner freedom and intelligence and take empowered control of our life choices and experience.

© 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

Thursday 21st April 7.30-8.30pm – Monthly Thursday Evening Integral Meditation Classes @ the Life Chiropractic Centre with Toby

Saturday April 30th, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence: Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

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Independent Interdependence

Dear Integral Meditators,

How can we be more mindful of the space that lies between us as individuals and ourselves as members of a community that we depend upon? This weeks article looks at how we can start to investigate important dimension of mindfulness practice in a practical way.

For those in Singapore, quick reminder of the upcoming workshop: Saturday  April 16th, 2.30-5.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment

In the spirit of our inter-relationship,

Toby


Independent Interdependence

To be independent as a person means to be able to think for yourself, form your own (evidence based) opinions, be responsible for your own actions and life direction, as well as fundamentally trusting your own mind and judgment. The benefits of becoming truly independent include becoming a self-determining person who is able to go against the path of least resistance, ignore popular opinion (where appropriate), be alone and do what is necessary to find a way of life that leads to genuine fulfillment of your deeper needs, aspirations and ambitions.

To recognize interdependence means that, whilst being individuals we are also dependent upon others for our basic well being. The bus I took into work this morning, the computer hard and software I am using to type this article, the food I will buy for lunch after I finish both depend upon a huge chain of interdependence from which I benefit directly. In many ways I am completely dependent upon this chain of interdependence, my wellbeing and yours relies upon the community and networks which support us. One benefit of recognizing interdependence is that it encourages us to see the clearly what we receive from others and from our community every day, thus naturally developing appreciation, warmth and a wish to reciprocate that benefit back to others.

So then, to practice independent interdependence means to fully committed to realizing our individuality whilst at the same time recognizing that we are dependent upon the help and support we receive from others, our networks and communities. Interdependence encourages us to feel positive and grateful for what we are receiving, and encouraged to give back in whatever way we can.

There are two extremes that we want to avoid when practicing independent interdependence:

  • Allowing our individuality to be negatively compromised for the sake of ‘fitting in’ to a network we are interdependent with
  • Becoming a negative individualist in the sense of always valuing our personal wellbeing over and above the interests of the communities within which we co-exist. As individuals we see ourselves as equal with others, no more or less important. Indeed, if we learn to value our own individuality appropriately the effect of this is that we will come to value the individuality of other people more, not less.

Finding the middle way
Think about a situation that you may be experiencing right now in your life, perhaps one that is posing a few dilemmas for you. As yourself the questions:

  • What is my individuality asking of me at this time?
  • What are the legitimate needs of the community or network upon which I am dependent in this situation that should be honored?

Your practice of mindful independent interdependence lies in the middle of the dance between these two questions.

© 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

Thursday 21st April 7.30-8.30pm – Monthly Thursday Evening Integral Meditation Classes @ the Life Chiropractic Centre with Toby

Saturday April 30th, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence: Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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The Middle Way

Dear Integral Meditators,

What might a mindful path of balance & harmony look like? This weeks article examines this using the paradigm of the middle way.
For those in Singapore please note in addition to the weekly Wednesday evening class there is also an additional monthly class in the centre of town starting on 21st April: 7.30-8.30pm – Monthly Thursday Evening Integral Meditation Classes @ the Life Chiropractic Centre with Toby

In the spirit of balance & harmony,

Toby


The Middle Way

The Buddha talked about his path as ‘the middle way’. As I understand it and practice it, essentially the middle way is the path of balance and harmony, facilitated by engaged, mindful awareness.
The middle way as I experience it in my own life this means that I am always walking the middle way between two poles or opposites, holding the tension between the two. If I move too far toward one pole, I move into state of imbalance, if I move too far in the other direction then I become imbalanced in another way. For example:

  • Aspiration and ambition – If I am too ambitious in my work I will find myself continually dissatisfied/frustrated, but if I am not ambitious enough then I will not reach my full potential
  • Attachment and non-attachment – If I don’t allow myself to feel any emotional empathy and attraction to other people then I will become negatively detached, but if I feel those emotions too intensely I may find myself obsessively attached and co-dependent
  • Anger and assertion – If I feel too angry about what someone has done to me I may act in ways that cause the relationship to deteriorate further, but if I do not assert myself powerfully enough, then the other person may continue to walk over me, or behave inappropriately
  • Over and under preparation – If I don’t prepare enough for a talk I am giving then I may mess it up in one way, but if I prepare too much, then the detail may get in the way of delivering the speech also
  • Focus and Relaxation – If I try too hard to focus in my mindfulness meditation session, then the effort of focus will get in the way of developing a single-pointed state of mind, but if I relax my effort too much then the over-relaxation will cause my mind to wander anyway

A question
So, in every situation there is a middle way between two opposite or opposing forces in your life. So then the question becomes ‘What are the two opposing forces in this particular situation right now, and what is the middle way between them?’ Asking a question like this stimulates our mind and awareness to seek out these polarities and find the harmonious, balanced middle way between them.

The point of harmony and balance is always changing
The challenging thing about the practice of the middle way is that it is always changing, because the reality around us is always changing; in the morning the middle way may be to act, in the afternoon to sit back. At times it requires us to make a judgment call, other times to refrain from judging.

An Image
The path of the middle way is a bit like riding a bicycle; you are always having to seek out and sustain your point of balance. Sometimes sustaining the balance is relatively simple, such as when you are riding at steady speed down a straight road. At other times it can be quite complex and demanding such as when you are racing, going across rough terrain or in a busy street. In these circumstances finding the middle way requires constant, active & mindful adjustments.

Getting started
In the material above there is an image and a question that are designed to help mindfully direct you along the path of the middle way. If you like you can start working with them in your daily life, using them as guide posts for you to start seeking and sustaining your own middle road.

© 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

Thursday 21st April 7.30-8.30pm – Monthly Thursday Evening Integral Meditation Classes @ the Life Chiropractic Centre with Toby

Saturday April 30th, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence: Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

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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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