The Eye of the Storm – Finding peace in the non-peace

Dear Integral Meditators,

What would happen if in the moments when you were feeling most disturbed and out of balance you were able to find a place of peace within that same moment? The article below explores how you can begin to do so.

Live in Singapore this week: The Tuesday & Wednesday evening meditation classes will be on this very subject, how to find the eye of your own inner storms!

Full classes for February below the article…

In the spirit of the eye of the storm,

Toby


The Eye of the Storm – Finding peace in the non-peace
 
It’s always pleasant and valuable to seek out peaceful times and places in your day where you can cultivate your inner peace mindfully, but it can also be hugely valuable to learn to notice the peace that is present in the mist of the most stressful situations that you find yourself in, for example

  • When you have multiple demands upon your time
  • When your relationships are in crisis
  • When your health is not good
  • When you face setbacks nervousness or uncertainty

If you think about any of these type of circumstances in your mind or life as being like a storm, to find the ‘peace in the non-peace’ means to go looking for the eye of the storm in that moment; to locate and hold your awareness in that center point. You don’t wait for the storm to subside or go away; you actively look for the point of stillness within it as the activity goes on around and within you.
This is a very powerful way to learn to experience peace, as it is directly contrasted with the stress, movement and turbulence of your circumstances. Cultivating peace in this way also makes you more resilient, as your capacity to endure and relax into stress increases.
So, the next time you find yourself experiencing non-peace, remember the eye of the storm and look for the still point within the turbulence, placing your attention and awareness in that place. Find the peace within the non-peace.

© 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)

Wednesday 13/14 February 7.30-8.30pm – Lunar new year meditation 2018: Drawing Strength from your Deeper Values in the year of the Earth Dog

Saturday 24th February, 1.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Activating, Healing and Awakening our Ancestral Karma


Integral Meditation Asia

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Combating Your Addiction to stimulation (& New Meditation Sleep Technology)

Dear Integral Meditators,

In this age of mental over stimulation, how can we find and enhance our peace of mind? The article below considers this question in the context of three qualities, permission, seduction and courage!

Beneath the article you’ll see I’ve placed some info about a product from I-Awake called ‘Sound Asleep‘. If you are looking for a drug-free way of improving your sleep, this is one alternative. I have been using it myself since it has come out, and getting some good results.

Live in Singapore this week: The Tuesday & Wednesday evening meditation classes will be on ‘Leaping like a Tiger – How to be Positively Mindful of your Self-Concept’ . And on Saturday we have the Deep dive meditation & Mindful Walking retreat.

In the spirit of permission, seduction and courage,

Toby


Combating Your Addiction to stimulation (Permission, Seduction, Courage)

If you ask anyone, “Would you like more calm and peace in your life?” the vast majority of us would say “Yes, or course!” With that in mind, what is the mindful gateway that can take us to that greater calm? One answer to this is boredom.
What do I mean by this? Well, in the information age our mind is mostly over stimulated. We are trying to digest too much information at any given time. Whenever our mind feels uncomfortable and insecure, the ‘go to’ activity now is to seek distraction, either on our phone, or on computers, or in the company of others. Our concentration span has become smaller, and our ability to do one thing at a time has decreased. It would be true to say that most of us are addicted to stimulation and as a result our minds are in a state of perpetual agitation. More than that we are addicted to that state of agitation and stimulation.

To move your body-mind into a state of calm, what actually needs to be done is to stop all the stimulation and ‘flipping’ of our attention, and let our mind focus on just one thing for an period of time. Peace and calm in this sense are a side effect of the act of concentrating on just one thing! Because your mind is addicted to change and stimulation, one of the big obstacles that we face to calm may be our mind complaining that it is bored. Focusing on one thing, for the first few minutes that we try to do it feels terribly boring. Our mind twitches around looking for the next thing to grab its attention and stimulate it. Only by patiently enduring, walking toward and through that sense of boredom will our mind start to settle. From this settling a sense of peace and calm will naturally start to emerge.

Walking through boredom with permission, seduction and courage
For this exercise you can take any suitable object as your object of focus. Here I’m going to suggest you take something predictable and boring like the breathing, perhaps just seeing if you can count from 1-5 breaths at a time without getting distracted, and repeating this on a loop for the duration of the meditation. Having chosen your object, I then suggest that you can use three states of mind to help you as you focus:

  1. Give yourself full permission to drop everything else and focus on your breathing (or chosen object). Make sure your mind understands that all emergencies are suspended for the duration of the session, it really can put down distractions. This way as it starts to ‘detox’ from its overstimulated state, it can relax into the boredom and discomfort, rather than turning away from it.
  2. Use seduction. Tell yourself and your mind how much you will enjoy it if you can really let go and rest at ease. Empathize with the overstimulated distraction-addict in you. Let her know that you are there to help and that beyond the boredom lies peace!
  3. Courage. As peace and calm begin to kick in, there can also be an enhanced awareness of all the fears, insecurities and anxieties that are behind your most compulsive distractions. You place courage in the center of your awareness as these fears kick in, enabling you to ‘hold your position’ long enough for the calm to emerge stably, and for your mind to settle!

So, there you go! A simple exercise for walking though the gateway of boredom to deeper peace and calm. And a way of gently combating our addiction to stimulation.
© 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


SOUND ASLEEP – A deeply soothing guided meditation with embedded brainwave frequencies for restorative, sound sleep
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With Sound Asleep, I-Awake have created a sound technology tool to gently lull you into the very deepest stages of sleep.
A soothing, dream-like blend of words, ocean waves, and advanced brainwave entrainment, Sound Asleep is designed to give you more peaceful, restorative sleep, night after night.
Click on the link to find out more and listen to the free sample! 20% off until February 1st!


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 February 3rd, 9.15am-12.15pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

February classes coming soon!


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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The Fundamental Game of Mindfulness – Three Stages

Dear Integral Meditators,

You will never be able to entirely control what happens in your life. In fact, sometimes you may feel that you are not in control of your life at all. However, you do have control of the way in which you pay attention to what you experience. Engaged mindfulness is all about taking benevolent control how you pay attention to the experience in the moment.
The article below explores how, in three stages…

In the spirit of engaged mindfulness,

Toby


The Fundamental Game of Mindfulness – Three Stages

You will never be able to entirely control what happens in your life. In fact, sometimes you may feel that you are not in control of your life at all. However, you do have control of the way in which you pay attention to what you experience. Engaged mindfulness is all about taking benevolent control how you pay attention to the experience in the moment. It involves three stages:

  1. Firstly, noticing how you are paying attention to an event, and the way in which that attention is affecting your experience.
  2. It then involves asking the question “How can I adjust the way I am paying attention in such a way that I am being both more effective, and deriving greater happiness and/or wellbeing from what is going on?” This question can be shortened to “What is the best way to pay attention here?”
  3. Finally, it involves making an adjustment to your attention, based on your answer to stage 2. Once you have made the adjustment, you then practice holding that ‘attentional position’, using it to optimize your experience.

An example:
Recently I have been doing quite a lot of voice recording for a mindfulness app. The process of doing the recording involves receiving quite a lot of (mostly well intentioned) criticism from people about my voice, my tone, the energy level and ‘entertaining-ness’ of the narration. When receiving this criticism, I notice that my mind could very easily start focusing on this criticism in an overly personal way, and feeling negative or discouraged. So then I ask myself the question “What is the best way to guide my attention in this experience?” upon reflection I came up with a three pronged approach:

  1. I need to receive the criticism in a detached manner
  2. I need to be interested and curious about how the criticism can help me to become a better voice narrator and mindfulness teacher. Seeing the value of the criticism to me personally helps me receive it positively, even when part of my mind resists.
  3. I can choose to focus on my successes and the positive feedback that I am getting for my efforts. This way any criticism always comes in the context of the things that are going well and the progress that I am making.

So then having answered the question in these three ways, the ‘game of mindfulness’ that I then start to play is holding these three perspectives. As I go about my narration work with my colleagues, detachment, curiosity and what is going well become the ‘mindful ways’ that I make the most of my experience in the present moment. In this way my mindfulness practice helps me to both enjoy/derive pleasure from my experience, and to be as good at it as I can be.
This week, you might like to apply this three-stage mindfulness game to your own experiences, personal or professional. Simply choose your experience and then:

  • Notice the way your mind is paying attention to it, is it helping or hindering?
  • Ask the question “What is the best way to pay attention here”
  • After you have answered the question, focus on training your attention to hold these mindful positions, so that you derive maximum value from your experience.

Enjoy the game!

© 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 February 3rd, 9.15am-12.15pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

February classes coming soon!


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Four Positions for Wrestling with your Dark Angels

Dear Integral Meditators,

When you find yourself wrestling with difficult or challenging mind-states, what mindfulness practices can you actually ‘do’ that will make a difference? The article below investigates four practical ‘mindful positions’ that you can start working with.

For those in Singapore, we will be exploring these positions in the Tuesday & Wednesdayevening classes, and doing related work in the Language of the Shadow workshop this Saturday.

In the spirit of mindful wrestling,

Toby


Four Positions for Wrestling with your Dark Angels

In my previous article I talked about the ‘Dark Angels’ that we sometimes have to wrestle with. These dark angels are states of mind that arise from challenges in our life. They are characterized by:

  • Feeling as if you are wrestling with a dark force within that you would rather run from, hide from and/or forget about.
  •  It being difficult for you to sit down and be present with yourself because your mind cannot rest at peace.
  • If you do choose to sit down and wrestle with them you develop new strength, skills and stamina that you would not be able to develop of your ‘dark angels’ were not arising and inviting you to wrestle with them.

So, then the question may arise “Ok so if I do choose to sit down and ‘wrestle’ with them, how can I actually ‘do’ that?” With this in mind, here are four basic ‘mindful positions’ that you can adopt and develop your ‘wrestling skills’ with.

Position 1 – Observational curiosity: This first position involves taking one step, or at least half a step back from your experience, and from there be curious and gather information about what you are experiencing. Quite often just this simple act of stepping back and observing starts to reap insights quite quickly. There is a certain stability that comes from the position of observing. It puts us in the position of being in the calm centre of the storm, rather than simply being tossed around by it.

Position 2 – Courage and careThis involves extending the energy of care to yourself, and if possible to other people involved in the situation. Whatever is arising, you make care and compassion the basic perspective from which you experience the challenge. The same principle applies with courage; you simply hold the position of courage mentally, and see how it starts to work on and affect your experience of the situation…

Position 3 – Mindful framing: With this stance, you simply look for ways of mentally framing what you are experiencing that help you to see it in a positive light, for example:

  • This health problem is good because it is helping me to become more mindful of caring for my body, and look after my health more
  • The stress in my relationship is good because it is helping me to really work on and strengthen my appreciation of what my partner is doing right, rather than being fixated on what they are doing wrong
  • This financial demand is useful as it is helping me to become a better business owner and make more money whilst at the same time holding to my core values.

Your mental perspective defines your experience (and the choices you make) in large part!

Position 4 – Coming back to your body: Often when we are struggling emotionally our mind speeds up as we seek for a solution. This fourth position involves getting out of our head and into our body and senses. Come back to your body or one of your senses and use it as a stable, non-conceptual base where you can relax and gather strength and relief from the activity in your mind. Let the emotions flow through your body, just feel them somatically, without judging them, repressing them or intellectualizing them.

So there you go, four positions that you can play around with whenever you find yourself being confronted with one of your ‘Dark Angels’!

© 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 January 13th, 2-5pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Saturday January 20th – 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Wrestling with your Dark Angels

Dear Integral Meditators,

What happens when your meditation practice becomes difficult or challenging due to your life circumstances, and how can you keep going? The article below explores this using the image of our having ‘Dark Angels’. Enjoy!

For those in Singapore, a final reminder for the Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat this Saturday January 13th, 2-5pm.

In the spirit of the journey,

Toby


Wrestling with your Dark Angels

When our life is pleasant, and our emotions are stable it can be easy and enjoyable to sustain a meditation practice. We experience for ourselves how it increases our peace of mind and pleasure. We enjoy the effects of greater focus in our work. We notice our body feeling lighter and more healthy.
For a lot of people however, when our life takes a turn for the worse, the temptation can be to stop meditating. This is because when we sit down to meditate, our difficult emotions confront us and we want to escape from them. Siting meditating becomes a place where, rather than feeling peaceful and blessed, we feel as if we are wrestling with a dark force within us that we would rather run from and forget about.
However, it is precisely at this stage, when we are “wrestling with our dark angels” that it can be most useful to keep meditating and keep on engaging with our challenging mind states. It is by being persistent in this way that we often have real insights into the deeper meaning of what we are going through, and the opportunity that it is offering us.

Wrestling to become stronger
At times like these it can be useful to change your expectations of your meditation practice. When you sit down, don’t expect greater peace of mind to come to you as you sit. Instead, expect to wrestle with what is in your mind, and for that to be the point of your practice. Understand that by wrestling with it you are developing new strength, skills and stamina that you would not be able to develop of your ‘dark angels’ were not arising and inviting you to wrestle with them.

Some examples:
Since the new year I have had certain additional financial responsibilities to take on, so I need to further develop my sources of income. This has become a dark angel for me. I experience the thoughts and feelings coming from these demands, I wrestle with the uncertainty, the insecurity, the fears. As I do so in a mindful way, I notice myself learning, becoming stronger, becoming more confident. I couldn’t grow in this way without this dark angel of mine.
Another example of a dark angel for me has been my desire for certainty and control in my relationships; Part of me want my partner and our daughters to be safe always, I want our futures to be fixed, guaranteed. Sometimes when my mind reflects upon this desire, all the uncertainties that we face, all the possible challenges, all the things that might go wrong rise up. I have to wrestle with these ‘dark angels’, I have to let them train me to be stronger, more compassionate, to change my idea of what I can take, and what I am capable of.
I’m calling these types of obstacles dark angels because, although they are ‘dark’, if we let them, they become our angels. They bless us by training us to develop qualities and strengths that, without them we could not develop. They are inviting us to become bigger and better versions of ourselves.
What are the dark angels in your life right now that you might like to start sitting down and wrestling with?

© 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 2nd & Wednesday 3rd January – 2018 New year releasing and inviting meditation

Saturday January 13th, 2-5pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Saturday January 20th – 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Leaping like a Tiger (Mindful of your Self-Concept)

Dear Integral Meditators,

Is your idea of who you are helping you or hindering you in your life? The article below explores this question, and how you can start to apply it to your own expediences in a practical way!

Quick reminder of the special offer on the 1:1 Mindfulness Coaching service; 10% off for any set of 3x 60minute sessions booked in January.

In the spirit of leaping,

Toby


Leaping like a Tiger (Mindful of your Self-Concept)

Your idea of who you are
Your self-concept is your idea of who you are. It is an image that you hold in your head, often unconsciously, about the type of person you are, what you are capable of , what you can and can’t do. It has been formed by your upbringing and principle role models, your parents, teachers and so forth. It is also formed by your experiences, the choices you have made, by how often you have experimented by pushing yourself beyond your perceived limitations.

Are you a Tiger or a Jackal?
When I first started meditating, I once asked my main teacher, who was a Buddhist Monk why he became a monk, as opposed to trying to attain enlightenment as a lay teacher, staying in relationships, having a family and so on. He replied with a quote from the 13th Century Tibetan Yogi Milarepa, saying “If a jackal tries to jump where a tiger leaps, he will only break his neck”. His meaning was that he recognized his limitations. A monk’s life was a simple affair relative to a working family life, therefore easier to maintain a meditation practice than if one is a layman/woman. He, as the ‘jackal’ should recognize his limits, and go for the ‘safer option’ of being a monk.
In the years to come I duly became a monk in order to develop my meditation practice, living a life of relative ‘limitation’. After five years I reached a point where I decided to leave the monastic life, and go back to the life of a working layman, engaging in relationships and having a family. During that time I had to confront my fears that I would not be ‘big’ or capable enough to sustain my inner development amidst all the challenges and distractions. Part of me still believed that I was the jackal, and on course to break my neck as I lept. During this time I really recognized the importance of identifying with the ‘Tiger’ in me. In order to meet and transform my challenges I had to be bigger, bolder, faster, more confident than my old self-concept allowed. I had to believe that I could leap with confidence and not break my neck. For example:

  • I had to believe that I could become a successful business man and entrepreneur despite being an ex-monk and before that an artist (not exactly and MBA graduate)
  • I had to know that I was capable of engaging in the emotional complexity of relationships and child-rearing and turning it into a path of inner growth and enlightenment
  • I had to believe that I could make a good living and meet my middle-aged financial responsibilities solely from activities relating to my passions and interests
  • I had to fully own and occupy my space as a meditation teacher without the outer ‘authority’ and endorsement of being a monk and/or part of a recognized organization.

In short, I had to believe in my potential, recognize my capability, be the tiger, and leap! Again, and again and again…

There are certainly times when it may be advisable to be the jackal; to recognize that you should not try something that you are really not ready for and that can even be dangerous. However, too often we identify ourselves as the jackal in situations where our potential is actually the tiger. Our self-concept artificially limits our potential.

What are the situations in your life where you should really be leaping, not holding back?

© 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 2nd & Wednesday 3rd January – 2018 New year releasing and inviting meditation

Saturday January 13th, 2-5pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Saturday January 20th – 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Mindful Gentleness & Kindness – Three Reflections

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores gentleness as a theme. In particular ways in which I have been using mindfulness creatively to explore and integrate gentleness into my real-time experience.

Wishing you all the very best for the upcoming new year celebrations, for those in Singapore, you can catch the 2018 New year releasing and inviting meditation live on the 2nd or 3rd January. Those not in Singapore, it is available as  a recording if you wish to participate!

Yours in the strength of gentleness,

Toby


Mindful Gentleness & Kindness – Three Reflections

As I continue to practice integral mindfulness, I really enjoy looking for ways in which I can use it to play with my circumstances in a creative way. Here are three current examples around gentleness and kindness. You can adapt any of them to your own circumstances if you like!

Gentle with jet-lag
I’ve just returned to Singapore after a Christmas trip to the UK. This morning I woke up because of the jet-lag at around 5am. Likely I have a few more days of this happening, so I wanted to think of something to do with this early morning time. As I was lying down thinking what it might be, I remembered the words of a message a friend sent to me yesterday: “Fly safe. land gently. See you next time round”. I then thought ‘well, if I’m going to be awake, at least I can “land gently” by mindfully extending kindness and gentleness to myself as I lie here’. So, I spent my time breathing and extending kindness to my body, encouraging the muscles to become gentle and release tension. I extended kindness to my mind as the thoughts about the upcoming days and months came and went; I made my inner environment gentle. I then started naturally extending kindness and good wishes to everyone who came up in my mind, my daughter, my partner, our family members, whoever came up. After a while I started playing around with other qualities; extending bravery to them, saying how loved they are, saying how much I believed in them, how this year is going to be great for them…I was just playing around, being spontaneous at this point. When the alarm went at 7am, I got up feeling dis-oriented but quite well rested and feeling good. This was due to a large degree I think to being deliberate about keeping the ‘land gently’ theme mindfully front and centre as I lay awake.

My daughter’s mindful thanks
In the departure lounge at Heathrow, my daughter started saying thankyou to me for all the things that she enjoyed and appreciated about me and my actions over the holiday; “Thanks for the shoes you gave me for Christmas, thankyou for helping me pack my bags…” and so on. Of course I found this very endearing and was touched. But I also noticed that as she did it, her energy became gentler. She really seemed to take pleasure in the words. The more she did it, the more gentle confidence she seemed to have about herself. I started thinking of things that I could thank her for regarding our trip. It made the time we spent traveling home together full of mindful gentle affection and appreciation, despite the discomfort of the long hours sitting in aeroplane chairs!

The dance of justice and gentleness
On the flight home I re-watched a Judge Dredd movie. Judge Dredd is a comic book character I followed at school, essentially a no-nonsense dispenser of justice in a future post-nuclear city. As I traveled with my daughter reflecting on thanks, and then as I lay in bed practising mindful gentleness, I placed next to the gentleness the energy and theme of justice (as an image of Judge Dredd). As I relaxed with kindness and gentleness, I placed its complementary opposite, justice, next to it. I played around with how gentle-justice might feel, and how expressing discipline and justice can be done with kindness motivating it. In my opinion, this type of mindful blending of complementary opposites is a really important practice, as it strengthens both qualities. In this case gentleness and justice become not ‘either/or’, but ‘both/and’, which is a fundamental principle of engaged and integral mindfulness.

© Toby Ouvry 2017, 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 2nd & Wednesday 3rd January – 2018 New year releasing and inviting meditation

Saturday January 13th, 2-5pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Saturday January 20th – 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Light reborn from darkness (& Online Winter Solstice meditation 20/21 Dec)

Dear Integral Meditators,

I hope you are enjoying the run up toward Christmas! In the article below I share a meditation practice that I use quite a lot at this time of year s a way of aligning myself with the seasonal energies, I hope you enjoy it!

Beneath the article there are the details of an ‘Online Winter Solstice Meditation‘ that I am doing on the 21st December. wherever you are in the world you are most welcome to participate! Scroll down for the full details.

In  the spirit of the solstice & the festive season,

Toby


Light reborn from darkness

One of the meditations that I use quite a lot over the Winter solstice period is something I call ‘Resting in regenerative darkness’. It’s a very cozy, ergonomic meditation form that also aligns well with the greater darkness of the season. Its use however does not have to be limited to this time of year.
To do this you can either literally place yourself in a dark or dimly lit room, or simply use your imagination. If you wish you can also have an unlit candle in front of you, ready for the second stage of the meditation, although this can be imagined if you don’t have one at hand.
Sitting or lying comfortably, take a few breaths where, as you breathe out you imagine you are moving into a sleepy, restful, dark state. You might feel you are sinking gently into the darkness of night, or the darkness of deep space. You could imagine yourself sinking into the dark soil of a forest, or sitting in cave or cavern beneath the earth. Feel your conscious mind switching almost completely off. Feel your body moving into to a deeply restful, regenerative state, surrounded by darkness. Let your mind become blank, almost like it is in hibernation. Feel like a soul that has died and is waiting quietly to be reborn.
Breathe and relax into the darkness.

The light reborn. 
After you have spent a while resting in the darkness, imagine a single light appears, like a single candle flame. If you have an actual candle flame in front of you, you can light it at this stage. Focus on the light. You might see it in the centre of your heart space –  a new light re-born from the darkness. This new light is the light of new life within you, the renewal of your spiritual being and creative potential in the world. For now, it is just a single light in the darkness; calm, bright and able to grow gently into its own power. Spend some time breathing as you focus on the light; inhale as you focus upon it, as you exhale relax into it; become the light in the darkness. Let yourself feel like a bright soul that has been re-born anew and playful in the darkness.
Finish when you are ready.

I invite you to enjoy this technique over the festive & new year season, if you want to explore it along with other seasonal meditation themes, do have a look at the winter solstice meditation below!

© Toby Ouvry 2017, 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


Winter solstice balancing & renewing meditation 

This is a one hour online meditation session, the link to listen to and/or download it will be sent to participants on the 20th December. It can be listened to on the 21st/22nd, or at the time of your convenience. 

About the class: The Winter Solstice is deepest point of Winter in the northern hemisphere, the point of maximum outer darkness & the shortest day.
In Celtic the name of the winter solstice in ‘Alban Arthan’ of ‘The Light of Arthur’. In this case Arthur refers to the Sun God who, at this time of maximum darkness in the year dies and is reborn in the world of nature and within ourselves. The founding fathers of the Christian church placed the birthday celebration of the Christ at this time of year, as it fits in perfectly with the ancient tradition of ‘the light of the World’ being born anew at this time.
This will be a chance to reflect on the spiritual meaning of Christmas and power of the winter season. We will look at the different ways our own inner light can ‘die and be re-born once more’.
It is a good time to attune to the creative energies within ourselves. We can think about the new year & spring periods that lie ahead of us, what our goals & expectations are, & sow the seeds on an inner level of that which we wish to manifest over the next few months.
In the meditation we will be journeying through the ‘Gateway of the Winter’ in order to connect to our inner-world guides, healers and protectors, receiving their wisdom, companionship & support, both now and for the next part of the year.

Suitable for: Both beginners & more advanced practitioners of meditation & mindfulness. All are welcome!

Cost: Sing$20 per participant

Click HERE to make payment for the Winter Solstice meditation

For further enquiries: Email info@tobyouvry.com, or sms 65-96750279

About the teacher, Toby Ouvry
Toby is a mindfulness teacher and trainer, and the author of the book ‘Engaged Mindfulness – What mindfulness is and how we can apply it to our daily lives’. He has a BA Hons degree in Fine Art from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Subsequent to his degree, Toby spent ten years doing his foundational training in meditation and mindfulness, specializing in the Tibetan Tradition which included five years as an ordained Buddhist monk….click HERE for full details of Toby


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)

Thursday 21st December – Winter Solstice Balancing & Renewing Meditation

Tuesday 2nd & Wednesday 3rd January – 2018 New year releasing and inviting meditation

Saturday January 20th – 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Two Meditation Gateways (& Online Winter Solstice meditation)

Dear Toby,

As we head gradually toward the end of the year I’m sharing an article I wrote about twelve months ago  on ‘Two meditation gateways’. These two gateways are nice places to  sit with at this slightly more reflective time of year.

Beneath the article there are the details of an ‘Online Winter Solstice Meditation‘ that I am doing on the 21st December. wherever you are in the world you are most welcome to participate! Scroll down for the full details.

For those in Singapore, last call for the Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat on the 16th December!

In  the spirit of balance & renewal,

Toby


Two Meditation Gateways

These are two gateways that I have been using on my own meditation practice recently, they are very simple, relaxing, and offer a place where we can go at anytime in order to develop our experiential wisdom. They are essentially ‘threshold’ spaces between different worlds that we inhabit, enabling us to compare and contrast these worlds, and see how they can support and enhance each other in our lives.

The breathing as the gateway between your inner and outer worlds
The first gateway is your breathing. If you come back to the rhythm of your breathing, perhaps as you find it in your nostrils, you can see that it sits between the outer world that surrounds you, and your inner world. When I say our inner world, I mean the literal, interior, somatic experience of your own body, but also the interior world of your thinking /feeling self, or psychic/psychological self. As you breathe out, feel your awareness going forward into the outer world as perceived by your senses. As you breathe in allow your attention to flow toward your inner world; the feelings in your body, the images and thoughts flowing through your mind. Sit at the gateway between your inner and outer world and rest. Become aware of how your interior experiences relate to and interact with your outer world.

The inner gateway between the mind and awareness
A more subtle ‘second gate’ is the one that lies between the inner world of your mind, and the formless, timeless world of awareness itself. If you imagine within you there is a gateway, perhaps within your heart space. If you ‘sit’ within that gateway and look outward, you can see and experience the world of your thinking, conceiving, imagining and remembering mind. If you look inward through the gateway, you stare into the immeasurably vast space of formless timeless awareness that lies beyond your thinking mind. You are sitting in the gateway or threshold space between the world of your thoughts, and the world of your consciousness, or spirit.

Further building your inner gateway, and the self that sits within it
If you like you can further build your experience of this second, inner gateway by giving it beautiful architectural features, perhaps some steps leading up to it, some climbing plants around it, whatever feels right. You might also like to visualize a ‘deeper-self’ or ‘soul-self’, with a body made of light. We can build and visualize this self as something separate from us initially, but then enter into that body and experience ourself as that deeper self, sitting at the threshold between our mind and that which lies beyond our mind…
You might enjoy spending a little time in meditation this week identifying and sitting in these two threshold or gateway spaces, relaxing, regenerating and reflecting as we move toward the end of 2016 and toward the beginning of the new year!

© Toby Ouvry 2017, 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


Winter solstice balancing & renewing meditation 

This is a one hour online meditation session, the link to listen to and/or download it will be sent to participants on the 20th December. It can be listened to on the 21st/22nd, or at the time of your convenience. 

About the class: The Winter Solstice is deepest point of Winter in the northern hemisphere, the point of maximum outer darkness & the shortest day.
In Celtic the name of the winter solstice in ‘Alban Arthan’ of ‘The Light of Arthur’. In this case Arthur refers to the Sun God who, at this time of maximum darkness in the year dies and is reborn in the world of nature and within ourselves. The founding fathers of the Christian church placed the birthday celebration of the Christ at this time of year, as it fits in perfectly with the ancient tradition of ‘the light of the World’ being born anew at this time.
This will be a chance to reflect on the spiritual meaning of Christmas and power of the winter season. We will look at the different ways our own inner light can ‘die and be re-born once more’.
It is a good time to attune to the creative energies within ourselves. We can think about the new year & spring periods that lie ahead of us, what our goals & expectations are, & sow the seeds on an inner level of that which we wish to manifest over the next few months.
In the meditation we will be journeying through the ‘Gateway of the Winter’ in order to connect to our inner-world guides, healers and protectors, receiving their wisdom, companionship & support, both now and for the next part of the year.

Suitable for: Both beginners & more advanced practitioners of meditation & mindfulness. All are welcome!

Cost: Sing$20 per participant

Click HERE to make payment for the Winter Solstice meditation

For further enquiries: Email info@tobyouvry.com, or sms 65-96750279

About the teacher, Toby Ouvry
Toby is a mindfulness teacher and trainer, and the author of the book ‘Engaged Mindfulness – What mindfulness is and how we can apply it to our daily lives’. He has a BA Hons degree in Fine Art from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Subsequent to his degree, Toby spent ten years doing his foundational training in meditation and mindfulness, specializing in the Tibetan Tradition which included five years as an ordained Buddhist monk….click HERE for full details of Toby


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)

Beginning 14th&15th November – Mastering your mind & thoughts through mindfulness – A five-week course

Saturday December 16th, 9.30am-12.30pm & 2-5pm –  Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Thursday 21st December – Winter Solstice Balancing & Renewing Meditation

Saturday January 20th – 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Breathing from your belly, ducking under your thoughts

Dear Integral Meditators,

Effective meditation can often be based around a simple technique. In the article below I describe one practice that has delivered enduring value for me over the days, months and years. Enjoy trying it out!

For those in Singapore, a heads up for the Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat on the 16th December!

In  the spirit of breathing from your center,

Toby


 

Breathing from your belly, ducking under your thoughts

The meditation I describe below is one I originally picked up from the Qi Gong tradition. You can find variations of in Buddhism and Zen. It involves focusing attention on and breathing from your belly area, (or lower ‘dan tien’/’energy field’ as they call it in Qi gong). This meditation form is particularly useful as:

  • A way of “ducking under” excessive mental or emotional turbulence in our mind, as, physiologically speaking the energy centres that hold our ‘thinking’ energy are above the solar plexus, in the heart and head
  • A way of relaxing our nervous system
  • Creating a regenerative space where the energy of our body-mind can gradually come back into balance and equilibrium

Fifteen minutes or so if this meditation a day is a really good practise for calming yourself in a way that feels very grounded, solid and stable. One might almost say it is a very “physicalizing” meditation! So here it is:

Stage 1 – Bringing your attention down to your belly: Sitting with a comfortably straight back, either cross legged or on a chair (lying down is also ok!), sink your centre of gravity down in your body, from the chest area to the belly. Breathing naturally, place attention upon the rising and falling of your belly as you breathe. Focusing specifically on the abdomen 1-2inches beneath the belly button is ideal. If initially you have trouble sensing the movement, place your hands over your belly, so that you can feel the rising and falling of your belly beneath your palms.

Stage 2 – Locating the lower dan-tien in the belly: Now, go inside your belly. See a soft, luminous ball of light in the center of your lower belly area, about the size of a golf ball. It is at the level 1-2 inches beneath your belly button, but in the center of your abdomen. If you don’t ‘see’ it clearly, try and simply ‘feel’ the ball. Not everyone is visually oriented, and that’s fine. For a few minutes, as you breathe in focus your attention on the ball in your lower belly. See the ball expanding to about the size of a large grapefruit as you inhale, as you exhale see it shrinking back to the size of a golf ball. Do this for a few minutes.

Stage 3 – Relaxing and focusing awareness in the belly: Having found the location of the energy ball in your belly, the rest of the meditation is spent simply relaxing and trying to gently focus your attention and awareness in this part of your body, and letting go of excess conceptual thoughts and mental activity.
If you like you can change the visualization slightly, as an alternative to the expanding and contracting explained in stage 2: Feel light and energy flowing into the belly area and ball of light as you breathe in, and then flowing out of the ball to the surface of your body as you breathe out.
When you feel as if your mind and body have settled down, the main emphasis should simply to enjoy the state of non-conceptuality and relaxation that arise from focusing your awareness in the lower belly area. Allow your mind and body to find regeneration and healing within this deep, calm space.

Enjoy your belly breathing!

© Toby Ouvry 2017, 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)

Beginning 14th&15th November – Mastering your mind & thoughts through mindfulness – A five-week course

Saturday December 16th, 2-5pm –  Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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