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Essential happiness – Accepting & receiving

“To breathe and know you are alive is a form of inner richness that is like a stream or river; you can just tune into the flow of it and immerse yourself, breath by breath”

Dear Integral Meditators,

For those of you celebrating it a beautiful Christmas. This weeks article & meditation is a nice way to relax into the year end space and enjoy what is present there for you to enjoy!

In the spirit of  accepting & receiving,


Essential happiness – Accepting & receiving

I titled an article earlier this year ‘happiness as acceptance’. In it I proposed that a lot of ‘being happy’ is not so much an act of explicit creating new things to be happy about in your life. Rather it is about the acknowledgment and acceptance of the things that are already there in your life that can act as a cause of happiness/wellbeing/contentment/richness. In this sense then happiness is an act of opening to and receiving; letting the good things in our life really ‘land’ in our direct experience. For example, today:

  • To have the leisure to write on the morning of Christmas eve
  • To have slept and dreamed well
  • I am in the presence of family
  • I have had a successful business year (by and large) in 2022
  • I have many stimulating ideas for adventures in 2023

These are all things that are right here that, in order to receive good energy from I just need to recognise and open to, to accept. If I can do this then I immediately connect to a source and a sense of wellbeing in a simple, non-complex and visceral way.

Why do we resist?

Its an interesting question to ask ourselves why exactly do we withhold from accepting the happiness that is ours for the taking? I suspect each one of us might have slightly different reasons for doing so according to our different histories. The main thing however is to start to see what is there. If we can do this then we can begin to open gradually to receive the richness that is, quite simply ours for the taking.

Essential happiness

Meditatively-speaking we can start to go beyond ‘reasons to be happy’ by understanding that there is a direct form of happiness that comes from being connected to life-in-the-moment. If as I breathe in, I can open to and receive the essential aliveness of myself, relaxing into that as I breathe out, I can connect myself to something non-verbal and experiential that you could call ‘experiential’ or existential happiness. To breathe and know you are alive is a form of inner richness that is like a stream or river; you can just tune into the flow of it and immerse yourself, breath by breath.

As a meditation you can do this in two stages if you like:

  1. Look for reasons that, if you recognize, acknowledge and receive them give rise to a feeling of happiness, as in the first paragraph above. Breathe and open to these for a while
  2. Then move on to working with receiving your aliveness as you breathe in, relaxing into it as you breathe out. Practice tuning into and immersing yourself in the essential happiness of bring alive and connected to life

With this meditation there need be very little striving, its 85% opening to and receiving and letting that be enough!

Related readingNatural happiness

© 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


Starts Tues 10th, Weds 11th January – Introduction to Integral Meditation & Mindfulness Practice – An eight-week course

Integral Meditation Practice (IMP) is a different kind of mind-body training, that aims to provide optimal inner peace, centeredness, energy and insight for the contemporary meditation practitioner. It combines eastern and western forms of practice, as well as ancient and modern ones into a series of integrative practices. The practices enable the meditator to remain resilient, energized and creative in the face of the multi-faceted challenges of modern life. These eight classes give an introduction to IMP, in a simple, accessible manner…see full details

Tues 3rd & Weds 4th January, 7.30-8.30pm – 2023 ‘Beginners mind’ meditation

This meditation session is focused upon setting up the 2022 new year energies in a way that invites the best possible experience moving forward. We will be:

  • Releasing and letting go of energies, events and experiences from the past year that may hold us back from moving into our full potential
  • Developing a flexible, soft, ‘beginners mind’, renewed and ready to be ‘born again’ with energy and enthusiasm in 2022

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)

Wednesday Dec 21st, 7.30-8.30pm – Free Winter solstice balancing & renewing meditation (Online only)

Tues 3rd & Weds 4th January, 7.30-8.30pm – 2023 New year ‘Beginners mind’ meditation

Starts Tues 10th, Weds 11th January – Introduction to Integral Meditation & Mindfulness Practice – An eight-week course

Saturday January 28th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

 Integral Meditation Asia

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