Categories
Integral Awareness Meditation techniques Mindfulness Presence and being present

Mindful with your handphone – Four ways

B
Dear Integral Meditators,

If you can be mindful with your handphone, then for most people that means a lot of time each day being mindful! The article below explores how…

In the spirit of being mindful with your mobile,

Toby

PS: Last Wednesday evening class this evening until August, on the subject of How to drop your problems.


Mindful with your handphone – Four ways

I was talking with a colleague this morning about how difficult it is to manage stress with a handphone. Messages coming in, social media, games, it can be so difficult not to get stressed when your always reaching for your phone at the first sign of anxiety or boredom. With this in mind here are four simple ways to use your handphone to become more mindful:

  1. Notice it as a physical object – Rather than opening the screen, use your phone to come to your senses by noticing its colour, its weight and feel in your hand, it’s texture and the little scratches. Decompress your mental stress by coming to your senses.
  2. Message 15% slower – Normally we text fast, making mistakes as we go along, and holding a lot of unnecessary tension in our face and body. Relax your body and face, and type a little slower. If you do this then texting will become more relaxing. You’ll probably get just as many done as there will be fewer typos, and the content you write will be better!
  3. Use it to measure your anxiety – if you notice yourself reaching for your phone impulsively and often, it’s likely due to underlying anxiety or stress. Notice when this is happening and, instead of going on screen, spend a few breaths just looking after your anxiety and extending care and awareness to yourself.
  4. Ask yourself “What good can I do with my phone?” – Use your phone on purpose; text to bring happiness to others, to develop a skill (egg: learn a language), educate yourself, to journal on the way back from work. There are many meaningful and fulfilling ways you can use your phone to create a better life for yourself and others, it begins by asking yourself this question. Go for it!

Enjoy being mindful with your phone!

Article content © Toby Ouvry & Integral Meditation Asia.


Upcoming classes and workshops

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Wednesday 12.30-1.30 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
A Mind of Ease creative imagery Enlightened Flow Integral Awareness Life-fullness meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Self-Leadership Motivation and scope Using the Energy of Negative Emotions

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.

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 midst 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 types 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


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
creative imagery Insight Meditation Integral Meditation meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques

Structure and flow – mindful plumbing

Dear Integral Meditators,

Are your thoughts and feelings working together like a team in your daily life, or does it often seem like they are often working against each other? In this weeks article we have a look at how we can integrate our mind and emotions together into a team using mindfulness.

In the spirit of mindful plumbing,

Toby


Structure and flow – mindful plumbing

One of the keys to mindful thinking is ‘structure’. One of the keys to mindful emotion is ‘flow’. As a mindfulness practitioner, you are trying to consciously create a set of thought structures through which your emotions can healthily flow.

The house of the self
Think of your inner self as being like a house, with the plumbing system being like your thought structures through which the ‘water’ of your emotion flows. The aim of a plumbing system is to allow the water to flow freely in an uninhibited manner, and to direct it where it needs to go; the sinks, the bath/shower, the garden hose, the kitchen, toilets and so forth. In a similar way the aim of the ‘inner plumbing’ of your thought structures is to direct the flow of your emotional energy in a healthy and appropriate way toward expression in your relationships, work and life.

Every thought affects emotion
If you watch your mind for a while, with the above image in mind, you will start to notice how every thought that you have affects how you feel, and the way in which you feel it. As you watch your thoughts in this way, ask yourself the question ‘Which thoughts are helping my emotions to flow in a healthy and appropriate way? And which ones disrupt, repress, block my emotions, or cause them to flow in a negative way?’

Examining your current structures
By being mindful in this way you will become aware of the thought structures in your mind that are ‘healthy, positive plumbing’ so to speak. It is these thought structures that you want to consciously use more and more as the ‘bread and butter’ of your approach to your life and emotions. Conversely, thought structures that create blockages, tension, negative flow and so on are the thoughts that you want to try and take out and replace within your inner plumbing system.
You’ll note here that I haven’t told you what or how to think. Instead I have asked you to watch and learn from your own direct observation and experience. The approach of mindfulness is to take as much of your learning as you can from your own experience of what works and does not work for you in the here and now.

The key to emotional flow is simply to feel
Looking at the emotional end of things, ask yourself the question ‘What emotions am I feeling right now?’ Don’t try and change those emotions, simply feel them as they arise, let them flow. Emotions are of different types, but essentially they all want to flow, like water. We can allow them to flow simply by feeling them. Let emotions come into your awareness, happiness, sadness, depression, elation, excitement, disappointment, breathe in and feel them, breathe out and relax with them, let them flow from moment to moment.

Combining structure and flow mindfully
In summary, the practice of mindful plumbing involves:

  • Being aware how your thought structures affect your emotional flow, and leveraging on the thoughts that, in your experience affect your emotional flow in a healthy way
  • Facilitating your emotional flow by staying connected to how you are feeling in the here and now, in all its richness and variety
  • Bringing these two practices together into a healthy combination of emotional flow and thoughtful structure.

You are the house, your thoughts are the plumbing, your emotion is the water.

© Toby Ouvry 2016, 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 (next class July 6th) – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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


Please feel free to share this newsletter with people you think may enjoy it. The only thing we ask of you is to please forward the entire newsletter including the contact and copyright information. Thank you.

Reading this Newsletter for the first time? Sign up to receive Toby‘s Integral Meditation Newsletter

Find out about Private Meditation Coaching with Toby.

Categories
Concentration creative imagery Energy Meditation Integral Awareness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Mindfulness

Moving From Being a Consumer to a Producer

Dear Integral Meditators,

Is your life a product of your own creative and independent thinking, or is it merely a pastiche of the ideas that you have received from others around you? Possibly it is a mixture of both. This weeks article examines the idea of the ‘mindful producer’ and how we can start to use it to become more of a creative producer in our lives and choices.

In the spirit of mindful production,

Toby



Moving From Being a Consumer to a Producer

To be a consumer in this context means to consume the creative ideas of other people, of society, of your culture, and become a ‘product’ of that consumption. To be a producer means that you are a creative producer of your own choices and ideas in your life; You are actively creating ‘products’ in your life, rather than consuming other peoples.

To be a mindfulness practitioner means to be actively interested in using your awareness, attention and intelligence to become an active producer of your own life, rather than allowing it to become merely a product of what other people around you think it should be.

Let’s take a simple example. If my group of friends are all wearing the latest pair of branded jeans, and in order to become an accepted member of that social group (and their ideas) I am told that I really should be getting a pair of jeans like this, in order to be one of the ‘cool set’. If I am a ‘consumer’, then really I have no choice but to get a pair of trendy jeans because that is the only way I can see to keep on belonging to that group. If I am a ‘mindful producer’ then I might choose not to get the pair of jeans because they might cost more that I’m willing to pay, and/or I don’t personally like the design, and/or I have other fashion ideas that I like better and want to express. Because I am mindfully considering what it is that I want to do with my life, I cease becoming merely a consumer of the culture around me, and instead become a creative producer of my own life path and direction.
Here we are talking about jeans, but we could be talk about your career path, relationship choices and other fundamentals in the same way.

Becoming a mindful producer is not easy
Early on in life we are taught to jump through hoops and play the game others created;

  • ‘If I can just pass this exam then I’ll be accepted to the next level of school’
  • The advert suggests to us that by buying their product we will become a successful member of society – no need to think about it for yourself, just possess the object
  • Well established patterns and ideas of success and happiness seem to be so certain and solid, why would I think to challenge them?
  • By stepping outside of other people’s ideas of what I want and what I do I’m taking risk, stepping into uncertainty, courting disapproval, why would I want to do that?

And of course market forces in the world have an active interest in keeping us merely consumers, buying into and digesting products that they have designed.

What do you have to gain from becoming a producer?
Becoming a producer takes a type of engaged mindfulness where we are taking responsibility for our choices and for articulating our deepest needs and wants and expressing our individuality in a benevolent and creative way. It is a challenging and sometimes difficult habit that we are creating so as to find deeper levels of fulfillment, enjoyment and meaning in our day to day life.

You can still enjoy being a consumer
Of course we cannot avoid being consumers, but we can enjoy being conscious consumers; digesting only the things that are useful, healthy and supportive to the life that we wish to live and express!

If you were to express 5% more of you ‘mindful producer’ today, and each day for the rest of this month, what might change?

© Toby Ouvry 2016, 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

Saturday May 28th, 2.30-5.30pm – Finding Liberation Through the Witness Self – Connecting to Peace, Abundance and Creative Freedom Though Mindfulness Practice


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Awareness and insight Inner vision Integral Awareness Meditation and Psychology Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness Motivation and scope One Minute Mindfulness

Independent Interdependence

Dear Integral Meditators,

How can we be more mindful of the space that lies between us as individuals and ourselves as members of a community that we depend upon? This weeks article looks at how we can start to investigate important dimension of mindfulness practice in a practical way.

In the spirit of our inter-relationship,

Toby


Independent Interdependence

To be independent as a person means to be able to think for yourself, form your own (evidence based) opinions, be responsible for your own actions and life direction, as well as fundamentally trusting your own mind and judgment. The benefits of becoming truly independent include becoming a self-determining person who is able to go against the path of least resistance, ignore popular opinion (where appropriate), be alone and do what is necessary to find a way of life that leads to genuine fulfillment of your deeper needs, aspirations and ambitions.

To recognize interdependence means that, whilst being individuals we are also dependent upon others for our basic well being. The bus I took into work this morning, the computer hard and software I am using to type this article, the food I will buy for lunch after I finish both depend upon a huge chain of interdependence from which I benefit directly. In many ways I am completely dependent upon this chain of interdependence, my wellbeing and yours relies upon the community and networks which support us. One benefit of recognizing interdependence is that it encourages us to see the clearly what we receive from others and from our community every day, thus naturally developing appreciation, warmth and a wish to reciprocate that benefit back to others.

So then, to practice independent interdependence means to fully committed to realizing our individuality whilst at the same time recognizing that we are dependent upon the help and support we receive from others, our networks and communities. Interdependence encourages us to feel positive and grateful for what we are receiving, and encouraged to give back in whatever way we can.

There are two extremes that we want to avoid when practicing independent interdependence:

  • Allowing our individuality to be negatively compromised for the sake of ‘fitting in’ to a network we are interdependent with
  • Becoming a negative individualist in the sense of always valuing our personal wellbeing over and above the interests of the communities within which we co-exist. As individuals we see ourselves as equal with others, no more or less important. Indeed, if we learn to value our own individuality appropriately the effect of this is that we will come to value the individuality of other people more, not less.

Finding the middle way
Think about a situation that you may be experiencing right now in your life, perhaps one that is posing a few dilemmas for you. As yourself the questions:

  • What is my individuality asking of me at this time?
  • What are the legitimate needs of the community or network upon which I am dependent in this situation that should be honored?

Your practice of mindful independent interdependence lies in the middle of the dance between these two questions.

© Toby Ouvry 2016, 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

Saturday  April 16th, 2.30-5.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment – A three hour workshop

Thursday 21st April 7.30-8.30pm – Monthly Thursday Evening Integral Meditation Classes @ the Life Chiropractic Centre with Toby

Saturday April 30th, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence: Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Integrating Ego, Soul and Spirit Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Presence and being present Primal Spirituality

Dropping Your Self

Dear Integral Meditators,

What happens when you simply stop thinking about yourself for a while? What benefits might there be? The article below explores these questions in a mindfulness context, enjoy!

In the spirit of the no-self,

Toby


Dropping Your Self

When I was a Buddhist monk doing my studies there was a lot of emphasis placed upon the  study of the self, and the study of the no-self. What it all basically boils down to on a practical level is this; we are deeply attached to our idea of what we think of as ‘I’. This attachment to our idea of who we think we are acts as the foundational basis of almost every thought, emotion and action that we have/do, and it gives rise to a huge amount of stress, anxiety, pain and confusion.

Dropping your I
So, one of the quickest ways of finding a freedom, or liberation from this confusion is simply to spend periods of time where we simply stop thinking about ourself, or ‘drop the I’. You can do this as a mindfulness meditation by choosing a fixed period of time, say 5-15mins to sit quietly. During this time there are basically two rules:

  • You can think about anything you like except your I or self
  • You drop all the labels that you usually associate with your idea of who you are; job title, gender, pretty/ugly, strong/weak (etc), position in society, married or single, successful or looser. Any concept, idea or habitual way you have of thinking or describing yourself or I; drop that

Your job for the time you have set aside is simply to drop the self and be aware; put it down and not pick it up.

The discovery of a new self in the no-self
When we drop the self in this way, one of the things that we discover is an open spacious experience of self that we were previously unaware of. It is a self that is free from labels and preconceptions; a self that is open to the moment, to learning and to being genuinely creative and spontaneous. Because it resists all labels we might describe it as a ‘no-self’, but it might also be described as a deeper self or truer self. In Buddhism one of the terms used to describe it was our ‘Buddha Nature’; it is our deeper nature and everyone without exception has it.

Picking your everyday I back up
Once you become familiar with dropping your everyday I, you can then pick it back up again and use it in your daily life, but you always know that you are free to pick it up or put it down; you have a choice, and you are free to choose. You are not a slave to your I.

Relaxing and Awakening together
Dropping your I is a simple but profound practice that we can use to both deal with our everyday stress and challenges more effectively, building our concentration, and awakening to a new, deeper awareness of who we are and what we might be. It can be done on the train or even whilst walking. If you have a few moments after reading this article, you might like to try it straight away!

© Toby Ouvry 2016, 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

Saturday  March 19th, 2.30-5.30pm – Psychic & Psychological Self-Defence – Practical mindfulness meditation techniques for taking care of your energy, mind & heart in the face of the push & shove of daily life – A three hour workshop

Saturday  March 26th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Living Life From Your Inner Center – Meditations for Going With the Flow of the Present Moment – A three hour workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

Categories
A Mind of Ease Energy Meditation Meditation techniques Mindful Breathing

Wave Breathing

Dear Integral Meditators ,

The article below explains a simple breathing meditation form that I love as a way of really relaxing your body, mind & heart and entering into a deep contemplative space. You can do it anywhere, I hope you enjoy it! Wishing you, your families and loved ones all the very best for 2016!

Toby & Integral Meditation Asia

 


Wave Breathing

Wave breathing is a form of mindful  breathing (that I originally learned from Qi gong) were the pace and power of the inhalation and exhalation vary like waves.

If you do this as a form of breathing meditation, it can be pleasant and helpful to imagine yourself to be sitting on your favorite beach, with the waves rolling in and flowing out as you breathe.

As you breathe in, imagine your inhalation is like a wave rising up from the ocean gathering in height and power. As you reach the top of the inbreath, the pace of the breath will naturally slow to an almost still point as your lungs reach a comfortable point of fullness.
Now as you exhale imagine, that your out breath is like a wave breaking on the shore. Initially there is a sustained flow of breath, like the flow of a wave up the shoreline. However, as you move toward the end of the exhalation, the pace of the breath naturally starts to slow, like a wave running out of power as it rises up the beach.

After you have gently emptied the lungs with your out breath, begin your inhalation – allowing the pace of the breath to gather – like the water being drawn back into the ocean and rising again as another wave.

In this way you can establish a gentle and relaxing form of breathing that mimics the energetic ebb and flow of waves in the ocean.

Once you have become familiar with the basic flowing feel of wave breathing, you can feel yourself breathing power, energy and qi into your body as you breathe in. Then, as you breathe out, you can practice feeling this power and energy flowing through your body in a relaxed and even manner. By doing this you will be learning how to energize and empower your body and mind, whilst at the same time retaining as sense of relaxation, awareness and ease.

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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
 


Integral Meditation Asia

 

Categories
creative imagery Energy Meditation Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Life-fullness meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindfulness

Working With Your Body’s Cellular Memory Through Meditation

Dear Integral Meditators,

What is the relationship between your body’s cellular structure and how you expereince your life? And how can meditation help influence this relationship in a positive and practical way? The article below explores this topic…

In the spirit of the living body,

Toby


Working With Your Body’s Cellular Memory Through Meditation

Let’s say I meet someone at a party, that person looks somewhat  like someone who hurt me and made me angry in the past. Based on meeting this person that looks like a past acquaintance, my body’s cellular memory is stimulated and I feel myself experiencing not just a mental aversion and hurt, but a tangible energy of hurt that I feel in my body.
Let’s say alternatively I meet an old friend whom I share many good and fond memories of. My body’s cellular memory remembers this old friend, and I feel impelled to embrace them warmly to express my appreciation.
Our body remembers things on a cellular level, and this cellular memory is a powerful force in our life.

Working with positive cellular memories
Take any quality that you wish to develop in your life. Let’s say courage. To activate your body’s cellular memory of courage you can contemplate times in the past when you have felt and acted upon the quality of courage. Focusing on memories of times in the past when you have experienced courage will activate your cellular memory, and your body will re-create the experience of what it feels like to be courageous in the present moment, now.
Once you have re-created that feeling of courage you can then simply sit with it, breathe with it and ‘soak’ yourself in it through meditation, making that quality stronger and stronger within yourself so that over time it starts to become more and more a part of your instinctive way of going and being in the world.

Working with negative or difficult cellular memories
Think of an emotion that you experience periodically that you want to let go of, let’s say resentment or inferiority. Contemplate times in the past when you have felt inferior or resentful, allow your bodies cellular memory to be stimulated so that you have a tangible experience of that resentment present in your body. Now relax and breathe with that feeling; by acknowledging and accepting it you can then learn to actually release and let go of those instinctive feelings in your body, and open up your cellular structure to the influence of new positive emotional programmings.

Closing comments
When working with positive cellular memories, the purpose of meditating on them is to strengthen and consolidate them. When working with difficult cellular memories, the purpose is to release the energetic charge of those memories through awareness, acknowledgement and acceptance. The essential technique is actually quite similar for both, the difference being in our intention and what we do once we have stimulated the cellular memory in meditation.

Which cellular memories would you like to work with this week in your own meditation and mindfulness practice?

Related article: Combining Your Meditation and Mindfulness Practice Together

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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 events at Integral Meditation Asia in October

Saturday 17th October, 2.30-5.30pm  Meditation & Mindfulness for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 3 Hour workshop

Saturday October  31st, 9.30am-12.30pm – Engaged Mindfulness: Take Control of Your Life Direction and Wellbeing Through Awareness, Curiosity, Courage and Care – A Three Hour Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

Categories
Insight Meditation Integral Meditation Presence and being present Uncategorized

Dualistic Appearance – The Dance of Reality & Illusion

Dear Integral Meditators,

When you look at something, what is it that you really see? This weeks article looks at the way in which our mind projects itself onto our reality, moulding it in its own image. I then offer practical method for starting to gain awareness and benevolent control of this process.

In the spirit of the journey,

Toby


Dualistic Appearance – The Dance of Reality & Illusion

Dualistic Appearance is a meditation term originally coined by the Buddha. It means the appearance of an object together with our minds projected or imagined image of what we think is appearing. For example let’s say my partner and I had an argument last night. She comes into the kitchen in the morning and two things will appear to me:

  • The literal body and person appearing to me right there, in the present moment
  • Almost instantly after I see her my mind with project an imagined image of what it thinks it sees upon her, based upon our history, last night’s argument and so on.

So, in fact there are two thing s appearing when I see my partner, one ‘real’; and one a mental projection.
One of the main functions of meditation and mindfulness is to help us to separate our actual experience of each moment from our mental projections, and by doing so improve our ability to feel deeply at home and in touch with each moment of our reality.

The problem of dualistic appearance is that if we have no sense that our mind is projecting this second ‘imagined’ image upon our reality, then it is very difficult to avoid literally living in an illusion. It is like being in a hall of mirrors; we cannot tell what part of our experience is real and which parts merely mental projections. We live out of touch with our reality in a ‘world of our own’ which is often filled with a lot of mental and emotional pain.

The potential beauty of dualistic appearance is that it enables us to project and imagine ideas onto our reality that can change it in radical and positive ways. We can imagine a picture on a blank canvas and then do it. We can find ourself in a difficult work environment and imagine ways in which we can change it for the better. We can bring new realities into existence through the power that our mind has to project images and ideas.

So then, as you start to reflect upon this, you might like to consider how your own experience of dualistic appearance has been working today. Has your minds ability to project itself onto what it experiences been working for you or against you?

Meditation on dualistic appearance – Three basic movements

1. Observing the play of reality and projection – the first stage in meditating on non duality is to observe the process of dualistic appearance and how it happens in your own experience. Let’s say I take the view from my window as I write this. I can see the view itself as it is, and then I can start to see how my mind projects itself upon that view. If I am having a bad day my mind might project ‘bleak meaningless urban landscape’ upon it, and feel depressed. On another day where I am feeling great I can look out the window and project ‘city filled with wonder and beauty!’ Same view, different projection.
2. Dropping the projection & connecting to reality as it is – Once we have observed this play of dualistic appearance, we can then work to ‘drop’ the mental projection and just see what we observe ‘as it is’ without projecting. To go back to the example of me looking out of the window at the view, I simply try and see the cityscape without projecting good or bad, pleasure or pain, beautiful or ugly, or any other form of mental image. I simply sit and see what I see without projecting, resting in that space of alert awareness.
3. Consciously working with dualistic appearance – Once we have developed a basic capacity to sit and observe our experience of each moment without projecting, we can then start to make conscious choices about our projections, and by doing so learn to further take benevolent control of our experience of reality. For example if I notice I am looking out of my window and unconsciously projecting ‘bleak urban landscape’ because I am feeling down, I can recognize that and refrain from re-enforcing or strengthening that projection. Instead I can consciously choose to project a more useful and positive idea of what I am seeing.

This week if you like, take these three stages of working with dualistic appearance and start to work with them in chosen areas of your life, observing how your perception of what is really going on changes when you do so

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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 events at Integral Meditation Asia in October

Every Wednesday, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday 3rd October, 2.30-5.30pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop

Wednesday  14th October 2015, 7.30-9pm – Evening Event: Integral Mindfulness –Co-creating Your Professional Success and Personal Wellbeing

Saturday 17th October, 2.30-5.30pm  Meditation & Mindfulness for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 3 Hour workshop

Sunday October  30th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Engaged Mindfulness: Take Control of Your Life Direction and Wellbeing Through Awareness, Curiosity, Courage and Care – A Three Hour Workshop


Integral Meditation Asia

 

Categories
Awareness and insight Integrating Ego, Soul and Spirit Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Motivation and scope

Balancing the Development of Your Ego and Spirit

Hi Everyone,

The concerns of our ego and the concerns of spirit are often set up as being mutually antagonistic to each other, but is this really the case? This weeks article looks at ways that we can begin to synchronize our ego and our spiritual selves in to a complementary unity, where they are mutually supporting each other.

Yours in the spirit or harmonization,

Toby


 

Balancing the Development of  Your Ego and Spirit

Within the traditional spiritual worldview the ego is often set up as the opponent or enemy of spiritual life. Similarly in traditional psychoanalytic circles, spiritual experiences are reduced to merely pre-rational fantasy, or at best treated with deep scepticism.
An integral perspective to self-development attempts to bring together egoic and spiritual development into a complementary, mutually supporting unity, even though our ego-self and our spiritual-self are two very different levels and modes of being.

For the purposes of this article what I mean by ego is as follows:
The ego refers to the different psychological structures that combine together to create our functional personality or “psychological- self” that exists in the day to day world of conventional time and space.

What I mean by spirit is as follows:
Our spiritual self is the timeless, formless dimension of our being that is liberated from all suffering, and that experiences itself as being in union and communion with all life and the Universe as a whole.

These two dimensions of our being as I say are very much contrasting, almost “opposite ends of the spectrum of self” so to speak. In this article I am going to present developing the health of the ego as having three facets or aspects:

  • Going somewhere
  • Doing something
  • Being someone

Conversely, I am going to suggest that cultivating a healthy connection to our Spiritual self has three aspects:

  • Relaxing deeply and going nowhere
  • Doing no-thing, or practicing non-doing
  • Being no-one.

To develop our ego and spirit in a complementary manner, we need to be able to do develop our skill in BOTH of the above sets of activities.

Going Somewhere/Going Nowhere

To develop and maintain a healthy ego you need to have goals in life and strategies that give you a way of moving toward the achievement of those goals. Without such goals and strategies the ego loses motivation and becomes vulnerable to many forms of psychological ill health.
Developing one’s connection to spirit involves regularly creating and entering into spaces where you consciously drop all your goals, forget about “direction” and focus all your awareness in being absolutely and fully where you ARE without any idea of going anywhere else!

Doing Something/Doing No-Thing

Healthy ego growth requires that one fills one’s time with healthy and appropriate activities in ones personal, work and relationship life that keep our personality and “everyday self” (ie: our ego) engaged, happy and learning.
Connecting to our  spiritual self  involves deliberately entering periods of doing no-thing in order to cultivate our awareness and connection to what lies beyond the world of things, and to decrease our attachment and over identification with “what we do” and mistaking it for “who we are.

Being Someone/Being No-one

A sound ego-self is a self that has a clear sense of positive identity, an “I” that is resilient, realistically optimistic, has self-worth and self-compassion, that sees itself positively in relation to other people it is in relationship to, and to the world in which it finds itself.
To create a relationship to and identification with our spiritual self involves regularly dropping all of the ideas and images that our ego has about who we are, and temporarily becoming a nobody, or a no-one. This is because it is only when we drop our fixed idea of who we are as an individual that we can start to experientially identify with the “self that we are” on the metta, universal or spiritual level.

Doing Both/And

The main point here is that in order to develop our ego and our spirit in complementary tandem we need to get comfortable with the doing both of the above sets of practices:

  • We need to be going somewhere as an ego, whilst regularly creating spaces for “going nowhere” in our life, within which we can cultivate awareness of our ever present spiritual being.
  • Be doing something as an ego in the sense of keeping our self constructively occupied and learning whilst also getting comfortable with spiritually doing no-thing, that is to say cultivating absolute contentment and comfort with your“being-ness” rather than staying stuck in your “doing-ness”.
  • Be someone as an ego in the sense of developing a healthy self-identity whilst simultaneously being no-one in the sense of learning not to over identify with our ego-self and embrace the larger sense of self that lies beyond the world of form.

A Challenging Balance

Negotiating the balance between ego development and spiritual development can be quite a challenge, but once we start to get a feel for it and start to really synchronize our ego and spirit together in harmony the results in our life in terms of the deep health of our being are indeed profound.
© 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