What’s the Difference Between Your Higher Self and ‘Big Mind’? (The Doorway)

Dear Integral Meditators,

After last week’s article on Connecting to Your Big Mind I was asked ‘What is the difference between your Higher Self and your Big Mind’. Since it is a good question, I thought I may as well address it in an article, which you will find below!

Final call for the Engaged Mindfulness Course this Saturday, details in the ‘upcoming courses’ secton below.

In the spirit of the doorway,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in 

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

Saturday, October 31st, 9.30am-12.30pm – Engaged Mindfulness: Take Control of Your Life Direction and Wellbeing Through Awareness, Curiosity, Courage and Care – A Three Hour Workshop

Saturday November 21st, 2.30-5.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment


What’s the Difference Between Your Higher Self and ‘Big Mind’? (The Doorway)

The term ‘Higher Self’ is used in various western and Indian (generally Theistic) spiritualities to denote our soul, or the deeper part of our individual nature. This Higher Self  or ‘Soul Self’ is conceived to be engaged in a process of learning and evolution that spans not just one life but multiple lifetimes, each lifetime hopefully building upon the experience of the last in order to lead to a gradual maturation of the individual. Unless the individual person is quite evolved, generally he or she will not be experientially aware that he or she has a soul or Higher Self that is ‘looking after’ her. However as s/he matures spiritually will generally become aware of this deeper or higher aspect of her own being that is guiding and directing them. Over a period of time a sense of connection and communication will be established between this person and their Higher Self that eventually leads to the person effectively merging with and functioning as the Higher Self on Earth. The Higher Self is still an individual self, with a history and particular individual characteristics, generally located on the higher mental planes; it is not an abstract, formless timeless spirit.
‘Big Mind’ on the other hand is a term used in some Zen traditions to describe the experience of primal, formless timeless awareness. This formless timeless lies at the heart of our experience of each moment, but it is completely open and limitless, beyond any kind of individual self, beyond time, beyond space; it is pure limitless awareness or spirit. So Big Mind really refers to a unified experience of ‘spiritual’ consciousness that lies beyond our individual ego, but also beyond the limitations of our Higher Self or Soul. The Big Mind is all pervasive, ever present, something that you can learn to recognize and relax into at any time through meditation and mindfulness training.

The Doorway
The doorway is an image I find very helpful as an image that helps to connect the above idea to an actual experience. Imagine your Soul or Higher Self as a doorway. If you look in one direction you see yourself in time and space, going about your daily life in the world. If you look in the other direction you find yourself staring into the experience of a formless, timeless infinity, and expanse of open awareness without limitation; the Big Mind. You are the Soul, the Higher Self that links the world of your individuality and daily life with the formless, timeless experience of Big Mind. In meditation you simply turn and face in the direction of Big mind, allowing yourself to be absorbed into it, when you come out of meditation you simply turn around, face your daily life and walk back into it. Your doorway is the gateway you can come back to at any point in your day to reconnect to your Higher Self and to Big 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


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Connecting to Your Big Mind (Plus 30% sale on all I-Awake Tracks)

Dear Integral Meditators,

Where is your mind? In your body, in your brain, somewhere else? The article below offers a meditators perspective!

For those in Singapore, a quick reminder of the Engaged Mindfulness workshop coming up on the morning of Saturday 31st October.

Finally, beneath the article you’ll see some info regarding the I-Awake Meditation technologies sale that is currently on. You can see my own take on the use of sound technology for meditation here.

In the spirit of the Big Mind,

Toby


Connecting to Your Big Mind (Is the Mind in the Body or the Body in the Mind?)

A contemporary, conventional view of the mind is that it is inside our body, most often the assumption is that it is in the brain. Our mind sits in our brain, and if we can just figure out our brain, then we will be able to figure out our mind. Right?

The Big Mind
If you have been meditating or practicing mindfulness for a while you will notice that there are times when your mind and energy seem to become open, spacious, almost limitless, transcending the mere experience of your physical body and brain. Even if we are not meditators we will have experienced times where our present moment experience seems to transcend our physical body and brain; perhaps when in love, when in the presence of a beautiful sunset, when we have experienced a profoundly moving work of art, or during a dreaming experience.
In Zen the awakened mind or mind of enlightenment is sometimes called the ‘Big mind’; an experience of a formless, timeless beingness that is without limitation, beyond time, beyond the body and brain,  and beyond the conceptual mind.

The body in the mind
From this point of view our body, and indeed the physical world and universe all exist within the limitless space of our Big Mind. So rather than our mind being in our body, our body is actually contained within our mind! Our brain is seen as a filter that filters out all of the infinite information contained within the Big Mind, enabling us to function operationally as an individual human being in the physical world. If you think about your brain as a computer, and the Big Mind as like the internet, this gives you an idea; the computer helps you to find the information you need from the internet, filtering it out from all the other information on the net.

An Exercise: Experiencing your body and brain in your Big Mind
Sitting quietly, imagine your mind becoming as big as possible; expanding our beyond your body and brain, out into the landscape around you, up into the sky and stars above you, and down into the earth beneath you. Let it become as big as you can, enter into the Big Mind experience. Then think about your body and environment as being contained within your Big Mind; everything you sense, think of and experience is all contained within your Big Mind; it is the context in which everything else is experienced.

Why does this matter?
Spending a period of time each day relaxing into your Big Mind can really change the way in which you experience yourself, your life, your challenges and your joys. Instead of being stuck in your body, you gain access to a bigger, stabler identity that enables you to experience the ups and downs of your life with stability, lightness, creativity and humour.

A final point; your small mind and small life still matters, and looking after it is still important, it’s just that it is contained within a bigger, more spacious identity and context!

© 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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Working With Your Body’s Cellular Memory Through Meditation

Dear Integral Meditators,

What is the relationship between your body’s cellular structure and how you expereince your life? And how can meditation help influence this relationship in a positive and practical way? The article below explores this topic…

For those in Singapore, a final reminder of on this Saturday’s event (tomorrow),  a 3 hourMind of Ease Meditation Workshop, which offers a structured, practical approach to daily meditation.

In the spirit of the living body,

Toby


Working With Your Body’s Cellular Memory Through Meditation

Let’s say I meet someone at a party, that person looks somewhat  like someone who hurt me and made me angry in the past. Based on meeting this person that looks like a past acquaintance, my body’s cellular memory is stimulated and I feel myself experiencing not just a mental aversion and hurt, but a tangible energy of hurt that I feel in my body.
Let’s say alternatively I meet an old friend whom I share many good and fond memories of. My body’s cellular memory remembers this old friend, and I feel impelled to embrace them warmly to express our appreciation.
Our body remembers things on a cellular level, and this cellular memory is a powerful force in our life.

Working with positive cellular memories
Take any quality that you wish to develop in your life. Let’s say courage. To activate your body’s cellular memory of courage you can contemplate times in the past when you have felt and acted upon the quality of courage. Focusing on memories of times in the past when you have experienced courage will activate your cellular memory, and your body will re-create the experience of what it feels like to be courageous in the present moment, now.
Once you have re-created that feeling of courage you can then simply sit with it, breathe with it and ‘soak’ yourself in it through meditation, making that quality stronger and stronger within yourself so that over time it starts to become more and more a part of your instinctive way of going and being in the world.

Working with negative or difficult cellular memories
Think of an emotion that you experience periodically that you want to let go of, let’s say resentment or inferiority. Contemplate times in the past when you have felt inferior or resentful, allow your bodies cellular memory to be stimulated so that you have a tangible experience of that resentment present in your body. Now relax and breathe with that feeling; by acknowledging and accepting it you can then learn to actually release and let go of those instinctive feelings in your body, and open up your cellular structure to the influence of new positive emotional programmings.

Closing comments
When working with positive cellular memories, the purpose of meditating on them is to strengthen and consolidate them. When working with difficult cellular memories, the purpose is to release the energetic charge of those memories through awareness, acknowledgement and acceptance. The essential technique is actually quite similar for both, the difference being in our intention and what we do once we have stimulated the cellular memory in meditation.

Which cellular memories would you like to work with this week in your own meditation and mindfulness practice?

Related article: Combining Your Meditation and Mindfulness Practice Together

© 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 events at Integral Meditation Asia in October

Saturday 17th October, 2.30-5.30pm  Meditation & Mindfulness for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 3 Hour workshop

Saturday October  31st, 9.30am-12.30pm – Engaged Mindfulness: Take Control of Your Life Direction and Wellbeing Through Awareness, Curiosity, Courage and Care – A Three Hour Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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Combining Your Meditation and Mindfulness Practice Together

Dear Integral Meditators,
What is the difference between meditation and mindfulness? Are they the same or different? This weeks article looks at working definitions of both and how they can be combined into an effective daily practice, enjoy!

In the spirit of the mindful journey,

Toby


Combining Your Meditation and Mindfulness Practice Together

To be mindful of something means to bring a certain focused,  non-judgmental awareness and attention to something in order to understand it and get to know it better.
To meditate means to focus your attention very specifically upon a particular state of mind in order to really ground it experientially for you and to integrate it into the foundational, habitual structure of your consciousness. Combining meditation and mindfulness together into a single practice optimizes the effects of both. Let’s take a simple example of how to do this using the basic but profound quality of relaxation.

Mindfully investigating relaxation.
What does relaxation meant to me? When in my life have I felt truly relaxed on all levels? By asking yourself questions like these you can begin a process of mindful enquiry where you bring to mind different experiences of relaxation that you have had in the past. As I’m sitting here writing, I am thinking of a beach in Langkawi that I have been to where I had a particularly relaxing time. As I remember and picture the beach and my experiences there I notice my body, mind and heart starting to respond to those memories; the cellular structure of my body relaxes and rests at ease.

Meditating on relaxation
Now that my process of mindful enquiry has helped me find a mental, physical and emotional state of relaxation, I can now meditate on it. To meditate on relaxation, I simply practice focusing upon and holding that state of relaxation with meditative concentration; breathing it in and breathing it out. By meditating on relaxation in this way I really allow my body mind and heart to ‘soak’ in the feeling of relaxation, so that I really become very familiar with the feeling. By meditating on relaxation I can integrate it much more deeply into my daily, habitual consciousness, and thus I can start to use it more and more effectively; when I find myself under pressure at work, when I feel emotional stress in my relationships and so on…

If you understand how to combine meditation and mindfulness in this way, then you can basically accelerate the development of any inner quality or experience that you want. For example if I want to develop my creative energy I can first mindfully investigate what creativity means to me, and recall times in the past when I have felt in ‘the creative flow’. Having investigated mindfully in this way I can then use meditation to ‘soak’ my body-mind in that state of creative flow so that it becomes a stronger and stronger part of my basic habitual psychological makeup.

Perhaps this week you might like to start working with combining your own meditation and mindfulness practice together taking the example of relaxation above. Alternatively pick any quality that you want to develop right now and use that!

© 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 events at Integral Meditation Asia in October

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

Saturday 3rd October, 2.30-5.30pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop

Sunday 11th October, 8.00-10.30am – An Introduction to Walking Meditation Workshop

Wednesday  14th October 2015, 7.30-9pm – Evening Event: Integral Mindfulness –Co-creating Your Professional Success and Personal Wellbeing

Saturday 17th October, 2.30-5.30pm  Meditation & Mindfulness for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 3 Hour workshop

Saturday October  31st, 9.30am-12.30pm – Engaged Mindfulness: Take Control of Your Life Direction and Wellbeing Through Awareness, Curiosity, Courage and Care – A Three Hour Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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Dualistic Appearance – The Dance of Reality & Illusion

Dear Integral Meditators,

When you look at something, what is it that you really see? This weeks article looks at the way in which our mind projects itself onto our reality, moulding it in its own image. I then offer practical method for starting to gain awareness and benevolent control of this process.

In the spirit of the journey,

Toby


Dualistic Appearance – The Dance of Reality & Illusion

Dualistic Appearance is a meditation term originally coined by the Buddha. It means the appearance of an object together with our minds projected or imagined image of what we think is appearing. For example let’s say my partner and I had an argument last night. She comes into the kitchen in the morning and two things will appear to me:

  • The literal body and person appearing to me right there, in the present moment
  • Almost instantly after I see her my mind with project an imagined image of what it thinks it sees upon her, based upon our history, last night’s argument and so on.

So, in fact there are two thing s appearing when I see my partner, one ‘real’; and one a mental projection.
One of the main functions of meditation and mindfulness is to help us to separate our actual experience of each moment from our mental projections, and by doing so improve our ability to feel deeply at home and in touch with each moment of our reality.

The problem of dualistic appearance is that if we have no sense that our mind is projecting this second ‘imagined’ image upon our reality, then it is very difficult to avoid literally living in an illusion. It is like being in a hall of mirrors; we cannot tell what part of our experience is real and which parts merely mental projections. We live out of touch with our reality in a ‘world of our own’ which is often filled with a lot of mental and emotional pain.

The potential beauty of dualistic appearance is that it enables us to project and imagine ideas onto our reality that can change it in radical and positive ways. We can imagine a picture on a blank canvas and then do it. We can find ourself in a difficult work environment and imagine ways in which we can change it for the better. We can bring new realities into existence through the power that our mind has to project images and ideas.

So then, as you start to reflect upon this, you might like to consider how your own experience of dualistic appearance has been working today. Has your minds ability to project itself onto what it experiences been working for you or against you?

Meditation on dualistic appearance – Three basic movements

1. Observing the play of reality and projection – the first stage in meditating on non duality is to observe the process of dualistic appearance and how it happens in your own experience. Let’s say I take the view from my window as I write this. I can see the view itself as it is, and then I can start to see how my mind projects itself upon that view. If I am having a bad day my mind might project ‘bleak meaningless urban landscape’ upon it, and feel depressed. On another day where I am feeling great I can look out the window and project ‘city filled with wonder and beauty!’ Same view, different projection.
2. Dropping the projection & connecting to reality as it is – Once we have observed this play of dualistic appearance, we can then work to ‘drop’ the mental projection and just see what we observe ‘as it is’ without projecting. To go back to the example of me looking out of the window at the view, I simply try and see the cityscape without projecting good or bad, pleasure or pain, beautiful or ugly, or any other form of mental image. I simply sit and see what I see without projecting, resting in that space of alert awareness.
3. Consciously working with dualistic appearance – Once we have developed a basic capacity to sit and observe our experience of each moment without projecting, we can then start to make conscious choices about our projections, and by doing so learn to further take benevolent control of our experience of reality. For example if I notice I am looking out of my window and unconsciously projecting ‘bleak urban landscape’ because I am feeling down, I can recognize that and refrain from re-enforcing or strengthening that projection. Instead I can consciously choose to project a more useful and positive idea of what I am seeing.

This week if you like, take these three stages of working with dualistic appearance and start to work with them in chosen areas of your life, observing how your perception of what is really going on changes when you do so

© 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 events at Integral Meditation Asia in October

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

Saturday 3rd October, 2.30-5.30pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop

Wednesday  14th October 2015, 7.30-9pm – Evening Event: Integral Mindfulness –Co-creating Your Professional Success and Personal Wellbeing

Saturday 17th October, 2.30-5.30pm  Meditation & Mindfulness for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 3 Hour workshop

Sunday October  30th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Engaged Mindfulness: Take Control of Your Life Direction and Wellbeing Through Awareness, Curiosity, Courage and Care – A Three Hour Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

 

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Dropping the Self

Dear Integral Meditators,

Is there one mindfulness practice that will have an immdiate effect on your sense of inner balance and wellbeing? Try the one below, it might be it!
On the theme of stilling the mind, quick reminder of the next scheduled meditation workshop on 3rd October: Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind .
And finally a reminder that the September special offer on Soul Portraits ends this Sunday, 27th September.

Toby


Dropping the Self

One of the most effective ways that you can temporarily solve your problems and experience a relaxed, comfortable state of mind is simply to mentally ‘drop your self’ or, put another way, make a conscious choice not to think about yourself for a while. Whenever you feel anxiety, worry, frustration, disappointment, hurt, shame and so on, there is always at the center of the experience a strong clinging at an ‘I’ or self; my problem, my fear, my disappointment, myloneliness, my busy mind. If you take away the ‘I’ at the centre of the drama, then the drama will subside, the idea and the practice of this exercise is as simple as that.

Me & mine
When I talk of dropping the self, I am also talking about dropping the things that the self considers ‘mine’ as well; quite often we spend even more time worrying or obsessing about other people close to us than ourselves; my child, my spouse, my parents, my job. So we are aiming to drop both the I and the mine!

A short exercise in dropping the self
Let’s say I’ve just finished work and I’m on my way home, or perhaps I have a half hour on my Sunday between doing one thing an another. In this space I then decide that for that period of time I’m simply not going to focus on myself, my problems, my worries. I can think about or do whatever I like, but I’m consciously diminishing the size and the significance of the ‘I’ that is thinking and I’m creating lots of room in my mind for other things; other people, awareness of the senses, and so on. I can pretty much do what I like, the only condition is that I am mindfully choosing not to think or worry about my self for that time, I’m dropping my I from the agenda, and relaxing into the inner space and comfort that arises when I do so!

Attending to the self to drop the self
As a counterweight to this practice it can also be good to consciously set aside times in your day where you are consciously deciding to think about yourself; to take care of your feelings, attend to your challenges and responsibilities, plan your approach to life and so on. Attending to the self is a healthy way of mindfully taking care of yourself and your needs. Then, once you have processed the needs and wants of yourself, you then make a mindful choice, “Ok, that is as far as I am going to get with this today, now I can drop the self again!”

Facilitating change through dropping the self
One of the things that I have noticed about this practice (and I have had it confirmed by others who have attended my classes) is that dropping the self can be a very good way of facilitating change in your life; when you stop thinking about a problem, or stop telling someone what to do, or let go of your worry about something, often things start to change without any effort on your part. There is something about the practice of leaving things alone and letting go that sometimes gives us the changes we wanted in the first place!

Dropping the self is not saying our self is not important, it is just realizing that it is onlyrelatively important. It is also a way of discovering the inner joys, relaxation and wisdom that comes to you quite naturally when your I is not sticking its fingers into everything!

© 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 events at Integral Meditation Asia (Full October schedule coming soon!)

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

Saturday 3rd October, 2.30-5.30pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop

Saturday 17th October, 2.30-5.30pm – Meditation & Mindfulness for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 3 Hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

 

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The Pendulum Swing of Happiness and Sadness

Dear Integral Meditators,

How much happiness does your aversion for or resistance to sadness cost you? This is the topic the article below explores.

Beneath the article you will see some information on i-Awake technologies latest track Profound Releasing. You can read my own thoughts on this type of meditation technology HERE.

In the spirit of the pendulum swing,

Toby


The Pendulum Swing of Happiness and Sadness

Two days ago a couple of my daughters most cherished dolls were chewed up by the dog. She phoned me in a haze of tears and sadness about this, seemingly wallowing in the upset. Two hours later when I saw her, her mood had changed, she was still a little sad, but already talking jokingly about it, and explaining to me how she was going to fix the dolls, and lightheartedly telling me it was my fault for leaving the door of her bedroom open (which it may well have been!) Over the course of a couple of hours her mod had swung from open hearted sadness to acceptance, humour and smiles.

In the recent Pixar movie Inside-Out there is a moment when the character Joy realizes that many of the happy memories that the child she is in charge of possesses are dependent upon a preceding sad experience that sets up the happy experience. Up to this point in the movie she has been trying to remove sadness from the life of the child, but once she realizes its value, she knows when to get out of the way and let sadness play its part in the life of the child; indeed it is eventually sadness that saves the day!

My basic observation here is that our happiness and sadness are like a pendulum swing; if you allow yourself to experience your sadness, to ‘swing toward it’, then naturally once it has been experienced you will start to swing back again towards happiness. If however you block your sadness and prevent yourself experiencing it, then in some ways you lose the ability to feel genuinely happy. You just find yourself stuck in a state where you don’t feel happy or sad, just neutral, ‘comfortably numb’ as the saying goes.

Learning to swing with the pendulum
So the basic practice here is simply to mindfully learn to swing with our moods from happiness to sadness and back again, without blocking or interfering with the swing too much. Learn to swing naturally into a sad mood and gain confidence from the experience that after a while it starts to swing naturally back towards happiness after it has reached the extremity of its movement.

A practice
First of all get used to asking yourself; ‘How am I feeling right now?’ and really cultivating awareness and connection to your feelings and moods.
Secondly, use the image of the pendulum, when you feel yourself feeling a little sad, relax into the swing of it, don’t try and block it too much; allow yourself to experience it without getting swamped.
If you do this then after a while you will find yourself swinging back towards happiness. Relax into that too, enjoy it while it lasts, but don’t try and cling onto it beyond its time. Learn to participate in the swinging to and fro  between moods of happiness and sadness, to enjoy it with mindful awareness.

PS: One thing that I’ve become aware of with myself and with other people is that as soon as we start to feel emotionally uncomfortable or sad we distract and block ourself from that feeling by taking out our phone and fiddling with it. Becoming aware of this tendency and choosing to just sit with the discomfort or sadness instead of taking out the phone can be a simple mindfulness practice that we can set ourselves that will help us to manage our happy-sad pendulum swing a little 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


New I-Awake Track: Profound Releasing

Profound Releasing is a deeply transformative, guided meditation, encoded brainwave
entrainment technology designed to help you experience:
●    Letting go of old, limiting emotional patterns
●    Developing more inner strength and groundedness
●    A deepening compassion for yourself and others
●    And a gradual awakening into pure awareness

Our friends at iAwake Technologies are offering up to 20% Off Discount when you
purchase Profound Releasing during its introductory 7-day offer (September 17-24,
2015)
To learn more and listen to the free demo track click here: http://goo.gl/4km9pF


Integral Meditation Asia

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What is a Meditator? (Plus Soul Portrait Art special offer)

Dear Integral Meditators,

What is a meditator? The article below offers 5 working definitions, each of which offer an insight into what the meditation process can offer us…

For those in Singapore, a reminder of workshops this Saturday 12th September; 9.30am-12.30 – Meditations For Creating a mind of Ease & 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Dreaming. Wednesday 9th Sept Drop in Medi Class at 7.30pm.

In the spirit meditative hedonism ,

Toby


7-21 SEPTEMBER 2015 SPECIAL OFFER ON SOUL PORTRAIT ORDERS, GET 15% OFF REGULAR PRICE! 

Click on the image to learn more about Toby’s Soul Portrait work, view slideshows and find out more…

 

 

 


What is a Meditator? 

What is a meditator? Why do you meditate? Here are five definitions of what a meditator is or can be.

1. A wise hedonist – When I was a monk and people asked me ‘Why did you become a monk?’ I used to reply ‘Because I’m a hedonist; I’m making my personal happiness a priority. I have become a monk because I want to set aside time to meditate, and I meditate because I want to be happy, and I recognize that meditation is one of the best ways to do that, because happiness is primarily something that comes from within me.’ I’m no longer a monk, but I still practice meditation for the same reason!

2. Someone committed to self-healing – A meditator is someone who is committed to looking inward in order to see, taking care of and heal the parts of themselves that are injured, wounded or broken and returning them to health. I’m talking primarily about the psychological parts of self here rather than physical self, although meditation can and does have a substantial effect on physical healing.

3. A person committed to developing and consolidating their innerstrengths– If meditation is a mind that focuses on a positive object, then a meditator is a person who is committed to systematically developing their inner positivity, strengths and wellbeing by focusing on and growing these strengths daily, perhaps a little bit like an inner gym-rat!

4.Someone committed to looking deeper – A meditator is someone who is committed to looking deeply at what is going on, and really bringing their intelligence (both mental intelligence and the other types of intelligence we have) to bear upon their life. A meditator is not satisfied with the merely superficial; a meditator is committed to knowing and seeing their reality as deeply as they are capable of at any given time.

5. A walker between worlds – A meditator is someone who is developing their capacity to move consciously and easily between the solid, outer world of matter, the subtle inner world of the mind and the very subtle formless timeless world that lies beyond the mind.  Ideally a meditator should be equally at home in either of these three worlds and equally competent in the skills required to navigate each.

So, any practice that you have in your life for engaging in any of the above five activities might be considered a form of meditation, and make you a meditator of sorts.
If you were to pick one of the five areas above and investigate it a little bit further in your life this week, which one would it be?

Related Article:A Meditation Map – The Art of State Training

© 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 

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

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

Saturday 19th September, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Relationships: Improving Your Relationships and Social Skills Through Mindfulness


Integral Meditation Asia

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The Quickest Way Through the Rain

Dear Integral Meditators,

When you have a ‘dark cloud’ in your life, do you habitually walk toward it or run away from it? Its an important question, the article below explores why, with the help of a few large furry friends!

In the spirit of walking towards,

Toby


The Quickest Way Through the Rain

The amateur naturalists amongst you may have heard the story of buffalo herds who, when they see a thunder cloud coming toward them walk directly into it rather than away from it. Of course this is a very intelligent thing to do because by walking in and through the rain cloud they actually minimise the amount of time they have to spend getting wet, as the rain cloud passes by much quicker.

Whenever we have a ‘rain cloud’ in our life the instinct can be to run away in the opposite direction from it, hoping that it will go away if we run fast enough. Of course then what happens is that we find ourself being pursued by the rain cloud for a long time, and then when it catches us we have to spend a long time getting wet.

Whatever inner rain clouds you have in your life, the quickest and most effective way to deal with them is almost always by going towards and through them, rather than turning away and running.

Sometimes getting wet is not what you expect
One of the nice things about getting in the habit of walking into your rainclouds is that you discover as often as not that ‘getting wet’ is not as unpleasant as you thought. The experience of accepting a difficult emotion, having a challenging conversation, making a difficult choice, or facing a fear is that, as often as not more pleasant than we thought. If you walk into the rain, sometimes (not always) you may find yourself dancing in it!

If you aren’t ready to turn towards the cloud, then know that
There are some rain clouds in your life that you may not be ready to walk into for whatever reason. If this is the case, then you need to know that you aren’t ready and make a conscious choice to hold it at arm’s length until you are ready. If you do this consciously, rather than running blindly and impulsively away, then you can avoid a lot of the negative effects of repression and impulsive fear.

A mature meditation and mindfulness practice
One of the marks of a mature meditation and mindfulness practitioner is this; they know the value of walking into the raincloud and do it regularly.

An image
Imagine you are sitting in a grassland under a big sky. Next to you is a herd of buffalo. You see a dark raincloud on the horizon. You see the buffalo naturally start walking toward the cloud, as if it were the easiest thing to do in the world, why not follow them in? After all, the quickest way out of the rain is through it.

Related articles: The inner weather of the mind
Breaking like a wave

© 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 

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

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

Saturday 19th September, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Relationships: Improving Your Relationships and Social Skills Through Mindfulness
Saturday 3rd October, 2.30-5.30pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

 

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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

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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