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Just tea/solve no problem

Dear Integral Meditators

How can drinking tea help us understand mindfulness? What would happen if you practiced the discipline of  ‘solving no problem’ regularly? These are the topics of the article below…

For those in Singapore, a reminder of this coming Thursday’s Free book talk on Engaged Mindfulness at 7.30pm, all are most welcome!
If you have been thinking about doing some mindfulness coaching, details of a coaching offer in September are immediately below.

In the spirit of just tea,


Just tea (solve no problem)

When you drink tea (or coffee) without adding milk or sugar, this releases the therapeutic and detoxifying qualities of the chemical elements within the tea into your body, where they can start to bring benefit to your physical health and wellbeing.
Similarly, when through mindfulness meditation you stop thinking so much, relax, and focus upon simply being conscious and aware, this releases the naturally therapeutic qualities of consciousness itself into your body mind and heart, where they can begin healing and regenerating your challengeg.
Releasing the therapeutic qualities of tea is relatively simple in the sense that all you need to do is simply not add the sugar or milk. Releasing the therapeutic qualities of consciousness itself is a little more challenging in that temporarily removing thoughts and strong emotions from our mind requires conscious effort. Although technically we are ‘doing less’, for most of us there is a chalenge involved (initially) in just relaxing and not thinking, as our mind is instinctively drawn to activity, problem solving, projection, recalling memories and so on. To release the natural healing power of our consciousness-as-it-is, we need to learn to spend periods of time doing as little as possible mentally.

Solve no problem
One exercise I enjoy doing in order to reduce mental activity and allow my mind to rest in a state of just-being-conscious is to practice the injunction of ‘solving no problem’. This simply means that, for the time that you have allotted yourself you are not allowed to do any mental problem solving; don’t solve anything! Normally much of the activity of our mind is directed toward trying to solve this problem (or perceived problem) at work, revisiting a conversation and trying to ‘fix’ it, trying to find ways of being safe or risk free, and so on. So now you watch your mind and anytime that you see it starting to work on a problem or resolve an issue, you stop it! You simply relax; there is nothing to solve, nowhere to go and nothing to do!

Yesterday I was feeling particularly tired and frazzled whilst on my way to work on the train. I had 25minutes of commute time and, although my mind was full of issues that I felt I needed to ‘solve’, I figured now would be a very good time to release the therapeutic power of just being conscious. So I set myself the exercise of ‘solving no problem’. Every time my mind moved toward solving an issue, I simply stopped and let it go. This enabled my mind to become progressively simpler and more relaxed, and I could feel my body starting to flood with the comfortable, warm feeling of simply being conscious, without my consciousness being dissipated by thoughts or worries. I arrived at my place of work feeling refreshed and ready to go (or at least a lot readier to go than I had been feeling previously).

PS: Obviously you can still solve problems in your life, just not when your practicing the ‘solve no problem’ exercise! You might find you actually become a better problem solver as a result of periodically learning to stop compulsive and habitual dwelling upon and worrying about the challenges in your life.

© 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, 7.30-8.30pm (next class August 10th) – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

8th & 17th September, 7.30-8.30pmFree book talks on ‘Engaged Mindfulness’ by Toby

Saturday 8th October 10am-5pm – Engaged Mindfulness day workshop

Integral Meditation Asia

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