Mindful of your intensity level

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“By being mindful of our intensity level we can avoid burning out thought long term over-exertion, and also avoid unnecessary under-productivity. It’s an easy way to avoid extremes and hit your ‘sweet spot’ in terms of both quality of life and productivity!”

Dear Integral Meditators,

What is your habitual ‘speed and intensity level’? This weeks article explores how you can start to set the pace that serves you in your life!

In the spirit of balanced intensity,

Toby

 


Mindful of your intensity level

Think about your pace and intensity in life as having four speeds:

  1. 1-2 – Sleep or complete relaxation
  2. 3-4 – Low effort mode, doing just enough
  3. 5-6 – Flow state, a balance of focused effort and relaxation
  4. 7-10 – High intensity effort

Take a moment to reflect on which ‘speeds’ you tend to be in for much of your day. As you do so you might start to recognise that you tend to favour one or two speeds, and not the other two. Ideally as mindfulness practitioners, we should be looking to have each of these levels of intensity available to us, and use them consciously according to our need.
So, for example much of the productive part of our day would be at the ‘flow-state’ level of 5-6 on the scale; a balance of focused relaxation. This level enables us to get work done at a pace that is sustainable over a period of time, without getting exhausted or burned out.
Occasionally we might peak up to a high intensity 7-10 when we really want to get something done in a faster way (eg: in an emergency), but then after we would need to consciously dip back down to level 2 (3-4 intensity) for a while in order to restore our energy level. Of course we would be going down to level 1 by getting enough sleep and absolute rest.
The point about this four level structure of intensity is that, if we have it in mind we can then start to mindfully manage our effort and energy during the day. We avoid burning out thought long term over-exertion, and also avoid unnecessary under-productivity. It’s an easy way to avoid extremes and hit your ‘sweet spot’ in terms of both quality of life and productivity!
A useful question to ask ourselves is ‘How much effort and intensity do I need to compete this task?’ Quite often I find that its slightly less than I think. If I relax a little and bring just enough intensity to the task, that brings me to the optimal level of effort.

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

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

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, June 1st, 15th, 29th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 15th June, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Tuesday/Wednesday 18th&19th June – Summer Solstice balancing and renewing meditation

Saturday 22nd June, 2-5pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Compassionate listening

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‘Stilling the mind opens a space for us to listen to our inner wisdom, which is always there, but often hidden by the noise’

Dear Toby,

This weeks article is on how to mindfully listen a bit better, to ourselves and others. If you enjoy the article, then do have a look at the workshop on 22nd June: Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind .

In the spirit of  listening,

Toby


Special coaching offer until 12th June: 15% off Toby’s Stress Transformation coaching 

Transform negative stress into positive energy, make strengths from your current weaknesses, become resilient and confident in the face of life challenges!


 

Compassionate listening 

There is an old definition of meditation that is quite useful to consider:

Prayer is talking to God, meditation is listening to God”.

If our mind is talking to itself all the time, how are we going to be able to listen to the intuitive wisdom, or the “still small voice” of our inner self as it offers us advice and support and in our life’s journey? Listening in a reflective, meditative manner is important for this reason. It is also important as a practise for helping us to develop our compassionate heart with other people. If, when we are with others, we consciously quieten our mind and really attend to what they are saying, often they will notice and appreciate what we are doing for them.
There is a book by Michael Ende called “Momo” that is about this power of listening. Momo is a little girl who is able to heal all those who come to her simply by deeply and attentively listening to the stories that they tell her about their life.
The second aspect of really listening to people is that we see more clearly where they are coming from, and so be much more likely to act in ways that are appropriate and helpful to both them and us. So, when you are with others, try and see your listening to them as a meditation, it will help both them and you!
I want to end this article by outlining three ways NOT to listen that I had drummed into me during my Tibetan Buddhist training, using the anlalogy of a pot:

Don’t be like an upturned pot
An upturned pot cannot receive any liquid into itself. Similarly, if we are not really listening (to ourself or others), we are like an upturned pot; nothing is going in!
Don’t be like a leaky pot
A pot with a leak cannot not hold what it liquid, it is useless. If we are not really paying attention, even if we hear what is being said, it simply “goes in one ear and out of the other” so to speak!
Don’t be like a bad smelling pot
You pour fresh juice into a dirty and bad smelling pot the fresh liquid becomes contaminated instantly. Similarly, if we are listening to someone, and there is a continuous negative inner commentary going on in our mind, this poisons everything that we are hearing. As George Michael once said (was it the title of one of his albums?) “Listen without prejudice”

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

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

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, June 1st, 15th, 29th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 15th June, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Tuesday/Wednesday 18th&19th June – Summer Solstice balancing and renewing meditation

Saturday 22nd June, 2-5pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Mindful thinking: 15% less, 15% better

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“One of the basic principles of integral mindfulness is to emphasize quality over quantity, with the recognition that, if you slow down enough to do things properly, the actual quantity of things that you get done is often more.”

Dear Integral Meditators,

I’ve been going through a busy time at work and with a house move last few weeks. In the article below I share a method I’ve been using to help deal with the stress!
The Tuesday and Wednesday evening meditation classes will be on the subject ‘How to meditate on Non-doing’, if you fancy coming along your welcome!

Classes and workshops for June are beneath the article.

In the spirit of thinking better,

Toby


Mindful thinking: 15% less, 15% better

One of the basic principles of integral mindfulness is to emphasize quality over quantity, with the recognition that also, if you slow down enough to do things properly, the quantity of things that you get done is often more.
With regard to thinking, one of the mindful principles that I have been applying is to try and think 15% less in terms of volume of thoughts, and then make the actual quality of my thoughts 15% better. I have found that by deliberately slowing my mind in this way I:

  • Become a lot more conscious and deliberate about what I think and don’t think
  • I have time to notice thought patterns that are repeating themselves and making me feel negative. I can make the choice simply to stop these thoughts, because I am going slow enough to see them
  • The quality of my thoughts kind of naturally improves from the ‘thinking slower’ part. The more consciously I think, the easier it is to choose patterns of thinking that are effective, and that ‘frame’ what I am experiencing in a constructive way

In the last few weeks, as well as being busy at work, I have been moving house, with all the logistical and emotional stress that that entails. With so many things to do, it is super easy for the speed of my mind to accelerate to a very stressful speed due to the overstimulation. So I have been practicing the ‘15%’ technique above, dealing with the thoughts that come up by deliberately not over-hurrying, and focusing on quality of thought, rather than quantity.

This week you might like to try it, see how it can help you navigate your thoughts and life-challenges more effectively!

Related articleMental framing – Sculpting your view of life

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, June 1st, 15th, 29th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tuesday/Wednesday 18th&19th June – Summer Solstice balancing and renewing meditation
FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 15th June, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever
Saturday 22nd June, 2-5pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Lazy compassion (compassion & care through awareness)

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“If you want to develop your compassion and caring, one of the best places to begin is by improving the quality of your attention”
Dear Integral Meditators,This week’s article focuses on a simple, profound technique for developing compassion in a way that doesn’t require a lot of effort!
The Tuesday and Wednesday evening meditation classes will be on the subject of compassion, if you fancy coming along!

In the spirit of compassion,

Toby


Special offer on Toby’s Qi gong healing sessions; 15% off until Thursday 23rd May

“Of all the different things that I tried, I found that 10-15minutes of daily Qi gong flow had the biggest and most sustainable impact on my energy levels and wellbeing…” – Click herefor more details


Lazy compassion (compassion & care through awareness)

I was doing mindfulness coaching with some executives recently. At one point in the session I asked them to complete the sentence ‘Compassion to me means…’ a number of the replies went something like this:

  • Listening more
  • Being more empathetic
  • Paying attention to the needs of others
  • Caring
  • Taking the time to understand

If you look at all the way in which they completed the sentence, you can see that all of them are simply ways of directing awareness to ourself or others:

  • Listening more begins by paying attention to others, or to ourself
  • Being empathetic to people’s needs follows from awareness
  • Caring and understanding comes quite naturally from focusing mindfully on a person or situation

From this we can see that if we want to develop our compassion and caring, all we need to do is practice being more mindfully aware, and increasing the quality of our attention. You can understand this from your own experience; if you recall the last time you really felt that someone was extending their compassion to you, you’ll see that much of that experience came from the feeling that they were paying you attention fully, in a way that made you feel understood and valued.
So ‘lazy compassion’ comes from simply recognizing that all you need to do to begin developing and increasing your compassion is to pay attention; to yourself, to others, to your environment. When you practice non-judgmental awareness of any of these things, the warmth of your own human compassion will begin to extend quite naturally to your objects of attention.

Sky and sun
Think of your awareness as being like the space of the sky, and your compassion like the rays of the sun.  Just bring your sky-like awareness to people and things, and then let the sunlight rays of your natural compassion follow the direction of your attention. In the Buddhist teachings where I first learned meditation your natural compassion was called ‘Buddha nature’; whenever our minds become clear and unclouded our natural compassion begins to shine out.

Practicing
Bring your attention to your body, sustain gentle non-judgmental awareness upon the body for a short while. Recognize that all you need to do to extend compassion to your body is to bring your attention to it; caring and compassion will follow that awareness. Do the same with your mind and emotions. Then:

  • Extend it out to include significant others in your life, then perhaps to people you don’t know or even have a difficult relationship with.
  • Extend your awareness to aspects of your environment, to the non-human creatures that are there. Make the circle of your compassion as large as you like!

In your daily life, whomever you are paying (mindful) attention to, allow your compassion to connect with them through the simple act of awareness.

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Monday 6.30-7.20 & Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tuesday 21st&22nd May – Wesak meditation on compassion

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 18th May, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Taoist meditation: Moving toward harmony (plus offer on Qi gong healing sessions)

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“Life is always changing, the point of balance in our circumstances is always changing. The challenge of meditating with the Tao is to be aware of this continuous flux, and make appropriate adjustments in your consciousness and action to keep in balance”.

Dear Integral Meditators,

Taoist and Qi gong meditation was the first formal meditation practice that I had. To this day I still use the principles of it daily. The article below outlines one of those principles, that of harmony and balance.

In the spirit of harmony,

Toby


Special offer on Toby’s Qi gong healing sessions; 15% off until Thursday 23rd May

“Of all the different things that I tried, I found that 10-15minutes of daily Qi gong flow had the biggest and most sustainable impact on my energy levels and wellbeing…” – Click herefor more details


Taoist meditation: Moving toward harmony 

One way Taoist meditation could be defined is being focused on ‘finding balance and harmony between polarized, opposing forces’. These forces can be categorized as either

  • Yin – Feminine, receptive
  • Or Yang – Active, dynamic

One point of interest here is that a person or thing is not fixed in their yin or yang nature. Something is always yin or yang IN RELATION TO something else.
For example: I may be a yin, quiet, introverted person in relation to my crazy, party animal brother, but I may relatively speaking be a yang, sociable talkative person in relation to my solitude-loving sister.
Life is always changing, the point of balance in our circumstances is always changing. The challenge of meditating with the Tao is to be aware of this continuous flux, and make appropriate adjustments in your consciousness and action to “stay in the Tao”, or keep in balance.
For example: In the morning I may be behind in my work, so I have to focus on being very active and dynamic before lunch. After lunch I may have caught up on my work, but my body is tired, so I need to slow down, rest and recuperate.
From this definition we can understand that Taoist meditation (and I think we could expand that to meditation in general) is not an entirely passive activity, but a way of coming back into balance, coming back into the middle, and avoiding the extreme/imbalanced expressions of either yin or yang.

A Practical Question for daily practice:
A basic question that we need to ask ourselves is “Where is my optimal point of balance right now, and what actions can I take to reconnect to that balance to the greatest degree possible?”
Try asking yourself this question once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening for a week. see where it takes you….

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Monday 6.30-7.20 & Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, May 11th & 18th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues 7th & Wednesday 8th May – Monthly Astrological meditation: Taurus – I have: Being mindful of your relationship to manifestation, wealth and possessions

Saturday 11th May, 1:00pm – 4:00pm – Mindful self confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief and self-trust

Tuesday 14th & Wednesday 15th May – Wesak meditation on compassion

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 18th May, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Mindful of your inner and outer wealth – Six practices

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Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article outline six mindfulness practices for creating a feeling of being both inwardly and outwardly wealthy in your life.

We will be doing a meditation on these practice at the Tuesday and Wednesday meditation classes this week.

Finally, a reminder of this weekends workshop: Saturday 11th May, 1:00pm – 4:00pm – Mindful self confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief and self-trust

In the spirit of richness,

Toby


Mindful of your inner and outer wealth – Six practices

In this article I want to outline five simple, enjoyable mindfulness practices for creating the feeling of being both inwardly and outwardly wealthy, and then doing something today to manifest a sense of the richness of your life.

Wealth as friends and your support network – Bring to mind the wealth you have in your life in terms of friends, family and support network. Take some time to appreciate both the people themselves, and yourself for having built these good relationships into your life. Focus on the feeling created in the body, mind and heart that comes from knowing you are wealthy in terms of your relationships.

Wealth as values and purpose – Think of the core values that motivate you, and the goals that you have in your life motivated by these values. It could be as simple as the love with which you raise your child or the drive to change the industry in which you work for the better. Centre your attention upon these values, and the goals they motivate you towards. Feel the richness of your life in terms of value and meaning.

Material wealth – Bring to mind the wealth and resources that you have. Allow yourself to feel grateful and enthusiastic for what you have, rather than what you haven’t got in terms of material possessions!

Your health – Bring to mind the health that you have in your body. Look for and dwell upon a feeling of appreciation for the health and wellbeing that you posess.

Wealth as competency – Think about the skills that you have, the competencies that you can use to create value and wealth, both inner and outer in your life. Dwell upon the feeling of being wealthy in the sense of having skills. Then ask yourself the question: ‘How can I use my skills today to create greater wealth, both inner and outer in my life?’ Let the answer come back to you. Then decide on one thing that you can do today to increase your experience of wealth and richness!

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Monday 6.30-7.20 & Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, May 11th & 18th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturday 11th May, 1:00pm – 4:00pm – Mindful self confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief and self-trust

Tuesday 14th & Wednesday 15th May – Wesak meditation on compassion

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 18th May, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Mindful ergonomics – Making the most of your energy

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“Energy saved is energy you can be using elsewhere in your life to find fulfilment and wellbeing. How can you be more mindfully ergonomic with your energy today?” 

Dear Integral Meditators,

What if you were able to create 10% more energy in your life today, through mindfullness? The article below explores simple ways to start!

I’ve been enjoying the new ‘Gamma 40’ track be I-awake, and I’ve placed the details below, its on 20% until may 2nd…

Final reminder of the Shamanic meditation workshop this Saturday!

In the spirit of energy,

Toby


Introducing Gamma 40: The Keystone of Consciousness

Dear Friend, We are delighted to introduce you to iAwake Technologies’ latest: Gamma 40.
Gamma is a very powerful, high frequency brainwave state that has a great deal to do with essential consciousness and awareness and accomplishes many powerful transformations in the brain, not the least of which is neurogenesis—it actually facilitates the birth of neurons in the frontal cortex and other parts of the brain, which means your brain gets bigger, better, faster, and more conscious and aware.
20% off purchase up until May 2nd click here for details, and to listen to free sample track!


Mindful ergonomics – Making the most of your energy

When I was in my last year of college, I found myself suffering from chronically low levels of energy. This was quite an issue because my degree was a specialization in sculpture, and I was doing a lot of heavy lifting in the daytime. So in addition to the intellectual and creative demands, there was also the physicality of the work too. One of the ways in which I got through this successfully was by paying attention to the Qi gong principle of not using any more muscle effort than was necessary for any given movement. For example:

  • When I was lifting a heavy bag of clay or plaster I would only use the muscles I needed; grip strength, shoulders, lower back, glutes and thighs. The rest of my body I kept as relaxed as possible
  • When I was walking I walked using only the leg muscles and the ‘swing rhythm’ of the arm movement. I relaxed the body as much as I could when walking

After a short while of doing this I realized how much unnecessary effort I had been putting into my physical actions, and how much physical energy I could save through this simple mindfulness practice.
Nowadays, this isn’t a practice that I limit to the physical world. I continually notice that there are ways in which I can get ‘less for more’ in the positive sense of the word. for example:

  • This afternoon I was having trouble organizing my education program for next month. I could notice my instinctive response to ‘try harder’ to fix the schedule in my diary. I consciously relaxed, took the intensity of my energy down a little, and worked patiently, step by step. The problem was then resolved without much energy or emotional friction
  • I notice I can’t choose the emotions that I’m having in the moment, but I can choose how much energy I give them. Anxiety that I am unconsciously feeding and investing energy in is far more draining than anxiety I hold lightly and choose not to give too much energy to

Energy saved is energy you can be using elsewhere in your life to find fulfilment and wellbeing. How can you be more mindfully ergonomic with your energy today?

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Monday 6.30-7.20 & Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, May 11th & 18th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturday 4th May, 10am-4.30pm – An introduction to meditation from the perspective of Shamanism

Tues 7th & Wednesday 8th May – Monthly Astrological meditation: Taurus – I have: Being mindful of your relationship to manifestation, wealth and possessions

Saturday 11th May, 1:00pm – 4:00pm – Mindful self confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief and self-trust

Tuesday 14th & Wednesday 15th May – Wesak meditation on compassion

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 18th May, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Self-acceptance – You are not the enemy!

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“Self-acceptance involves the ability to hold ourselves lightly and playfully…well-practised, self-acceptance leads to self-empowerment and enjoyment, not resignation!”
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Dear Toby

The state of self-acceptance is a major asset to our wellbeing. The article below explores some pointers for beginning your own mindful exploration of self-acceptance. If you enjoy it, then it will be the subject of this weeks’ Tuesday and Wednesday evening class, so feel free to come along!
And a final reminder of the beginners meditation workshop this Saturday!

In the spirit of self-acceptance,

Toby


Self-acceptance – You are not the enemy!

One definition of self-acceptance that I have found enduringly useful is from Nat Branden who defined it as ‘A refusal to be in an adversarial relationship with yourself’. This means:

  • The principle of being on your own side in life
  • The principle of accepting who you are and proceeding from there
  • The principle of lightness and self-responsibility

The principle of being on your own side in life
This basically means being committed to treating yourself as a good friend would. When you are going through a difficult time, a good friend is one who listens to you with care, does not judge (unless asked to), who holds space for you with support and warmth, and when necessary acts to defend you. Imagine you are that friend to yourself and try practising accordingly.

The principle of accepting who you are and proceeding from there
We are often our own harshest critic. Self-acceptance involves accepting the things that we find difficult about ourselves without self-hatred or loathing. This includes:

  • Emotions or patterns of thought that we have that we find undesirable
  • Aspects of our appearance that we find unattractive
  • Past actions, our life circumstances

With acceptance of all these things we can then proceed to create a strategy to change them in ways that are realistic and appropriate, but our motivation changes from fixing something unacceptable that we hate, to improving something that we have already accepted and are at peace with.

The principle of lightness
When we get stuck in an adversarial relationship to ourself, or hate who we are, it can often feel very heavy, dark and serious. Self-acceptance involves the ability to hold ourselves lightly and playfully. This in turn makes our ability to take responsibility for change in our life easier. Well-practised, self-acceptance leads to self-empowerment and enjoyment, not resignation!

Related articles: From resignation to positive acceptance
Seriously light, lightly serious

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

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

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, April 20th & 27th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 27th April, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 4th May, 10am-4.30pm – An introduction to meditation from the perspective of Shamanism

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From resignation to positive acceptance

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“If we can make a clear distinction between acceptance and resignation, we can start practicing positive acceptance on the one hand and avoid resignation on the other”.
Dear Integral Meditators,

I hope you enjoy this week’s article on acceptance. A quick reminder of the  Stress-transformation coaching offer details below. If your reading this and its past the expiry date, let me know and we’ll see what we can work out…

In the spirit of dynamic mindfulness,

Toby


Special offer on Stress-Transformation coaching
Stress transformation coaching with Toby helps you to transform your present overwhelm, stress, anxiety and other difficult emotions into forces for the good in your life. The coaching focuses upon thriving in situations and circumstances that would previously make you unhappy, fearful, inhibited and so on…See full details here.
Get 15% off the usual cost, offer ends on Tuesday 16th April 


From resignation to positive acceptance

For many of us there can be resistance to the idea of acceptance because we mistake it with resignation or giving up. It can be useful to make a clear distinction between them, so we can practice positive acceptance on the one hand and avoid resignation on the other.

Healthy acceptance involves a wholehearted acceptance of our reality, of something that has happened. It is reality oriented and acts as a basis for moving forward:

  • I accept that although I wanted to get the job, I didn’t.
  • I accept that this person manipulated me, I can see it now.
  • I accept that I am still a bit sad about X…

For acceptance to move to resignation, there needs to be added to this a ‘negative’ belief about our life in general:

  • I accept that although I wanted to get the job, I didn’t, and this always happens to me, I never get the break!
  • I accept that this person manipulated me, I can see it now. The world is full of manipulators trying to make a victim of me…
  • I accept that I am still a bit sad about X, why is my life always so full of misery?

To avoid resignation and move to ‘positive’ or dynamic acceptance, we can practice mindfully adding a sentence to it that helps us move forward optimistically:

  • I accept that although I wanted to get the job, I didn’t. But I learned a lot, and I have another interview tomorrow!
  • I accept that this person manipulated me, I can see it now. Boy, this experience is going to help me be less naïve in the future, I’m glad I had it.
  • I accept that I am still a bit sad about X…but I’m less sad than I was last month, and its natural to feel sad when you lose something that you value…

What are the situations in your life where you can practice moving from resignation to positive acceptance?

Related articleAcceptance and forgiveness – The difference

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

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

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, April 20th & 27th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 27th April, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 4th May, 10am-4.30pm – An introduction to meditation from the perspective of Shamanism


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Mindfully unhooking your mind

Dear Integral Meditators,
Why not take a bit of time each day to ‘mindfully unhook’ yourself from the repeating thoughts and feelings that are tearing you up, and return your body, mind and heart to health and balance…the article below explains one way you can do this!
A quick reminder of the  Stress-transformation coaching offer details below, and the Stress transformation workshop this Saturday…In the spirit of unhooking,Toby

Special offer on Stress-Transformation coaching
Stress transformation coaching with Toby helps you to transform your present overwhelm, stress, anxiety and other difficult emotions into forces for the good in your life. The coaching focuses upon thriving in situations and circumstances that would previously make you unhappy, fearful, inhibited and so on…See full details here.

Get 15% off the usual cost, offer ends on Tuesday 16th April 


Unhooking your mind

A few days ago, I was feeling over-tired, over-stretched and over-whelmed. When I’m in this state I know that its very easy for challenging thoughts and emotions in my mind to become a lot more dramatic/catastrophic than my life is, in reality.
I knew from past experience that, in this situation, what I need to do is just stop for a while and gather myself.
So, I sat down to do a bit of meditation. As I began to calm down and breathe, I saw an image of myself underwater, with many little fishhooks in me. I was struggling around, and this was causing the hooks to tear my flesh even more. I saw myself in the image stop struggling, becoming still and relaxing. As I relaxed, I could feel the pain in my mind becoming less, and I could see the hooks stop tearing at my flesh in the image. I started to feel comfortable, gradually I could see the hooks in my body gradually dissolving away, and my flesh healing. As the image changed I could feel the energy in my body, mind and heart calming and regenerating. I became comfortable.
By the time I had finished sitting, I felt centred and recharged. My challenges had not gone away, but they felt different. I felt stronger, and able to take courage and continue moving toward the best that my life has to offer, and to continue to express myself according the values that mean the most to me.

This is a simple imaginative technique that you can use yourself anytime to ‘mindfully unhook’ yourself from the repeating thoughts and feelings that are tearing you up, and return your body, mind and heart to health and balance.

Related articles: When you are trapped in a thornbush
Big Enough, Specific Enough (Dealing with spiky minds)

Article © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 

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

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, April 20th & 27th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues & Weds 2nd/3rd April – Monthly astrological meditation – Aries – I Am: Developing confidence in yourself and your identity in the world

Saturday 13th April 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for transforming negativity and stress into positivity and enlightenment

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 27th April, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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