Transforming Specific Aspects of Your Past Through Shadow Meditation

Dear Integral Meditators,

I hope that you have had a good week that you feel has served your inner growth well! This weeks article explains an meditation practice that I really have something of a soft spot for, and that is of real practical value. Our past experience is constantly impacting our experience of the present, and the meditation is specifically designed to effect a healthy ongoing relationship between our past and present, so that we can face the future with confidence.

In the “upcoming courses” section you’ll see that I have mapped out the  workshop program from now until the end of the year (I’ll have to see about online courses, I’m not sure yet). The main thing that is ‘new’ is that I will be backing up the Shadow and Zen meditation workshops with level 2 workshops, so for those of you that have done the introductions, there will now be an opportunity to go onto the next step!

For any of you that missed the mid-week email with the free meditation audio on transforming stress, you can have a listen just by clicking HERE.

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:
Sunday October 27th, 3-6pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical Meditations And Techniques For Working With your Shadow-Self – A Three Hour Workshop

Tuesday 19th  November, 7.30-9.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Zen Level 1

24th November – An Introduction to Meditation From the Perspective of Zen Levels 2&3 (full details shortly)

Dec 1st – Shadow Meditation Level 2 (full details shortly)



Transforming Specific Aspects of Your Past Through Shadow Meditation

This article explains a practical way of working with aspects of your own individual past history in order to transform the way in which we experience the effects of that past in our lives right now.

Often we are not fully aware of the effects that our past history is having upon our present moment experience; the purpose of this meditation is improve our awareness of the way our past is impacting our present, and to effect a healthy communication and reconciliation between the person we are now and the person who went through those past experiences.

Those of you that have done some shadow coaching with me, or attended a shadow workshop will recognize some of the techniques in this meditation. The meditation technique is simple but powerful, and there is plenty of room for you to follow your own intuition and imagination.

The Practice:

Stage 1: Select a past experience to focus on 
Choose an area of your past that you wish to investigate, perhaps one that you consciously or intuitively feel that there are some unresolved issues for you. Examples might be:

  • A particular period of your childhood upbringing or schooling
  • A particular relationship with a parent, sibling or teacher
  • A difficult time such as post-divorce, being layed-off at work, or times when you had to experience your parents going through this

Stage 2: Connect to and travel down your life tree:
Having set the past experience you wish to investigate, set your intention to investigate it. Then sit down in meditation and see yourself in front of a huge tree, with its roots going deep into the earth, and its branches reaching high up into the sky. Think of this tree as your own personal Tree of Life, or Life Tree.
In the bottom of the trunk of the tree there is a door. When you are ready open the door. See extending down into the earth below there is a spiral staircase. Follow it down as far as it goes until you find a second door, which takes you out into a landscape connected to the period of your life that you wish to investigate.

Stage 3: Encounter and communication
In that landscape you encounter a figure connected to that past period of your life. For example if you are investigating a period of your schooling, then you might meet yourself as a young boy, or one of your teachers (whatever appears at this stage is right for you, trust what you see). Investigate the feelings that arise from your encounter with this figure (or figures). When you are ready, ask the figure three questions:
What is it you wish to communicate to me?
How can I help resolve the issues that you are unhealed?
How can I be of service to you?
Pay attention to and note the answers that come back.

Stage 4: Conclusion
When you are ready, say goodbye and return back up the spiral staircase to the surface world. Try and implement whatever insights you have gained from your encounter into your present life.
© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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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How Much Happiness Are You Prepared to Tolerate?

Dear Integral Meditators,

What if happiness were easier than we think, and the only thing getting in the way was that we often find being happy profoundly uncomfortable?

This weeks integral meditations article is in the form of a series of questions that invites us to look a bit deeper into the real causes of our lack of happiness.

I’m in the process of setting up the rest of the meditation program for the rest of 2013, you can see the dates below, full details will be out by next week.

Yours in the spirit of uncomplicated happiness,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

Starting Sunday October 7th  – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and Removing Your Inner Stress – A Four Class Series

19th & 24th November – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Zen Levels 1&2 (full details next week)

October 27th, Dec 1st – Shadow Meditation Levels 1&2 (full details next week)


How Much Happiness Are You Prepared to Tolerate?

What if happiness was easy?

What if the obstacle to happiness was not the fact that it was not available to you each day, but rather the experience of being unconditionally happy was something that you had a very low tolerance level to?

What if being happy actually caused you anxiety on a subtle and unconscious level, life surely could not be this good?

What if you are actually avoiding being happy because a large part of you actually prefers being unhappy, struggling with life?

What if the idea of working towards happiness as a future goal seems attractive to you, but accepting happiness as it exists in the present moment is something that makes you genuinely uncomfortable to the extent of avoidance?

The word meditation and its applied practice really means to ‘ponder deeply upon’, or ‘to look deeply into’. This week your meditation practice is to ask yourself the above questions and the one question below, to ‘penetrate the question’ so to speak.

What if real genuine happiness was available to you right now and the only thing standing in the way of it was your acceptance of it?

© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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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Are You Going With the Flow or Just Drifting With the Current?

Dear Integral Meditators,

I hope you have had an interesting and insightful week, and that your life journey has been unfolding smoothly!

This weeks article takes a look at the often quite subtle difference between going with the flow and drifting with the current in life. It is a subtle difference but a crucial one, and I hope the article is able to shed a little light on how to tell the difference…
The article below is a complementary one to last weeks  offering; “When you have to go against the flow”.

Yours in the spirit of the strength of flow,
Toby


Are You Going With the Flow or Just Drifting With the Current?

Going with the flow is seen as a desirable quality; a relaxed leaning into the process of life that enhances our happiness and wellbeing, helps us to achieve more by doing less and allows synchronicity and other larger powers to function more freely in our life.
In contrast, drifting with the current means allowing ourself to drift unconsciously with whatever currents there are in our life without distinguishing whether they are good or bad; we just allow ourself to be moulded by circumstances, habits, fears and so on.

So, what is the difference between going with the flow and drifting with the current? The challenge is that they can look and feel quite similar, and as a result it can be pretty difficult to discern which is which. Let’s take an example:

Drifting with the current
Let’s say I have an issue with my partner that I am feeling emotional about. We sit down to dinner one evening and there comes a natural space in the conversation which would be an ideal place for me to bring up the issue that I wish to talk about. However, because I feel uncomfortable and apprehensive about the subject matter, I simply allow myself to direct the conversation toward another less challenging topic, thus avoiding the discomfort of bringing the issues (that I need to talk about) into the open. This is an example of drifting with the current; I allow my fears and apprehensions to steer me away from that which needs to be said in order to avoid the short term discomfort.

Going with the flow
Now let’s take the same situation; I have an emotional issue that I wish to talk about with my partner. We sit down for dinner, and the flow of the conversation creates a natural space for me to bring up the issue I am concerned about. As this space opens up I feel the discomfort within myself, the fear and resistance to bringing up my emotional vulnerability. However, instead of allowing this discomfort to make me drift away from what needs to be said, I consciously flow with the discomfort and bring up my emotional issue with my partner and we talk it through.

From this we can see that going with the flow does not mean that we avoid the things that make us uncomfortable, rather it means that we flow with what is there, and consciously direct that flow toward a benevolent end.
Going with the flow can be a way of gently confronting the difficult challenges in our life. It is not simply avoiding anything in our way that seems difficult, or allowing our fate to be determined by outer circumstances; that is drifting with the current.

A practice: “Am I going with the flow or just drifting with the current?”
Over the next week or so ask yourself this question a couple of times a day, or whenever you face a choice in your life. Are you using the gentle strength of going with the flow to move forward in the direction you want to go, or are you just drifting aimlessly with the currents in your life?

© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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 You Have to Go Against the Flow

Dear Integral Meditators,

Life is not so tough when everything is flowing in the direction that you want it to, but what happens when you find yourself having to go against the flow of energy? This weeks article explores that space and how we can use meditation to help.

In the article I use as an image derived from landscape and nature as a main method for developing the ability to go against the flow. In the Dynamic Calm Online Meditation Course  beginning this coming Thursday 19th September I will be using quite a lot of this type of landscape imagery as a way of connecting to the energy of calm, so if you like the article below then this is a course that you might enjoy!

Yours in positively going against the flow,

Toby


Upcoming Classes at Integral Meditation Asia:

Beginning Thursday 19th September – Integrating the Energy of Dynamic Calm Into Your Life – A Four Week Online Meditation Course

  • Would you like to learn how to find a place of calm, centeredness in all circumstances?
  • Would you like to be able to conserve energy that is currently being taken up in stress and anxiety so that you can use it doing the things that you love and enjoy in your life?
  • Are you interested to bring a quality of calm to your life that is not just a place of stillness and peace, but also a source of strength, resilience and dynamism?
  • Are you interested in developing a meditation practice that is flexible and invites you to explore and develop your own wisdom and insight, rather than being rigid and dogmatic?

If the answer is yes to the above questions, then this is a meditation course for you! ClickHERE to read the full details of the course…


When You Have to Go
Against the Flow

Often times in life we find ourself having to go against the flow. For example:

  • We can find ourself going through a phase in a friendship, work or romantic relationship where it all seems like hard work and nothing is flowing easily
  • In our work business can seem slow, and a lot of effort seems to have to go into generating a relatively small success
  • When an idea that we are deeply passionate about is not taken up with interest by others, or they are even judgmental or negative about it

There are infinite numbers of situations we may find ourselves in that require the life skill of going against the flow, particularly if we are working with ideas that are new or pioneering.

How meditation changes our experience of going with the flow
When we practice meditation we are developing the capacity to “go with the flow” and relax more in our life, but a solid meditation practice will also give us the patience and perseverance to keep putting one foot in front of the other (literally or figuratively) in order to accomplish a goal that is important to us but that is difficult to achieve because we are having to go against the flow.

A meditation image for going against the flow
In Asia I have visited several rivers that have rapids in them. What I like to do when I visit such places is to use the rocks in the water to hop upstream, going against the flow of the fast moving water. Standing securely on a rock surrounded by fast flowing water I relax and look for the next rock to leap onto. I jump from one rock to the next, gradually making progress upstream again the current of the water all around me.
Often when I am in a daily situation where I am having to go against the flow, I use this image of hoping up a river on the rocks as a way of keeping patient, persevering and gradually keep moving forward. The image describes perfectly for me the mindset that I am using to prevail.

Questions for your own practice of going against the flow

  • What situations in your life do you find yourself having to go against the flow? As you are reading this article, try and think of two or three concrete situations where you yourself regularly have to go against the flow in your life.
  • What images communicate for you the essence of awakened “going against the flow?” In the above article I have suggested an image from my own experience that you are most welcome to use as a way of developing your own “going against the flow” mindset. However, there may be images from your own direct experience that describe very well to you the patience and perseverance that you need to go against the flow and that will work perfectly for you as an image for this type of meditation.

© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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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Is Spirit a Place of Light of Dark?

Dear Integral Meditators,

When you think of the words “deep spirit”, or “deep consciousness” what sort of ideas and images arise in your mind? This weeks article investigates the encounter with deep spirit and what sort of experience it is.

There are 3 more days to sign up for the Dynamic Calm Online Meditation Course for the early bird price of Sing$85, after that you can still of course sign up, but the price will be $105.

Yours in the transformation power of deep consciousness,

Toby


Upcoming Classes at Integral Meditation Asia:

Integrating the Energy of Dynamic Calm Into Your Life – A Four Week Online Meditation Course

  • Would you like to learn how to find a place of calm, centeredness in all circumstances?
  • Would you like to be able to conserve energy that is currently being taken up in stress and anxiety so that you can use it doing the things that you love and enjoy in your life?
  • Are you interested to bring a quality of calm to your life that is not just a place of stillness and peace, but also a source of strength, resilience and dynamism?
  • Are you interested in developing a meditation practice that is flexible and invites you to explore and develop your own wisdom and insight, rather than being rigid and dogmatic?
If the answer is yes to the above questions, then this is a meditation course for you! Click HERE to read the full details of the course…

Dear <<First Name>>,

When you think of the words “deep spirit”, or “deep consciousness” what sort of ideas and images arise in your mind? This weeks article investigates the encounter with deep spirit and what sort of and experience it is.

There are 3 more days to sign up for the Dynamic Calm Online Meditation Course for the early bird price of Sing$85, after that you can still of course sign up, but the price will be $105.

Yours in the transformation power of deep consciousness,

Toby


Upcoming Classes at Integral Meditation Asia:

Integrating the Energy of Dynamic Calm Into Your Life – A Four Week Online Meditation Course

  • Would you like to learn how to find a place of calm, centeredness in all circumstances?
  • Would you like to be able to conserve energy that is currently being taken up in stress and anxiety so that you can use it doing the things that you love and enjoy in your life?
  • Are you interested to bring a quality of calm to your life that is not just a place of stillness and peace, but also a source of strength, resilience and dynamism?
  • Are you interested in developing a meditation practice that is flexible and invites you to explore and develop your own wisdom and insight, rather than being rigid and dogmatic?

If the answer is yes to the above questions, then this is a meditation course for you! Click HERE to read the full details of the course…


Is Spirit a Place of Light or Dark? 

There is often a pre-conceived idea that the deeper dimensions of consciousness are somehow domains of heavenly light and bliss, but what is it really like when we connect to deeper levels of spirit and consciousness through meditation?
The deeper levels of spirit have been experienced by mediators and spiritual practitioners of all traditions and, rather than being a realm of light (as some of the levels of consciousness BEFORE we reach this deeper level are) the deep primal or causal level of spirit is a domain where light and darkness appear to merge and become paradoxically one. As the Christian poet Henry Vaughan said:

“There is, some say, in God a deep but dazzling darkness”

So, rather than being a realm of light per-se, the deepest level of spirit and consciousness (I’m using these words interchangeably in this article) are a place where light and dark come together as one.
Put another way it is a place that is beyond light or darkness, a place that is beyond the polarity of opposites.

If you are a consistent meditator, then the odds are after a few years you will start connecting to this domain of deeper consciousness in your meditations naturally, but we can accelerate the rate at which we connect and stabilize our experience of this domain by using images, here are three, they are very simple but very powerful:

  1. The Eclipse – Visualize a sun in the space in front of you. Imagine a dark sphere comes across and blocks the sun, as the moon does in an eclipse. So you are now staring at a dark sphere surrounded by an aura of dazzling light. Now imagine that you become that dark sphere that contains within its darkness a dazzling light. Be this union of light and darkness.
  2. The Union of Heaven and Earth – Sit on a chair with your feet squarely on the floor. Visualize dark life energy rising up from the earth through your feet. Visualize bright, white universal energy coming down through your crown from the sky. See the light and the dark energy coming together in the centre of your chest. As you observe the light and dark coming together, sometimes the space in the centre of your chest feels like a bright star, other times it feels and looks like a deep black hole. After a while it becomes a dazzling space of dark light. Allow your mind to relax and absorb into this dazzling dark space of primal spirit in the centre of your chest.
  3.  The Starry Pool – See yourself descending a spiral stairway into the earth. Eventually it opens out into a cavern. In front of you there is a deep pool of water. On the wall on the other side of the cavern there is a small alcove where a candle burns in front of an image or statue that for you represents God/Goddess or Deep Spirit. Gaze into the pool. As you do so from within the deep blackness there emerge stars deep within the darkness. Allow your mind to sink into the inky blackness of the pool where there is deep darkness in combination with the bright lights of the stars. Feel the darkness and starlight becoming one and rest in that space. At the end of this meditation return back up the stairway to the earth’s surface, don’t just snap straight out and walk off!

These images are not about philosophy, psychology or metaphysics. They are images that you can use to create a personal, experiential encounter with deep spirit and allow yourself to be changed by this encounter.
© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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

There is often a pre-conceived idea that the deeper dimensions of consciousness are somehow domains of heavenly light and bliss, but what is it really like when we connect to deeper levels of spirit and consciousness through meditation?
The deeper levels of spirit have been experienced by mediators and spiritual practitioners of all traditions and, rather than being a realm of light (as some of the levels of consciousness BEFORE we reach this deeper level are) the deep primal or causal level of spirit is a domain where light and darkness appear to merge and become paradoxically one. As the Christian poet Henry Vaughan said:

“There is, some say, in God a deep but dazzling darkness”

So, rather than being a realm of light per-se, the deepest level of spirit and consciousness (I’m using these words interchangeably in this article) are a place where light and dark come together as one.
Put another way it is a place that is beyond light or darkness, a place that is beyond the polarity of opposites.

If you are a consistent meditator, then the odds are after a few years you will start connecting to this domain of deeper consciousness in your meditations naturally, but we can accelerate the rate at which we connect and stabilize our experience of this domain by using images, here are three, they are very simple but very powerful:

  1. The Eclipse – Visualize a sun in the space in front of you. Imagine a dark sphere comes across and blocks the sun, as the moon does in an eclipse. So you are now staring at a dark sphere surrounded by an aura of dazzling light. Now imagine that you become that dark sphere that contains within its darkness a dazzling light. Be this union of light and darkness.
  2. The Union of Heaven and Earth – Sit on a chair with your feet squarely on the floor. Visualize dark life energy rising up from the earth through your feet. Visualize bright, white universal energy coming down through your crown from the sky. See the light and the dark energy coming together in the centre of your chest. As you observe the light and dark coming together, sometimes the space in the centre of your chest feels like a bright star, other times it feels and looks like a deep black hole. After a while it becomes a dazzling space of dark light. Allow your mind to relax and absorb into this dazzling dark space of primal spirit in the centre of your chest.
  3.  The Starry Pool – See yourself descending a spiral stairway into the earth. Eventually it opens out into a cavern. In front of you there is a deep pool of water. On the wall on the other side of the cavern there is a small alcove where a candle burns in front of an image or statue that for you represents God/Goddess or Deep Spirit. Gaze into the pool. As you do so from within the deep blackness there emerge stars deep within the darkness. Allow your mind to sink into the inky blackness of the pool where there is deep darkness in combination with the bright lights of the stars. Feel the darkness and starlight becoming one and rest in that space. At the end of this meditation return back up the stairway to the earth’s surface, don’t just snap straight out and walk off!

These images are not about philosophy, psychology or metaphysics. They are images that you can use to create a personal, experiential encounter with deep spirit and allow yourself to be changed by this encounter.
© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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 You Empty Your Mind of Thoughts, What Does it Fill With?

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article takes a look at what happens when we empty our mind of thoughts, and offers a simple technique that will enable you to practice emptying your mind in order to fill it with that which flows into the empty space!

I’m going to be holding the early bird offer for the Integral Insight Meditation Workshop until the end of Monday, 2nd September, so if you are in Singapore, wish to attend and want a reduction in the price, do make your booking and purchase by then. Click on the link for full details…

Yours in the spirit of empty fullness,

Toby


Upcoming Classes at Integral Meditation Asia:

Coming up on 7th  September:  Integral Insight Meditation – Discovering the power of awareness to heal and maximise the potential of your body, mind and emotions
Special early bird offer of $80 for all who sign up for the Integral Insight Meditation Course before Sept 2nd! Full cost of the workshop is $95

Online course in September – The Power of Deep Calm – full details up shortly!


When You Empty Your Mind of Thoughts, What Does it Fill With?

In meditation one of the ‘basic’ (but not quite so easy) skills that we focus on is being able to empty the mind of thoughts temporarily. We can readily understand that emptying our mind of thoughts is relaxing, but what beyond that is it helping us to do?

When you empty your mind, that emptiness starts to fill with something. What is that something? Awareness.  Awareness is the experience of being. When you empty your mind of thoughts, awareness flows in naturally to fill the space. Sitting in a state of awareness has many benefits, here are a few:

  1. It helps us to develop and improve the quality of our mind – By dropping our thoughts and simply being aware we develop our capacity to witness our life objectively and in the 3rd person. This development of a stable 3rd person perspective helps us to develop the quality of our rational mind in an holistic and balanced manner. By temporarily dropping the mind, the mind itself improves.
  2. It takes us beyond our mind – When we sit in a state of fullness of awareness and emptiness of thoughts we realize that we are not our thoughts, that there is something beyond our thinking mind that we are. The essential sense of ‘I-ness’ that we have is retained when we stop thinking. Thus we gain the ability to go beyond our experience of self as the thoughts in our mind, and move into a sense of self that is the possessor of our mind and yet something more than the mind. So you could say that instead of “I think therefore I am” it becomes more like “I am (aware) therefore I think!”
  3. It allows our body and mind to rest and regenerate themselves deeply, accessing a deeper level of healing energy that flows from a deeper level within our being.
  4. It gives us a sense of something bigger than ourselves – A sense of a mind, identity, intelligence and order in the universe that is bigger than ourselves, that you might call spirit, but you might equally call it something else. The point is that in a state a pure awareness you start to feel it experientially.

“Pulling the plug”

Here’s an exercise that you can do to help you empty your mind:

  • Imagine your mind is a bath and the thoughts in your mind are like the water.
  • Imagine you “pull the plug” in the bath; see and feel the water of your thoughts draining away down the plug hole, leaving the bath of your mind empty. Rest in that empty space.
  • Now feel the bathtub of your mind filling with awareness. If your mind is empty you will feel the awareness flowing in quite naturally.
  • What does this awareness feel like? Rest and relax in this state of empty mind/full awareness for as long as feel appropriate. Centre your being, your sense of self in this full empty space.

You can pull the plug anywhere you like, for as long as you like. This week you might like to try integrating into your routine it as a short daily exercise to help develop your experience of the true fullness of an empty mind.
© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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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What is the Quality of Your Calm?

Dear Integral Meditators,

I hope you’ve had a good week, our article this week is a follow on from last weeks “Four Types of Deep, Calm, Four Types of Dynamic Power“, and is a continued invitation investigate how you can integrate a deeper sense of calm in your life!

I have posted a 10 minute MP3 recording of the meditation on the three types of calm on the Integral Meditation Asia website. To have a listen and download it go here: Three Types of Calm Free Meditation MP3

For those of you in Singapore, our friends at Gallery Helios will be doing a Women’s Health Symposium on Saturday 31st August, do click on the link for full details!

Yours in the spirit of inner calm,

Toby


Upcoming Classes at Integral Meditation Asia:

Coming up on 7th  September:  Integral Insight Meditation – Discovering the power of awareness to heal and maximise the potential of your body, mind and emotions
Special early bird offer of $80 for all who sign up for the Integral Insight Meditation Course before Sept 1st! Full cost of the workshop is $95

Online course in September – The Power of Deep Calm – full details up shortly!


What is the Quality of Your Calm?

This article is mostly a guided meditation to connect you to three types of calm:

  • Mountain like calm, or the type of calmness that is solid and immovable
  • River like calm, or the type of calm that is flowing and flexible
  • Sky like calm, or the type of calm that is open and spacious

Each of these types of calm has its own particular qualities, and each has its own practical strengths, for example:

  • When you are going through emotional turmoil it can be very useful to emphasize flowing, river-like calm as a way of working with the experience
  • When you feel under attack from your outer environment for example socially it can be useful to emphasize the solid and immovable qualities of mountain-like calm.

Images to connect you to the three types of calm:

Mountain–like calm: See yourself as a mountain, solid strong and immovable. You are able to withstand any amount of wind, rain or weather as a consequence of your strength of presence. Imagine wind and rain around you; these are like the challenges of your daily life, you are like the mountain

River-like calm: See yourself as a river, flowing, flexible, and accommodating. Imagine the river rising and flowing faster as if flooding; you as the river can cope with the increase because you are able to ‘go with the flow’. Imagine the water is like the ups and downs of your emotional life and you are like the river; calmly flowing fast or slow as required.

Sky-like calm: See yourself as a vast open sky, spacious and calm. The clouds in the sky are like the different challenges in your life; they are in the sky but they do not affect its fundamental spaciousness or openness. Be that spacious, open calm in the midst of the clouds of your life!

As you work with these images you will find that you probably relate to one more than the others. Work practically with the one you relate to primarily first, and then try integrating the other two when you feel you would like a change.

To have a listen to this meditation now go here: Three Types of Calm Free Meditation MP3

© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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 Types of Deep Calm, Four Types of Dynamic Power

Dear Integral Meditators,

What do you think of when you think “calm”? This weeks article looks at how calmness is not just a passive relaxational activity, but a type of dynamic inner power that we can build in our mind and life each day.

Yours in the transformative power of inner calm,

Toby

 


Four Types of Deep
Calm, Four Types of Dynamic Power

Sometimes the impression that we have of calmness is that it is a passive, purely relaxational experience that we can use to escape and gain relief from the trials and tribulations of our daily life.
If we are a little more serious about investigating the potential of calm however, we discover that contained within the experience of calm there is the experience of an inner dynamic power which adds a new dimension of strength that we can bring into the centre of our most difficult life circumstances.
We can use this inner power to direct and transform such situations in a practical and beneficial way.
In meditation we can think of the co-development of inner calm and power as having four basic types:

The calm of solidity
This is the calm presence that comes from being deeply embedded in awareness of our physical body and our physical world. It leads to a calm power that is mountain, stone or earth like in nature; it is able to remain very solid, stable and fixed in the midst of changing and difficult circumstances.

The calm of flow
This is a type of emotional calm that arises from the ability to let your emotions flow in an open and healthy manner, which in turn gives you the confidence to direct the natural power inherent within emotion toward positive ends in your life.

The calm of structure
This is a type of mental calm that comes from having a well structured and ordered mind. A well structured mind is like a good plumbing or electrical system in a house; it enables you to access and direct the power of your mind to the task at hand efficiently, without ‘leaking’ energy.

The calm of no-mind
This is a type of spiritual or existential calm that comes from developing the ability to suspend your thoughts and rest in the inner space that lies beyond them. Resting in the space of no-mind or no-thoughts gives access to deep calm even when in the midst of mental, emotional and physical turmoil, and facilitates the development of the trans-rational powers of mind that lie beyond the intellect

Integral meditation training involves the complementary development of all four types of calm power. Each can be looked at in depth, but here is a short exercise you can try to get a feel for it. Stay with each stage of the breathing for as long as you like:

As you breathe in be aware of the solidity and stability of your physical body,
As you breathe out relax into that stability.
As you breathe in allow your emotional being to open and flow,
As you breathe out relax into the power of that flow.
As you breathe in tune into the positive thought structures of your mind,
As you breathe out feel their power to contain and direct your mental energy.
As you breathe in be aware of the space beyond your thoughts,
As you breathe out relax into the power of that which lies beyond the mind.

© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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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Small Focused Mind, Big Open Mind

Dear Integral Meditators,

There are two easy things that you can do to start supporting your meditation practice whilst engaged in your daily life. This weeks article outlines what they are and how you can start implementing them.

I have created another three minute video this week entitled “When is a problem really a problem; the liberating power of perspective” , click the link if you want to have a view!

Not too late to sign up for  Transforming stress, fear, anger and more into energy, positivity and enlightenment – A four week online course, I’ve decided to keep the price down at Sing$105 until this Tuesday.

Finally, if you have a gmail account, they may have started sending the Integral Meditations Newsletter into the newly created “promotions” folder. If you want the newsletter to come directly to your inbox, simply click on one of the newsletter emails and drag it into your “primary” folder tab, that will do the trick!

Yours in the spirit of focused spaciousness,

Toby


Upcoming Classes at Integral Meditation Asia:

Coming up on 7th  September:  Integral Insight Meditation – Discovering the power of awareness to heal and maximise the potential of your body, mind and emotions                 

Online course in September – The Power of Deep Calm – full details up shortly!


Small Focused Mind, Big Open Mind 

With meditation two of the essential skills that you are trying to develop are the ability to keep your attention focused on a single object over an extended period of time and the ability to keep your mind relaxed, open and spacious.

For a meditation practice to be effective at this it can be done for as little as ten minutes a day, but it will be many times more effective if you can find ways of supporting the development of these two qualities when you are out of meditation and engaged in daily life. Here are two principles that I use to do this:

  1. When at work or do my daily tasks I try for at least some of the time to mono-task, and do only one thing at a time. Whilst I am focusing on that one thing I keep my mind present, not thinking about other things. I just relax into the immediacy, simplicity and ‘smallness’ of the task. This type of activity improves my ability to focus my attention singularly and, like a formal meditation it gives rise to a sense of peace and tranquillity that is a side-effect of the focused attention.
  2. When I am out of doors I make my awareness big, as big at least as the immediate horizon around me, the sky above me and a sense of the large mass of the Earth below me. Of course if I am walking around I have to be aware of things like traffic and basic safety, but within those limitations I make expand my mind into the environment, making it naturally big and spacious. This bigness and spaciousness is very relaxing, but it also helps me to keep perspective, maintain appropriate detachment from the events of my life, and gives rise to a certain sense of mystical communion/relationship with the landscape which I find very rewarding.

At present I have a habit of going for an early evening walk with my daughter which I take as a special time to expand my mind into the surrounding landscape, make it big and spacious and let go of my daily concerns. It is useful to have a specific activity that you do each day that is specifically focused on making your mind spacious in this way.

So there you go, two ways of supporting the development of your meditation practice;

  • When at work or doing daily activities spend at least some time mono-tasking
  • When outside relax your awareness into the environment, making it big and spacious

© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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 is a Problem Really a Problem? The Liberating Power of Perspective

How many of the ‘problems’ in our life are inherently so, and how many are simply our mind making things into problems? This video explores this question on a (literally!) practical level…

 

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