Mindfully Enhancing Your Psychological Development

Dear Toby,

We have a remarkable amount of power to catalyze our psychological development through mindfulness. The article below explains one easy to apply method.

Final call for this Sunday’s Transforming Stress into Positivity and Enlightenment!

Yours in the spirit of empowered perspective,

Toby


Mindfully Enhancing Your Psychological Development

What is psychological development? Or, put another way, what does it mean to be psychologically evolved? One simple way of answering this question is that the more psychologically evolved you are, the greater the number of perspectives or viewpoints you will be able to take on any given situation.

  • An unevolved person can consider the situation only from their own point of view
  • A more evolved person can view the situation from the perspective of a friend, family member or well known ‘other’ person
  • Moving along, an even more evolved person will consider the situation objectively
  • A still more evolved person will consider/be able to enter into the perspective of people s/he does not know personally but who are involved in the situation

Then there is considering the question from different lines of intelligence:

  • What does this situation look like when evaluated emotionally?
  • Cognitively?
  • In terms of values or ethics?
  • Physically or somatically in terms of touch and sensation?
  • Spiritually?
  • In terms of Gender?

And others:

  • Economically
  • Aesthetically/poetically/artistically
  • From a child’s position
  • From an old persons position
  • From the perspective of history
  • Anthropologically
  • Socially
  • Politically
  • Generationally (as in past, present and future generations and how they see things)

And it so it goes on….

Here is a mindfulness exercise for stimulating your capacity for perspective taking:
Take a situation in your life that you want to investigate. Time yourself for 5 minutes. During that time write down or think about that situation from as many different perspectives as you can think of. Then pause and reflect upon what you have written or thought about allowing it to;

  • inform and change your understanding of what you are experiencing and
  • influence and inform the choices that you make

You may be surprised how powerful this exercise is, and how much intelligence and creative power you have when you really access the power of your own perspective taking!

Related article: Six Questions for Effective Decision-making


© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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Four Mindful Images for Stress Transformation

Dear Toby,

All Hallows Eve, or Samhuin is one of my favorite times of year, I have always found its energy to be dynamic and transformative in a good way. The article below focuses upon four ways that we can transform difficult, challenging and stressful energies in our life into forces for the good.

Yours in the spirit of inner transformation,

Toby


 

Four Mindful Images for Stress Transformation

Stress transformation is the art of transforming adversities and obstacles into strengths and advantages. One of the essential ‘techniques’ involves is learning to bring the right perspective to the challenge that you face. Below are four images that describe the ‘right’ approach to an inner challenge that will enable you to begin transforming your relationship to it.

1: Uncertainty as darkness – We fear darkness because we cannot be certain what is hidden by it. But the darkness is a place where we rest and regenerate during sleep, and seeds rise from the darkness of the earth. Similarly it is just as easy for good and better things to come out of the uncertainty in our life as it is for bad things. With this in mind, why should we fear uncertainty as we do? Why not consciously cultivate curiosity and enthusiasm for the uncertainty in our life?

2. Anger as a fire – Fire provides both warmth and light as long as we stand at the right distance from it. If we stand too close to it we will get burned. Similarly we can use the power of our anger to provide both clarity and power in our life to do what needs to be done and say what needs to be said. However if we get ‘too close to it’ it easily becomes a destructive force in our relationship to ourself and in our relationships. By learning to stand ‘at the right distance’ from your anger you can transform and re-direct it.

3. Attachment and desire as a rose with thorns – The things we desire are like a rose with thorns. If we regard them with lightness, appreciation and respect then they become objects of beauty and joy that enhance our life like a rose flower. However, if we hold onto them too tightly, this is like griping the stem of the rose, the thorns inevitably cut our hands and cause us pain. Hold your objects of attachment lightly!

4. Stress transforms coal into diamonds – As the saying goes, “a diamond is just a piece of coal that learned to respond well to pressure”. Similarly the pressure and stress we find in our life is always potentially useful to us in the sense that it we can use it to develop and evolve ourselves into someone better, wiser, more compassionate, more resilient as a result of it. If you look at the stress in your life in this way, it is possible to start seeing it as something valuable, useful and worthwhile.

For more articles on stress transformation, go to the stress transformation section of Toby’s blog.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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Seriously Light/Lightly Serious

Dear Integral Meditators,

The article below is an encouragement not to forget to to be playful, no matter how serious it gets!

Final call for this Sunday’s Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy.

…and for those interested in the inner equivalent of the David and Goliath paradigm

Yours in the spirit of the deep and the light,

Toby


Seriously Light/Lightly Serious

It is very easy to mistake taking something seriously for taking something ‘heavily’.
It is very easy to use false humour and lightness as a way of avoiding things that we should be taking seriously, or not giving the amount of focused attention that an issue deserves.

Is it possible to take something seriously and yet keep the quality of our mind light and flexible? I think it is. For example:

  • I can recognize a shortage of money or resources without getting heavy or depressed about it, whilst thinking seriously about how I can go about making up the shortfall
  • I can listen to someone talking of their pain and loss seriously and with compassion, honoring it, whilst at the same time consciously not letting my mind become heavy with the burden of what I am listening to
  • I can recognize that I have made a mistake and pay attention to correcting it without giving myself a complete mental hammering for having made that mistake
  • I can have a huge ‘to do’ list without it causing me to get tense, and negatively serious about everything I haven’t done
  • I have a choice when faced with serious changes and uncertainties in my life, the temptation due to the fear can be to get tense and over-serious, but there is always the option of being serious but light!
  • I can be physically tired, but the strain on my body does not mean I have to take the experience without humour and goodwill (but get a good night’s sleep as soon as I can!)
  • I can feel vulnerable and insecure about something, and I can mindfully take care of that insecurity within myself with compassion, whilst at the same time seeing the humour in my paranoia

If you like over the next few days, experiment mindfully with this idea of serious lightness. It’s possible to be deep without being heavy, and it is possible to be light without being superficial or foolish.

Related article: Connecting to your spiritual fool in the mirror world

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When Your Energy Level Follows Your Mind and Imagination

Dear Integral Meditators,

How much does your mind and imagination have to do with your energy levels? The article below explores this question and invites you to participate mindfully in the creation of energy in your body by using your mind and imagination well. This is a theme that I will be exploring extensively and practically in my workshop on 2nd November Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy which I invite you to take a look at!

The workshops and classes for November are out, see full details below.

Finally, iAwake Technologies are having a 30% sale on all products, you can see my own write up of how useful I have found them HERE.

Yours in the spirit of energy following mind,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in November:

 Still on promotion price until Tuesday 28th October – The Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease Online Course

Sunday November 2nd, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy  – a three hour workshop

Sun 9th November 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment – A Three Hour Workshop

Tuesday 25th November, 7.30-9pm  – Evening event – Integral Mindfulness –Co-creating Professional Success and Personal Wellbeing within Organizations and Leaders

Sun 30th Nov, 9.30am-12.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment

Sun 30th Nov, 2pm-5pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical Meditations And Techniques For Working With your Shadow-Self – A Three Hour Workshop


When Your Energy Level Follows Your Mind and Imagination

A couple of days ago in the morning I was in a state of despair, my mind and imagination was telling me there we so many projects that I had to do, so much uncertainty around the success or failure of each one, it was all unmanageable, I felt exhausted!  In an act of supreme will I swatted aside the doubts and started focusing on the write up for an event that I was due to put on in a month’s time. At this point I am struggling to find any energy at all.

By the time I finish the write up it is past lunch time, I’m so excited about the event that I have just written up that I feel on top of the world, I feel like the man, life is great, the world is watching me on the way to success. I feel super energized, high on energy.

Later that evening I discuss with my squash partner after a game how the employees at his company (engineers and technicians) are not likely to be interested in mindfulness training. “The most important thing in a corporate training event for these people,” he says “is to get to the bar as quickly as possible”. I feel less euphoric than I did at lunchtime but steady within myself, “It’ll be patient work to change the world I think to myself.” My energy level is steady; not high, not low.
Three different times of day, three different states of mind and imagination, three very different levels of energy resulting.
What is the mindfulness lesson here? Mind and imagination are really important factors in your sense of how much energy you have, so be careful not to get crushed by negative imagination and use positive imagination to your advantage when it is working for you, but stay steady if it isn’t, because it does not indicate the end of the world.

When I first started doing qigong meditation the essential discipline was to hold a particular sitting or standing posture and imagine energy travelling and circulating through your body in a certain way. This was the principal that ‘energy follows mind’: if you focus your mind in energy moving in a certain way, it does so. We have a remarkable power to heal ourself and affect our own energy levels each day simply by learning to control, direct and imagine it using the powers of our mind. You can see a very simple meditation forms that follow this principle on my qigong blog here: Building and strengthening your energy body.

So, whether it is paying attention to the way your mind is imagining a situation to be, or whether it is practising a discipline that requires the use of our imaginative faculties such as qigong meditation the message is clear; your mind and imagination do affect your energy levels significantly, so do pay mindful attention to them!

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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Seven Ways to Mindfully Save and Create More Energy

Dear Integral Meditators,

The article below explores how one approach to mindfulness can save and create energy in our life, which is always useful as we often find ourself struggling to keep up with the demands of our daily life.

In the spirit of a mind of ease,

 

Toby


Seven Ways to Mindfully Save and Create More Energy

One of the things that I often do before I do a mindfulness course within a company or organization is to send out a short questionnaire to the participants asking a bit about the challenges that they face in their work. One of the challenges that seems to be coming back more and more in the answers I get is fatigue. With this in mind I have compiled a little list below of ways in which you can use mindfulness to help you save and create more energy in your life and work. So here they are:

1. Recognize when you are in conditions of physical and psychological safety and relax into them – don’t allow your paranoid mind to make you feel like you are in a perpetual state of emergency.

2. Breathe in a way that promotes physiological and psychological relaxation and releases excess tension from the body and mind (See my article on breathing from my Qi gong blog)

3. Practice mindful self-acceptance, or the refusal to be at war with any part of yourself.

4. Each day ask yourself ‘what is good about my life?’, and hold the answers that come from this question with appreciation.

5. Spend at least some time each day focusing on just one activity and enjoying it deeply; allow your mind to gather and dwell in one place.

6. Learn the discipline of stilling your mind; the trick is to see that stillness is something that is present already in your mind (beneath the busyness), rather than something you have to ‘create’.

7. Step back and become a witness to the events of your life; practice the discipline of letting what is going on pass over and through you without clinging to it.

You can find some suggestions for practicing these seven in my previous article “Seven Ways for Creating a Mind of Ease”.

If you enjoyed these seven and want to explore how you can really make them a deeply practical and experiential part of your daily life, then do check out my five module online course “Meditations for Developing a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention”.
© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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Six Mindful Questions for Effective Decision Making

Dear Integral Meditators,

Decisions, choices, options. The article below invites you to start making these parts of your life a mindfulness practice. Last call for this Sundays Mind of Ease Workshop, details on the whats on section.

Yours in the spirit of mindful decision making,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in October:

Sunday October 19th – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention

 Launches 24th October – The Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease Online Course

Sunday November 2nd, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy  – a three hour workshop


Six Mindful Questions for Effective Decision Making

We have never had so many choices as we have in today’s society.
We have never had the freedoms that we enjoy, or the opportunities.
Perhaps human have never been as busy as we are today, and so each day we have to make more decisions than ever before.
Our freedom to choose is a wonderful thing and a fantastic opportunity, but the fact is that for many of us it is a cause of anxiety.
What is the right choice here?
What if I decide on the wrong thing?
What if I get blamed for my decision (I don’t want responsibility)?

Here are the six questions I ask myself whenever I’m faced with a choice that is of any consequence (and sometimes even small ones are).

  1. What is my personal perspective and experience of this situation?
  2. What does this situation look like if I consider it objectively and impartially?
  3. What is the perspective and experience of others involved in this situation?
  4. What core values am I trying to express and embody in this decision?
  5. What will the short term consequences of this decision be?
  6. What with the long term consequences of this choice be?

If you pop these six questions to yourself and think about them mindfully, I have found they act very well as a revealer of what really needs to be done, of what short cuts should not be taken, of what means the most to you, and what (where possible) will create a win-win situation for all concerned.
It also gives you a confidence and (relative) certainty in the validity of your choice that counters the anxiety and fear that so many of us experience in the face of the many choices we make each day. You may not be ‘right’ all the time, but at least you are making your choices on the basis of meaningful and mindful criteria.
This last few days I have been bothered by whether or not I should continue taking my daughter to squash lessons on Saturday mornings. The location has changed, the commute has become 3 times as long, I have ‘many important demands’ upon my time, it would have been very easy just to ‘let it slip’, I could have found plenty of excuses. I asked myself these six questions and the answer came back very clearly to persist. There is effort involved, but by the mindful insight provided by the six questions, my direction and decision is clear. It is a small daily example, but all decisions are important in that they ask us core questions about how we wish to engage in our life, and engage the freedom, power and privilege that comes with having a choice.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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Taking Care of Your Nervous System Through Meditation

Dear Integral Meditators,

The article below explains a brief self-healing meditation that can be performed at any time, specifically to calm and balance your nervous system.

In the spirit of mindful self-healing,

Toby


Taking Care of Your Nervous System Through Meditation 

Due to the busyness and stress of our daily life we often find ourselves with nervous systems that are chronically over-stimulated, often trapped in fight or flight mode, and generally wired for anxiety and fear. The main nerve within the nervous system is the spine, so one of the best ways to care for and gain benevolent control of your nervous system is to focus your attention upon relaxing and energizing the spine.
The short technique I describe below is one I use often myself as a short 1-5 minute meditation during the day, and is part of the multi-faceted approach to creating a calm-lucid body-mind that I teach in my Mind of Ease Program. It focuses on the body, but it can have a quick and profound effect on our mental and emotional state as well, due to the inherent interconnectedness of the body-mind.

Relaxing the Spine
Sit, stand or lie down in a comfortable posture with a straight back, your ears and shoulders in line with each other.
Focus your attention upon the length of your spine from the base of the skull all the way down to its base/your coccyx.
Feel your way inside the vertebrae of the spine, to the spinal nerve that runs inside. If you like you can wiggle your neck and hips a little just so as to feel the nerve moving so you get a feel for it.
Now see and feel the smaller nerves radiating out from the spine, spreading out from in between the vertebrae to the rest of the body.
See (visualize) in the centre of your spinal nerve there is a line of light and energy. As you breathe in see and feel this line of energy glowing brightly. As you exhale see that light and energy expanding out into the spinal nerve, and then out along all of the nerves that spread out through the body from the spine. See your whole nervous system in the whole of your body lighting up like a light bulb as you exhale.
Repeat for a few breaths, or for a few minutes, ending with a brief period of relaxation.

It can take a little while to get used to feeling your way into the centre of your spinal nerve and then breathing the energy out from your spine along your whole nervous system, but is a skill you can acquire relatively quickly with practice.

As I mention, I normally just do this as an ad hoc exercise whenever I am feeling a little tired or frazzled, I find it remarkable how quickly I can find a space of physical relaxation,  regeneration and energy by doing it. Try it out!

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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Going Beyond the “Do This” and “Do That” Mentality

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article is one that I wrote back in 2011, before I had any kind of mailing list. When I re-read it today it really made me stop and think, then it made me stop thinking for a while, and then I started thinking again, but thinking better. I hope it does that for you too.

The upcoming mind of ease classes will be full of this type of practical reflection.

Yours in the spirit  of  mindful creativity in the moment,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in October:

Sunday October 19th – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention

 Launches 24th October – The Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease Online Course

Special 1:1 Coaching offer valid until October 14th  2014: Get 15% off the 3 session Stress Transformation Coaching Package.


Going Beyond the “Do This” and “Do That” Mentality 

My daughter has just turned six, and one of the things that I have noticed about our relationship recently is that it has been possible for me to start changing my relationship to her from a lot of “do this” and “do that” instructions to a much more process based “Why don’t you try this?” or “What will happen if you think about it this way?” Her gradual increase in age and maturity, combined with my own gradual maturing as a parent has allowed our relationship to evolve from being somewhat dictatorial to much more co-creative.

How we often use the “do this / do that” mentality with regard to the way we treat ourselves
One of the things that has struck me when thinking about the changes in my relationship to my daughter is how often we get caught up in a “do this” and “do that” relationship to ourself. “Instead of approaching situations and challenges in our life with an open, flexible and enquiring mind, often we will simply react in a pre-programmed way, based around our past experience. Internally we order ourselves around with no real sensitivity to what is actually happening and this kills our ability to respond authentically and creatively.
For example I may find myself mentally punishing myself for not having made more effective use of my time during the day. The conversation goes something like:
“You should not have got sidetracked by this, you should not have wasted time doing that, you don’t deserve to relax this evening because you have not achieved what you wanted…” the instructions and judgments go on and on…

What can we replace the Do this/do that mentality with?

One of the things that we are trying to create through a meditation practice is enough self-awareness  to be able to respond to our immediate circumstances as they are, without projecting judgments or old values onto them. What we are trying to do is replace the automatic “do this” and “do that” voice of our judgments and past mental programs with questions like:
“What is this situation showing me or offering to me?”
“What are the real emotions behind what is being said here?”
“What is the most creative thing I can do in this situation?”
“What is my most authentic response to what is happening here?
By bringing questions such as these to the forefront of our mind in our daily life we can start to over ride the automatic “do this” and “do that” orders coming from our impulsively critical mind and start to live a life that involves more freedom, as well as more authenticity and more happiness.

An awareness exercise:
The art of going beyond our “do this” and “do that” mentality lies in replacing these inner orders with a question that stimulates our enquiring mind and creativity. The next time you can hear and feel your old judgments barking orders at you as you try and cope with a life challenge, consciously place this question in the centre of your awareness:
 “What is this situation helping me to see and learn?” 
Try and stay with this question for a few minutes and observe the creative ideas that start to emerge from the inner space that the question allows.

Related article: You Always Have a Choice

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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A Blueprint for Mindful Productivity (Plus new video on Mind of Ease Meditation)

Dear Integral Meditators,

You may think of ‘productivity’ as  word that you would associate more with your professional development that your individual personal development, but in the article below I look at how our individual happiness is also dependent to a degree upon our productivity, and how we can create a win-win relationship between our personal happiness and professional growth.

Beneath the article you can see that I have placed the full information for the Mind of Ease Meditation Online Course. You can view a ten minute video that I have created where I talk in some detail about the relevance and effectiveness of the Mind of Ease Meditations HERE.

Yours in the spirit of mindful productivity,

Toby


Your Blueprint for Mindful Productivity

Productivity is the act of supporting our existence by translating our thoughts into reality*, our ideas into objects and products, of bringing knowledge, goods and services of all kinds into existence though our creativity.

We should be interested in productivity as individuals because productivity gives rise to achievements, and this in turn gives rise to a particular type of happiness and confidence.
As employers and members of organizations we should be interested in teaching ourself and others in the organization productivity, because it will help to give rise to a successful, confident and happy organization that people will want to work in and stay in.

So what are the building blocks of productivity, and how can mindfulness help nurture it? Here are a few practical thoughts:

1. We need to be having creative thoughts, and to believe that we are capable of such thoughts – In all of the major domains of our life we need to realize that we are creative agents, and that what we do makes a difference. In our relationships, at work, in our leisure activities we need to challenge ourselves to think intelligently about what we want, and then act productively on those ideas to make them a reality.

2. We need to believe something that comes from ourself can be worthwhile – Ask yourself the question “Do I really believe that an idea that I have can be of real value and make a difference in the world?” If you really believe that then productivity and manifestation will be a natural extension of your belief. If deep down you don’t believe in yourself and the power of your ideas, then even if you have the most amazing ideas they are going to get lost behind a myriad of excuses and distractions. It’s actually ‘easier’ to just become a consumer rather than a producer, but by becoming so we deny ourself so many fundamental forms of happiness.

3. We need to measure how many of the creative thoughts we have make it into reality each day – So we’ve decided we are going to really believe in the power of our ideas (not easy to do on a deep level), and we’ve decided to become a producer. Then you need to ask yourself the question each day “How many thoughts and ideas have I translated into reality today?” You literally look at how many of your thoughts you have actually translated into the domain of our everyday reality.

  • If you are an aspiring poet, that means writing something
  • If you are a marketer it means communicating your message to your audience, today
  • If you are a teacher like me, it means producing materials that can be taught and then inviting people to participate

What productive activity have you done today?

4. We need to appreciate that which we produce – Don’t let your achievements go unnoticed. Don’t finish one thing and then immediately go onto the next. Savor it first; allow the pleasure of your own productivity to feed and nurture your being so that you can sustain enthusiasm for the process.

5. Rinse and repeat each day until it becomes a part of the fabric of how you operate
Being mindful of points 1-5 above is your basic blueprint for sustainable productivity each day. Remember, you’re not doing it to please someone else (although it might), you are doing it because you are choosing to take pleasure in your own productive power, the power you have to be a cause in life, not just an effect.

*Paraphrased definition from ‘Honoring the Self’ by Nat Branden, chapter 12 on Rational Selfishness.
© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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 


 

Meditations for Developing a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention – A Five Module Online Course

 

Beautiful SpringDates: Begins Thursday 23rd October

Time: This is a five week online course, those participating will be given the link to the course webpage plus a password. Each week starting on Thursday23rd of October a module will be uploaded.

Venue: Anyone from anywhere in the world can participate in this course from the comfort of their living room. All you need is online access!

One sentence summary: This five module online course offers a contemporary, practical introduction to meditation and mindfulness that aims to integrate the fundamentals of traditional meditation practice with contemporary insights from psychology and neuro-psychology in a powerful and effective way.

Meditation and mindfulness are, simply put, ways of training our mind and attention to focus consciously upon objects that give rise to inner wellbeing, harmony, and happiness.

View video of Toby talking about the Mind of Ease Practices HERE

What you will learn on this course:

Practical meditation and mindfulness techniques that:

  • Enable you to consciously release unwanted tension and anxiety from your body-mind and transform your relationship to stress.
  • Help you to build a warm, friendly and supportive relationship to both yourself and others
  • Train your mind to take in, focus upon and appreciate the positive in your life
  • Develop your concentration skills (the ability to focus one-pointedly upon a single object/task), and in particular a special type of relaxed concentration, or lucid awareness
  • Enable you to connect with and relax deeply into an experience of inner stillness
  • An increased capacity to use your mind effectively without getting overwhelmed by mental busy-ness

All of these skills can be consolidated into a daily meditation practice that can be done in ten minutes!

The Structure of the course:

Thursday October 23rd – Module 1: Meditating on Ease, Flow and Presence – This opening module looks at how to create an experience of deep mind-body relaxation and flow by:

  • Connecting to three levels of ease (physical, mental and spiritual)
  • Understanding  how to release stress and tension that accumulates in our mind and body during the day and re-energize our body through focus on the breathing
  • Learn how to orient our mind in the present moment, giving our life a deeper sense of centeredness and balance even when experiencing challenges

Thursday October 30th – Module 2:  Meditating on Warmth, Friendship and Care – The meditation tools taught in this module aim firstly at learning to direct feelings of warmth, friendship and support toward the person whom we spend 24 hours of our day with; ourself! Once we have developed a stable, friendly and harmonious relationship to ourself, we can then expand and develop our feelings of warmth and care toward others; our family, our friends, all humans and eventually to all living beings. Achieving a stable experience of love, warmth and compassion is only possible with a very stable inner base, and this stable base is what we focus upon mindfully developing in this module.

Thursday 6th November – Module 3: Meditating on Appreciation, Positivity and Enjoyment

The ability to consistently approach challenges and events in our life from a positive and appreciative perspective is an essential mindfulness tool for enjoying our life deeply. All too often we lose sight of the good things that are right in front of us because our mind is pre-occupied and obsessed with the things we perceive as “wrong”. The methods taught in this module aim to address our natural “negativity bias”, and create strong mental habits that facilitate feelings of appreciation, gratitude and enjoyment.

Thursday 13th November – Module 4: Developing Focus and Concentration through Meditation – A fragmented, distracted state of mind seems to be the norm in the midst of our current, frantic pace of life. The meditation techniques taught in this module specifically address how we can develop the skill of focused, lucid concentration amidst all the distractions and busyness that calls for our attention. Developing focus and concentration not only has the benefit of making us more effective in achieving our goals, it also gives us access to an experience of deep regenerative peace that we can rest in as we travel our life’s many and varied pathways.

Thursday 20th November – Module 5Meditating for Inner Stillness and Insight – This module focuses on how we can discover the natural “inner stillness” and silence of our mind and experience what a profound and life changing effect it can have  upon the quality of our life. We learn the skill of resting easy in the natural inner space of our own awareness, and the discovery of a deeper level of ourself known in meditation terms as the “bare witness observer”. On a simple level the discovery of inner stillness and the bare witness observer enables us to meet our daily challenge with greater equanimity and presence of mind. On a deeper level inner stillness and the inner witness opens us to a deeper level of meaning and context for our life, awakening us to a new dimension of who we are and what we might be capable of becoming.

This final module also introduces an integrated meditation practice that combines the skills of all five modules into a single short meditation.

Cost of Workshop: Launch Price Sing$59! Rising to Sing$75 on 27th October,

CLICK HERE TO MAKE PAYMENT FOR MIND OF EASE ONLINE COURSE BY PAYPAL

Special Offer: Buy Mind of Ease Online Course together with the Mind of Ease 3 Hour Workshop for $150! (save $55)

CLICK HERE TO MAKE PAYMENT FOR MIND OF EASE ONLINE COURSE AND WORKSHOP BUNDLE BY PAYPAL

To register or for further enquiries: Email info@tobyouvry.com, or sms 65-96750279

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The Reasons We Resist Deeply Good Feelings

Dear Integral Meditators,

What would happen to your life if you truly committed to feeling the deepest, best feelings that were available to you in each moment? This weeks article explores this theme, and the reasons we often turn away.

Courses and coaching offers for October are detailed in the upcoming courses section.

Yours in the spirit of feeling deeply good,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in October:

Sunday October 19th – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention

 Launches 24th October – The Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease Online Course

Special 1:1 Coaching offer valid for October 2014: Get 15% off the 3 session Stress Transformation Coaching Package.


The Reasons We Resist Deeply Good Feelings

The following is a list of reasons why we either choose to accept negative feelings and focus upon them when there are positive ones we could be focus upon, OR we choose to accept superficially ‘positive’ feelings and emotions when there is a choice available to touch something deeper and more profoundly alive within ourselves.

  • There are many varied and often real reasons not to feel good
  • My ever increasing list of broken dreams as I get older
  • My fear of being judged by others (don’t stand out in the wrong way!)
  • Everyone around me seems negative or guarded, why take the chance?
  • The positivity can’t last, I’m setting myself up for disappointment, the feelings will betray me
  • Real, visceral enjoyment and pleasure is not something I am worthy of
  • My partner/child/parent/friend (etc…) is not happy, so why should I be?
  • I’m waiting for someone else’s permission to feel this good
  • I might start having all sorts of creative ideas (and that might be risky)
  • I’m uncertain and worried about my future (to feel good doesn’t match that reality)
  • My business/job is not going well
  • The suffering of the world, the environmental crisis
  • I haven’t forgiven myself for ‘x’
  • I’m addicted to my own pain
  • If I feel really good it will highlight all the areas of my life where I feel pain, I don’t want to b reminded of that
  • If I’m feeling good there will be no one else to blame for my pain
  • I would feel empowered and so would have no excuses for not taking responsibility for my life
  • I will start to feel truly alive (and that would be scary)
  • I’m addicted to feeling ‘high’ rather than actually deeply happy
  • I want to feel and be what gets the approval of others rather than what really serves me

I wrote that little list in 5 minutes before I cooked dinner tonight. It seems sometimes like the choice to feel truly good, whole and well each day despite “all of it” is not the act of the mindless hedonist, but the mindful and courageous few.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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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