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Re-working your ego by expanding your self-concept (AKA: Van Halen therapy)

In a situation where your self-concept doesn’t believe you can meet & solve a challenge, you can do one of two things. You can give up, or you can change your idea of yourself, making it one that can work with what is presenting

Dear Integral Meditators, 

This weeks article explores how to work mindfully with your ego & self concept in a creative, empowered way. If you enjoy it, then you are invited to come along to the Tuesday or Wednesday meditation class, where we will be focusing on this subject. 

A couple of dates for your diary, in addition to the Two day meditation retreat on Oct 28-29th:

In the spirit of turning subjects into objects,

Toby 


Re-working your ego by expanding your self-concept (AKA: Van Halen therapy)
 
The Ego is
One of the definitions that I like for the ego is simply ‘the unifying centre of awareness’ of a person. It is the self-sense that sits in the middle of you as you navigate your daily experiences. Ego is not a positive or negative term, but a neutral one. However, we can say that a person has a strong or functional ego, which is a good thing, or a weak, dysfunctional ego which is not a good thing. Our ego also operates according to ethical values, or a lack of ethical values, and this distinction also makes an ego a relatively ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ thing. These values can be held consciously or unconsciously by the ego in question.
 
Your self-concept is
Your idea of who you are. It is the mental template that you have built up over your life about:

  • The ‘type’ of person you are
  • What is possible & not possible for you
  • The story of how you became who you are

…and so on. Your self-concept generally creates a sense of what you can and can’t do in life, what you like and don’t like. When you are faced with a challenge, your ability to deal with that problem is intimately related to your self-concept. Your self-concept projects onto the situation what it thinks and believes. In a situation where your self-concept doesn’t believe you can meet and solve a challenge, you can do one of two things:

  • You can give up, or
  • You can change your idea of yourself, making it one that can work with what is presenting

 
Relating imaginatively to a new idea of yourself
I remember one time when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed by always having to ‘put myself out there’ as a creative and as a small business owner. I really felt out of my comfort zone. It felt alien to my idea of myself, it felt uncomfortable and exhausting. I had a dream one night of being with Daid Lee Roth (ex-lead singer of Van Halen). I was hanging out with him on the void-deck of an HDB block of flats in Singapore. Preparations were underway for a concert, and after chatting enthusiastically to me for a short while, DL-R just got up on stage with his band and did the concert, singing and dancing around half-naked, and just letting go and enjoying himself with the small group of people that was there.
I woke up feeling light, energised, and encouraged. In the subsequent days, week’s, and still to this day (the dream was years ago) I often think of this dream, and imagine myself being like David L-R, just dancing though my life, meeting what is there with enthusiasm, spontaneity, and not being afraid of a bit of exhibitionism.
This idea, and working with it imaginatively really changed my self-concept, and consequently my sense of what is possible, what can energise me not drain me, and so on. In short, I re-worked my ego using a new image-template.
 
Using this expanded self for inner healing & growth
So, the basic idea is that if you have a psychological block that is holding you back, or you don’t think you care ‘capable’ of achieving something, you create an image or idea of yourself that can, and then start relating to that image.
 
Paths beyond the ego
If you are connected to the Soul level of things, quite often you will find that ideas, images, and happenings occur in your life that you can readily use for this type of work, so pay attention!
The ego is the mental/psychological level of self, so there are a number levels of self beyond ego on the soul and spiritual level of things. However, the ego and self-concept are really ‘lynch-pins’ between the upper and lower levels of self, so we really need to work on making our self-concept a healthy, resilient, wise and fun-loving one!
 
Related readingYour bright shadow – The one who can do what you can’t

Article content © Toby Ouvry & Integral Meditation Asia 2023. you are welcome to share, but please cite the source, thanks! Contact info@tobyouvry.com  


In case you missed last week’s video: ‘Subjects to objects – How meditation helps you grow to greater degrees of freedom’

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…watch full video


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Tree of Life – The union of ego, soul & spirit

Dear Integral Meditators, 

The article below explains a ‘six-pointed star’ meditation that comes from the Tree of life tradition. Its a sample of one of the meditations that we will be doing in the Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life, and growing your own personal Life Tree workshop this weekend.
And last call for the Therapeutic mindfulness course  starting today!
 
In the spirit of harmony,

Toby 


Tree of Life – The union of ego, soul & spirit
 
The Tree of Life is essentially a visual meditation key that offers us ways of relating to ourself and the Universe in a holistic, balanced, and dynamic manner. An example of one such meditation is the meditation on the six-pointed star. You can refer to the diagram for a visual.

In this meditation the ‘Soul’ is conceived as a harmonized union of the qualities of ourself as a personality/ego, and ourself as Spirit.

  • On the ego level we can think of ourselves as consisting of a trinity of mind, body, and emotions, see the lower three points of the star on the diagram
  • On the spiritual level we can think of ourselves as partaking of the trinity of justice/will, compassion/mercy and Unitive Spirit/Higher intuition, see the top three points of the star.

In our life, we ‘sit’ in the centre of these six converging forces, and our challenge is to master each well enough to create harmony between all of them. Each of the six forces are big areas of mastery by themselves, so we can see that true mastery on the Soul level is no mean feat! Meditation on the six-pointed star is designed to facilitate this. Here are some basic pointing out instructions for doing it:
 

  • Begin by centring using the body & breathing
  • Visualize a golden, six-pointed star in front of you, about a metre away at eye level. Refer to the diagram to get a sense of the energy spheres at the tip of each point, with their colours and corresponding qualities, with the golden sphere of the soul in the middle. One you can visualize it with some stability, you will feel it affecting the subtle energies of your body as you sit and meditate
  • When you are ready, visualize the star and corresponding spheres around you, with yourself sitting in the middle of the central soul-sphere. Feel the energies of the six spheres around you flowing into the central sphere. As they do so feel the energies of your mind, emotions and body merging and harmonizing with the energies of spirit, willpower, and compassion.
  • Sit in the centre of the six-pointed star in a state of harmonious presence for a period, acclimatizing to this state, and the energy flow.

 
This meditation sets up currents of energy in your body, mind and heart that help to facilitate the real-time mastery of these six energies as you go through your daily life. It aids greatly your capacity to make real progress in this process. It also gives you a simple mental model for understanding what you are aiming for on your path of spiritual and temporal growth. It is a fairly complete meditation in and of itself.
 
 If you enjoyed this article, you are invited to come along to this Saturday/Sunday mornings workshop on Meditations for connecting to the Tree of Life, and growing your own personal Life Tree. We will be covering this and a number of other practical meditations on the Tree.

Related articleMeditating on the Tree of Life

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 it, newsletter article this week: Suppression & repression – the difference, & it’s importance
 
Why is it important to know the importance between these two?
Its important to know the difference between these two because one can be used positively and strategically to enhance our effectiveness and wellbeing in life, whereas the other almost always results in longer term inner turbulence and interference in our ability so see and work with our present life as it is.
 What does it mean to suppress? Speaking in emotional terms, to suppress means to be aware that you have that emotion, and to exert self-control in order not to express it in the moment, for example…read full article


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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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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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


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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


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A flower opening to the Sun – Choosing (& making distinctions around) joy

Joy is available to you more often than you think. Often, it’s a matter of choosing to identify with it during the day, rather than getting sucked into some of the louder, more dissonant voices within us. Own the choice to open to the joys and excitements, the loud and the quiet ones, of your life

Dear Integral Meditators, 

I’ve been meaning to do an article on joy for a while, and a conversation this morning prompted me to get down to it! If you enjoy the article, it will be the focus for this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday meditation class, you are welcome to join, either live or online.

After this week, I’ll be taking a break from classes for three week’s until mid-August, when we will be kicking off again withThe Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for developing wisdom around inner-growth, happiness & fulfillment on Aug 15th. 

In the spirit of joy, 

Toby 


A flower opening to the Sun – Choosing (& making distinctions around) joy
 
Your own vocabulary of joy
If we think about joy as an unusual or perhaps pronounced feeling of happiness, then one useful question to ask is ‘What are the activities, places, people and things that cause me joy, great or small?’ If you sit with this question, you will find a list of things that currently cause you joy. If you then make a habit of letting your attention dwell mindfully upon these subjects, then you will find that more joy comes to you and into your life. On one level, if you want more joy, this is all you need to do to start!
 
Natural joy
Causal joy is joy that is caused by an event or occasion:

  • I feel joy when I paint
  • I feel joy in the company of children
  • I feel joy over this success

Most people experience this joy periodically. Natural joy is slightly different. Is the joy that emerges from contact with life and being. We all experience this sometimes, for example when relaxing in nature. But we can increase this contact substantially, and make it more available to us through meditation. When we develop the skill of sitting quietly and making contact with the natural warmth and vividness of our life-force and consciousness, we discover that part of its basic nature is joy. It’s like being a flower opening up to the sun; by opening to being we discover its natural warmth, light and joy. If we can access our being in this way, then joy becomes more naturally and sustainably available to us, as we don’t have to wait for something to ‘happen’ before we feel it.
 
Spiritual joy
Spiritual joy is very much a part of natural joy. The discovery of our ‘spiritual’ being as described above causes joy. Another aspect of spiritual joy is the joy we discover through meaningful activity

  • Doing work that I feel passionate about
  • Making something that benefits others in some way
  • Discovering my potential & capability through a particular action

With this type of joy the activity can be hard, the going can be tough, other emotions can be coming up that are definitely not joy. Joy however accompanies the activity and ‘having done’ the activity. It’s different and more durable than the transient joy that comes just from ‘nice things’ happening to you. Find activities you find meaningful, OR find ways to discover meaning in activities you already do, and joy will follow.
 
Joy can exist with a range of other emotions & qualities
Most often joy does not exist in a vacuum. If we establish a strong, stable connection to joy, we discover it can happily co-exist with the sadness, frustration, excitement, disappointment, and other emotions that are of a very different tone from it. In fact, if we try and squash all our difficult emotions, we tend to squash our joy too. Real joy comes then, in part from the courage and wisdom to stay open to the range of emotions we are presented with today.
 
An image for joy
If you imagine a flower opening joyfully to the sun, and practice being that flower, then this is quite a powerful image to kickstart our journey into natural and spiritual joy. You can then go about exploring and growing joy in contemplation using the paragraphs above as little ‘base camps’.
 
Choosing joy
A final thought, joy is available to you more often than you think. Often, it’s a matter of choosing to stay with it and identify with it during the day, rather than getting sucked into some of the louder, more dissonant voices within us. Own the choice to open to the joys and excitements, the loud and the quiet ones, of your life.
 
Related readingFor every suffering a joy (Cultivating positive non-attatchment)


© 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)

Starts Tues/Weds, June 13th/14th – Becoming a self-determining entity – A six-week course in Mindful Self-Leadership

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

Starts Tuesday /Wednesday 15th/16th August – The Wisdom of Awakening Series: Meditations for developing wisdom around inner-growth, happiness & fulfillment

Saturday August 15th, 2-5pm –The Call of the Wild–Meditations for deepening your inner connection to the animal kingdom and the Green-world
 


Integral Meditation Asia

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Awareness and insight Inner vision Insight Meditation Life-fullness meditation and creativity mind body connection Mindful Confidence Mindful Self-Leadership Presence and being present spiritual intelligence

Trusting your inner signals

Dear Integral Meditators,

We are being given information and feedback from different levels of our perception and intelligence all the time. If we can learn to trust the ‘inner signals’ that we are receiving, this makes it much easier to navigate our life with confidence, and make difficult decisions with a degree of assurance. Below are a few distinctions that can be used mindfully to give yourself greater trust in your inner signals.

If you enjoy the article, you are welcome to come to this week’s Tuesday or Wednesday class, where this will be the subject of our meditation. 

In the spirit of inner signals, 

Toby

Trusting your inner signals
 
We are being given information and feedback from different levels of our perception and intelligence all the time. If we can learn to trust the ‘inner signals’ that we are receiving, this makes it much easier to navigate our life with confidence, and make difficult decisions with a degree of assurance. Below are a few distinctions that can be used mindfully to give yourself greater trust in your inner signals.
 
What you want to know and what you do not want to know
Firstly, it’s useful to become aware that there are some things that you don’t want to know, even if your inner signals are very strong. For example, if I have a business partner whose body language changes suddenly around a business deal. If I am very attached to the deal, I may ignore the signals that my perception is giving me. Part of trusting your inner signals is learning to respect them, even when the message you are getting is not what you want to hear.
 
Your conscious and unconscious
Following on from the above point, it may or may not be clear where your inner signals are coming from.

  • Sometimes we can choose to remain unconscious about the things we become conscious of (See the business deal scenario above)
  • Sometimes we can be getting a clear signal from within, but we don’t know where it is coming from. We are, for now, unconscious of where it is coming from. This doesn’t mean we should ignore it, rather acknowledge it and keep it in mind
  • Quite often we ‘know more than we think we know’ about a situation. If we trusted our inner signals, we would be listening for them, and not pushing them back into our unconscious when they come and tap us on the shoulder

 
Some sources of your inner signals
 
What your body and instincts are telling you – This is the information you are getting from your biology, primal instincts, and pre-rational intelligence. As we identify more and more with our thinking and cognitive self, its easy to lose touch with our instincts. This is a shame, because they are offering us direct, useful information all the time!
 
What your feelings and emotions are telling you – Our feelings and emotions are telling us about how we are feeling about what is going on, and about the emotional temperature between us and the other people involved in any given situation. Even if they are emotions we don’t like or don’t want to have, we still need to listen to our emotions and honor the messages we are receiving from them if we want to navigate our inner life and relationships effectively.
 
What your thinking mind is telling you – A good distinction here is between your rationality and rationalization. Your rational mind and messages are generally reality oriented and evidence based. Rationalization is when you use thoughts and reasons irrationally to backup what you want to be true. Listening to signals from our inner rationality, not rationalizer is the key here.
 
What your observational intelligence is telling you – Be present (or as present as possible) and look. If you do this your direct perception will offer you plenty of signals around what is going on in the moment.
 
What your intuition is telling you – Beyond your thinking mind lies your higher or post-rational intuition. Your body, instincts and emotions all have an intuitive dimension, but here I am talking about our inner signals that come from a level of our consciousness deeper than the thinking self. If you listen carefully there is a wise one within you offering you insights and perspectives beyond your rational mind. Often these insights prove to be true.
 
So, there are five sources of your inner signals, each one of them can be focused on and listened to in order to become familiar with it, and get to know it. If we do this, then over time we can feel more and more confident around the validity of our own inner signals when they arise.

Related articlePro-activity in the face of life

© 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 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

Categories
creative imagery Energy Meditation Enlightened service Life-fullness Meditating on the Self meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness Motivation and scope Presence and being present spiritual intelligence Stress Transformation

Making yourself big

“It can be helpful to work on changing our idea of our inner self, and the scale on which it is able to work”

Dear Integral Meditators, 

Do you have a question about meditation or mindfulness?
If you have a question about meditation & mindfulness, either that you have been wondering about, or you may have asked people before but not received a satisfactory answer? If so then please send me a message with it to: info@tobyouvry.com. I’d like to start integrating some questions into my articles and videos, and it would be fun to do it with questions from you!

New course coming up: Do check out the mindful self-leadership workshop & six week course that I’ll be putting on over the weekend (the workshop), and then beginning next week (six week course).

And finally, please find below the article relating to this weeks Tuesday & Wednesday class. 

In the spirit of mindful questioning, 
 
Toby 


Making yourself big
 
When we get onto some kind of evolutionary path, we start to develop bigger intentions and aspirations. Rather than simply thinking about ourself and our close circle of family and friends in a material and temporary manner, we start to think in terms of benefitting the planet and the evolution of humanity. When this happens it can feel intimidating, ‘What can someone as small as I do in the face of such large forces? Can I really make any kid of significant impact?’
If we continue to identify our ‘self’ as being a small being trapped in a small physical body, then this can indeed feel overwhelming, as there is a mismatch between ‘self’ and ‘goal’. It can be helpful therefore to work on changing our idea of our inner self, and the scale on which it is able to work. A traditional Hermetic meditation technique is to visualize yourself as becoming very big, literally! Here is a source quote from a text called ‘the Corpus Hermeticum’:

Increase thyself to an immeasurable height, leaping clear of all body, and surmounting all time, become eternal and thou shalt know God. There is nothing impossible to thyself. Deem thyself immortal and able to do all things…become higher than all height, and lower than all Depth…to be everything at the same time in earth and sea and heaven. Think that thou art as yet begotten, that thou art in the womb, that thou art young, that thou art old, that thou has died and art beyond death: perceive all things together…and thou shalt know God. But if thou shuttest up thy soul in thy body, and abasest thyself and sayest ‘I know nothing, I can do nothing, I am afraid of earth and sea, I cannot mount heaven, I know not what I was or what I shall be;’ then what hast thou to do with God?

The basic idea here is that, if I identify myself as a small, limited, ignorant being, then I won’t leap beyond that limited idea of myself into my true potential. There are a lot of ideas to work with in the quote, but to make it very simple, as you sit in meditation you could imagine your body becoming larger, to the size of the room, then the house, then the apartment block, then your feet on the floor your head above the clouds, then country-size, then Planet size….You can go as big as you want or feels appropriate. As your body expands, feel your consciousness expanding with it, experience your everyday personal worries as insignificant, and yourself as a powerful effector of positive change on a great scale. If you relax and start to experiment with this, you will find your consciousness, and your sense of who you are and what you are capable of will change significantly. If you do it in a positive, balanced way all these changes can be used for the good.
 
But will I become delusional?
One fear that we may have in doing this is that we will simply become delusional, using this as a way of evading our reality and getting a completely inappropriate sense of who we are and our importance in the world. So of course, everything has to be held in balance here. If we understand the purpose of the exercise is to transcend our limited self-concept, freeing us to work in a way that currently we cannot. Understanding this specific purpose, we can do this exercise safely and get the benefits without falling into any potential dangers. It is also an exercise you can do when your ‘small self’ is simply feeling overwhelmed by life and its challenges. It can change the context of your experience very powerfully for the good.
 
Enjoy working with your ‘big body!

© 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, 7.30-8.30pm – Meditations for thriving and energy creation – An eight week course

Saturday June 10th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self-Leadership: A Three-hour mindfulness & meditation workshop

Starts Tues/Weds, June 13th/14th – Becoming a self-determining entity – A six-week course in Mindful Self-Leadership

Saturday June 24th, 9.00am-5pm – Taoist Breathwork Day Meditation Retreat


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
Life-fullness Meditating on the Self meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness

Becoming a Self-determining entity – Five stages to mindful self-leadership

“To practice self-leadership is to be creative, seeing yourself as primarily a ‘producer’ rather than a consumer in and of life. You are the artist; your life is the work of art!”

Dear Integral Meditators, 

I’ve been teaching mindful self-leadership as a central part of my training programs for about a decade now. The way I understand and practice it, with mindful self-leadership there are ‘five-selves’ you need to cultivate in order to develop your competency in this art. The article below gives an outline of the five, and some context for them. 
If you enjoy the article, then do check out the mindful self-leadership workshop & six week course that I’ll be putting on in June!

Final heads up for this Saturday’s Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

In the spirit of self-leadership, 
 
Toby 


Becoming a Self-determining entity – Five stages to mindful self-leadership

I’ve been teaching mindful self-leadership as a central part of my training programs for about a decade now. The way I understand and practice it, mindful self-leadership means:

  • To become a self-determining and self-directing entity
  • To be pro-active in the face of life’s challenges and uncertainties
  • To be creative, primarily a ‘producer’ rather than a consumer in life. You are the artist; your life is the work of art!
  • To take joy in your own intelligence and its function
  • To run towards reality rather than away from it
  • To commit to developing a healthy-high functioning ego (which is a completely different thing from being an ‘egotist’!)
  • To assume radical accountability/ownership for your life

 
Below are the ‘five selves’ that you need to grow within yourself in order to become good at self-leadership. I wrote these down in 2011. With a few small edits today, they are now a part of this article, and the ‘road map’ for you to begin your own self-leadership journey. I’m leaving them as ‘cliff notes’ for you just to read over, enjoy and allow yourself to respond inwardly to the ideas they stimulate:
 
Self-Awareness – Committing to be aware of your reality, that is your feelings, needs, desires, ideas, evaluations and behavior.
 
Self-Acceptance – A refusal to turn away from, deny or disown any of your own inner experiences, behaviors, or other aspects of yourself as they arise. Self-acceptance means not necessarily to approve of these things, but to accept them as real and to accept them as your own. It means acknowledging your experience of reality not just intellectually but also emotionally and experientially.
 
Self-Responsibility – Means taking responsibility for being the cause of your own choices and the cause of one’s own actions. Not responsibility in terms of moral blame but in terms of recognizing you are the chief causal agent in your life and behavior.
More than this, self-responsibility means acceptance of full responsibility for your own existence, for your

  • Metaphysical aloneness
  • And for the achievement of your own goals; no one but you is coming to save you or take responsibility for them

Self-Assertiveness – Means being able to assert your:

  • Your desires and judgments
  • Your needs
  • Your right to exist and be happy

These first four provide the basis for you to develop the internal processes that lead a fulfilled and ethical life based around authentic value judgments and personal integrity
 
Self-transcendence (Awakening) – Means learning to recognize the formless timeless, essentially aware (and ‘enlightened’?)  dimension of yourself, integrating it into your day to day experience of who you are and what you do. Furthermore, to access the creative, regenerative, intuitive and evolutionary capacities of our transcendent-self and integrating them in real and tangible ways into our reality.
 
And these five then lead to….Self-Leadership – The capacity to lead yourself to the fulfillment of your own authentic needs, desires and happiness in life whilst simultaneously accessing your awakened self and using its capacities to live a life of service others and to the greater whole.
 
To say “I love you” one must first learn to say the ‘I’ – Ayn Rand

Related articleEgotistic or strong ego?

© 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, 7.30-8.30pm – Meditations for thriving and energy creation – An eight week course
 

Tues 30th/Weds 31st May – Wesak meditation

Saturday May 27th, 9.30-11.30am – Monthly Qi Gong & Taoist Breathwork Clinic & Mini-retreat

Saturday June 10th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self-Leadership: A Three-hour mindfulness & meditation workshop

Starts Tues/Weds, June 13th/14th – Becoming a self-determining entity – A six-week course in Mindful Self-Leadership

Saturday June 24th, 9.00am-5pm – Taoist Breathwork Day Meditation Retreat


Integral Meditation Asia

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

Categories
A Mind of Ease Energy Meditation Enlightened Flow Inner vision Integral Meditation Life-fullness meditation and creativity Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques mind body connection Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership Motivation and scope Presence and being present

Hopeless relief & the brightness of optimism

“With hopelessness in place, we can then cultivate it’s ‘bright twin’, balanced optimism. It is remarkable how coming back to and centering yourself in a state of optimism can change your sense of how your life is going, and your sense of what is possible”

Dear Integral Meditators

This weeks article pairs hopelessness and optimism into a dynamic partnership that we can cultivate together to increase our energy levels, and also to make our energy more balanced and consistent. If you enjoy it, then do consider coming along live or online to this Tuesday & Wednesdays Integral Meditation class, where we will be taking it as our object of meditation. 

In the spirit of hopeless optimism, 
 
Toby 


Hopeless relief & the brightness of optimism
 
Appreciating hopelessness
Hopelessness for most of us has a strong negative connotation, and exists in our mind along with things like despair, depression, giving up and so on. As an object of meditation, we can clarify what we are working with here by defining hopelessness as simply ‘the absence of hoping for anything’. Understood this way, the practice of hopelessness then becomes the discipline of not hoping for anything, and therefore allowing our mind and energy to rest, relax and become fully present, absolutely at ease in the not-wishing/hoping to be somewhere else.
If you reflect upon it, much of the ups and downs in our life, the anxiety, the dis-ease comes from the hopes that we have in the face of the ongoing uncertainties. Often-times we get most hurt or have the most trouble recovering when one of our dearest-held hopes is not fulfilled. So, with hopelessness we are learning not to be beholden to our hopes, and also the fears that come from our hopes. We relax into the present and a type of genuine liberation that comes from strategically putting down our hopes for a while and becoming a hopeless person! Once you get a taste for how balancing hopelessness can be, you will start to feel real enthusiasm for it as an object of mindful attention.
 
Balanced optimism
With hopelessness in place, we can then cultivate it’s ‘bright twin’, balanced optimism. Here are a few of the basic characteristics of optimism, taken from my past article on ‘mindful optimism’:

  • Joyful-ness, enthusiasm
  • A sense of being supported by tangible and intangible forces in the world
  • The feeling of a bright and possibly exciting future ahead
  • The reasonable expectation good things are going to happen to you, both now and in the future
  • An expansive, bright, and comfortable feeling in the body, as if you belong in the world, and you can operate there with ease

It is remarkable how coming back to and centring yourself in a state of optimism can change your sense of how your life is going, and your sense of what is possible.
 
Putting them together
In a meditation you can practice putting these two together as a complementary pair. For example, if you had a twenty-minute meditation you could spend:

  • Five minutes putting down all hopes and relaxing into hopelessness
  • Five minutes opening to optimism, both the feeling in general, and also specific areas and instances in your life where you want to cultivate it as a supporting state
  • Five minutes return to hopelessness
  • Ending with five minutes back to optimism

As you go about your daily life, you can use them both to help each other; balanced presence through hopelessness, bright optimism to balance it out.
 
Related readingHopefully hopeless
Mindful optimism
Optimistic stoicism

© 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


Saturday 13th May 9am-12.30pm – Psychic & Psychological Self-defence half day workshop

Overview: This workshop aims to answer the following questions: 

  • How can I keep myself strong, directed & happy when other people around me are negative, unhappy or even consciously or unconsciously verbally/psychologically attacking me?
  • When I am under stress and can feel my own negativity, anxiety, depression, anger & so on surfacing, how can I defend myself effectively?
  • How can I cultivate awareness of the way environments and places affect my energy & protect myself from unwanted influences?
  • Is it possible to develop my own ‘psychic faculties’ & ‘inner senses’ in a way that is experiential, useful & genuine without having to buy into any form of ‘new age metaphysics’?

Read full details



All upcoming classes and workshops at IMA:

Ongoing – Weekly Tuesday, Wednesday Online class schedule

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby (Bukit Timah)

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation for stress transformation and positive energy with Toby  (East Coast)

Ongoing Tues/Weds, 7.30-8.30pm – Meditations for thriving and energy creation – An eight week course

Saturday 13th May 9am-12.30pm – Psychic & Psychological Self-defence half day workshop

Tues 30th/Weds 31st May – Wesak meditation

Saturday May 27th, 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