Caring For Your Life-force Through Meditation: Four Levels

Dear Integral Meditators,

I’ve been focusing in my own practice over the last week on taking care of my life-force or libido through meditation. The article below is really some thoughts I have put together as a result. I hope you enjoy it!

Yours  in the spirit of the journey,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in November/December:

The Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease Online Course

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

Sunday December 7th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for Activating, Healing and Awakening our Ancestral Karma

Sunday December 14th, 9.30am-12.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation From the Perspective of  Zen


Caring For Your Life-force Through Meditation: Four Levels

Your life-force (as we will be defining it in this article) is your ‘psychic energy’ or ‘libido’. It manifests on the physical, psychological, soul and spiritual levels of your being.

Simply put if your libido or life-force is healthy then it will manifest as a healthy ‘appetite’ for life. If your libido is low then your appetite for life diminishes correspondingly.
Here is a brief resume of the way in which our life-force manifests on the four levels (the soul and spiritual level being counted as one):

Your life-force on the physical/biological level – On this vital level of your being a healthy libido manifests as appetite for food, drink and sex/sensuality, and healthy emotions. It can be sustained by the appropriate engagement with these basic activities (eating & drinking healthily, enjoying sex and sensuality appropriately, feeling emotions fully). Correspondingly it can be damaged by eating and drinking unhealthily, over indulging in sex (or unhealthy expressions of sex) and negative emotions.

Your libido & life-force on the psychological level – On the level of your ego the libido manifests as striving, desiring and willing (to use the Jungian terms). From this we can see that to maintain a healthy psychological libido we need goals to strive towards, and a healthy pleasure in striving for and achieving those goals. Correspondingly our psychological ‘appetite’ can be damaged if we lack motivation, goals and objectives to strive for in life, or if our self-esteem & confidence are low.

Your life-force & libido on the soul& spiritual level – This level of libido is really the psychological level expressed at a deeper level of our being. It involves the pursuit of “the true, the beautiful and the good” as we feel compelled to explore and express them in our life. One way of understanding our own ‘spiritual path’ is how our psychological process of striving, desiring and willing evolves and transforms toward a creative expression of truth, beauty and goodness.

From this we can see that looking after your life-force is a multi-disciplinary activity, ranging from physical diet to psychological motivation to a deeper contemplation of the meaning of your life. Each one of these levels has something to offer you in terms of the overall experience of your life-force and the power of its energy.
Moreover, our life-force can shift from one level to another and back again. For example we can find a new lease of psychological motivation as a result of a changed diet, or we can find a renewed enthusiasm for emotional or sexual expression as a result of finding a deeper level of meaning on the soul level of our being.

Healing, balancing and renewing your life-force thorough meditation.

One very simple way in which you can use meditation as a way of enhancing your life force and libido is to just take the discipline of sitting still and relaxing in a focused, aware way for a certain period of time each day. This will:

  • Enable your physical body to relax and begin regenerating its biological life-force
  • Enable your psychological being to relax and begin regenerating its motivation and energy
  • Enable your soul to become receptive to spiritual and intuitive inspirations that inspire it toward greater meaning and creativity.

You can further enhance this function of meditation as you are sitting and relaxing by:

  • Deliberately imagining and encouraging your body to move into a state of deep, regenerative relaxation
  • Deliberately not pursuing thoughts and discursive thoughts in the mind so that your psychological being can regain its clarity and focus
  • Consciously inviting, being receptive to and noting intuitive inspirations & idea  that arise whilst you are enjoying the process of relaxing your body and mind

This very simple process of meditation, sitting in a state of receptive awareness in the way I have described is not the whole story when it comes to looking after and increasing our life-force on the physical, psychological and soul/spiritual levels, but it will help all of the other efforts that we make to do so!

Two more thoughts: Enhancing your life-force meditation a little further:

1. There are certain simple ways of directing the energy in your body-mind that can enhance and increase the flow of life-force. You can see a couple of simple examples from my qi gong blog here:
Building and strengthening your Qi/Light Body by connecting to Planetary Qi
Qi gong standing exercises 1: Light body standing form/Earth light standing form

2. You can use bio-field and neuro-flow technology to achieve a more rapid and deeper entry into a regenerative state of mind. The one I’m using a lot at the moment is called Harmonic Resonance Meditation, if you’re interested you can scroll down to see the coupon code to get 25% off any of the products at I-Awake technologies.

© 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 


November 26 – December 2,
2014

25% OFF ALL iAwake Products

25% OFF Discount Coupon Code: 

THANKSGIVING2014

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Mindfully Integrating the Animal and Instinctive Self

Dear Integral Meditators,

What is your animal or instinctive self? What part is it playing in your life? Why is it important to be mindful of it? The article below offers some thoughts in this subject…

If you are interested in going a bit deeper into your animal and instinctive self, then do check out the Shadow Self workshop on Sunday the 30th November!

Yours  in the spirit of the journey,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in November/December:

The Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease Online Course

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

Sunday December 7th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for Activating, Healing and Awakening our Ancestral Karma

Sunday December 14th, 9.30am-12.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation From the Perspective of  Zen


Mindfully Integrating the Animal and Instinctive Self

Your animal and instinctive self is raw vitality. It is the wild and feral part of yourself that has been around for millions of years on the planet, it is entirely at home in the body, with sexual instinct, with fighting, with doing what is necessary to survive in a tough and uncompromising world. It is also a part of you that has a natural dignity, an unconscious affinity with the whole, that feels entirely at home in a body, on the earth, participating in life.
Obviously we need to exert a certain benevolent control over our animal self, but for many of us the animal and instinctive self has become an enemy, a source of terror, of embarrassment, of shame. We often try and lock our animal self in the cellar of our mind, pretend (and hope) that if we ignore it or pretend it is not there for long enough it will go away and leave us in peace.
There comes a time for all of us where it becomes necessary to make friends with our animal self, to learn to make positive use of our instincts, to stop repressing our passions and instead start consciously and heartily expressing them in our life in positive and authentic ways.
The conscious integration of the rational and self with the animal and instinctive self gives the soul within us all the tools and power it needs to start making a difference in the world and manifest its desires. Without the vital dynamism of the animal self the civilized self becomes a ghost, a cardboard cut out, a shell. It’s very difficult for the soul to do something with a shell!

If you are suffering from an absence of vitality, a lack of confidence, a sense of inner conflict, connecting and communing with your animal and instinctive self is definitely a good area within yourself to investigate!

Questions for becoming more aware of and reclaiming our instinctive and mindful self:
Where is my vitality?
What is my animal self asking of me?
What might it mean to make positive use of my instincts?
How can I make friends with my animal self?
How can I put my animal and instinctive self to positive use?

© 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 


25% off for 1 Week Only
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Discount Coupon Code:
(apply during checkout) 
 
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Good until Nov 30, 2014
 

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Motivating Yourself to Meditate Part 2 – Meeting Your Deeper & Higher Needs Through Meditation

Dear Integral Meditators,

This is the second in the series of ‘Motivating yourself to meditate’ articles, you can read the first HERE if you have not done so already.

Hot of the press; new workshop on 7th December ‘Meditations for activating, healing and awakening our ancestral karma‘ follow the link to have a look!

In the spirit of enjoying our deeper and higher selves,

Toby


Motivating Yourself to Meditate Part 2 – Meeting Your Deeper & Higher Needs Through Meditation

In the first in this series of articles on motivating yourself to meditate I took a look at how it is that meditation can help us to meet some of our basic needs, or needs 1-3 in Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I this article I want to look at how meditation helps us to start to satisfy our “higher” needs; specifically needs 4-6 of Abraham Maslow’s human needs hierarchy:

  1.  Esteem needs – For competence, approval & recognition
  2. Aesthetic and cognitive needs – For knowledge, understanding, goodness, justice, beauty, order, symmetry
  3. Self-Actualization needs

4. Esteem Needs – Competence, approval, recognition.
One of the basic things that any form of authentic meditation technique will improve is your concentration. With better concentration your ability to be competent in any given area of expertise that you set yourself is going to improve. So, meditation helps your esteem needs in this regard by helping you increase your mind power and therefore become competent faster. This in turn will likely lead to approval and recognition from your teachers, peers and society.
With regard to the need for approval and recognition, I would say that consistent meditation will help you to make approval and recognition into a preference rather than an all consuming need. This is because meditation takes us gradually away from “doingness needs” and toward “beingness needs”

  • “Doingness needs” are the needs that we have to prove our worth by deeds, job titles and all the other bench marks that conventional society lays down as meaning “successful”.
  • “Beingness needs” are the needs that arise from already seeing, feeling and experiencing ourself as whole, complete and worthy as we are. Meditation encourages a daily connection to our own state of beingness, that is to say as whole, complete and worthy as we are right now. In a state of beingness, our own needs are perceived as being already met, and so our “needs” actually start to focus more and more on the needs of others around us. We are happy as we are, so we have more energy to focus on the wellbeing of others.

In conclusion, when our beingness needs are met (which they will be increasingly through balanced meditation), of course we can be happy when we are measured as “successful” by the conventional benchmarks of society, but if not it is no big disaster, as our sense of beingness ensures that we feel happy and complete as we are.

5. Aesthetic and cognitive needs – Knowledge, understanding, goodness, justice, beauty, order, symmetry
With our beingness needs increasingly being met by meditation (as outlined in section 4 immediately above), an increasing amount of energy is opened up within us to look into “bigger questions”:

What is the meaning of life?
Why am I here?
What is fairness?
What is justice?
What is beauty?

This is level 5 of Maslow’s Hierarchy, our aesthetic and cognitive needs. A regular meditation practice will not answer these questions per-se, as a lot of meditation practice is about reducing the content of the mind, not filling it! However, what meditation will do systematically over time is to open us up to a full functioning awareness of our intuitive, archetypal and spiritual minds. This naturally helps us to articulate a considered response to the big questions that are posed by our aesthetic and cognitive needs.
A final point; meditation prevents us from getting “stuck” on the existential questions that are posed by this level. “What is the meaning of life?” is a question that may never be fully answered, and this is right and good. Meditation enables us to recognize the point where question asking and philosophizing ceases to be useful and relevant, and to move into states of silence and pure awareness.

6. Self Actualization: 
Actually, up to the last century or so, the main focus of meditation has traditionally been enlightenment, or needs associated with levels 5 and 6. It is only in more recent times that meditation has been advocated as a potential solution to the stress, mental busyness and anxiety of modern life, which has made it useful and relevant on the level of our survival needs  (levels 1&2 of Maslow’s hierarchy) and level 3, emotional wellbeing. Through history the predominant reason that people have meditated is to commune, merge and create a state of union with their spiritual being, which in turn exists in a state of one-ness or unity with the Universe. So, in terms of the sixth and highest level of our needs; Self Actualization or enlightenment, meditation is actually the most effective, tried and tested method for accomplishing this need.

Check out the Upcoming workshops and events at Integral Meditation Asia
© 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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Motivating Yourself to Meditate Part 1 – Looking at How You Can Meet Your Needs Through Meditation

Dear Integral Meditators,

Why meditate, why continue meditating? Why is it worth persisting? The article below considers these questions….

Thanks for reading!

Toby

 


Motivating Yourself to Meditate Part 1 – Looking at How You Can Meet Your Needs Through Meditation

One reason why people find it difficult to hold down a regular meditation practice is that it is very easy for meditation to get knocked down our priorities list. It seems like there are so many things that need our attention. It is easy to think that we have so many “important” priorities that we can put off meditating until tomorrow, and so it goes on. We never really get serious or consistent about our meditation practice because it is not enough of a priority.
So, what I am going to do in this and next week’s article is have a look at Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and see how meditation can help with these basic needs.  If we have a clear idea about how meditation helps us with our human needs, then we will keep it high on our priority list and make sure that we do it!

A quick outline of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, he starts with the most basic first, and then ascends in terms of depth and complexity:

  1. Physiological needs – Food and drink
  2. Security needs – Shelter, physiological safety
  3. Belongingness and love needs – Affiliation, acceptance, affection
  4. Esteem needs – Competence, approval, recognition
  5. Aesthetic and cognitive needs – Knowledge, understanding, goodness, justice, beauty, order, symmetry
  6. Self Actualization

How meditation helps us with these basic needs:

Needs 1&2: Physiological and security needs
I am guessing that if you are reading this article, you will have your basic food, drink and shelter needs being met. You may not be in Buckingham Palace, but you aren’t homeless either right? Although many of us have our basic needs met, many of us remain stuck psychologically in “survival” mode, fighting our way through a hostile universe oblivious of the good fortune of having our basic needs met.
Meditation helps us with this by helping our mind to be calm enough to appreciate and enjoy the fact that our survival needs have been met. Meditation gives us the presence of mind to enjoy life’s simple pleasures; Food, drink, shelter and a basic quality of life. Without peace of mind studies show that those in first world countries are no happier than those in 3rd world countries. Meditation makes sure this does not happen to you!

Need 3: Belongingness and love needs
A daily meditation practice is a statement to yourself that you are important and lovable enough to deserve happiness and peace of mind. Belongingness and love needs are often projected outward onto other people, but in reality our primary love relationship is with ourself. If we get this right it will help our love relationships to others.
Meditation also puts you in touch with a source of love inside you that might be termed as “Universal” or unconditional. This love starts to rise up in our mind whenever we truly touch mental peace and calm (see article on the Two Main Lessons of Love). You deserve to receive love every day right? So give yourself that pleasure by sitting down and doing a bit of meditation every day! One final point here, meditation by its nature makes us more mindful, relaxed and aware. This quality of mind helps us to see that there is love being directed toward us all the time by our friends, family and colleagues. A relaxed, meditative mind can open to this love and receive it deeply into our being, instead of shutting it out.
So, in my next article mid-week next week, I’ll write a few thoughts on needs four, five and six, but I think if you contemplate the above three, there is plenty of reason to renew your determination to find time and space for at least a little meditation each day!

Read part 2 of this article: Motivating Yourself to Meditate Part 2 – Meeting Your Deeper & Higher Needs Through Meditation

© 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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When the Mask Cracks the Light Shines Out

Over the last few months I have had the good fortune to be able to catch up with a few old friends from school days. The conversation immediately becomes 200% more engaging and compelling between us when we discover that we have been through a similar psychological challenge or difficulty, or where we have come face to face with a part of ourselves that we did not like to admit was there. When this happens the tone of the conversation always goes from ‘pleasant’ to genuinely soulful.

Last weekend I facilitated a stress transformation workshop. It was great to see people becoming excited about the ways in which they could make use of the parts of themselves and their personality that they considered obstacles to happiness, that they considered ‘dysfunctional’ or weak.

We spend a lot of time investing in our ‘persona’, the face that we present to society; to cultivating and preserving a mask behind which we can hide our insecurity and vulnerability. We protect this mask, strengthen it, try to keep both it and ourselves ‘looking right’ in the eyes of those around us. Any cracks that appear in the mask often invoke a crisis in us, something we should avoid at all costs.

The funny thing is that when circumstances come together to crack open the mask of our persona, it is often the very opportunity that our soul has been waiting for to shine its light into the world, to start making a difference.

It’d be a shame to miss such opportunities because we were too busy trying desperately to repair our mask.

Related article: Enlightened Imperfection

Upcoming workshops and events at Integral Meditation Asia

© 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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Simple and Bad, Simple and Good

Dear Integral Meditators,

How do you become really good at meditation and mindfulness? How do you become really good at anything? This weeks article offers a perspective.

I’d like to invite all in Singapore to a free event on the Tuesday 25th at 7.30pm: Integral Mindfulness –Co-creating Professional Success and Personal Wellbeing within Organizations and Leaders . Also, if you know people in companies and organizations who you think may be interested  in bringing mindfulness training into their setup, do feel free to pass the invitation onto them!

Yours in the spirit of simple and good,

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

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


Simple and Bad, Simple and Good

You may have heard the story about the way a great poet evolves:
First his/her poetry is simple and bad,
Then it is complicated and bad,
Then it becomes complicated and good,
Finally at the level of mastery it becomes simple and good.

If you want to develop your meditation and mindfulness practice it is also like this. The key is to recognize that that way to become a great meditator is to accept and enjoy being a bad meditator so that organically over time you become a good one, and eventually a master.

Of course this is a way of approaching any task in life. When I first started trying to run a business as an ex-monk and ex-artist I was simple and bad at it, then I was more complicated but still quite bad! Now I occasionally peak to the complicated and good level, with occasional ‘zen moments’ of good simplicity, rapidly lost!

If I could pick a skill that I would like to pass onto my daughter as she grows up, I think the skill of learning to be simple and bad, but then to persist and be happy to fail well and learn would be in the top three. If she has this skill she can become good at whatever she wants, and success in one form or another will be, as a result difficult, to avoid. If she has this, she will be fine.

Because I have this skill of being mindfully happy to be simple and bad whenever necessary, I know ultimately I’ll be fine, and in all probability successful in my chosen endeavours.

If you have it you probably will be too.

© 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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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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