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Awareness and insight Integral Awareness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Motivation and scope Presence and being present spiritual intelligence Uncategorized

Three Levels of Self, Three Levels of Focus-in-Time

Dear Everyone,

Meditation practice encourages us to keep asking the question “who am I?” and to continue to bring awareness to the different aspects of self that we become aware of as we continue to ask this question. This weeks article looks at three different aspects of self, and how we can start to use our awareness of these three selves to improve the way in which we co-ordinate our experience of past, present and future.

You can also find below the schedule for classes over September and October, for those who are not in Singapore, recordings of the classes Will be available if you wish to participate!

Yours in the spirit of the integration of past, present and future,

Toby

 


Three Levels of Self, Three Levels of Focus-in-Time

Our “Egoic Self”, or personality, or habitual self sees life from fundamentally through the eyes of the past. It experiences the present through the context of our past experiences, and projects our past experiences forward whenever we contemplate the future.

Our “Spiritual Self” or our pure witnessing awareness sees life always within the context of the present moment, seeing things as they are, without judgment of preconception. It is entirely present focused.

Our “Evolving Self” or creative self (or perhaps “ever-learning self”?) sees our life through the eyes of the future, of potential, or what could be.

In its higher expression our egoic self gives us an appreciation of the past, of our story. It informs us  how we can use our past experiences to best effect with regard to our present and future.
In its lower expression the ego keeps us clinging to past patterns that prevent us from engaging fully in the present and realizing our creative potential in the future.

In its higher expression the spiritual self or pure witnessing awareness gives us a full and rich appreciation of that which is arising in the present, and a living engagement with that part of every experience that is perfect just as it is.
In its lower expression the spiritual self (as it is being used in this context)holds us back from investing fully in the passion that is necessary to bring change to that which really needs to be changed, both in our life and in the world at large.

In its higher expression the evolving or creative self keeps us awake to the potential for the future that is arising in every moment, encouraging us to mindfully nourish and rejoice in that creative possibility.
In its lower expression the creative self lives only in the future, never stopping to appreciate that which is present in the here and now, and give the necessary focus to past experiences that perhaps still need attending to, either to heal or resolve the past, or to draw upon its wisdom.

In terms of developing an integral awareness we need all three aspects of time-awareness in their higher expression; The appropriate attendance to the past of our ego, the appreciation of the present moment of our spirit, and the attendance to and enthusiasm for the future of our evolutionary or creative self.

© Toby Ouvry 2012, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Tobyas the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

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A Mind of Ease Awareness and insight Inner vision Integral Meditation Meditating on the Self Presence and being present Primal Spirituality

The Three Stages of Non Dual Meditation

Dear Everyone,

At the end of this weeks article below, you will see a reference to something called Integral  Meditation Asia, I will be writing a separate message to you about this later in the week, as it is a new project that I have been working on over the last month or so.
In the mean time enjoy the article on non-dual meditation below. If you ask me what is my primary alternative “healing modality” I would say that it is the meditation on non-duality. Experiential contact with the non-dual state has a completely re-aligning effect on our body mind that I have found effective even in the most difficult and demoralizing mental and physical environments.

Yours in the spirit of the natural union,

Toby



The Three Stages of Non Dual Meditation

There are three stages that you need to engage in order to be a competent non-dual meditator:

  1. Firstly you need to be able to sit in meditation and enter a state of pure formless awareness, where no thoughts objects or perceptions are arising. You should be able to sustain that awareness gradually over longer and longer periods of time, until you can do it at will.
  2. Secondly you need to develop your experience of pure formless awareness so that you can sustain it at the same time as being aware of thoughts, sensations and other objects. Robert Forman calls this second stage a “Dual Consciousness Event”. We are simultaneously aware of both pure formless awareness and the world of form. At this stage the world of form and pure formless awareness appear separate. We simply practice holding awareness of them both at the same time until we can do it naturally and at will.
  3. Thirdly, after a (usually) substantial period of time meditating on stages one and two we start to experience a unitive or non-dual state of awareness, where the experience of pure formless awareness and the appearance of form (ie: mental and sensory objects in our mind and environment) merge together into a single experience. To use the Buddhist expression form appears as empty, and emptiness appears as form. This third stage is paradoxical and cannot be understood by the mind alone(logically how can no-form be form, and form be the same as no-thing?) and it can only really be experienced, understood experientially.

So, three stages; empty the mind and rest in pure formless awareness, secondly learn to be simultaneously aware of both pure consciousness and form, third let them merge together into a natural unitive or non-dual awareness.

Natural Enlightenment
The essential non-dual experience described in stage three above, the unity of form and emptiness is the primary experience of full classical enlightenment as described by the great non-dual schools of meditation, such as Zen, Hindu Vedanta, Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana and Djogchen and so on. The funny thing about the non-dual state is that it appears as completely ordinary, “nothing special” as they say in Zen. Once you have realized this essential non-dual state, all you then really need to do to stay connected to this enlightened state is simply rest in your own natural moment to moment awareness. Everything that appears to that awareness, form or formless, “good or bad”, sacred or profane is seen simply as a manifestation of the primal and perfect non-dual enlightened state, it is perfect just as it is!

How Long do I Need to Meditate to Develop a Stable Experience of the Non-Dual State?
Starting as a scratch meditator, let’s say meditating for 30mins-1hour a dayevery day and taking occasional retreat-type experiences, it might take you five years to stabilize an experience of stage one; being able to meditate in a state of pure formless awareness.
It might then take you another five years to stabilize your experience of stage two, being able to rest at will in a state where you are simultaneously aware of both the form and formless levels of being.
further five years would probably be needed until you had then built the capacity to rest in a unitive state, where the form and formless domains of experience appear to arise simultaneously as a single unified reality.
So, fifteen years to a stable working experience of non-dual enlightenment. Whether you choose to do it within the context of a traditional school of enlightenment such as Zen or Dzogchen, or whether you do it within the context of a more contemporary path such as the meditation courses offered at Integral Meditation Asia, with focus and dedication this is perfectly possible for all of us.
If you are interested in a more detailed explanation of the three meditative states outlined above, you can read a very good article by Robert Forman entitled “What Does Mysticism Have to Teach Us About Consciousness”.

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A Mind of Ease Awareness and insight Meditation and Psychology One Minute Mindfulness

Avoiding the Lose-Lose Perspective Trap

Dear All,

I hope this message finds you well, just in case you were wondering why the last few emails have not had a note from me at the top, I have been busy planning new classes and courses for the beginning of September. In particular I am in the process of starting an organization that I am calling “Integral Meditation Asia” which I am quite excited about. The new organization and class schedule should be in place for the beginning of August, so I shall be including more content besides the articles from that time!

Yours in the spirit of the journey,

Toby


Avoiding the Lose-Lose Perspective Trap

One of the major definitions of meditation that I work with in classes and with clients is that it is  a mind that is able to remain focused on a positive object for extended periods. In formal sitting meditation this may involve focusing on a single positive thought, image or feeling without distraction. However, back in the push ad pull of our daily life remaining focused on a positive object means constantly paying attention to the thoughts that we are having about what is happening to us, and mentally framing the situation we are faced with in an optimal way, optimal meaning a way which will give rise to the greatest amount of happiness available.
One of the ways in which we can get “fooled” into thinking in a negative way by our ego is when we are presented with a choice or dilemma. Instead of thinking about the potential good that might come from both choices, we start thinking about the downside of both options until it seems like whichever one we choose (or is chosen for us), we are going to “lose out”.

Here is a simple example that happened for me over the Wimbledon weekend:
Andy Murray and Roger Federer were in the final. As a Brit of course I wanted Any Murray to win (there has not been a British winner since 1936!), but as a kind of fan of Federer I would have liked him to win and equal the record number of Wimbledon titles won by a male competitor. Watching my mind mull this over I could see it starting to feel painful whatever the result;
– If Federer won I would be disappointed because Murray lost, and there was no domestic champion (again!)
– If Murray won I would feel disappointed because one of my favorite players had lost.
With this approach, whatever the result I was going to suffer, it had become a lose-lose situation!

I was smiling a bit about this, because it was really a classic negative maneuver by the conventional ego, a move that it is often unconsciously seeking to make all the time. With  a little bit of thought I mentally re-framed the match something like this:
‘If Murray wins, that is great because Britain finally has a domestic champion, which would be fun for a change! But if Federer wins that is great too, because one of my favorite players will have won and extended his own records, which is something to feel appreciative of!’
With this attitude firmly and mindfully in mind, I was then able to sit back and watch the match unfold, enjoying the quality of tennis.

It’s a simple and slightly funny example, but I think it is a useful illustration of the kind of daily mental “spadework” that we need to be doing each day in order to dig our mind out of lose-lose and other negative perspectives, and keep consciously choosing an approach that is going to reward us with enjoyment an appreciation of ANY situation that we are in.

With this in mind, you might like to ask yourself the questions: “What are the situations in my daily life where I most often get caught in a lose-lose mentality? What would be an appropriate win-win perspective that I could mindfully adopt in such situations and thereby increase my daily happiness?”
A final point here, sometimes the situations where we seem bound to lose out the most can actually in the longer term be very fortuitous, as I read the Dalai Lama say this week “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck!” So, even if we seem to be stuck in a bona-fide, ‘written in concrete’ lose-lose situation, it is always worthwhile keeping at least a part of our mind open to possibilities!

© Toby Ouvry 2012, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Tobyas the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

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A Mind of Ease Awareness and insight Inner vision Integral Meditation Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology One Minute Mindfulness Presence and being present

Meditation, the Salt Analogy and How Our Self-Sense Changes as Our Meditation Practice Evolves

The salt analogy is this; if you put a teaspoon in a cup of water, stir it in and then taste it, it tastes horrible. However, if you take a bucket of water, stir a teaspoon full of salt into it and then take a sip of it, it will still taste basically ok.

In a similar way, if your mind is habitually small, contracted and claustrophobic then even small sufferings and challenges are going to have substantial power to knock you off balance and cause you pain. If on the other hand you make a point of habitually relaxing in into the natural expansive space and stillness of your mind, making your experience of it as big as possible then this will mean that you will be able to bear small challenges and sufferings without any problems, and even larger challenges will have much less power to throw you off balance. You will be able to bear them with a much larger degree of equanimity.
At its simplest there are three objects that our sense of self can identify with; our body, our mind or the spacious awareness that surrounds and contains our experience of both our body and our mind. As small children our identification is almost exclusively with our body and sensory awareness. As we grow up our identification shifts from our body to our mind as our ability to think, feel and conceive in complex ways develops. If we then as adults take up meditation our self sense shifts once more from the mind to the spacious witnessing awareness that surrounds and embraces our mental and sensory experience. The shifting of our self sense from the mind and body to our spacious witnessing awareness is one of the main goals of meditation; it creates a balanced, open inner environment that is able to bear our trails with equanimity and courage, and able to enjoy the gifts that life gives us with conscious appreciation.
I had my fortieth birthday last week, I was thinking about my approach to ageing, and one of the main things that came out of my contemplation is that it is really not so difficult to accept the gradual changes as my body gets older. This is because a substantial proportion of my self-sense is almost always resting in the experience of spacious witnessing awareness that has developed over seventeen years or so of meditation. Ageing just isn’t that big a deal for me, or at least I can say that it is a teaspoon of salt in a very large bucket!
© Toby Ouvry 2012, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

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Inner vision Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Using the Energy of Negative Emotions

Going From Deluded Pride to Divine Pride

What is deluded pride?
Deluded pride is quite simply a view of ourself that considers us to be more important or significant than we actually are. It causes us a lot of pain because when we are filled with pride we are vulnerable to the criticisms of others and to our own insecurities (indeed deluded pride may be seen as an attempt to mask our deeply held insecurities). It also prevents us from building healthy friendships and relationships where both parties are considered equals, rather than having one ‘top dog’ and one ‘underdog’.

The core causes of deluded pride
The two major cause of deluded pride are firstly to perceive ourselves as inherently separate from everyone else (as opposed to interconnected), and thensecondly to be caught up in feelings of inferiority. When we feel inferior to others, or when we feel that they threaten our self esteem we tend to overcompensate for the threat by developing deluded pride. If you watch the inner commentary going on in your mind at such times, you will see that it automatically starts coming up with reasons why that person is stupid, or inferior to you and also reasons why you (or your group) are superior to them.
Feelings of inferiority are so deeply embedded within the minds of us human beings that the deluded pride that we develop in order to compensate for it can come in many ways, some very insidious. The subtler manifestations of deluded pride are just as present in spiritual groups and institutions as secular ones.

Humility
One of the main solutions to pride is traditionally the practice of humility. However, many practitioners of humility unintentionally fall into the extreme of simply accepting their own feelings of inferiority as being reality, and thus rather than actually being humble, they are in reality simply staying in their comfort zone, which is simply feeling inferior to others.
Genuine humility I think is a mind that sees our self as no more important or significant than anyone elses, but also includes the caveat that we are also no less important than anyone else. Thus when a person with a lot of deluded pride comes into our life, or we need to stand up for ourselves in any way we are able to do so effectively without being inhibited by our false humility.

Three Types of Non-deluded Pride
You can take non-deluded pride in yourself and what you are or what you do. Indeed it is necessary to take non-deluded pride in what you do if you are going to fulfill your potential. To take a simple example a school teacher who is proud of her profession and the role she plays in helping her students is going to tend to be a good teacher. Without pride in what she does, inevitably the standard at which she does her job will drop.
In this sense you could say that non-deluded pride is very much about caring, caring about what you do, who you are and the effects that you have on your world.

With this in mind here are three types of non deluded pride

Pride in Our Abilities and Achievements
As shown with the example of the teacher above, someone who appreciates their own abilities and the things that they can achieve with them is going to fulfil their potential. We can have pride in what we do without considering ourselves inherently better or superior to others.

Pride in Our Humanity
To be human is to have the ability to go beyond the demands of our biological and socially constructed self and hold ourself to standards of caring, loving and acting skillfully and wisely beyond that which animals are capable (no offense to them!) I think you could safely say that most humans do not have enough non-deluded pride in their own humanity. If they did have such appropriate pride they  would no doubt be many more people fulfilling their genuine human potential than their actually are!

Divine Pride
In Tibetan tantric practice (which I engaged in explicitly for a decade or so) there is a central practice called “divine pride” where you strongly imagine yourself as already being an enlightened deity.  This Tibetan form is a relatively complex form of divine pride, but the essential divine pride that we can all cultivate is simply the recognition that we are all aspects of a single spiritual essence evolving in many varied and diverse ways within time and space.
Our outer form may be that of a single humble human, but the divine essence that flows through us is truly divine spirit-in action. One of the main goals of meditation practice is to learn to recognize this spiritual essence, and take non-deluded pride in it as our true Self or identity.

Final Thoughts
I suppose my main point in the above writing is that both deluded pride and non-deluded pride arise from the same fundamental emotional and mental energy, and that non-deluded pride plays a very important part in both our overall psychological wellbeing and the ongoing evolution of our consciousness. For it to play its role appropriately we need to liberate our pride from the delusion of inflated self importance and from the carousel of our habitual inferiority/superiority complexes. This is not easy, but it is most definitely worth it!

 

© Toby Ouvry 2012, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

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Awareness and insight Meditation techniques Positive anger Shadow meditation Using the Energy of Negative Emotions

Fertilizer for the mind and body – Using the Energy of Negative Emotions

Hi Everyone,

I hope this newsletter finds you well, this weeks article is a practical meditation technique for working with the energy of negative emotions, which is a theme that I will be building on in articles over the next few weeks.

Yours in the spirit of the ongoing journey,

Toby


Article of the Week:

Fertilizer for the mind and body – Using the Energy of Negative Emotions, a Simple Meditation Technique

In my recent article on “Darkness Emerging as Light” I suggested that the essential energy of negative emotions can be re-worked and re-directed in our life to become a force for the good, and even a force revealing our own enlightened nature. The meditation below is a simple (though not always easy) technique that we can use to:

  •  Work directly to re-direct and transform the energy of  powerful negative emotion
  • Work with at the beginning of a meditation if we are being directly bothered by a negative emotion/thought pattern present in our mind
  • Simply wish to diffuse and recycle ambient negative emotional energy in our bodymind, making it available for us to use in other more positive ways.

The technique is somewhere between a contemplative meditation where we are working with the mind, and a qi-gong type meditation where we are working with the ‘qi’, ‘prajna’ or energy of the body.

Step 1
Sit comfortably in meditation, recognize and rest in a sense of being in a “safe space” for a short while, a safe space meaning here the recognition that at this present time there are no imminent physical or psychological threats to your safety.

Step 2
Bring to mind the negative emotion and accompanying thought patterns that you wish to work with. Try to create it intensively enough so that you can really feel it in your body. This stage can be a bit tricky in that, whenever you try and look at a negative emotion directly it tends to ‘hide’ or ‘disappear’ (and of course there is a lesson in that), so you may have to have to tease it back out again into the open.

Step 3
Ask yourself “Where is the energy of this emotion principally located in my body?” You will probably find that it is somewhere in the torso, between the sacral area and the heart centre, but if it appears to be somewhere else then you can go with that. The main thing is that you should feel you have located the physical and energetic ‘epicenter’ of the emotional disturbance so to speak.

Step 4
See the emotion in that area of your body as being a ball of tightly knotted black light in the centre of that area of your body. At this point let go of the object of your negative emotion (eg the person or situation that has upset you) and simply focus on the ball of light in the body.
See and feel in the centre of that ball an intense point of white light, so that the dark, knotted energy starts to glow from within. Gradually see and feel the knotted dark energy unraveling and lightening. As the energy lightens, it is released from that specific point in the body, and is released and redistributed evenly throughout the rest of the body.

Using the breathing
If you like you can use the breathing to help facilitate this:
As you breathe in, breathe into the centre of the dark energy, seeing the point of light inside growing intensely.
As you breathe out see the point of bright light in the centre expanding through the knotted dark energy, breaking it up and re-distributing it through the body, thus making the energy that has been trapped in the negative emotion re-available for us to use.
(Those of you that are familiar with the way I teach breathing in qi gong will find this basic pattern of breathing familiar, energizing the body upon inhalation, and allowing the energy to flow freely through the body upon exhalation. Here it is the same basic principal applied to a specific area of the body where there is a strong emotional charge).

Step 5 
Conclude the meditation with a brief period of silent awareness, just breathing and focusing on the body as you experience it in the present moment.

Final thoughts
Repeated use of this meditation will sensitize you to build ups of emotional energy in general, and once you are familiar with the basic technique enable you to modulate emotional energy in the body on a more organic, free-form basis.

© Toby Ouvry 2012, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

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Awareness and insight Enlightened love and loving Gods and Goddesses Inner vision Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Positive anger Presence and being present Primal Spirituality Shadow meditation

Darkness Emerging as Light

Hi Everyone,

Instinctively we shun difficult and dark emotion in our search for happiness and wellbeing. But what if the secret to finding really dynamic, enlightened happiness was to be found within those dark emotions themselves? This weeks article explores this idea.

Yours in the spirit of darkness as light,

Toby

 


 

Article of the Week:

Darkness Emerging as Light

Often we hear the spiritual path as described in terms of light fighting against the darkness and conquering it, as if the darkness within us is something so intractably unhelpful and evil that the only constructive thing that we can do is to get rid of it or destroy it.
Consequently when we come across dark and destructive emotions in our mind, the tendency can be to shun them, try and get rid of them, repress them, and fight against them.
A closer examination however reveals that really the process of enlightening our dark emotions and impulses is more a matter of transforming and re-working their essential energy so that from their dark and chaotic core light emerges. If we gain practical experience and insight of this we realize that darkness and light are really two aspects of the same essential energy, merely appearing in different ways.
We can find a precedent for this in the Tibetan Buddhist tantric tradition, where the energy of the five core elements of existence can appear on the emotional and mental level either in their distorted form, or their liberated form.

Element – Earth, Distorted Energy – Arrogance/pride, Liberated Energy – Equanimity/balance/generosity

Element – Water, Distorted Energy – Anger/aggression/violence, Liberated Energy – Clarity/mirror wisdom/penetrating insight

Element – Fire, Distorted Energy – Possessiveness/compulsiveness/obsessiveness/consumerism, Liberated Energy – Discriminating wisdom, compassion, appropriateness
Element – Air, Distorted Energy – Envy, suspicion, jealousy, Liberated Energy – Spontaneity/ free and fluid capacity for action
Element – Space, Distorted Energy – Intentional ignorance/introversion/depression, Liberated Energy – Unrestricted intelligence/Pervasive wisdom.
So, this is not an article on Tibetan tantric Buddhism per-se, rather the point of listing the above set of correspondences is to indicate that all negative emotions are expressions of a core creative energy that has been misdirected and distorted. Therefore the way to deal with such misdirected and distorted energies is not to shun them or reject them, but rather to look deeper into them, re-work our understanding of them and re-direct their energy so that it can express itself as enlightened creative energy in our life.
You don’t have to formally be a ‘tantric’ practitioner to do this, but you do need to have the courage and will to look deeply into your emotional pain and darkness and start using your natural intelligence to re-work, re-frame and re-direct that energy in your life. You need to learn to not be afraid of the energy of powerful emotions, but rather to embrace them, recognizing that the energy that intimidates you now is in fact the very same energy that we will later experience  as the light of enlightenment. It is the same basic creative energy seen understood and experienced from a different, larger context and perspective.

So, all of this is not easy work, and it takes consistent time and dedication. If you would like an example of such a re-working from my own life and process you can read an article I wrote called “In order to find real happiness you first have to get mad as hell” which was written during a time when I was specifically re-working my own relationship to the energy of anger.

Practicum

Here is a simple exercise to get started. Whenever you feel a dark negative emotion/emotional space arising in your mind, rather than running away from it, fighting with it or repressing it, try and relax and just feel your way into the “middle” or central core of that emotional vortex. Try and discover that point of stillness that lies at the heart of even the most volatile emotion. Sit there form a while, letting the emotion flow through and over you. Once you are used to this basic activity, then ask yourself the question “How can I re-direct and re-define my relationship to this dynamic and creative energy so that it is working in a liberated way in my life, rather than a distorted way?

© Toby Ouvry 2012, 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

Categories
Awareness and insight Enlightened love and loving Enlightened service Inner vision Meditating on the Self Motivation and scope Uncategorized

Compassion as Wealth

 

Gaining the Inner Wealth of Compassion

Compassion is a foundational building block of our inner wealth and peace of mind. However, it can be a difficult quality to improve consistently over time. In this article I look at three reasons why it can be difficult to keep developing our compassion sustainably, and three ways that we can start to work to overcome these obstacles.
For the purposes of this article, lets stick to a simple definition of compassion, the wish to free ourself and others from suffering, based upon the ethic and emotions of caring and valuing. In order to access the inner wealth of compassion therefore we need to do two things, open ourselves to the  suffering of ourself and others with a heart that is caring and open.

Here are some of the obstacles to opening to suffering:

  • There is too much of it – It can be overwhelming to contemplate the amount of suffering and injustice in the world. To remain open to it can make us feel vulnerable, confused and seem to “spoil” our ability to enjoy our life. Sometimes even our own suffering seems so intense, how in such a state can we open up to awareness of more suffering, the suffering of others?
  • Attempts to help are not always well received – Sometimes the very people we want to help seem committed to perpetuating their own suffering, and their response to our wanting to help is to react angrily and sometimes hurtfully to our attempts to help.
  •  Disliking ourself, disconnected from others – A final point is that it is very difficult to develop genuine care and love (the basis for compassion) for others if we dislike or hate ourself. Such dislike blocks any compassion that we may have for ourself, and simultaneously locks us in a state of mind where we feel cut off and unable to connect to others. It is impossible to feel compassion for others if we are locked in a viscous cycle of self hatred/dislike within our own ego.

With the above three points in mind, here are three things you can do to to help open to and develop the inner wealth of compassion:

  • Have the courage to open to pain and suffering – Get in the habit of being open to seeing and feeling experiences of suffering that normally you would instinctively shy away from or block out of your awareness. It is not your “fault” that all the pain is there in the world, but it is (if you choose) your opportunity and responsibility to be aware of it and do what you can to alleviate it in whatever big or small way you can.
  • Develop a long term view with regard to how your attempts to help are received – Commit to helping in whatever way you can, and if the people you are trying to help don’t appreciate it, or perhaps don’t understand what you are trying to do, don’t be discouraged. Look at it as a process rather than being to worried about immediate results.
  • Resolve your relationship to yourself – If you can’t connect to others because there is so much conflicting energy caught up in your relationship to yourself, then make it a point to invest in yourself and your ability to develop harmony within yourself. The more harmony and resolution there is within your awareness, the  more space there will be for you to develop authentic care and compassion.

© Toby Ouvry 2012, 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

Categories
Awareness and insight Enlightened love and loving Enlightened service Inner vision Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Presence and being present spiritual intelligence

Tapping into the Ever Present Abundance of Happiness

Hi Toby,

This weeks article looks at how we can find an ever present abundance of happiness “right under our nose” so to speak. I really believe that a practice like this only gets more important and more relevant as our planet becomes ever more crowded and interconnected, and the need for us all to “think as one” becomes more and more of a necessity.

Yours in the spirit of ever present abundance,

Toby


 

Article of the Week:

Tapping into the Ever Present Abundance of Happiness

There is a source of abundant happiness that is available to us at all times, no matter how badly your life is going. This abundance of happiness is called the happiness of others.
All you have to do in order to be able to tap into this source of happiness is to be able to expand your sense of self and identity beyond the boundary of your skin andmake your “self” big enough to include other living beings. If you can do this, then any happiness that they have you can partake of, because their happiness is the happiness of your expanded self.

So, then the question then becomes “How can I expand my sense of self to include others?” A key to this is understanding that our self sense is much more flexible than we might think. Whenever we care for someone else our self sense moves out to them and includes them without effort on our part. One simple way to develop an expanded sense of self is simply to consider the body of the Earth or Gaia as being our body (rather than our small physical body that we habitually identify with). If we consider the Earth as our body, then all the living creatures, human, animal and so forth automatically become a part of ourself, and any happiness that they have is our happiness to enjoy, partake of and take pleasure from.

With this expanded sense of self the happiness of all living beings becomes our happiness and thus we are able to tap into an almost infinite source of happiness and joy. We feel as if we have a perpetual abidance of happiness that we can tap into anytime you need to.

Try it now:

  • First expand your sense of self by thinking of your body ans being the body of Gaia or the Earth
  • Then partake of the happiness of one or many of the living beings on the earth, seeing their happiness as your happiness. If someone you know got the job s/he has been looking for, then think of their joy as your joy. See a mother and baby exchanging smiles and affection on the street? That happiness is your happiness.  There are so many possible examples I could give here because there is such an incredible amount of happiness to partake of when you expand your self sense in this way. The only problem you now have is which happiness to enjoy and celebrate!

This way of relating to happiness and your world may seem a little artificial at first, but once it becomes a habit, then it really can feel natural, just Iike second nature.

So there you go a simple method to tap into the perpetual abundance of happiness!

© Toby Ouvry 2012, 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

Categories
Awareness and insight Inner vision Presence and being present Shadow meditation Uncategorized

Tipping Your Hat to the Gods of Chaos

Hi Everyone,

What it your spiritual path? Is it just another attempt by your ego to establish a predictable order and comfort zone in your life, or is it a somewhat bolder attempt to push beyond your boundaries and comfort zone and acquaint yourself with the dynamism that lies beyond? This weeks article offers an open ended contemplation on the useful role that the “gods of chaos” have to play in our path, and how we can learn to welcome them.

Yours in the spirit of the unpredictable,

Toby


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Article of the Week:

Tipping Your Hat to the Gods of Chaos

In the Nordic Sagas Odin the chief, magician and sage of the Gods, almost immediately after achieving deep insight and wisdom (by giving one of his eyes to an ancient giant, and then hanging upside down n a tree for many days) makes the curios decision to become blood brothers with Loki. Loki is the half giant/half god of chaos and mischief, fundamentally untrustworthy, and the bringer of much amusement and much discomfort to the gods and the Nordic universe as a whole.
The Celtic god of chaos is called Dalua, whose laughter is said to create fear and confusion, and whose touch causes madness. Like Loki he seems superficially destructive and almost like a devil figure, and yet at the same time he is clearly afforded respect and his importance in the greater scheme of things acknowledged by the ancient Celts themselves.
Why would the God of wisdom Odin choose to establish such a close relationship to the god of chaos and mischief? Why would the Celts accept the role of Dalua the God of madness as having an important role and function in their spiritual path?
It seems like one of the lessons is that a wise mind accepts the existence of chaos, madness and mischief in our life and the valid role that it plays, even when the results are sometimes destructive, painful and not what we wish.
Please don’t get me wrong here, I am not in any way suggesting that we should be willfully chaotic, mischievous or unpleasant to others, or be unnecessarily accepting of it when it is handed out to us. What I am saying is this: that when different areas of our life turn us upside down, when people or life seem to be deliberately and sometimes offensively tricky. When you seem to be running around frantically and all you find are blind alleys and obstructions. When all your attempts to create order are resisted, then at that time it is worth being alert and recognizing that the gods of chaos may be entering into your life and, even if you are hurting and confused, tip your hat to them and recognize that there may be something worthwhile going on. A re-configuring of our universe is always preceded by the collapse of the old order.

© Toby Ouvry 2012, 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