Wolf Therapy – The Subtle Dimensions of Meditation and the Mind

Dear Integral Meditators,

What if there were an endlessly creative and imaginative aspect of your mind that you could learn to tap into at will? The article below explores how you can discover this domain by developing the the subtle dimension of your meditation practice.

The meditation workshop this Saturday afternoon is an exploration of this subtle, imaginal domain of meditation:  The Call of the Wild–Meditations for Deepening Your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Green-world

Last calls also for tomorrows  Wednesday Evening Meditation Session on Benevolence, and the Mindful Self-Confidence workshop this Saturday morning.

In the spirit of the imaginal world,

Toby


Wolf Therapy – The Subtle Dimensions of Meditation and the Mind

Normally we think about our mind as being in our body. For many people this is further reduced to our mind being our brain. Whilst it is true that our brain acts as the interface between our mind and our physical body, a meditators perspective is that it is really the body that is in the mind. The mind is not limited by the physical body and can extend itself naturally and easily beyond the physical body.

Three levels of meditation
In meditation we practice three levels of awareness:

  • Outer world awareness – Awareness of the physical-sensory experience we have of our outer world, and the everyday discursive thoughts and human emotions that come with it
  • Inner world awareness – Awareness of the inner worlds of our imagination, and dreams together with the subtle bodies, energies, thoughts and feelings we may experience there
  • Formless awareness – Awareness of the dimension of consciousness that lies beyond form, or time or space; the formless timeless dimension of the mind

The subtle, inner world or imaginal dimension
The second dimension of meditative awareness attunes us to the level of our experience where we dream and imagine. The subtle or dream world it turns out is a series of inner worlds, somewhat like our outer world, where we can explore landscapes, meet other people and creatures, make discoveries, learn and do research and generally enjoy our inner life in a healthy way. To live there and enjoy its riches is something that a child is quite naturally able to do, but adults end to get it whipped out of them by the time they leave school, or have it warped out of shape, which is a shame. Creative forms of meditation enable us to get back in touch with our inner world and begin travelling again.

An example: Wolf Therapy
As a seasoned integral meditator, every day I have numerous experiences in the inner world. Actually, you do to, but you may not be aware of them, or be unable to distinguish them from the ‘everyday noise’ in your head. Some are when I am fully conscious in daily life, others are in dreams, and others are in meditation. Here is one example from my journal:
‘I am lying down in meditation. I detect an imbalanced energy in my sacral area that starts to throb with pain as I become aware of it. I request help, specifically from my inner world animal guides. I almost immediately sense a she-wolf lying on top of me with a male wolf to my right side by my head.
The she wolf has her genital area above my belly button, I feel her healing energy flowing into my sacral area as a gentle warmth. The male wolf next to me is ‘talking’ to me about how to deal with my current challenges, how to be ‘happy foraging and seeking’ as he puts it. It seems he is working with me on my mindset! I arise from the experience feeling energetically balanced in my sacral area, and with a new mental approach to my circumstances.’

Becoming a conscious daydreamer
There are many ways to get back in touch with the inner world again and start to enjoy it, but one simple way to start is just by becoming more aware of the ideas, images, landscapes and characters that drift in and out of your awareness during the day and pay attention to them; being alert to the significance that they may have. Become a conscious or mindful daydreamer.

Related articles: Three Dimensions of Mindful Daydreaming
From Distraction to Intuitive Imagination (Meditation secrets for running a business)

© 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 May:

JUNE 2015

Wednesday, June 24th 7.30-9pm  – Integral Meditation Session @ Basic Essence – Meditating on benevolence & inner wealth

Saturday 27th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation

Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – The Call of the Wild–Meditations for Deepening Your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Green-world

July schedule coming soon!


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *
Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology
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When Vulnerability Ceases to be a Problem – Three levels of self-confidence

Dear Integral Meditators,

If you look back at the key times in your life when you really did something that helped your self confidence, you may find that it was a time when you had to confront your own sense of vulnerability. The article below looks at how we can mindfully approach our vulnerability on three levels, each of which enables us to grow our self confidence consistently.

I have a related workshop coming up on Sat 27th June for those in Singapore who may be interested – Mindful Self-Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through meditation & mindfulness

In the spirit if confident vulnerability,

Toby


When Vulnerability Ceases to be a Problem – Three levels of self-confidence

Vulnerability – The feeling that we are threatened or at risk in some way.

Will people like the work I do? Am I attractive enough? What if I take a chance and the person says no, or even laughs of acts repulsed by what I do? What if I look foolish? What if they think I’m too old? We can feel vulnerable in many and varied ways in our life. What are the times, places and scenarios you meet that tend to trigger it most strongly? (Pause here for a moment if you like and sit with the question).

If we have a bad relationship with our sense of vulnerability, then it can undermine our quality of life and self confidence. If we cultivate a mindfully positive relationship with vulnerability then it can help us develop our self-confidence and playful creativity every time it arises. When vulnerability ceases to be a problem, we start to thrive on the possibilities that it offers us.
We will look at dealing with vulnerability on three levels; coping, accepting and thriving.

Coping
At this fist stage we feel vulnerable, but we ‘shut it out’ temporarily so that it does not sabotage what we are trying to do. Let’s say I am about to give a talk to a group of people, I feel nervous and vulnerable. To cope with this I ‘block’ the feelings of vulnerability and focus on something I can control; my awareness of my body, the lines I have rehearsed and so on. By temporarily blocking in this way I am able to deliver my speech with basic competence without my vulnerability sabotaging me. Like this we learn to cope with our vulnerability.

Accepting
With this second stage we are able to open to and accept our feelings of vulnerability such that they do not sabotage our actions, we can open to and breathe with our vulnerability, relaxing into it. To take the example of giving a speech; as I stand before my audience I am able to accept my vulnerability as I stand there without having to block it out. This then enables me to open to the attention of the audience, gain a sense of where they are at and flow with the experience of giving a speech in a way that offers greater personal enjoyment and self-confidence. It also enables me to extend greater empathy and attention to my audience and perhaps give a better speech than I would have done if I was merely ‘coping’ with my vulnerability.

Thriving
At this third stage we are at a level of working with our vulnerability where the sense of the risk that we are taking is comfortable to us. When we sense our vulnerability we become excited by the creative possibilities in our situation. We are relaxed enough to improvise and thrive off the opportunity of our vulnerability. In the example of the giving the speech, as I stand before my audience I feel excited by the uncertainty of what will happen, I feel confident to enough to speak from the heart and/or to ad-lib as appropriate. I feel open and conscious of the energy and attention of my audience and thrive on working with it consciously. Vulnerability has ceased to be a problem and has become an opportunity to thrive, to grow and to become more self confident within myself.

If we know what these three levels of working with vulnerability are, then a different times and in different situations we can use whatever level feels appropriate. If we are not feeling super confident, then we can focus on coping. When we are more relaxed we can try practice accepting. As we develop our competence and confidence we can gradually set our intention to work with level three – thriving.

Block, accept or thrive. Which area of your own life could you start mindfully working with the three levels of vulnerability today?

Related Articles: Moving From Anxiety to Excitement
Your Long Term Self-Confidence

© 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 May:

JUNE 2015

Wednesday, June 24th 7.30-9pm  – Integral Meditation Session @ Basic Essence – Meditating on benevolence & inner wealth

Saturday 27th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self-Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through meditation & mindfulness

Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – The Call of the Wild–Meditations for Deepening Your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Green-world

 


Integral Meditation Asia

 

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Benevolence – Your Big-Heartedness

Dear Integral Meditators,

What if, when under the pressure of your daily life your heart was able to remain strong, generous & open? The article below explores benevolence as a way of moving from coping to thriving in your life.
Next Wednesday, June 24th 7.30-9pm, I’ll be starting a new Wednesday Evening Meditation Session twice monthly. Click the links for details, the first class will be focusing on how to develop benevolence through meditation.

I-Awake technologies have as their special offer for June Healing Light, scroll down beneath the article for details.

In the spirit of benevolence,

Toby


Benevolence – Your Big-Heartedness

Benevolence, or big heartedness as I’d like to look at it in this article means that you have a sense that you have the inner wealth and resources to give and to be generous, both to yourself and others. To feel benevolence in yourself is to sit down, look within and find a sense of open, comfortable plentiful-ness in your heart.

Struggling to cope, running on empty
The opposite of benevolence is what you might call negative emptiness. You look within yourself and sense a lonely, empty space, a vacuum that cries out to be comforted and healed. Within this empty space it feels like there is nothing that we can give.
Quite often when we are struggling to cope with all the busyness and demands in our life we feel as if we are ‘running on empty’; we want to shut down and cut ourselves off from the incessant demands of our world, and our sense of benevolence disappears under the pressure and the demands that we feel are put upon us.

Consciously cultivating benevolence
To mindfully develop benevolence we need to make an effort to actually feel it experientially in our body, mind and heart each day, and then to practice holding it consciously when we feel under pressure, when we feel tired, when we feel hard done by. To stay benevolent and (wisely) big hearted even when experiencing difficulties sends a very strong message to ourselves ‘I am inwardly strong, I am inwardly wealthy, I am adequate to the challenges of my life, I can even thrive on them.’

Receiving and giving benevolence
Right now you have friends and family members and others close to you who are extending their benevolence and kind heartedness to you. You can strengthen your own benevolence simply by inwardly receiving and giving benevolence to this close circle of connections that you have. You can do it as a simple exercise; visualizing  your loved ones around you, and practising giving and receiving benevolence.

Benevolence and enlightenment
One of the simplest ways of understanding enlightenment is that it is simply the change in the energy flow of a person. An ‘unenlightened’ person feels emptiness inside and seeks to fill that emptiness by taking energy from his/her environment or other people. An enlightened person feels as if he or she has an abundance of energy to give from within, and seeks ways in which s/he can give that in a benevolent way to others and to their environment.

Benevolence and saying ‘no’
Just because you are benevolent does not mean that you allow yourself to be stepped on by other people because you are so kind you don’t know how to say no. Indeed, having a sense of inner benevolence and wellbeing helps us to overcome our compulsive need for the approval of others, and so as and when appropriate we can say no to people, even if it displeases them.

Questions for cultivating your own benevolence:
When have you felt benevolent in the past? What was the experience like?
Which people that you know in your life are benevolence role models whom you can observe and learn from?
What symbols or images embody benevolence for you?
If you were to make benevolence a conscious practice for the rest of your day today, what differences in your quality of life and actions might you notice?

Related articles: Meditating on Enlightened Love the Easy Way
Love as the Journey Towards Wholeness; Three Awareness Perspectives

© 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 May:

JUNE 2015

Wednesday, June 24th 7.30-9pm  – Integral Meditation Session @ Basic Essence – Meditating on benevolence & inner wealth

Saturday 27th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation

Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – The Call of the Wild–Meditations for Deepening Your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Green-world

July schedule coming soon!


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Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *
Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology
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The Spectrum of Mindful Enjoyment

Dear Toby,

All of us want to experience enjoyment in our life, but sometimes it can feel a little elusive. The article below explores how we can go about consciously cultivating our experience of enjoyment and integrating it into a wide variety of our activities.

In the spirit of enjoyment and fun,

Toby


The Spectrum of Mindful Enjoyment

Getting to know your own enjoyment
Think about a time when you have really experienced enjoyment. As you do so get in touch with that enjoyment within your body; what does it feel like somatically? Is it in a particular part of the body? Does the energy of enjoyment seem to have a particular colour or musical tone (In your mind’s eye/ear)? What happens to your body posture when you feel the energy of enjoyment?

I mean real enjoyment
Sometimes we seek ‘fun’ as a way of distracting ourselves from things we feel uncomfortable about. There is a kind of fragile, escapist enjoyment that we sometimes seek that is riddled with insecurity. So just to delve a little further, let’s be clear that what we are trying to connect with here is a ‘real’ open hearted and genuine enjoyment, not the ‘fake’ enjoyment that we sometimes use as a smoke-screen for our discomfort.

To me enjoyment seems to be characterized by a feeling of open heartedness, a smiling quality, a playful confidence and inquisitiveness. You may find that for you the essential ‘ingredients’ of enjoyment could be described slightly differently.

From calmness to excitement – the spectrum of mindful enjoyment
So then with this essential feeling of enjoyment we can then experiment with it; we can practice bringing it into our social interactions, our work, our time alone with ourself. According to the activity our enjoyment could be combined with excitement and vigor such as if we are at a party or playing a game, or it could be combined with feelings of calm and subtlety such as when we are sitting in meditation.

The point about this is that, if you make a point of mindfully cultivating your basic experience of enjoyment you can then practice integrating it into a whole spectrum of your life’s activities from the intense to the quiet. You can use your essential feeling of mindful enjoyment to enhance all of them!

The child and the god/dess within
When we contact our enjoyment mindfully in this way we have the opportunity to re-activate our playful inner child, which for most of us gets lost somewhere on the journey from our historical childhood to our present ‘jolly serious’ adulthood. We also activate our inner god or goddess; that mythic part of us that enjoys being creative for sport and that has real power to change the world for the better.

So let’s get going!
Which activity would you like to focus integrating your own mindful enjoyment with today?

Related articles: Moving From Anxiety to Excitement
Life-fullness
Related workshop on 27 June: Developing Your Mindful Self-Confidence

© 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 May:

JUNE 2015

Wednesday, June 24th 7.30-9pm  – Integral Meditation Session @ Basic Essence – Meditating on benevolence & inner wealth

Saturday 27th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self-Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through meditation & mindfulness

Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – The Call of the Wild–Meditations for Deepening Your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Green-world

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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Moving From Anxiety to Excitement

Dear Integral Meditators,

What would happen if you could respond to the uncertainty and absence of control that you sometimes have in your life with excitement rather than anxiety? The article below explores how you can mindfully start going about doing this…

Yours in the spirit of opening to excitement,

Toby


Moving From Anxiety to Excitement

At a meditation class I facilitated last night one of the sentences that I asked people to complete as part of an exercise was ‘I often get stressed when’… It was interesting to note the number of responses that were about uncertainty and lack of control over different aspects of life. When things don’t go the way we want, when our sense of control is taken away from us, most often the instinctive response is negative stress and anxiety.

Anxiety as an indicator of a creative opportunity
Whenever we have uncertainty in our life, or when things move from predictable and ‘under control’ to unpredictable it means that there is a creative window opening up in our life; a window that if we are open to we can find opportunities to grow, learn and enjoy. We can learn to respond to our anxiety with excitement rather than stress.

Acknowledging anxiety to begin transforming it
Before you can start to transform your negative anxiety into excitement you first need to begin by acknowledging and get to know your anxiety. When you become anxious, what does your anxiety feel like in your body? What sort of thought patterns does it stimulate in your mind? If it had a musical tone or colour, what would it be? Explore your anxiety so that you can relax with it enough to begin transforming it.

Then ask: What are the opportunities that my circumstances are presenting me? What unexpected good things could happen as a result of this? What can I learn? What is there to enjoy?
By focusing on these questions try and gradually open the energy your body, heart and mind to the circumstances so that there is room for you to experience calm excitement, playful  attention and curiosity, rather than negative anxiety. With a bit of mindful practice this becomes a realistic possibility for us.

A personal example:
Right now I’m quite happy where I am living, but it looks like I will have to move out in September. Listen to my internal dialogue I can hear part of my mind talking about all the effort to move, the chances of ending up somewhere not so nice, the uncertainty of what will happen. Of course if I focus upon it in another way I see I might find a much better and more suitable place that I would enjoy even more than where I am. My new neighbours might be just the sort of people that I enjoy connecting to, a whole new positive passage of my life may be just over the horizon, awaiting my moving apartment. Nothing is guaranteed, but I can choose to make the mindful choice to be excited, curious and playful about the process, rather than negatively anxious.

What situation in your life today could you choose to respond to with excitement rather than anxiety?

Related article: What Happens When Are Not Afraid of Fear?

© 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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A Meditation Map – The Art of State Training

Dear Integral Meditators,

With so many different types of meditation how can we know what it is all about? In the article below I offer one map that contains the territory of all meditation types. I hope you find it useful!

The Tuesday 9th I will be giving a whole evening seminar and practicum giving a big-picture overview of integral meditation, including these five states. If you are in Singapore do feel free to join us!

In the spirit inner maps,

Toby


A Meditation Map – The Art of State Training

There are so many different types of meditation, what are the common themes that tie them all together? One way of doing this is to understand that all meditations of whatever tradition are basically a type of state training. This basically means that when you are meditating you are training to capture and hold a particular state of mind, consciously and over an extended period of time.

There are five basic states that meditation helps us to become more conscious of and to learn to utilize in a practical and useful manner. Here they are in summarized form:

1. The Waking State – This is the state of our everyday, waking consciousness, with its attending concrete mental functions and emotions. In brain wave terms this is primarily the beta state with some alpha. The function if meditating in the waking state is to learn to use our concrete mind and attention mindfully, in such a way as to produce happiness and wellbeing rather than stress and negativity.

2. The Dreaming State – Once we get beyond the beginner level of meditation we start to work more and more consciously with the dream state, both when asleep and when day-dreaming. This is a subtle state of mind which contains many different levels. It can be very creative and when we are in this state our brain is mainly functioning in alpha and theta waves. The function of meditating in dream states is to learn to access these higher, deeper states of mind in order to enjoy them for creative, useful and positive purposes.

3. The Deep Sleep State – This is the very subtle state of consciousness and reality that is beyond the mind, it is a state of pure consciousness or being-ness. We all access it unconsciously at night during deep sleep. It is a formless, timeless ‘eternal’ dimension of consciousness. When we are in this state, our brain functions mainly in the delta wave state (though if we do so in meditation it tends to be a combination of alpha and delta). The function of meditation in the deep sleep state is to accomplish a ‘liberation’ from being solely identified with our personal body-mind, and to connect to a deeper more universal sense of identity. It is also extremely relaxing and regenerative.

4. The Witnessing State – The witnessing state is a state that accompanies all of the previous three states; waking, dreaming and sleeping.  It is an objective state of mind where we are observing as a witness the state of consciousness that is appearing to us at that time. Quite a few meditation traditions emphasize this witnessing practice as the centre of their meditation technique.

5. The Non-Dual State – This is a more advanced state of meditation where the subject-object divide between ourself and what we are observing disappears and we enter into a state of ‘oneness’ or ‘non-duality’. For example if we are meditating on a mountain we go from ‘I am meditating on a mountain’ to simply ‘mountain’. Or, if we are meditating on the formless timeless state of deep sleep, we go from ‘I am observing a formless timeless emptiness’ to a state of just formless timeless emptiness, where the self has essentially disappeared. These non-dual states are made stable by advanced meditators and make up the bulk of what you would call their ‘enlightenment experience’.

So, these five basic states are the five basic dimensions of our reality. As a meditator we learn to move consciously and deliberately between these five states, using each appropriately in order to bring about healing, personal growth and eventually ‘enlightenment’. I realize that I have covered a lot of ground in a short space of time, but it can be very useful to know about these five basic meditation states, because if you know about them, you can pretty much see where all the different meditation types fit into the model. For example shamanic meditation emphasizes mastery of the dream state; while Zen meditation emphasizes mastery of the 3rd, 4th and 5th states. It is a map you can use as your meditation practice grows and matures.

Related articles: The Five Stages of Meditation Practice from Beginners to Advanced
Five Inner Skills we develop Through Meditation

© 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 May:

JUNE 2015

Tuesday 9th June, 7.30-9pm – An Evening of Integral Meditation – Cultivating the Awakened Mind Within Ourselves, Our Work & Our Relationships

Saturday 13th June 2.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment – A Three Hour Workshop

Sunday 14th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing

Saturday 27th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self-Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through meditation & mindfulness

Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – The Call of the Wild–Meditations for Deepening Your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Green-world

 


Integral Meditation Asia

 

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What Happens When You Are Not Afraid of Fear?

Dear Integral Meditators,

What happens if you are not afraid of fear? Actually you could just sit down and ask yourself that question like a zen koan and see where it takes you and get some productive results. But I’ve also written an article on it below!

In the spirit of not being afraid,

Toby


What Happens When You Are Not Afraid of Fear?

Usually we are afraid of being afraid. We don’t like the unpleasantness of the experience, and so as soon as we detect fear in our body and mind we start to fight with it, trying to push it away. This approach gives us only two options:

  • We can continue to resist the fear and thus experience an ongoing inner battle between ourselves and our fear or
  • We can become a victim of the fear, simply being afraid and acting impulsively based around our fearful feelings

A third option is that when we feel fear arising within us we can consciously welcome it into our body-mind with awareness. We can practice watching which part of our body the fear is located, we can observe and be curious about the dialogue that fear initiates in our head. We can extend care to it when it comes into our mind, we can choose to look after it. We can learn to simply be with it, rather than trying to solve it, get rid of it or being a victim of it. If we start to approach our fear in this way with mindful curiosity then gradually we will cease to be come intimidated by our fear. We will start to understand it more, and we will then be able to learn from it.

But what can fear teach me?
If I am afraid to say something to my friend because I am afraid that s/he will disapprove or dislike me for it, then it indicates that I care for the friendship. If I am aware of this fear, and not afraid to work with it, it may also show me that I am too reliant upon the approval of my friend, and that with relationships that are worthwhile and genuine, sometimes it is really important to communicate what you believe in, even if it may not be received that well.
If I am afraid to leave my job because of the uncertainty that will result, that fear is right to the extent that our basic financial security is important. If I can become comfortable with that fear, then I can move beyond it and leave my job, but at the same time I can take appropriate steps to mitigate the risk involved.
If I have a life threatening illness, I can use my fear to take action to maximise my chances of recovery, whilst at the same time not having my present moment quality of life destroyed by anxiety over my future.

When you open to your fear it starts to show you things. Useful things.

Becoming comfortable with our fear offers us freedom of choice, and the option to act intelligently and appropriately to the genuine concerns that our fear is pointing out.

Often I find that the things that I have the most fear around are, quite naturally the things I care about the most; my family and friends, my clients, my work, my health. It’s natural to have fears around these things because I care. If I can become comfortable with the fears that arise from caring, if I am not afraid of those fears, then I can use them as a reminder that I care, and to keep caring all the more.

If you made a choice to try and be, say 10% less afraid of your fears today, what difference would that make to your quality of life? Maybe you can try it today and see…

The curve ball: Many of us are so afraid of our fear already that we have pushed our fear into our unconscious – we literally don’t know we are afraid, and we don’t want to know. Accepting the reality that we are afraid is the first step.

Related article: Recognizing Three Types of Fear, Meditating on three Types of Courage

© 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

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *
Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology
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Becoming Your Own Mindful Psychotherapist and Life Coach

Dear Integral Meditators,
Integral mindfulness aims to integrate our experience of past, present and the future into a mutually complementary whole. The article below explores one simple way to begin doing this for yourself.

Yours in the spirit of integration,

Toby


Becoming Your Own Mindful Psychotherapist and Life Coach

In general psychotherapy helps us to heal past trauma to improve our life now.
Life-coaching helps us tap our unrecognized talent, motivation and potential in order to improve our present moment and future experience.
Mindfulness helps us to focus our awareness more deeply in the present moment, but it can also have psychotherapeutic and life-coaching function.

  • By investigating our past with mindfulness we can become aware of and work to heal our past wounds
  • By mindfully exploring our potential talents, strengths, motivations and potential we can start to leverage on them more deeply, and use the  to improve our present and  future experience

In my integral life coaching practice I help clients bring mindful awareness to their past, present and future in order to heal their psychological wounds and start to actualize their potential for life enjoyment. If you want to start becoming your own integral life coach, you can try the following exercise as a starting point.

1. Select an area of your life that you want to look into. It could be an aspect of your professional development, or your relationships, or your habits. Let’s go with the example of self confidence here.

2. Ask yourself the question ‘What is there in my past life experience that is sabotaging my self confidence? (or other issue you are looking into) & what can I do to heal that damage now?’ Use this question as a departure point for a mindful investigation of the challenges from the past that presently threaten your self confidence.

3. Now ask yourself the question ‘What can I do in the present in order to support and nurture my experience of self confidence each day?’ Try and come up with a concrete,             actionable answer that you can start mindfully implementing each day.

4. Finally ask yourself ‘What future goals and plans can I set myself that will help me feel motivated to keep developing and actualizing my self-confidence?’ Your goals and plans may not turn out the way you thought they would, but by making plans and goals we embark on a path of learning that will help us build deeper and deeper levels of self confidence over time.

An example:
In the past my confidence was sabotaged by teachers at school who thought that art was a subject only for those not bright enough for academic subjects (I went onto do an art degree). If I realize this is a source of wounding for me I can act to heal it.
In the present I can build my self confidence each day by looking at the daily victories in my business, and complementing myself whenever I take an appropriate risk.
I can build my confidence for the future by setting goals for my business that are realistic and achievable if I work hard and stay motivated.

There you go, as simple mindful action plan that integrates a mindful psychotherapeutic and life-coaching approach together.
What would you like to work on at this time?

Related article: Life-fullness

© 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 May:

MAY 2015 
Friday 29th May 7.30-9.30pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Travelling deeper into the present moment through integral meditation

Saturday 30th May, 2.30-5.30pm – Enlightened Flow: Finding the Ultimate Relaxation and Release from Stress

JUNE 2015
Friday 5th June, 7.30-9pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Travelling deeper into the present moment through integral meditation

Tuesday 9th June, 7.30-9pm – An Evening of Integral Meditation – Cultivating the Awakened Mind Within Ourselves, Our Work & Our Relationships

Saturday 13th June 2.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment – A Three Hour Workshop

Sunday 14th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing

Saturday 27th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self-Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through meditation & mindfulness

Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – The Call of the Wild–Meditations for Deepening Your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Green-world

 


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Letting Come, Letting Go, Going With the Flow

Dear Integral Meditators,
‘Letting go’  is easy to say, more difficult to do well. The article article presents of a few pointers as to how we can deepen our experience of letting go by combining it with the practice of letting come.

In the spirit of letting come & letting go,

Toby


Letting Come, Letting Go, Going With the Flow

Letting go is perhaps an overused word in meditation and mindfulness circles, but besides  the overuse of the word, letting go remains a very profound  practice with many different levels. This article presents of a few pointers as to how we can deepen our experience of letting go by combining it with the practice of letting come.

You can’t let go of something that you haven’t let come
If you can’t acknowledge that you have been hurt by what someone said, how can you let go of that hurt?
If you can’t acknowledge a desire you have, how can you let go of it (and do you really want to?)
If you can’t open to your feelings of inferiority, there isn’t a real chance you are going to be able to let go of them any time soon (though of course you can bury them deep inside!)
You can’t let go of something that you haven’t acknowledged and accepted that you have in the first place. In this context to ‘let come’ is to acknowledge, accept and experience that you have been hurt, that you desire, that you feel inferior (and so on…); to accept the reality of what you experience. This step of self-honesty is not so that we can indulge that difficult experience; it is so that by accepting it we can start to move through it and let it go.
To acknowledge, to accept, to experience something is to let it come, to open our body, heart and mind to it, to receive it, so that we can then, if we wish to, let it go properly.

Letting come – Acknowledging & enjoying the good
Letting come is also an opening to enjoyment of the good things in life, to its richness, to the abundance of it all. Letting come is to open our heart to all that is going on in our life at any time in order to appreciate it and to live it fully. This type of letting come is a benevolent counterweight to letting go

And in reverse; letting go and letting come
We’ve looked at letting come in order to let go, but we can also practice letting go in order to let come. We can consciously practice letting go of something in our life in order to then open to and invite  new energy and possibilities to come into the space we have created. In this way we practice letting go as a way of letting new experiences, enjoyments and abundance come into our life; by letting go we can then let come!

Letting come, letting go, going with the flow; three simple practices
1. As you breathe in acknowledge a difficult feeling or experience, accept it, let it come into your body-heart and mind. As you breathe out, let it go. Let the experience come, let it go, go with the flow.
2. As you breathe in acknowledge the good, the enjoyment and the richness of your life; let it come in. As you breathe out let yourself go into the flow of this richness and enjoyment; relax into this flow of appreciation. Let it come, let it go, go with the flow.
3. As you breathe out consciously let go of something or someone that you are ready to release and move on from in your life. As you breathe in be aware of the space that your letting go has created, open yourself to the new energy and possibilities that can come into your life as a result of letting go. Let things go, let things come, go with the flow.

Related articles: Wake, up, Grow up, Clean up, Flow         Finding Your Spiritual Flow
Are You Going With the Flow or Just Drifting With the Current?
When You Have to Go Against the Flow          Single-pointedness and going with the flow

© 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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Three Levels of Mindful Healing

Dear Integral Meditators,

What sort of healing potential does mindfulness have to impact your life on a practical level? The article below explores three levels of this. If you enjoy the article and are not a complete beginner to meditation and mindfulness, you might like to join us at the Enlightened Flow workshop this coming 30th of May, or the Going Deeper into the Present  evening class on the 29th May.

Yours in the spirit of mindful Healing,

Toby


Three Levels of Mindful Healing

The three levels of mindful healing as I often work with it are:

  • healing through awareness,
  • healing with subtle energy
  • and healing through primal awareness

All of them are relatively simple in terms of the technique used, and can be practiced by anyone. The level of effectiveness depends upon the skill of the practitioner which he or she acquires with practice over time.

Healing through awareness
This type of mindful healing is done simply by placing awareness in the area of the body that needs healing. Yesterday on the bus journey to see my daughter perform in the school play I spent about two-thirds of the journey just sitting still, focusing my mind upon the front part of one of my shoulder joints, which is slightly strained due to a sport injury. Occasionally moving the joint and sometimes placing my hand upon it as well I just ‘felt’ deeply into the joint with my mind, relaxing it deeply. After a while I started to feel the joint warm up, and then some gentle shooting pains coming out of it (good healing pain). By the time I got off the bus my shoulder (and body) felt relaxed and energized, and the soreness and stiffness was much reduced.
People without experience of this type of mindful healing may find it difficult to believe the simplicity of it, but once you start to get a bit of experience of it, it is deeply empowering! It also teaches you an ever deepening awareness of what is going on within your body, and the power you have to benefit your ongoing health using the power of your mind!

Healing with subtle energy
With subtle energy healing you become aware of the earth beneath your feet as a bio-energetic energy source, and the sky and stars above you as a similar (but slightly different) source of energy. You can then imagine the energy from the earth rising up through the soles of your feet and up the back of your body to the crown of your head. The ‘sky’ energy comes into the crown and down the front of your body, going all the way to the toes, so you have a circuit of energy rising up the back and going down the front of your body. You can then focus this circulating energy anywhere you want in the body in order to promote healing and wellbeing, also using your hands if you like.
This form of mindful healing is more ‘advanced’ as it requires an awareness of the movement of subtle energy in the body. This awareness will develop quite naturally over time if you practice level one regularly.

Healing with primal awareness
This level is the most ‘advanced’ as it requires a little bit of experience of the deeper, very subtle, formless timeless dimensions of consciousness, but the technique is very simple. You focus on the area of the body that you want to heal, then you recognize that, in the very same space that that part of your body occupies there is a formless timeless dimension of existence from which can be drawn infinite energy and renewal. You then focus your attention on bringing that energy of deeper consciousness ‘out’ into the physical level, where the part of your body that is being healed is.
This third level may sound a little abstract to some of you, but actually it is just a type of healing that you naturally progress to as your meditation practice deepens. If you practice the first level; ‘healing through awareness’, then over time you start to progress toward this third level.
So there you go, three levels of mindful self healing. Just doing level one regularly will make a tremendous difference to your understanding of how to apply mindfulness practically to bring about healing in your body.

Related articles:
Taking Care of Your Nervous System Through Meditation
On Healing and Meditation
Energetic Self-Healing

© Toby Ouvry 2015, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in May:

Friday 29th May 7.30-9.30pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Travelling deeper into the present moment through integral meditation

Saturday 30th May, 2.30-5.30pm – Enlightened Flow: Finding the Ultimate Relaxation and Release from Stress


Integral Meditation Asia

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