Making it Beautiful

Dear Integral Meditators,

What if instead of seeing yourself as a consumer of beauty, you focused upon becoming a source and creator of beauty in the world? The article below examines how we might go about doing this…

There is a special 2 day Easter sale on at Integral Meditation Asia, with two of the online courses being offered at a 30% discount! Scroll down to the ‘Upcoming Courses’ section below to find out more!

In the spirit of the mindful journey,

Toby


Making it Beautiful

There is a rubbish bin at the bottom of my block of apartments next to the lift. Some of the local school kids have painted with the message ‘Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful’.
To me this is a great mindfulness saying, and communicates a lot about the power that each of us has as human beings to use our creative energy to create beauty in the places, circumstances and situations we find ourself in.
Often times and without really thinking about it too much we are passive in our experience of our life; we are looking for someone else or something else to provide us with experiences of beauty, or positivity, or empowerment, or solace, or wellbeing. What would your day look like if you started it by saying something like:

  • ‘I am here to appreciate beauty but also to create it where there is none’
  • Or ‘I am here to enjoy the good energy of others, but also to create good energy and give it away to myself and others’
  • Or ‘If I’m finding it difficult to find fulfillment in what I am doing right now, what can I do to create fulfillment within the same circumstances?’

If everyone made a mindful choice each day to make things beautiful we’d be living in quite a different world. We can start making the world a little bit more beautiful today by making the choice ourselves.

© 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 March:

Sunday/Monday April 5th&6th – Easter Sale save 30% on the following Online Meditation Courses – 
Integrating the Energy of Dynamic Calm into Your Life – A Four Module Online Course

Taking Control of Your Life Through the Practice of Mindful Self-Leadership – A Five Module Online Course

Live Workshops:

Saturday 11th April, 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral Meditation and Mindfulness: Optimize Your Inner Calm, Strength and Energy – A three hour workshop

Saturday 11th April, 2.30-5.30pm  Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy

Tuesday 21st April, 7.30-9.30pm –  An Evening of Mindful Self-Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

 


 

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The River of Concentration

Dear Integral Meditators,

Ever sit down to meditate but just get completely overwhelmed by your distractions? The article below explores an image that I use myself to gradually move from busyness to stillness in meditation, not trying to get there too fast.

If you are in Singapore, do check out the Integral Meditation Class on Developing Focus and Concentration that I will be leading this Friday at 7.30pm, and the Integral Meditation Workshop on Saturday the 11th.

In the spirit of the river of concentration,

Toby


The River of Concentration

One of the challenges that we face in meditation is that when we sit down to try and calm our mind we become discouraged when we cannot move it from a busy state to a state of stillness. One of the reasons for this is that we try and do it all at once, like going from running to standing with no ‘slowing down’ period in between. In this article we use the stages of a river as an image that we can use to gradually and incrementallyslow our mind down in meditation, moving from activity to stillness in four stages. In this analogy we take as our object of meditation the body and breathing in combination with the stages of a river.

The highland stream
When we first sit down to meditate at the beginning of our session, our mind is often busy and fast moving like a highland stream coming down from a mountain. The gradient creates a natural momentum that means the water moves fast. At this stage in our meditation we expect the mind to move quickly away from our point of focus, and for us to have to bring our attention back to our body and breathing again and again. This is natural, normal.

The lowland stream
As we get a few minutes into our meditation, we can consciously start to relax and slow down our mind so that it becomes like a lowland stream or river; we can still feel the flow, momentum and activity, but it is not as fast as previously. Our efforts to keep our attention on the breathing and the body are easier and we achieve more consistency.

The valley river
In this third stage we consciously slow our mind down another small increment so that it becomes like a valley river; the movement is slower, more consistent, more predictable. Even though the movement is there, we can hold our attention on the body and the breathing relatively easily and consistently, and when we get distracted we can bring our attention and focus back comparatively easily.

The estuary river
Deeper into out session we now slow down our mind another increment, it becomes like an estuary river; a river flowing at its slowest and deepest. Here we sense our concentration deepening and moving toward stillness. The distracting currents are less and less, and the efforts to keep our mind focused on our body and breathing are easier. The main distractions we face here are relatively subtle ‘daydream’ type movements of the mind that come from the sense of mental comfort and subtlety that we are experiencing. We can feel our mind moving towards a ‘merged’ state; in the same way that the estuary river merges with the great openness of the ocean, we can feel our mind and concentration moving us toward a unitive state of inner openness and spacious awareness.

Outside of meditation
Outside of meditation you can bear the above analogy in mind; when your mind feels like a highland stream, gently slow it down so that it becomes like a lowland stream in order to reduce your stress. Whatever the ‘speed’ of the river of your mind, at regular intervals during the day just mindfully slow it down to the next stage when you need to be a little more reflective and mindful.

Related Articles: The Inner Weather of the Mind
Shifting Down the Gears – On Meditation and Power Napping
How Much Energy Should You Focus on Focus on Being Focused?

© 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


Integral Meditation Asia

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How Much Energy Should You Focus on Being Focused?

Dear Integral Meditators,

What would the effect upon your life be if you spent even a short period of time each day developing your ability to focus your mind single pointedly on just one thing? The article below asks this question and encourages us to take up the practice of mindful focusing!If you enjoy the article and are in Singapore, do check out the class on Friday evening, 3rd April:  Developing Your Ability to Focus Through Meditation and MindfulnessYours in the comfort and confidence of single-pointedness,Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in March:

Friday 3rd April, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre: Developing Your Ability to Focus Through Meditation and Mindfulness

Saturday 11th April, 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral Meditation and Mindfulness: Optimize Your Inner Calm, Strength and Energy – A three hour workshop

Saturday 11th April, 2.30-5.30pm  Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy

Tuesday 21st April, 7.30-9.30pm – An Evening of Mindful Self-Confidence (Full details to follow shortly!)


How Much Energy Should You Focus on Being Focused?

One of the central skills of meditation and mindfulness is the development of concentration which, simply defined is the ability to focus your mind on one object or task for an extended period. To develop it takes consistent effort. Some of the pay offs from this effort are as follows:

  • The more rapid attainment of inner peace and calm though meditation
  • A strong and enduring mind that is able to bear stress well
  • A heightened investigative intelligence; you can look at things more deeply when you can focus properly
  • Getting more done in your workday; if you can focus on one thing at a time, focusing on each one thing in turn you will get more done, and what you get done will be of better quality
  • Your relationships will improve due to your capacity to focus on other people and really listen to what they are saying or trying to communicate (*see note at bottom)

If we think about the benefits above, then we will start to develop a strong motivation to develop our focus and concentration skills. So how do you begin? Here are a few ideas:

  • In your daily sitting meditation practice, devote at least three minutes of that time to really honing your ability to focus on one thing single pointedly. Three minutes following the breathing or focusing on your body awareness are the most simple. If you are reading this and don’t have a daily meditation practice, 3 minutes on the breathing to develop your focus and concentration is where you can start!
  • For at least one task in your working day, take a 30minute period and focus on that one task single-pointedly, resisting all distractions (for example as I am doing with this article now). During this time keep on task, focus, focus focus, resist distraction, train yourself to concentrate!
  • When you are with someone and they are talking, train yourself to really listen to what they are saying. Use the people you meet as your objects of focus. If not all of the time, some of the time.
  • Distraction alert! I almost just clicked on my web browser as I paused between sentences. Developing focus is dependent upon being alert, mindful alertness is your tool for developing concentration!
  • When you are exercising, focus on awareness of the physical movement of your body, don’t let your mind wonder all over as you are doing your physical training.

So there are a few ideas to get started, you can invent a few more of your own as well if you like. The main thing is that a little bit of concentration and focus training practised daily will translate into multiple and cumulative benefits for us, so let’s get started today!

* (Please note the last two benefits are transferable skills; that is to say that it is possible to transfer the focus and concentration you develop in meditation into your work and relationship. Some meditators do not transfer this skill very well into their work or social skills, and so are not especially work effective and can be still totally relationally dysfunctional!)

Related articles: Five Inner Skills we develop Through Meditation
The Five Stages of Meditation Practice from Beginners to Advanced
Mindful Work effectiveness Secrets (From an Ex-Monk) 


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Willpower as Your Object of Mindfulness

Dear Integral Meditators,

Willpower is an extremely important domain to be mindful of because the way in which we use or abuse our willpower in life has a major bearing on both the quality and the quantity of what we experience and achieve. The article below considers how we can start making better use of our willpower using mindfulness…

Scroll down beneath the article for workshop details and the special I-Awake product of the month.

Yours in the spirit of mindful will,

Toby


Willpower as Your Object of Mindfulness

Willpower is the way in which we consciously direct our energy and action through intention. Here are a few thoughts on becoming more mindful around your willpower.

Willpower is precious 
It is an extremely important domain to be mindful of because the way in which we use or abuse our willpower in life has a major bearing on both the quality and the quantity of what we experience and achieve.
So the main mindful message here is to value and prize your willpower

Willpower is finite
We only have so much willpower. As a younger man I used to believe that the solution to a lack of willpower was simply to find morewillpower, but each of us only has so much. For example the right amount of exercise will generally cause me to feel good and complement my work life. However if I exercise too much my physical and vital energy will be depleted and the amount of willpower and energy I have available to achieve things in my work will go down.
It is also very easy to deplete your willpower and vital energy doing little things that you don’t necessarily need to do (eg: check your email 5 times an hour), which in turn inhibits the amount of willpower you have to get what you really want done.
Main mindful message: Be clear about what you want to focus your willpower on

Willpower is sustained by regeneration and rest
If you want to have good and effective willpower, you need to have effective strategies in place to recover your energy levels through rest, meditation, getting good sleep and diet, appropriate amounts of leisure, non-doing and so forth.
Mindful message: Nurture your willpower with periods of mindful recovery and rest

Wise use of willpower is not the same as forcing
Often the image that comes into our mind when we think about willpower is that of a high energy, high intensity activity where we force our way through obstacles and achieve exponential results in a short time. Actually willpower is often more effective when we use it gently and mindfully to keep our attention focused upon what we have decided to do until we have finished it. Effective willpower uses our intelligence to gauge the level of intensity appropriate to the task, only rarely trying to force things.
Mindful message: Effective willpower can be gentle and consistent as well as focused and intense.

What do I want to focus my willpower upon today?
Given that your willpower is precious, that it is finite, that you need to nurture it and use t wisely, what is the thing or things that you are going to focus your will power

  • Today?
  • In the next hour?
  • In the next minute?

This way of questioning is one way to bring mindful awareness to bear upon how you can make good use of your willpower each day.

Related ArticleMindful Work Effectiveness Secrets (From an Ex-Monk)

© 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 :

Saturday March 28th 2.30-5.30pm  – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 

Friday 3rd April, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre


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Acceptance & Forgiveness – The Difference

Dear Integral Meditators,

In some situations it seems like we are faced with a choice of either forgiving and letting go of something difficult that has happened to us, or holding onto it and continuing to experience anger, grief and negativity about it. But is there a third option? The article below examines the relationship and difference between forgiveness and acceptance, and how we can go about using them consciously and skillfully in our mindfulness practice and life.

Yours in the spirit of skillful acceptance,

Toby


Acceptance & Forgiveness – The Difference

To accept something is to accept the reality of what has happened, how you feel about it and what can or cannot be done about it.
Forgiveness is a choice we make to let go of judgment and feelings of blame (and sometimes vengefulness) toward another person/people or ourself regarding something that has happened.

Acceptance and forgiveness are not the same thing, and it can be a really good thing to get this clear in our own understanding, for example:
If my business partner causes us to lose a deal through a genuine mistake or lack of experience, then I may feel anger or loss initially, but I can forgive him and let it go because the nature of his mistake was genuine and his intention was not malevolent.
Similarly we can forgive our children, partners, friends and ourselves many things and this is entirely appropriate and helpful.
Let’s say however a business partner of mine consciously and deliberately embezzles money from the business and then runs off. Because this is an act of deliberate harm done intentionally, for me it does not seem appropriate to forgive , but I am still faced with the problem of a bunch of angry, frustrated feelings within myself; “How could he! How could I be so naive! I thought I knew him!” And so on…
I this situation I can move to resolve the feelings that I have through acceptance

  • I accept the reality that what has happened has happened, and I cannot turn back the clock
  • I accept the reality the he has done what he has done
  • I accept the way in which I feel, and I allow myself to acknowledge and feel those feelings in order to process them and then let go of them
  • I don’t forgive, because as the situation stands I don’t think it is appropriate, but nevertheless though acceptance I can resolve my feelings, let go and move on from the situation without being unduly bothered by it, and hopefully have learned the lessons that are appropriate.

Of course if at some time in the future my business partner then expresses remorse, returns the money and have a genuine change of heart, I would probably forgive him, but not before that point, because as a human being with intelligence he is accountable for his actions.

You can resolve a lot of difficult things and past hurts through acceptance, and find your peace. Where appropriate you can forgive.

Mindfulness Question: What past or present circumstances or relationships do I most often find myself revisiting with bitterness, anger or blame? Which of them is most appropriate to deal with through acceptance, and which are most appropriate to approach with forgiveness?

Related article: The Way to Deal With Feelings  is to Feel
Related Blog Section: Positive Anger

Find out about: Stress Transformation Coaching with Toby

© 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 March:

Saturday March 28th 2.30-5.30pm  – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 
Friday 3rd April, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

 

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The Laughter of the Young and the Ancient

Dear Integral Meditators,

What if when something in your life went seriously wrong, the first thing that you did was laugh open-heartedly? Perhaps there is a part of us that already does, and the article below explores how to connect to him/her/it!

This Saturday if you are in Singapore we have two meditation workshops, do scroll down to the ‘upcoming courses section’ below to find out more.

In the spirit of ancient lightness,

Toby


The Laughter of the Young and the Ancient

What if when something in your life went seriously wrong, the first thing that you did was laugh open-heartedly?
What would happen if the next time you lost some money, or a big business deal feel through you winked knowingly at the first stranger you met?
What would happen if you could respond to the most ‘serious’ parts of your life with playful and spontaneous creativity?

I really enjoyed the movie version of the Lord of the Rings books, but the one thing I was slightly disappointed about was that they left out a character called Tom Bombadil. Tom Bomabadil interests me because, of all the characters in the story, he is the only one who is immune to the evil, corruptive influence of the ‘ring of power’. All of the other characters are afraid of the power of the ring, which upon contact causes them to immediately start fantasizing about delusions of power and dominion. However, when Tom puts on the ring it has no effect; to him the all corrupting ring is an object of amusement, a trinket, with no real practical use.
We hear in the story of the lord of the Rings that Tom Bombadil was the Oldest of the Old (‘the oldest and fatherless’) who walked the earth before both elves and men. Essentially he seems to be a nature spirit of sorts, coming from a time and existing within a mental framework both before and outside of our human paradigm of good and evil, a time when harmony, laughter and song were a natural state of being, were perhaps the law of being.

As my own practice of meditation and mindfulness develops, I find myself coming across and connecting to an inner place within myself that lies beyond the daily struggle of good and evil, of striving or laziness, achievement versus failure. It seems to be an innocent state of being that is naturally laughing and humorous, naturally light and strong, naturally comfortable and balanced despite the comings and goings of fate and fortune in my life. This state of mind seems to me to be a little bit like my ‘Inner Tom Bombadil’, the part of me that walks on the earth as one with nature, that lives truly in the primally presentmoment, that sings and laughs with child-like and yet very old spontaneity, comfortable in the world but not of the world.

Connecting within yourself to a time before good and evil
Spend a few moments now connecting to that part of you that is fatherless and motherless, the oldest of the old as well as the youngest of the young.  S/he is beyond any struggle for human power, beyond shame or pride. s/he is primally humorous and celebratory; the wise fool, the innocent sage. Bring your inner Tom Bombadil out into the world to play and celebrate. See what starts to change in your life when you do!

Related articles: The Four Types of Present Moment Awareness
Locating Your Deep Centre
Connecting to Your Spiritual Fool in the Mirror World

© 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 :

Tuesday March 10th – The Mindful Salesperson – An Evening Exploring the Relationship Between Mindfulness, Sales and Marketing

Saturday 14th March 9.30am-12.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment

Saturday 14th March 2.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self – A Three Hour Workshop

Saturday March 28th 2.30-5.30pm  – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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The Way to Deal With Feelings is to Feel

Dear Integral Meditators,

Our relationship to our feelings is one of the dominant factors that determines our quality of life. The article below offers a few mindful pointers for how we can develop a good long term relationship to the way we feel, even in the face challenging and difficult emotions.

Yours in the spirit of deep feeling,

Toby


The Way to Deal With Feelings is to Feel

One of the great keys to mindful living, to dealing with stress and to being at home with yourself in life is to know how to deal with your feelings. To deal with your feelings effectively means understanding that feelings seek resolution primarily by being felt. Whenever we deny our feelings, whenever we refuse to accept them, whenever we resist experiencing them, then they cannot find resolution.
Conversely, whenever we acknowledge, accept and consciously experience a feeling or emotion, its energetic force can be naturally discharged and thus it can find resolution and we can move on from it.

It is the same with all feelings and emotions:

  • The solution to anger you feel begins by accepting the reality that you are angry (who me?), and proceeding from there
  • The resolution to the emotion you feel when you have fallen in love with someone begins by acknowledging and allowing yourself to feel that love
  • The solution to the anxiety that you feel about the uncertainty surrounding your business begins by accepting and experiencing that anxiety without denying or repressing it

Accepting a feeling is more than intellectual acknowledgment
Sometimes we can intellectually acknowledge that we have a feeling without actually accepting it experientially. Intellectual recognition alone is not enough to process a feeling, it has to be accepted experientially and truly felt.

Entering more deeply into the moment through feeling
Think of a situation in your life right now that is causing stress, anxiety or inner discomfort.  Notice how as soon as the uncomfortable feelings start to arise, your mind will start to get busy trying to find a way of ‘solving’ the situation; trying to think its way out of the problem.  Now what I want you to do is deliberately stop trying to solve the issue mentally and instead just focus on acknowledging, accepting and experiencing the feelings and emotions that you have. Simply sit with them, be aware of them, allow yourself to feel them and breathe with them, without trying to change them.
Sometimes (not always, but sometimes) when we are able to truly accept the way we feel, we discover that the problem we thought we had was not really a problem. The genuine and deep acceptance of the feelings makes the circumstances we find ourselves in actually perfectly ok.

Related Article: The Absence of Resolution

Find out about shadow self coaching with Toby

Related workshop: Saturday 14th March 2.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self – A Three Hour Workshop

© 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

 


 

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

 

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Choosing to be on Your Own Side

Dear Integral Meditators,

Are you for yourself or against yourself? This is one of the most productive mindfulness questions to ask yourself, every day. The article below explores how we can begin to truly be a force for ourself, every day.

In the spirit of the power we find within ourselves,

Toby


Choosing to be on Your Own Side

When you take a creative chance in your business and it does not come out ideally, do you berate yourself for being stupid, or do you congratulate yourself for your creative courage and learn from what you did and what happened?

When you are experiencing a difficult emotional state, do you take the time to express support and warmth to yourself or do you just try and bury the emotion and distract yourself from what you are feeling because of the discomfort?

When you are tired do you let the physical fatigue turn into a series of negative thoughts about yourself, your life and those around you, or do you consciously extend support to your tired body and make the effort to create a positive inner dialogue to help cope with the fatigue until you can get some rest?

When you ask someone you fancy out for a date and they say no, do you make a point of feeling good that you had the emotional courage to ask, or do you cringe with self-embarrassment and wallow in self loathing?

Are you for yourself or against yourself? 
This is one of the most productive mindfulness questions to ask yourself, every day. Each day in many ways, in thought and deed, in subtle and not so subtle actions, we are either expressing warmth, support and friendship to ourself, or we are expressing the opposite; coldness, judgment, self-loathing, self-sabotaging, self-isolating and so on.

To be for yourself is not negatively selfish, it is simply to recognize the your most important intimate relationship is ultimately with yourself; you are the one you have to spend 24 hours a day with, if you get your relationship to yourself right you are setting the stage for success in your life on multiple levels.

No one else can make your relationship to yourself right for you, you have to tread the journey to being truly for yourself alone. You can receive help and advice of course (this article pointing the way for example), but the moment to moment effort to be on your own side can only be exerted by you for you.

Today are you going to be the one supporting and encouraging yourself to the next level of creative expression in your life, or are you going to be the main thing that is holding you back, keeping you scared?

Be on your own side, be for yourself, not against youself. You do have a choice, it is up to you.

Related Article: Life-fullness

Handle Stress and Have Peace of Mind – Personal Coaching with Toby
© 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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Mindful Work Effectiveness Secrets (From an Ex-Monk)

Dear Integral Meditators,

Coming to the world of business from being a monk was not easy for me. The article below explains a bit about how I started to use what I had learned as a monk to become effective in my daily work as a business person running my own company.

Yours in the spirit of the timelessly time-effective,

Toby


Mindful Work Effectiveness Secrets (From an Ex-Monk)

How can you get a lot done at your work without getting over-stressed or exhausted? And how can you do this not just in the short term, but over a long period of time?
When I left my life as a Buddhist monk and went into my own business I actually found it very difficult to pace myself well. There were so many things that I had to do, that I had to learn, it all felt a bit overwhelming. I found myself going through periods of intensive working, then burning out, then getting emotionally discouraged and then procrastinating/wasting time that I could be spending productively. I’m sure you have an idea of what I mean, it is a very human experience!

Make like a Buddhist monk  – Split your day into six sessions
I found a really helpful solution to my challenge by looking at the way in which I used to structure my day as a Buddhist monk. As a monk  my waking hours would be split into 6 parts, two in the morning, two in the afternoon and two in the evening/ at night. During each session we would begin with a prayer and a few minutes of mindfulness, and then return to our allotted tasks. Using this basic template I applied it to my working day, but in a slightly different way.
My day is still divided into six parts, but each section is only one hour long. In that one hour I spend 45minutes focusing really intensively on one work task; emails, accounts, writing articles, marketing etc… At the end of 45 minutes I then spend the remaining 15minutes relaxing; doing some stretching, getting a coffee, doing a few minutes mindfulness, generally re-finding my centre and balance.

Achieve something in each session
In each session I come out having really worked in an intensive way, and feeling like I have achieved something. Because of the focus I bring to it, the work itself feels like a meditation practice, with the object of mindfulness being the work itself. It also helps me deal with stress because in that period I am not thinking about my life or work as a whole, but just the process of achieving that task.
There is a saying in the texts that I used to study as a monk ‘small drops of water in a pot will eventually make it full’. Each of my 45 minute sessions is spent just focusing on the ‘pot’ of my business, putting in drops one after the other gradually making it full.

Each session does not have to be about work
During the 15 minutes at the end of each session, I get back in touch with how I am feeling. If I sense that my body-mind is getting close to exhaustion, I make a point of taking one of my sessions off, that is to say 45 minutes of deliberate relaxation, meditation, soializing or sleep. There is also plenty of time around each of the sessions to do other things
Sometimes of course the pattern breaks down, I go out for an evening with friends, I spend the morning with my daughter at the swimming pool, I have a meeting that goes overtime. But as soon as I return to my routine I am always thinking about my day in terms of these six periods, and how to use that structure to do some focused, productive work.

So now you know how an ex-monk structures his time using a mindful, process-focused approach that he find helps him achieve more. You might like to try it out, or a variation of it that will work for you!

Related Article: From Distraction to Intuitive Imagination (Meditation secrets for running a business)

Check out the Mindful Goals Coaching with Toby

© 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


 Integral Meditation Asia

 

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Egotistic or Strong Ego?

Dear Integral Meditators,

When we tell ourselves to ‘get over our own ego’ what exactly do we mean by that? Its an area that it is very easy to get mixed up and confused around! The article below explores the difference between egotism and a strong ego. We really need one, we really need to drop the other.

In the spirit of inner strength,

Toby


Egotistic or Strong Ego?

‘There’s a tremendous difference between a strong ego and an egocentric ego; the latter is always weak. Individuation, that is the attainment of ones potential, can’t take place without the strong ego’ – John A Sandford

The Ego is
…the unifying centre of our awareness, it is the sense of self that ties together the disparate collection of physical, emotional and mental habits and characteristics that together makes us a unique human being. A strong ego is vital for success and happiness in our life; it has characteristics such as confidence, self-esteem, ethical awareness, competency and capacity for enjoyment.

To be egotistical is
…to believe and act as if we were more important than others, as if we were the central fulcrum of the functioning universe, and/or without adequate concern or empathy for the happiness or wellbeing of others

Ironically a lot of egotistical behaviour is stimulated by having a weak ego. If I feel inadequate, incompetent or inferior it can be very tempting to try and compensate for that feeling by asserting myself unskilfully, selfishly and or inconsiderately. Conversely if I have a strong ego I can have people behaving selfishly, unskilfully and/or inconsiderately around me, but because I have a strong sense of ego, of who I AM it can be relatively easy to remain in my own integrity and not be influenced by my company.

Experientially knowing the difference between a strong ego and being egotistical is a great mindful journey in itself, and it is an area that many people are deeply confused about.

Take a moment
To imagine yourself with a truly strong ego; confident, trusting in yourself, liking whom you are, able to forgive yourself for your flaws whilst at the same time holding yourself accountable for them, centred and balanced in your sense of whom you are. Strong enough to be vulnerable and take chances, socially aware, aware you are no more important than anyone else, but also and crucially that you are no less important than anyone else. That’s a strong ego.
If you stay with this sense of having a strong ego you’ll find it is quite a lot easier and more natural to behave with benevolence & consideration for others as well as to be playful and creative in your life, even when under pressure. Sound like fun? It is!
Does that last paragraph sound like the opposite of an egotistical selfish person? Yup, pretty much.

To transcend your egotism, first begin by mindfully building your strong, functional and creative ego.

Related articles: Balancing the development of your ego and spirit

Fulfillment of the Ego, Fulfillment of the Soul, Fulfillment of SpiritHandle Stress and Have Peace of Mind – Personal Coaching with Toby

© 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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