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Understanding and working with your Guardian Angel

Dear  Integral Meditators,

Every now and again I do an article on something a little esoteric, usually informed by what is going on in my own meditation process. This week’s article is on how to understand work mindfully with the idea of your Guardian Angel.
If you enjoy it, then on Sunday 27th January, 2-5pm I’ll be facilitating a Meditations for connecting to and working with your Guardian Angel workshop.

In the spirit of our inner guidance,


Working with your Guardian Angel

All of the great wisdom traditions speak of speak of spiritual guardians who can offer us support, guidance and protection on our journey through life. What I am going to offer here is two working definitions of your Guardian Angel that will enable you to start working with it, and the idea of it in a practical manner.

1. If there is a guiding, universal spirit of some kind, and it is benevolent towards us, then your guardian angel is that spiritual force, appearing in the image of a personal guardian.
If you believe in any way that there is a spiritual force that is bigger than all of us and that is working for our wellbeing, then our Guardian Angel the part of that spiritual force that guides and protects us as individuals. Each of us has our ‘own’ Guardian Angel. It could be visualized in a humanoid form, as a light or actually in a number of other ways. The way in which we imagine it enables us to connect to that force in a way that enables us to trust it, feel protected by it and let its influence into our life.
Having understood our Guardian Angel in this way, we can start to relate to it in a personalized, subjective manner, visualizing it and connecting to it as a spiritual friend, ally and confidante.

2. Our Guardian Angel is that part of the ‘divine plan’ that accompanied our own divine spark or spirit when it split off from source at the beginning of this cycle of creation. Its function is to help us to complete our own particular piece of that ‘divine plan’.
This is a slightly deeper definition that follows (in large part) the definition of Dion Fortune in the Mystical Qabalah. Here are two analogies that may help you to relate to this definition:

 Your guardian angel as ‘spiritual software’ – If you think about your spiritual self as being like the original core and centre of your being, then your Guardian Angel is like a special piece of ‘software’ that was built in in order to help you in your path of personal growth. It is designed to help, support, protect, and to provide healing and guidance as your  soul treads its path of evolution in this life. It also has the capacity to connect with and communicate with the Guardian Angels of those around you, communicating and co-ordinating your life paths together in supportive ways.
As R2D2 – You may recall in the first Star Wars movie, Luke Skyalker had an assistant droid robot called R2D2. When Luke was flying his X-wing fighter craft in combat, R2D2 would be sitting behind him in the craft providing information and assistance as he flew. So, in this analogy, you are the fighter pilot, and your guardian Angel is like R2D2, giving you help and assistance as you experience the ‘combat’ of your life path. It is trying to help you even without your awareness, but when you consciously engage with it, then you can start to leverage to a much greater degree on the support that is available.

A simple meditation on and with your Guardian Angel
Sit quietly and centre. Imagine the presence of your Guardian Angel as a light and energy centred in between your shoulder blades, sitting half in and half out of your physical body. The ‘heart centre’ of your guardian angel is sitting just behind your own heart centre/chakra. Feel the energy of your Guardian Angel strengthening and supporting your body, your heart and your mind. If you like you can also imagine the ‘wings’ of your Guardian Angel enfolding and protecting your energy field, forming a circle around you. As you sit, gently start to commune with your Angel, receive its love, talk to it about any issues you want feedback on, mostly just cultivate awareness of its presence, and allow that to inform your experiences as you go through your day.

© Toby Ouvry 2019, 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 AsiaOngoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

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Monday 6.15-7.15 & Wednesday 12.15-1.15 – Integral Meditation classes at Space2B on Stanley Street

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Saturday 26th January, 1-4pm – Growing your mindful freedom meditation workshop

Sunday 27th January, 2-5pm – Meditations for connecting to and working with your Guardian Angel

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Awareness and insight Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology Presence and being present The Essential Meditation of the Buddha

Three Liberating Wisdom Perspectives on the Self

Hi Everyone,

One of the fundamental questions on the spiritual path  is “who am I?” This weeks article looks at three perspectives that can help us to see a little deeper into the nature of our own self.
A quick reminder of this Wednesday evenings meditation class on “The Essential Meditation of the Buddha”, 7.30-8.30pm. You can find full details by clicking the link.

Yours in the spirit of flowing awareness,

Article of the Week:

Three Liberating Wisdom Perspectives on the Self

Here are three perspectives that you can adopt as a contemplative practice both in and out of meditation. These perspectives are related to last week’s article on the Essential Meditation of the Buddha, but it is not necessary to read that article for this practice to make sense.
The benefits of working with these perspectives as meditation objects are numerous, but the most important is that they help to liberate us from some fundamental misconceptions in our mind that normally we carry around unexamined, and which cause us substantial suffering and pain.

These three perspectives are:
1.       “Whenever or wherever there is a strong grasping of or attachment to your self-sense there is suffering”.
2.       “Whenever you have a wish for something transient, changeable and impermanent to remain fixed as it is, then there is suffering and pain”.
3.       “Whatever object you look at is not the self.”

Each of these perspectives is explained in three parts.
1)      A statement that describes the perspective itself.
2)      A method for beginning to test the truth of the statement in your own experience.
3)      A short breathing meditation practice that you can use once you have confidence in the perspective and its power to aid you in your pursuit of a peaceful, centered and aware mind and life.

Perspective 1:
Statement: “Whenever or wherever there is a strong grasping of or attachment to your self-sense there is suffering”.

Method for testing the truth of this statement: Recall the last time you experienced pronounced suffering, fear or anxiety. As you do so the feeling of attachment to your sense of self should well up as a physical tension in the center of your chest, a physical sensation, not just a mental one. Focusing on that physical tension, deliberately relax it, and as you do so mentally also relax your attachment to your self-sense. Observe how your suffering decreases in relations to the extent that you are able to relax that strong grasping and attachment to your sense of self.
Actually, most of the time it is perfectly possible to engage all of our daily tasks and relationships successfully with a far more reduced attachment to our self sense than we currently have.

Breathing meditation: Anytime you feel the tension arising from an overactive self-sense arising within your chest space, take a few breaths, as you inhale inwardly say to yourself “letting”, as you exhale say to yourself “go”. As you focus on the words “letting go” and breathing, simply do as the words say, release the tension in your chest and let go of the mental attachment to your-self sense.

Perspective 2:
Statement: “Whenever the self wishes for something transient, changeable and impermanent to remain fixed as it is, then there is suffering and pain”.

Method for testing the truth of this statement: One basic sense of reality that we are trying to develop here is simply the sense that everything is always changing. Whether you look at the coming and going of your breathing, the gradual aging of your body, the way Monday changes into Sunday, the movement of the seasons. As the Buddha said “all produced phenomena are impermanent”. With this in mind it is not so surprising to find out in our own experience that whenever we cling to something impermanent, whether it be a stage in our relationship with our romantic partner that is changing, the growing up of children or whatever there is a sense of pain that goes with it. What we need to do is allow change to happen without fighting it in a negative way. Go with the flow rather than always trying to swim against the current. (Note: Doing this might actually mean that you age more slowly ;-))

Breathing Meditation: On the inbreath focus on the word “flowing” and on the outbreath “awareness” allow yourself to relax into the flow of the moment to moment change that is occurring with each successive moment of awareness.

Perspective 3:
Statement: “Whatever object you look at is not the self”.

Method for testing the truth of this statement: This is a statement that, like the two above it leverages very heavily upon the teachings and observations of the Buddha. The basic thing to observe in your own experience is that:
a)      We tend to cling to many “things” such as our body, different mental states and emotions as “me” as if they were our true self. We are actually doing this one way or another most of the time.
b)      However, in fact all of these things that we tend to think of as self are actually objects observed and possessed by the self, they are not the self itself. The self is always the witnessing observer of these things. The self is always the subject of our awareness, and so anything that we can objectify and consider as an object is not the self.
So, where do we find the “self”? We find it only as the witnessing awareness of everything that our mind observes. This awareness itself has not qualities or form beyond simply being a witness. In this sense the self is pure, empty, luminous awareness, nothing more.

Breathing Meditation: On the inbreath focus on the word “spacious”, on the outbreath focus on the word “awareness”. Allow yourself to rest as deeply and calmly as you can within the pure, formless awareness of your own true self.
An alternative exercise for this section might be to: On the inbreath focus on the word “no” and as you exhale “self”. As you are doing so recognize that everything that you see, sense and perceive lacks a self in the sense of having a tangible form that can be identified as a fixed, inherent self.

© Toby Ouvry 2011, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Awareness and insight Inner vision Meditation and Psychology

Your Self-Sense as Your Object of Meditation

Hi Everyone!

Usually when we think of ourself, or reflect on the question “Who am I?” it seems as if there is some form of permanent, fixed, singular self that is there somewhere inside us that remains the same no matter what. However, if we look and observe a little more deeply we start to see that there are many different “selves” that we feel and experience at different times in our daily life according to what is going on, and each of these selves has a very different feel and nuance to it. There are many different ways in which you can begin to categorize these different senses of self, in this article I want to focus on three main ones:

  1. Our personal self-sense, or our “i-self sense”
  2. Our interpersonal self-sense, or “we-self sense”
  3. Our transpersonal self-sense or “I-self sense”

Let’s look at these one at a time:

1. Our personal self-sense or “i-self sense”

This is the many different self-senses that we develop as a person-ality. For example it is that sense of self that we develop when we think  (taking a fictional character “Mark” as an example):

  • “ My name is Mark and I am a corporate strategist”
  • “My name is Mark and I went to X school and collage”
  • “ My name is Mark and I am a extroverted, talkative personality type”
  • “ My name is Mark and I am happy when X happens”
  • My name is Mark and I cannot stand this type of person”

With each of these different statements about himself, Mark will come a different self-sense, a different “I” so to speak, each of them unique.

Like Mark, all of us have many unique self-senses on this level.

2. Our interpersonal self-sense, or “we-self sense”

This is the self-sense that is generated within ourselves whenever we are with someone else. If you observe your self-sense closely, you will see that, with each person you know, there is a unique sense of self that you feel whenever you are with them, and this self-sense is never repeated in exactly the same way with anyone else. It is almost as if a unique self-sense is created within us with every single relationship we have ever had.

To take the example of our fictional character Mark, Mark has a different sense of self when he is with his mother, his father, his siblings, his lovers, his child, his colleagues, his sport and recreation partners and so on.

We generate many, many “we-self senses” in our relationships with others.

3. Our transpersonal self-sense, or “I-self sense”

Our transpersonal self sense I call our “I(capital I)-self sense because it is the sense of self that we develop when we develop a sense of self that is beyond the boundaries of our ordinary self-sense, ego or personality. For example it is the sense of self that we touch on in deeper meditation, when we experience a tangible connection to the Universe and all living beings. Many people have also had “peak-expereinces” or temporary heightened states of consciousness where their sense of self expands to feel as if it is Universal. We can also develop an profound temporary “I-sense” when listening to music, or interacting with beautiful art.

One of the main aims of meditation is to develop a consistent experience of this “Universal Self” or “I-self sense”. Our “I-sense” is one basic way of understanding what our Enlightened Self, or True Self is.

So, what is the use of thinking and reflecting upon all our “self-senses??

“Who am I” is one of the perennial questions that people have been asking in meditation for millennia, some of the benefits of getting practically acquainted with the three types of  self sense mentioned above includes:

  • Understanding that your self-sense is not fixed and permanent. This means that if there is something that you don’t like about the way you view yourself, you can learn to change it for the better
  • You can focus on the self-senses that are positive and beneficial to you, and learn to consciously release and let go of self senses that do not actively serve you and your happiness
  • Each time you reflect on your self-sense you develop more self knowledge
  • You begin to articulate what your True-self or Spiritual self really is.

One minute meditation on the three self-senses

After reading the above article:

Sit down, take a couple of deeper breaths, relax your body and mind.

Let your breathing return to normal. As you breath reflect on how your “i-sense” feels right now, the I you feel as a person-ality.

Then think of a social interaction that you have engaged in, observe for a short while the “we-self sense” that you have developed in relation to another person or people.

Finally let your mind become as open, relaxed and spacious as possible. For a short while observe your “I-sense”, the sense of self that arises when your consciousness is clear, open and expansive.


If you do this exercise once a day for the next week, you will begin to get a practical feel for these three I self-senses, and how you can use them for the better in your life.

Thanks for reading,

Yours in the spirit of the journey,