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Sitting in equality

“When we sit in meditation, we can put all of our roles and the baggage that comes with them down and relax. Phew, what a relief!”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article explores the relief and the sense of inner power that comes from sitting in a state of equality. If you enjoy the article, then we will be exploring its theme in this weeks Tuesday and Wednesday meditation class, feel free to join us!

Also, heads up for the new Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat on Sat 29th Jan. Movement, mobility, breathing and meditation are all intimately related!

In the spirit of equality,


Sitting in equality

Functional hierarchy, existential equality
All of us exist in hierarchies, without which the groups we are a part of could not function, for example:

  • We have grandparents, parents and children in families, existing in a hierarchy recognised by all.
  • We generally work for some form of ‘boss’, and have others under us who execute work for us. Your boss maybe also has a boss, or clients she works for, and perhaps those under you have people who work for them
  • There is also a less formal though no less powerful hierarchy the happens in social and cultural gatherings

Noticing the labels and the power dynamics
All of these hierarchies require labels and roles. You will notice that you have become quite attached and identified with some of the roles that you play. Perhaps its because you have been playing them for a long time. Perhaps it is because they reward your sense of worth in some way. Sometimes we are attached to the roles simply because we fear that, without the role we are a nobody, and not worth anything! Can you identify 2-3 roles that you are identified with in this way?
You’ll notice also that the roles give rise to power exchanges and a sense of being important/not important, better than/worse than, leader/follower.

Putting down the labels, sitting in equality
Part of the pleasure of being in a meditation circle or group is that, when we sit down and enter meditation, we have the opportunity to drop all of the usual labels and roles that we ‘put on’ in life, and simply sit with equals. One member might be a CEO, another might be a house husband, another a recovering addict. Some might be old and mature, others young and less so. When we sit in meditation, we can put all of these roles down and relax. Phew, what a relief!
We discover that there is a person inside us who is free of our everyday labels, of our position in the ‘hierarchy’ of things, and all of the power play that goes with that. We discover a stable sense of value and worth as a person that is no less (or more) than any of the people around us. This is something that we can learn to experience and ground ourself not just intellectually, but viscerally in our body. We can notice the feeling in the body that comes from sitting in a state of equality & the power that comes from it.

Taking it into daily life
In your daily life, notice that when you meet other people, according to the labels you give them, and give yourself in relation to them, that you have a differing sense of your own value and worth. With our sense of equality in meditation, we can notice this and, at the same time experience all those we meet as equals, free from the labels we might instinctively project upon them and they upon us.

Squash winner, squash loser
Two weeks ago, I played squash on Sunday and won every single game I played. This week I lost every single game! So, in terms of labels, I was a big winner one time, and a big loser the other. Amidst both those experiences there was a sense of myself simply as a person, not better or worse than those I was playing against, regardless of the result. This gave me the ability to walk away with a sense that I had enjoyed both experiences, and the company I was in. It’s a simple example, but it gives a bit of insight into the potential of the state of equality to provide a stable psychological base for us in daily life, from which the possibility of happiness and fulfilment each day looms larger.

Related articleBecoming a man or woman of no rank

Article & content © Toby Ouvry 2022, 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 it, from last week: Your spiritual ancestors

Two types of ancestors
We live within the energetic field of our ancestors and family, past and present. Becoming aware of this and working with it is an important dimension of our spiritual practice that can really enhance the richness of our life. It can also provide important keys to resolving blockages and conflicts, both within ourself and in our relationships…read full article

Saturday Jan 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In a sentence: Experience unique Qi gong and Taoist breathing techniques to improve your immune system, energy level, psychological wellness and enhance your meditation…read full details

Tues & Weds Feb 1st & 2nd – Lunar New Year Meditation 2022: Developing your inner power in the year of the Tiger

About the class: This is a meditation to welcome in the lunar new year energies, and attune to the astrological animal of the year, the Water Tiger! In particular, we will be mindfully aligning with and developing our inner and outer power as well as other primal characteristics of the Tiger.
Toby will be leading the meditation as a simple and profound way, with plenty of room for our own personal contemplation, inner healing and positivity building! Full details here


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)

Ongoing January-March – Zen: The ordinary path to enlightenment – Meditating with the Ten Ox Herding pictures

Saturday Jan 29th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Tues & Weds Feb 1st & 2nd – Lunar New Year Meditation 2022: Developing your inner power in the year of the Tiger

Integral Meditation Asia

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