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A Mind of Ease Essential Spirituality Inner vision Insight Meditation Meditation techniques One Minute Mindfulness Presence and being present spiritual intelligence

Three Types of Faith

Dear Integral Meditators,

I hope you are having a good weekend, this weeks article looks at how to integrate three different of faith into our life in order to improve our ability to go with the flow, decrease our stress levels and open to different patterns of meaning. I hope you enjoy it!

Final reminder for the online 2 week course starting this Wednesday, 3rd July: Going Beyond Happiness – Using the Wisdom of Paradox to Find a Deeper Level of Fulfillment and Wellbeing in Your Lifeif you enjoy the article below and the ones from the last 2/3 weeks, then you will definitely enjoy and get a lot out of the course!

Yours in the spirit of faith,

Toby


Upcoming Classes at Integral Meditation Asia:

Click on event titles for full details

JULY
Wednesday 3rd & 10th July – 2 Week Online Meditation course: Going Beyond Happiness – Using the Wisdom of Paradox to Find a Deeper Level of Fulfilment and Wellbeing in Your Life

Wednesdays 3rd and 10th July, 7.30-9.30pm on both days – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention – A Two Week Course


Three Types of Faith

 You don’t need to be religious to use a mind of faith in a practical and useful way to enhance your quality of life and wellbeing. With so many uncertainties in life we could say that faith and a sense of trust in something is actually one of the most important minds that we can learn to rely upon as the basis of our inner wellbeing.

Here are three types of faith that you can cultivate on a daily basis:

Faith in ourself: This is a sense of trust in our own integrity, care and intelligence to help us through whatever challenges we may face. We don’t need to be perfect before we develop faith and trust in ourself, but we do need to work on demonstrating to ourself our ability to care, to take a positive attitude and to find a way to survive and thrive in life.
Faith in the unfolding process of life: Life is very complex, and there are always many things going on on many different levels at any given time. Looking at the apparent chaos it can occasionally seem like there are no patterns going on, no meaning. To have faith in the process of life means to trust that, whatever way things are turning out for us there is a pattern of benevolent meaning and unfolding. It means to go with the flow of what is happening and be open to the insights and enjoyments that each moment offers.
Faith in something bigger: To have faith in something bigger can be thought of as a formal belief in God if you are that way inclined, but really it means simply to have a sense of a larger force or metta intelligence that guides and informs the process of our life, and of evolution on earth at large. We may not know why many things are happening in our life and around us, but we can nevertheless be open to the possibility that it is a part of a larger pattern of reality of which we see only a small glimpse. To have faith in something bigger is simply to relax into the flow of our life, opening to the sense that we may be being guided by a higher and deeper intelligence.

One minute mindfulness:
To be mindful of a sense of faith in our life, we simply pick one of the three types of faith, develop a feeling for it and then relax into its flow, breathing and resting in its energy for a short period of time. Out of formal mindfulness or meditation on faith we try and retain a sense of faith, trust and flow in our life as we face our daily challenges

© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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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Awareness and insight Insight Meditation Integral Awareness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Mindfulness Presence and being present Shadow meditation

Emotional Detachment, Emotional Repression – The Difference

Dear Integral Meditators,
This weeks article looks at a basic skill for anyone wanting to develop a healthy and harmonious consciousness; the ability to avoid repressing emotion when trying to detach from it! As you can see below I have included a couple of basic diagrams to try and help with the explanation, hopefully you’ll find that they help to clarify your understanding by giving an image to work with…

Yours in the spirit of emotional clarity,
Toby

Upcoming Classes and Workshops at Integral Meditation Asia in For February and March 2013

March 13th – Class 3: Uncovering Treasure; Working with the bright side of your shadow
This class emphasizes the uncovering of the parts of our shadow that are actually GOOD qualities, strengths and gifts within our shadow self that, for one reason or another we have rejected or denied. It may sound strange, but we are often just as inclined to shy away from that within us which makes us powerful and happy as we are from that which we consider ugly and ‘bad’! This class helps us to see this and start to access the power of our “golden shadow”

Saturday  23rd March – 9.30am-12.30pm – Three Hour Workshop: 
Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention – An Introduction to Contemporary Meditation Practice


Emotional Detachment, Emotional Repression – The Difference

One of the basic skills that both meditation and mindfulness practitioners are trying to develop is the ability to develop a healthy detachment from challenging or destructive emotions. However, it is all too easy to confuse health emotional detachment with simply the repression of the emotion. Emotional detachment helps us to deal more effectively with the emotion. Emotional repression however only makes the long term effects of the difficult emotion more severe.
What I am going to do in this article with the aid of a couple of (old school) diagrams to help is to clearly explain the difference between the two.

The Dynamic of Emotional Repression.
When emotion is repressed, the conscious mind or self represses, rejects and pushes away the challenging emotion into our unconscious mind, trying to ignore and deny it. The act of repressing the emotion is that firstly the emotion becomes energized and perpetuated, and secondly we loose the ability to see and feel it properly, as it becomes a part of our unconscious mind, not directly visible to our everyday conscious awareness.
You can see this represented in the first diagram:

The Dynamic of Emotional Detachment.
In the dynamic of healthy emotional detachment, the difficult emotion is carefully included within the field of conscious awareness, and not repressed into the unconscious self. As a result the conscious self can still see and feel the emotion clearly, whilst at the same time being detached or dis-identified from it. Because the conscious self is still fully aware of the emotion, it can extend care, attention and inclusivity to the emotion, thus helping it to heal, harmonize and de-toxifyunder the influence of the care of the detached, conscious self.
You can see this dynamic represented in the second diagram here:

Suggested Practicum for the Week
If you have a look at the two diagrams above , I think you can get a feel for the difference between emotional repression and healthy emotional detachment. Using the study of the diagrams as a rough guide you may like to take one challenging emotion of your own and specifically work with it. For example you could take the emotion of embarrassment or excessive self-consciousness as your object of training. Whenever you feel it coming up in your body-mind during social interaction, focus on trying to detach but include it in your awareness with care, rather than repressing, rejecting and exiling it to your unconscious mind.

Understanding the difference between repressing and detaching from emotion is a huge area of consciousness training, and getting it right can really make a HUGE difference to your quality of life!
© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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

Categories
Awareness and insight Insight Meditation Integral Meditation Meditation techniques mind body connection Shadow meditation The Essential Meditation of the Buddha Using the Energy of Negative Emotions

How to Stop Painful Feelings Becoming Negative Emotions

Dear All,

Normally in conversation we use the word feelings and emotion as if they were the same. This weeks article looks at the distinction that can be made between emotions and feelings, and how this can be used in order to prevent difficult emotions arising from painful feelings. I think you will find it useful!

Many thanks to those of you who signed up fro and attended the first of the Integral Meditation Practice Six week course, it was great to meet and spend time with you last Wednesday, you can read details of this coming weeks class below.

Yours in the spirit of awakened feelings and emotions,

Toby

 


Stopping Painful Feelings Becoming Emotional Suffering

This is a continuation of the exploration of Insight Meditation that I began in last week’s article entitled “Insight Meditation – Improving Your Subjective Experience by Developing Your Objective Perspective” – Toby

The difference between feelings and emotions 
One of the most useful distinctions in Buddhist insight meditation that I have found is the distinction between feelings and emotions. Broadly speaking feelings are simply the experience of that which is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. By contrast emotions arise from a psychological process that involves thinking in a particular way about a feeling. Here are two simple examples:

  1. I see a person who has wronged me in the past, instinctively an unpleasant feelingarises. I then start to reflect on the harm that they have caused me and develop anger or resentment. This anger is the emotion, arising from the psychological process of paying attention to the harm done in combination with the initial unpleasant feelings.
  2. I am sick, giving rise to unpleasant feelings in my body. I start to think about how this sickness is ruining my only two weeks of holiday in the year and I start to develop the emotions of frustration, despair and sadness.

From these two examples we can start to see the basic distinction; pain is simply the feeling arising within the moment. Emotion is that which we experience when we combine a feeling with a psychological process of focusing on the feeling in a particular way.

With regard to painful feelings, quite often we compound the pain they cause us by focusing on them in a way that causes us to experience emotional suffering, as in the examples above. The key therefore in preventing painful feelings becoming full blown emotional suffering is to avoid thinking about them or focusing on them in such a way that negative emotions are caused to arise.

Some sources of painful feelings
The five sources of painful feelings below are a non-exhaustive list, but it gives an idea of the variety of different sources that can cause painful feelings within us. Any of them if focused on in the wrong way can cause negative emotions to arise:

  1. Physical pain arising from sickness or injury
  2. Pain or irritability arising from hormonal or other biological or energetic imbalances within the body
  3. From people who say or do harmful things to us or have done so in the past
  4. From psychological and/or existential anxiety, eg: Worried about not being good enough, fear of dying, fear of stepping out of comfort zone etc…
  5. From spiritual crisis; for example when the old elf or ego structures are collapsing in order for a new level of self sense to arise.

So, what to do?? An Insight Meditation Form for acknowledging and releasing negative feelings 

Here is a brief insight meditation form that we can use to prevent difficult feelings turning into negative emotions:

Stage 1: Breathing in I am aware of my painful feelings,
Breathing out I acknowledge those feelings fully.

Stage 2: Breathing in I experience my tight grasping at those painful feelings,
Breathing out I relax my grasping at those feelings,

Stage 3: Breathing in I detach from those feelings,
Breathing out I extend compassion and understanding to those feelings.

In stage one as we breathe in we become consciously aware of any painful feelings we may be experiencing, as we breathe out we acknowledge them fully. Often we try and repress or deny negative feelings, which in turn allow them to build and transform into negative emotions. Here we are fully acknowledging what is there and giving them the attention they need in order to be addressed.

In stage two we observe how we are clinging to these painful feelings, grasping at them tightly. Then, as we breathe out we consciously release that tight grasping, energetically relaxing our body and mind.

In stage three we detach from those painful feelings, at the same time as extending a feeling of compassion and understanding toward them. We combine the objective experience of detachment with the positive emotional tonalities of compassion and understanding.

Suggestions for Daily Practice
The essential point in this article is that feelings can be distinguished from emotions, and we can prevent negative emotions from arising by avoiding focusing on painful feelings in the wrong way.
The brief meditation technique I describe above can be done as a two minute exercise oras an extended meditation, taking a few minutes to focus on each of the stages. It is a meditation that is worth doing sometimes even if we are not fully aware of any negative feelings inside us, as often it will bring to light negative feelings within us the need a bit of tender loving care, and spending a little time just breathing with them and paying them benevolent.
Of course if there are also practical things that we can do to alleviate the negative feelings, like taking medicine, or having a conversation to clear the air with our partner about a hurt we have then this should be done to!

© Toby Ouvry 2012, 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

Categories
Awareness and insight Insight Meditation Integral Meditation Meditation Recordings Meditation techniques mind body connection

Insight Meditation – Improving your subjective experience by developing your Objective Perspective

Hi Everyone,

This week’s newsletter has a new dimension added to it that I am hoping to make a regular feature, which is regular short meditation recordings that I will be creating and posting on my meditation blog for people to listen to and download. This week’s guided meditation is a nine minute insight meditation practice focusing around caring for the physical body. Click on the link to have a listen:

Poem of Care for the Physical Body Meditation Free Recording 

This week’s article below discusses insight meditation using the “Poem of Care” as a practical example. After reading the article I hope you’ll feel enthused about just how simple and effective mindfulness and insight  meditation can be, and feel like you really have an understanding of how it works!

 

Enjoy the Meditation Recording, and have a great week!

Yours in the spirit of insight,

Toby

*******

Insight Meditation – Improving your subjective experience by developing your Objective Perspective

Often when people talk about being objective in their life it seems like in order to become so they need to cut themselves of from their subjective or feeling experience of the situation. Conversely in order to really enter into a situation fully often what seems to happen is that we abandon our objectivity and plunge deeply into a feeling-based experience of the situation.

Pushed to an extreme, we can find ourselves caught between these two polarities:

  • Being objective = being cold and uncaring
  • Being subjective = being totally bound up in our feelings and lacking in perspective

Of course what we really need for an enjoyable and balanced life is to be able to bring both our objective and subjective perspectives together in a balanced holism, and this is one of the main benefits that insight meditation can give to us.

How does this work?

The basic dynamic of insight and/or mindfulness meditation (I am using the two terms here synonymously) is this; we begin by deliberately taking an objective perspective on our object of meditation in order to bring fuller conscious awareness of it. After having observed our object of meditation objectively for a while, we then consciously extend a positive subjective feeling or emotion to the object that we have been observing objectively.

Improving your objectivity improves your subjectivity

So, the essential idea with insight meditation is that by initially taking a step back and observing your world objectively, you can then consciously project/extend positive and beneficial subjective feelings into that world that will increase your ability to participate enjoyably and benevolently in that world.

A concrete example please?

Ok, so let’s take a concrete example that I hope will make this clear and easy to understand.

Below you can see a meditation entitled “Poem of care for the Physical Body”, which I composed a few years back. In this meditation the observed object is the physical body. Each “verse” has two lines, and the way it works is very simple; as you inhale you practice taking an objective perspective on your body, and then as you exhale you extend a subjective feeling to the body.

To take the first two lines as an example:

“Breathing in I am aware of my physical body,

Breathing out I extend care and calm to my physical body”

Here, as we breathe in we deliberately step back and cultivate objective awareness of our body. Then as we exhale we consciously extend the positive, subjective feelings of care and calm to our body.

In the second two lines this continues:

“Breathing in I am thankful to my physical body,

Breathing out I extend my love and gratitude to my physical body”

As be breathe in, we objectively recognize that there are many ways in which our body is serving us well in every minute of every day. With this recognition we then breathe out and extend the subjective feeling of love and gratitude to our body.

From this example you can see that insight meditation works to improve our subjective experience (in this case of our body) by working  to improve our objective experience first, and then bringing that objective perspective together with our subjective feelings in benevolent partnership, as opposed to the dissonant conflict that so often exists in us between these two poles of our being!

Here is the full “poem”, please note that you can listen to and or download a short (9min) recording of this meditation on my meditation blog that I have done here:

Poem of Care for the Physical Body Recording

Poem of Care for the Physical Body

1. Breathing in I am aware of my physical body,

Breathing out I extend care and calm to my physical body,

2. Breathing in I am thankful to my physical body,

Breathing out I extend my love and gratitude to my physical body,

3. Breathing in I am aware of psychological tensions I hold within my physical body,

Breathing out I release this tension,

4. Breathing in I feel at home in my physical body,

Breathing out I rest within that homely space.

Final thoughts

Sometimes the conflict between our subjective experience and objective perspective has a complex history that needs a skilled third party perspective to untie the complexity and re-fashion that relationship in a new way. This is one of the main functions of the 1:1 coaching that I offer as a service. However, the regular practice of simple insight meditation forms such as I have explained above can really go a long way to improving the dynamic between our objective experiences and subjective feelings. The Poem of Care for the Physical Body is a short, simple and profound way of beginning the journey of insight-through-meditation.

 

Categories
Awareness and insight Insight Meditation Integral Meditation Meditation Recordings Meditation techniques mind body connection Presence and being present Uncategorized

Guided Insight Meditation: Care of the Physical Body

This is a nine minute guided insight meditation on caring for the physical body, you can simply play it from this page Press play icon below) or download it onto your computer (right click on text below) for personal use.

[audio:https://tobyouvry.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Care-for-Physical-Body-Insight-Medi-9mins1.mp3|titles=Care for Physical Body Insight Medi (9mins)]

Care for Physical Body Insight Medi (9mins)

Here is the basic script for the Meditation:

Poem of Care for the Physical Body

1. Breathing in I am aware of my physical body,

Breathing out I extend care and calm to my physical body,

2. Breathing in I am thankful to my physical body,

Breathing out I extend my love and gratitude to my physical body,

3. Breathing in I am aware of psychological tensions I hold within my physical body,

Breathing out I release this tension,

4. Breathing in I feel at home in my physical body,

Breathing out I rest within that homely space.

You can read the article that relates to this meditation and gives some further commentary to it here:

Insight Meditation – Improving your subjective experience by developing your Objective Perspective

Happy meditating!

Toby