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Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Mindful Confidence Mindful Resilience Mindfulness

Becoming Your Own Mindful Psychotherapist and Life Coach

Dear Integral Meditators,
Integral mindfulness aims to integrate our experience of past, present and the future into a mutually complementary whole. The article below explores one simple way to begin doing this for yourself.

Yours in the spirit of integration,

Toby


Becoming Your Own Mindful Psychotherapist and Life Coach

In general psychotherapy helps us to heal past trauma to improve our life now.
Life-coaching helps us tap our unrecognized talent, motivation and potential in order to improve our present moment and future experience.
Mindfulness helps us to focus our awareness more deeply in the present moment, but it can also have psychotherapeutic and life-coaching function.

  • By investigating our past with mindfulness we can become aware of and work to heal our past wounds
  • By mindfully exploring our potential talents, strengths, motivations and potential we can start to leverage on them more deeply, and use the  to improve our present and  future experience

In my integral life coaching practice I help clients bring mindful awareness to their past, present and future in order to heal their psychological wounds and start to actualize their potential for life enjoyment. If you want to start becoming your own integral life coach, you can try the following exercise as a starting point.

1. Select an area of your life that you want to look into. It could be an aspect of your professional development, or your relationships, or your habits. Let’s go with the example of self confidence here.

2. Ask yourself the question ‘What is there in my past life experience that is sabotaging my self confidence? (or other issue you are looking into) & what can I do to heal that damage now?’ Use this question as a departure point for a mindful investigation of the challenges from the past that presently threaten your self confidence.

3. Now ask yourself the question ‘What can I do in the present in order to support and nurture my experience of self confidence each day?’ Try and come up with a concrete,             actionable answer that you can start mindfully implementing each day.

4. Finally ask yourself ‘What future goals and plans can I set myself that will help me feel motivated to keep developing and actualizing my self-confidence?’ Your goals and plans may not turn out the way you thought they would, but by making plans and goals we embark on a path of learning that will help us build deeper and deeper levels of self confidence over time.

An example:
In the past my confidence was sabotaged by teachers at school who thought that art was a subject only for those not bright enough for academic subjects (I went onto do an art degree). If I realize this is a source of wounding for me I can act to heal it.
In the present I can build my self confidence each day by looking at the daily victories in my business, and complementing myself whenever I take an appropriate risk.
I can build my confidence for the future by setting goals for my business that are realistic and achievable if I work hard and stay motivated.

There you go, as simple mindful action plan that integrates a mindful psychotherapeutic and life-coaching approach together.
What would you like to work on at this time?

Related article: Life-fullness

© 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 Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in May:

MAY 2015 
Friday 29th May 7.30-9.30pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Travelling deeper into the present moment through integral meditation

Saturday 30th May, 2.30-5.30pm – Enlightened Flow: Finding the Ultimate Relaxation and Release from Stress

JUNE 2015
Friday 5th June, 7.30-9pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Travelling deeper into the present moment through integral meditation

Tuesday 9th June, 7.30-9pm – An Evening of Integral Meditation – Cultivating the Awakened Mind Within Ourselves, Our Work & Our Relationships

Saturday 13th June 2.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment – A Three Hour Workshop

Sunday 14th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing

Saturday 27th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self-Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through meditation & mindfulness

Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – The Call of the Wild–Meditations for Deepening Your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Green-world

 


Integral Meditation Asia

 

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A Mind of Ease Enlightened Flow Inner vision Integral Meditation Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindfulness

Letting Come, Letting Go, Going With the Flow

Dear Integral Meditators,
‘Letting go’  is easy to say, more difficult to do well. The article article presents of a few pointers as to how we can deepen our experience of letting go by combining it with the practice of letting come.

In the spirit of letting come & letting go,

Toby


Letting Come, Letting Go, Going With the Flow

Letting go is perhaps an overused word in meditation and mindfulness circles, but besides  the overuse of the word, letting go remains a very profound  practice with many different levels. This article presents of a few pointers as to how we can deepen our experience of letting go by combining it with the practice of letting come.

You can’t let go of something that you haven’t let come
If you can’t acknowledge that you have been hurt by what someone said, how can you let go of that hurt?
If you can’t acknowledge a desire you have, how can you let go of it (and do you really want to?)
If you can’t open to your feelings of inferiority, there isn’t a real chance you are going to be able to let go of them any time soon (though of course you can bury them deep inside!)
You can’t let go of something that you haven’t acknowledged and accepted that you have in the first place. In this context to ‘let come’ is to acknowledge, accept and experience that you have been hurt, that you desire, that you feel inferior (and so on…); to accept the reality of what you experience. This step of self-honesty is not so that we can indulge that difficult experience; it is so that by accepting it we can start to move through it and let it go.
To acknowledge, to accept, to experience something is to let it come, to open our body, heart and mind to it, to receive it, so that we can then, if we wish to, let it go properly.

Letting come – Acknowledging & enjoying the good
Letting come is also an opening to enjoyment of the good things in life, to its richness, to the abundance of it all. Letting come is to open our heart to all that is going on in our life at any time in order to appreciate it and to live it fully. This type of letting come is a benevolent counterweight to letting go

And in reverse; letting go and letting come
We’ve looked at letting come in order to let go, but we can also practice letting go in order to let come. We can consciously practice letting go of something in our life in order to then open to and invite  new energy and possibilities to come into the space we have created. In this way we practice letting go as a way of letting new experiences, enjoyments and abundance come into our life; by letting go we can then let come!

Letting come, letting go, going with the flow; three simple practices
1. As you breathe in acknowledge a difficult feeling or experience, accept it, let it come into your body-heart and mind. As you breathe out, let it go. Let the experience come, let it go, go with the flow.
2. As you breathe in acknowledge the good, the enjoyment and the richness of your life; let it come in. As you breathe out let yourself go into the flow of this richness and enjoyment; relax into this flow of appreciation. Let it come, let it go, go with the flow.
3. As you breathe out consciously let go of something or someone that you are ready to release and move on from in your life. As you breathe in be aware of the space that your letting go has created, open yourself to the new energy and possibilities that can come into your life as a result of letting go. Let things go, let things come, go with the flow.

Related articles: Wake, up, Grow up, Clean up, Flow         Finding Your Spiritual Flow
Are You Going With the Flow or Just Drifting With the Current?
When You Have to Go Against the Flow          Single-pointedness and going with the flow

© 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

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *
Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology
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Awareness and insight Biographical Inner vision Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Meditating on the Self Meditation and Art Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership

Happiness is Getting What You Want?

Dear Integral Meditators,

The article below explores the idea of mindfulness in relations to our wants and desires and how being mindful of what we want can make a huge difference in relation to our personal happiness.

Yours in the spirit of getting what you really want,

Toby


Happiness is Getting What You Want?

What is it that makes you happy? You can read a lot of books on this topic, but from a mindfulness perspective the best way to investigate this is to observe from your own experience the things that make you happy and the things that make you unhappy, and then proceed to do more of the former and less of the latter.
But it goes a bit deeper than that; as Zig Zagglar said “The chief cause of unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now”. From this we can start to understand (and see from our own experience) that getting what we want in the short term can be a huge obstacle to getting what we really deeply want in the long term.

  • We can put off the difficult conversation with our partner/spouse because we want peace in the short-term, but the long term consequences of doing this repeatedly will leave us with (and possibly stuck in) a relationship that we don’t want to be in
  • We can take the job that brings us cash in the short term, but it takes all the time and energy that we need to start the business that we really want to do in the long term
  • We want and desire to change our body weight/shape/fitness, but we continually become distracted from our long term desire by our short term appetites for unhealthy food
  • We deeply want to find a relationship, but we keep giving into our short term desire for safety and non-embarrassment, so we never ask someone out

And so it goes on….

Focusing on what you want and desire as a mindfulness practice
So a really good daily object of mindfulness is the question “What do I truly, deeply want and desire in my life?” Sit with this question for a minute or two. Maybe write down the answer.
Then ask yourself the question “What step, big or small can I take today to move toward that goal?” Follow up your answer to this second question. If you like do this exercise for a month, see what changes.

Each day in unconscious and imperceptible ways we sacrifice our deepest long term desires and wants for short term convenience and small time wish-fulfilment. If you practice being mindful of what you really want, and honour the wisdom that starts to come forth from your heart when you do, you will find that your life will become happier. Not easier, happier.

Related article: Mindful of our conflicting desires

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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 AsiaOnline Courses 1:1 Coaching * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *
Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

 

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Awareness and insight creative imagery Essential Spirituality Inner vision Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindfulness Presence and being present spiritual intelligence Uncategorized

The Man or woman of No Rank

 

A lot of the suffering, pain and confusion that we experience in our lives comes from the attachment that we have to the roles that we habitually play in our life. The man or woman of no rank is a meditation technique that allows us to:

  • Become more aware of this attachment and over-identification we have with roles
  • Enables us to let go of them and see that we are not these labels
  • Helps us use these labels and identities effectively and appropriately in our life

You can do this contemplation in a formal meditation, or you can do it just sitting casually on your sofa or any quiet space…

Think about the roles and identities you play in your work, observe your identification with them for a while, then set them aside, temporarily let them go, realize you are not this role or label.

Extend the same process to:

  • Yourself as a partner, husband, wife
  • Yourself as a son or daughter
  • As a father or mother
  • As a person from this country, or area
  • From this social class
  • From this level of education
  • From yourself as a man, or as a woman
  • Explore any other areas where you have a strong identity to a role; ‘big strong guy’, ‘the shy type’, ‘the peacemaker’, the ‘fortunate one’ or ‘unfortunate’ one, and so on; any place where you see that you are attached or very identified with a role or label.

Step by step strip away your roles and labels. Rest in the space where you are simply a man or woman of no rank, just a person, not better or worse than anyone else, equal with the highest and the lowest of them all. Sit in a space where you are just a human being, maybe even just a ‘being’. Live this space deeply for a while.
When you return to the world, of course playing roles is inevitable, but if you practice being the man or woman of no rank you can liberate yourself from these labels, and the discover that you can use them consciously to explore and fulfill your own potential, be of service to the people around you and the world.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com 

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Energy Meditation Inner vision Integral Meditation Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Mindful Resilience Mindfulness

When Your Energy Level Follows Your Mind and Imagination

Dear Integral Meditators,

How much does your mind and imagination have to do with your energy levels? The article below explores this question and invites you to participate mindfully in the creation of energy in your body by using your mind and imagination well. This is a theme that I will be exploring extensively and practically in my workshop on 2nd November Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy which I invite you to take a look at!

The workshops and classes for November are out, see full details below.

Finally, iAwake Technologies are having a 30% sale on all products, you can see my own write up of how useful I have found them HERE.

Yours in the spirit of energy following mind,

Toby


When Your Energy Level Follows Your Mind and Imagination

A couple of days ago in the morning I was in a state of despair, my mind and imagination was telling me there we so many projects that I had to do, so much uncertainty around the success or failure of each one, it was all unmanageable, I felt exhausted!  In an act of supreme will I swatted aside the doubts and started focusing on the write up for an event that I was due to put on in a month’s time. At this point I am struggling to find any energy at all.

By the time I finish the write up it is past lunch time, I’m so excited about the event that I have just written up that I feel on top of the world, I feel like the man, life is great, the world is watching me on the way to success. I feel super energized, high on energy.

Later that evening I discuss with my squash partner after a game how the employees at his company (engineers and technicians) are not likely to be interested in mindfulness training. “The most important thing in a corporate training event for these people,” he says “is to get to the bar as quickly as possible”. I feel less euphoric than I did at lunchtime but steady within myself, “It’ll be patient work to change the world I think to myself.” My energy level is steady; not high, not low.
Three different times of day, three different states of mind and imagination, three very different levels of energy resulting.
What is the mindfulness lesson here? Mind and imagination are really important factors in your sense of how much energy you have, so be careful not to get crushed by negative imagination and use positive imagination to your advantage when it is working for you, but stay steady if it isn’t, because it does not indicate the end of the world.

When I first started doing qigong meditation the essential discipline was to hold a particular sitting or standing posture and imagine energy travelling and circulating through your body in a certain way. This was the principal that ‘energy follows mind’: if you focus your mind in energy moving in a certain way, it does so. We have a remarkable power to heal ourself and affect our own energy levels each day simply by learning to control, direct and imagine it using the powers of our mind. You can see a very simple meditation forms that follow this principle on my qigong blog here: Building and strengthening your energy body.

So, whether it is paying attention to the way your mind is imagining a situation to be, or whether it is practising a discipline that requires the use of our imaginative faculties such as qigong meditation the message is clear; your mind and imagination do affect your energy levels significantly, so do pay mindful attention to them!

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com 

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A Mind of Ease Inner vision Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Mindful Resilience Shadow meditation

The Reasons We Resist Deeply Good Feelings

Dear Integral Meditators,

What would happen to your life if you truly committed to feeling the deepest, best feelings that were available to you in each moment? This weeks article explores this theme, and the reasons we often turn away.

Courses and coaching offers for October are detailed in the upcoming courses section.

Yours in the spirit of feeling deeply good,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in October:

Sunday October 19th – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention

 Launches 24th October – The Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease Online Course

Special 1:1 Coaching offer valid for October 2014: Get 15% off the 3 session Stress Transformation Coaching Package.


The Reasons We Resist Deeply Good Feelings

The following is a list of reasons why we either choose to accept negative feelings and focus upon them when there are positive ones we could be focus upon, OR we choose to accept superficially ‘positive’ feelings and emotions when there is a choice available to touch something deeper and more profoundly alive within ourselves.

  • There are many varied and often real reasons not to feel good
  • My ever increasing list of broken dreams as I get older
  • My fear of being judged by others (don’t stand out in the wrong way!)
  • Everyone around me seems negative or guarded, why take the chance?
  • The positivity can’t last, I’m setting myself up for disappointment, the feelings will betray me
  • Real, visceral enjoyment and pleasure is not something I am worthy of
  • My partner/child/parent/friend (etc…) is not happy, so why should I be?
  • I’m waiting for someone else’s permission to feel this good
  • I might start having all sorts of creative ideas (and that might be risky)
  • I’m uncertain and worried about my future (to feel good doesn’t match that reality)
  • My business/job is not going well
  • The suffering of the world, the environmental crisis
  • I haven’t forgiven myself for ‘x’
  • I’m addicted to my own pain
  • If I feel really good it will highlight all the areas of my life where I feel pain, I don’t want to b reminded of that
  • If I’m feeling good there will be no one else to blame for my pain
  • I would feel empowered and so would have no excuses for not taking responsibility for my life
  • I will start to feel truly alive (and that would be scary)
  • I’m addicted to feeling ‘high’ rather than actually deeply happy
  • I want to feel and be what gets the approval of others rather than what really serves me

I wrote that little list in 5 minutes before I cooked dinner tonight. It seems sometimes like the choice to feel truly good, whole and well each day despite “all of it” is not the act of the mindless hedonist, but the mindful and courageous few.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com 

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Integral Awareness Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindfulness Uncategorized

Three Levels of Inner Resilience

Dear Integral Meditators,

What are the primary qualities that you rely upon for your own inner resilience? The article I have written below outlines three important areas for developing our inner resilience in an integrated way, using mindfulness.

Yours in the spirit of flow, structure and immersion,

Toby


Three Levels of Inner Resilience

Imagine your consciousness is like an ocean.
Imagine the challenges that come at you in life are like the waves, wind and rain on that ocean.
Imagine your mind is like a well built boat. To have a resilient mind is to have structures and habits of thought and emotion in your mind that are able to withstand the outer challenges of your life such as setbacks, and the inner challenges of your life such as periodic low self-belief or perhaps depression. It is the structure of the boat that provides the resilience.
Imagine your body and body awareness is like the sailor on the boat. In order to stay balanced s/he has to keep his centre of gravity low, his body responsive and flexible so that she can ride the waves without getting tipped overboard. This is like the resilience of flow; the ability to keep the energy in your body flexible and flowing in response to the ‘hits’ that you take each day. You are able to recover from setbacks quickly because difficult energy flows through you, it is not held as tension or rigidity within the body; nothing gets stuck.
Imagine that you can also dive beneath the waves to a depth where the turbulence of the surface no longer disturbs you. By diving and immersing yourself deeply in the ocean you are able to find relief and regeneration from the relentless weather, to find a space of peace and deep calm. This type of resilience through immersion is developing the capacity to dive beyond the world of thoughts and feelings to a deeper level of your awareness where a sense of relaxation and regeneration can always be found no matter how tough your life gets.

The resilience of flow then is about mindfully learning to let tension and stress flow through your body so that it does not build up or stay and you recover from it quickly.
The resilience of structure is the structures you build in your mind to deal with setbacks and emotional challenges in a robust, strong and flexible manner.
The resilience of immersion is the skill of learning to dive deeply into your consciousness periodically to a place beyond thought where you can find renewal and regeneration.

If you put these three together you have a truly resilient mindfulness!

If you would like to take the practices indicated in this article into your daily life, simply dwell for a few minutes each day on the image of yourself as a sailor in the sea of life, in your sturdy, well structured boat, keeping your body flexible and flowing, and periodically diving deep into the ocean beneath you to a place of deep calm.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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 


Developing Your Mindful Resilience  – Sustaining effectiveness, happiness and clarity under pressure through mindfulness
Beautiful old treeIn a sentence: This is a six module online course that teaches you how you can develop mental resilience through mindfulness practice.

Course will be launched on: Wednesday 24th September

Pre-launch price: Sing$69 (will rise to Sing$85 on launch day, 24th September)

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE MINDFUL RESILIENCE COURSE AT PRE-LAUNCH PRICE OF SING$69 VIA PAYPAL

About the course:

Mental resilience is the capacity to remain actively aware, creatively productive, constantly learning, happy and effective in life and at work, even when faced with pressure, stress and tension from both within our mind and from our external environment. This is a course about how you can develop your mental resilience through practical mindfulness.

The course is online, those participating will be given the link and password to a course page through which they can listen to the course modules at their own pace.

The course covers six aspects of mindful resilience in six modules:

Module 1: Understanding the different levels of mindful resilience

Module 2: Learning to relax into tension and stress

Module 3: Creating a resilient inner dialogue with yourself

Module 4: Developing resilience to setbacks and challenges through mindfulness

Module 5: Understanding and developing different types and levels of focus and concentration

Module 6: Stillness and space as tools of inner resilience

Each module consists of a talk and a guided mindfulness exercise or meditation by Toby. For more details of these six aspects of mindful resilience please check out Toby’s article on mindful resilience

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE MINDFUL RESILIENCE COURSE AT PRE-LAUNCH PRICE OF SING$69 VIA PAYPAL

About the facilitator Toby Ouvry

Toby is a British meditation and mindfulness teacher, and the founder of Integral Meditation Asia. He has been practicing and teaching meditation for over eighteen years, five of which were as a Buddhist monk within the Tibetan tradition. Click HERE for more details about Toby, his background and qualifications for teaching meditation and mindfulness.

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Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Meditating on the Self Mindful Resilience Mindfulness

Developing Your Mindful Resilience

Dear Integral Meditators,

How resilient are you to the pressures of life? What are the factors that you can introduce into your mind in order to increase your mental resilience? This weeks article looks at how mindfulness can help with this.
Yours in the spirit of mindful resilience,

Toby

 


 

Developing Your Mindful Resilience

Back in the days when I was a Buddhist monk, one of the things that myself and many of my ‘colleagues’ noticed after going on meditation retreat was that it was quite startling how quickly we reverted to our normal habitual behaviours and consciousness level upon returning to the ‘real world’ and our daily routine, after all the work we had put into our retreat and meditation, it sometimes seemed like in everyday terms little had changed.
I’ve thought about this a lot in the years since, and it has really inspired me to try and create what I think is a truly well rounded and resilient mindfulness training that is truly going to enable people to change their lives for the better through mindfulness and meditation practice.

So what is mindful resilience? Here is a working definition – “Mindful resilience is the capacity to remain actively aware, creatively productive, constantly learning, happy and effective in life and at work, even when faced with pressure, stress and tension from both within our mind and from our external environment”.

What then are the skills that you need to be able to develop mindful resilience as a way of life? Below I list what I believe from my practical experience are key practices:

1. An understanding of the three experiential levels of our consciousness 
What is it within us that we are trying to create mindful resilience within? Within our mind. There are three domains of our mind, each of which has a particular type of resilience that we can leverage upon.
The first is our sensory-physical awareness, the second is our mental awareness and the third is our experience of awareness itself. Each of these levels or aspects of our mind has a particular type of resilience that we can leverage upon. A practitioner of mindful resilience needs to know how to access each of these levels of mindful resilience.

2. The capacity to relax into tension and other forms of stress
For your mind to be resilient under the pressure of real life situations you need to understand how you can relax into tension and other forms of stress. The first stage of this is learning how to relax into tension so that it does not prevent you functioning effectively, the second level involves learning to actually redirect the stress so that you are actually making use of it.  (See for example my meditation on stress transformation, coachingservice and online course)

3. The ability to create and sustain a positive inner dialog with yourself
We have an inner conversation going on within our mind all the time. For sustainable peace of mind, inner resilience and creativity you need to be able to make that dialog positive and productive where possible, but also know how to deal with the negative, difficult challenging aspects of that conversation when it arises (please note; repressing it or pretending it is not there will not create resilience!).

4. A commitment to appreciating the good and the challenging in your life
A practitioner of mindful resilience commits to both noticing and dwelling upon the good in your life whilst also learning how to appreciate and genuinely value learning and growth facilitated by the challenges, friction and difficulty. As Jim Mclaren would say “Don’t waste your suffering!”

5. Focus!
To be resilient you need to train your mind to be strong, to focus and concentrate, both when the object of mindful concentration is just one thing and also when the situation demands that you be aware of multiple factors at the same time. In reality this means learning that there are different types of focus, and know how to apply them appropriately.

6. Being truly comfortable with silence, uncertainty, open spaces
Undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable aspects of a mindfulness and meditation practice is developing the capacity to relax into a deep and regenerative experience of stillness and silence when we are sitting in formal meditation practice.
In order to bring this truly and deeply into our daily life there also needs to be the capacity to relax into the open spaces of un-certainty, un-predictability and un-knowing that come up time and again in our everyday real time reality . The purpose of getting comfortable with these three “un-s” is not so that we become a victim of them, but so that we can learn from them and take the opportunities they have to offer us.

Want to get started with your own mindful resilience practice?
There is obviously a lot contained within each of the points above, but here is a very short way to get started.
Stage 1: Consider the definition of mindful resilience: “Mindful resilience is the capacity to remain aware, creatively productive, constantly learning, happy and effective in life and at work even when faced with pressure, stress and tension from both within our mind and from our external environment”. Take a little time to dwell upon it.

Stage 2: What sort of images and symbols come to mind when you contemplate this definition? Select an image from your imagination that represents the energy  and experience of mindful resilience as you understand it. Take that image as a focus point for your attention for short periods at regular intervals during the day, reminding and encouraging you to explore your capacity for mindful resilience.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com 

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Inner vision Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness Motivation and scope

You Always Have a Choice

Some of you familiar with meditation and mindfulness will be familiar with the practice of choice-less awareness. Choice-less awareness essentially involves learning to be a witness to your consciousness and its contents; just sitting there and allowing whatever comes up in your mind to come up without interfering, like watching clouds in the sky.

However, in daily life and in the world of active thought and action, one of the best ways to turn on and develop your mindfulness practice is to engage in your process of making choices consciously and definitely.

There is never a circumstance in life where you do not have options, and the options that you choose each day have real and tangible consequences on your life. If you abstain from making choices through laziness, fear, confusion (etc and any combination of), or if you labor under the illusion that you have ‘no choice’ in a situation then you are tangibly handicapping your chances of building a happy and fulfilling life.

The flip side of this is that by making sure that each day you are making mindful considered choices you are dramatically increasing the your life-effectiveness, your chances of success in your endeavors, and your chances of getting what you want in the way that you want it.

If you really want to turn your mindfulness practice on, make sure you are asking yourself every day and in each consequential situation “What are my choices here?” Make full use of the mind you have.

 

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Awareness and insight Insight Meditation Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness Motivation and scope Presence and being present

Mindfully Deepening Your Inner Resources

Dear Integral Meditators,
When you think about deepening your inner strength and resources perhaps you think about developing a new set of skills or reading about a new practice. Using mindfulness you can deepen your inner strength and resilience simply by being more fully conscious of what you already know. This weeks article looks at how you can go about doing this.

The program of talks and workshops for August is out, just click on the links below for full details!

Finally, Integral Meditation Asia is having a special August four day sale (3rd to end 7th August) with a 40% price reduction on all its current online meditation and mindfulness courses. just click on the link to have a look at the list available.

Yours in the spirit of inner strength,

Toby


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

AUGUST

Sunday 10th of August 4-5pm – Free Mindful Parenting preview talk at Basic Essence, to register your place please reply to this email.

Sunday August 17th, 9.30am-12.30pm –Mindful Parenting – Practical Techniques for Bringing Awareness, Appreciation and Enjoyment to the Experience of Parenting – A three hour workshop
Sunday August 31st, 9.30am-12.30pm – The Call of the Wild – Meditations for Deepening your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Greenworld

Through to end August: Special offer on 1:1 Coaching at Integral Meditation Asia

 


Mindfully Deepening Your Inner Resources

Finding a deeper level of inner resources and resilience to your challenges need not be about learning more. As often as not it is about being mindful enough to apply what you already know in a practical way. Sometimes when we are experiencing difficulties or performing sub-par in a situation it is because we are not applying what we already know in an effective way.

A simple example
Let’s say I feel uncomfortable about communicating to my business partner about something that I think he did wrong and that is hurting our business. If I am present to my own past experience, and to what I have read about effective communication I will already know that the best way to tackle the situation is to honestly and politely bring up the subject directly and talk about it explicitly.
However, because I am a distracted by other things and because the emotions within me are uncomfortable I instinctively avoid bringing up the conversation directly. The result of this is that I feel an increasing sense of frustration and resentment toward my partner, and the problem persists on an outer level.
If I bring my full awareness to what I already know, then the plan of action is actually clear; I need to have a direct talk with him. However, consciously or unconsciously I am avoiding the issue, which in turn is making me reduce the level of conscious awareness that I am bringing to the situation. As a result I act against my best knowledge and find myself frustrated and confused.

Reasons why we don’t bring enough awareness to our challenges

Here the issue is not that we do not know what to do, rather it is that we don’t bring enough conscious intelligence to the situation to know what we know and do what we need to do. There are a lot of reasons why we resist bringing our full conscious awareness to situations where we really need it, but here are three:
We are lazy – Simply, we can’t be bothered, so rather than address the issue properly we hope that by ignoring it or pretending it is not there then it will somehow go away. Inevitably this means we expend more effort dealing with the issue because we are dealing with it in the wrong way, so laziness is very often a prescription for more work in the long term.
We are afraid of consequences – To take the example above, let’s say I am afraid of invoking my business partner’s disapproval or anger. Because of this I avoid the confrontation by telling myself it is not necessary, or I pretend it is not really a problem. Because I am afraid of a consequence I deny what I already know and doing really needs to be done.
Being focused on the wrong thing – Another reason we deny our self access to what we know is that we are focused on the wrong thing. Again to use the example of me and my business partner, if I am focused on “who is right and who is wrong in the situation” rather than “what needs to be done to fix our business glitch”, then the issue is not that I am not bringing awareness to what is going on, it is just that I am focusing that awareness on the wrong aspect of what is going on.

An exercise for mindfully deepening your inner resources

Three questions to stay with during the day:

  • What challenges in my inner or outer life need to be solved immanently or urgently?
  • If I bring my full awareness to the issue, what do I already know about how to resolve the situation?
  • Knowing what I already know deep down, what do I really need to do?

© Toby Ouvry 2014, 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