A Mind of Ease Energy Meditation Meditation techniques Mindful Breathing

Wave Breathing

Dear Integral Meditators ,

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

Toby & Integral Meditation Asia

Wave Breathing

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Toby Ouvry 2015, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Integral Meditation Asia


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Experiencing the Mind as the Mind

Dear Toby ,

Often meditation and mindfulness work well when you use a short, significant phrase as your object of enquiry. In the article below I share one that I have been enjoying over the holiday season.

Wishing you, your families and loved ones all the very best for the Christmas season!

Toby & Integral Meditation Asia

Experiencing the Mind as the Mind

Often meditation and mindfulness work well when you use a short, significant phrase as your object of enquiry, which can then lead you relatively naturally into progressively deeper states of awareness. Over the Christmas holiday and winter solstice period the phrase I have been focusing upon is ‘Experience the mind as the mind’ (or my mind as my mind). This phrase invites me to connect to the experience of consciousness itself as directly and non-conceptually as possible.
Normally we experience our mind conceptually, dividing into different categories, for example:

  • Positive and negative thinking
  • Conscious and unconscious
  • Practical and daydreaming
  • Mundane and spiritual
  • Busy and peaceful
  • Upset or happy

With the practice of experiencing the mind as the mind I am deliberately setting aside all of these (useful in their own context) conceptual ways of experiencing my mind, and simply trying to experience the mind as a whole, directly in the present moment. At different times during the day different things will be appearing to my mind, which is fine, but I am focused simply to being conscious, and paying attention to what that experience feels like. As a result of this I have found that:

  • Many of the things that my habitual and conceptual mind normally does not see start to become visible
  • I naturally start to move back into the peaceful centre of my world and experience in the present moment
  • I am freed to then think or approach my daily life and challenges with my experiential, problem-solving intelligence operating at a higher level

If you like over the next few days you can take experiencing ‘the mind as the mind’ (or your consciousness as your consciousness) as an object of mindfulness in your own meditation practice, either formally or informally, and allow it to invite you into the space of immediacy and presence that it invites!

© 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

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 


Ongoing on Wednesday’s, (Jan 13th, 20th, 27th) 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby
Saturday January 16th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Flow – Meditation & mindfulness for cultivating a state of optimal flow in your mind, body, heart and life – A three hour workshop
Saturday, January 30th, 2.30-5.30pm  – Meditations for Transforming Negativity and Stress into Energy, Positivity and Enlightenment – A Three Hour Workshop

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The Inner Sky of the Mind – Distraction, anxiety, mood and the principle of awareness 

Imagine you were to spend a week everyday looking at the sky, just watching and witnessing it. Some days it would be bright and full of light, other days there might be light clouds, sometimes monotonously grey, or aggressively rainy with thunder and lightning. Every time that you looked, the idea would be simply to witness and observe the sky closely, like an artist or a scientist.
In mindfulness and meditation the principle of being aware of our mind and its contents is like this sky watching exercise; we learn to watch the inner sky of our mind using awareness to witness its contents rather than be involved with it.

The act of being aware under pressure
Normally we are not used to witnessing the contents of our consciousness in this way. Particularly under pressure we feel as if we are completely caught up in the contents of our mind; tossed around by our distractions, feeling as if we are our moods, and overtaken by our anxiety. To be mindfully aware means to practice the discipline of awareness even when under pressure, and using the principle of awareness to unify and relax our mind, even when it contains multiple impulses to feel fragmented or un-peaceful. For example:


  • My mind feels distracted and disoriented, but I can reach a feeling of centeredness despite this by being aware
  • I am anxious about the choices I have to make, but I can relax into that anxiety using the act of witnessing and being aware
  • My mood feels disturbing, but I can learn to benevolently tolerate it because I can witness it, just like watching a cloudy sky

Action or non-action subsequent to awareness
What practising the principle of awareness enables us to do is to connect to a state of peace, centeredness and presence within ourself even when we are feeling moody, disturbed or anxious, and to keep making conscious choices about how we are going to respond.

Last week whilst seeing a series of arguments occurring between colleagues, I was feeling disturbed, like I needed to ‘do’ something in order to help them resolve their dispute. Checking with myself however I could see that most of the impulse that I had to act was mainly due to my own discomfort (“I need to fix this for them so that I can feel more comfortable”), and that the best thing that I could do (in my opinion) was to simply be present and let the drama play out for now. Practising the principle of witnessing awareness enabled me to feel comfortable not acting, even though part of me felt emotionally uncomfortable and impulsive.
Practicing the principle of awareness gives us the freedom to act or not to act as our circumstances demand of us, rather than be pushed around by the tension and impulsiveness that we may feel.

This week you might like to practice watching your mind as if you were watching the sky, just for a few minutes each day. By doing so you will be building the principle of witnessing awareness in your mind in such a way that you can start to use it practically when you are really feeling under pressure.

© 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

Integral Meditation Asia

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Being the Stone in the River – Ducking Under the Flow of Thoughts

Waterfall - Punch Bowl Falls, Oregon Columbia River GorgeImagine that you are a stone at the bottom of a river. The flow of the water moves over your top surface without disturbing you at all; you are stable, content and still at the bottom of the river.
Build this image in your mind, and then imagine yourself to actually be the stone at the bottom. The water flowing over you is the flow of thoughts, activity and emotion from your mind. It simply flows over you whilst you sit stable, quiet and still.
I periodically use this image as a way of connecting to stillness, both in meditation and when out and about; I find that it is helpful as a way of connecting to the stillness that is already in the mind, and ‘ducking under’ the superficial motion of my everyday inner conversation.

If you are meditating on this image, spend a short while building the image; seeing the stone, hearing the water and so on. Then simply relax into the feeling of being the stone. After a while go back to visualizing the stone at the bottom of the river; try and see the image 5-10% more clearly. Then go back to the feeling of being the stone. You can alternate gently in this way, gradually moving deeper into the still, stable meditation state that the image helps us to build.

PS: Meditation events in Singapore are now finnished for the year, but I will be doing a Mindful Astrology Workshop with my friend Sally whilst in the UK on the 29th December. If there is anyone in the Watford area who might be interested, then just click on the link for more details!

© 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

Integral Meditation Asia

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Mindful of: Your Relationship to Giving and Receiving

Dear Integral Meditators,

The article below offers some simple methods for exploring and developing a healthy relationship to giving and receiving through mindfulness.

In the spirit of giving and receiving,



Mindful of: Your Relationship to Giving and Receiving

What is your relationship to the process of giving and receiving? Every day we exchange words, energy and activity with others and our environment  in both healthy and not so healthy ways. How can we use mindfulness to explore how this process is playing out in our life?

Basic awareness practice around giving and receiving
Here is a simple practices you can do to attune yourself to the basic experience of giving and receiving.

  • As you breathe in, feel yourself moving into a state of receptivity and receiving. As you breather out focus on a state of giving. In a literal sense we are taking in and giving out air from and to the atmosphere, but breathing like this also helps us to become aware of the psychological state of giving and receiving that we are alternating between during the day. Do a few rounds of 3-5 breaths like this, with short breaks in between just to explore the experience
  • As a second stage to this exercise, as you breathe in really try and feel yourself receiving energy from the world, and as you breathe out feel yourself giving back to  it. Set up a benevolent cycle of giving and receiving with each breath.

Becoming more mindful of your experience of giving and receiving, and its power
Think of a time when you have received the energy of kindness, care or confidence from someone else. What did it feel like to receive such energy? Was it a powerful experience? Correspondingly think of a time when you gave the energy of confidence, care and kindness to others. What did it feel like to give this? How did the other person/people respond to it? Did you find it easy or difficult?
Now think of a time when you were on the receiving end of difficult energy such as aggression, hatred of confusion from someone. What did it feel like to receive this energy, how did it affect you?
Correspondingly think of a time when you gave the energy of anger or aggression, or anxiety to another person. How did they respond? What did it feel like to give such energy? If you were more aware of what it is like to receive such energy, would you give it out so much?

Giving and receiving in real time with others
As you are going about your daily life, try and be aware of the dynamic of giving and receiving between yourself and the others that you meet.  Become aware of when to open and receive energy from others in a healthy way, and when to close to it. Similarly be aware of how and when you are giving; when it is healthy and appropriate and when it is not really serving either yourself or others. The idea is to try and use your natural intelligence and awareness to set up positive cycles of giving and receiving in your life, so that you are receiving healthy energy from others and also giving healthy and sustaining energy to them in a mutually reinforcing feedback loop.

A couple of fundamental mindful questions to ask yourself during the day:
What is it that I am giving or receiving from myself and/or others right now? Now that I am conscious of it, are there any adjustments I need to make?

© 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

Integral Meditation Asia