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Combating Your Addiction to stimulation (& New Meditation Sleep Technology)

Dear Integral Meditators,

In this age of mental over stimulation, how can we find and enhance our peace of mind? The article below considers this question in the context of three qualities, permission, seduction and courage!

Beneath the article you’ll see I’ve placed some info about a product from I-Awake called ‘Sound Asleep‘. If you are looking for a drug-free way of improving your sleep, this is one alternative. I have been using it myself since it has come out, and getting some good results.

Live in Singapore this week: The Tuesday & Wednesday evening meditation classes will be on ‘Leaping like a Tiger – How to be Positively Mindful of your Self-Concept’ . And on Saturday we have the Deep dive meditation & Mindful Walking retreat.

In the spirit of permission, seduction and courage,


Combating Your Addiction to stimulation (Permission, Seduction, Courage)

If you ask anyone, “Would you like more calm and peace in your life?” the vast majority of us would say “Yes, or course!” With that in mind, what is the mindful gateway that can take us to that greater calm? One answer to this is boredom.
What do I mean by this? Well, in the information age our mind is mostly over stimulated. We are trying to digest too much information at any given time. Whenever our mind feels uncomfortable and insecure, the ‘go to’ activity now is to seek distraction, either on our phone, or on computers, or in the company of others. Our concentration span has become smaller, and our ability to do one thing at a time has decreased. It would be true to say that most of us are addicted to stimulation and as a result our minds are in a state of perpetual agitation. More than that we are addicted to that state of agitation and stimulation.

To move your body-mind into a state of calm, what actually needs to be done is to stop all the stimulation and ‘flipping’ of our attention, and let our mind focus on just one thing for an period of time. Peace and calm in this sense are a side effect of the act of concentrating on just one thing! Because your mind is addicted to change and stimulation, one of the big obstacles that we face to calm may be our mind complaining that it is bored. Focusing on one thing, for the first few minutes that we try to do it feels terribly boring. Our mind twitches around looking for the next thing to grab its attention and stimulate it. Only by patiently enduring, walking toward and through that sense of boredom will our mind start to settle. From this settling a sense of peace and calm will naturally start to emerge.

Walking through boredom with permission, seduction and courage
For this exercise you can take any suitable object as your object of focus. Here I’m going to suggest you take something predictable and boring like the breathing, perhaps just seeing if you can count from 1-5 breaths at a time without getting distracted, and repeating this on a loop for the duration of the meditation. Having chosen your object, I then suggest that you can use three states of mind to help you as you focus:

  1. Give yourself full permission to drop everything else and focus on your breathing (or chosen object). Make sure your mind understands that all emergencies are suspended for the duration of the session, it really can put down distractions. This way as it starts to ‘detox’ from its overstimulated state, it can relax into the boredom and discomfort, rather than turning away from it.
  2. Use seduction. Tell yourself and your mind how much you will enjoy it if you can really let go and rest at ease. Empathize with the overstimulated distraction-addict in you. Let her know that you are there to help and that beyond the boredom lies peace!
  3. Courage. As peace and calm begin to kick in, there can also be an enhanced awareness of all the fears, insecurities and anxieties that are behind your most compulsive distractions. You place courage in the center of your awareness as these fears kick in, enabling you to ‘hold your position’ long enough for the calm to emerge stably, and for your mind to settle!

So, there you go! A simple exercise for walking though the gateway of boredom to deeper peace and calm. And a way of gently combating our addiction to stimulation.
© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

SOUND ASLEEP – A deeply soothing guided meditation with embedded brainwave frequencies for restorative, sound sleep
One of the most effective things you can do to enhance your wellbeing is to improve the quality of your sleep. A good night’s sleep makes you healthier, happier, and more creative.
With Sound Asleep, I-Awake have created a sound technology tool to gently lull you into the very deepest stages of sleep.
A soothing, dream-like blend of words, ocean waves, and advanced brainwave entrainment, Sound Asleep is designed to give you more peaceful, restorative sleep, night after night.
Click on the link to find out more and listen to the free sample! 20% off until February 1st!

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Saturday February 3rd, 9.15am-12.15pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

February classes coming soon!

Integral Meditation Asia

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

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Five Ways of Mindfully Cultivating Your Inner Peace

Dear Integral Meditators,

The article below examines five mindful ways in which we can cultivate our inner peace. If you work with them together, then you end up with a practice of inner peace made more resilient by the diversity of its sources. If you enjoy it and are in Singapore then you might consider the Mindful Resilience workshop on the 18th July.
Quick reminder of the Mindful Benevolence online class that remains on offer until the 14th July.

In the spirit of inner peace,


Five Ways of Mindfully Cultivating Your Inner Peace

Much of our efforts in life are directed towards finding peace of mind, to be able to relax and feel at ease. Here are five mindful ways in which we can cultivate our inner peace. If you work with them together, then you end up with a practice of inner peace made more resilient by the diversity of its sources.

The peace of tranquillity – This is the peace of connecting to places and activities that are tranquil, and help us feel calm. Quiet places in our home or working environment or places in nature that we can spend time in regularly. Just by connecting to the tranquil energy of these places and being present to them we can increase our own experience of inner peace.

The peace of awareness – Rather than focusing on the contents of our busy mind, the activity of our environment or our personal challenges we can sit and focus on the experience of awareness itself, which is always open, spacious and possess and abundance of peaceful not-in-a-hurryness.

The peace of accepting what is (& the peace of having done what you can) – “Today, despite both of our best efforts I was not able to meet my friend in town. We both tired our best, and really wanted to, but for one reason or another it just did not come off.” Accepting what is: that we were not able to meet, and that we did all we could, that is we tried to fix it but it did not happen is the peace of accepting what is and that you have done what you could.
Without this type of clarity it is very easy for our peace of mind to be destroyed by the ‘what if’s’ of our life.

The peace of being enough – This is the peace of being happy with who you are, and not having to continually prove your worthiness to yourself or to other people. It does not mean that you are not trying to improve yourself, but it does mean that you are basically secure in your self-image, you are enough, and so there is room to rest at ease.

The peace of self-efficacy – “I don’t know what challenges will come in my business over the next month, but I have confidence in my ability to meet those challenges effectively, and/or learn how to solve the problems that come up.” The peace of self-efficacy ace arises from your faith in yourself and the effectiveness of your abilities. It is the peace that comes from the confidence in your ability to learn and adapt in the way you need to in order to deal with what arises.

The Peace of Playfulness – This is the peace that comes from asserting your right to be playful in life. It is the peace that comes from taking things lightly, flexibly and easily. It’s not that you don’t know how to apply seriousness; it’s just that it is continually balanced by the peace of a playful mindset.

© 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

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia 1st July-1st August:

Saturday 18th July, 9.30am-12.30pm – Growing Your Mindful Freedom – The Essential Meditation of the Buddha: A Three Hour Meditation Workshop

Saturday 18th July, 2.30-5.30 pm – Mindful Resilience – Sustaining effectiveness, happiness and clarity under pressure through meditation and mindfulness – A Three Hour Workshop

Wenesday July 22nd 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Session @ Basic Essence – Meditating with your inner strength of heart & mind

Wednesday July 29th 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Session @ Basic Essence – Meditation for connecting to a positive attitude

Saturday 1st August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Finding Simplicity in the Complexity: An Introduction to Meditation From the Perspective of Zen

Saturday 1st August, 2.30-5.30pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self – A Three Hour Workshop

Friday 14th August, 7.30-9pm –  Integral Meditation Session @ the Reiki Centre

Integral Meditation Asia


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Breaking Like a Wave (plus new ‘Turning-In’ meditation track)

Dear Integral Meditators,
Often we find ourselves struggling in our life to ‘keep it together’, but what if we were to learn how to ‘break apart’ in order to come back together effortlessly and easily? This is one of the main benefits of skillful meditation, and it is what the article below explores.

There is a new I-Awake track out called ‘Turning In‘ which I’ve been really enjoying over the last few days since it has come out. Scroll down below for more details. If your wondering what meditation technology is all about, then see my page on it here.

In the spirit of the breaking wave,


Breaking Like a Wave

A wave; breaking and coming together
A wave arises from the ocean, making its way toward the shore. When it breaks it is completely broken apart on the shore, but because it is made of water, after it has been broken it simply comes back together again and absorbs back into the ocean with no harm done.

Resistance to breaking
In our daily life when we feel stressed out and close to breaking, we instinctively resist the feeling of being broken, the feelings of confusion, of fragmentation, of uncertainty. We cling to our mental structures and habits tightly as a way of avoiding being broken.

Meditation and the mind
The way of meditation (or one way of meditation) is to cease resisting this feeling of our mind being being broken apart and instead relax into it; allow mind to break apart temporarily, like a wave breaking apart on the beach. By relaxing our mind and allowing its structures to be broken apart, we allow it to become peaceful and enter into a space of letting go. Then, gradually and without struggle our mind then starts to gather itself together and regenerate itself, like a wave gathering back into the sea in order to be re-formed. Our mind is like water, if you relax and let it break apart for a while, then it will start to come back together again naturally and without a struggle. But this can only happen if you really let go and relax, which is one of the main points of meditation; it allows us to effortlessly and ergonomically recover our sanity amidst the repeated stresses and strains of our wold.

Being a wave
Imagine yourself at a beach that you know, watching the waves rise and be broken upon the shore, then absorbing back into the ocean. Then imagine yourself as one of those waves, rising, breaking apart upon the shore, and then coming back together again as it flows back into the sea. Practise arising, letting go and relaxing as you break and then finally flowing effortlessly back to a state of union with the sea. Now you are meditating.

Related article: A Mind Like Water

© 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

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in May:

Click HERE for the July schedule of classes at IMA

New I-Awake Meditation Technology Track: Turning In
 ~ Ambient Meditations

…relax into deep states of relaxation, de-stressing to the slow drumbeats and nature sounds embedded with binaural frequencies…from Deep Dub composer, Nadja Lind.
On special launch price offer up until 7th July click link to listen to the free demo track and find out more!:

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The Way to Deal With Feelings is to Feel

Dear Integral Meditators,

Our relationship to our feelings is one of the dominant factors that determines our quality of life. The article below offers a few mindful pointers for how we can develop a good long term relationship to the way we feel, even in the face challenging and difficult emotions.

Yours in the spirit of deep feeling,


The Way to Deal With Feelings is to Feel

One of the great keys to mindful living, to dealing with stress and to being at home with yourself in life is to know how to deal with your feelings. To deal with your feelings effectively means understanding that feelings seek resolution primarily by being felt. Whenever we deny our feelings, whenever we refuse to accept them, whenever we resist experiencing them, then they cannot find resolution.
Conversely, whenever we acknowledge, accept and consciously experience a feeling or emotion, its energetic force can be naturally discharged and thus it can find resolution and we can move on from it.

It is the same with all feelings and emotions:

  • The solution to anger you feel begins by accepting the reality that you are angry (who me?), and proceeding from there
  • The resolution to the emotion you feel when you have fallen in love with someone begins by acknowledging and allowing yourself to feel that love
  • The solution to the anxiety that you feel about the uncertainty surrounding your business begins by accepting and experiencing that anxiety without denying or repressing it

Accepting a feeling is more than intellectual acknowledgment
Sometimes we can intellectually acknowledge that we have a feeling without actually accepting it experientially. Intellectual recognition alone is not enough to process a feeling, it has to be accepted experientially and truly felt.

Entering more deeply into the moment through feeling
Think of a situation in your life right now that is causing stress, anxiety or inner discomfort.  Notice how as soon as the uncomfortable feelings start to arise, your mind will start to get busy trying to find a way of ‘solving’ the situation; trying to think its way out of the problem.  Now what I want you to do is deliberately stop trying to solve the issue mentally and instead just focus on acknowledging, accepting and experiencing the feelings and emotions that you have. Simply sit with them, be aware of them, allow yourself to feel them and breathe with them, without trying to change them.
Sometimes (not always, but sometimes) when we are able to truly accept the way we feel, we discover that the problem we thought we had was not really a problem. The genuine and deep acceptance of the feelings makes the circumstances we find ourselves in actually perfectly ok.

Related Article: The Absence of Resolution

Find out about shadow self 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

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Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology
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A Mind Like Water

Dear Integral Meditators,

One of the challenging things about meditation and a mind of meditation is that you have to have experience of it in order to ‘get it’. Thus for those who have not experienced it, it can seem very abstract. This is where using images comes in handy, as the image itself can act as a doorway to the experience. This weeks article uses the image of water as a way of approaching the mind of meditation.

Last chance to catch the special offer for 1:1 coaching for January at Integral Meditation Asia over the next couple of days, the offer end on 1st Feb!

Yours in the spirit of a mind like water,


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia :

Sunday 1st February – Mindful Self-Leadership: Take Control of Your Life Direction and Wellbeing Through Awareness, Curiosity, Courage and Care

Tuesday 10th February, 7.30-9.30pm – An Evening of Mindful Resilience – Sustaining effectiveness, happiness and clarity under pressure through meditation and mindfulness

Saturday 14th February, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention 

A Mind Like Water

If you hit water
Let’s say you have a lake, pond or swimming pool. If you hit, slap or punch the surface it will temporarily disturb the water, but as soon as you stop hitting the water, it quickly relaxes back into its original still form. A public swimming pool can be fully of people and disturbed all day, but as soon as the last person gets out, it goes right back to its calm, still form.
This is one of the qualities that we try to bring to our mind as meditators; we enter the world of action each day, get slapped around by the world, but the quality of our mind is such that as soon the action ceases, our mind relaxes back into a still open state. You might think that this is not easy, but if you think about the image of water, it will help you get a feel for it; it is a fluid, relaxed flowing quality that we bring into our awareness and the way in which we consciously respond to the push and shove of life. Note that water never resists, it simply absorbs and then immediately dissipates the force.

Our solid, chunky minds
At the moment whenever our mind takes an emotional or mental ‘hit’ we hold onto the force of that hit; we resist it, deny it, rage with it. It is like our mind is solid and calcified, perhaps like a piece of wet clay. If you punch a piece of wet clay, it will hold the shape of your fist, it will stay there. For many of us this is our response to taking a psychological hit in our life, we hold it in our mind like an imprint in wet clay; its impression continues to affect us long after the event that actually caused it.

Recovering from mental and emotional ‘hits’ 
So, if you want to develop the capacity to recover from the mental and emotional hits, then one perspective you can try out is to practice receiving these hits like water; no resistance, simply absorbing, dissipating the force and then returning naturally a state of inner calm

This does not mean that you don’t hold your shape sometimes
Making our mind like water does not contradict our capacity to build a strong mind, express our will, be mindful of goals and other qualities that require our mind to hold its ‘shape’. Rather it is a complementary capacity that enables us to keep our mind and energy young and flexible, calm and relaxed. It is a quality that is a bit like a soft form of martial art you absorb the energy of your opponent and then redirect it toward him. It might also be described as a form of effortless effort.

The next time you take a mental or emotional hit remember; make your mind like water!

Related articleNon-striving

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website 

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Detached Mindfulness, Engaged Mindfulness; Your Inner Scientist and Inner Friend

Dear Integral Meditators,

Engagement and detachment are two different skills. we need to develop both in order to become truly effective mindfulness practitioners. This weeks article explores how, enjoy!

Yours in the spirit of engaged detachment,



Detached Mindfulness, Engaged Mindfulness; Your Inner Scientist and Inner Friend

Detached mindfulness is like developing an inner scientist; it gives you the capacity to look at what is going on within you and in your life with objectivity and calm.
Engaged mindfulness is like developing an inner friend and companion; it gives you the capacity to experience what you are going through with empathy, care and understanding of yourself.

Recently I have been having a lot of strong emotions based around certain life changes that I am having. How can I use mindfulness in an integrated way to deal with these emotions and even make use of them? Let’s take anxiety around the future as an example to work with in this article.

Detached mindfulness (developing my inner scientist) involves me stepping back from the anxiety and observing it in an objective, dis-engaged manner; ‘the anxiety is in my mind but it is not me’, ‘my anxiety is like the clouds, my mind is like the sky, I am the sky, not the clouds’. This type of mindfulness enables me to temporarily reduce my anxiety and calm my body-mind, and the space that it creates in my mind may also enable me to come up with creative solutions and approaches to the challenges that are causing the anxiety.
However, what detached mindfulness does not do is process the actual emotion and anxiety itself, and if I use detached mindfulness only in my approach to my anxiety this may prolong and even make my anxiety worse by causing me to avoid and dis-associate from it in an unhealthy way. To work with my anxiety directly I need to practice engaged mindfulness.

Engaged mindfulness (developing my inner friend) involves me consciously recognizing, owning and experiencing my anxiety; feeling it fully, accepting the reality of it and allowing my body-mind to discharge the emotional force of my anxiety by experiencing it. ‘I now recognize I am anxious around the future’, ‘I can feel my body trembling with anxiety, and I allow this to happen’, ‘I accept I am anxious and take responsibility for it’, ‘I am anxious, but this is not a problem’.
If I practice only engaged mindfulness with my anxiety, I may find myself getting a little over-involved in the emotion, so combining it with detached mindfulness provides me with a ‘safety net’, a place of detachment and observation I can go to when I wish to take a break.

An integrated mindfulness approach involves me using both detached and engaged mindfulness together in order to deal with my anxiety optimally and effectively; I can accept, honour and engage my emotion whilst also having a place of inner calm and detachment I can go to anytime I wish to find temporary relief and perspective from the challenge.

Over the next few days, if you like, keep in mind the image of the inner scientist and the inner friend and practice using both engaged and detached mindfulness alternately as an integrated approach to the challenges you face.

Related article: Engaged Equanimity
© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website 


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The Top Meditation and Mindfulness Articles of 2014

Dear Integral Meditators,

I wrote over one hundred articles over the course of 2014. Of these  the top 10 most read meditation and mindfulness articles are listed below. Were they the best? Maybe, maybe not, but they were the most clicked on. I’ve certainly enjoyed revisiting them and taking a little time to digest the practical messages in them!

Nice recent article from Oliver Burkeman on New Years Resolutions with Making, the first he lists is meditation: “First, just start meditating already. You probably saw some of the eleventy-thousand studies in 2014 on how much difference a few minutes’ daily breath-following can make. Meditation could make you happier, more creativeless anxious, even less racist; it may conceivably ease your arthritisslow Alzheimer’sboost your learning ability and reduce cold symptoms. (Spiritual types might dispute that all this is the “point” of meditation, but they’re nice side-effects.)

Please note the Integral Meditation Day Retreat on the 11th January is now a half-day retreat from 9.30am-12.30pm, but still, no better way to start the new year as you mean to continue!

Yours in the spirit of appreciative reflection,


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia :

January 9.30am-12.30pm – Regenerating Your Inner Self – Integral Meditation Half – Day Retreat

Sunday 18th January,9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for Connecting to the Green World – An Introduction to the Path of Nature Mysticism

Sunday 1st February – Mindful Self-Leadership: Take Control of Your Life Direction and Wellbeing Through Awareness, Curiosity, Courage and Care

The Top Meditation and Mindfulness Articles of 2014

1. Four Mindful Images for Stress Transformation

2. Non-Striving

3. Motivating Yourself to Meditate (and continue meditating)

4. Complementricizing Your Archetypes

5. If you feel properly you will think clearly

6. Finding Your Spiritual, Physical Home

7. Trusting Your Mind

8. When Your Energy Level Follows Your Mind and Imagination

9. The Three Purposes of Meditation

10.  Seriously Light/Lightly Serious

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website 


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Honesty, Release and redirection -Three Levels of Non-Judgment

Dear Integral Meditators,

Non-judgment is a word that it often used in mindfulness and meditation circles, but what does it really mean? I give my own thoughts on this below.

In the spirit of non-judgment,


Honesty, Release and redirection -Three Levels of Non-Judgment

Within certain types of mindfulness and meditation practice a lot of emphasis is placed on the practice of non-judgment, that is to say observing what we are seeing or experiencing without making a snap value assesment about it. Here are three levels to consider in any practice of non-judgment that will afford a slightly deeper and more complete experience of it, as well as avoiding a few of the pitfalls that it is easy to make.

Stage one: Recognizing you have made a judgment
Before you let go of a judgment, you need to admit and acknowledge you have actually made a judgment. Spelling out judgments that make us uncomfortable is often not easy;

  • I feel guilty because I am angry with my partner or child
  • I have a racial or cultural prejudice against this person
  • I’m scared and covering it by being aggressive
  • I am jealous of my colleague and their success

If you try and jump to a non-judgmental space before this first stage, you can easily simply use the practice of non-judgment as a way of denying or repressing your judgments, which will actually decrease your capacity for self-awareness and your ability to release and transform your judgments.
You might call this stage honesty, as this stage entails looking nakedly at what is there and admitting what we see and find.

Stage two: Non-Judgment
Having fully acknowledged the judgments that you actually have, you can then spend time accepting and releasing the judgment:

  • I accept and release my guilt for being angry with my partner
  • I accept the reality of my cultural prejudice, and let it go
  • I note and release my aggression and insecurity
  • I note the jealousy that I experience toward my colleague, and whilst acknowledging and owning that feeling, I note that my deeper identity is not that feeling

You might call this stage release, as it involves the actual experience of letting go of the judgment.

Stage three: Better judgment
The experience of non-judgment is a very worthwhile experience in and of itself, and it can lead to some very relaxing states of mind in meditation (See my recent article on the Man or Woman of No Rank), but I believe that one of the main functions of practicing non-judgment is so that we can then replace our habitual and unconscious judgments withbetter conscious judgments. Better judgments come from questions such as:

  • What is a better way to work with my anger toward my partner or child?
  • What perspectives can help me I evolve beyond my cultural prejudice?
  • Can I find a creative, non-destructive use for my insecurity?
  • Can I care deeply about my own professional success without being automatically jealous of my colleague’s achievements?

You might call this stage redirection, as the practice of better judgment leads to the redirection of energy previously caught up in negative judgments into new and life-affirming directions.

As we move towards the new year, what are the judgments that you would like to practicehonesty, release and re-direction around in your life?

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website 

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Mindful of Our Conflicting Desires

Dear Integral Meditators,

These days I enjoy my desires a lot, but I didn’t always do so, because they have the power to make me so uncomfortable. The article below explores how you can mindfully explore the challenge of your desires; how to become more comfortable with them and start to tap their potential.

In the spirit of clarity around desire,


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia :


Sunday 11th January 9.30am-3.30pm – Regenerating Your Inner Self – Integral Meditation Day Retreat

Sunday 18th January,9.30am-12.30pm – Meditations for Connecting to the Green World – An Introduction to the Path of Nature Mysticism

Mindful of Our Conflicting Desires

Wanting both excitement and security,

Stability and creativity,
Riches and a simple life,
Success and the easy life,
Deep love without pain,
To do what you wish to do in life but not wanting to be judged by others,
Freedom without responsibility.
A lot of the conflict that we experience in life comes from the fact that we have conflicting or contradictory desires that create lot of inner confusion; we cant let go of either desire, so we end up not enjoying either of the options. For example we may want the pleasure of a deep loving connection, but feel anxious about the way in which it makes us feel vulnerable and open. If we open to the love we don’t enjoy it because the anxiety kills it, but if we don’t open to it, we feel miserable because we are unfulfilled. It can feel like a lose-lose situation.

When I was being trained as a monk, the received wisdom seem to suggest that the solution to this was to simply give up desire, which can give rise to a certain amount of inner peace, but it also feels like a bit of a cop-out. To give up desires for temporary periods can be very healthy, but to give them up altogether is surely an avoidance of both our responsibilities, and much of the meaning and pleasure of a human life.

Another way is to be mindful that each of our desires has a challenge associated with it, and to open to that challenge.

Because I wish to love I have to navigate and accept the anxiety that comes with that open heartedly.
Because I wish to be successful in a certain endeavour I will have to accept the hardship, effort, fatigue and short term failure that may come with it.
Because I wish for a more creative life, I have to open intelligently to the relative lack of certainty that this involves.

Choose and commit consciously to the desire that you truly want. Accept the challenge and burden that comes with it. Enjoy both.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website 

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What Real Power Does Mindfulness Give You?

Dear Integral Meditators,

When you think of mindfulness, do you think of power? If not the article below explains why you should!


What Real Power Does Mindfulness Give You?

We talk about mindfulness in terms of relief from stress, bringing more presence to our life and so on, but what about power?
One way mindfulness (when well practiced) gives us greater power is by giving us awareness of choice. The more consciousness we bring to any given situation, the larger the number of choices we will be aware of regarding how to act, how to feel and how to approach the situation.  Conversely, the less conscious awareness that we bring to a situation, the fewer the choices that we will have, and therefore the less power.
Without mindfulness we are essentially limited to our instinctive and habitual patterns of reacting and responding to our life’s challenges (and joys), with mindfulness we can even innovate choices, options and possibilities that we have never considered before as we actively bring our intelligence to bear upon the situation fully.

Our mind is basically our primary tool for surviving, adapting and thriving in the outer world of our career and relationships, and the inner world of our relationship to ourself. Mindfulness is the practice of learning how to use and apply the potential of our mind in daily life. Looked at in this way there is nothing more powerful and valuable than mindfulness. Do you have time for a little now?

Related articles:
You Always Have a Choice
Six Mindful Questions for Effective Decision Making

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© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website