Melting the Ice of the Heart, Cooling the Inferno of the Soul

Dear Integral Meditators,

One of my main inspirations Ken Wilbur was once asked what the process of growing and evolving is like. He answered simply “You laugh more and you cry more”. I’ve found that to be true, and this midweek article is something of an exploration of that.

If you’re in Singapore and you fancy a taste of what it is like to me mindfully curious, do consider coming along to this Saturdays workshop: Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention it is a great foundation for exploring your wounds with kindness and replacing your negative minds with imaginative positivity!
I will also be sending out over the next couple of days information on an online meditation course on the Tree of Yoga. Look out for it!

Yours in the spirit of ice and fire,

Toby


Melting the Ice of the Heart, Cooling the Inferno of the Soul

Last week was one of those weeks where there was a lot of tension in my life professionally, personally and physically I found and felt myself to be under an unusual amount of pressure. As a meditation and stress transformation coach I know the signs that I am not coping too well with pressure, for example:

  • I could feel my body armoring itself from the psychological pressure by becoming physically tense
  • I could hear my language with my family becoming abbreviated and sometimes harsh
  • Listening to the inner conversation in my mind I could see how reactive it had become
  • My the centre of my chest or heart space felt like a place where I could not go , it felt inhabited by an energy that was not under my control

In short it felt like my body and soul had simultaneously turned into fire and ice, where there is the quality and heat of anger and frustration, together with the coldness and detachment that comes when you start to feel alienated from your reality through resentment and fear.

At this point I started to feel a little bit like I was having to start my mind-training all over again, like I had to re-learn to mindfully transform my stress. What was the quality that I found most helpful to negotiate my way out of what was happening and find meaning?

Curiosity.

That is to say I did not try and resist any of the things that I was experiencing, or try to change the person I was in that moment. Rather I just tried to become curious about myself and what I was going through, to be interested. To be curious carries a balance of the qualities of observing objectively with caring subjectively. As soon as I started to become mindfully curious about myself

  • I could feel a window for self compassion opening up in my heart
  • I could feel a deeper part of myself becoming present to what I was going through
  • I saw the inner dialog in my mind become slower, kinder, more relaxed
  • There seemed to be a space where a calm me could co-exist without conflict with the part of me that was wounded and upset
  • I felt the tangible presence of hope
  • Despite the feeling of emptiness in my heart I found myself smiling quietly to myself

So, the next time you feel in a fix and your soul is on fire whilst your heart has shut down, perhaps you can invite curiosity into the situation. Sit quietly, relax your judgemental mind and enquire of yourself

  • How are you?
  • What an interesting experience this is, let’s see what we can notice about what is going on
  • We may feel pretty terrible right now, but were still worth paying attention to in a caring way, let’s do that and see what happens

Allow your curiosity to lead the way toward self understanding and compassion.

PS: Curiosity is also a theme I explore in my recent article on Applying Mindful Curiosity to Your Relationships.
© 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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Fridge Magnet Spiritual Happiness

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article continues the theme of spiritual happiness. The approach to spiritual happiness is different from that which we employ on other levels of our life, and it is important to understand this difference in approach!

Yours in the spirit of the happiness we cannot lose,

Toby


Upcoming Meditation Classes and Workshops at Integral Meditation Asia 

Saturday April 5th, 2.30-5,30pm: Mindfulness and Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention
 


Fridge Magnet Spiritual Happiness

I have a post-it pad message that I wrote to myself years ago that still sits on my fridge, and has survived two moves of house. It reads thus:
“The happiness that you are looking for can never be found. Give up your searching, abandon all hope!”

This is one of my mantras or koans of spiritual happiness. How does it work? Let me explain a little.
Firstly there are three separate but related domains of happiness:

  • Egoic or personality level happiness that finds happiness through success in relationships, work and pastimes.
  • Soul level happiness that is found through finding and expressing deeper meaning and truth in our life
  • Spiritual happiness that comes from being able to rest in a state of perfect “always already” state of timeless formless happiness

(For more on happiness from the POV of ego, soul and spirit see here and here).

So, what does it mean that you can never find the happiness that you are looking for, isn’t abandoning all hope a bit depressing?
Spiritual happiness is all about finding a form of happiness that is permanent, unchangeable, reliable, a happiness that wherever you go, whatever is happening, there is always is.
In the world of our outer senses, relationships and our everyday mind happiness comes and goes according to circumstances and conditions. Sometimes there is pleasure, sometimes there is pain, relationships flower and fade, and resources come and go. Finally it all comes to an end (from the perspective of our ego) at death.
As long as we are searching for final happiness in a world of change, we are bound for disappointment. The only way to find a ‘final’, unchanging and reliable source of ‘true’ happiness is by letting go of any pretence at a search for happiness, give up any hope of ‘finding’ it, and instead learn to relax into and rest in the happiness that is always here and always present in our lives, regardless of our circumstances.

  • Spiritual happiness is always here, therefore it cannot be found, it can only be recognized and experienced
  • Spiritual happiness is ever present, therefore you can’t find it by searching. If you are searching you are going in the wrong direction already!
  • Spiritual happiness is something you already have, so if you are hoping to find happiness, that hope in itself is the obstacle to finding that which is already there and that you already have.

The way to connect to spiritual happiness is to simply let go and rest in the part of your awareness that is ever present, unchanging, formless, timeless, whole, complete, already.

  • If you are looking for it, you have already missed it
  • If you are searching you are on the wrong path
  • If you are hoping to find it, you never will

This week if you like, take a post it, write down the mantra or koan:
“The happiness that you are looking for can never be found. Give up your searching, abandon all hope!”

Then simply take ten minutes to do nothing much, sit comfortably, focus on the words and let go, abandon hope, stop searching. Learn to recognize that finally, you already have that which you seek.

There is no doubt it takes some getting used to, for as Lao Tzu says, the easy is not simple and the simple is not easy.

Final point, in order to have spiritual happiness you do not have to abandon being happy on the changeable level of your ego and soul. With integral meditation it is always both and,  rather than either or. You can have a successful and fulfilling soul and ego life (tho you will also suffer too!) as well as learning to rest in the ultimate spiritual happiness that is always there. They should be mutually supportive rather than mutually contradictory.
There’s a section on my blog devoted to articles on this: Integrating ego, soul and spirit.
© 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


Support for you Meditation Practice 

If you enjoyed the article above, and are interested in sound technology that can help you more easily get into deeper states of meditation, the following two tracks work well with cultivating formless, timeless meditations:

Harmonic Resonance Meditation

Audio Serenity

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Cultivating Mindful Relationships, and Meditation/Stress-Transformation for Couples

Dear Integral Meditators,

This mid-week message has two main aspects to it:

  • Firstly there is an article on how to apply mindfulness in a practical way to your relationships through self enquiry
  • Secondly, beneath this there is a write up for my latest coaching program Meditation and Stress Transformation for Couples

As usual for a new service I have a special offer. For anyone signing up for the three session package of the Couple coaching the price will be Sing$520 (as opposed to the usual price of $600).

Enjoy the article and wishing you happiness in all your relationships!

In the spirit of curious awareness,

Toby

 


Applying Mindful Curiosity to Your Relationships

How can we start applying mindfulness to our relationships? One major way in which we can do this is to consciously work on replacing our judgments and expectations with curiosity, interest and awareness.
It is all too easy when we wish to improve something in our life to begin by imposing our idealized standard upon what is there, rather than first becoming aware of and making peace with what is actually present. Nowhere is this more true than in our relationships.
In this article I had mainly romantic and marriage relationships in mind, but actually I think they can be applied to any relationship; work-colleague, sibling, child-parent and so on.

With this in mind here are three mindfulness practices to start working on your relationships with:

1) Be curious about the other person.
It’s so easy when you live close to someone day in day out to let your past history dominate the way you see and experience them in the moment. At such times what we see is not what is actually there, but what we remember. So, get your ‘beginners mind’ set and spend a little time each day observing this person as if you have never met them before, as if meeting them for the first time. Be curious about this new person, allow yourself to respond anew to the things you like and love about them, and try and understand what the motives might be for the challenging behavior that they might be throwing out.

2) Observe who you are in the relationship.
Before you start becoming ‘better’ in your relationship, with your beginners mind observe who you currently are. Try and do it without judgment. We all know the old paradox “before you can become who you want to be you must first accept who you are”. In this practice the focus is on seeing, accepting and feeling all of who you are in the relationship currently and being honest, authentic and aware of that. Once you truly know and can accept all of who you are in the present, you may then find that your capacity to change for the better starts to emerge spontaneously and without too much effort.

3) Grieve the loss, accept the discovery
In a real romantic relationship there is always a stage where we realize that this person is not the idealized image of man or womanhood that we have been carrying around in our mind since childhood. It’s easy to unconsciously resent a person for not being the person that we wanted them to be. It can be good to spend some time acknowledging, accepting, experiencing and releasing any resentment we may feel around this.
On the flip side of this, our partner may also have many good qualities that we never dreamed of in our idealized partner. ‘What are the gifts s/he has that might surprise and delight me?’ – Ask this question as an invitation to discover things you may have forgotten, or things that may have been waiting there unknown for your mindful curiosity to discover and appreciate.

All of the three methods above are techniques for inviting curiosity and awareness into your relationships, to awaken a questioning interest. If we can replace our expectations and judgments with this curiosity, we may find our relationships start to change for the better relatively naturally and in their own right timing.
© 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


Meditation and Stress Transformation Coaching for Couples

No relationship is potentially more stressful and/or more rewarding than our romantic relationships. This coaching service by Toby is designed for couples who wish to address the challenges they are facing and enhance their relationship through meditation and stress transformation.

If you would like to experience the following in your relationship:

  • A space of calm and flow in your relationship where you can feel safe even when emotions are high
  • A joint activity that enhances your relationship bond
  • A deeper understanding of the real causes of stress and tension in your relationships
  • Develop the capacity to  appreciate each other’s good qualities even when dealing with your emotional wounds
  • Learn how to open to change in a positive way, rather than resist it
  •  Knowing how to redirect of the difficult energy that is currently sabotaging your relationship toward positivity and learning
  • Your relationship as a path to mutual  inner growth and discovery
  • Rediscover passion in your interaction
  • Feel confident and optimistic about your future without losing sight of the real challenges that you face together

Then this may be a great coaching program for you and your partner!

Question: What if I don’t have a partner?
If you do not currently have a partner, but would nevertheless like to work on how to improve your experience of relationships through meditation and stress transformation techniques, then this is certainly possible.

Another question: What if I want to do it, but my partner is unwilling? 
If you want to work on your own experience of and challenges in your romantic relationships using meditation and stress transformation, then it is absolutely possible to do so. If your partner is unwilling/unable to come, there is nothing to stop you doing your own inner work on your own, and then bringing the benefits to your relationship.

What is the format for the coaching sessions?

  • The sessions can be done face to face or over skype. Each session lasts up to 60mins.
  • The can either be done on a session by session basis, or in a three session package, which is slightly less per session.

To explore the possibility of  coaching with Toby and to find out more please contact 65-96750279 or email to info@tobyouvry.com

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The Four “-lessnesses” of Enlightenment

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at four characteristics of enlightened awareness. Explanations of spiritual enlightenment can seem a little like riddles, and this article is a little like that, but at the same time I hope it is accessible enough for you to feel as if you can enjoy exploring enlightened awareness  for yourself.

Yours in the clear and chaotic space of enlightenment,

Toby
 


The Four “-lessnesses” of Enlightenment

Spiritual enlightenment means to locate the centre of your awareness in a place that is radically different from the place where it is for most people.
One of the difficulties of getting to this space of radically different space is that it is really quite difficult to describe, as it is beyond our usual use and experience of language. One of the best ways to try and describe it is by indicating what it is not.
So, with this in mind here are four “-lessnesses” that if we contemplate them can give us an idea of what resting in a state of spiritually enlightened awareness might be like:

Form-lessness – Enlightened awareness itself is formless, it has no physical or mental form. It is just that part of ourself that is pure awareness.
Time-lessness – Enlightened awareness is that part of our awareness that is beyond all ideas of past, present and future
Self-lessness – The Enlightened self is beyond any ordinary concept of self that we might normally have. It has no physical or mental characteristics that we can say ‘this is it’. In this sense it is a selfless-self.
Home-lessness – Our enlightened self has no location in time and space. Its home is in a place where there is no concept of home. Thus is at home everywhere and nowhere.

Four images for connecting to your Enlightened Nature

1. Imagine that the world around you dissolves into space. Then imagine that your body dissolves into space. All that is left is a formless space. Rest quietly in your awareness of that.
2. Drop all concepts of past present and future. Rest entirely in that place that lies beyond our understanding of ordinary time.
3. Forget the person you are. Drop all ideas of your story and personality. Rest in the awareness of that part of you that lies beyond any ideas of who you are.
4. Let go of the idea that ‘home’ is a place that you can ever find or get to. Rest in that part of your awareness is at home wherever you are, whatever you are doing, that does not need a place to go to feel at ease.

Your enlightened nature is a place that you can rest in, a place you can regenerate your energy, a place that gives the rest of your life in time and space perspective a context. It won’t give you the answers to your life, but it is a place that will give you the confidence to go and find those answers for yourself.

For this week you might like to sit and mindfully explore one of the four images above in contemplation, simply allowing your mind to rest for a few minutes in a state of form-lessness, time-lessness, self-lessness or home-lessness.

© 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


Support for you Meditation Practice 

If you enjoyed the article above, and are interested in sound technology that can help you more easily get into deeper states of meditation, the following two tracks work well with cultivating formless, timeless meditations:

Harmonic Resonance Meditation

Audio Serenity

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Re-Awakening to Your Bliss: Digital Euphoria

Dear Toby,

This mid-week message has to main aspects to it:

  • The first is an article that I wrote a few years ago and have just re-edited on how to re-awaken to your bliss.
  • The second is an introduction to some meditation technology that you hope you will find interesting.

Were living in an age dominated by technology, and often it seems like this technology is adding to a lot of our stress. But what about the ways in which technology can not just help us de-stress, but also enhance our meditation practice and quality of life dramatically?
Over the last year or so I have been using a sound technology called Profound Meditationfrom I-Awake technologies, which for me has been by far and away the best range of meditation enhancement tracks that I have come across.
I am placing below a little bit of information on one of their products called Digital Euphoria, which is a complement to the article in the sense that it is designed to cultivate states of bliss and joy in your mind and body.

Yours in the spirit of bliss,

Toby


Digital Euphoria

“Flourish, Grow and Evolve in Today’s Turbulent Times with 70 Minutes of Pure, Euphoric Flow.
 Digital Euphoria contains three audio tracks powerful enough to boost your confidence, enthusiasm and joy in just the first 20 minutes, with effects that last for hours.”

If you click on the link you can find full information and reviews of Digital Euphoria, as well as a free 10minute sample track that you can listen to.
Up until Sunday 23rd March there is aspecial 25% discount offer in this track. If you do decide you would like to purchase it the coupon code to get the discount is: NEWSMAR25OFF

Personal not from Toby: “I actually use this track a lot to work as well. I find that it lifts my mood and increases my energy when I’m sitting at the computer, and helps me overcome my inertia, making me a lot more productive and enthusiastic.”


Re-Awakening to Your Bliss

When was the last time you enjoyed bliss? By bliss I mean not just an isolated experience of pleasure in either your physical, mental or spiritual bodies, but an experience of pleasure that touched all three levels of your being and brought them naturally back into alignment and harmony with each other?

 

Perhaps when you read the paragraph above the experience of bliss seems a little bit abstract, something difficult to attain, something that happens to us only occasionally and even then caused by something outside of ourselves, something that “happens” to us, rather than something we ourselves create?

In my opinion and experience the experience of bliss is a lot simpler and more accessible than that. As human beings and as living creatures, we are all NATURALLY full of blissful energy. Energy is what we are, and in its natural state, our sensory, mental and spiritual energy is deeply blissful and pleasant.

So, if this is the case, why does experiencing bliss seem like such a difficult experience for us? Well, put very simply, most of us live too much of our life “in our head” or in an abstract mental state divorced from the depth and pleasure of our own natural energy and body. Get out of your head and step back into your moment to moment direct experience of life and bliss starts to return.

Two ways to begin re-connecting to your bliss:

1) Remembering an experience of bliss.

You can try this one right now. Recall a past experience of genuine bliss. Spend a minute or so remembering it and re-creating it in your mind, until you can feel a bit of that blissful energy in your body and soul. Now let go of the memory, and simply focus of the sensation of bliss in your body-mind. There it is, still there even though you have let go of the memory. This exercise helps show you that bliss is a state of being that is present within you right now, it is not something that you have to go out and purchase, or fight hard to obtain.

2) Taking moments in your day to touch bliss

Try and do five short activities (of one minute maximum) every day that are specifically focused on generating bliss. For example I can look up from my keyboard now and just observe the sky and the cloud formations, as I really drink in the richness of that visual experience, I can feel a natural gentle bliss beginning to flow through my being, it is not just an intellectual appreciation, it is a feeling that I can feel relaxing me and expanding into my physical, mental and spiritual being. So there you go, one minute of bliss!

Later I might give my partner or child a hug, and really focus on the experience of bliss that rises from the physical, mental and spiritual touching of two human beings. Again, another minute of natural, easy bliss.

If you like you can make a list of things that make you feel blissful and then just make sure you touch one or other of these activities a few times each day.

Life should be blissful. The interesting thing about true bliss (not to be confused with craving and attachment) is that it makes us less selfish, more giving, more sane and more happy. As it turns out the most important thing to do if you want to re-awaken your bliss is to REMEMBER it, as it is always there!

A final warning: Most people these days do seem to have forgotten their bliss, and are tied up in complicated mental knots. Resolve firmly not to be like them;-)

Thanks for reading, and here is to a blissful week ahead!
© 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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Energizing Your Body-Mind With Cellular Breathing (Article and guided recording)

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weekend’s article explains a technique that I call ‘core cellular breathing’ which is a technique I teach for energizing and healing your body-mind. You can also listen to a five minute guided meditation on core cellular breathing by clicking on this link:

Core cellular breathing guided meditation (5mins)

In case you missed it here is the link to the free meditation on ‘listening to your breathing’ that I posted mid-week.

Both of these are examples of the types of mindful breathing technique that I will be teaching in my 2 hour evening workshop An Introduction to Mindful Breathing which I will be doing on Tuesday evening 25th March, so if you enjoy listening to the guided meditations, then you might enjoy coming along to this workshop. There are a number of very standard ways of teaching and practicing mindful breathing out there, as I hope these guided meditation samples indicate, the methods I teach are original, simple, creative and effective, and go well beyond the standard format!

Yours in the spirit of mindful breathing,

Toby

 


Upcoming Meditation Classes and Workshops at Integral Meditation Asia 

Tuesday 25th March, 7.30-9.30pm: Introduction to Mindful Breathing – A Two Hour Meditation Workshop

Saturday 5th April, 2.30-5.30pm: Meditations for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention


 

Energizing Your Body-Mind With Cellular Breathing 

This meditation is designed to directly stimulate the subtle energy within your physical body; increasing your energy, facilitating physical healing and also encouraging blocked emotional energies in your body to be released. Thus it works on both the physical and psychological level of-our body mind.

Implicitly it also invites practical awareness of a universal or spiritual level of energy that we can draw upon and use in practical ways in our daily life.

It is a form of mindful energy-breathing that I developed myself through daily qi-gong practice. I have found that breathing in this way is a very simple and effective method for healing and balancing the energy of your body-mind.

The method:

Sit comfortably and take a few centring breaths, focusing on your body. You can either breathe in through the nose and out through the nose, or in through the nose and out through the mouth, whichever you feel more comfortable with.

Now as you breathe in, feel yourself breathing in not just with your nose and lungs, but with all the cells of your body. As you breathe in, feel all the cells of your body breathing in with you. As you breathe out feel all the cells of your body breathing out. Practice this form of full body breathing for a few breaths.

Now see in the centre of all the cells of your body there is a point of life-force and energy. As you breathe in focus on these points of energy within the centre of each cell, and see them glowing intensely with light.

Now as you exhale, see these points of light and energy expanding out into your cells, lighting up your body and cellular structure like a light bulb.

Continue to breathe in this way for a period of up to five minutes. You can extend this if you like once you are used to the technique, but in the beginning short periods are best.

It is a good idea to finnish with a brief period of silence and stillness.

 

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Listening to the Breathing – Free Meditation Recording (Plus Upcoming Mindful Breathing Workshop)

Dear Integral Meditators,

In each moment your breathing is providing you with a wealth of insight about the way in which you are thinking, feeling and experiencing your life. I’ve just created a short, 5 minute meditation on a practice I call “listening to the breathing” that will help you access that insight and use it to increase the amount of understanding, relaxation and ease that you experience in your life. You can have a listen to it right now by clicking here:

Listening to the Breathing Mindfulness Exercise (5mins)

Listening to the breathing is one example of the practices that I will be teaching in a short 2 hour workshop on Mindful Breathing on the 25th March. The full details are below.

Yours in the spirit of listening and awareness,

Toby

 

Continue reading Listening to the Breathing – Free Meditation Recording (Plus Upcoming Mindful Breathing Workshop) →

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Connecting to Your Spiritual Fool in the Mirror World

Dear Integral Meditators,

Normally when we think of the terms ‘you fool’ and ‘being foolish’ we think of them as derogatory, names that we would want to avoid being called or thought of at all costs. This weeks article explores a way of releasing the potential of our inner fool into our lives in a positive way using meditation and imagination.

Yours in the spirit of compassionate humor,

Toby


Upcoming Meditation Classes and Workshops at Integral Meditation Asia 

Tuesday 11th March, 7.30-8.30pm: Monthly Integral Meditation Class: The Way of the Enlightened Fool

Tuesday 25th March, 7.30-9.30pm: Introduction to Mindful Breathing – A Two Hour Meditation Workshop

Saturday 5th April, 2.30-5.30pm: Meditations for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention


Connecting to Your Spiritual Fool in the Mirror World

This is a creative meditation for accessing your Spiritual Fool. Your spiritual fool is that part of you that:

  • Is playful and creative
  • Combines wisdom and humor together into ‘crazy wisdom’
  • Is not afraid to take risks and chances when it is worthwhile
  • Is not trapped by the rules of conventional society (though will play by them when appropriate)

We are calling this fool the ‘spiritual’ fool as all of the above mentioned qualities are to be used for a compassionate and evolving purposes, rather than just behaving like an idiot (!)

The meditation:

You can do this meditation as an informal contemplation now if you like, as you read.

See yourself in an art gallery. You are sitting in the centre of the gallery; the floor of the gallery is smooth and reflective, as if for example made of marble. The picture in front of you is of a fool, court jester or harlequin. As you look upon the picture, feel yourself connecting to your playful, humorous, risk-taker; that part of you that is not trapped by the rigid conventions of society.
Now look down at the reflection of yourself in the floor beneath you. The reflection that you see beneath you is yourself as the spiritual fool. You may be dressed in old fashioned jesters clothing, or any way that communicates the feeling of yourself as a creative, playful, humorous being.
Now imagine that your world ‘flips’, such that the image that you see beneath you actuallybecomes you. You are dressed as the fool, your way of seeing and approaching the world is through the wise humour and compassionate playfulness of the spiritual fool.

Take as your object of meditation the experience of yourself as the spiritual fool.

During the day the idea when you are working with this meditation the idea is to keep seeing yourself as the spiritual fool, and to approach your daily activities, relationships and so forth integrating the ways of thinking, feeling and acting as the spiritual fool.
© 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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Experiencing, Feeling, Interpreting – Mindfully Processing Our Reality

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at three domains of our reality that often get confused, and how by cultivating awareness of them we can increase our capacity to respond wisely to the challenges in our life.

Beneath the article there are full details of the “Way of the Enlightened Fool” meditation class on the 11th March. And a final reminder on the course front, the special early bird offer for Meditations for Integrating your Ego, Soul and Spirit  on the  ends March 6th

Yours n the spirit of wisdom,

Toby


Upcoming Meditation Classes and Workshops at Integral Meditation Asia 

Tuesday 11th March, 7.30-8.30pm: Monthly Integral Meditation Class: The Way of the Enlightened Fool

Sunday 16th March, 2.30-6pm: Meditations for Integrating your Ego, Soul and Spirit 

Saturday 5th April, 2.30-5.30pm: Meditations for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention


Experiencing, Feeling, Interpreting – Mindfully Processing Our Reality

When attempting to mindfully process our reality effectively, it can be useful to break it up into three parts:

  • What is experienced
  • What is felt
  • What is interpreted

These are three separate and distinctaspects of any event in our life. If we confuse one or more of them with the other, then this can cause a lot of unnecessary confusion and difficulty.
For example if I am already feeling low about myself and someone mentions in passing that I look tired (this is what I actually experience) then I may interpret that comment as an attack and respond aggressively. The other person may become confused or insulted and I may damage the relationship.
If however I break down and analyze the event down into its three aspects, my capacity to respond appropriately and without confusion is enhanced:

  • First in terms of my experience I isolate what has been literally experienced; an innocuous comment about the way I look
  • Secondly I am aware of how I feel; I realize that the feeling of low about myself was already there, it was not caused by what they said to me
  • Finally as a result of the mindful attention I have paid to steps one and two I interpret the situation effectively, thus not taking insult and over reacting

So, for this week if you would like to work with this, every time you come across a situation that you find challenging or where it is really important that you react/respond well and wisely just ask yourself these three questions:

  • What has been experienced in the literal sense of the word?
  • How do I feel about what has been experienced?
  • How have I interpreted what has happened, and is it appropriate?

Allow these three questions to lead you into a mindful investigation of what is really going on and help you to respond in a wise and thoughtful way.

© 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


Integral Meditation Class: The Way of the Enlightened Fool

Date: Tuesday March 11th

Time: 7.30-8.30pm

Location: Gallery Helios, 38 Petain Road, Singapore 208103 (click HERE for map)

In a sentence: A chance for mediators of all levels and backgrounds to come together and meditate in a powerful and supportive environment.

Overview: These Integral Meditation Classes combine meditation training in the five stages of mediation practice and the five types of meditation skills with a particular theme. This month’s class focuses on an exploration of the enlightened fool.

Crazy Wisdom: The Way of the Enlightened Fool

In common language we normally use the term fool in a derogatory manner, in the same way that we might use the term ‘idiot’. However in terms of our growth as a person and a spiritual being the archetype of the fool has profound and important meaning as:An image that we can use to connect to our playful and creative self

  • A way of inviting ourselves to take positive risks in our life
  • A way of accessing our “crazy wisdom”
  • A way of positively accessing and dealing with our fears
  • A way of connecting to primal spirit in an unique and particular way

In this class you will be guided by Toby in meditation though a series of imaginative keys to help you gain personal access to your own crazy wisdom and enlightened fool!

Conditions for attendance: As mentioned above, this class is suitable for all levels of practitioner; beginners will feel supported, and more advanced practitioners will find that there is plenty of opportunity to develop, explore and consolidate their meditation.

This class is also available as an MP3 recording for those not able to attend in person.

Cost: $20, you can pay on the day, or make payment online below.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE MEDITATION CLASS BY PAYPAL

For more information or to register your attendance contact Toby on info@integralmeditationasia.com or sms 65-96750279

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Bringing Congruence to the Mind Through Meditation – Three Ways

Dear Toby,

Congruence – To bring harmony, agreement and compatibility. This mid-week article is about how to bring congruence to the different elements of your mind.

After an enjoyable Greenworld Meditation Workshop last Sunday, there is a chance for anyone who wanted to come but could not to come along this Sunday, 2nd March for the second date!
Also on Sunday is the Introduction to Walking Meditation Workshop, registration for this will close on Thursday evening.
Finally, date for your diary I will be doing the Meditation and Mindfulness For Developing a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention on Saturday April 5th at the Reiki Centre.

Yours in the spirit of inner congruence,

Toby


Bringing Congruence to the Mind Through Meditation – Three Ways

 Imbalanced, fragmented, confused. Does that ever feel like the state of your mind? Here are three meditative methods to bring your mind from fragmentation to a state of relative balance and unity through meditation:

  1. Still your mind
  2. Focus on one thought or image
  3. Allow it all to be there

1. Still your mind – When your mind is still, all of its disparate parts start to come back into balance and settle naturally. If you can still your mind, you may not solve anything externally, but you will bring the different parts of your mind back into congruence with each other, and so when you do go back to your life you will do so with a new experience and perspective. One simple technique to still your mind is simply to sit still and focus your sensory awareness on the physical stillness of your body. By being physically still and focusing on that, you find that after a time your mind starts to become still through its attention to the body. Once your mind becomes still in this way you can then switch your focus from the stillness of your body to the stillness you feel within your mind, which you can now see and feel clearly.

2. Focus on one thought or image – Use one thought, image or even a physical object as your point of focus. By anchoring your attention to it, the other elements of your mind can ‘swirl’ around it, and gradually come back into balance simply as a side product of you placing your attention on one thing and letting everything else ‘even out’.

3. Allow it all to be there – Simply sit with everything in your mind without trying to focus, control or judge it. This technique involves gaining control and congruence within your mind by abandoning all attempts to control it. Simply sit and watch it, be with it without feeding any of it. The by-product of this allowing is that once more the different elements of the mind gradually come back into congruence and balance with each other.

None of these practices ‘solves’ anything, but by bringing congruence to your mind  they enable your natural intelligence to function freely, and encourage you to have confidence in your own natural capacity to bring your personal best to the challenges you face each day.

© 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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