One minute meditation on concentration

How long does it take to expereince the benefits of meditation? Oftentimes it can be shorter than you think. Just taking a minute at strategic intervals in your day can really make a difference!

Now and again I intend to post some “One minute meditations” on the blog. Here is the first on concentration, which was the meditation topic that recieved the most votes last week when I asked on the Facebook page. Enjoy!

Have a great day filled with relaxed concentration!

Toby

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PS: Please note the upcoming 90 minute mini workshop entitled “THREE SIMPLE STEPS TO MANAGE STRESS THROUGH MEDITATION” on the 11th December. Very suitable for beginniers, and he proce includes both a recording of the workshop and three short “five miute meditations” in MP3 format.

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Act your rage – Three useful ways of thinking about and using your anger

One of the things that was emphasized in my Buddhist meditation training (and this holds true for most contemplative spiritualities) was that there is really nothing useful about anger, it was entirely destructive. This is further backed up by statements such as “one moment of anger is enough to destroy the merit (good karma) that you can create over aeons” and “a moment of anger can cause you to have a hundred negative rebirths in the future”.

My present take on anger is that it is a powerful emotion that is basically neutral in nature, and that can be used in positive or negative ways.

Anger is NOT the same thing as raw aggression, cruelty, bullying, hatred, acting to deliberately harm. It can just as easily be expressed as personal power, positive assertiveness, the powerful/wrathful expression of compassion and so on…

With this in mind, here are three useful analogies* for what positive anger can be like:

  • Anger is the T cells, or white blood cells of our psychological immune system – It is the aspect of our mind that becomes alert when there is a threat to our wellbeing, and acts to defend
  • Anger is the protector of our psychological boundaries – When there is someone or something that is causing  an abuse of our psychological self, positive anger can act to defend and ward off that abuse and restore appropriate boundaries
  • Anger is like an illuminating fire – Yes anger is hot like a fire, but it can also be illuminating like fire. In Tibetan Tantric Meditation the higher expression of anger is said to be ‘clarity’. If we can separate our anger from our confusion, sometimes we say things in a much clearer and more wise way than we would ever have the courage to do without the impetus of anger

Dealing with anger is not easy, but that does not give us an excuse to shy away from the responsibility that we have for harnessing it to our compassionate impulses and using it for the best and highest purposes of ourself and the World.

*These analogies if first heard from the work of Ken Wilber and Robert Masters

Related article:

In order to find real happiness, first you have to get mad as hell!

© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article, but you must seek Toby’s permission first

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Nine Factors that you need to have in place for your romantic relationship to produce bliss and ecstacy in your mind and body

www.tobyouvry.com/soulportraits

Tomorrow I will be doing a class entitled “The transformative power of bliss and ecstasy – Connecting to the experience of enlightened love” . So, I gave myself 20 minutes to write down some conditions that I felt were important for developing bliss and ecstasy in our life in general, and romantic relationships (as in all 5 types of romantic relationship). Here is what I came up with:

  1. You need to have a right relationship to sex and sexuality, avoiding the extremes represented on the one hand by imbalanced religion: Sex is sinful, and on the other hand by secular culture where indulgence in debasing and carnal sexuality are encouraged. Avoid the extremes of  either guilt or over-indulgence.
  2. You need to have a healthy diet and take appropriate exercise. This means a diet that nurtures and preserves the long term health and wellbeing of your physical body. Blissful and ecstatic states cannot be sustained by a body that is filled with impurity and low vibrations. For example a sugar high may bring short term pleasure, but in the long term exess sugar desensitizes and degrades the body, making it very difficult for consistent, stable blissful states to be maintained in the body or mind. Similarly and physically unfit body that you don’t value enough to take care of is not going to provide you with a stable basis for deep bliss.
  3. You need to be open and have the courage to face both deep pleasure and deep pain in your romantic relationship. Bliss and ecstasy cannot flow through a body mind where deep levels the emotional being has been repressed. Go beyond your comfort zone!
  4. You need to know that you are deserving of bliss. If you don’t like yourself and love yourself, you won’t let bliss into your life even if the conditions are staring you in the face
  5. You need to meditate and create special time to experience the divine each day. Bliss and ecstasy can be stimulated occasionally by outer objects and circumstances, but fundamentally deep, stable bliss relies upon some form of inner connection to source.
  6. You need to enjoy the experience of being naked! The natural sensual spirituality of your own body and of your partners (even if you are well over 45!) J
  7. You need to practice joy, gratitude and appreciation each day, and practice communicating these to your romantic partner
  8. You need to be able to accept deep bliss. Superficially it seems like anyone would say yes to bliss. However, to our ego, bliss is as threatening to our self sense as pain and misery. If you really open to bliss, you will be transformed and changed. Your negative ego won’t like this and thus will try and close you off to too much bliss.
  9. For sensual pleasure to be connected to inner spiritual bliss, they need to be combined with awareness and restraint
PS: If you enjoyed this article and would like to find out how you can use the latest meditation technologies to enhance your bliss and joy, then click here: Digital Euphoria

© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article, but you must seek Toby’s permission first. Contact info@tobyouvry.com

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From desire and attraction to spiritual passion – The journey from conventional romance to post-conventional or transpersonal romance

www.tobyouvry.com/soulportraits

Conventional romantic love is temporary and transient, based around stimulation from an external object. Post-conventional romantic love is a lasting and deep seated experience of passion and ecstasy that arises from a deep connection to the infinite love and the reality of spiritual union that we find within ourself.

  • Conventional romantic love is thus a temporary high that arises from the pleasurable stimulation that we get from something or someone outside of ourself.
  • Post-conventional or transpersonal (meaning a sense of romance beyond the ordinary boundaries of our ego) romantic love is a type of happiness that comes from a sense of connection to the universe that we find inside ourself.

Conventional ideas of romantic love really centre around the ideas of desire and attraction in the sense that I have outlined in my previous article on these two qualities.

Our initial desire and attraction to a person or a pursuit causes us to temporarily connect to a sense of transcendence where all our problems seem to fall away and we experience joy, pleasure and feel great. The problem is that this only lasts as long as the novelty lasts. As soon as we start to get used to the person that we are in love with, or the work that we have fallen in love with starts to get tough, our old ego re-emerges and we crash back down to earth and all of our old problems find us again (and perhaps a few more that we did not think that we had before!).

The post-conventional or transpersonal view of romantic love is that the initial high that we experience when we fall in love is in fact real, but we mistake the person with whom we have fallen in love with the state of mind that our contact with them evokes.

It is indeed possible to experience a lasting romantic passion in our life (in any one of the Five types of romantic relationship that we may have) and for our life. However, in order for this to take place we need to shift that basis of our search for romantic love

  • From an external person or object that gives us pleasure
  • To an internal object (love and spirit) that gives rise to lasting, sustainable happiness and passion as an internal state of mind within ourselves.

Happiness arises always primarily from an inner source, pleasure comes mostly from an external stimuli. Knowing the difference between these two is a big part in negotiating our way to peace of mind.

Other observations about transpersonal or post-conventional romantic love:

  • It can hold paradox. This means for example that you can be at once passionate and ecstatic, and at the same time be in touch with deep centeredness and peace
  • It recognizes the external person or thing that initially stimulated our love as a doorway to the spiritual experience of romance. It does not confuse the state of mind with the object
  • Our sense of love may be inspire by a person, place or type of work, but we can transfer that sense of love and see all things and events in our life through loving eyes
  • Our life becomes characterized by creativity, flow and a sense of effortlessness (Or perhaps I should say here an awareness of the creativity, flow and effortlessness in our lif that was there all the time, but that we could not access)

How do you get to this post-conventional experience of romantic love?

Through the doorway of relationship, the second stage of romantic love as we are looking at it in these articles. It is through the challenges that we face with the people and things that we love that we are able to identify and clear all the aspects of our ego that are blocking our love. If we understand this then we will welcome the challenges that come into our romances, as we recognize that we can use them to travel toward longer term states of romantic passion and ecstasy.

What happens if I have not yet met my romantic “Soul mate”, or the person/spouse I am in a relationship does not want to use our problems as a way to deepen our love, but just wants to stay stuck in ego?

The journey to transpersonal romance often involves a level of patience and fortitude that most people did not think themselves capable of, so you need these qualities.

But, even if you never meet someone, or have to put up with a limited experience of love in your relationship with your principal human partner, remember there are five types of romantic love, and thus five different doorways through which you can experience romance in your life. If the human aspect has not come together, then you can still enjoy the other four and be deeply fulfilled in this way!

© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article, but you MUST seek Toby’s permission first!

UPCOMNG EVENTS:

2nd November:  Meditation class with Toby  “Building passion as the central fulcrum of creative love in your life and relationships”

14th November:  Workshop “How to use stress to your advantage”

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Devotion to relationship; What happens to romantic love after the peak of attraction and desire has been passed?

www.tobyouvry.com/soulportraits

In my last article I write about the validity of including the experiences of attraction and desire in our experience of love and in particular our romantic relationships. In these articles I am breaking romantic love goes up into four stages:

  1. The first stage is attraction and desire
  2. The second stage is relationship
  3. The third stage is union
  4. The fourth stage is creativity

Each of these four stages can happen in five types of romantic relationship:

  1. The inner romance between the soul and personality
  2. The romance between ourself and the divine
  3. The romance between two humans (or two evolved life forms, I guess you could include some animals and some nature devas in this bracket too)
  4. The romance we can experience between ourself and landscape, or sense of place
  5. The romance between ourself and our “art” or the work that we love.

So, after the initial intensity of attraction and desire (which is a natural and enjoyable phase of romantic love) has started to fade, what happens then? The answer is we move to the next stage, which I have termed “relationship”. This starts to emerge when:

With a lover:

  • You no longer see the person that you are engaged in a romance with through an idealized projection. It starts to become obvious that the person you are with is not perfect. He or she has faults and eccentricities that you were previously prepared to gloss over and “not see”, but now there they are in plain sight.
  • It is an effort to control your ego in your interaction with your partner. When filled with attraction and desire for him/her, the ego was prepared to take a back seat, but now the novelty of the romance has worn off, your ego come back, and starts to act as crankily and grumpily as ever
  • The first obvious arguments and disagreements occur
  • You start thinking “Is this person as right for me as I thought s/he was?”
  • Issues cannot be resolved simply by having sex or schmoozing

With our soul and the divine: (I will place the two of these together here in the context of, let’s say a daily meditation practice)

  • Our initial awakening or expansion of consciousness becomes the norm, the novelty wears off
  • We start to wonder if the sense of connection and oneness that we previously felt was real. Maybe it was an illusion
  • All that is not oneness, not love, not peace starts to re-emerge in our mind
  • We become intensely aware of all the parts of our mind that our broken, hurt or otherwise suffering or in pain
  • Meditation becomes “work” no longer effortless play
  • The complexity, cruelty, difficulty, negativity of our world comes back into focus with a jolt

With landscape or sense of place:

  • The novelty of the new place becomes ordinary, we start to see the dirt on the sidewalk rather than the beauty of the overall ambiance
  • Our daily routine in the new place becomes effortful
  • We realize the damage that may have been done to the place or environment, and the amount of work that we will have to do to heal or restore the landscape

With our art or work:

  • When the initial enthusiasm for the discipline that we have been attracted to dies
  • We have our first few technical setbacks, it is going to be more complicated that we thought!
  • We have to face our work or art being critiqued (positively or negatively) by others
  • As Michelangelo said: “If people knew how much work it took to make my art, they would not think it so beautiful!”

So, what to do when this starts to happen?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Recognize what is happening in your romance is a natural part of its unfolding. If it is going to flower into the stages of union and creativity, then it has to go through this testing phase of relationship
  • Know that the tools that will help you at this stage are things like tenderness, honesty, love and compassion (for self and others equally), integrity, a wiling-ness to see the unpleasant without blinking.
  • Don’t mourn the loss of the initial bliss of desire and attraction! If you persevere with the relationship stage desire and attraction will re-emerge in your relationship in the deeper, creative forms of passion and ecstasy (another good word for ecstasy might be rapture)
  • Recognize that the emphasis in your romance has shifted from a temporarily pleasurable phase to a phase of deeper healing, confrontation and self-enquiry (mutual self enquiry if with a person)
  • Understand this is a phase that will require effort, mindfulness, consistency and devotion
  • Don’t be attached to quick results, the challenges in this phase can last years, even decades
  • Don’t be afraid of dark times; true, non-idealized love is a treasure hard won!
  • This phase of the romance will test you to see whether the person, work, place or spiritual practice really is right for you. Whilst recognizing that work will be involved to make the relationship succeed, sometimes the work reveals that the relationship is not in fact right for you. If so, be prepared to let go. The best one liner I ever heard for this is from the Zen Roshi DT Suzuki “In relationships is it not a matter of letting go of what is there, but rather recognizing what has already gone”. You know if a relationship is over because it has already gone.

Contemplation on developing a devotion to your romantic relationships:

Consider any of your romantic relationships with any of the five types of object above. Think about the difficulties that you face, the things about it that you fear, hate, find tiresome etc…Allow yourself to feel the reality of the challenges, and the emotions that you feel.

When you have done this, then focus on developing a mind of devotion to the relationship. Devotion is a mind that has the patience, endurance and love to see the difficulties in your relationship through to their successful resolution.

Simply sit and breathe with your devotion for a while, allow it to strengthen your resolve to build a romantic relationship based around deep love, not just changeable pleasure. Know that if you follow this devotion it will lead you on the long term path to bliss and romantic fulfillment.

Click HERE for Toby’s meditation classes on the stages of romantic relationships

Click HERE to find out about the upcoming workshop “How to use stress to your advantage”

© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article, but you must seek Toby’s permission first! Contact info@tobyoury.com

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Can attraction and desire be part of a genuinely spiritual love?

In my previous article on the five types of romantic love I placed the dynamic of romantic love in a larger context, to include our relationship not just with other people, but also ourself, the world/the Universe, landscape and our “art” or work.

What I want to do in this next few articles is have a look at four basic stages that any romantic relationship needs to go through in order to connect us to deep levels of authentic passion and creativity.

When I talk of passion and creativity here I am not referring just to a temporary increase in our creative energy, but a connection to deeper life forces that is continuously sustained over a long period of time.

The four stages of romantic love as I have named them are:

  1. Attraction and desire
  2. Relationship
  3. Union
  4. Creativity

In the article below we will begin by looking at stage 1, attraction and desire. I will focus mainly on the relationship between two people, but bear in mind that it can apply to the other four types of romantic experience as well.

 Stage 1: Attraction and desire

Romantic attraction and desire are often seen as the antithesis of the pure, spiritual experience of love. However, if you look at the state of mind that you enter into when you first “fall in love” with a person, a place or a type of work or art, you will be able to see that it has many magical and spiritual qualities. For example

  • The whole world seems more alive and vivid
  • You seem to be in a kind of telepathic communication with the person you are romantically involved with
  • Daily problems and anxieties fall away
  • You have more energy
  • There is a natural sense of timelessness which is in fact connected to the timeless world of spirit

Attraction and desire are the starting point for ANY romantic relationship, whether the couple are on a high level of consciousness or a low one. Attraction and desire are as natural as breathing and eating for us!

(those last two lines are my answer to the question posed by the title of this article by the way!)

One of the keys to successfully negotiating and enjoying this period of intense attraction and desire is to look closely at the motivations behind your attraction and desire.

  • If you feel attracted to a person because you feel a glaring LACK or POVERTY within yourself, then it is likely that the attachment and desire is going to lead to experiences of pain and suffering in the next stage of the romance.
  •  If you fall into an attraction and desire for someone even though you feel a comfortable sense of FULLNESS and ABUNDANCE within yourself, then it is likely that you will be able to transition to the next stage of the romance where “reality sets back in” without too much problem.

Exercise for appreciating and enjoying desire and attraction

Recall a time when you were in love with someone for the first time (or if you are at that stage in your relationship now, look at what you are experiencing now). Spend a while re-creating the feelings and experiences associated with that time. Creatively imagine your way back into the feeling and texture of your mind, body and emotions at that time. Breathe with it and enjoy it for a while.

Now let go of the specifics of the romance. Forget about the person you were with, the time, the place and so on. Just focus on the essence or essential feeling that is left inside. Breathe with this for a while.

What you will find if you do this is that experiences of desire and attraction lead us quite naturally into a mystical, enraptured, timeless state of consciousness. Most of the time we fail to capitalize on this because we mistake the object of our desire for the STATE OF MIND that he/she evokes. However, if you can let go of the object of your desire and focus on the state of BEING that has been evoked in you, you will find yourself connecting to something timeless, universal and full of life-force…

© Toby Ouvry 2010. You are welcome to use this article, but you MUST seek Toby’s permission first! Contact info@tobyouvry.com

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The five types of romantic love that we can experience

www.tobyouvry.com/soulportraits

When you think of romantic love, what type of love do you think of? Chances are that most people will think of love between two individuals who fall in love with each. What I want to do in this article is broaden the idea of what romantic love could be to include five ways of experiencing romantic relationships:

  • With ourself
  • With the Divine
  • With another human being
  • With landscape or place
  • With our art or work

Before I go into detail with each of these, I want to give a working definition of what romantic love is, for the purposes of this article, and for the classes that I will be doing on romantic love starting this coming Tuesday 12th October.

“Romantic love is a type of love that has 4 stages. Firstly there is an attraction toward or a desire for the object (person or otherwise). Secondly we move into relationship with the object of attraction or desire. Thirdly we experience a union with the object, fourthly that union gives rise to a creative result.”

So, in a subsequent article I will be going into these four stages in more detail, but for now within the context of this short definition let’s have a look at the five types of romantic love:

  1. In our relationship to ourself – This can be thought of as the romance between the soul and the personality, or the higher self and the lower self. The spiritual path in some ways can be seen as the development of this romance. The soul(or deeper self) and personality(outer self) feel attraction to each other, move into relationship with each other, accomplish a union though various practices, with the creative result or “birth” of enlightenment within the individual
  2. Romance with the Divine – This is the romance that we experience between ourself as a single human and the divine or creative forces (however we may conceive it, God, the Tao, the Primal Buddha Mind etc..) of the Universe. We all have a different way of relating to the divine, dialoguing and conversing with it, moving into communion with it and finding and finding ways to express that union creatively.
  3. Romance with another human – This is the most common context that we think of romantic love in. It begins when we experience an attraction or desire for someone. If that person responds favourably, then we can proceed into the complex process of relationship, various levels of union (sexual, emotional, mental spiritual) that in turn give rise to creative results, ranging from marriage, to children, to inner transformation, to joint working projects and so on…
  4.  Romance with a landscape or sense of place – This begins when we feel a deep empathy, attraction or simpatico to a particular place. We then move into relationship with it by spending time there (by living there or repeatedly visiting), our communion gives rise to various forms of union with the forces of the landscape which cause a creative result. This creative result can be physical (eg: When we work to build something there or do conservation work) or it can be inner, for example when we are changed or healed in some way through our interaction with the place.
  5. Romance with a type of art, discipline or work – This is perhaps most often thought of in terms of an artist with her artistic muse, who drives him/her toward ever greater heights in his creative work. However we all have work that we feel a natural desire to participate in more than others. If we are lucky we are then able to move into that work more and more deeply by making a career of it. We merge our mind and body more and more deeply with the discipline of the work, which gives rise to greater and greater creative results as time goes by. Relationship to work we love is like a relationship to a human lover, not always easy, but behind the struggle lies a deep passion and belief in the rightness of the partnership, and a desire to remain in creative union.

Suggested reflection:

When you have a quiet moment, work your way thoughtfully through each of these five ways in which romantic love can be experienced. See what types of free associations and feelings come up with regard to the way in which you currently relate to your relationship to yourself, the Divine, your lover, your work/art and the place where you live (or other landscape/place that you love). What new ways of experiencing your life arise when you place these different parts of your life in a “romantic” context?

Final note: Still haven’t found your soul mate yet? Never mind, as you can see there are four other types of romantic relationship you can be pursuing in the mean time 😉

Catch the new serties of classes on the Six stages of love with Toby this coming Tuesday 12th October!

© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article, but you MUST seek Toby’s permission first! Contact info@tobyouvry.com

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Walking meditation with the primal ancestors

This is a simple meditation form that can be done as a walking meditation or a sitting form. I am going to explain it here as a walking meditation. It is a creative meditation where the imagination plays a large role in the experience. However by engaging our imagination we connect ourselves to the spiritual energies of the Planetary Being and of our own common and individual ancestral heritage, and this can be a powerful experience.

One of the things that I think we have forgotten in our contemporary day and age is a feeling of connection and participation in some of the fundamental processes of life. By this I mean simple things like:

  • When you walk you are walking on the surface of a planet that is awe inspiring and in many senses alive and responsive to us
  • Above us is a beautiful and wondrous sky with stars
  • Time moves in cycles, daily, monthly, yearly. We can experience this living process just by lifting our head and looking around
  • We are a part of something much bigger than ourselves

To our ancestors living in earlier ages, these simple and awe inspiring things would have been obvious, as they tended to live in immediate proximity to nature and were more obviously vulnerable to it and reliant upon it. In reality we are no less so I think, but this is in many ways hidden from our view these days.

In this meditation we imagine ourselves to be one of the first ancestors of our human family, and imagine what it is like to walk as they did and experience the Earth as they did. The purpose is to re-awaken a sense of wonder, connection and participation to the earth and the universe as a living thing, something naturally divine.

Walking with and as the primal ancestors

–          Find a pleasant natural environment to walk in. In time you can learnt to do this in the midst of a city, but initially it is helpful to find a peaceful place with plenty of greenery and relative quiet. If you can walk barefoot this is preferable

–          Spend a little while simply breathing and centring yourself in the present moment, attune yourself to your environment.

–          In your mind allow yourself to go back in time as far as you can to the times of your oldest, most primal relatives in distant earlier ages of the Earth. Intuitively see one of these ancestors in front of you or beside you. Get a sense of their clothing (or lack of it) their aspect, their manner, their energy. Feel your minds and hearts establishing an energetic link.

–          Walking with your primal ancestor: Walk through your environment with them walking next to you (perhaps you are holding hands). As you walk try and enter into their experience of walking on the earth, their natural awareness and reverence for nature and the Planetary being. Try and feel into their natural sense of timelessness, their understanding of the seasons, of the elements.

–           Walking as your primal ancestor: Once you have done this a few times you can try walking AS your primal ancestor, that is to say you see yourself in their body, see the world through their eyes, and think with their thoughts as you walk.

–          You may find that each time you do the meditation you meet the same ancestor, or you may find that they change periodically. Trust your intuitive imagination here!

Click here to find out about upcoming classes by Toby on the Six stages of Love.

© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article, but you must seek Toby’s permission first! Contact info@tobyouvry.com

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Enlightened transformation – Five levels of motivation for personal change

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Here are five reasons why people are motivated to make a change in their life:

1)      Self-hate – “I’ve got to change because I hate myself so much”. At this level you have to change because the level of dislike that you feel when you look in the mirror or contemplate your behaviour is just no longer tolerable. Think many of the contestants on “the biggest looser” or a junkie who has been told he will die unless he quits his habit. Unfortunately, for many of us it has to get this bad before we can really make genuine change.

2)      Self-improvement – Here you can like who you presently are, but you have become hungry enough in evolutionary terms to want to continue to change and transform into something even better. High achievers in any discipline; meditation, sport, sport business or whatever, all have to get to at least this level to be where they are.

3)      I want to benefit my circle of influence Sometimes we can’t bring ourself to change our behaviours just for ourself (maybe we don’t feel we are worth it?), and it takes a sense of responsibility to others to make us change. I saw five minutes of an interview with Pamela Anderson last night. In it she explained how she tolerated violence from her ex-husband until she had kids, when he demonstrated violence to her in their company she left him. Classic example.

4)      I want to benefit the world – Here our concern extends beyond our ego and our circle of friends and family to include the whole world as our object of compassionate care. This compassionate care for the Whole has become strong enough for us to actually change ourself and our behaviours.

5)      The universe wants to benefit others through me – Here there is to a greater and greater degree a sense in which our actions are a spontaneous expression of something greater than ourself. Rather than us willing the action, the action flows though us from some deeper source. The transformative action feels spontaneous, effortless, choiceless. 

In this arrangement, level five is the highest motivation, level one is the lowest. However the key to mastering them all is to understand that level 5 transcends and includes all the others. You can be operating largely from level five whilst at the same time:

  • Wanting to change something about yourself you don’t like
  • Wanting to get better at something you already do well
  • Wanting to specifically help your circle of influence in some way
  • Being motivate to make the world a better place

One minute mindfulness of motivation:

For two or three of your actions each day, sit down before hand and think to yourself “Why am I doing this?” Mentally bring to mind the five levels of motivation above (or print off the above summary and have a look at them as you ask yourself the question). How many of these motivations are you currently exercising in your life in an appropriate way? How many of them can you start introducing into your daily actions to deepen and enhance them?

© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article but you must seek Toby’s permission first. Contact info@tobyouvry.com

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The five types of enlightened power

The series of meditation classes that I am teaching at the moment has got me thinking about different ways in which you can express enlightenment in your daily life. Here is a profile of five enlightened powers that, if consciously practised together will make your own attempts to embody enlightenment in the market place more powerful:

The five types of power are:

  • The power of embodiment
  • The power of devotion
  • The power of affirmation and visualization
  • The power of energy
  • The power of karmic action

The power of embodiment – The basic practice here is remembering that you are, in essence a spark of Universal spirit experiencing (temporarily) a physically embodied life on Earth as a human. Whatever situation you find yourself in, grounding your awareness in your true identity and not getting caught up in your small or egoic identity is the power of embodiment. Wherever you are, remember WHO you are!

The power of devotion – This power is the power of invoking prayers to forces greater than oneself regarding any situation that you may be in. The power of devotional prayer connects higher and deeper energies into the situation, and enables them to participate in the event more directly, thus increasing the chances of a more enlightened outcome (See my article on “Why worry when you can pray?” ).

Another aspect of this power could be said to be your devotion to your highest ideal and highest outcomes, not settling for second best so to speak.

The power of affirmation – This power is really a mental training. It involves paying attention to the thoughts and images that you are having, and ensuring that as far as possible they are affirming the highest and best outcome for any given situation. Our thoughts and imagination have tremendous unseen power to influence events one way or another.

The power of energy – This power entails being aware of the subtle energy present in your body and in the environment, and learning to develop and maintain as harmonious, positively powerful and stable subtle body energy as you can at all times. Simply being a point of stable, expansive enlightened energy in any situation will be of help, even if we do or say nothing.

The power of karmic action – This is choosing to physically act and speak in a way that is congruent with the above four enlightened powers, so that the actual daily actions that you engage in are a reflection of the higher intentions that you have been developing.

A five minute meditation for engaging the five enlightened powers in your daily life:

If you do this exercise once a day over the next 7 days, it will give you a feel for how to engage the five powers in any given action.

–          Minute 1 – Embodiment: Select the life situation that you want to engage the five enlightened powers with. Visualize yourself in that situation. Breathe deeply into the core of your being and body, find the formless, timeless space of pure awareness in your heart that is your True or Universal Self. Ground yourself in the awareness that this is your true identity.

–          Minute 2- Devotion: Offer a prayer in whatever manner feels appropriate for the highest good of the situation. Invoke any higher or greater universal powers into the situation and request their help. Give them permission to participate fully in working toward the best outcome.

–          Minute 3 – Affirmation: Offer your highest and most encouraging thoughts regarding the situation. For this time see, think and visualize the highest good and the best outcome

–          Minute 4 – Energy: Feel the subtle energy and light vibration in your body as strong, balanced, harmonious and stable. See this energy spreading out into the situation and the energies of all the people involved. Feel and experience this strong balanced subtle force flowing in the dynamic of the whole scene.

–          Minute 5 – Karmic Action: For the last minute think about practical things that you may be able to do or say to take the situation forward. Make a metal note of when and where you are going to try and engage in these practical actions.

Conclude with a dedication that the energy of all the five forces that you have generated in your meditation should be a cause for the most enlightened outcome possible!

Finnish.

© Toby Ouvry 2010 you are welcome to use this article, but you must seek Toby’s permission first! Contact info@tobyouvry.com

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