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Your bright shadow – The one who can do what you can’t

“The sum total of all the hidden strengths that you have within yourself but are in denial around is sometimes called the ‘bright shadow’.”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores a topic that has been very present and important in my own practice for a good while now, the bright shadow. Some parts require careful reading, but I believe you’ll find it worth it if you do!
Next Saturday the 21st November I’ll be facilitating the Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self. If you enjoy the article, do feel free to participate!

This weeks Tuesday and Wednesday meditation is on the story of your breathing.

In the bright & luminous,


Your bright shadow – The one who can do what you can’t

Your shadow is
A good working definition of our shadow self is: “All the parts of our personality and self that are unacceptable to our self-image”. Because these parts of ourself are unacceptable to our idea of who we think we are, most people repress and deny them psychologically, hence they get pushed into the ‘shadows’ of our unconscious mind. From their position in the unconscious, our shadow then tries to push its agenda from, without the awareness of the conscious mind.

Its not just your dark shadow that is unacceptable
A lot of the conversation about the shadow is about the so called ‘dark’ side of it. We repress violent parts of ourself, sometimes sexual elements, aspects of power, domination and a range of other destructive emotions. The specifics of course varies from person to person, as we all have a different self image.
But it is not just the so perceived ‘negative’ qualities that we repress. There are many strengths and ‘bright’ qualities that we also repress for the same simple reason: They are not part of who we think we are and what we think we are capable of, so we don’t identify with them, even though they are present within us. The sum total of all these hidden strengths within ourelf is sometimes called the ‘bright shadow’.

The bright shadow as an already present part of you
In the last couple of years the way in which I have been working with my own bright shadow is imagining it as an already complete and capable part of myself that I connect to in visualization, and then begin to imagine myself AS. This is a bit like Tantric meditation, where you accelerate the speed at which you achieve the results by imagining strongly that you have already achieved it!

A few examples
Here are a few aspects of my bright shadow that I have been working with in the last 12 months:

  • The bright part of me that is strong and confident in the face of uncertainty, and the twists and turns of fortune
  • The bright part of me that is happy being somewhat vulnerable and afraid, enjoying it and not having to hide behind so much ‘surface level’ manly strength
  • This week I wasn’t feeling well physically, as had to rest. I connected to that part of my bright shadow whose sense of confidence was not connected to physical well-being, and can navigate these few days relatively easily and happily despite the discomfort.

The basic method
In each of these examples the process is basically the same, I visualize my bright shadow, imagining him as already present whole and complete. I then study and relate to him. When ready I imagine myself AS him, living and experiencing this moment as if I fully possess his qualities and capacities.

Article content © Toby Ouvry & Integral Meditation Asia 2020. you are welcome to share, but please cite the source, thanks! Contact  

Saturday 21st November 2.30-5.30pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self

The RESULTS that you can expect to gain from engaging in this workshop are:

  • The ability to self-heal parts of your psyche that are in pain and in need care and attention
  • A greater feeling of overall wholeness and wellbeing
  • More physical, mental and spiritual energy in your daily life
  • Deeper self-understandingreduced fear and greater emotional freedom
  • Greater harmony and success in your relationships with other people (because you no longer project your shadow onto them)
  • 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 for at IMA in November:

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 21st November 2.30-5.30pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical meditations & techniques for working with your shadow-self

Ongoing – The Men’s Group – The path of conscious manhood

Integral Meditation Asia

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