Inner vision Life-fullness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindfulness Presence and being present

Inner sensitivity – Listening to yourself


“Become an ear that gives heed to every single thing the universe is saying”


Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores sensitivity, and in particular sensitivity through listening as an  object of mindful attention and development.
The   Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom sessions is this week, either on Tuesday or Wednesday are on the subject of the article, so if you enjoy it do feel free to come along, live or online!

In the spirit of sensitivity,


Inner sensitivity – Listening to yourself

“How shall I experience my oneness with creation?”
“By listening,” said the Master.
“And how am I to listen?”
“Become an ear that gives heed to every single thing the universe is saying. The
moment you hear something you yourself are saying, stop.” – Anthony De Mello, One Minute Wisdom

This article is essentially a series of ‘pointing out’ instructions regarding how you can mindfully listen to yourself. By ‘listen’ I really mean be sensitive to the inner dialogue that is going on within you not just on the mental, cognitive level, but also:

  • On the sensory and somatic level – What your body is communicating to you through sensations
  • On the emotional level – What feelings and moods are communicating themselves to you non-verbally
  • On the intuitive level – The messaged that are just ‘popping into your awareness’ and that often seem to have nothing to do with your everyday psychological inner narrative

So, when I say ‘listen’ below, implicitly I also mean be receptive to senses, feelings and intuitions.

Listening to your inner commentator without commenting on the inner commentary
The first position we adopt is to work on allowing the inner commentary to happen without a secondary commentary judging the commentary. For example, if the inner voice is saying “I feel afraid”, then try and stay with that. Often there is a second voice that comes up to say something like “Don’t be silly, only weak people are afraid”, and tries to push “I am afraid” out of your awareness. Try and stay with the primary inner comment, not the secondary one. Put the second one down, and listen to the first voice (or sensation, or feeling) without judging it or pushing it away.
The first practice then is hearing the primary commentary non-judgmentally. Don’t be a hurry to get past this one, invest quality time in it!

Putting down the commentary
When you are ready, you can practice putting down the primary inner commentator. On a sensory level this would be relaxing and releasing tense sensations in the body, letting the body come into balance. On an emotional and feeling level similarly, it means gently releasing present emotions, and allowing the emotional nature to return to a calm, balanced condition for a period.
Part of the trick of this second position is to let go of the need to comment on stuff, just for a while. No need to judge, fix, solve, just a space of allowing, relaxation and presence.
At this stage you can also start to notice the other things that are there when your normal everyday voice is silent, that you might poetically call “voices from the Universe to you!”

Reworking the commentary
When you let the commentary come back online, you can start suggesting constructive changes to your inner commentator, that invite the commentary to become different and perhaps better. But don’t be in a hurry to get to this stage, if you do the preceding stages, then this one will start to come fairly naturally, in its own time.

Listening to others
When you can listen to yourself in the way described above, you can apply the same template to listening to others, and to your environment. You’ll be surprised at how differently what you hear is as a result!

Related articleFour ways of working with your inner voice

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2021, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website   

In case you missed this article last week: ‘Head in the Sun’ meditation

This is a simple meditation that combines cultivating a thought-free state with environmental awareness. Specifically, we use brain-relaxation in combination with awareness of the suns light to create the desired experience.

Finding the sun – This first stage is nice to do, and enhances the experience, but is not essential. Glance outside and locate the sun, physically in the sky. Get a sense of where it is in your current landscape. If the sun has gone down already, get a sense of where it is beneath the horizon.

Sitting in landscape – Then take a seat (this can also be done standing or lying and, when your used to it, walking) Send your awareness out to the horizon line in the landscape around you. Get a feel for the curve of the earth’s surface extending around you from your feet, the sun in the sky above, and the living planet beneath you. Breath and relax with this for a short while.
Read full article

Starts Tuesday 16/Wednesday 17th November – The Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom

In a sentence: Learn the art of ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom through integrative meditation
Overview: The Wisdom of Awakening series is an ongoing series that looks at different ways to ‘wake up’ and live your life fully and playfully through meditation. The premise of the sessions is that inner wholeness and wisdom are not something that are far away, rather they are something that we can awaken to ‘instantly’ through certain types of mindful attention. In this four class series we take instant awakening, miraculous-ness, independence and sensitivity as our doorways to awakening….read 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 at IMA:

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)

Starts Tuesday 16/Wednesday 17th November – The Wisdom of Awakening series: Meditations for ‘instant awakening’ and playful wisdom

Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Books * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology