Four ways of being mindful in relationships

Dear  Integral Meditators,

How can you use mindfulness to improve your relationship wisdom? The article below offers some specific pointers for practice!

A reminder of the new class series (can be participated in live or online) starting on August 14th: Effortless effort – Insight meditation for self-healing and transformation – a five week course. Beneath the article there is also the details of all the new live classes and workshops lined up in August, language of the shadow, Qi gong sessions and more!

In the spirit of wise relating,

Toby


Four ways of being mindful in relationshipsMindfulness is about training your attention in specific ways. In each area of your life there are ways of paying attention that are going to be particularly useful for mastering that particular domain of experience. Its not like there is just one way of being mindful that you master. For every activity you need to identify the specific ways of paying attention that will going to help you become more mindfully effective in that area. In mindful relationships there are four objects of attention that can be particularly useful to bear in mind and pay attention to. These are the first, second and third person perspectives, plus what you might call a ‘we perspective, or ‘we space’. These perspectives each reveal a particular dimension of how the relationship is playing out, and gives you information that can be helpful in finding a solution to problems and encouraging harmony and wellbeing.
I’ll explain these four perspectives below. To do this as an exercise as you are reading, it might be useful at this point to bring to mind one of your own relationships that you want to look into. It could be a personal one with a lover or family member, or a professional one such as with a colleague or business partner.

The first-person perspective – What it looks like from your point of view.
The first-person perspective is what the situation in the relationship looks like from your personal point of view; from ‘my point of view’, ‘how I see it’. What are you experiencing? What are your feelings, needs, desires and wishes? How do you experience the other person and their behaviour? Spend time opening to awareness of what your experience is in the relationship. Its really important to know where you stand and what’s going on for you!

The-second person perspective – Their point of view
This second point if view means looking at the situation from the other person(s) point of view. How are they feeling, why are they speaking in the way they are? What is their body language communicating? What is their mindset and values? Here you get out of your perspective and try and inhabit their POV as fully as possible. Use your imagination and intuition to ‘walk a mile in their shoes’. Try and understand their perspective as experientially as possible.

The third person perspective – Being a ‘fly on the wall’
In this third position, you observe the interaction impartially. This objective, 3rd person perspective is like being a fly on the wall; you are not personally interested in any of it. You are just gathering information, taking notes, being as empirical as possible. You’ll find this reveals a very different understanding from positions one and two!

Position four – The ‘we space’
This fourth position observes the interactive space that you create between each other, or in the group. You find it by asking questions like ‘What is the dynamic of my relationship with this person?’ and ‘What do we thrive on together, and what creates friction between us?’ Your ‘we space’ is the unique culture that exists in any relationship that you have with another person. Attention to how that dynamic works will give you important insights into what you can do and how you can behave to improve its quality.

Any relationship you have that you want deeper insight into, or want to improve, try taking each of these four perspectives regularly, and then acting upon the insights that you glean from them. Happy observing!

Related articles:  Cultivating Mindful Relationships, and Meditation/Stress-Transformation for Couples
Four Methods for Cultivating Mindful Relationships
Dealing mindfully with anger and conflict in your relationships

Related coaching with TobyHandle stress and have peace of mind

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Begins 14/15th September – Effortless effort – Insight meditation for self-healing and transformation – a five week course

Saturday 11th August, 9-10.15am – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturday 11th August, 11am-12.30pm – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Saturday 18th August, 9.30-1pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

Share

The healing power of awareness; Four insight meditation techniques

Dear  Integral Meditators,

This weeks article is on insight meditation, and on the natural healing power of our mind, when we allow it. Its a slightly longer article than usual, with four short techniques you can try out!
You can also find below the details of the next series of meditation classes at Integral Meditation Asia beginning mid August, on Insight meditation.

In the spirit of insight and allowing,

Toby


Begins 14/15th September – Effortless effort – Insight meditation for self-healing and transformation – a five week (live or online) course

Details: This is a meditation course that is designed to help you learn to meditate in a way that:

  • Is very relaxing and gentle, requiring relatively little effort to do
  • Naturally promotes healing and wellbeing in both your mind and body
  • Is simple enough for a beginner, but contains many levels that the more advanced practitioner can remain engaged and stimulated by
  • Can have a transformative effect on the way in which you experience stress and tension
  • Can contribute to you feeling mentally, emotionally & energetically ‘young’, flexible and resilient in the face of life’s challenges

If so, then this is a course for you! Click HERE for full details


The healing power of awareness; the topography of insight meditationI want to begin this article by paraphrasing Roger Walsh in a conversation that he had with Ken Wilber. Basically, he said that one of the amazing things about our minds is that, if we let it, our mind has this incredible power to:

  1. Self-heal – that is to heal its inner divisions and move toward wholeness
  2. Self-actualize – that is start to move naturally toward a more enlightened or awakened state of self-awareness, and to
  3. Self-transcend – that is to move naturally toward the next, deeper level of consciousness immediately beyond its present state of growth.

All of this can happen by our simply ‘allowing it’. The way in which we ‘allow it’ is by regularly cultivating a state of relaxed, lucid awareness in our day to day routine. The innate power of this awareness creates a powerful healing and stimulating effect upon our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. The problem for many of us is that we perceive our relationship to our mind as a perpetual battle, where the thing that seems to be standing in the way of our inner healing and growth is the mind itself. It is not natural for us to seek resolution to our inner problems through conscious relaxation!
One very ergonomic form of meditation that we can use in order to start making friends with our mind and access its powers of self-healing is insight meditation. The main activity in insight meditation is to identify and observe the different levels of our mind. Because of this, insight meditation is sometimes called “choice-less awareness”. Whatever comes up, we just watch without getting involved.

Four levels of observing – A basic map or topography of insight meditation awareness
There are four basic levels of mind that insight meditation helps us to cultivate awareness of. These might be called the gross, subtle, very subtle and non-dual. What I want to do is to outline them and offer simple meditation practices that we can do on each of these levels. This way you can get a practical flavour of what insight meditation involves, and start trying it out for yourself.

Level 1: Gross awareness – This is awareness of our physical body, senses and environment.
Sample insight meditation exercise for this level: Be aware of everything that you hear for a period of time. Note all the different layers of sound that your ear awareness is picking up. As I am sitting now I can hear some distant cars, the fan on the table next to me, the typing as my fingers work on the type-pad, I can hear the sound of my breathing in my inner ears. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the layers of sound flowing into your moment to moment awareness. You can practice an equivalent insight exercise for any of your other senses.

Level 2: Subtle awareness – This level observes the flow of thoughts, feelings and images that flow through our mind on a moment to moment basis. On this level there is a range of subtlety, from the everyday thoughts of our waking mind to the more subtle experiences of the dreams and of dreaming. Basically, this is the realm of thoughts.
Sample insight meditation exercise for this level: Sit down and observe the flow of thoughts, feelings and images through your awareness. Imagine that you are like a person sitting by the side the river of your mind, observing the constant ebb and flow of mental images and feelings that passes by you.

Level 3: Very subtle awareness – This level observes the inner space of our consciousness itself, which is formless, space-like , and lies behind our mental and sensory consciousness. If you imagine your thoughts and feelings are like clouds, then your consciousness is like the sky that contains those clouds.
Sample insight meditation exercise for this level: Continue to watch your mind, become aware of the spaces between your thoughts. Allow your awareness to sink deeper and deeper into these spaces. Let the cloud-like forms of your thoughts and feelings gently dissolve away as you observe the sky-like space of your consciousness.

Level 4: Non-dual awareness – This level is where the sense of yourself the observer of your consciousness (as in level 3 above) dissolves away, and you are left with a unified (non-dual) experience of awareness, just a single experience of consciousness with no conceptual idea of observer and observed.
Sample exercise: The way to approach this experience is through the level 3 exercise. The more you practice it, very gradually, over time you will feel yourself moving toward this non-dual state.

So, my basic point in this article is that if you allow your mind to relax consciously and attentively, then you are going to activate its natural capacity for self-healing and growth. If you want a particular in-depth method to develop your minds self-healing mechanism, then insight meditation is one such tool.

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Begins 14/15th September – Effortless effort – Insight meditation for self-healing and transformation – a five week course

Rest of August program coming soon!


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

Share

Hands on the belly to relax the brain (a short cut to sleeping at night?)

Dear  Integral Meditators,

Greetings from Berlin where I’m traveling right now! Before I left for the holidays, I facilitated a Qi gong workshop, which then led me to start having a look at some old qi gong meditation articles that I had written out a decade or so ago. The method below is one that you can use to help you fall asleep at night, and to relax your nervous system whenever you want to dial down and get out of your thinking mind for a while for a while. Enjoy!

The summer online meditation course on Dynamic Calm is fully up and running, and its not too late to sign up! Just click on the link to find out more, and listen to the sample meditations…

In the spirit of conscious relaxation,

Toby


Hands on the belly to relax the brain (a short cut to sleeping at night?)

This is a very simple technique that I use often in order to calm and reduce conceptual activity and center myself fully in my body. I use it most frequently when my mind is whizzing when I lie down to go to sleep at night, or if I want to take a quick nap during the day and want to move into a state of relaxed non-conceptuality relatively fast. It can be done sitting, standing or lying down:
Simply place your hands one on top of the other on your belly, just beneath your belly button. Close your eyes, relax the brain and simply focus on the feeling of warmth that the resting hands create on the lower belly. If you like you can imagine that the lower belly area is like a magnet, and that energy from the brain is gently being attracted down into the torso by the pull of this magnet. However, to be honest I find that this is not necessary, the natural sensation of the hand on the belly does the work for you, without you having to do a lot else!Related articlesBasic Qi Gong Belly Breathing
Meditation Technique For Brain Relaxation, Non-Conceptuality and Falling Asleep at Night.

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

August program coming soon!


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

Share

The calm of solidity – Four mindful techniques

Dear Integral Meditators,

The ‘calmness of solidity’ means the calmness that can be discovered through the solidity and physicality of your body. In the article below I outline four ways that you can cultivate it both formally and informally to increase the level of your own dynamic calm, which is to say your own ability to remain calm and centered under real-time pressure from your life! If you enjoy it then do check out my upcoming summer Dynamic calm online course.

For those in Singapore, check out the details of the Tuesday & Wednesday evening classes this week. And then on the weekend: Saturday 7th July, 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat & Sunday 8th July, 9.30am,-1pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing

In the spirit of the calmness of solidity,

Toby

​The calm of solidity – Four mindful techniques

The ‘calmness of solidity’ means the calmness that can be discovered through the solidity and physicality of your body. It also means the calmness that can be derived from the elements of your physical surroundings and nature. It is one of the four types of dynamic calm that I outline in my previous article Four types of deep calm, four types of dynamic power and explore practically in the Dynamic calm online course. In this article I’m simply going to explain four methods that you can use in combination with each other or individually to develop your own dynamic calm, or your ability to remain calm and centered under real-time pressure from your life!

Practices 1&2: Investigating the absence & the presence of calm.
Investigate with curiosity what your body and your breathing feel like when you are not calm. Notice what it feels like to feel ‘not calm’ or unsettled. If you can then practice simply accepting the absence of calm without making ‘a problem out of the problem’ then paradoxically, this gives you access to a certain type of basic calm!
Secondly, remember what it is like to have the presence of calm within your body. Recall times in the past when you have felt the presence of calm in your body, for example when on holiday in a beautiful location, or in the presence of someone you trust. Practice activating the memory of calm, then breathing and living your life from that feeling. Get familiar with it such that, when you are under pressure in daily life, you can deliberately activate your body’s memory of calm. If you do this you can still feel the presence of calm even when your environment may be unsettling.

Practice 3: Using your physical body and senses to calm your mind and emotions.
With this method, you use your sensory attention as your object of focus, giving your mind a simple calm anchor to relax into in the present moment. For example:

  • The weight of your body on the chair,
  • The quality of the light through the window
  • The sound and feeling of the wind, and the call of the birds, as well as the distant traffic sounds
  • The physical movement of your breathing
  • The colours of the objects around you in the room

You can do this in formal meditation, but also out of meditation during the day as you go about your activities. Stabilize your calm by getting out of your mind and into your senses!

Practice 4: Practicing mountain like calm
This final type of calm uses an imaginative key to use in meditation; Experience your body as being like a mountain, your thoughts and associated feelings as being like clouds and your mind or consciousness itself as being like the sky. A mountain is so solid and centred that it really doesn’t mind if the weather around it is stormy, rainy, windy or chaotic. Imagine your own physical body to be like this; calm, solid and massive. This way, even when your emotions and thoughts go crazy sometimes, there is no need even to stop the craziness. Just focus on being the calmness of the mountain, which is proportionally way stronger and more massive!
So, there you go, four techniques to play around with this week if you choose. You can work with them systematically, or just pick the one that works best for you.
If you enjoyed the article, the do check out my summer online course Dynamic Calm: Meditations for increasing your somatic, emotional and mental intelligence – A four module online course, its currently on a pre-launch offer price until 10th July!

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Saturday 7th July, 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Sunday 8th July, 9.30am,-1pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

Share

Dynamic Calm – Free meditation and summer online meditation course

Dear Integral Meditators,

Summer is fully upon us, and to celebrate I’ll be offering a four module online course on Dynamic Calm. Full details are below, there is a special pre-launch price offer as well… You can Listen to my 5 minute talk and 10 minute meditation on Dynamic Calm HERE!

For those in Singapore, a quick reminder that the details of the Tuesday and Wednesday evening classes 😉

In the spirit of dynamic calm,

Toby

​Dynamic Calm: Meditations for increasing your somatic, emotional and mental intelligence – A four module online course

Course launch date: Thursday July 12thThis is a multi-functional, integrative meditation course that aims to help you achieve the following goals with simple, do-able, time effective meditation practices:

  1. Build a sense of focused calm within that is resilient to the stresses and challenges of your personal and professional life
  2. Achieve deeper states of meditation and expanded awareness relatively easily, and in a balanced way
  3. Increase the level of your somatic, or body awareness to promote physical health, vibrancy and your sense of ‘being alive’
  4. Increase your ability to work with difficult emotions constructively, and sustain positive pleasurable emotions more easily
  5. Nurture your intuitive, visual and imaginative intelligence in a way that you can combine usefully with your rational mind

Listen to Toby’s 5 minute talk and 10 minute meditation on Dynamic Calm HERE!

The course is presented in four modules that will be sent to you sequentially over a period of three weeks from July 12th. You can listen to them immediately upon release, or in your own time at your own pace. Each module will consist of:

  • An introductory talk followed by a main meditation (45mins to an hour in length)
  • A short, simple 10minute ‘summary and integration’ version of the main meditation for daily use

The module titles are as follows:

  • Module 1 – The calm of solidity: Building your somatic and body-based calm and intelligence
  • Module 2 – The calm of flow: Building your emotional calm, flow and intelligence
  • Module 3 – the calm of space and light: Building your mental calm, focus and inspiration
  • Module 4 – Integration: Integrating your three levels of calm, intelligence and inspiration together, with a focus on practical application in daily life

This course will be of particular interest to you if you:

  • Would like to learn how to access a space of calm centeredness in all circumstances
  • Want to conserve energy currently being taken up in stress and anxiety so that you can use it to do the things that you love and enjoy in your life
  • Are interested in bringing 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 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?

The contents will enable you to build a daily meditation practice clearly and easily if you are beginner, but will also be easy to integrate into an existing schedule if you already have a practice.

Pre-launch price: Up until July 10th the course price is SGD $59, on July 10th the price will go up to $80

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE DYNAMIC CALM ONLINE COURSE VIA PAYPAL!


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Saturday 7th July, 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Sunday 8th July, 9.30am,-1pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

Share

The Mindful Warrior – Using concepts as weapons

Dear Integral Meditators,

Think of your thoughts as being like a weapons, that can be used for good or ill. The article below offers a few pointers to help ensure that you are using your ‘inner weapons’ in ways that are helpful to yourself and others, rather than just using them to cut yourself down all the time!

For those in Singapore, a quick reminder of the Summer solstice balancing & renewing meditation tonight and tomorrow evenings, and this weekends workshop An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism!

In the spirit of the mindful warrior,

Toby


The Mindful Warrior – Using concepts as weapons

One of the goals of mindfulness is to realize that we are currently using many negative concepts against ourselves, and to stop this. The flip side of this is to learn to use positive, balanced and intelligent concepts, and wield them like weapons in our lives.

The way in which we use negative concepts
‘If only this hadn’t happened then I could have…’
‘There is no way I can do this when…’
‘If only I had control over the outcome, I wouldn’t feel so anxious…’
If you look at the conversation in your head, you’ll start to notice many different ways in which your habitual thinking and worldview limits you in ways that prevent you from experiencing pleasure and joy and makes you less effective in dealing with the situation you are faced with. These thoughts are like weapons that you wield against yourself in order to keep you feeling limited, dis-empowered, miserable and generally helpless.

Accepting and releasing these negative concepts
The first step in ‘de-commissioning your negative inner-concepts’ is simply to recognize that they are there. Then you can practice spotting them when they arise, accepting they are there, and then letting them go, not letting them impact us or define our experience.

Noticing the way in which we use positive concepts
If you watch your mind you will also notice that sometimes your mind comes up with positive concepts and ways of framing your experiences that make you stronger and more resilient to the challenges you face. These are the already existing ‘conceptual weapons’ that you have within your mind. Once you have identified them, you can then deliberately start to use them more in your life, leveraging upon them to make you happier and more effective as you go about your day.

Creating new positive concepts and weaponizing them
If you are going through a difficult challenge, you can ask yourself, ‘What are the different ways of framing this experience in ways that are going to help me enjoy it and be more effective?’ If you like, as well as thinking about them, you can write them down, so you have them at hand to look at whenever you need.

Becoming a mindful warrior
Whenever you think about your challenge, you then practice deliberately viewing it from the conceptual viewpoints that you have devised. You practice wielding these concepts like weapons, defending yourself against inner thoughts and views that don’t serve you, and using them to ‘attack’ your life with enthusiasm!

An example
As we move into the high summer period, some of my ‘predictable’ sources of work become less. Of course, there is plenty of room for my mind to conceptualize this in an unhelpful way, which I need to look out for and ‘defend’ myself against. But I also take the time to ensure that I have a number of key ‘conceptual weapons’ that I can use to enjoy this time and make good use of it. For example:
‘Its good because I’ll have more time for creativity and new workshop design.’
‘It’ll give me time to rest properly and renew my energy and enthusiasm.’
‘In previous seasons, sometimes this has been my busiest period, and there is a chance it could happen again.’
‘Whatever happens I have made enough money in the last few months to tie me over…’
These are all simple examples of concepts that I use as benevolent weapons to defend against needless mental suffering and derive maximum enjoyment from my time ahead.
Its not enough to simply ‘think positive’ you have to learn to use the thoughts effectively and mindfully in your day so that they hold weight and mass in the face of your challenges!

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Tuesday 19th & 20th June, 7.30pm – Summer solstice balancing & renewing meditation

Saturday 23rd June, 10am-4.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism

Saturday 7th July, 9.30am-12.30pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Sunday 8th July, 9.30am,-1pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

Share

Making mindful use of your to-do list

Dear Integral Meditators,

How can you transform your busy-making ‘to-do’ list into an object of mindfulness? The article below explores one possible way!
Heads up for the Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever next Saturday 16th June, 10-11.30am.
And last few days for the mindful stress-transformation coaching offer, see below 😉

In the spirit of mindful to-doing!

Toby


Stress Transformation Coaching special offer:
Up until Friday 15th June there is a special offer on Toby’s Stress transformation coaching service. Three x 1hour packages are on a 15% special offer (a saving of $95). Contact info@tobyouvry.com for full details.
Stress transformation coaching with Toby is exactly that; it teaches you how you can transform your stress, anxiety and other difficult emotions into forces for the good in your life. The coaching focuses upon:

  • Getting to know and understand the negative or conflicting energy and emotion in your life more deeply and intimately, seeing its potential value
  • Developing the capacity to recycle,  transform and redirect this difficult energy into a positive force that works for you rather than against you
  • Find yourself thriving in situations and circumstances that would previously make you unhappy, fearful, inhibited and so on…Read on…

 


 

Making mindful use of your to-do list

Most of us have a ‘to do list’ most days. Quite often when you hear about practicing mindfulness, we are told to try and put down the to do list in our mind, in order to notice the present moment more.
There is one way that I have of using my own to do-list as a way of increasing my mindful appreciation, and it goes something like this. Every day I have my list of to-dos’. Often, they are written in my diary, alongside my appointments. At various points during the day I will open my diary and, with a little red pen cross off the actions and appointments that I have done so far. I will then pause for a few moments, and give myself a little appreciation for the things that I have done. I will also use what I have done to ensure that I am seeing that today has been a constructive day, where things have been achieved, and I take the time to note and feel good about that. I then proceed with the next few things in the list.
Of course, the list rarely ends, but my approach to my to do list ensures that I am using it to feel good about myself and my day, rather than taking what I have done for granted, and feeling oppressed (and maybe depressed) about the things that I have not yet done!

Structuring unstructured time with your list. 
Sometimes if there is a gap in my routine and I sense a certain amount of anxiety around ‘what I am going to do with this time?’, then I’ll simply write a list of things to do, work, leisure or otherwise that will last me that morning, afternoon, or however long the open space is. I’ll then just get on with the tasks, and cross them off as I go. Then at the end of the time I’ll just look at the crossed-off list of what I’ve done for a short while, just to register and appreciate what I’ve done, and enjoy the fact that my time was well spent.
If you choose to use this way of working with your to-do list, then rather than getting in the way of your mindfulness practice, it becomes an active part of it. Your to-do list becomes a way of honing your attention, developing appreciation, becoming more effective in life, and deriving active pleasure from your achievements, great and small!

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Saturday 16th June, 10-11.30am – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Saturday 23rd June, 10am-4.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

Share

Going from clinging on to enjoying (Attachment to appreciation)

Dear Integral Meditators,

What is your relationship to attraction? The article below offers a few thoughts on how you can go about enjoying and appreciating that which you find attractive without clinging or getting unhealthily attached! In short, how to transform attachment into appreciation!

And on the theme of ‘stress transformation’ see the coaching offer below!

In the spirit of pleasure and appreciation,

Toby


Stress Transformation Coaching special offer:
Up until Friday 15th June there is a special offer on Toby’s Stress transformation coaching service. Three x 1hour packages are on a 15% special offer (a saving of $95). Contact info@tobyouvry.com for full details.
Stress transformation coaching with Toby is exactly that; it teaches you how you can transform your stress, anxiety and other difficult emotions into forces for the good in your life. The coaching focuses upon:

  • Getting to know and understand the negative or conflicting energy and emotion in your life more deeply and intimately, seeing its potential value
  • Developing the capacity to recycle,  transform and redirect this difficult energy into a positive force that works for you rather than against you
  • Find yourself thriving in situations and circumstances that would previously make you unhappy, fearful, inhibited and so on…Read on…

 


​Going from clinging on to enjoying (Attachment to appreciation)

What are you deeply attached to in your life? Of these, what or who do you cling to in ways that are unhealthy, addictive, undermining to your self-esteem and create destructive patterns of behaviour? Think of one or two right now…

This article offers a few thoughts on how you can transform states of attachment and clinging onto appreciation and enjoyment. From an experiential point of view we have three types of object/person/situation that we encounter:

  • Those that we feel repulsed by or averse too
  • Those we feel drawn or attracted to, magnetised by
  • Those we feel neither attracted to or repulsed by, they are kind of neutral

Right now, we are focused on the second type of object, those we feel attracted to.

Underlying sources of attachment – Not enough, not competent, no joy
So what transforms something or someone that we feel attracted to to something that we feel attached or cling to? Part of it is an underlying sense within ourselves that we are incomplete, incompetent or that we have no joy or pleasure. For example:

  • If I feel incomplete as a man and I meet a woman I find attractive, then I may cling to her as a potential source of ‘completion’. So, what I feel for her is not just an appreciation of her attractiveness, but the idea that by possessing or obtaining her I will somehow ‘fix’ my problem of incompleteness or loneliness.
  • If I often feel incompetent or ineffective in life, then the things that I feel attracted to I may tend to cling to. For example if I feel incompetent in my business practice, I may cling onto a business or romantic partner as a ‘life raft’ saving me from my own confusion in the face of life’s complex challenges.
  •  If I am out of touch with my feelings, both emotional and bodily, then I won’t feel much joy or pleasure in my life. As a result things that I could be enjoying and appreciating such as caffeine, alcohol, sex etc…become objects that I become addicted to, a way of replacing the fundamental absence of joy or pleasure’.

Coming to your objects of enjoyment from the POV of wholeness
If I want to experience objects of attraction in a healthy, pleasurable way then, I need to come to them from with a healthy self-sense, one where I experience myself fundamentally in three ways:

  • I am complete, loved, whole as I am
  • I am competent, adequate (to life’s challenges)
  • I have ready access to the feeling healthy joy and pleasure in my body, today

If you come to the things you currently feel attached to with these three attitudes, then you have the opportunity to transform them from objects of clinging to objects of appreciation and real enjoyment.

Moving from clinging on to appreciating
So then, if I come to people places and things I find attractive in our life with the idea that ‘I am complete, I am competent, and I feel joy’ then:

  • When I encounter an attractive member of the opposite sex it will be easy enough to appreciate them as they are, without needing to ‘possess’ them in order to validate myself.
  • When I face a difficult challenge in my business I won’t be cling to the idea of someone ‘saving me’, but if my business partner helps me out, then I can appreciate and enjoy that!
  • If I have access to joy and pleasure in my body, then I can enjoy sex, caffene, alcohol, endorphins etc…as a complement and enhancement of that, rather than an addiction that I use as a compensation.

Three ‘mindful injunctions’ from this:

  1. Notice when you develop negative attachment or clinging in your life. Study the experience.
  2. Practice coming to the things you feel attracted to from the perspective of ‘I am (already) enough, I am (already) competent, and I have access to joy’.
  3. Emphasize appreciation and appropriate healthy enjoyment of the things you find attractive. Have fun and experience pleasure!

Related articlesGiving your heart whole
Cultivating positive non-attachment
The middle way to enjoying your life fully
Moving from attachment to care


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Saturday 26th May 10am-4.30pm – Mastering your Mind Through Mindfulness Meditation Day Retreat with Toby

Saturday, 9th June, 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment

Saturday 16th June, 10-11.30am – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Saturday 23rd June, 10am-4.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

Share

Meditation – Centering around simplicity (to thrive on complexity)  

Dear Integral Meditators,

We all have complex challenges in our lives these days, how can meditation help you deal better with that? The article below offers one answer!

It’s Wesak day today, so wishing you all a happy Buddha’s enlightenment/birthday day today! I’ll be doing a Wesak Day meditation tonight and tomorrow evening, those in Singapore most welcome to come along!

Most of the meditation activities for June are up, just scroll down beneath the article to have a look…

In the spirit of  mindful simplicity,

Toby


Meditation – Centering around simplicity (to thrive on complexity)

Last night I was by myself in my apartment. It has been a busy month, and there are quite a number of ongoing projects that are quite complex and uncertain for me right now. If I had not been a meditator, then my mind may have latched onto any of these complex uncertainties, and started thinking them over. I may have experienced anxiety, doubts or worries, mixed in probably with some excitement and positivity. As it was I chose to let go of all the complexity for a while and just sit quietly, tuning into the solidity of my body, and allow my state of mind to become very simply and uncomplicated. The period of simplicity was refreshing. It allowed me to ‘catch up’ with any unprocessed emotions that were floating around, and enabled me to return to my thinking a while later with a sense of purpose and clarity.
This pattern of movement, from a complex state of mind to a simple, centered one is what distinguishes a meditator from a non-meditator, and it also illustrates much of the value that meditation offers.

Moving from complexity to complexity
For many of us the pattern of our consciousness is to move from one complex state to another. After we wake up we start thinking about work, or we have to get the kids ready for school. On the way to work or school we might start thinking about our romantic relationship, or lack of one, or the problem with the colleague we have at work. After sitting down at our desk we spend a while deliberating whether our work is the ‘right’ work for us? Are we wasting our life? From there we go into the practical challenges of the day….and so it goes on. Our mind moves from one state of complexity to another, to another. All of the complexity, and the associated emotions start to mix in with each other, and we feel almost perpetually anxious. Things feel out of control, unresolved. We solve one problem only for two more to take its place. Our ‘feeling’ that life is complex and/or out of control bleeds into all of our tasks, making us less effective at all of them.

Moving from complexity to simplicity, to complexity
For a meditator, the fundamental pattern of their consciousness changes. Like all of us, a meditator has complex life problems which s/he has to deal with. However, instead of moving from one complex problem to another, a meditator regularly returns their attention to a state of simplicity and non-complexity. So, for example I might go from thinking about the complex problem of ‘rasing my child right’ to a short period where my mind is simply focused on the pleasant feeling of relaxation in my body. From that state of simplicity, I might then think about the content of my next article, and write it. Then back to a state of simple body awareness. From there I might go onto an emotionally sensitive conversation with my neighbour about the volume of their music at night, then back to simplicity, and so it goes on…

A win-win between simplicity and complexity
One of the ideas with meditation is that, by returning regularly to a state of simplicity, your ability to deal effectively with complex problems improves. By returning to simplicity, you can deal with one complex problem separately from the others, rather than have emotions from your work life negatively influencing your personal life, and vice versa. Regularly returning to simplicity gives you a stable center from which you can meet the challenges of your life without feeling so intimidated and off balance.
You don’t have to wait until you sit down quietly to do some formal meditation, you can choose to cultivate a state of simplicity at any time. For example, while you have your morning coffee break, simply choose to come back to your body and the taste of the coffee. Become regularly simple to return to the complexity of your life with appetite and enthusiasm!

Related article: The benefits of simplicity

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Saturday 26th May 10am-4.30pm – Mastering your Mind Through Mindfulness Meditation Day Retreat with Toby

Tuesday 29, Wednesday 30th May – Wesak Meditation

Saturday, 9th June, 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment

Saturday 16th June, 10-11.30am – Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now – The Shortest and Most Time Effective Meditation Workshop Ever

Saturday 23rd June, 10am-4.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Shamanism


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

Share

Mental framing – Sculpting your view of life

Dear Integral Meditators,

We are never in 100% charge of what we experience in life, but we can determine the way in which we experience what happens. This week’s article explores how to mindfully take advantage of this truth!

In the spirit of sculpting & framing,

Toby

For those in Singapore: This weeks Tuesday & Wednesday evening meditation class focuses on seven mindful positions that can help you master your mind in daily life. One of these seven positions is mindful framing.

 


Mental framing – Sculpting your view of life

We are never in 100% charge of what we experience in life, but we can always influence the way in which we experience what happens. How we influence the way in which we experience something is via the manner in which we pay attention to it, and in particular the way in which we mentally frame it. The essential question with mental framing is “What is the optimal way for me to view what I am experiencing, so that I derive maximum value and minimum unnecessary pain from it?”
This question and the answers we get from it are like mental sculpting. The raw materials are our life experiences, and our ways of mental framing are like the tools used to craft and mould the raw materials into the shape that I desire.
Last weekend I was giving the example to a class of my own workshop creation process. I’ve created over 50 meditation and mindfulness workshops in the last decade. Of these only around 50% have gone on to be successful in the sense of attracting a lot of people numbers. So, if I focus purely on the ‘success rate’, then I’m not going to be a very happy boy in some ways. However, there are many ways in which I can use my mind to frame what I am experiencing after a ‘failed’ workshop in ways that are helpful to me. For example:

  1. ‘It is realistic to expect many of the events that I put on to not attract large numbers. It’s simply part of my evolving work progress, and in fact a 50% success rate is very good in the circumstances!’ – This view helps me accept the experience, feel happy about it and sets me up to continue working with it in the long term without feeling discouraged.
  2. ‘A small number of people in a workshop creates an intimate space for me to have a more meaningful, small scale relationship to the participants’ – Again, this view helps me feel enthusiasm for the experience and helps me to keep my appetite for the work in the long term.
  3. ‘I learned a lot from creating the workshop, so it is feeding my own process of self-discovery and growth’ – This is absolutely and objectively true, I do learn a lot, and so the time was not wasted, indeed it was very well spent!
  4. ‘If it didn’t work in this context, maybe I can try it in another context’ – I’ve seen from my own experience how courses that I have created in one arena later became a part of my mainstream ‘successful’ courses later down the line. No creative process is ever entirely wasted! Indeed, some of my most successful material only finds the right audience two or three years down the line.
  5. ‘This is helping my ongoing learning process about value creation’ – Every time I try something out, or put it out to an audience, I learn more about value creation, in business, in relationships and in life. This learning in turn helps me to make the best of what I meet in each day, and to become more successful in life. What could be better than that?

So, there you go; five ways of mentally framing my situation in ways that help me to view and experience it in a positive AND REALISTIC way. Realistic is in caps because for mental framing to be effective it has to be reality focused. You can’t just fantasize any old BS that just isn’t true!
Mindfulness is all about releasing our potential for learning and growth in the moment. Mental framing is a technique that really we can be using all the time during our day to ‘sculpt’ our reality in a way that is useful and desirable. But to get going you might like to take one or two specific situations in life and practice framing them. Happy sculpting!

Related articles: 
How to mindfully develop your self-confidence
Four positions for wrestling with your dark angels
Mastering your mind through mindfulness

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Tuesday 29, Wednesday 30th May – Wesak Meditation

Saturday 2nd June, 9.30-11.30am – The Power of Presence – Mindfulness for managing conflict in your relationships and accessing your inner power

Saturday, 9th June, 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

Share