Your Shadow Child

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“To connect to our child within us and draw upon its creative power, we need to connect with it on its level without judgment, to learn to speak its language.”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article focuses on mindfulness of your inner child, and ways to connect to its power in ways that can add to your quality of life and wellbeing.

For those in Singapore, a reminder of the Meditations for developing the language of your shadow self workshop this coming Saturday, 2-5.30pm.

In the spirit of bright shadows,

Toby


The Shadow Child

The shadow is 
The ‘shadow self’ is that part of our mind and self that we have rejected and pushed so deeply into our unconscious awareness such that often we are not even consciously aware that it exists. However, from its position within the unconscious mind our shadow self remains active, influencing our behaviour and causing us to behave in ways which seem to be difficult for us to understand. The shadow has both a ‘dark’ side and a ‘bright’ or golden side.

The child self is
That part of us that is child-like in nature. You could say it has three aspects:

  • That part of us that is simply child like in nature; playful, naive, creative, innocent, gullible, needs looking after and so on
  • The historical child, that is the child within us whose character has been shaped and informed by our own literal historical upbringing; experience with parents, peers and other significant others, what happened to us in school, how we were treated and learned to gain approval and so on. The child within us now that is a product of our personal historical experience, and our response to that
  • The spiritual child within us – that part of us that is ever young, ever new, ever creative, ever both innocent and wise, whose light helps us begin again each time we burn out.

The shadow child is
Any part of our child like nature, historical child or spiritual child that we have repressed and rejected, that we are afraid of, that we have neglected, which remains unhealed and damaged, which we have turned away from.

Why you need to connect and make friends with your shadow child
Because if you do not do so parts of your damaged, fearful and disowned child will continue to sap your energy, sabotage your happiness and make joy, love and wellbeing difficult goals for you.
Because if you do not the radiant, optimistic, strong joyful and creative child that lives within you will remain un-expressed, un-enjoyed and undiscovered.

A personal example
Earlier this week I went on holiday to the beach. On the first night I woke up in the early morning in my beach hut. For some reason I started thinking about things like insurance, what could go wrong in my life and was overwhelmed by a feeling of stress and anxiety. I asked to my mind “Why are you feeling so anxious all of a sudden?” A small, scared, high voice replied “Because the world is such a large and scary place”. That voice was an example of one of the ways in which my shadow child exists and speaks within my psyche. I relaxed, opened to the feelings of my child self, accepted them with care and allowed them to wash over and through me. After a while they subsided and I went back to sleep feeling fine.
From this short example you can see that one of the reasons we often reject our child self is because the voice that it speaks in is so child-like. We often dismiss it as nonsense and bury the feelings that are attached to the voice and the inner child that it came from. As a result the fear remains within us, and continues to affect us even thought we have dismissed it from our conscious mind.
To connect to our child self we need to connect with it on its level without judgment, to learn to speak its language.

Article and pictures © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, March 30th, April 27th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 30th March, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 30th March 2-5.30pm – Meditations for developing the language of your shadow self

APRIL

Tues & Weds 2nd/3rd April – Monthly astrological meditation – Aries – I Am: Developing confidence in yourself and your identity in the world

Saturday 13th April 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for transforming negativity and stress into positivity and enlightenment


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Happiness, meaning and the action in front of you

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“We all have days (sometimes many days) where we feel completely overwhelmed by life, and are struggling to cope with things day to day. At these times it can feel as if your highest purpose is completely out of your reach. At these times it can be really useful just to focus on the immediate task at hand and do it a little better”

Dear Integral Meditators,

How can you lead a life according to your highest values, and at the same time cope with the days where you feel totally overwhelmed? The article below looks at one way…
Last call for the Spring equinox meditation happening tonight and tomorrow evening 😉

In the spirit of the journey,

Toby


Happiness, meaning and the action in front of you

One of the best ways to build your sense of happiness and wellbeing is to align your efforts in life with your highest values. Striving to achieve what you consider to be truly meaningful won’t save you from all suffering, but then your going to suffer anyway. If you align yourself with something worthwhile, then that direction and purpose makes it more likely that you’ll be happy and resilient in the face of life’s challenges.

So, then the question is: “What is the highest purpose and values that I can align myself with? And how can I start?

In contrast, we all have days (sometimes many days) where we feel completely overwhelmed by life, and are struggling to cope with things day to day. At these times it can feel as if your highest purpose is completely out of your reach. The fact that you have a higher purpose can even add to your feeling of overwhelm. At these times I find it really useful just to focus on the immediate task in front of me and do it a little better. Super simple things like:

  • Sitting with more presence and awareness
  • Tidying the desk in front of me
  • Bringing order to my bedroom
  • Writing the next email or text message mindfully and well

I hold my space, bringing order to the world right in front of me and doing the next task a little better. This way I can keep my direction under the pressure of the moment, and cope (even thrive) when I’m feeling overwhelmed. So, a question for this second practice is: “What can I do in this moment, just a little better”.
With these two mindfulness practices we can devote ourself to a meaningful life in a big picture way sustainably, and improve the world around us right now in small ways that help us stay sane.

Article and pictures © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, March 30th, April 27th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues 19th & Weds 20th March – Spring equinox balancing and renewing meditation

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 30th March, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 30th March 2-5.30pm – Meditations for developing the language of your shadow self

APRIL

Tues & Weds 2nd/3rd April – Monthly astrological meditation – Aries – I Am: Developing confidence in yourself and your identity in the world

Saturday 13th April 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for transforming negativity and stress into positivity and enlightenment


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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A picture speaks a thousand words

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“As the saying goes, ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’. If you can find an image that speaks to you personally about the positive mind-state that you are looking to generate, then you can use it as your object of meditation.”

 

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at the use of images in meditation. If you enjoy it then do consider coming along to next weeks Spring equinox meditation, which uses this method quite extensively…
Quick reminder of this Saturdays Qi gong workout session, and energy meditationworkshops!

In the spirit of powerful pictures,

Toby


A picture speaks a thousand words

Meditation is really about learning to shift yourself into positive states of mind, body and mood at will. There are a number of ways of doing this, but one that for many people can be effective is the use of images. As the saying goes, ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’. If you can find an image that speaks to you personally about the positive mind-state that you are looking to generate, then you can use it as your object of meditation.

Using this method, you can create your own meditations.

For example, last week I wanted to meditate on ‘the power of my highest beliefs and potential’. I sat down to think of an image that would connect me to this. After a while I saw myself sitting on a beach in the evening, with a canopy of stars above and around me as I looked out to sea. There was a bright star above the water, as I looked at it I felt it connecting me to my highest beliefs and intentions, a simple but powerful image that ‘worked for me’. I then saw a big tiger coming from the trees behind me and sitting next to me, its head beneath the palm of my hand. I felt its power, and connected it to my own power to stick to and work towards my highest beliefs and potential.

So now I have my image, and anytime I want to connect to my highest beliefs and potential, I go to my beach with the star and the tiger.

Why not think about what it is that you want to meditate on, and create your own ‘picture that speaks a thousand words?’

Article and pictures © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, March 2nd, 16th, 30th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues 19th & Weds 20th March – Spring equinox balancing and renewing meditation

Saturday 16th March, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation for self healing and creating high levels of energy

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 30th March, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 30th March 2-5.30pm – Meditations for developing the language of your shadow self

APRIL

Saturday 13th April 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for transforming negativity and stress into positivity and enlightenment


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Mindful of what you believe is possible

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“If you look at your thoughts from moment to moment, you’ll see that they are often affirmations of your beliefs. They capture in a phrase what you believe is or is not possible”

 

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at the relationship between our thoughts and what we believe is possible (or not) in our life.

In the spirit of opening to possibilities,

Toby


Mindful of what you believe is possible 

A belief you have is a subjective feeling ( not a fact) and idea about what is possible and not possible in your life. The beliefs that you have create strong moods, emotions and atmospheres about what think you can and can’t do. They influence your actions in a very real way.
If you look at your thoughts from moment to moment, you’ll see that they are often affirmations of your beliefs. They capture in a phrase what you believe is or is not possible. So, to change a belief, you need to:

  1. Become aware of the thought that summarizes the belief in your mind
  2. Make small, incremental adjustments to the structure of the thought, changing what you believe to be possible in a positive way.
  3. Once you’ve made one small adjustment, then make another, and another, perhaps 3-4 adjustments in total. So now you have a new belief, and one that opens a doorway to a whole range of positive moods, emotions and actions in your life!

Here are two examples of what I mean:

Around work:

  1. Initial thought affirming the belief – “Two projects at the same time is already difficult, there is no way I can cope with a third”
  2. First adjustment – “Adding a third project to my schedule will be challenging” (but possible!)
  3. Second adjustment – “If I’m going to take on a third project I’m going to need to be more organized than I am now”.
  4. Third Adjustment – “I’m going to enjoy the challenge of taking on a third project at work, and the growth in income that it will afford me!”

So, you can see, with the final adjustment, a new belief, atmosphere, and sense of possibility is created around the same situation.

In an unhealthy relationship:

  1. Initial thought: “I can’t bear to leave this relationship; the thought fills me with fear and sadness”
  2. First adjustment: “I accept that I can’t bear to leave this relationship, but I know its time”
  3. Second: “I can leave this relationship, even though its going to be challenging”
  4. Final: “Because I value myself and my wellbeing, I am going to leave this relationship, and its going to be ok”

Again, you can see that by gradually changing the thought structure, progressively and gradually the belief and mood about what is possible changes.

So, the basic mindful process here is:

  1. Select the life challenge that you want to work on changing your beliefs around
  2. Observe your current beliefs around what you think is possible, capture it in a sentence
  3. Create a 3-4 stage adjustment in that sentence, to gradually change that belief, and open a door to a new set of moods, possibilities and actions in that situation!

Enjoy opening to new ideas of what is possible for you!

Related articleThoughts As Affirmations: Three Questions To Help Make Your Thoughts Your Allies

Article and pictures © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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   


All 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, March 2nd, 16th, 30th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues & Weds 5th/6th March – Monthly astrological meditation – Pisces – Mindful of our beliefs and sub-conscious mind

Tues 19th & Weds 20th March – Spring equinox balancing and renewing meditation

Saturday 16th March, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation for self healing and creating high levels of energy

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 30th March, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 30th March 2-5.30pm – Meditations for developing the language of your shadow self

APRIL

Saturday 13th April 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for transforming negativity and stress into positivity and enlightenment


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Mindful of: The next thing  

“You can’t control everything about what will happen in your life. However, you can control what you are going to focus on in the next hour or so, and you can spend that time doing what you have chosen with a substantial amount of control.”

Basic mindfulness involves giving yourself a point to focus on in the present moment. This point then allows you to:

  • Focus your energy
  • Calm your mind
  • Feel as if you are doing something constructive
  • Take your attention away from worry and distraction

One way of doing this that I find incredibly useful is just to ask myself:
What are the one, or maximum two things that I want to focus my energy on in the next hour? (or the next time period ahead of you, say the morning, afternoon, evening).
Having identified the one or two activities that I want to do, I use them as my centring object or point of focus; the most important things I need to do in the next hour.
For example, right now over the next hour I want to write this article and send it out, and then do a backup email for last night’s meditation class. Knowing this then enables me to relax and enjoy focusing on these two tasks, without worrying about what comes after them, or trying to take anything else on. Because of this I feel a certain degree of peace; I am present focused not future focused.

You can control the immediate future
You can’t control everything about what will happen in your life. There will always be a degree of uncertainty, unpredictability and challenge. That’s just the nature of being. And likely there will always be one too many things on your ‘to do’ list. However, you can control what you are going to focus on in the next hour or so, and you can spend that time doing what you have chosen with a substantial amount of control.

By choosing to focus on what you can control in this moment, you are setting yourself to enjoy this period of time, and to engage in activities that make the likelihood of ‘success’ in the medium and long term future more likely.

For the next hour work, or relax, or play, or rest, deliberately. Make the next thing your mindful anchor.

Related article: Street mindfulness

Article and picture © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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 


FULL DETAILS OF ALL MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION SESSIONS FOR MARCH 2019 AT IMA  BELOW!

 


All 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, 23rd February, March 2nd, 16th, 30th – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues & Weds 5th/6th March – Monthly astrological meditation – Pisces – Mindful of our beliefs and sub-conscious mind

Tues 19th & Weds 20th March – Spring equinox balancing and renewing meditation

Saturday 16th March, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation for self healing and creating high levels of energy

FOR BEGINNERS: Saturday 30th March, 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 30th March 2-5.30pm – Meditations for developing the language of your shadow self

APRIL

Saturday 13th April 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for transforming negativity and stress into positivity and enlightenment


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Meditation for cultivating vitality – Three practices

Below are three simple ways in which you can build vital energy in your body through meditation. They can be practised individually or in combination. They have the general meditation benefit of calming and focusing the body-mind, with the addition of specifically promoting the build-up and flow of life-force through the body.

Method 1 – Relaxing into tension:
Rather than fighting and seeking to get rid of tension, discomfort or fatigue in your body, make a point of moving towards it and relaxing into it. Try and locate the principal areas of tension in your body. Once you have identified them, take some time to work with each one in turn. Take a few breaths where as you inhale you allow yourself to feel the tension in that part of the body. Then, as you exhale relax into it and release. The principle here is that, if you focus attention on the area of the body where energy is blocked and work on releasing it, that will allow new energy and vitality to flow into that area of the body. Let your body relax so that vital energy can flow easily to areas where it is needed.

Method 2 – Breathing into your belly
In both the Zen and Qi gong traditions of meditation, there is a lot of emphasis upon breathing into the belly area, where the core of your body’s life-force (see my article on the Dan-tiens in qi gong) is said to be located. Initially, simply placing the palm of one hand on your belly, just beneath the belly button, and focusing on the rising and falling of the abdomen is a good way to start. Then once you have basic familiarity, you can visualize a ball of light about the size of a tennis ball sitting within the centre of the lower belly area. As you breathe in, see the ball glowing gently with vitality and life-force. As you breathe out see the light and energy from the ball expanding out into the rest of your body, filling it with energy. If you do this consistently, you will find that you have a real, tangible feeling of this energy building and expanding as you do the exercise.

Method 2 – Sitting like a pyramid
If you want to bring a sense of solidity and grounded-ness into your belly breathing, imagine your body as being like a pyramid as you sit and do the belly breathing. Imagine your hips and belly are like the broad base of the pyramid, with your chest and head tapering up to a point, so your hips and belly are super stable and broad. As you breathe in and out of the belly, release tension from your upper body downwards into the belly and hips, building the feeling of strength and stability.

Adding a smile
A final simple method you can combine with any of the above methods; add a gentle half smile into the mix:

  • As you release tension from the parts of your body, smile to them gently and warmly
  • As you breathe in and out of the belly, imagine the energy is warm and smiling, positively radiating out from the belly into the rest of the body.

Wishing you enjoyment with your experience of mindful vitality!

Related articles: 
Mindful Centring – three sitting positions
Breathing from your belly

Article and picture © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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 


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia for February

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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, 16th & 23rd February – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturday 23rd February 11-12.30pm –   Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 23rd February, 3.30-5.30pm – Developing Your Self-Confidence Through Mindfulness Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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Mindful sitting – Three centring positions

“The way you sit and stand are psychological positions as well as a physical ones. Its worth doing them consciously.”

Here are three simple ways to centre yourself while sitting. You can practise them individually or together, one after the other. Each of them has a slightly different effect and benefit, all of them are simple and easy to do once you have tried them a few times. They are designed to encourage a feeling in the body that is helpful both to our physical health and energy levels as well as our psychological wellbeing. They can be done standing as well as sitting.

Position 1 – Sitting like a puppet: Sit upright in a chair, imagine that you have a piece of string attached to the crown of your head. Feel it pulling your head neck and torso up a couple of centimetres, so that your posture is upright and vertical. Now imagine you are hanging from the string. Relax all the muscles in the body as much as you can, so that the only muscle work that your body is doing is to keep itself upright. For example, your face does not need to hold any tension for the body to be upright. Progressively go through all the main areas of your body, relaxing them as much as possible. Then simply notice what this feels like, focusing your attention on it for a while.

Often when we are sitting or standing we are holding a lot of unnecessary tension in our body, the idea here is to create a habitual way of sitting that is ergonomic as well as relaxing.

Position 2 – The half-smile: Become aware of the expression on your face. Spend a few moments relaxing the muscles in the face and bringing it into a neutral expression. Then raise the corners of your mouth a few millimetres so that your expression describes a warm half-smile. As you breathe in, focus on the feeling of the expression, as you breathe out, extend the feeling of the expression to the rest of your body, and if you like to any moods, emotions or thoughts in your mind. Centre yourself around your facial expression for a short while, being curious about the effect that it has on you.

Its very easy to spend long periods of the day with holding tension and emotion in our expression that are not helping us. The half-smile helps us to counter this tendency.

Position 3 – Sitting with confidence: The half-smile expression already invites a feeling of gentle self-confidence. Becoming more aware of the body, make small adjustments that help you connect to a feeling of confidence. Even if you don’t feel immediately confident, adopt a posture that helps you start to move that way; shoulders and chest open and relaxed, hands and limbs relaxed. Like the other two positions, practice the posture so that the body becomes familiar with it, and it becomes a habitual, default body posture for you, even when you are under pressure.

So, there you go, three body positions to practice centring yourself mindfully around anytime!

Article and picture © Toby Ouvry 2019, 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 


Shadow Coaching with Toby February Special Offer

Special offer of 15% off Toby’s shadow coaching 3 session package up to end Thursday 14th February. for full details click HERE!
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung


All Courses at Integral Meditation Asia for February

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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, 16th & 23rd February – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues & Weds February 12/13th – Monthly astrological meditation – Aquarius: Developing your inner knowing and self-knowledge

Saturday 23rd February 11-12.30pm –   Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 23rd February, 3.30-5.30pm – Developing Your Self-Confidence Through Mindfulness Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

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Unstructured mindfulness – Turning and facing yourself

Dear  Integral Meditators,

What might happen if you spent 5-10mins each day simply turning your attention within you and becoming more self-aware? The article below explores this question, and how you can start to engage in this form of ‘unstructured mindfulness’ practice.

In the spirit of self-awareness,

Toby


Unstructured mindfulness – Turning and facing yourself

“Focus on holding the position of the observer. If you do this you will notice that there is a feeling of stability within you that comes from the discipline of holding this position, and doing nothing more.”

The value of self-awareness
One of the main points of mindfulness is to increase your self-awareness. The more self-aware you are, the more self-knowledge you will have. The more self-knowledge you have, the more likely you are to make intelligent choices that will lead to you both being effective in your life and nurture your wellbeing.
There are many ways of using mindfulness to increase self-awareness, but essentially, it just means spending regular time turning and looking within.

How you do it – turning and facing
Unstructured mindfulness is simply the act of turning your attention inwards and noticing what is going on within your body, heart and mind. You just turn your attention from the outer world to your inner, or interior world, and watch. You are not following a structure or listening to a voice leading you through a process, you are just turning your mental gaze inwards and noticing what is going on within you, in the moment. If you do this, you will start to become aware of things going on in a way that you were not previously. This means that you are increasing your self-awareness.

Stability comes from the position of the observer
As you are doing this, all you need to do is hold the position of the observer. Watch and notice. Don’t try and fix or alter, simply focus gently on holding the position of the observer. If you do this you will notice that there is an increasingly reliable feeling of stability within you that comes from holding the position of the observer, and doing nothing more.

Two anchors for support
The act of turning and facing yourself can be quite intimidating for some people. With this in mind, here are two simply methods or positions you can use to anchor your mind to as you watch:

  1. The non-emergency of the present moment – Recognize that in this moment, right now, there is no immanent emergency. Relax into the recognition that you are safe, and you can afford this time to just turn inward and watch!
  2. Letting your body breath – If difficult or challenging things come up as you watch your mind and body, let your body breathe in a way that helps you to accept and then release what comes up. If you let it, your body knows how to breath in a way that will lead you and it gradually towards balance and equilibrium.

© Toby Ouvry 2019, 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, 16th & 23rd February – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Tues & Weds February 12/13th – Monthly astrological meditation – Aquarius: Developing your inner knowing and self-knowledge

Saturday 9th February, 9.30am-12.30pm  – Going from overwhelmed to overwell meditation workshop

Saturday 23rd February 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

Saturday 23rd February, 3.30-5.30pm – Developing Your Self-Confidence Through Mindfulness Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Free Form Breathing – Allowing your body intelligence to decide

Dear  Integral Meditators,

This weeks article is a short, simple and profound breathing meditation technique for getting in touch with your body’s natural intelligence and wisdom. I do it a lot, and when I teach it people give very good feedback on the immediate effects they notice!
Reminder of the next two classes, this Tuesday and Wednesday’s Chinese New year meditation, and the Aquarius meditation on developing your self-knowledge on the 12/13th February.

In the spirit of our body-wisdom,

Toby


Free Form Breathing – Allowing your body intelligence to decide

One very simple technique that can be used both as a meditation in itself, or in order to prepare for other meditation practices is as follows:
Simply ask your body how it wants to breathe in order to find its point of balance, relaxation and calm. Then simply allow your bodies consciousness to guide the pace, depth and manner of your breathing for a few minutes.

In this exercise rather than imposing a technique or form upon your breathing and body, you allow your body consciousness to guide you in the breathing pattern IT needs to do most in order to find centered-ness, relaxation and calm. It may decide that it needs to breathe in short bursts with an emphasis on the outbreath, it may guide you toward long, evenly spaced breathing or whatever (you may be a little surprised!). The point is that you are allowing your body consciousness to do it, rather than dictating to our body what the rhythm should be.
Once you have done this for a while you’ll find that your mind and body are calmer and more centered, and you can go onto engage in whatever activity you then wish with a greater sense of poise and presence of mind.

© Toby Ouvry 2019, 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

January 29/30th, 7.30-8.30pm – Lunar new year meditation 2019: Being benevolent and big-hearted in the year of the Pig

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am, 16th & 23rd February  – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturdays February 9th & 23rd, 4-5.30pm , 4-5.30pm – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby

Tues & Weds February 12/13th – Monthly astrological meditation – Aquarius: Developing your inner knowing and self-knowledge

Saturday 9th February, 9.30am-12.30pm  – Going from overwhelmed to overwell meditation workshop

Saturday 23rd February 11-12.30pm – Get your meditation practice started now- The shortest and most time effective meditation workshop ever

MARCH

Saturday 16th March, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation for self healing and creating high levels of energy


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Trusting Yourself (Your first Guardian Angel)

Dear  Integral Meditators,

This Sunday I will be doing a workshop on your meditation with your Guardian Angels. Before you start thinking about how you relate to ‘spiritual guardians’, its really important to realize that your first personal guardian is yourself, your mind and your ‘inner signals’.
The article below explores in a practical way how you can build trust in yourself and your inner signals.
Those interested in the workshop, just click on the link below. You can also see my previous article on Understanding and working with your Guardian Angel.

In the spirit of trusting your inner signals,

Toby


This Sunday 27th January, 2-5pm – Meditations for connecting to and working with your Guardian Angel

In a sentence: Learn how you can use meditation as a practical way of connecting to and communicating with your guardian angel.
All of the great wisdom traditions speak of speak of spiritual guardians who can offer us support, guidance and protection on our journey through life. This workshop focuses specifically on the tradition of the personal guardian angel. In the session you will learn what is mean by an ‘angel’ or angelic being, and what is the nature and function of our own guardian angel….click here for full details.


Trusting Yourself (Your first Guardian Angel)

Mindfulness and meditation can give us temporary calm and relief from the continuous activity of our thinking mind, but if we are tempted to use it as a way of escaping from our mind then we should be wary.
Ideally mindfulness should be a way of gaining confidence and trust in our mind and ourself so that gradually our relationship to our thinking mind becomes more and more harmonious and mutually supportive; our thoughts support a healthy experience of self, and our sense of self encourages a reliable approach to thinking about our life experience.
Nathaniel Branden has in interesting definition of self-confidence, he says “Self confidence is confidence in the reliability of our mind as a tool of cognition…it is the conviction that we are genuinely committed to perceiving and honouring reality to the fullest extent of our volitional power.”
So, the long and the short of this is that in order to be genuinely and deeply self-confident, you need to learn to trust your mind, and use it as well as you are able within the limits of your ability.

Pseudo-self confidence
Quite a few people exert a lot of effort building pseudo self-confidence in order to disguise their fundamental lack of trust in their own mind and judgment. We might become very physically fit, or very wealthy, or have read all the right books about being a parent, have gained many educational certificates and degrees, or even become an expert meditator (and other examples ad infinitum) all as a way of building a buffer between ourself and our actual moment to moment experience of reality and life. Fundamentally we don’t trust our mind to be able to deal with it effectively; deep down we lack self-confidence, so we build buffers and things to hide behind.

Three mindful questions for building self-confidence and trust in your mind.
Take a situation in your life, perhaps something that you have experienced today. Ask yourself three questions in turn:
“What am I seeing and experiencing here”
“What are my mind, emotions and senses signalling to me about what I am seeing and experiencing?”
“Am I honouring my own experience and mind here or am I turning away from it?”The answer to the third question will tell you whether you are using this activity and experience to build your self-confidence and trust in your own mind, or whether you are subverting it. As the old saying goes “Many drops of water slowly dripping into a pot will eventually make it full”; in our day by day journey to self-confidence, or to a lack of it, this saying rubs both ways.Generally the challenge here is not that we don’t know enough, but that we know more than we would like, and would rather avoid the responsibility of that knowledge.

© Toby Ouvry 2019, 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)

Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

January 29/30th, 7.30-8.30pm – Lunar new year meditation 2019: Being benevolent and big-hearted in the year of the Pig

Saturday mornings 9-10.15am :16th & 23rd February  – Qi Gong workout and meditation class

Saturdays , 4-5.30pm – Mindfulness group coaching sessions with Toby

Saturday 26th January, 1-4pm – Growing your mindful freedom meditation workshop

Sunday 27th January, 2-5pm – Meditations for connecting to and working with your Guardian Angel

FEBRUARY

Saturday 9th February, 9.30-12.30 – Going from overwhelmed to overwell meditation workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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