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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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Using Landscape to Connect to Our Primally Enlightened Nature

Hi Everyone,

This week’s article continues in the mystical vein of last week’s article, and looks specifically at how nature, landscape and weather can become our meditation teacher! These are also themes we will be touching on in the Wednesday evening class.

Yours in the spirit of awakening through landscape,


Article of the Week:

Using Landscape to Connect to Our Primally Enlightened Nature 

The great mystics have often used nature, landscape and weather as a way of helping people to reconnect to their primal enlightened nature. By primally enlightened nature here I mean that part of us that is already enlightened (and always has been), but that has been obscured and forgotten because we have become “lost” in the complexities of our conceptual mind and the world of ideas. To connect to ‘reality’ directly and move into a living symbiosis with our primally enlightened nature, we need to develop the capacity to drop our conceptual mind temporarily and simply accept and see things as we find them. Nature is a great teacher in this respect becausethe forces of nature exist and express themselves in a non-conceptual, direct manner.
As Lao Tzu says in his classic “Tao Te Ching” (This quote is from the Stephen Mitchell translation which is one of my favorites):

“Express yourself completely,
Then keep quiet,
Be like the forces of nature:
When the wind blows there is only wind;
When it rains, there is only rain;
When the clouds pass, the sun shines through.”

We have all had the experience of being in a landscape or traveling to a place, and being so enraptured by the energy and ambience of the place that all our thoughts just fade away and we move into a state of deeply fulfilling communion and being-ness. What I am going to do is give some simple examples of how you can meditate with remembered aspects of landscape in order to regenerate the non-conceptual, meditative states of mind that accompany them. As the saying goes, “a picture speaks a thousand words”. By recalling our own direct interactions with nature and landscape we can perhaps learn more about meditation than from years of studying books and techniques (although I recommend that to!)
Please note these are just suggestions, once you have a feel for it you can connect to any aspects of the weather, landscape and nature that work for you!

Some Simple Landscape Meditations

On Mountains and the earth element
Recall a visit to a mountain or hill that deeply impressed you and affected you with its energy. Visualize it before you, connect to its stability, solidity and deep presence. Become the mountain, stable, unthinking and yet fully present, able to accept storms and sunshine, wind and rain with the same equanimity,  non-judgmentalness and (in the positive sense of the word) indifference.

On sea, rivers and the water element
Recall a visit to the sea or a trip down a river that really affected you. See yourself by the sea or next to the river, attune to the flowing nature of the water, to its depth and presence. Become the flow of the water, feel yourself in the calm depths of the river flowing across the rocks, or become the sea around you; with its turbulent surface but still calm depths.

On sky, clouds and the air element
Recall a skyscape that impressed or affected you, and the landscape that you experienced it in. Picture the sky in front of you, feel into its spacious nature. Become the sky, feel the strong winds, the clouds, the light. However turbulent the contents of the sky becomes,the open expansive spacious nature of the sky always remains the same.

On the sun and the fire element
Recall a time when you have been particularly affected by the atmosphere created by the suns light. See yourself in that landscape receiving the light, warmth and energy of the sun. Allow your mind to become brilliant, clear and energized by the energy of the sun. Become the sunlight, shining upon everything within its range; radiating, expanding, giving life.

Final comments
So, in the long term one of the main capacities we learn to develop when we meditate in this way is to realize that we are always in landscape and surrounded by nature. Even if we are in a city we can look out of our office window, appreciate the ambience of the sky, and allow our mind to relax into the open, spacious, non-conceptual nature of the sky for a few moments. It is about using the natural forces that are around us all the time to reconnect and remember our primal nature, or as Zen puts it “Our original face”.
You won’t fully understand this article by reading it, it is not something that you have to “work out” with your mind, you have to do it!

© 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