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The conscious-self – Your inner CEO

“Your Conscious-self is: The captain of your inner ship directing the crew, The CEO of your consciousness, setting the direction of your inner organization, & the conductor of your inner orchestra, co-ordinating all the different sub-elements of the self into a coherent unity”

Dear Integral Meditators, 

This week’s article explores the theme of the Conscious-self, and it’s importance in the health and wellbeing of our self-sense and personality. If you enjoy it, then do consider coming along to the Mindful Presence Masterclass & group coaching: The Inquisitive Sumo Wrestler – Turning up to life calm & curious , where we will be looking at mindfulness practices to create a high-functioning Conscious self. 

If you like you can combine the Masterclass with the Qi gong class as an  Integral Life Practice Session. It’s a morning you will come out of feeling at the top of your game!

In the spirit of your inner CEO,
 
Toby


The Conscious-self – Captain of your ship & CEO of your body-mind
 
The Conscious-self is that part of you that is aware in the present, and of what it finds in the present moment. This includes:

  • Sensory orientation in your environment
  • Co-ordinating what is going in within the body
  • Content of mind; thoughts, emotions, patterns of mental activity
  • The activity of your subconscious mind
  • Awareness of awareness itself, and where we are directing it through attention in any given moment

 
The Conscious-self is responsible for the wellbeing of our body, mind, and emotions. It oversees our choices and decision-making process. It is in charge of how we deploy our energy and resources. It is in charge of our life-plan and self-discipline. All the different sub-personalities that exist within ourself should be marshalled by and taken care of by the conscious-self. Think of your Conscious-self as being like:

  • The Captain of your Ship directing the crew
  • The CEO of your consciousness, setting the direction of your inner organization
  • The conductor of your orchestra, co-ordinating all the different sub-elements of the self into a coherent unity

 
The Conscious-self (C-S) is supported by your higher mind (your soul-level or philosophical/principled self), and your Overmind, or spiritual being. These appear mainly as aspects of our values, imagination & intuition that the C-S can access and refer to for guidance. The C-S is in charge of co-ordinating our ego and personality in everyday life, directing it towards a sense of effectiveness in the face of challenges, and happiness in its various forms. The Higher and Over-mind’s are like a wise inner ‘Board of directors’ that the C-S can refer to for advice and wisdom.
 
Leading yourself through life
The Conscious-self is, in essence the leader of your consciousness. As the leader, its main functions are:

  • Creating a compelling vision for the rest of the personality to follow, that can take us boldly and enthusiastically into our future from where we stand in the present
  • Getting the ‘buy in’ from the rest of the personality. For example, if a part of us is feeling doubtful about the vision, the C-S needs to listen and help the doubter to come along for the ride.

This leadership function is very much like the CEO of a company; The main job is envisioning the future creatively, getting the buy-in from the team, and then delegating tasks to the team members. The C-S delegates to the other parts of self, tells them what to do and why they are doing it!
 
Contemplation
 
Being present as your conscious mind – In meditation, get used to sitting and centring yourself in your conscious-self. Practice being present to the content of your consciousness, observing the movement of the different elements. Get used to distinguishing the C-S as the Captain and CEO in charge, and the other activities of your consciousness, which are what your C-S oversees.
 
Observing your relationship to choices – Notice how comfortable your C-S is with making choices and taking responsibility. Notice when you want to ‘duck’ choices, feel anxious and confused, want to give away responsibility for what you need to decide on. Work on getting more comfortable, confident, and responsible in this space.
 
Inspiring and supporting – From your position as the C-S, the CEO of consciousness, the captain of your ship, set an inspiring direction:

  • For the next 3-5 years,
  • For the next year, 6 months, 3 months
  • The next month, week, day,
  • For the next activity today!

Create a vision for your life that the rest of your body, mind and personality can follow. Then delegate tasks, and support your sub-selves, getting them on board and up for the program.
 
In conclusion, a high-functioning Conscious-self is the key to effective self-leadership, and to organizing your life effectively. The proposition would also be that the better at self-leadership you become, the better you will tend to be at outer leadership…
 
Article content © Toby Ouvry & Integral Meditation Asia 2023. you are welcome to share, but please cite the source, thanks! Contact info@tobyouvry.com 


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creative imagery Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditation techniques Presence and being present Zen Meditation

The body is in you – How to go into deep meditation quickly

Dear Integral Meditators,

This mid-week article explores a simple way of dropping into deep meditation states more quickly than you would using most conventional meditation methodologies.
If you enjoy it, then it is one of the meditation techniques we shall be using a the Integral Meditation Two Day Retreat on October 28th & 29th. You are invited to join!

Latest 45 second mindfulness video: Going beyond your self-concept

In the spirit of depth,

Toby


The body is in you – How to go into deep meditation quickly
 
The deepest level of meditation is what is known as Non-Dual meditation. It is the state of meditation where, essentially the subject-object divide within consciousness collapses into ‘One Taste’ or the simple, essential unity of being.
One way to achieve this is what you might call ‘progressive witnessing’, where you realize that you are not any of the objects in your consciousness, rather you are the witness of them. You do this until you realize the Essential I, the I-I, the pure consciousness that is the witness. It would go something like this:
I experience my body, but I am not my body
I experience my feelings and emotions, but I am not my feelings and emotions
I experience my thoughts, but I realize I am the watched of the thoughts, rather than the thoughts themselves.
I am the formless consciousness that witnesses the mind, body and emotions.
 
This then gives you the essential realization of your Self-as-Pure-Consciousness. If you then let go of the Witness-Self, and let Consciousness (the witness), merge with the objects of consciousness (in this case the mind, feelings, and body), then you are left with ‘just this’, the experience of each moment as itself, which is Non-Duality, or One Taste. As the Zen poem goes:
 
We sit together, the mountain & me, until only the mountain remains
 
So then, normally this takes years and years of meditation to get to. What I am going to explain now is a meditation you can do to start getting a feeling for the above, using a perceptual ‘flipping’ technique. It goes like this:
Sit comfortably, notice how it naturally feels as if you are sitting ‘inside’ your body.
Then recognize the Witness-Self, observing the body.
Then think to yourself:
I am not in my body, my body is in me.
Expand your witnessing consciousness to surround the body, so that your You (you as Witness Consciousness) surrounds and encloses the body. Stay with this feeling a while.
Then do the same thing in a progressively larger and larger manner in this order:
“I am not sitting in this room; the room is sitting in me.” (As the formless witness-consciousness)
“I am not sitting in this building (house/apartment etc….); this building is sitting within me.”
 
Let your awareness move out to the horizon enclosing the landscape around you:
“I am not sitting within the landscape; the landscape is sitting within me.”
 
Expand your awareness to include the sky and stars above, and the Earth beneath you:
“I am not sitting upon the Earth under the sky & stars, they are sitting within me”
 
You can play with this technique to get a sense of the radical way in which it starts to alter your perception of self, noticing how it gives you an expanded sense of self-as consciousness, within which the whole world sits!
Once you have a sense of this, you can then practice dropping the Witness, and dropping into the experience of the union of observer and observed into a non-dual state:
Observe the body, then drop the observer until “Only the body remains.”
Observe the room, then drop the observer until “Only the room remains.”
Observe the house, then drop the observer until “Only the house remains.”
Observe the landscape, then drop the observer until “Only the landscape remains.”
Observe the earth, sky and stars, then drop the observer until “Only the earth, sky and stars remain.”
 
The above are some simple pointing-out instructions to start playing with in meditation, they are designed to help you drop into a deeper witnessing, and then a non-dual state quickly and rapidly. More quickly, perhaps much more quickly than you would be able to do with a more conventional meditation methodology.  
 
Related articlesWatching & then dropping the watcher
 
Related videoSubjects to objects – How meditation helps you grow to greater degrees of freedom

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Enlightened Flow Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Meditating on the Self Mindful Self-Leadership Presence and being present Videos

‘Subjects to objects – How meditation helps you grow to greater degrees of freedom’

Dear Toby, 

Retreat events this month include a short one: This Saturday morning’s Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat, & for the main event for October, theIntegral Meditation Two Day Retreat on the weekend of the 28/29th.
The two day retreat is a great opportunity to really deepen your meditation practice in a profound way. Don’t be deceived by the relative shortness of the time span, the methods we use are designed to get practitioners into the ‘zone’ right from the get go….
The new video I have created, entitled ‘Subjects to objects – How meditation helps you grow to greater degrees of freedom’ explores the essential dynamic of meditation, and how short bursts of meditation such as retreats can really catalyze that process!  

In the spirit of turning subjects into objects,

Toby 

Summary: This video discusses two main subjects related to meditation. The first part explores why and how a meditation practice helps individuals grow as individuals. Meditation is described as a process that transforms subjects of consciousness (e.g., body, emotions, ego) into objects of consciousness, leading to reduced identification with these aspects and increased inner freedom. It aids in personal evolution by moving from one level of consciousness to another. The second part focuses on the long-term effects of a meditation practice, emphasizing that continued meditation leads to increasing degrees of freedom from the objects within one’s consciousness. This liberation allows individuals to endure stress calmly and undertake challenging tasks with ease. The analogy of dissolving salt in water is used to illustrate how a larger, more expansive mind mitigates the impact of suffering and stress. Ultimately, meditation enhances the quality of life, making it less painful and more enjoyable.

Related articleArticle on meditation & the salt analogy



In case you missed it this weeks article: Fourteen types & levels of mindful intention
 
We almost always have an intention, even in our dreams. Some of these intentions are conscious, some of them are unconscious. These intentions drive our actions & acts as the context for our experiences, shaping them substantially. What intentions have you been oriented around today, and how have they been shaping your experiences and actions?
One way you could define mindfulness is ‘Living with conscious intentionally’…read full article

Article © Toby Ouvry 2023, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com 


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Fourteen levels of mindful intention

“We almost always have an intention, even in our dreams. That intention drives our actions & acts as the context for our experiences, shaping them substantially. What intentions have you been oriented around today, & how have they been shaping your experiences and actions?”

Dear Integral Meditators, 

One way you could define mindfulness is ‘Living with conscious intentionally’. The article below unpacks some aspects of this, I hope you enjoy it!

The Therapeutic mindfulness course  is ongoing, with this weeks class focusing on ‘Positive Acceptance vs resignation, repression vs suppression – Understanding the dynamic of good quality therapeutic mindfulness‘.

Heads up for this Saturday morning’s Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat, & for the main event for October, theIntegral Meditation Two Day Retreat on the weekend of the 28/29th.
 
In the spirit of intention,

Toby 



Fourteen types & levels of mindful intention
 
We almost always have an intention, even in our dreams. Some of these intentions are conscious, some of them are unconscious. These intentions drive our actions & acts as the context for our experiences, shaping them substantially. What intentions have you been oriented around today, and how have they been shaping your experiences and actions?
 
One way you could define mindfulness is ‘Living with conscious intentionally’

When I was doing my first serious decade of meditation training back in the 90’s I was working with Tibetan Buddhism as a practice vehicle. One of the main practices was a series of twenty one practices called the ‘Lamrim’ or ‘stages of the path. Each stage was had a particular meditation object associated with it. What was interesting was that twenty of the twenty one meditations was about developing a specific intention, which shows you how important intention is in meditation in general, and in Tibetan Buddhism in particular. What I have done in this article is condense the twenty intentions into fourteen, in a way that can be understood and explored by anyone. The premise is that any one of these intentions will cause us to think, feel and act in ways that are beneficial both to ourselves and others. Our actions follow our intentions and thoughts. If you change your intention, you change your life, literally.
 
The fourteen levels of intention:

  1. The intention to seek out reliable guides who can provide us with reliable wisdom in the important areas of our life
  2. To recognize and appreciate the amazing opportunity of a human life and use it in the most meaningful manner
  3. Mindful of death and impermanence, to not waste our life on meaningless distractions, rather to ‘carpe diem’; seize the day!
  4. To seek out communities and people who have integrity and can provide us with genuine refuge from suffering, and ‘sail together’ to happiness and wellbeing
  5. To be mindful of our actions and the effects that they have in our life. To avoid thoughtless, counter-productive actions, and engage in ‘constructive’ life-enhancing ones
  6. To practice healthy detachment regarding our desires, and pursue more and more reliable forms of fulfilment, freedom, and wellbeing
  7. To cultivate equanimity and even-mindedness, both in our pursuit of success, and in our treatment of others
  8. To cultivate loving kindness toward ourself, our community and all living beings as far as possible
  9. To wish ourself and others true and lasting happiness
  10. The intention of compassion: To wish ourself and others to be free from needless pain and suffering
  11. The active intention to relieve the suffering & pain of ourself
  12. The active intention to relieve the suffering & pain of others, in fact all living beings
  13. The active intention to give happiness and joy to others, in fact all living beings
  14. The determination to realize enlightenment or awakening ourself, in order to fulfil our intention to relieve the suffering of all others, and bring them true and lasting happiness

 
Intentions 1-6 are primarily focused on ourself, 7-14 progressively lead us to a concern for others; from our ‘close circle’ (friends, family, colleagues) progressively to include all living beings.
The final intention ‘to realize enlightenment and awakening’ means something specific in Tibetan Buddhism. But it can equally be interpreted as simply to become the wisest, most capable person you can be in order to benefit to the evolution of the world. Dwelling upon each of these intentions mindfully can lead us to some powerful, pro-active places within ourselves, you can work with them systematically, or just drop into the ones that catch your attention as you read through.

Article © Toby Ouvry 2023, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com 



In case you missed last week’s articles: 

Tree of Life – The union of ego, soul & spirit
&
Distinguishing suppression & repression
 


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 – Re-discovering your inner vitality & joie-de-vivre – An introduction to integrative therapeutic mindfulness & meditation

Saturday October 7th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Saturday & Sunday October 28th & 29th – Integral Meditation Two Day Retreat

Tues/Weds Oct 31st, Nov 1st – Seasonal classSamhain – Healing the wounds & receiving the gifts of our ancestors

Tues/Weds Nov 14th/15th – Seasonal classDeepavali -connecting to your inner light

Sat/Sun Nov 25th/26th, 9.30am-1pm – Shamanic meditation workshop retreat


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Progressively recovering your joie de vivre (Meditating with your inner child)

If you are prepared to do the work, it seems there truly are no edges to your level of inner joy

Dear Integral Meditators, 

The photo of the child with this article is me when I was around 8 or 9. I keep it on the fridge. I noticed last week that the fridge magnet marked ‘l’excitacion’, or excitement in French had been placed on my forehead, which inspired me to write about my own ongoing journey in the domain of Therapeutic mindfulness. 
If you enjoy the article, then do consider participating in the upcoming Therapeutic mindfulness course, which is full of practices to help you re-connect to the joy of living, and move beyond long-held fears.  

And final heads up for this Wednesday’s Autumn Equinox meditation, either live or online!
 
In the spirit of exitacion,

Toby 



Progressively recovering your joie de vivre (Meditating with your inner child)
 
When I left my life as a Buddhist monk, aged 31, I had been practising eastern meditation forms in a very disciplined manner for a decade. I had experienced many wonderful and amazing meditation states, and had a solid working experience of the awakened state/enlightenment experience. Despite this I noticed that there were still parts of my everyday consciousness that seemed to have been untouched by all this work. I found that certain types of anxiety, irritability and fear had not gone away, and sometimes seemed even worse. This was partly why I left my life as a monk, because I felt I needed to broaden my search for answers to these unresolved areas. The answer was not just ‘do more meditation’, I had to do something differently.

One of the things that I focused on that year was exercises specifically based on the psychological level of my being, based around western theories of trauma and around working with emotional states. I began regular work with my ‘inner child’, exercises including visualization, dialoguing, breathing and body-work. I was very surprised how much work there was to be done! I considered myself pretty well-adjusted as a person, which I think I was, but even so, there was so much to re-connect to, so much to work with, so much to discover. During this period, I really felt I recovered much of my joie de vivre, and got a badly needed ‘second-wind’ for my inner growth that powered me into the next decade of my life.
But the amazing thing about this is that even though I felt that I now had a very good relationship to my inner child (and other sub personalities), it is a process that does not seem to end. Fast forward to the beginning of this year. At the beginning of the year, I often check in with my ‘inner family’ in meditation. When meeting my inner child, I had this experience:

I am walking along the middle of a shallow river that I used to play in as a child. I come to a bridge from which I used to look down at the big fish swimming in and out of the dark water underneath. On the sand to one side of the bridge I see my inner child. I wade over to him, and we squat for a while looking under the bridge. Then he smiles to me and we begin to walk into the water and under the bridge (I never went under the bridge as a child). We stand in silence looking and feeling the fish around our feet, in gentle awe and excitement. After while we walk on and out from the other side of the bridge. We walk on to a meadow next to the river. My child-self utters a cry, and starts to run around the meadow, whooping, and laughing out of pure joy, I watch on, quite amazed, and aware of a new level of joy in myself that I have never experienced before.

After the meditation, this new level of joy within myself has persisted, and it seems clear to me that some level of inhibition or fear in my child has been resolved. This is a full fifteen years after starting my active relationship with him. So even now my life and experience are expanding and growing from my inner work with my child self and other related therapeutic mindfulness practices aimed at building a strong inner-self psychologically. If you do the work, it seems there truly are no edges to your level of inner joy.
   
 
Related articleMeditating with your child self
Creating a therapeutic mindfulness space
Wake, up, Grow up, Clean up, Flow – The Art of Enlightened Flow
 


Special Coaching Offer for the Month of September – Free 20minute coaching session with Toby

For the remaining two weeks of September Integral Meditation Asia is offering free 20minute coaching sessions with Toby!
If you have been interested in the idea of getting some personal coaching on a particular issue or challenge, and/or want to explore what 1:1 meditation coaching can do for you in terms of both your quality of and direction in life, this is a great opportunity to find out what it is like with Toby. These 20minute sessions can be done on Zoom or via Whatsapp.
You can find read the general write up of Toby’s Life-fullness Coaching here, & his other forms of coaching here.
You can read feedback and reviews from Toby’s coaching sessions here

To arrange your 20minute session or for further enquiries: Email info@tobyouvry.com, or W-App65-96750279


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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A Mind of Ease creative imagery Energy Meditation Inner vision Integral Awareness Life-fullness Meditating on the Self meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience Presence and being present Stress Transformation

Mindfulness of mood & atmosphere of your life-story

“You might think about your inner mood as being like the weather. If you are playing a game of tennis in a sunny, lightly breezy day, its completely different from playing it on a rainy, very windy day. We can usually shift ourself at least partially toward a better mood if we try, and this then affects everything for the better”

Dear Integral Meditators, 

This week’s newsletter slightly early, and has three things in it:

  • Firstly, an article on the importance of mindfulness around your mood.
  • Secondly if you are interested in meditation sound technology, I have been using I-awake for many years now. They have some great products, and they are all on a 30% off Labour day sale until 4th September (US time). This technology is also a great way to help change the mood and ambience of your life for the better!
  • Thirdly, beneath the article you can find all the courses and workshops for September, quite an exciting line-up, starting with the Qi gong workshop on the 9th September!

 
In the spirit of mood & atmosphere,

Toby 


Now Live: iAwake Labor Day Weekend Sale
 
From August 31 – September 4, 2023, we are holding our annual Labor Day Weekend Sale, one of our biggest sales this year. This sale features 30% OFF on Digital Tracks and 25% OFF on CDs + Digital. Check out our catalog and take advantage of this annual opportunity to receive huge discounts on iAwake tracks and add to or complete your iAwake toolkit.
 
Discount Coupon Code for DIGITAL (30% OFF): IAWAKELABOR2023


Mindfulness of mood & atmosphere of your life-story
 
When trying to improve our daily experience through mindfulness quite often peoples focus is upon

  • Focusing better
  • Thinking more positively
  • Thinking less
  • Relaxing more

These are all noble pursuits of course, but what I find often gets missed is attention to the mood and the inner atmosphere that we do things. If you think about it our mood is very important. For example, if your mood is habitually anxious and fearful then this naturally

  • Interrupts your focus
  • Makes it difficult to think positively
  • Creates low-grade mental busyness/ habitual overthinking
  • Makes it tough to relax

In my classes and coaching recently, one of the things that I have been emphasizing to students and clients is awareness of their habitual moods, and deliberately moving them toward a lighter more benevolent inner atmosphere. For example, if having noticed our inner mood in the moment we then direct it towards a combination of

  • Curiosity & playful inquisitiveness
  • Warmth & care

Then if we can establish that as an atmosphere in our body-mind, it then starts to colour our daily experience and activities

  • Warm & curious atmospheres are easy to build relaxed-focus in
  • Its natural and quite easy to think positively
  • We feel less compelled to think all the time
  • Activities just ‘feel’ naturally more enjoyable

 
The weather you are playing the game in
You might think about your inner mood as being like the weather. If you are playing a game of tennis in a sunny, lightly breezy day, its completely different from playing it on a rainy, very windy day. We can’t always completely control our mood, but we can usually shift ourself at least partially toward a better mood if we try, and this then affects everything for the better.
Playing with moods therapeutically
In my article last week on Therapeutic mindfulness I outline six practices which might also be thought of as ways of creating inner moods that are both strengthening and healing:

  • Grounded & sensory
  • Safety & non-emergency
  • Warmth & compassion
  • Appreciation
  • Curiosity & courage
  • A sense of being supported

All of these are possible moods that you can cultivate. Of course, there are many more that you could choose to focus on, according to your needs and inclinations. It’s something to have fun cultivating!


If you enjoy this article, you might enjoy the upcoming Therapeutic mindfulness course beginning on 26/27th September!

Related articleMindful of your moods, emotions and dispositions

© Toby Ouvry 2023, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com



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 Tues/Weds in August/Sept – The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for developing wisdom around inner-growth, happiness & fulfillment

Saturday August 26th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Saturday Saturday 9th September, 9am-12.30pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing

Wednesday 20th September, 7.30-8.30pm – Autumn Equinox balancing & renewing meditation

Starting Tues 26th & Weds 27th September – Re-discovering your inner vitality & joie-de-vivre – An introduction to integrative therapeutic mindfulness & meditation

Saturday 30th September & Sunday 1st October, 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life, and growing your own personal Life Tree

Saturday October 7th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Saturday & Sunday October 28th & 29th – Integral Meditation Two Day Retreat

Tues/Weds Oct 31st, Nov 1st – Seasonal classSamhain – Healing the wounds & receiving the gifts of our ancestors

Tues/Weds Nov 14th/15th – Seasonal classDeepavali -connecting to your inner light


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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A Mind of Ease Insight Meditation Integral Awareness Life-fullness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindfulness Presence and being present Stress Transformation Using the Energy of Negative Emotions

Creating an inner therapeutic mindfulness space – six positions

The purpose of therapeutic mindfulness is to go back to previous stages in our development in order to reconnect to feelings, emotions, body sensations & memories that we have repressed, denied, or lost touch with. The healthy re-integration of these experiences sets the scene for a renewed sense of wellbeing within our present life, & for safely engaging in higher, deeper levels of personal growth.”

Dear Integral Meditators, 

On the 26th/27th September I will be starting a 10 module program – “An introduction to integrative therapeutic mindfulness & meditation – Re-discovering your inner vitality & joie-de-vivre“, the article below explores how we can create a context for mindfulness as a therapeutic practice. Many of the positions below I’ve written about reasonably extensively before, but the ordering of them is specific to doing therapeutic mindfulness. 

If you enjoy the article I invite you to click on the link & find our more about the course!

In the spirit of our inner support system,

Toby 


Creating an inner therapeutic mindfulness space – six positions
 
The purpose of therapeutic mindfulness is to go back to previous stages in our development in order to reconnect to feelings, emotions, body sensations and memories that we have repressed, denied, and lost touch with. The healthy re-integration of these experiences sets the scene for a renewed sense of wellbeing within our present life. It also lays the foundation for then exploring the higher, deeper levels of meditation states (psychic, subtle, causal, non-dual) in a way that is balanced and sustainable. Below are a set of qualities to cultivate when engaging in therapeutic mindfulness. Each one of them has benefits in an of themselves, but practiced together they make for a good combination within which we can then go on to do some inner healing work.
 
Grounding in the senses – Work that involves contacting potentially volatile emotions or feelings needs to be done whilst grounded enough in the present moment in order to feel the stability of our senses supporting us, so that we don’t feel completely ‘carried away’ by the experience.
Safety – Repressed emotions can feel dangerous, so connecting to the basic safety of this moment – recognizing that there are no immanent threats to our present wellbeing – is a fundamental position to be familiar with.
Warmth & compassion – Establishing as far as we can a feeling of basic warmth and compassion toward ourselves at the beginning of the session, and as we encounter our experiences during the TM session.
Appreciation – Having an appropriate sense of our life being a good place with the existence of people, places and experiences that make it rich and enjoyable. This then means that when we encounter challenges in our therapeutic mindfulness practice, it is always contextualized by this sense of overall appreciation/ positivity.
Curiosity & courage – TM can feel like heavy work sometimes, so cultivating a sense of lightness and curiosity is helpful in this regard. It helps us avoid getting overly caught up and identified in the experience. Similarly, courage can help us hugely as, by its nature TM involves contact and sometimes confrontation with parts of us that we fear or would otherwise wish to avoid. This doesn’t mean you have to be some kind of big hero, just that you have whatever courage you possess present and available to you when doing TM.
A sense of being supported – It can be useful if you have any belief or sense of a higher, deeper supporting being or intelligence to invoke or feel the presence of it/her/him before you engage in therapeutic mindfulness practice. This is personal and can be done any way that the practitioner finds acceptable or appropriate.
 
With these six positions available to you and in place, you should then feel confident in engaging in any kind of therapeutic mindfulness practice that you might want to, with a sense of these qualities supporting and enhancing your practice.

© 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 www.tobyouvry.com



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 Tues/Weds in August/Sept – The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for developing wisdom around inner-growth, happiness & fulfillment

Saturday August 26th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Saturday Saturday 9th September, 9am-12.30pm – Qi Gong for Improving your Health and Energy Levels and for Self-Healing

Wednesday 20th September, 7.30-8.30pm – Autumn Equinox balancing & renewing meditation

Starting Tues 26th & Weds 27th September – Re-discovering your inner vitality & joie-de-vivre – An introduction to integrative therapeutic mindfulness & meditation

Saturday 30th September & Sunday 1st October, 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life, and growing your own personal Life Tree

Saturday & Sunday October 28th & 29th – Integral Meditation Two Day Retreat


Integral Meditation Asia

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creative imagery Inner vision Integral Awareness Life-fullness Meditating on the Self meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience

Meditating with your teenage-self

“The ‘teenage self’ is one of several aspects of our inner-self or psyche that, if we take the time to connect to, we can find ourselves being enriched. For example, if I am well connected to my inner teenager, then I can draw upon his innate curiosity, ambition and appetite for life in a way that other middle-aged folk who lack a vital connection to their inner teenager cannot!”

Dear Integral Meditators, 

This weeks article comes under the domain of what you might call ‘Theraputic mindfulness’, & has strong, explicit connections to the wellbeing of our psychological self. It relates to the area of coaching work that I offer in my Mindful self-knowledge program.  

In the spirit of inner vitality, 

Toby 


Meditating with your teenage-self
 
Definitions of your youthful and teenage self:
The ‘teenage self’ is one of several aspects of our inner-self or psyche that, if we take the time to connect to, we can find ourselves being enriched in a number of ways. Some of these ways are therapeutic, as in healing inner wounds and burdens from our teenage past. Other ways include connecting to the strengths of our youthful/teenage self that we can draw upon in our present stage of life. For example, at my present age of 51, if I am well connected to my inner teenager, then I can draw upon his innate curiosity, ambition and appetite for life in a way that other 50-somethings who lack a vital connection to their inner teenager cannot!
Our teenage self is different from our ‘inner child-self’ (who is worked with commonly in a therapeutic context) in the sense that our inner child is a pre-sexual being, whereas our inner teenager is an adolescent and therefore sexually defined/sexually activated. Consequently, the concerns of the inner child and teenager, and their perspectives/needs differ substantially.
Below I point out a few definitions and ways of beginning to relate to your inner teenager.
 
The youthful or teenage self is that part of us that has matured from the child to the early-adult stage of human development. It sees the initial development of an adult personality; it is concerned with things such as:

  • Defining and distinguishing ourself from others,
  • Appetite for and ambitions in life,
  • Career/life goals,
  • Sexuality and romantic relationships
  • Willingness to keep learning new things

 
A psychological definition:
 
The teenage-self is the component of the psyche containing the “personality” of the adolescent one once was, with that teenager’s range of values, emotions, needs and responses; not a generic teenager or universal archetype, but a specific, historical one, unique to an individual’s history and development.
– Nathaniel Branden, definition taken from the Six Pillars of Self Esteem, page 265ff.
 
Meditation pointers for the teenage-self:
 
Free association: Bring to mind the words ‘my teenage, or youthful-self ’. Holding it within your awareness allow your mind to start to free –associate feelings, images, memories, thoughts, and desires around your teenage-self. At this stage the main thing is to focus on being curious as to what sort of memories, feelings and so on arise when you contemplate the idea of your teen self; whether these feelings and memories are pleasant or unpleasant is secondary, the main thing is simply to see what comes up without editing any of the content.
If you like you can use the following sentence-stems as departure points for your free association:

  • When I think of the young adult or teenager within me –
  • One of the things that I found challenging about growing to adulthood was –
  • One of my favourite memories about my teenage or young adult life was –

Connecting to your teenage-self: Imagine yourself in a place that you knew and loved as a teenager. As you sit or stand in that place, imagine your teenage self comes to meet you there. Spend time with your teenager, talking, connecting, and building trust. Starting questions for the interaction might include:

  • What do you need from me to help feel happy and secure?
  • Is there anything that you want to say to me or offer me at this time?
  • What do you think about this (choose your domain) aspect of our life?
  • How can we find more time for play & exploration in our life together?

Like outer teens, your inner–teen needs parenting with an appropriate amount of firmness and love, but with more freedom and autonomy given than you would with your child self. By connecting to your inner-teenager you can also become a better parental self, both toward your inner-teens, and toward outer teenagers!
 
Related articlesMeditating with your child-self
Meditating with your parental-self

© Toby Ouvry 2023, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Energy Meditation Inner vision Integral Awareness Life-fullness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques mind body connection Mindful Breathing Mindful Confidence Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership Presence and being present

Self-belief (the most powerful creative force in your life)

“Once you get used to it, being creatively powerful in your life feels less and less stressful, and more and more of a pleasure. Rather than ‘life happening to me’ I have the feeling that ‘I am happening to life!’”

Dear Integral Meditators, 

This weeks article explores mindfulness to help you become more powerful, engaged & directed in your life. It’s partly my own response to completing a recent course on mindful self-leadership with some of my students, but thematically it’s fairly central to my overall approach to ‘engaged mindfulness’. 

Classes and workshops for August are out, including the wisdom of awakening series, meditating with animal guides & familiars, and a mindfulness course for teenagers

In the spirit of creativity, 

Toby 


Self-belief (the most powerful creative force in your life)
 
I am the most powerful force in my life, you are the most powerful in yours
I’ve recently completed a series on ‘Mindful self-leadership’ with my public program students. It’s a program that I also run with companies and organizations at least six times a year. Each time I deliver it, slightly different themes energy as important for me. This time around the insight that kept coming back again and again as the course went on was ‘I am the most important creative force in my life’. The simple recognition of this is a tremendously powerful object of mindful attention.
 
The most powerful force in the world?
Of course you aren’t, there are many more powerful forces in the world than you or I.  But, in terms of your life, it is you that sits in the middle of it, your energy & focus, your choices to do or not to do, your thoughts & emotions. What you choose to focus on and do in your life is the most powerful directional force in it!
 
The feeling of helplessness
Sometimes there can be an overriding feeling of helplessness in the face of events in our life. We can feel like a puppet, the strings of which are being pulled by other people and external forces. Sometimes we can convince ourselves that ‘we have no choice’ and allow ourselves to become a victim of circumstances. There is even comfort in being a victim, we can tell ourselves that we had no choice and blame it on others.
 
Sometimes things don’t work out
It is true that sometimes things don’t work out as we had hoped, despite our best efforts. But even then, we are the ones who decide how we approach the fact that things didn’t work out how we had hoped. We are the ones who decide how to mentally frame what has happened, and how we are going to work with it. We are the ‘eye of the storm’, we are still the primary causal factor in our experience.
 
It’s sometimes hard work owning your creative power
If you own your power, then sure, you have to stay alert, think things through, confront difficult choices and people. But all of this is no harder work than not owning your power, and being buffeted mercilessly by the forces of chance and fate. Once you get used to it, being creatively powerful in your life feels less and less stressful, and more and more of a pleasure. Rather than ‘life happening to me’ I have the feeling that ‘I am happening to life!’. We can be calm, collected, and powerful. If we do so we burn less energy, we feel more in control. From this then a stable experience of self-belief starts to emerge, a faith in our ability to work thru and work out our problems, and enjoy doing it!
 
Meditating:
Sit down quietly. As you breathe, breathe your energy and awareness into the centre of your chest and torso area. Feel your creative power gathering in your body as you inhale, relax into it as you exhale. As you breathe, dwell upon the recognition: “I am the most powerful creative force in my life”. Stay with that recognition and feeling for the time you have set aside for meditation, really letting it sink in.
As you go about your daily life, remember the recognition, and act as if you believed it. Play with your power creatively, taking ownership of it. Notice how your experience starts to change.
 
Recent articles related to self-leadership & creative power:
A flower opening to the Sun – Choosing (& making distinctions around) joy
Trusting your inner signals
Empowering (& then dropping) the self
Making yourself big
Pro-activity in the face of life & breathing pro-actively
Becoming a Self-determining entity – Five stages to mindful self-leadership

© Toby Ouvry 2023, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Energy Meditation Integral Awareness Meditation techniques mind body connection Mindful Breathing Mindful Resilience Presence and being present Qi gong Stress Transformation

How to meditate when you are ill or sick

“When you are ill, trust your body and it’s capacity for healing. Relax and get yourself out of the way. Dropping into short spaces of non-doing really helps to stay stable and keep on keeping on, even when your energy is low and you are feeling somewhat dis-oriented”

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article is a personal reflection on some of the basic meditation techniques I use when I get ill. They are relatively simple positions that, if you can remember to do them make a huge difference! If your going through a  stage where your being exposed to bugs at the same time as having to work hard (like I am with a pre-schooler in the house), then having a meditation plan around sickness is a game changer…

If you enjoy the article, then you might be interested in the Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy workshop that I will be doing on Saturday the 8th July 9.30am-12.30pm as a live & live-stream session.

In the spirit of health & energy,

Toby 


How to meditate when you are ill or sick
 
This last week I have been a little under the weather with a flu and cough bug. Even a minor illness has quite a lot of power to incapacitate our meditation efforts, so what I have done below is to outline a few positions I use when I am ill to navigate the process smoothly, and also maintain the basic momentum of my practice even though I’m not feeling great.  
 
Basic positions: Being primarily present & maintaining functional breathing  
Your basic task as a meditator is to establish your awareness as being primarily present in the moment, and secondarily thinking about stuff. This is the easiest and most essential position to stay with. You can take your body and breathing to do this, and it’s surprising how calm it can make you feel, even when you’re not feeling great.
Within your ‘primarily present’ position, you can then pay attention to your manner of breathing, and focus on ‘functional breathing’, which is breathing through your nose, and sending the air down into the lower lungs on your inbreath, connecting your nose to your belly. This is often one of the first things to go when you get ill, sustaining it helps your body to get on with its job of healing.
These two practices are your basic ‘navigation tools’ while you are sick. If you stay with them, the journey whilst you heal will be very much a part of your meditation journey.
 
Extending compassion to yourself & your body
Your body and you are suffering from the illness, so basic care and compassion is a no brainer that is easy to overlook. Will doing this help your body to heal faster? Maybe. It will certainly ease the process of the journey.
 
Trusting your body & non-doing
Trust your body and it’s capacity for healing, relax and get out of the way! One of the best ways to help your body is to do nothing, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. If you are not able to stop working to recover, then dropping into short spaces of non-doing really helps to stay stable and keep on keeping on, even when your energy is low and you are feeling somewhat dis-oriented.
 
Context through appreciation
Just because you are ill doesn’t mean there is suddenly nothing to appreciate in life. Recognizing this and appreciating what there is to feel good about undoubtedly helps you get through a bout of illness.  
 
Minimalist meditations
If normally I would do let’s say 100 Medicine Buddha Mantras per day, I might change that to five-ten mins of the following pattern:

  • Three mantras, followed by a pause (back to basically present & functional breathing), three mantras, pause, and so forth

Less is more!
 
Mindful pro-activity
Final ‘active meditation’ is to ensure that you put together the best ‘healing protocol’ that you know regarding that illness. Creating and following such a routine is empowering. I have a routine of eastern and western supplementation, power napping (and prioritizing sleep in general) and gentle movement I follow for flu-type sickness. As so as I notice the signs, I activate the plan, and use the strategy to minimize the ability of the sickness to get a grip on my system.
I hope this give you a few ideas for when your next feeling under the weather!

© Toby Ouvry 2023, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com




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, Tues/Weds evening 7.30-8.30pm– Becoming a self-determining entity – A six-week course in Mindful Self-Leadership

Saturday the 8th July 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy

Saturday July 15th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat


Integral Meditation Asia

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