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A Mind of Ease creative imagery Integral Awareness Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience Mindfulness Presence and being present Zen Meditation

Cloud-watching: Primarily present, secondarily thinking

“One of the main functions of mindfulness and meditation is to make your way of engaging with life primarily experiential, and secondarily conceptual”

Dear Toby,

Why should we be interested in meditating? This weeks article gives some thought to this with the aim of helping us re-connect to our ‘experiencer’. If you enjoy it then this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday class will be focused on this subject. You are welcome to join us, live or online!

Also, final shout out for this Saturdays Zen deep-dive mini-retreat!

In the spirit of experiential cloud-watching,

Toby


Cloud-watching: Primarily present, secondarily thinking

One of the main functions of mindfulness and meditation is to make your way of engaging with life primarily experiential, and secondarily conceptual. What do I mean by this?
Starting out in childhood we were all primarily present moment oriented. We could spend hours being present as we played or interacted with others. Mostly we were present to what was there, and occasionally we began to think and conceive ideas.
As we were educated, the system that we were educated in was and is primarily verbal-linguistic in nature; It’s about developing the power of our thoughts and concepts. By the time we come out of our education, secondary or tertiary, we tend to see our world primarily through a conceptual lens. Its what we think about life, what we believe about it that starts to dominate and often determine our experience. We become primarily thinking and conceptual, and secondarily experiential beings. The problem with this is that we then lose touch with our direct experience, we spend most of our time literally ‘lost in thought’ and less and less time actually living and experiencing life. As a result, our life lacks vitality and vivid-ness, because we experience it conceptually, second hand, rather than experientially, first hand.

Two types of purpose in life
One way of finding purpose in life is to reflect upon your values and then set up goals that will help you to achieve things in the future that are congruent with those values and that will therefore make you happy.
A second approach to purpose is to understand that, regardless of your goals, the main meaning in life from an experiential point of view is to feel and experience being alive. If you lack this, then you lack the main experience that gives fulfilment, even if we have meaningful goals and projects.
These two purposes are really complementary, it is ‘both and’ rather than ‘either or’. However, without the second, the first will be empty. To practice mindfulness of the moment serves to ensure that we remain in touch with the experience of being alive, being fed by life-in-the-moment as we journey toward our goals.
The proposition would be this: Even if some of your life goals are not fulfilled, if you live fully and experientially in the moment then you will feel that your life has been a full, vivid and fulfilling place, that you have not wasted your time thinking of being somewhere else whilst it passed you by!

Cloud-watching: Experiencing your thoughts rather than being lost in them
One way to start coming back to the moment is to learn to watch your thoughts whilst grounded in the present, rather than being lost in them. To do this:

  • Sit and ground yourself in your body as you breathe. Feel as if it is like a mountain, solid, stable and immovable in the present moment. Anchor your attention to it, and your experience of the here and now
  •  Now start to watch your thoughts from the stability of the present moment. If your mind is like the sky, the thoughts are like clouds coming and going. If there are many cloud-thoughts, stay stable and just watch. If there are fewer with some spaces in between, then enjoy the combination of thoughts and spaces between the thoughts (like the sky between the clouds)
  • Notice the clouds to make you more present, not take you away from it!

When you watch your thoughts and the spaces between your thoughts, they simply remind you of what is in the present. You turn them from something that takes you away from your immediate experience to something that helps you connect to it. You become primarily an experiencer of the present, and secondarily a thinker!

Related articlesEnvisioning & presence – Climbing the mindful mountain
Body-mountain, thought-cloud, mind-sky

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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

 


Saturday November 12th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Session overview: These 2.5hour Zen ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one-hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart.. read full details



Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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)

Ongoing – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Saturday November 12th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Saturday November 26th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Energy Meditation Life-fullness Meditation techniques mind body connection Qi gong

Working mindfully with your stomach energy

Dear Integral Meditators,

Meditating with your internal organs is a tradition of mindfulness that comes primarily from Qi gong, however there is good reason for everyone to be interested in it as the benefits are so extensive both physically, psychologically and spiritually.
The article below explores some of the focus points and benefits of the practice, and how to start. Enjoy!
Beneath the article are all the events for November, starting with this week’s Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors, on Tuesday & Wednesday.

In the spirit of strength-in-your-centre,

Toby


Working mindfully with your stomach energy

Acknowledging & appreciating your stomach
Our body is working hard for us all the time, different organs doing different jobs. All of them depend upon the energy that our stomach and digestion make available to us by processing our food. Reflecting on this naturally brings us into a state of appreciation for our stomach, and the importance of it as a lynch pin that enables almost everything we do in our life. Like our other organs however, we often only notice our stomach when it stops working or becomes ill. If we start to acknowledge our stomach, extending some warmth and cherishing to it we discover that we can look after and build the strength of the stomach through mindfulness, thus avoiding it becoming imbalanced in the first place. Health is something that we can co- create with our organs, as they respond to our care and attention.

The importance of the location and psychological energy of your stomach
The anatomical location of our stomach is right in the literal centre of our torso. The way in which our stomach feels affects our overall sense of strength, out posture, our confidence. Quite often we store our stress and anxiety in our stomach, hence the expression “I have butterflies in my stomach” when nervous for example. If our stored stress and anxiety is sitting right in the centre of our being, this can be a substantial dis-advantage. Regularly checking in with the stomach can help us to take care of and release the anxiety, and replace it with balanced, confident energy. This in turn can affect all sorts of things:

  • Our physical posture
  • Our emotional range
  • Our comfort in our own skin
  • The way we think and relate to the world

Clearing out your stomach energetically
As well as extending appreciation to the stomach as described above, we can also work with it energetically. Here is an example:
Focusing on your stomach, imagine it surrounded by a bright yellow ball of light. As you breathe in imagine this ball becoming bright and powerful. As you breathe out, feel its energy cleansing your stomach, helping it to relax and release anxiety and other stored inbalanced energy. After you have done this for a while, then do the same breathing pattern, but imagining building the energy of confidence, self-trust and resilience in your stomach. This makes the centre of your torso feel strong and robust, so that your body and posture has a centre-point that it can rely on. Try this for a week for five minutes per day and notice for yourself the difference that starts to manifest within you.

Other area that benefit from working on your stomach
Work on your stomach also affects your pancreas, gall bladder and digestion as well, so any focus on the stomach also works implicitly on these particular organs.

Concluding thoughts
Mindfulness of the body is a foundational practice for many traditions of meditation. Working with particular organs specifically can make the practice both more varied and increase the range of benefits. Working with the stomach is one example of starting to access the potential of this type of work.

Related articlesMeditating with your internal organs
Lighting up your pathways – Helping your brain to help you

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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

 


Tues 1st & Weds 2nd November, 7.30pm – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Samhain (Aka All hallows eve, or Halloween) is the time in the northern hemisphere when we enter the darker months of the year & winter. Traditionally it is said to be the time when the veil between the world of the living and the inner world of our ancestors is said to be thinnest. Consequently, it is an ideal time for us to commune with our ancestors in meditation. In this meditation, we shall focus upon… Read full details



Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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)

Ongoing – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Tues 1st & Weds 2nd November, 7.30pm – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors

Saturday November 12th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light

Saturday November 26th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
A Mind of Ease Awareness and insight creative imagery Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditation techniques mind body connection Presence and being present

Three Simple Creative Awareness Forms

“One of the things that we learn when we take up meditation is to appreciate how pleasurable the simple act of awareness can be”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This article explores three ways of stimulating your capacity for meditative awareness. They are practices in themselves, or they can be practiced together in combination.
If you enjoy them, the practices will be a part of this Tuesday and Wednesdays’ meditation class, you’d be welcome to join us, live or online.

Final call for this weekend’s Shamanic meditation workshop!

In the spirit of the pleasure of awareness,

Toby

 


 

Three Simple Creative Awareness Forms

Here are three simple meditation forms that you can do anytime, either as a short 1-5 minute practice in a spare moment, or as a longer meditations when you have more time.

1. Developing appreciation of simple awareness.
One of the things that we learn to appreciate when we take up meditation is to appreciate how pleasurable the simple act of awareness can be.
Take a minute now and just allow your mind to rest on an object. It could be the sounds as they come and go in the moment, or the play of the light across the landscape or cityscape as you look out of the window. Just allow your awareness to rest on that single area for as long as you want. As you do so, feel your mind and body moving into a state of rest and regeneration. Feel how pleasant the simple experience of relaxed, open awareness is.

2. Observing yourself in the third person
We habitually view our daily life and the events that happen in it in a first person, subjective manner. This awareness exercise offers another perspective on our life that we can work on integrating.
Sitting down, imagine that, rather than seeing life through the eyes of your physical body, imagine that you are outside your body, maybe two or three meters away observing yourself. Recall the events of the last 24 hours, and mentally see yourself engaging in your activities. As you observe yourself, you may find that feelings and emotions come up. If so, that is fine, just allow them to. The thing that you want to try and avoid as you are watching yourself is to start analyzing it or making judgements about what you are seeing. Simply be an objective observer and try and experience as fully as possible what it is like to be free from an obsessive first person experience of your life.

3. Finding your inner light by relaxing into the darkness of your mind.
Relax your mind as much as possible, as if you are falling asleep. Allow your awareness to be enveloped by the deep, silky darkness that is normally experienced as you start to drift into unconscious slumber. The key here is to ALMOST fall asleep, but NOT to actually fall asleep! Keep a part of your mind alert and awake as the main part of your mind and body relaxes deeply.
Think of the darkness that you experience as you are relaxing in this way as being like the darkness that a baby experiences in the mother’s womb, or like the darkness of deep night when we are all asleep. Rest in this darkness as fully as you can without losing that small element of aawakeness!
After a while imagine that you sense within the darkness a point of light. A little bit like the first rays of sun as it is still beneath the horizon at dawn. Focus on this point of light and allow it to become gradually stronger and more pervasive, like the rays of the sun spilling across the horizon as it rises. Gradually, without trying too hard, let the inner light within your mind begin to fill the darkness until your mind feels bright and radiant like a morning sun.
The key with this exercise is to relax as fully into the darkness before you attempt to find the light, and not to try too hard to find the light. If you relax deeply into the darkness, the light will actually start to emerge in its own time. However, you can stimulate it a little bit by imagining the point of light emerging from the darkness as described above.

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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


Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreatLearn how to practice the fundamentals of the most ancient meditation tradition on the planet in a clear, practical and concise manner, and understand its relevance and value to you and the challenges that you face in your life.

The workshop will give an overview and introduce some simple but profound shamanic practices on day one, with a deeper dive into Shamanic meditation practices on day two…read full details

 


Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light

About the class: Deepavali is traditionally (amongst other things) the annual celebration in the Hindu Calendar of the triumph of the light ever the darkness, of good over evil. In this session we will be taking some time to connect to our own ‘inner light’ in meditation, as a way of conquering the ‘darkness’ of our own inner confusion and fear….read full details


 

Saturday September 24th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details

 



Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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)

Ongoing – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreat

Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light

Saturday October 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Tues 1st & Weds 2nd November, 7.30pm – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
creative imagery Energy Meditation Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Presence and being present Qi gong

Lighting up your pathways – Helping your brain to help you

Dear Integral Meditors,

This article explores ways of being mindful to help develop an appreciation toward your brain. I hope you enjoy it. If you do them it will be a part of this Tuesday and Wednesdays’ meditation class, you’d be welcome to join us, live or online.

In the spirit of a bright brain,

Toby

 

 

 


Lighting up your pathways – Helping your brain to help you

This article explores ways of being mindful to help develop an appreciation toward your brain. My experience over the years is that you can significantly change the health of the different internal organs and zones of the body using meditation. Since your brain is such an important aspect of our body-complex, time spend in mindful appreciation of your brain is well spent.
Like other areas of out body, often we only notice our brain when it starts to go wrong or malfunction. It doesn’t take too much wisdom to see the benefit of not waiting to that point before we start to look after it!

Caring attention to your brain
You can start mindfulness of the brain simply by noticing it sitting there in your skull, and paying attention the feelings and sensations that you have in and around it. Any areas of tension or ‘brain-fog’ that you notice there you can gently encourage the brain to release. Awareness itself is a healer, and just this opening stage can be quite powerful if done with reasonable quality attention

Smiling to your body and brain
In the Qi gong tradition of meditation there is a practice called ‘smiling to the internal organs’ which is a form of health meditation. This can be easily applied to the brain as follows:
Step 1: Relax your facial muscles. Then raise the corners of your mouth a few millimetres, so the expression on your face is that of a gentle half smile. Notice the natural warmth of the energy that is generated from this.
Step2: Imagine the warm energy of the smile as a miniature sun that gathers in the space between your eyebrows, maybe about the size of a golf ball. Then imagine that mini-sun moving to different parts of the brain. Focus your smiling energy in each area for a short while seeing it radiate its healing and energizing there. For example, you could move it:

  • First to the prefrontal cortex at the front, just behind the forehead and temples
  • Secondly to the mid-brain or limbic-zone, responsible for much of our emotional and social processing
  • Finally to the back, the primal/reptilian zone of the brain and the brain stem where our fight or flight responses are located

Move the smiling energy back and forth into each area for a while, and then finish by relaxing your attention and letting your brain absorb the effect of this process.
As well as being good for your brain, you’ll also notice that this meditation has a soothing effect on your thoughts, making it quite easy to feel mentally calm.

Mindfulness and brain density
Evidence has shown that regular meditation increases the gray matter in the:

  • Insula – which is linked to interoception; self-awareness; empathy for emotions. (Holzel et al.,2008; Lazar et al., 2005)
  • Hippocampus – associated to visual-spatial memory; establishing context; inhibiting amygdala and cortisol. (Holzel et al.,2008; Luders et al., 2009*)
  • Prefrontal cortext (PFC) – related to executive functions and attention control. (Larzar et al., 2005; Luders et al., 2009*)
  • Regular meditation reduces: Cortisol thinning linked to aging in insula and PFC. (Lazar et al.,2005)

The experiments above were just measuring the effects of a very general mindfulness practice, nothing brain specific. The proposition would be that the meditation that I describe above would have a rather more explicit and positive effect on the brain than the one done in the research.
Actually, I find that doing the brain meditation itself and the good feelings that come from it is rather more motivating than research. But if it motivates you to get practising, then by all means use it to get up and running!

Related readingMeditation Technique For Brain Relaxation, Non-Conceptuality and Falling Asleep at Night.
Access your brain’s ‘zero space’

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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


Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreatLearn how to practice the fundamentals of the most ancient meditation tradition on the planet in a clear, practical and concise manner, and understand its relevance and value to you and the challenges that you face in your life.

The workshop will give an overview and introduce some simple but profound shamanic practices on day one, with a deeper dive into Shamanic meditation practices on day two…read full details

 


Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light

About the class: Deepavali is traditionally (amongst other things) the annual celebration in the Hindu Calendar of the triumph of the light ever the darkness, of good over evil. In this session we will be taking some time to connect to our own ‘inner light’ in meditation, as a way of conquering the ‘darkness’ of our own inner confusion and fear….read full details


 

Saturday September 24th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details

 



Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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)

Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreat

Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light

Saturday October 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Tues 1st & Weds 2nd November, 7.30pm – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
A Mind of Ease Inner vision Insight Meditation Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience Presence and being present

Inner listening – Three levels of meditating on silence

“The nice thing about the above meditation is also that it can be done without having to exert much effort; it’s all listening, accepting, opening to. It can be done when you are tired and want to relax, as well as when you want to sit down and really do some focused inner work”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores how you can access and enjoy silence progressively and without too much effort. It’s partly the subject of  this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday meditation class,  it’ll be a fun one, and your welcome to join is either live or online.

Beneath the article you an find full details of all classes and workshops for October, do have a browse, it’s a full line up!

In the spirit of  silence amongst the noise,

Toby


Inner listening – Three levels of meditating on silence

Cultivating silent presence is not by any means the only way to meditate, but nevertheless it is a super important dimension of meditation. It is also one that, once you can do it, helps all your other forms of meditation as well as being an end in itself. Here are three ways to meditate on silence, the first is a doorway to the second, and the second is a doorway to the third. For the first two there are two ways to do it; listening inwardly and listening outwardly. They can be combined or focused on separately in any given session, as you wish.

Listening and observing the non-silence
The first practice is to listen to the non-silence or the noise.
On the inner level – As you turn your attention inward, this means to notice your inner conversation, and all the other ‘noise’ that is going on inside your mind, just holding the position of the observer in that space. You don’t try and stop the thoughts, rather you simply listen and notice.
On the outer level – You simply listen to the sounds going on around you, noticing them, and letting them come and go. Like the inner level the key is simply listening and noticing, and letting that be your point of stability as the sounds come and go.

Listening and observing the silence
If you listen to your inner noise in the way described above, then after a while you will notice that it starts to die down a little. Listening inwardly, you will start to notice pockets of silence between the noise. When these start to happen, pay attention to them and start to drop into them, extending the duration of them a little. Over time you will start to have more silence than inner noise. Eventually you’ll start to experience extended periods where it is almost all silence, and you drop into deeper and deeper states of meditation.
On the outer level, you can choose to focus on the silences in between the noises. After a while you will start to notice that silence is all pervasive; even when there is noise, you realize that the noise is contained by silence; that silence is present even when there are sounds around.

Listening to the sound of silence     
Once you have some experience of stages one and two, you will have probably started to notice that, when you listen to silence, both inwardly and outwardly, there is a sound. It’s kind of like a high-pitched ringing in your inner ear. If you relax with it, you may find that it makes it easier to let go of discursive thoughts and move into a thoughtless condition. Listening to the sound of silence almost puts you in a trance-like state that is very conducive to meditation and moving into deeper, non-conceptual states of awareness. On this third level the inner and outer dimension of the listening pretty much merge into the same thing, as the sound seems both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ at the same time.

The nice thing about the above meditation is also that it can be done without having to exert much effort; it’s all listening, accepting, opening to. It can be done when you are tired and want to relax, as well as when you want to sit down and really do some focused inner work!

Related articles:

Inner sensitivity – Listening to yourself

The way to silence

Meditating on the Sound of Silence

Four ways of working with your inner voice

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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


Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreatLearn how to practice the fundamentals of the most ancient meditation tradition on the planet in a clear, practical and concise manner, and understand its relevance and value to you and the challenges that you face in your life.

The workshop will give an overview and introduce some simple but profound shamanic practices on day one, with a deeper dive into Shamanic meditation practices on day two…read full details

 


Saturday October  8th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Session overview: These 2.5hour Zen ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one-hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart.. read full details



Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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)

Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Saturday October  8th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreat

Tues & Weds 25th/26th October, 7.30pm – Deepavali Meditation – Connecting to your inner light

Saturday October 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Tues 1st & Weds 2nd November, 7.30pm – Samhain Meditation (Live & Online) – Acknowledging the gifts and wounds of our ancestors


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Concentration Energy Meditation Enlightened Flow Inner vision Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership Motivation and scope Presence and being present

Mindfulness, productivity, self-regulation & the 85% rule

Mindfulness in its pure form is essentially enhanced reality orientation. It involves involves specific forms of attentional & awareness practices that are designed to release our natural intelligence & our potential for experiential learning in the moment

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article essentially points out how mindfulness and productivity go together to help you enjoy your life and realize your goals, or to go from coping to thriving, I hope you enjoy it!

In the spirit of  enhanced reality orientation,

Toby

 

 

 

 


Mindfulness, productivity, self-regulation & the 85% rule

Basic reality orientation – Coping well enough to perform
In order to hold down a job, or maintain a harmonious social and family existence we all need a degree of mindfulness. We all need to be taking social cues, focusing on our work, and making appropriate adjustments well enough to do these things acceptably. Failure to meet our reality with this basic level of mindfulness would lead to:

  • Inability to hold down a job
  • Lack of stable relationships
  • Continuous instability within the family unit
  • Being considered unstable and even ‘insane’ by the conventional measures by which it is assessed in society

Enhanced reality orientation – Moving from coping to thriving
Mindfulness in its pure form is essentially enhanced reality orientation. It involves  specific forms of attentional & awareness practices that are designed to release our natural intelligence & our potential for experiential learning in the moment.

  • By paying attention in a high-quality manner to our work we can be more successful at it without necessarily working harder (aka working smarter)
  • In our leadership and relationship life we can create high functioning interactions that lead to great teams and stable friendships
  • We can learn to pick up on inner cues and signals from our body-mind, and learn to regulate our energy in a way where we feel well and thriving not just in the short term, but in the medium and long term.

With the students that attend my mindfulness sessions at INSEAD, one of the things that I am trying to teach them is how to arrive at 50years old (my age) from where they are (30+) in a way where they feel they have energy, enthusiasm and are ready to leap into the next life-project. This is as opposed to what they see in may of their seniors who are exhausted, stressed out and cynical. To do this they (and you!) need to self-regulate effectively. Below is a simple exercise around the 85% rule that is one example of this.

The 85% rule
This rule basically states that, if you are 85% exhausted, and then you stop and rest, your body-mind will recover reasonably fast and you can then continue where you left off. If you go substantially beyond the 85%, you move your energy levels move more and more ‘into the red’. Moving beyond 85% means that you really are exhausted, and it takes a much longer time to recover effectively from that type or level of exhaustion. So, in this practice the object of mindful self-regulation is to not go beyond 85% exhausted in any given activity in your work or life. By doing this you can actually become more productive in the medium to long term and in a way that is sustainable and enjoyable. The key here is:

  1. To know what the signs that you are approaching the 85% marker are
  2. To recognize and accept those signs
  3. To stop what you are doing and focus on the (enjoyable) discipline of recovery
  4. Recognizing the signs of recovery, and getting back to it with enthusiasm!

If you can do this then this simple way of orienting yourself mindfully around the reality of your energy levels gives you one of the keys to mindful thriving and productivity.
What are your own personal inner signs for points 1-4 above? How can you start orienting yourself around these signs mindfully today and begin plotting your own path of mindful thriving?

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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


Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreatLearn how to practice the fundamentals of the most ancient meditation tradition on the planet in a clear, practical and concise manner, and understand its relevance and value to you and the challenges that you face in your life.

The workshop will give an overview and introduce some simple but profound shamanic practices on day one, with a deeper dive into Shamanic meditation practices on day two…read full details

 



Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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)

Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Saturday October  8th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreat


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
creative imagery Energy Meditation Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditation and Art meditation and creativity Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience

The spectrum of mindful freedom and limitation

 

“If I understand freedom of awareness then gives freedom of choice, then I understand that I myself and am the creative agent that lies between the freedom of my awareness, and the current limitation of my life”

Dear Integral Meditators,

One of the great pleasures of meditation is the discovery that, wherever you are and whatever else is going on in your life, by sitting in a state of relaxed awareness you can be free, absolutely free, even if it is only for a few  seconds. This weeks article explores how to enjoy your freedom creatively, even amidst the apparently ‘fixed’ limitations of your life….

The subject of  this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday meditation class, is the five stages of meditation practice from beginner to advanced. Its a great class for contextualizing the whole meditation path, as well as exploring the territory through practice!

The original meditators were the Shamans,  heads up for Octobers  Shamanic meditation workshop retreat on the 22nd/23rd! It’s an important one for those who wish to become real explorers of the inner worlds.

In the spirit of  inspiration while working,

Toby


The spectrum of mindful freedom and limitation

The freedom and joy of awareness
One of the great pleasures of meditation is the discovery that, wherever you are and whatever else is going on in your life, by sitting in a state of relaxed awareness you can be free, absolutely free, even if it is only for ten seconds. Of course, when you build your competency, you can drop into this space of freedom for much longer than 10 seconds. It can be extended into minutes and even hours. In the longer term it leads to the realization that, on the level of awareness itself we are absolutely free, even (and especially) when we are surrounded by limitations in our life.

The freedom of choice
The freedom of awareness then gives rise to a second freedom, the knowledge and capability to choose our attitude to life, as per the famous Viktor Frankl quote:
We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
By developing stable freedom of awareness, we can then remain free, even under pressure, to choose our attitude to what is happening to and around us. By taking responsibility for our choices we then generate the power to create our experience, by choosing our attitude to what is, and proceeding from there.

The daily path of necessary and appropriate limitation
So of course, in daily life we operate within the context of limitation and non-freedom. By choosing one career I sacrifice many other career paths. By choosing a partner I forgoe an indefinite number of other possible relationships. I operate within a finite body that is ageing. Initially this can look almost antagonistic toward the freedom of awareness, but if we understand freedom of awareness then gives freedom of choice, then I understand that I myself and am the creative agent that lies between the freedom of my awareness, and the limitation of my life.

The birth of creativity between these two
We can then start to see ourselves as artists whose life is a creative act; Our inherent freedom of awareness dancing with the inherent limitation of our life. From these two we sculpt our own work of art; the limitation giving shape and form to the absolute freedom of awareness itself. Our lives are always a combination of different fortunes and misfortunes, sufferings and joys. Whatever that combination, if we are willing to experience the freedom of our awareness each day, and then own our choices, we can create our own work of art from whatever limitations we have to operate in.

Meditating on the freedom of awareness
You can begin practising the dance of freedom and limitation in your own life by:

  1. Sitting and acclimatizing to the freedom of awareness in meditation. As the quote from the Warriors Creed goes: “I have no freedom : I make awareness my freedom”.
  2. Build a healthy acceptance and if possible, appreciation of the limitations that exist in your life.
  3. With a sense of your freedom of your awareness, and reflecting on the power of your freedom to choose your attitude to a challenge in your life, ask yourself “What is the most creative use of my freedom to create something beautiful from my current limitation?”
© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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

Saturday September 24th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details

 


Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreatLearn how to practice the fundamentals of the most ancient meditation tradition on the planet in a clear, practical and concise manner, and understand its relevance and value to you and the challenges that you face in your life.

The workshop will give an overview and introduce some simple but profound shamanic practices on day one, with a deeper dive into Shamanic meditation practices on day two…read full details

 



Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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)

Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Saturday September 24th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Saturday October  8th, 9.30-12noon –  Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Sat & Sun 22nd/23rd October – Shamanic meditation workshop retreat


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques mind body connection Mindful Resilience Presence and being present

Why am I doing this? Mindfully self-regulating your energy

“Mindful self-regulation. When you are about to engage in an activity or a meditation, it’s good to be clear about which mode you are going to be in, and what the objective is. Are you trying to achieve something but expend energy, or trying to restore energy, or something that is a bit of both?”

Dear Integral Meditators,

Too much output of energy without enough input leads to a burnout. This weeks article explores how to start regulating your energy levels and manage them better by being more mindful.
The subject of the article is also the subject of  this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday meditation class, if you enjoy the article, then do feel free to join us either online or live!

In the spirit of  self-regulation,

Toby

 


Why am I doing this? Mindfully self-regulating your energy

There are three types of activity essentially:

  1. Energy expending – Where you are doing an activity that involves expending energy in order to achieve something
  2. Restorative – When you are doing something relaxing in order to regenerate and build your energy
  3. Net neutral – When you are doing something that is both taking a moderate amount of effort, but also giving back some energy to you in some way, so maybe you might say it is a ‘net neutral’ activity

In any given day, you want to be monitoring these so that, overall you are doing enough restorative activities to not run out of energy. Too many days (running into weeks, months and years) of energy expending without recharging essentially leads to burnout.
This is also true for your meditation

  • You can do meditations that involve visualization, emotion and thought that are actually quite hard work, but that lead to an achievement or capability. This type of meditation takes effort and energy
  • There are some meditations that are relaxing, but require some focus and work
  • There are others that really emphasize relaxation, regeneration and minimum effort/energy expenditure and creating energy for recovery

So, when you are about to engage in an activity, or a meditation, it’s good to be clear about which mode you are going to be in, and what the objective is, are you trying to achieve something but expend energy, or trying to restore energy, or something that is a bit of both?

To conclude, here are three sample meditation techniques. The first is a net neutral one, the second energy expending, the third restorative. If you were feeling you had energy on any given day, you could do mainly one and two. But if you were feeling really exhausted at the end of a hard day, you could do mainly or exclusively the last (links to further details of each technique are included).

  • Free form breathing
  • Visualizing yourself as an adventurer in life
  • Relaxing into safety & brain relaxation

Free form breathing means to just allow your body to breathe as it wants to breathe in order to release stress and move towards balance. All you need to do is allow your body to do what it needs to do, and keep your mental attention on the breathing as the body goes through its process.
Visualize yourself as an adventurer in life, meaning confident in the face of your challenges, feeling enthusiastic, energetic, strong, courageous. Visualize yourself for a few minutes like this, viewing from the first person (in your body as the adventurer) and third person (as an observer). Build the feelings and visuals clearly and specifically! This should feel good, but it takes some effort
Relaxing into safety and brain relaxation. For the final section, recognize that you are safe in the moment (no immanent threats to your wellbeing), and relax your physical brain. Imagine it goes into sleep mode, like a computer – Still switched on but functions minimized! Try and make yourself as relaxed as possible, almost asleep but still a degree of awareness. Less effort more ease and regeneration…

So, there you go, that’s an example of the three types of meditation that you can try.
One final point here is that you can also do one meditation in three different ways. For example, you can do the free form breathing in a way that is really emphasizing focus and clarity, or you can do it in a more relaxed way, not worrying so much about effort, just emphasizing release and flowing into restfulness.

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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

Ongoing – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practiceOverview: Life is an adventure in the experience of being conscious. To meditate and to be a meditator is to engage in this experience full-bloodedly, with the intention to get the very most out of the opportunity that we have been given, both in terms of enjoyment, and in terms of our potential to achieve worthwhile goals that are congruent with our inner values. This is a dynamic meditation course that covers…read full details

 



Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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)

Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Saturday September 24th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Saturday September 10th, 9.30-12noon – Full Moon Zen deep-dive mini-retreat


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Inner vision Insight Meditation Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience Presence and being present

Happiness as acceptance?

“When you can accept life and aliveness, and bring it to your daily activities, and that this can have a transformative effect, even (and particularly) when you are facing something difficult”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores how happiness can be something that is accepted rather than strived for. Sometimes we are trying to so hard to be happy, we ignore the nourishment that is already there under our nose!

Final call for the new class series, An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice that starts on 16/17th August, and can be participated in live, online or using the recordings.

In the spirit of  acceptance,

Toby


Happiness as acceptance?

“Nothing is enough for the man for whom enough is too little” – Epicurius

In a previous article from last week, I wrote about meditation as a way of pre-disposing yourself to enjoyment and wellbeing. What I meant is that, if your habitual inner state is conducive to enjoyment, then you will tend to find it in your external circumstances, even if they are very difficult. Some of the inner states of mind that pre-dispose us to happiness are pro-active, seeking out ways to derive fulfilment from life. Others are seemingly more passive; they are ways of opening to enjoyment that require less effortfulness and more allowing. One of these is acceptance, and that this is what I would like to reflect upon a little below.

How much is enough?
A lot of the time we seem to be waiting for something to happen in our life that will catalyse enjoyment or wellbeing for us, something new, something that changes what is there. But what if we turned that around and said “What do I already have that I can recognize and open to that would create a sense of enjoyment for me?” What if I were to work on accepting what is already there? When you start to look there are loads of things in life that are sitting right there that we could be deriving inner nourishment from. For example, off the top of my head today:

  • I’m enjoying the use of affirmation and visualization in my physical body healing process at the moment
  • My daughters are healthy
  • It’s the start of a number of new working projects that I am motivated by
  • I’ve had a good summer holiday
  • The new rental contract for our house contained less of a price raise in rent than I had feared
  • The weekend was busy with friends and conversations

All of these things are available to me to be recognized, opened to and accepted. If I can do that, then the acceptance becomes a doorway to feelings of wellbeing that start to flow into my awareness and my body; I start to experience life as a good place to be.

What’s stopping you opening to what you’ve got?
Three obvious things stand out:

  • Your pain, misfortune and difficulties. We tend to focus on these, and are often quite attached to the tensions, pain and stress. We can be ‘happy in our misery’, we can feel a sense of justified resentment and anxiety. It takes real courage and conscious effort to break out of this
  • As with the Epicurius quote above, there can always be more, and if we don’t draw the line and say ‘I have enough, and I have enough to feel well’, then the sense of ‘not enough’ is a closed door of dissatisfaction and discontent
  • Embracing happiness and embracing life takes confidence, courage and care. If we really open to and accept what life is offering us, then it can be taken away. To open to enjoyment and pleasure means to feel vulnerable. If I keep pushing away my sources of life-fulness, then at least I am ‘safe’ in my numbness, caution and negativity

A practice
Sitting quietly, start to notice the sources of life-fulness, fulfilment and wellbeing in your life right now. As they come up, practice acknowledging them, opening to them, accepting them. As you breathe, let them feed and nourish your inner being. Let yourself feel that you are rich, that you have enough already to feel inwardly wealthy.
Once you have done this with specific things, you can practice opening to and accepting life itself, the life within you and around you, allowing yourself to be nourished by the flow of it in and through your body. In this second practice you start to realize that you can accept life and aliveness, and bring it to your daily activities, and that this can have a transformative effect, even (and particularly) when you are facing something difficult.

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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

Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practiceOverview: Life is an adventure in the experience of being conscious. To meditate and to be a meditator is to engage in this experience full-bloodedly, with the intention to get the very most out of the opportunity that we have been given, both in terms of enjoyment, and in terms of our potential to achieve worthwhile goals that are congruent with our inner values. This is a dynamic meditation course that covers…read full details


Saturday August 27th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details

 



Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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)

Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Saturday August 27th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
A Mind of Ease Enlightened Flow Inner vision Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Mindful Confidence Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership

Pre-disposing yourself for enjoyment (& being battle ready)

“To take hold of our enjoyment we need to be conscious enough to direct attention toward our opportunities for enjoyment, and be ready to work our way patiently through the obstacles to that”

Dear Integral Meditators,

Is your happiness and wellbeing an accident, or is it on purpose? The article below looks at how you can pre-dispose yourself to good experiences using meditation, and why you might consider it a worthwhile investment.

If you enjoy the article, the subject is covered in my latest class series, An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice that starts on 16/17th August, and can be participated in live, online or using the recordings.

Also, this Saturday I will be facilitating the monthly Zen deep-dive mini-retreat where we will be focusing on deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart.

In the spirit of  being battle-ready!

Toby


Pre-disposing yourself for enjoyment (& being battle ready)

Consolidating your inner strengths
One way of thinking about meditation is as an activity where we train our mind systematically to focus on positive-objects. By a ‘positive object’ I mean an object that when we focus upon it causes our awareness to become calm, strong, balanced, warm or otherwise positive and healthy in some way.
A meditator is a person who is committed to systematically developing their inner strengths and wellbeing by growing these strengths daily, perhaps a little bit like an inner gym-rat!

Train when things are going well! The need to be ‘Battle-ready’
One of the key insights a meditator has is that its best to train your mind to be inwardly strong before you start to suffer to much or encounter an emergency. This way when you do hit an emergency or encounter pain, you are ready for it.
When I was in the UK recently, I met an old friend and colleague from my Buddhist monk days. Although both our lives were going well in many ways, we could both enumerate a number of critical challenges that we and our family members were going though. The challenges were laced with various forms of pain and suffering. These sufferings were really in the nature of life itself and were unavoidable; old age, sickness, loneliness, economic challenges. The existence of the challenges was not within our ability to control. All we could could/can control is our mindset and way of being present to them. This in turn relies upon our inner strength, our capacity for things like acceptance, confidence, letting go, perseverance, love and so forth.
So, to be ‘Battle-ready’ for the sufferings that present themselves in our life, we can use meditation as a way of building and consolidating our inner strengths. Challenges in our life can always be opportunities, but if we are not inwardly robust and confident enough when we face them, the pain often shuts that opportunity down. So, we need to arrive prepared.

Pre-disposing ourself for enjoyment
Using meditation as a way of building our inner strengths also pre-disposes us to recognize and take our opportunities for enjoyment. Amidst the difficulty and tribulation of life there are many opportunities each day for fun, pleasure, happiness and fulfilment. If we are pre-occupied with our pain or feeling overwhelmed by life however, we will often not even recognize these opportunities.
So, for example, opportunities for enjoyment for me today include:

  1. Taking pleasure in the presence of my daughters
  2. Enjoying the familiarity of my home after a holiday away
  3. Appreciating that I have enough work set up this month not to have to worry
  4. Taking pleasure in giving (my older daughter’s birthday present)
  5. Appreciating the memories of the trip that I have just returned from
  6. Simple enjoyments in the form of food, coffee and so on
  7. Working on setting up the new projects for the second half of the year
  8. Being grateful for the presence of some childcare in the form of our helper to take the load off my shoulders
  9. The opportunity to exercise and meditate

These are all in my grasp, but I’m also feeling jet-lagged, sleep deprived and, as a result somewhat dis-oriented. To take hold of my enjoyment I need to be conscious enough to direct my attention toward my opportunities for enjoyment, and be ready to work my way patiently through the obstacles to that. My ability to do that relies to a large degree on the capacities that I have previously built up to focus on the positives, and not get thrown off balance by the obstacles. This, in essence is what this dimension of meditation practice is about.

In case you missed my previous article: Adventuring with attention (What is a Meditator?)

© Toby Ouvry 2022, 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

Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practiceOverview: Life is an adventure in the experience of being conscious. To meditate and to be a meditator is to engage in this experience full-bloodedly, with the intention to get the very most out of the opportunity that we have been given, both in terms of enjoyment, and in terms of our potential to achieve worthwhile goals that are congruent with our inner values. This is a dynamic meditation course that covers…read full details


Saturday August 13th, 9.30-12noon – Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Session overview: These 2.5hour Zen ‘mini-retreats’ are a chance to go into much deeper meditation states than you would be able to in your own personal daily practice, or even if you came to a one-hour class. Using sitting meditation methods in combination with breathing techniques and gentle stretching/mobility exercises Toby will guide you into deep meditative flow states that create the experience of a calm, unified, harmonized, resilient body, mind & heart…read full details

 



Life-fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program with Toby

 

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
Read full details

All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

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)

Saturday August 13th, 9.30-12noon – Zen deep-dive mini-retreat

Starts Tues 16th /Weds 17th August – An Adventure in Consciousness – The What, Why & How of integral & engaged meditation practice

Saturday August 27th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat


 

Integral Meditation Asia

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