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!
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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,
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:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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
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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
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