Categories
A Mind of Ease Biographical Enlightened Flow Enlightened love and loving Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Breathing Mindful Confidence Mindfulness Presence and being present

Natural Happiness

Dear Integral Meditators,

To be a meditator means to get in touch with your natural happiness. The article below explains something of what I mean by this.

Yours in the spirit of natural happiness,

Toby


Natural Happiness

I feel happy because…

A common tactic and one that I use myself for becoming happier is simply to reflect mindfully upon reasons why my life is good, on what I have achieved, on what I am enjoying, on what has gone right. If you keep a log of these types of things, either written or in just regularly in your head, then you are connecting to a form of happiness based upon the power of your rational, thinking, analytical mind.

I feel happy and so…

In meditation, one of the things we are aiming to develop the ability to do is to move our body-mind into a state of open relaxation that feels so good that, even if we had many reasons in the day to not be happy we would still naturally feel connected to happiness anyway.

This meditative form of happiness is a state of happiness that does not depend upon rational reasons, or the ticking of mental boxes. Rather it is a feeling that arises simply from sitting quietly, letting go and enjoying the process of enjoying relaxing deeply into a state of conscious awareness.

Relaxing into natural happiness

The other day I was travelling back from work with my head full of the troubles of the world; relationship doubts, money issues, business uncertainty, dissatisfaction with my circumstances and so on, you know what I mean right?

So instead of going directly home I went into the library, and sat down in the reading room. I determined just to sit down and relax for 30mins. For the first few minutes I paid attention to the physical fatigue in my muscles and the emotional turbulence that I was experiencing, just acknowledging them, giving them a bit of love and letting them go. Then I just sat still and relaxed, doing as little as possible, switching off my brain and mind and opening my heart space.

After 10minutes I started to feel ok. After 15 minutes I felt good. By the time I finished, technically I could still remember all the reasons that my life was difficult and challenging, but to be honest I didn’t care so much. I just felt good in my body, mind and heart, for no ‘reason’ other than sitting still in a state of relaxed meditation for a while. Technically I had not ‘solved’ any of my issues, but my world felt completely different, just because I had spent a little while connecting to my natural happiness in meditation.

When you meditate you discover that you don’t have to ‘do’ anything to be happy, other than learn how to connect to your natural happiness; the happiness that is there under the surface of our body-mind all the time.

If you meditate skilfully it won’t solve your problems or alleviate you of your responsibilities, but it will make you naturally happy.

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in May:

Friday 29th May 7.30-9.30pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Travelling deeper into the present moment through integral meditation

Saturday 30th May2.30-5.30pm – Enlightened Flow: Finding the Ultimate Relaxation and Release from Stress

JUNE CLASSES COMING SOON!

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

Categories
A Mind of Ease Awareness and insight Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditation techniques Presence and being present

Intending, Abiding, Determining – Three Aspects of Effective Meditation

Dear Integral Meditators,
If you want to be good at something, then you need to have a clear model around which you base your attempts to improve. The article below explains a very simple three stage model that you can apply to your meditation practice to improve its effectiveness.

In the spirit of deeper competence and confidence,

Toby



Intending, Abiding, Determining – Three Aspects of Effective Meditation

For your meditation to be effective and integrative it needs to have three parts:

  • You need to begin with a clear idea of the state of mind that you are seeking to cultivate and develop in your meditation
  •  You need to become competent at holding/relaxing into that state of mind in formal meditation for an extended period of time
  • You need to emerge from your meditation with a clear determination as to how you are going to continue integrating your object of meditation into your daily life.

You could call these three aspects intending, abiding and determining.

Intending: During this first stage of intending you need to begin with a clear intention or goal as to the state of mind that you are going to cultivate in meditation, and then contemplate different ways in which you can actually cause that state of mind to arise. So for example if your meditation is simply to cultivate a relaxed state of body-mind, then you need to be clear about that, and focus your efforts and contemplation toward achieving that goal. Similarly if your meditation is onappreciation or on cultivating confidence then your intention should be clear about this, and the initial contemplation stage of your meditation should be directed toward this.

Abiding: In this middle stage of the meditation, now that you have cultivated the state of mind that you want, your goal now becomes to abide and move deeper into that state of mind. So:

  • If you have cultivated a relaxed state of body and mind, your focus now becomes to enjoy that experience of relaxation and move more deeply into that state, gradually letting go of successive layers of mental, emotional and physical tension.
  • If you have generated appreciation, your goal now becomes to move deeper into that state of appreciation, enjoying it and embedding it more and more deeply into your experience
  • If your goal was an experience of self-confidence, now that you have that feeling you now ‘bathe’ in it, making it a state of mind that you are more and more familiar with using your meditative focus

One of the main benefits here is that by focusing on something in a deep way during meditation you can make it a part of your personal experience much more quickly. You can literally take any quality you want to develop and use meditation to accelerate your development of it.

Determining: This final stage of meditation comes at the end. As you bring your session to a close you should have a clear determination regarding what you are going to do in your daily life to keep cultivating that state of mind. To use our three examples:

  • As I arise from my relaxation meditation I can determine to be more mindful of my stress levels as I go about my day, and not allow it to spiral out of control in the way that it has done in the past.
  • As I arise from my meditation on appreciation I determine to use what happens to me in the day to re-enforce my appreciation for the good fortune I enjoy in my life, to mindfully notice events that re-enforce my feeling of appreciation.
  • As I arise from meditation on self-confidence I have a clear sense of the feelings of confidence that I want, and make a mental note of times/events in the day that threaten to sabotage that confidence, so that when they happen I am ready.

If we lack this third stage, then there is a big danger that a gap appears between our formal meditation and our everyday experience. Our conscious determining at the end of our meditation ensures that we keep on attempting to bridge the gap between our sitting meditation and our actual life experience.

Related Articles:
The Five Stages of Meditation Practice from Beginners to Advanced
Five Inner Skills we develop Through Meditation

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in May:

Friday 29th May 7.30-9.30pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Travelling deeper into the present moment through integral meditation

Saturday 30th May, 2.30-5.30pm – Enlightened Flow: Finding the Ultimate Relaxation and Release from Stress


Integral Meditation Asia

Categories
Awareness and insight Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindfulness Presence and being present

For Every Suffering a Joy (Cultivating Positive Non-Attachment)

Dear Integral Meditators,

Can your practice of non-attachment be joyful? Can you be joyful without clinging tightly to the things that make you happy? The article below explores how you can start…

Yours in the spirit of the joyfully non-attached,

Toby


For Every Suffering a Joy (Cultivating Positive Non-Attachment)

In the Buddhist practice that I was initiated into during my first 10 years of my meditation training there was a lot of emphasis placed on developing a non-attached state of mind. This was achieved through the contemplation of suffering, pain and its causes. As my own experience of non-attachment has developed, I have found that it is also important to emphasize the joys that are associated with each of the sufferings contemplated, so that what you end up with is a kind of joyful, appreciative non-attachment, rather than a doom-and-gloom, sack-cloth-and-ashes type.
Traditionally there are seven inevitable human sufferings contemplated in many of the Buddhist sutras; birth, ageing, sickness and death, meeting what we do not like, parting from what we like, and uncertainty. In the sections below I outline how to contemplate three of these areas in such a way as to develop both non-attachment and joy/appreciation. The net effect of this is to create a kind of joyful, enthusiastic appreciation that is tempered by non-attachment and even-mindedness.

Ageing – All the youthfulness you currently have will gradually be eroded over time. You can slow it down, but you can’t avoid ageing. Any beauty and vitality you now have, one day you will lose, so don’t be attached to it! On the other hand, understanding ageing and impermanence gives you a joyful appreciation of the life and vitality you enjoy now, and encourages us to appreciate it while it lasts!

Meeting what we do not like – Inevitably you are going to meet bad bosses, have unpleasant emotions in your romantic relationships, step on foul smelling substances on the pavement, get the flu, be tired and depressed and on it goes…There is nothing you can do about this, so don’t be attached to good things always happening to you, because they won’t!
The flip side of this is that, if we are looking out for them, each day unexpected and un-anticipated good and pleasant things happen to us; we receive kind words from a colleague, a business deal comes through, we meet a fantastic man or woman when we were least expecting it. If we are mindful we can feel joyful appreciation for the unexpected good that is happening to us each day, as well as being non-attached and prepared for the worst!

Uncertainty – A lot of money, time and fear-based action is spent trying to make our life as secure, certain and predictable as we can. However hard we try though, inevitably we have to deal each day with a greater or lesser degree of uncertainty and unpredictability. Things change and we can’t always control this. By understanding the inevitability of uncertainty we can reduce our attachment to trying to be in control of everything, and embrace change. Conversely we can develop joy and appreciation by recognizing the relative stability and relative security that we have in our life when it is there.

Each of these contemplations has an aspect of non-attachment, and an aspect of appreciation. By exploring each of them from ‘both sides of the coin’ we can cultivate a kind of appreciative non-attachment, or a joyful even-mindedness that reduces the amount of ‘pain-through-attachment’ that we experience in our life, whilst at the same time increases our joyful appreciation of the things that we have whilst they last.

Daily action question:
If you were to consciously try and cultivate the non-attached appreciation and joy in your life consciously each morning for the next week, what sort of changes might you see in your life and the way you experience it??

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in May:

 

Friday 29th May 7.30-9.30pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Travelling deeper into the present moment through integral meditation

Saturday 30th May2.30-5.30pm – Enlightened Flow: Finding the Ultimate Relaxation and Release from Stress


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *
Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology
Categories
Awareness and insight Essential Spirituality Inner vision Insight Meditation Integral Awareness Life-fullness Mindful Resilience Mindfulness The Essential Meditation of the Buddha

You’ve Already Won! – Mindful Appreciation and Ambition

Dear Integral Meditators,

This weeks article looks at one of the foundations of traditional mindfulness practice,  the healthy ambitions that we can generate from it and the particular type of resilience that it helps us to develop.

In the spirit of appreciation and ambition,

Toby


You’ve Already Won! – Mindful Appreciation and Ambition

Biologically speaking you have already won the lottery. The human body is the Rolls Royce of mother nature’s evolutionary technology, with the most advanced tools for intelligence, development, pleasure and growth on the planet all built in. If you think about this regularly you start to get a feeling of appreciation simply for the opportunity to experience life in a human body.

Other conditions that make your life fortunate
The Buddha in his teachings on mindful appreciation of our human life also pointed out other aspects that make out life fortunate, quite a few or which you may have noted at least intellectually yourself:

  • Being born in a time &/or place relatively free from war or famine
  • Having complete intellectual & physical faculties
  • Being free from intense or chronic hunger &  thirst
  • To have access to education, both  secular & spiritual, & to have the freedom to study that which we choose
  • To have the leisure to practice mindfulness & other methods of personal growth that give rise to the experience of inner wellbeing

If we have them all, we shouldn’t take any of them for granted!

Mindful appreciation and ambition
If you sit with a mindful recognition of any of the above points, almost inevitably you are going to start to feel good about your circumstances; whatever your relative situation you are a very lucky person. Staying with this feeling of being fortunate, of having a great opportunity by being alive and being human is a foundational object of mindfulness and meditation practice, a basic building block of your sense of personal happiness and wellbeing.
As well as giving rise to a sense of appreciation, this type of reflection can also give rise to a type of mindful ambition; a strong desire to make the most of the opportunity we have whilst it lasts.

Four types of mindful ambition
Traditionally speaking, there are four types of meaningful ambition we can cultivate by recognizing the good fortune of our human life:

  1. To secure the best quality of real happiness and wellbeing for ourselves and those in our circle of influence in this lifetime
  2. To work toward the happiness of future generations; to secure a better life for them
  3. To work toward the highest level of physical, psychological, and spiritual development and freedom that we are capable
  4. To cultivate the enlightenment experience (See my past article ‘Enlightened Imperfection’)

If you got out of bed each morning with this type of mindful appreciation and ambition in the front and centre of your mind; what would change in your life and the way in which you went about it?

Mindful appreciation and ambition as givers of resilience
One of the great things about this form of mindful appreciation and ambition is that it gives you a context for experiencing the rest of your challenges; many of the problems in your life cease to be so bothersome, because at the end of the day you know how fortunate you are. Not finding the man or woman of your dreams, not having an ideal career, not having the biggest house on the street or the exact life you want are all problems that can be dealt with; they are all relative and all manageable.

Live it up and be mindfully ambitious while it lasts!

Related article: How to Meditate on Gratitude

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in May:

Friday 8th May, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Stillness, Energy, Positivity and Relaxation -A grounding in the basics of Integral Meditation

Saturday 16th May, 9.30am-12.30pm – Growing Your Mindful Freedom – The Essential Meditation of the Buddha: A Three Hour Meditation Workshop

Saturday 16th May, 2.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Activating, Healing and Awakening our Ancestral Karma

Wednesday 20th, 7.30-9.30pm –  An Evening of Mindful Relationships: Improving Your Relationships and Social Skills Through Mindfulness – A two hour workshop

Friday 29th May 7.30-9.30pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre – Travelling deeper into the present moment through integral meditation

Saturday 30th May, 2.30-5.30pm – Enlightened Flow: Finding the Ultimate Relaxation and Release from Stress

Categories
Awareness and insight Biographical creative imagery Energy Meditation Life-fullness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Presence and being present

Defence Against Bliss

Dear Integral Meditators,

Sometimes it is tough to accept pain, sufffering and disappointment, but wierdly it can be equally tough to accept bliss, love and wellbeing. The artlcle below offers a personal reflection on why this can sometimes be so.

Beneath the article there is some information on the Schumman Holophonic Meditationfrom I-Awake. It is the original track that got me into meditation technology of this sort. It is on special offer at the moment, and I recommend it throughly!

Beneath that are the dates for your diary for classes and workshops in May, full details to follow shortly!

In the spirit of accepting bliss,

Toby


Defence Against Bliss

When I was a few months away from being ordained as a Buddhist Monk back in the early 90’s I had a peak ‘love’ experience in my meditation. It started out in a sitting session as a feeling of overwhelming and impartial warmth and affection  for all living creatures, and then stayed with me for the next few days as a heightened awareness where my heart felt like it was completely open, my body felt full of blissful energy, and the world around me felt ‘alive’; the grass and the trees seemed to sing, simply sitting on a park bench felt like a heavenly experience, animals seemed to smile at me and so on…It was kind of a classical peak love experience.

Coming out of this peak experience I travelled to Seattle, Washington in the US where was going to a Buddhist festival of sorts. By the time I landed at the airport I was feeling fairly ‘normal’ again, but the feeling of bliss in my body and heart had been replaced by a kind of claustrophobic sense of darkness, I had the song ‘Don’t box me in, which is a kind of brooding young man’s song of anger and discontent playing in repeat in the background of my mind. It felt as if there was a part of me that resented the blissful experience of love that I had had, that felt threatened by it, and that wanted to destroy it. This experience persisted for the duration of the festival, four or five days.

Over the next couple of years it felt as if there was a ‘dark’ part of me that was fighting against a ‘light’ part of me; a limited small self against an open, bright self. One of the main take-aways of this experience for me was that it is actually as difficult for us to accept expanded states of bliss, happiness and joy as it is for us to accept suffering, disappointment and sadness. BOTH are as much of a threat to our limited ego and everyday self as the other. As a result our established ego seeks to defend itself against not just suffering but also from too much happiness, joy, pleasure, bliss, as these things threaten our inner status quo, challenge our perception of reality quite as much as pain does.

Be aware of the bliss that is available to you and what it offers
So then an awareness practice that you can use to explore your own experience of bliss, love and pleasure if you like; just ask yourself the question ‘What bliss, happiness, pleasure is available to me right now, in the present moment?’ Investigate what bliss you may be able to find in your body, you mind, in your feelings, your relationships. Then ask yourself the question ‘What is preventing me from accepting and enjoying this bliss?’ See what answers come back to you.

It’s is not either the small or the big self
How did I end up resolving my inner battle between my small ego and my bright, expanded self? Essentially by understanding that I could integrate them both together; The small self felt threatened by the big self, so I needed to re-assure and acknowledge it. I spent time letting  it know that it was still valued, still had a purpose and function within me. Once it understood that it could still exist within the context of this new and expanded blissful state, then the conflict subsided. Now on the whole I think they get on very well together! The principle here is that when the different parts of self communicate with each other effectively most inner conflicts can be resolved harmoniously.

Related articles:
Dreams, Meditation and Working with the Bright Side of Your Shadow
Re-Awakening to Your Bliss
Nine Factors to Connect to Bliss and Ecstasy in Your Relationships

Shadow Coaching with Toby

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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


I-AWAKE PRODUCT OF THE MONTH

For a Centering, Grounding, and Refreshing Meditation
 
 25% off In celebration of Earth Day, feel the pulses of Earth and the Schumann Resonance
 
Discount Coupon Code: (apply during checkout) NEWSAPR25OFF
 
Good until April 30, 2015
 

Dates for your diary in May (Full details shortly)
Friday 8th May, 7.30-9pm
– Integral Meditation Class – Focus, appreciation and awareness -A grounding in the basics of Integral Meditation

Saturday 16th May, 9.30am-12.30pm –  Exploring the Roots of Mindfulness – The Essential Meditation of the Buddha

Saturday 16th May, 2.30-5.30pmMeditations for Activating, Healing and Awakening our Ancestral Karma

Wednesday 20th, 7.30-9.30pmGoing Beyond Happiness (and resilience?) – Using the Wisdom of Paradox to Find a Deeper Level of Fulfilment and Wellbeing in Your Life

Friday 29th May 7.30-9.30pm – Integral Medi classes – Travelling deeper into the present moment

Saturday 30th May, 2.30-5.30pm – Enlightened Flow: Finding the Ultimate Relaxation and Release from Stress


Integral Meditation Asia

Online Courses 1:1 Coaching * Live Workshops * Corporate Mindfulness Training *
Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology
Categories
Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Mindful Confidence Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness Uncategorized

Your Long Term Self-Confidence

Coconut beach

You can build your confidence in the short term by surrounding yourself with the familiar and the known; by surrounding yourself with friends who are like you and affirm your world view; by doing something you are already good at; by staying with the job or activity that you know well; by acting in ways that you know will earn the praise of others. There is nothing inherently wrong with this as an approach, but it becomes limiting and debilitating if it is the only approach that we have to building our self-confidence, because it also inherently limits our growth and what we are capable of. Long term self-confidence building involves a different approach. It involves deliberately looking for the areas and activities of your life where you are uncomfortable and unfamiliar. It means consciously engaging in those spaces where you do not feel a sense of easy or established confidence.

In doing this the short term experience is an absence of assured confidence; a sense of being ‘lost’ or out of your comfort zone; a sense of being separate from familiar markers in our surrounding reality. By repeatedly taking yourself into unfamiliar territory and becoming competent in that space you establish a much greater and deeply rooted self-confidence than you could ever develop simply by surrounding yourself with the familiar and the known, and by continuing to engage only in the things that you are good at.

A couple of examples:
In my own experience establishing my own business after having been a monk and an artist for many years was a source of feeling lost, inconvenienced and way out of my comfort zone for many years in many different ways. However, by persisting in my pursuit and understanding of business (as it serves my purposes as a meditation and mindfulness teacher) has over the years become a major source of my own deeper self-confidence as I have moved repeatedly from incompetence to competence in the domain of business.
Similarly, after leaving my life as a monk where I had been surrounded by a lot of ‘spiritual’ people who shared at least in part my worldview, and going back onto the ‘secular’ world where I had to build relationships and ways of communicating with diverse groups of people who often did not share my world view was initially uncomfortable and inconvenient. However in the long term it because a source of confidence as it built within me a sense of being able to go into any situation and adapt to the ‘cultural language’ that was being spoken there.

The relationship between happiness and confidence
Building your short term happiness leads to the experience of being temporarily happy in environments where you are familiar. Mindfully building your long term confidence leads to a sense that you can be happy anywhere, in almost any circumstances because you have built a deep confidence in your own adaptability and a trust in your capacity to engage successfully with whatever comes up.

Its ‘both/and’ not ‘either/or’!
As with other aspects of integral mindfulness and meditation we are aiming for a win-win relationship in the development of our confidence. We can regularly connect to short term sources of self-confidence in order to re-assure and orientate ourselves, combining this with regularly and mindfully pushing ourselves to engage in areas of our life that make us uncomfortable, and seek to build our long term confidence by getting confident in these areas.

It begins today if you want it to
What is it that you can start doing today in order to build your deeper, long term self-confidence?

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

This Tuesday 21st April! 7.30-9.30pm –  An Evening of Mindful Self-Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation

Friday 8th & 29th May, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre

Full schedule of May classes to be posted shortly…


Integral Meditation Asia

 

Categories
Energy Meditation Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Mindful Confidence Mindful Resilience

Willpower as Your Object of Mindfulness

Dear Integral Meditators,

Willpower is an extremely important domain to be mindful of because the way in which we use or abuse our willpower in life has a major bearing on both the quality and the quantity of what we experience and achieve. The article below considers how we can start making better use of our willpower using mindfulness…

Scroll down beneath the article for workshop details and the special I-Awake product of the month.

Yours in the spirit of mindful will,

Toby


Willpower as Your Object of Mindfulness

Willpower is the way in which we consciously direct our energy and action through intention. Here are a few thoughts on becoming more mindful around your willpower.

Willpower is precious 
It is an extremely important domain to be mindful of because the way in which we use or abuse our willpower in life has a major bearing on both the quality and the quantity of what we experience and achieve.
So the main mindful message here is to value and prize your willpower

Willpower is finite
We only have so much willpower. As a younger man I used to believe that the solution to a lack of willpower was simply to find morewillpower, but each of us only has so much. For example the right amount of exercise will generally cause me to feel good and complement my work life. However if I exercise too much my physical and vital energy will be depleted and the amount of willpower and energy I have available to achieve things in my work will go down.
It is also very easy to deplete your willpower and vital energy doing little things that you don’t necessarily need to do (eg: check your email 5 times an hour), which in turn inhibits the amount of willpower you have to get what you really want done.
Main mindful message: Be clear about what you want to focus your willpower on

Willpower is sustained by regeneration and rest
If you want to have good and effective willpower, you need to have effective strategies in place to recover your energy levels through rest, meditation, getting good sleep and diet, appropriate amounts of leisure, non-doing and so forth.
Mindful message: Nurture your willpower with periods of mindful recovery and rest

Wise use of willpower is not the same as forcing
Often the image that comes into our mind when we think about willpower is that of a high energy, high intensity activity where we force our way through obstacles and achieve exponential results in a short time. Actually willpower is often more effective when we use it gently and mindfully to keep our attention focused upon what we have decided to do until we have finished it. Effective willpower uses our intelligence to gauge the level of intensity appropriate to the task, only rarely trying to force things.
Mindful message: Effective willpower can be gentle and consistent as well as focused and intense.

What do I want to focus my willpower upon today?
Given that your willpower is precious, that it is finite, that you need to nurture it and use t wisely, what is the thing or things that you are going to focus your will power

  • Today?
  • In the next hour?
  • In the next minute?

This way of questioning is one way to bring mindful awareness to bear upon how you can make good use of your willpower each day.

Related ArticleMindful Work Effectiveness Secrets (From an Ex-Monk)

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia :

Saturday March 28th 2.30-5.30pm  – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 

Friday 3rd April, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre


NeuroFlow 

For Focus, Calm and Joy

 

I-AWAKE PRODUCT OF THE MONTH

 

25% off for 2 Weeks Only

————–

Access profound states of focus, relaxation, flow, calm, joy, and creative energy. 

 

Discount Coupon Code:

(apply during checkout) 

 

NEWSMAR25OFF

 

Good until March 28, 2015

Categories
Integral Awareness Life-fullness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Mindful Confidence Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness Motivation and scope Presence and being present

Acceptance & Forgiveness – The Difference

Dear Integral Meditators,

In some situations it seems like we are faced with a choice of either forgiving and letting go of something difficult that has happened to us, or holding onto it and continuing to experience anger, grief and negativity about it. But is there a third option? The article below examines the relationship and difference between forgiveness and acceptance, and how we can go about using them consciously and skillfully in our mindfulness practice and life.

Yours in the spirit of skillful acceptance,

Toby


Acceptance & Forgiveness – The Difference

To accept something is to accept the reality of what has happened, how you feel about it and what can or cannot be done about it.
Forgiveness is a choice we make to let go of judgment and feelings of blame (and sometimes vengefulness) toward another person/people or ourself regarding something that has happened.

Acceptance and forgiveness are not the same thing, and it can be a really good thing to get this clear in our own understanding, for example:
If my business partner causes us to lose a deal through a genuine mistake or lack of experience, then I may feel anger or loss initially, but I can forgive him and let it go because the nature of his mistake was genuine and his intention was not malevolent.
Similarly we can forgive our children, partners, friends and ourselves many things and this is entirely appropriate and helpful.
Let’s say however a business partner of mine consciously and deliberately embezzles money from the business and then runs off. Because this is an act of deliberate harm done intentionally, for me it does not seem appropriate to forgive , but I am still faced with the problem of a bunch of angry, frustrated feelings within myself; “How could he! How could I be so naive! I thought I knew him!” And so on…
I this situation I can move to resolve the feelings that I have through acceptance

  • I accept the reality that what has happened has happened, and I cannot turn back the clock
  • I accept the reality the he has done what he has done
  • I accept the way in which I feel, and I allow myself to acknowledge and feel those feelings in order to process them and then let go of them
  • I don’t forgive, because as the situation stands I don’t think it is appropriate, but nevertheless though acceptance I can resolve my feelings, let go and move on from the situation without being unduly bothered by it, and hopefully have learned the lessons that are appropriate.

Of course if at some time in the future my business partner then expresses remorse, returns the money and have a genuine change of heart, I would probably forgive him, but not before that point, because as a human being with intelligence he is accountable for his actions.

You can resolve a lot of difficult things and past hurts through acceptance, and find your peace. Where appropriate you can forgive.

Mindfulness Question: What past or present circumstances or relationships do I most often find myself revisiting with bitterness, anger or blame? Which of them is most appropriate to deal with through acceptance, and which are most appropriate to approach with forgiveness?

Related article: The Way to Deal With Feelings  is to Feel
Related Blog Section: Positive Anger

Find out about: Stress Transformation Coaching with Toby

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in March:

Saturday March 28th 2.30-5.30pm  – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 
Friday 3rd April, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre

 


Integral Meditation Asia

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

 

 

Categories
Concentration Integral Meditation Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Mindful Confidence Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness Motivation and scope Presence and being present

Mindful Work Effectiveness Secrets (From an Ex-Monk)

Dear Integral Meditators,

Coming to the world of business from being a monk was not easy for me. The article below explains a bit about how I started to use what I had learned as a monk to become effective in my daily work as a business person running my own company.

Yours in the spirit of the timelessly time-effective,

Toby


Mindful Work Effectiveness Secrets (From an Ex-Monk)

How can you get a lot done at your work without getting over-stressed or exhausted? And how can you do this not just in the short term, but over a long period of time?
When I left my life as a Buddhist monk and went into my own business I actually found it very difficult to pace myself well. There were so many things that I had to do, that I had to learn, it all felt a bit overwhelming. I found myself going through periods of intensive working, then burning out, then getting emotionally discouraged and then procrastinating/wasting time that I could be spending productively. I’m sure you have an idea of what I mean, it is a very human experience!

Make like a Buddhist monk  – Split your day into six sessions
I found a really helpful solution to my challenge by looking at the way in which I used to structure my day as a Buddhist monk. As a monk  my waking hours would be split into 6 parts, two in the morning, two in the afternoon and two in the evening/ at night. During each session we would begin with a prayer and a few minutes of mindfulness, and then return to our allotted tasks. Using this basic template I applied it to my working day, but in a slightly different way.
My day is still divided into six parts, but each section is only one hour long. In that one hour I spend 45minutes focusing really intensively on one work task; emails, accounts, writing articles, marketing etc… At the end of 45 minutes I then spend the remaining 15minutes relaxing; doing some stretching, getting a coffee, doing a few minutes mindfulness, generally re-finding my centre and balance.

Achieve something in each session
In each session I come out having really worked in an intensive way, and feeling like I have achieved something. Because of the focus I bring to it, the work itself feels like a meditation practice, with the object of mindfulness being the work itself. It also helps me deal with stress because in that period I am not thinking about my life or work as a whole, but just the process of achieving that task.
There is a saying in the texts that I used to study as a monk ‘small drops of water in a pot will eventually make it full’. Each of my 45 minute sessions is spent just focusing on the ‘pot’ of my business, putting in drops one after the other gradually making it full.

Each session does not have to be about work
During the 15 minutes at the end of each session, I get back in touch with how I am feeling. If I sense that my body-mind is getting close to exhaustion, I make a point of taking one of my sessions off, that is to say 45 minutes of deliberate relaxation, meditation, soializing or sleep. There is also plenty of time around each of the sessions to do other things
Sometimes of course the pattern breaks down, I go out for an evening with friends, I spend the morning with my daughter at the swimming pool, I have a meeting that goes overtime. But as soon as I return to my routine I am always thinking about my day in terms of these six periods, and how to use that structure to do some focused, productive work.

So now you know how an ex-monk structures his time using a mindful, process-focused approach that he find helps him achieve more. You might like to try it out, or a variation of it that will work for you!

Related Article: From Distraction to Intuitive Imagination (Meditation secrets for running a business)

Check out the Mindful Goals Coaching with Toby

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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

 

Categories
Awareness and insight Inner vision Integral Awareness Integrating Ego, Soul and Spirit Life-fullness Mindful Confidence Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness

Egotistic or Strong Ego?

Dear Integral Meditators,

When we tell ourselves to ‘get over our own ego’ what exactly do we mean by that? Its an area that it is very easy to get mixed up and confused around! The article below explores the difference between egotism and a strong ego. We really need one, we really need to drop the other.

In the spirit of inner strength,

Toby


Egotistic or Strong Ego?

‘There’s a tremendous difference between a strong ego and an egocentric ego; the latter is always weak. Individuation, that is the attainment of ones potential, can’t take place without the strong ego’ – John A Sandford

The Ego is
…the unifying centre of our awareness, it is the sense of self that ties together the disparate collection of physical, emotional and mental habits and characteristics that together makes us a unique human being. A strong ego is vital for success and happiness in our life; it has characteristics such as confidence, self-esteem, ethical awareness, competency and capacity for enjoyment.

To be egotistical is
…to believe and act as if we were more important than others, as if we were the central fulcrum of the functioning universe, and/or without adequate concern or empathy for the happiness or wellbeing of others

Ironically a lot of egotistical behaviour is stimulated by having a weak ego. If I feel inadequate, incompetent or inferior it can be very tempting to try and compensate for that feeling by asserting myself unskilfully, selfishly and or inconsiderately. Conversely if I have a strong ego I can have people behaving selfishly, unskilfully and/or inconsiderately around me, but because I have a strong sense of ego, of who I AM it can be relatively easy to remain in my own integrity and not be influenced by my company.

Experientially knowing the difference between a strong ego and being egotistical is a great mindful journey in itself, and it is an area that many people are deeply confused about.

Take a moment
To imagine yourself with a truly strong ego; confident, trusting in yourself, liking whom you are, able to forgive yourself for your flaws whilst at the same time holding yourself accountable for them, centred and balanced in your sense of whom you are. Strong enough to be vulnerable and take chances, socially aware, aware you are no more important than anyone else, but also and crucially that you are no less important than anyone else. That’s a strong ego.
If you stay with this sense of having a strong ego you’ll find it is quite a lot easier and more natural to behave with benevolence & consideration for others as well as to be playful and creative in your life, even when under pressure. Sound like fun? It is!
Does that last paragraph sound like the opposite of an egotistical selfish person? Yup, pretty much.

To transcend your egotism, first begin by mindfully building your strong, functional and creative ego.

Related articles: Balancing the development of your ego and spirit

Fulfillment of the Ego, Fulfillment of the Soul, Fulfillment of SpiritHandle Stress and Have Peace of Mind – Personal Coaching with Toby

© Toby Ouvry 2015, 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