Riding the Waves of the Mind

Dear Integral Meditators,

What does it really mean to be in control of your mind and emotions? The article below explores the image of our emotions as waves, and offers mindful perspective on how we can use this image to relax into and enjoy both the highs and the lows of our inner life. Enjoy!

Last call for this Saturday’s Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing  Workshop, if you are curious about what  mindful self-healing entails, then do have a read of my article Three Levels of Mindful Healing.

In the spirit of waves,

Toby


Riding the Waves of the Mind

Our emotions come from many different sources, sometimes it seems like we are in control of our emotions and feelings; they behave predictably and respond to our efforts to stay in control, but at other times they seem to be completely unpredictable and fly in the face of our efforts at control.

Often our attempt to control our mind and emotions involves trying to hold onto pleasant emotions, thoughts and feelings, and running away from or blocking negative/feelings/thoughts. One slightly more skillful way of learning to navigate the changeability of our mind and feelings is to simply learn to relax into whatever thoughts or feelings that we have, riding them like waves on an ocean. From the point of view of this image and method, our ‘negative’ thoughts/feelings and experiences are like the low troughs of the waves on the ocean. Out ‘positive’ thoughts/feelings/experiences are like the crests or high points of the waves.

We are like a rider on a small boat or surfboard bobbing up and down on the waves of our mind; sometimes we find ourself riding a crest, other times we find ourselves down in a trough. The main thing is to pay attention to the movement, keep balanced and learn to relax into the motion as we go up and down; if you are in a trough, just keep relaxed and balanced and after a while you will find yourself rising up again as the waves move. If you are on the crest of a ‘happy’ wave, ride that and enjoy it, relax into it, keeping balanced so that when it changes again and you start going down, you can do so smoothly and easily.

Our emotions, like waves are elemental and wild in their power. In the same way that a skilled sailor can harness the power of the sea by relaxing and working with it, so we can learn to harness the power of our mind and emotions and by relaxing and working with the energy we find there each day.

Mindful Exercise:
You are on a small boat in the open ocean, rising and falling with the waves. It doesn’t matter whether you are on the crest of the wave (emotional high)  or in a trough (emotional low), just keep relaxed, balanced and work with the energy of the waves rather than against it.

Related article: Breaking like a wave
Meditating on the inner weather of our mind

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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 

Every Wednesday, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday 29th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy

SEPTEMBER

Saturday 12th September, 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration

Saturday 12th September, 2.30-5.30pm Mindful Dreaming – Meditation Practices for Integrating Conscious Dreaming into Your Daily Life

 


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What is Mindfulness? (Hint – you are doing it already!)

Dear Integral Meditators,

If someone asked you ‘what is mindfulness’, how would you reply? The article below offers one working definition of mindfulness and how we can start practically applying it to our daily life.

In the spirit of the art of mindfulness,

Toby

 

 


What is Mindfulness? (Hint – you are doing it already!)

A definition of mindfulness
I had a conversation the other day with a lady who felt she did not know what mindfulness is. I responded to her that she was already doing it. She asked my why? I told her “When I was a monk the first definition of mindfulness that I learned was that it is an ‘all accompanying mental factor, who’s function is to remember its object’.”
That sounds like a bit a mouthful right? Actually it is quite simple; when we are doing something, mindfulness is that part of our mind that remembers and recalls what we are doing without forgetting it. For example:

  • If I am cooking an omelette, without mindfulness to help me remember what I am doing, after I have cracked and whisked the eggs I will forget my task, and wonder off to do something else, leaving no omelette!
  • If I am in the middle of a conversation, mindfulness helps me hold and remember what we are talking about. Without mindfulness I would forget mid conversation, which would be both embarrassing and impractical.

So from this we can see that we all have some basic mindfulness, indeed without it we would not be able to function at all.

The Art of Mindfulness
Someone who is a mindfulness practitioner then is someone who is interested in increasing both their quality of life and their personal effectiveness by developing and refining their mindfulness in different areas for example:

  • By being mindful of the good things that happen to me in my life I can enjoy and appreciate them more
  • By being mindful of difficult emotions I can learn to manage them better
  • By communicating mindfully I can help people understand what I want of them more clearly
  • By being mindful of my sport I can learn better how to improve

Mindfulness and meditation
Meditation is ‘a mind that focuses on a positive object – an object that when we focus upon it causes us to become happy, balanced, peaceful or otherwise positively oriented’.
In meditation we use mindfulness to focus; if we keep forgetting what we are doing then our meditation won’t be very effective because we will keep dropping or losing our object!
Mindfulness enables us to place our attention on our meditation and hold it there without forgetting.

The function of mindfulness – Practical learning from life
What is it you want to learn about in your life right now? Once you have selected a subject, formulate a ‘mindful question’ that summarizes your intention. For example:

  • How can I bring more meaning to my work life?
  • What really makes me happy?
  • What would it mean to bring my authentic self into social situations and conversations?

You can see here the list of possible subjects is endless, you just select a topic that is important and meaningful to you.
You then practice holding that question in your daily life, thinking about it, and acting in ways that express the answers that you come up with. If you like you can even sit down for a period of time and practice holding that question in your mind, breathing with it and using it as an object of meditation.
If you do this for a week, you will find that your mindfulness practice using this topic enables you to learn a tremendous amount about yourself and the area you are investigating. And there you have a mindfulness practice all of your own.


Integral Meditation Asia

 

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Trampoline Time Bending (Meditating in the Twilight State)

Dear Integral Meditators,

As your own meditation and mindfulness practice develops, you will notice that you start to become aware of more and more different ‘mind states’ (or states of body-mind-and-heart) that you learn to access at will. The article below considers the twilight state, what it is and why it is of meaningful use to us.
If you enjoy the article and are in Singapore then do consider joining us for the Mindful Dreaming workshop on the 29th August where the twilight state features quite prominently!

In the spirit of the in between state,

Toby


Trampoline Time Bending (Meditating in the Twilight State)

The twilight state is the space we experience in between being awake and being asleep. You know that open, spacious, dreaming state of mind you are sometimes aware of before you fall asleep? That’s the one. It is also sometimes called the limnal (meaning ‘threshold’) or hypnagogic (transitioning from sleep to waking) state.
The twilight state is an entry point to the inner world of dreams and the dream world. It is a state of mind that is used a lot in shamanic and other ‘journeying’ forms of meditation. The interesting thing about it is that it is a state where time; past, present and future are much more flexible.

Trampoline Time Bending
A couple of weeks back I was lying in bed waiting to fall asleep. My body relaxed and I entered into the twilight state, substantially loosing awareness of my physical body and drifting in space. I then found myself in a room with blue padded walls with a bunch of young guys who were running around frenetically, bounding around with huge strides. ‘Well, that is completely bizarre, I’ve never seen anything like that in my life!’ I thought to myself before I fell asleep.
The next day I went with my daughter to a trampoline park in a different part of town. As we walked into the warehouse I saw the trampoline room; the walls were covered in blue padding. I went into the park, at the back there was a section dedicated to dodge ball, following my daughter in, I found myself surrounded by jumping boys, all whom decided that, since I was the only adult there, that they should mob me and throw their dodge balls at me!
One aspect of the twilight state, and one that I experience quite often is that I see places and events that I then experience physically the next day or few days.

Moaning to Mum
Another relatively recent experience in the twilight state I had was an experience of myself feeling a bit depressed and moaning to my Mum about what I was going through. At the time I did not feel depressed, but sure enough over the next few days I went through a low patch.
The useful thing about seeing the experience in the twilight state was that I could then anticipate the mood coming, and so when it came I was ready for it, and so there was no need for me to actually moan to my Mom about it (Hi Mum!)

Swimming with sharks
In my sitting meditations I had been doing some work with sharks (see animal meditation article). During the twilight state waiting to fall asleep I found myself ‘sitting’ in a reef in the ocean. A large shark came to meet me (which was frankly a little unsettling at first), but then after I had settled down and figured it was friendly we went for a swim together visiting some underwater landscapes and places I understood to be of significance. The difference between a twilight state experience and a ‘regular’ meditation vision is that the experience is entirely spontaneous and very real, like a vivid dream.

As your own meditation and mindfulness practice develops, you will notice that your capacity to do your own time-bending and visioning in the twilight state increases quite naturally. This has very real practical benefits, but it is also very fun!

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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 in August

Wednesday, August 26th, 7.30-9pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday 29th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy

Saturday 29th August, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Dreaming – Meditation Practices for Integrating Conscious Dreaming into Your Daily Life


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Five Methods for Quietening the Mind

Dear Integral Meditators,

Some people give up or don’t even try meditation as they think their mind is just too busy, and they can’t still it. Below are five simple methods that you can use to quieten the mind when you feel the need, as well as an outline of some of the benefits.

In the spirit of the quiet but strong,

Toby

 

 


Five Methods for Quietening the Mind 

Why should we be interested in quietening the mind?
In a nutshell, to de-stress, improve task related performance, & develop your capacity to reflect and observe. Quietening or stilling the mind is also a pre-requisite for access to  deeper states of meditation.

1. Ducking beneath your mind – Breathing through the hara
This first method involves bringing your awareness down into the belly (or ‘hara’ to use the Zen term) and breathing with your attention focused there. Most of the mental busyness that we experience happens within the head and the heart centres, so bringing your awareness down into your belly enables you to access a state of focused, non-conceptual quietude more easily.

Taking care of your heart-space – Feeling emotions properly
Much of the inner conflict that we experience actually originates in our heart as unresolved feelings and emotions. Attuning yourself to the feelings in your heart centre and learning to acknowledge them, feel them and resolve or release them makes it hugely easier to quieten and still the mind. As the saying goes; If You Feel Properly You Will Think Clearly.

Finding the still point in the center of the brain
There is a ‘still point’ in the center of the brain that you can learn to place your attention upon. When you do this you find that it is possible to still the mind without too much effort. It is called the ‘cavity of original spirit’ by the Taoists. It is in the area where the thymus and hypothalamus are located in the brain, but you really don’t need to know too much about the brains’ actual anatomy, if you just go into the middle of your brain and explore, you’ll find that there is a specific place where, if you place your attention there it has a naturally quietening effect upon the mind.

Listening to the sound of silence
If you’ve ever been in a place where there is absolute outer quiet, you might have noticed there is a kind of high frequency ‘sound’ or ringing in your ears. This is what I mean by the sound of silence. With practice you can learn to recognize and focus your attention on this sound even when there are other noises around you. The sound of silence has a kind of pleasant hypnotic, focusing effect that is very good for quietening the mind.

Recognizing the power of your environment
This final method is really about learning to be aware of environments where there is a lot of negative psychological energy around, and ensuring that you don’t allow yourself to be victimized by it; the crowded bus on the commute home, the hostile office, the anger from a family member. One thing that I do quite often if I am in such an environment is to imagine my energy field or aura covered externally by a bubble of insulating black light that blocks negative energy from my surroundings. The bubble is open at the top and the bottom; letting in light from the sky and stars above and the earth below, but it is closed off from my immediate surroundings. This last ‘psychic self-defence’ technique is as close as you’ll get to an occult exercise in this article!
So there you go, five methods for you to try out in your own time. If you like you can practice one each day during the weekdays for five minutes each. Do that for a month to gain a little experience of each!

Related articles: The Mind in the Heart
The Sound of Silence
If You Feel Properly You Will Think Clearly

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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 Tension Between What Is and what you Want

Dear Integral Meditators,

How do you deal with the gap between what you want in your life and the reality of what you actually find? The article below considers how to work with this ongoing tension in a positive way…

In the spirit of the journey,

Toby

 


The Tension Between What Is and what you Want

‘I wanted the meet with my date to go this way, but it didn’t’
‘I thought I’d get this work project done quickly and easily, but I’m still stuck working the details out.’
‘I want to know that I’ll have enough money to afford the things I need by the end of the month, but I have no way of knowing for sure’

In our life there is almost always a tension between the way we want our life to be, and the way it actually IS. How you experience this tension on any given day or in any given moment is a big part of whether you feel happy or sad, negatively or positively stressed, calm or frazzled.

The extreme of passivity
It’s all very well for me as a meditation and mindfulness coach to say to you ‘you have to accept what is, and be more in the moment’, but sometimes accepting what is can make us too passive; sometimes we need to try and assert ourselves in the situation and act to move things toward where we want to be. Being overly accepting can lead to the extreme of passivity.

The extreme of control
On the other hand we are all familiar with the ‘control freak’ in us; the one who wants it all to be worked out, certain, guaranteed, no risk. The problem is we are never 100% in control, life never turn out exactly the way we think it will or should. Sometimes is all seems to be fine and then disaster strikes, sometimes it seems like a disaster and then turns out unexpectedly well. Trying to make everything certain, and bend the world to our will is the extreme of control.

The middle way of acceptance and responsibility
So the middle way between passivity and control is to:

  • Accept fully what is, and where we find ourself AND
  • Take responsibility for trying to move things in the direction that we want, recognizing that this will never give us 100% control, but nevertheless we have to call ourselves to action based upon what we understand.

It is about holding the tension, not solving it or getting rid of it
I think about the tension between what is and what I want not as being something that I am trying to solve, or get rid of, but rather I am trying to learn how to hold well, to hold  mindfully and intelligently; I am not in total control of my life (or the world), but I am responsible for it. I have to accept the reality of where I am without fighting the facts, but I need to avoid over-passivity, fatalism or despondency.

Working mindfully with this tension in our daily life
Where is the tension between what is and what you want in your body, mind and heart right now? Are you holding it well? How can you hold it better?

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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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Keeping your Meditation Short & Effective

Dear Integral Meditators,

How long do you have to meditate every day for it to make a real difference? As I explain below, not very long! If you have five minutes, then that is all you need to get an effective pratice started…

As you can also see below, there is a 48 hour offer on the my online course that focuses on short meditations, as well as a new product from i-Awake designed to support short meditation practices.

In the spirit of short, sweet & powerful,

Toby


For 48 Hours Only, over 50% off Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now online course! 

Only Sing$25 (normal price $55), Offer ends Friday 7th August at noon, Singapore time.
Learn:

  • What meditation is and how it works
  • How to start your own effective daily meditation practice with just a five minute a day commitment
  • Provides you with support materials; MP3 meditation recordings, short articles and diagrams.

Click HERE for full details of the course.


Keeping your Meditation Short & Effective

If you do five minutes of push ups five days a week for a month, by the end you will have a strong set of pectoral and upper arm muscles. You can equally choose to develop any set of muscles in your physical body in the same way; a minimal time commitment practiced regularly.
Similarly with meditation and training your mind you can make a lot of progress doing short meditations regularly, focused on developing particular positive mind-states. Five minutes a day focusing on particular inner skills can have a tremendous impact on your quality of life. Here are three shot meditations that I am working with at the moment in my own daily life:

1) Belly breathing – For a few minutes I drop my awareness down into my belly and focus on the breathing in that part of my body. The function of this meditation is to reduce conceptual thought as well as build relaxation and focus. When you place your awareness in the belly this helps you to ‘duck under’ all of the conceptual/emotional activity and busyness that you find in your head and heart!
2) My emotions as waves – I take the images of waves rising and falling as my object; my comfortable or ‘happy’ emotions are like the peaks of the waves, the uncomfortable or difficult ones are like the ‘troughs’ or low points of the waves. I just go with the mindful emotional flow, not getting stuck with the highs or lows, observing the changes. The function of this meditation is to facilitate healthy emotional flow states.
3) My goals – I recall what my main work goals are for the week, as well as my monthly service and income goals are. Having done so I then generate a strong intention and desire to realize these goals. I then relax and breathe with these intentions. This helps me develop clarity of intention and focus on what I really want / need to get accomplished.

So, I think you can see with the above examples, if you do them or short bursts on a regular daily basis then you are going to achieve quite a lot. Of course doing longer meditations when you can is recommended, but if you just did short daily meditation as a discipline it can make a real difference.

Besides the three exercises above, here are three further suggestions:
1) Here is a five minute free meditation recording on transforming your stress.
2) I have a short online meditation course called ‘Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now’ which includes three five minute meditations that are great for getting a strong basic foundation. It is on special offer at the moment, at just Sing$25.
3) I-Awake technologies have just released a set of tracks called ‘iAwake mini-meditations’which focus on integrating peace-promoting sound technology into short meditation tracks. You can see the full details below, and read about my take on using technology in your meditation practice here.

So, here’s to making our meditation practice short and sweet!

Related articles: Mindful Work Effectiveness Secrets (From an Ex-Monk)
Related workshops: How to Quieten the Mind,  Meditation For Self-Healing

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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

 


NEW: iAwake Mini Meditations Vol. I

Choose from this collection of short brainwave entrainment tracks when you need to:

·        wind down quickly
·        recharge
·        step out of your mind
·        relax
·        refocus
·        rebalance
·        prep for what’s next

Special Introductory Offer $29 (20%off) Digital Download : Thru August 10th Only! Click HERE to listen to the free sample track!


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

Saturday 15th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop

Saturday 15th August, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation

August 19th, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Class – Meditating on with the Five Levels of Positive Intention

August 26th, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Class – Working with the Three Levels of Non-Judgement

Saturday 29th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy

Saturday 29th August, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Dreaming – Meditation Practices for Integrating Conscious Dreaming into Your Daily Life


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *
Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology
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Meditation and Mindfulness Classes & Workshops at IMA in August 2015

Dear Integral Meditators,

I hope that your meditation & mindfulness practice has been going well over the last month, remember, even five minutes a day has the power to make a difference; short & regular will definitely yeild positive results!

I’m excited about the line up of workshops for August, the full line up you can see below. We have two brand new, never done before meditation workshops; Meditation for Quetening the Mind on 15th, and Mindful Dreaming on the 29th. Add to this some very cool themes for the Integral Meditation evening classes , there is plenty for everyone this month!

In the spirit of the mindful journey,

Toby

********

Jungle Bridge, Sapa, VietnamAUGUST AT INTEGRAL MEDITATION ASIA

Saturday 15th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop

Saturday 15th August, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation

August 19th, 7.30-9pmIntegral Meditation Class – Meditating on with the Five Levels of Positive Intention

August 26th, 7.30-9pmIntegral Meditation Class – Working with the Three Levels of Non-Judgement

Saturday 29th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy

Saturday 29th August, 2.30-5.30pm Mindful Dreaming – Meditation Practices for Integrating Conscious Dreaming into Your Daily Life

 

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Why Meditate on & with Animals?

I was asked the other day why I continue to guide workshops and classes on meditating with animals, given that to some of my client group it may seem a bit ‘strange’. Here are a few reasons to consider why meditating with animals is of great value, with a short practice at the end to try it out…

We’ve been doing it a long time
Prior to the transcendent spiritual traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism in the ‘east’ and Chrisitianity/Islam in the ‘west’, human beings practiced an earth based spirituality where communion, learning and interaction with animals in the inner world as well as the outer one was a main part of our path to awakening and enlightenment. Our ability to do this type of meditation is long forgotten, but it is in our ‘dna’ so to speak, so most people find they can do it and have significant experiences without too much difficulty.

It re-connects us to parts of ourselves we have lost touch with
Meditating with animals connects us with our animal and instinctive nature in a benevolent way. It encourages us to use our imagination and capacity for inner visioning, and it encourages us to learn in a right brain creative, intuitive and visual way, very different from the way most of us use our minds and brains during the day.

It connects us to environmental awareness
Living in urbanized environment as many of us do it is very easy for us to lose touch with environmental awareness and a love for nature. Meditating with animals helps us recover our relationship to the natural world in an experiential way without literally having to travel outwardly to do so.

It can lead us into deep meditative states
When I lead meditation workshops and classes on meditating with animals, one thing that is always remarkable is the deep states of meditation that people go into during the sessions. People often remark that their sense of time seems to take on a completely different quality. Meditating with animals, landscape and nature can take us into these deep states very quickly and powerfully.

It fun!
Imagining playing and adventuring with animals is the sort of thing children do all the time. Meditating as an adult with animals can have an appropriately rejuvenating effect on our playful and spontaneous side! Meditating with animals helps us to get out of our mind and into a renewed contact with being alive.

How to meditate with animals
A very short but in some ways quite complete methodology for the basics of meditating with animals:
1. Sit down, calm your mind for a short time and set your intention to connect in the spirit of love to animals in the inner world with whom you have a meaningful connection
2. With this intention, imagine yourself in a landscape within nature that you know and love, build it strongly in your inner vision.
3. After a while an animal will come to meet you in this environment. Connect to this animal in whatever way feels appropriate; s/he may want to take you on a journey in the landscape, engage in a communication of some sort, or simply hang out and enjoy the peace and calm with you.
4. When you are ready return back to your body and your outer awareness, seeing the inner environment where you have been fading away.

Related article: Wolf Therapy

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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 in August

Saturday 15th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop

Saturday 15th August, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation

August 19th, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Class – Working with our imagination, & the doorway between our inner and outer worlds

August 26th, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Class – Working with subtlety, gracefulness and the inner feminine
Saturday 29th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy

Saturday 29th August, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Dreaming – Meditation Practices for Integrating Conscious Dreaming into Your Daily Life


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Your Emotions as Horses

Dear Integral Meditators,

Because emotions are non-linear in their behaviour, quite often images can work better than direct instructions as to how we can go about working with them in a healthy way. The article below considers our emotions as horses.

Final call for those in Singapore for the Positive Mindset integral meditation class tomorrow, Wednesday at 7.3opm, and the two workshops on Saturday 1st August; Zen Meditation from 9.30-12.30, and Language of the Shadow from 2.30-5.30pm.

In the spirit of the ride,

Toby


Your Emotions as Horses

Your emotions are like horses; powerful, fleet, full of energy and vitality. They are also willful and sometimes volatile. The flip side of this is they also contain their own instinctive and natural wisdom. You are the rider of the horses of your emotions.

If you try and control them by whipping and abusing them then they, like real horses will either become resentful, rebellious and devious or they will become broken, sad and scared.

If you simply indulge the horses of your emotions without directing them then they will simply run wherever they want without control, with the according results in your life.

Your emotions are tremendously strong. If you are scared of the strength of your emotions then they will sense that, and like horses with a nervous rider they will react to it.

If you learn how to ride your emotions with love and care, but at the same time with discipline and direction, then you have a tremendous energy source that you can put to positive use in your life, taking you faster in the direction that you want to go – So there is a lot ‘riding’ on the way you as the rider relate to the horses of your emotions!

Imagine you are on the back of a powerful horse now. It is the horse of your emotions. Feel the raw power, energy and life-force of the horse between your legs. When the horse wants to run, let him do so, feel the elation and the freedom as you gather speed, the wind in your hair, the trees and landscape flying by. Where do you want to go? You are the rider and director of this horse, and s/he wants your benevolent guidance.

Working mindfully with the image of yourself as rider and your emotions as horses can help us experiential find out a lot about our current relationship to our emotions, and how we can learn to ride them better, with both more freedom and more control.

One of the keys to understand about emotions is that ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ emotions are like black and white horses (or brown etc…); it doesn’t matter what colour they are, what mainly matters is how you ride them. The emotions you currently think of as being the most useless in your life might just be the ones that you need to learn to ride better.

Related article: The Sea Snakes of the Mind
The Wild dogs of the Mind

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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:

JULY & AUGUST 

Wednesday July 29th 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Session @ Basic Essence – Meditation for connecting to a positive attitude

Saturday 1st August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Finding Simplicity in the Complexity: An Introduction to Meditation From the Perspective of Zen

Saturday 1st August, 2.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self – A Three Hour Workshop

Friday 14th August, 7.30-9pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre

Saturday 15th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop

Saturday 15th August, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation


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Tom and Jerry Mindfulness (Cartoon Character Positive Attitude)

Dear Integral Meditators,

How long does it take you to bounce back from psychological challenges? Are there unconventional methods that can help? The article below explores this theme, as well as the wisdom of Tom and Jerry!

Some of the themes from the article I will also be exploring on this Wednesday July 22nd 7.30-9pm  a the Integral Meditation Session @ Basic Essence – “Meditation for connecting to a positive attitude” so do come down if your in Singapore!

In the spirit of deep cartoons,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation next week!

Saturday 1st August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Finding Simplicity in the Complexity: An Introduction to Meditation From the Perspective of Zen – In a sentence: De-clutter your mind, develop concentration and create focused calm in your life by learning Zen meditation

Saturday 1st August, 2.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self – A Three Hour Workshop – Get in touch with a deeper level of psychological harmony and wellbeing within yourself. Learn how to access new levels of energy and confidence. Discover and heal hidden aspects of your psyche that are currently sabotaging your happiness in daily life and transforming them into something useful and powerful within you…


Tom and Jerry Mindfulness (Cartoon Character Positive Attitude)

Your psychic or psychological body is plastic
When your physical body is injured or becomes ill it takes time to recover, for example once you have broken a leg it is inevitable that you are going to have to spend time allowing it to recover and heal.
On a psychological level our subtle body or thought body is more flexible, malleable or ‘plastic’. When you take an emotional ‘hit’ to your psychic body the time it takes to recover is not fixed. We see this for example when two people facing the same circumstances, for example being sacked from their job or being rejected by someone they are attracted to, take different times to recover from such a blow. One person may go into a deep depression; the other may bounce back very quickly. The latter person almost seems like Tom in the Tom and Jerry cartoons when he is squashed flat by an enormous hammer (or equivalent) and then after a few moments bounces right back into his original shape, and resumes chasing the mouse!
The reason why the psychological recovery time of some people is so fast is because, actually if we know how to, we can heal our psychological body very quickly; it is made of energy, not flesh and bone, so it can change shape rapidly, sometimes instantaneously.
If we understand this, then we should at the very least be interested in how we can mindfully accelerate our own psychological healing and ability to become a bit more ‘Tom and Jerry –like’ in our approach to psychological healing.

‘Popping’ your subtle body back into shape – an example
At various periods in my life I have felt under quite a lot of financial stress, from back in my penniless Buddhist monk days to my current circumstances as an entrepreneur. I remember one time when I was feeling kind of miserable and stressed about this. You could say that my psychological body was in the ‘flattened Tom’ stage cartoon wise. Then I saw a rather grizzled looking man walk by smiling in a polo t-shirt that had a picture of a mop and a message on the back that said “Will work for food”. Seeing this man at the time when I was in the circumstances I was in was incredibly amusing to me and I started laughing. I then lost my fear of ending up broke and at the bottom of society wealth wise; the energy and shape returned almost instantaneously to my psychological body – like the cartoon cat ‘popping’ back into shape and resuming the chase of the mouse. The man in the t-shirt became my go-to response to this particular challenge and my way of ‘bouncing back’ whenever I felt down.

Some of the basic facets of Tom and Jerry Mindfulness:

  • Genuine acceptance of the reality of the challenging circumstances and the emotions that you are experiencing – You can’t pop-back psychologically from a place of denial! (See the Shadow Workshop on the 1st August!)
  • Engaging in the discipline of relaxation, new perspectives, humour and lightness
  • Acknowledging the realization that swift, even instantaneous recovery is sometimes possible
  • A story or image to hold in your mind that contains the essential ‘pop-back’ energy. For me in the story above this was the man in the t-short with the message.
  • The confidence and courage to step into your recovery space without hesitation (‘This can’t be real can it??’)

I’m not saying here that you should expect to heal all psychological wounds quickly, I’m just pointing out that our psychological body is plastic and malleable, and we can learn to help it to pop-back into shape faster if we know how.

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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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