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Effortless Effort – The Cycle of Mindful Growth

Dear Integral Meditators,

The path of mindfulness when engaged in properly can offer us a relatively effortless, gradual, ergonomic and aesthetically beautiful path of personal growth. In the article below I break the process down into four essential stages that can be applied to any area of your life that you may wish to work with using mindfulness. Its simple. Not always easy, but simple!

The Integral Mindfulness On line Course starting on Feb 4th is now passed its early bird offer, but up until until 29th Jan you can still get 10 bucks off the price. And there are still 10 days before the January 20% offer on 1:1 coaching expires, so do have a look if you are interested!

In the spirit of effortless effort,


Effortless Effort – The Cycle of Mindful Growth

Mindfulness invites us upon an experiential journey of learning and self-knowledge. How does it do this? I’m going to break the process down into four stages:

Intention – To begin with we start with the intention to investigate something that we wish to understand more deeply – our emotions, our beliefs, our relationships, anything that we want to work with.
Attention – Secondly we then practice placing our attention or focus on that area of our life or experience. This is not just for a few seconds, but over an extended period of time.
Enquiry – With our attention we then dwell upon our object of observation, not trying to ‘solve it’, ‘fix it’ or ‘judge it’, but simply seeking to see it clearly and understand it.
Insight – The point of our focused enquiry is to produce insight; an essential, experiential new understanding of what is happening. This experiential insight then enables us to make positive changes in our life.

Unlike other personal growth methods, mindfulness focuses upon change and growth through experiential insight and understanding rather than through sheer willpower. Because of this the change that we facilitate through mindfulness (when done well) is gentle, natural and relatively effortless. When we see what is going on clearly, we change naturally. When we do not see what is going on clearly our efforts to change generally miss the point – It’s difficult to have an effective strategy to change something you don’t understand.

A simple example:
Let’s say I am feeling confused. Firstly I develop the intention to investigate and understand the nature of my confusion.
Secondly I sit, turn my attention inward and focus it upon how the confusion shows up in my body, emotions and mind.
Through my attentive enquiry I notice that the feeling of confusion is centered physically in my brain – It feels like a fog sitting in the frontal part of the brain and forehead.
Through my enquiry I discover the insight that simply by placing my awareness gently upon this front part of my brain I can clear the fuzzy feeling and my head feels clearer, and so I find a solution to this aspect of my confusion.
As a result of my had feeling clearer I can then start to see clearly the emotions in my heart and chest that are causing the confusion on a deeper level, and so the cycle of mindfulness continues to go from attention to enquiry to insight in a circular process helping me to deal with my experience of confusion on progressively deeper and deeper levels in different ways.

What area of your life would you like to practice the cycle of mindfulness with today, or this week?

© Toby Ouvry 2016, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:


Ongoing on Wednesday’s (Jan 13th, 20th) 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Saturday January 16th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Transforming Your Stress into Happiness – 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

Starts 4th February – Transforming Stress into Happiness – An Introduction to Integral Mindfulness Meditation – A Five Week On line Course

Click the link to find out about the special 1:1 meditation and mindfulness coaching offer in January!

Integral Meditation Asia

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