Life-fullness One Minute Mindfulness Presence and being present

45sec Mindfulness Videos & Connecting to Life-fullness

Dear Integral Meditators,

I’ve started a series of 45 second mindfulness videos, which I post on InstagramLinkedIn, or Facebook, so you can follow them on any of these platforms! I’ve also placed a links to the existing videos below for you to view.
As the lock-down and interruption to our previous world-order continues, I thought it might be useful to revisit my previous article on ‘Life-fullness’ that I’m also placing below.

A quick reminder of this weeks Full Moon and Wesak meditations!

In the spirit of life-fullness,

Article: Life-fullness

One of the words that I have been thinking about over the last six months or so is life-fullness.  It has become so significant to me that I’ve even decided to name my life coaching program after it. What does it mean? Here are a few things that it means to me:

  1. To feel full of life – To feel life full means to allow myself to feel life fully, both the good and ‘bad’, to feel my strength and vulnerability, my virtues and your flaws. It means to care enough about the value of my experiences that I don’t reject or turn away from any of them.
  2. To mediate life flow  It means to allow life-force to flow through me, obstructing it as little as possible, and directing it as skillfully as possible toward the best possible inner and outer goals…read full article

45 seconds to mindfulness videos, posted so far!:
(All videos have been posted to all the three below platforms)

On Instagram:
How can you travel whilst staying at home?
Mindful tip for the day: Don’t try too hard!
45 second mindfulness for the day: Awareness of your shoulders

On LinkedIn:
45 seconds to becoming a more caring person
45 seconds to greater inner resilience…
45 second mindfulness: Build a conscious relationship to the future!
45 second mindfulness: Keep your centre of gravity low!

On Facebook: 
45 seconds to mindful courage
45 second mindfulness: Accepting what you can’t change

Life-Fullness – The Integral Life-Coaching Program

Are you looking a coach who can help you to:

  • Meet the challenges, stress and changes that you face in a more effective and mindful way
  • Become happier within yourself, in your relationships and at work
  • Be actively accountable for finding a sense of balance/well-being in your life and fulfilling your personal potential?
  • Guide you to find and operate from a deeper sense of meaning, motivation and connectivity in your life?
  • Develop the long term confidence, self-belief and practical skills needed to create a life based around your personal creative power and inner motivations?

Read full details…

Sundays 6-6.50pm – Qi gong energy body activation meditation (Livestream)

These are Qi gong meditation sessions to activate and enhance the flow of ‘qi’ or subtle energy in your body. We will then be using this flow for:

  • Enhancing physical health and healing
  • Increased emotional wellbeing and mental balance
  • Access to deeper, more dynamic meditation states to transform and regenerate your body, mind and soul…Full details of session


Tues 5th & Weds May 6th – Online Full Moon Meditation & Manifestation Session

This meditation, done on or around the full moon capitalises on the heightened lunar energies at this time of the month to:

  • Bring energy and health to our physical body
  • Increase benevolent, life affirming emotions such as appreciation, joy and gratitude
  • Release patterns of energy, thinking and feeling that are no longer serving us
  • Focus on clarifying our intentions and manifesting our current life-goals

Read full details 

Thursday 7th May, 6.30-7.30pm – Wesak Meditation on Compassion

Toby will be leading a meditation to help you to:

  • Find a place of coolness, peace and stability amidst the turbulence of your own life.
  • Connect to the energy of compassion.
  • Connect to your own deeper intention to work for the greater good.
  • Connect to the ‘Community of Bodhisattvas’, those indomitable beings who work continuously for the wellbeing of the world

Full details of Wesak class

Re-starts Sunday 10th May – Qi gong workout class

This is a Qi gong session that begins with movement, breathing and energy work to thoroughly energize and refresh your body, nervous system and energy meridians  and regenerate your physical, energetic, mental and spiritual being.

Saturday 16th May, 4-6pm – Mindful Envisioning – A meditation, visualization & imagining masterclass

A picture speaks a thousand words! Learn how to build powerful meditation states through your imagination and visualization that can be put to many practical uses…
Read more about the workshop

Saturday 31st May, 2-5.30pm  – Wabi-Sabi mindfulness – The art of creative leadership and self-leadership, A Livestream workshop

In a sentence: Learn how to work creatively with uncertainty, imperfection and life’s inherent messiness to realize your leadership and self-leadership potential.  Manage stress and anxiety better using mindfulness in combination with the practical philosophy of Wabi-Sabi.
Full details of the workshop

Online Integral Meditation & Mindfulness classes

Build focus, beat stress, cultivate wellbeing!

Each session involves simple practices that you can apply to make a real difference to your wellbeing and effectiveness in life…full details of classes



All upcoming classes and workshops for at IMA:

Weekly 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 Sundays 6-6.50pm –  Qi gong energy body activation meditation (Livestream)

Tues 5th & Weds May 6th, 7.30-8.30pm – Online Full Moon Meditation & Manifestation Session

Thursday 7th May, 6.30-7.30pm – Online Wesak Meditation on Compassion

Saturday 16th May, 4-6pm – Mindful Envisioning – A meditation, visualization & imagining masterclass

Saturday 16th May 10.30am-12noon – ONLINE Get your meditation practice started now – The shortest & most time effective meditation course ever

Saturday 31st May, 2-5.30pm  – Wabi-Sabi mindfulness – The art of creative leadership and self-leadership, A Livestream workshop

Integral Meditation Asia

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Don’t Let Difficult Feelings Become Negative Thoughts

Dear Integral Meditators,

When you are feeling bad, its easy to think negative. The article below explains how to use mindfulness to stop difficult feelings becoming negative thoughts in your mind.

In the spirit of the journey,


Don’t Let Difficult Feelings Become Negative Thoughts

At the moment I have jet lag, which means that I wake up feeling groggy and dis-oriented, and when I lie down to sleep I have been spending some hours wide awake. The dis-orientation from the jet lag produces a lot of difficult, turgid, feelings which, if I let them could very quickly start to produce negative thoughts, which in turn would start to generate full blown negative emotions. So, here my basic object of mindfulness is to be attentive to the fact that I am experiencing a lot of difficult feelings in my body due to the jetlag, and simply focus on noting them as feelings, and not letting them escalate into something else. This is the basic practice of not letting difficult feelings become negative emotions.

Similarly, if I am with someone who is irritated or upset, and they start to direct it at me, then I experience a difficult or unpleasant feeling as a result. If I don’t watch out, then I’m going to find my mind creating a lot of negative thinking around that feeling and the other person’s action, so I will suffer more than I need to, and may do something that I regret.

There are many other situations where we may find difficult energy around us:

  • On the commute home when there is a lot of ambient irritability in the minds and bodies of the commuters
  • When things aren’t going our way at work or in our relationships
  • When we are ill or fatigued
  • When we are upset or anxious regarding change or uncertainty
  • When we feel disapproved of by ourself or others

The list goes on, but the main thing is that if we can catch difficult feelings and energies within us early enough through mindfulness, then we can save ourself a lot of pain by making a conscious choice not to let difficult energies we face trigger negative thinking.

Awareness of feelings and energies
A lot of progress in this art and discipline involves simply greater awareness of the energies and feelings that you are experiencing in the moment. What you are aware of you can start to exert benevolent control over, what you are not aware of can easily mushroom into a cloud of negativity before you really know it. So a really basic mindfulness exercise is simply to ask yourself regularly ‘How am I feeling?’ and use this question to direct your awareness mindfully to what is there in the present moment.

Difficult feelings need only be that, they don’t need to become negative thoughts.
© 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

Integral Meditation Asia

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Life-Coaching *  Meditation Technology

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What is Mindfulness? (Hint – you are doing it already!)

Dear Integral Meditators,

If someone asked you ‘what is mindfulness’, how would you reply? The article below offers one working definition of mindfulness and how we can start practically applying it to our daily life.

In the spirit of the art of mindfulness,


What is Mindfulness? (Hint – you are doing it already!)

A definition of mindfulness
I had a conversation the other day with a lady who felt she did not know what mindfulness is. I responded to her that she was already doing it. She asked my why? I told her “When I was a monk the first definition of mindfulness that I learned was that it is an ‘all accompanying mental factor, who’s function is to remember its object’.”
That sounds like a bit a mouthful right? Actually it is quite simple; when we are doing something, mindfulness is that part of our mind that remembers and recalls what we are doing without forgetting it. For example:

  • If I am cooking an omelette, without mindfulness to help me remember what I am doing, after I have cracked and whisked the eggs I will forget my task, and wonder off to do something else, leaving no omelette!
  • If I am in the middle of a conversation, mindfulness helps me hold and remember what we are talking about. Without mindfulness I would forget mid conversation, which would be both embarrassing and impractical.

So from this we can see that we all have some basic mindfulness, indeed without it we would not be able to function at all.

The Art of Mindfulness
Someone who is a mindfulness practitioner then is someone who is interested in increasing both their quality of life and their personal effectiveness by developing and refining their mindfulness in different areas for example:

  • By being mindful of the good things that happen to me in my life I can enjoy and appreciate them more
  • By being mindful of difficult emotions I can learn to manage them better
  • By communicating mindfully I can help people understand what I want of them more clearly
  • By being mindful of my sport I can learn better how to improve

Mindfulness and meditation
Meditation is ‘a mind that focuses on a positive object – an object that when we focus upon it causes us to become happy, balanced, peaceful or otherwise positively oriented’.
In meditation we use mindfulness to focus; if we keep forgetting what we are doing then our meditation won’t be very effective because we will keep dropping or losing our object!
Mindfulness enables us to place our attention on our meditation and hold it there without forgetting.

The function of mindfulness – Practical learning from life
What is it you want to learn about in your life right now? Once you have selected a subject, formulate a ‘mindful question’ that summarizes your intention. For example:

  • How can I bring more meaning to my work life?
  • What really makes me happy?
  • What would it mean to bring my authentic self into social situations and conversations?

You can see here the list of possible subjects is endless, you just select a topic that is important and meaningful to you.
You then practice holding that question in your daily life, thinking about it, and acting in ways that express the answers that you come up with. If you like you can even sit down for a period of time and practice holding that question in your mind, breathing with it and using it as an object of meditation.
If you do this for a week, you will find that your mindfulness practice using this topic enables you to learn a tremendous amount about yourself and the area you are investigating. And there you have a mindfulness practice all of your own.

Integral Meditation Asia

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

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The Tension Between What Is and what you Want

Dear Integral Meditators,

How do you deal with the gap between what you want in your life and the reality of what you actually find? The article below considers how to work with this ongoing tension in a positive way…

In the spirit of the journey,



The Tension Between What Is and what you Want

‘I wanted the meet with my date to go this way, but it didn’t’
‘I thought I’d get this work project done quickly and easily, but I’m still stuck working the details out.’
‘I want to know that I’ll have enough money to afford the things I need by the end of the month, but I have no way of knowing for sure’

In our life there is almost always a tension between the way we want our life to be, and the way it actually IS. How you experience this tension on any given day or in any given moment is a big part of whether you feel happy or sad, negatively or positively stressed, calm or frazzled.

The extreme of passivity
It’s all very well for me as a meditation and mindfulness coach to say to you ‘you have to accept what is, and be more in the moment’, but sometimes accepting what is can make us too passive; sometimes we need to try and assert ourselves in the situation and act to move things toward where we want to be. Being overly accepting can lead to the extreme of passivity.

The extreme of control
On the other hand we are all familiar with the ‘control freak’ in us; the one who wants it all to be worked out, certain, guaranteed, no risk. The problem is we are never 100% in control, life never turn out exactly the way we think it will or should. Sometimes is all seems to be fine and then disaster strikes, sometimes it seems like a disaster and then turns out unexpectedly well. Trying to make everything certain, and bend the world to our will is the extreme of control.

The middle way of acceptance and responsibility
So the middle way between passivity and control is to:

  • Accept fully what is, and where we find ourself AND
  • Take responsibility for trying to move things in the direction that we want, recognizing that this will never give us 100% control, but nevertheless we have to call ourselves to action based upon what we understand.

It is about holding the tension, not solving it or getting rid of it
I think about the tension between what is and what I want not as being something that I am trying to solve, or get rid of, but rather I am trying to learn how to hold well, to hold  mindfully and intelligently; I am not in total control of my life (or the world), but I am responsible for it. I have to accept the reality of where I am without fighting the facts, but I need to avoid over-passivity, fatalism or despondency.

Working mindfully with this tension in our daily life
Where is the tension between what is and what you want in your body, mind and heart right now? Are you holding it well? How can you hold it better?

© 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

Integral Meditation Asia


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Keeping your Meditation Short & Effective

Dear Integral Meditators,

How long do you have to meditate every day for it to make a real difference? As I explain below, not very long! If you have five minutes, then that is all you need to get an effective pratice started…

As you can also see below, there is a 48 hour offer on the my online course that focuses on short meditations, as well as a new product from i-Awake designed to support short meditation practices.

In the spirit of short, sweet & powerful,


Keeping your Meditation Short & Effective

If you do five minutes of push ups five days a week for a month, by the end you will have a strong set of pectoral and upper arm muscles. You can equally choose to develop any set of muscles in your physical body in the same way; a minimal time commitment practiced regularly.
Similarly with meditation and training your mind you can make a lot of progress doing short meditations regularly, focused on developing particular positive mind-states. Five minutes a day focusing on particular inner skills can have a tremendous impact on your quality of life. Here are three shot meditations that I am working with at the moment in my own daily life:

1) Belly breathing – For a few minutes I drop my awareness down into my belly and focus on the breathing in that part of my body. The function of this meditation is to reduce conceptual thought as well as build relaxation and focus. When you place your awareness in the belly this helps you to ‘duck under’ all of the conceptual/emotional activity and busyness that you find in your head and heart!
2) My emotions as waves – I take the images of waves rising and falling as my object; my comfortable or ‘happy’ emotions are like the peaks of the waves, the uncomfortable or difficult ones are like the ‘troughs’ or low points of the waves. I just go with the mindful emotional flow, not getting stuck with the highs or lows, observing the changes. The function of this meditation is to facilitate healthy emotional flow states.
3) My goals – I recall what my main work goals are for the week, as well as my monthly service and income goals are. Having done so I then generate a strong intention and desire to realize these goals. I then relax and breathe with these intentions. This helps me develop clarity of intention and focus on what I really want / need to get accomplished.

So, I think you can see with the above examples, if you do them or short bursts on a regular daily basis then you are going to achieve quite a lot. Of course doing longer meditations when you can is recommended, but if you just did short daily meditation as a discipline it can make a real difference.

Besides the three exercises above, here are three further suggestions:
1) Here is a five minute free meditation recording on transforming your stress.
2) I have a short online meditation course called ‘Get Your Meditation Practice Started Now’ which includes three five minute meditations that are great for getting a strong basic foundation. It is on special offer at the moment, at just Sing$25.
3) I-Awake technologies have just released a set of tracks called ‘iAwake mini-meditations’which focus on integrating peace-promoting sound technology into short meditation tracks. You can see the full details below, and read about my take on using technology in your meditation practice here.

So, here’s to making our meditation practice short and sweet!

Related articles: Mindful Work Effectiveness Secrets (From an Ex-Monk)
Related workshops: How to Quieten the Mind,  Meditation For Self-Healing

© 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


NEW: iAwake Mini Meditations Vol. I

Choose from this collection of short brainwave entrainment tracks when you need to:

·        wind down quickly
·        recharge
·        step out of your mind
·        relax
·        refocus
·        rebalance
·        prep for what’s next

Special Introductory Offer $29 (20%off) Digital Download : Thru August 10th Only! Click HERE to listen to the free sample track!

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

Saturday 15th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop

Saturday 15th August, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation

August 19th, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Class – Meditating on with the Five Levels of Positive Intention

August 26th, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Class – Working with the Three Levels of Non-Judgement

Saturday 29th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy

Saturday 29th August, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Dreaming – Meditation Practices for Integrating Conscious Dreaming into Your Daily Life

Integral Meditation Asia

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Online Class & Free 5min Audio: Meditating on Benevolence – Yours Sense of Inner Wealth

Dear Integral Meditators,

I’ve been thinking for a little while now about how to create an inexpensive way in which people can participate in the Integral Meditation Asia meditation & mindfulness experience online from anywhere in the world.

Below is the first of what I am planning will be a series of monthly meditation offerings for people to participate in! Scroll down to read further details & to listen to the free five minute meditation.

Up until July 14th it will be on a special launch offer price of Sing$15.

In the spirit of the journey,


Online Class: Meditating on Benevolence – Yours Sense of Inner Wealth

Types of class: This is a class available online, upon payment you will be sent the download links for the MP3 recordings and other class materials.

In a sentence: Combine relaxation and focus with the cultivation of benevolence, or your sense of big-heartedness and inner wealth

More details: The main content of this class is a 45 minute meditation where you will be guided through a process that helps you to

  • Connect to and cultivate the feeling of benevolence within your body, heart & mind
  • Enhance that experience of benevolence by connecting to your own personal symbols, images and role-models of benevolence
  • Further strengthen & grow your benevolence by receiving and giving benevolence to significant others in your life
  • Focus on ways in which you can integrate benevolence into your daily life & actions in a practical way

Listen to a free five minute sample of the class meditation:

Giving and Receiving Benevolence 5 minute sample

In addition to the main recording you will receive:

  • A short 12 minute ‘essential meditation’ on benevolence to help you continue integrating benevolence into your daily life
  • A PDF mindmap summary of the practices in the class & written article on benevolence entitled ‘Benevolence – Your Big Heartedness’.

The cost: Up until July 14th launch price of Sing$15  (US$11, UK£7 equivalent)
At the end of July 14th the price will go up to Sing$20.


Note: Please allow 24hours from the purchase date for the class to be sent to you

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:

Click HERE for the July schedule of classes at IMA

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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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Humble Self-Assertion

It is important to cultivate the quality of humility, but it is important not to mistake it for negative self-effacement.

Humility is based upon an accurate picture of ourselves as just one human being whose wishes and needs exist within the context of the needs and wishes of others. Based upon a healthy, positive self-image and self concept, humility enables us to act kindly, gently and discreetly, placing the needs and visibility of others before us where appropriate.
Negative self-effacement is when we impulsively place ourself in the lowest position, or give up our wishes and needs in the face of others because we basically have a low self-opinion, or we crave approval from others (and fear their disapproval), or we judge all self-assertion to be egotism,  or we don’t really feel we deserve to be happy and fulfilled.

It is also important to be self-assertive, which is a very different thing from being negatively egotistical.
Self-assertiveness  encourages us to know what we want and why we want it. Healthy self-assertion enables us to communicate clearly and non-ambiguously to others our desires, and to act powerfully and enthusiastically to fulfill them. To be positively self-assertive implies that we are also aware of the needs and wishes of others, and:

  1. Are able to practice genuine consideration for the needs and wishes of others when pursuing our own goals
  2. Will robustly advocate the healthy needs and wishes of others as well as our own

In contrast to positive self-assertion, negative egotism is where the only perspective that we are able to take on our world is ‘me and mine’. For the negative egotist other people are simply not important, the world exists to fulfill their wishes and needs. For the negative egotist their own infantile needs and wishes need to be fulfilled at all costs.

One reason why self-assertiveness has a bad name is that it is only the negative egotists who are really pushing and shouting for what they want; we see negative egotism, mistake it for self-assertion and come to the conclusion that any form of self-assertion is bad.

Assertion with humility
So, what we are aiming for here is to mindfully:

  • Like and enjoy who we are but be humble in our interactions with others, avoiding the trap of negative egotism
  • Whilst being humble be clear about what we want in any given situation, communicating our wishes and aspirations clearly, and acting to fulfill them. Where appropriate we also encourage others to think about what they really want and to assert that wish appropriately.

With mindfulness we can learn to be humble and charismatic, self-confident and quiet, colourful and considerate, passionate and calm.

What situation in your life can you start practising humble self-assertion today?

© 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 June/July/August:

Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – The Call of the Wild–Meditations for Deepening Your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Green-world


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

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When Vulnerability Ceases to be a Problem – Three levels of self-confidence

Dear Integral Meditators,

If you look back at the key times in your life when you really did something that helped your self confidence, you may find that it was a time when you had to confront your own sense of vulnerability. The article below looks at how we can mindfully approach our vulnerability on three levels, each of which enables us to grow our self confidence consistently.

I have a related workshop coming up on Sat 27th June for those in Singapore who may be interested – Mindful Self-Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through meditation & mindfulness

In the spirit if confident vulnerability,


When Vulnerability Ceases to be a Problem – Three levels of self-confidence

Vulnerability – The feeling that we are threatened or at risk in some way.

Will people like the work I do? Am I attractive enough? What if I take a chance and the person says no, or even laughs of acts repulsed by what I do? What if I look foolish? What if they think I’m too old? We can feel vulnerable in many and varied ways in our life. What are the times, places and scenarios you meet that tend to trigger it most strongly? (Pause here for a moment if you like and sit with the question).

If we have a bad relationship with our sense of vulnerability, then it can undermine our quality of life and self confidence. If we cultivate a mindfully positive relationship with vulnerability then it can help us develop our self-confidence and playful creativity every time it arises. When vulnerability ceases to be a problem, we start to thrive on the possibilities that it offers us.
We will look at dealing with vulnerability on three levels; coping, accepting and thriving.

At this fist stage we feel vulnerable, but we ‘shut it out’ temporarily so that it does not sabotage what we are trying to do. Let’s say I am about to give a talk to a group of people, I feel nervous and vulnerable. To cope with this I ‘block’ the feelings of vulnerability and focus on something I can control; my awareness of my body, the lines I have rehearsed and so on. By temporarily blocking in this way I am able to deliver my speech with basic competence without my vulnerability sabotaging me. Like this we learn to cope with our vulnerability.

With this second stage we are able to open to and accept our feelings of vulnerability such that they do not sabotage our actions, we can open to and breathe with our vulnerability, relaxing into it. To take the example of giving a speech; as I stand before my audience I am able to accept my vulnerability as I stand there without having to block it out. This then enables me to open to the attention of the audience, gain a sense of where they are at and flow with the experience of giving a speech in a way that offers greater personal enjoyment and self-confidence. It also enables me to extend greater empathy and attention to my audience and perhaps give a better speech than I would have done if I was merely ‘coping’ with my vulnerability.

At this third stage we are at a level of working with our vulnerability where the sense of the risk that we are taking is comfortable to us. When we sense our vulnerability we become excited by the creative possibilities in our situation. We are relaxed enough to improvise and thrive off the opportunity of our vulnerability. In the example of the giving the speech, as I stand before my audience I feel excited by the uncertainty of what will happen, I feel confident to enough to speak from the heart and/or to ad-lib as appropriate. I feel open and conscious of the energy and attention of my audience and thrive on working with it consciously. Vulnerability has ceased to be a problem and has become an opportunity to thrive, to grow and to become more self confident within myself.

If we know what these three levels of working with vulnerability are, then a different times and in different situations we can use whatever level feels appropriate. If we are not feeling super confident, then we can focus on coping. When we are more relaxed we can try practice accepting. As we develop our competence and confidence we can gradually set our intention to work with level three – thriving.

Block, accept or thrive. Which area of your own life could you start mindfully working with the three levels of vulnerability today?

Related Articles: Moving From Anxiety to Excitement
Your Long Term Self-Confidence

© Toby Ouvry 2015, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in May:

JUNE 2015

Wednesday, June 24th 7.30-9pm  – Integral Meditation Session @ Basic Essence – Meditating on benevolence & inner wealth

Saturday 27th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self-Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through meditation & mindfulness

Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – The Call of the Wild–Meditations for Deepening Your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Green-world


Integral Meditation Asia


Enlightened Flow Gods and Goddesses Inner vision Life-fullness Meditation and Psychology Mindful Confidence Mindful Resilience Mindful Self-Leadership Mindfulness Motivation and scope

The Spectrum of Mindful Enjoyment

Dear Toby,

All of us want to experience enjoyment in our life, but sometimes it can feel a little elusive. The article below explores how we can go about consciously cultivating our experience of enjoyment and integrating it into a wide variety of our activities.

In the spirit of enjoyment and fun,


The Spectrum of Mindful Enjoyment

Getting to know your own enjoyment
Think about a time when you have really experienced enjoyment. As you do so get in touch with that enjoyment within your body; what does it feel like somatically? Is it in a particular part of the body? Does the energy of enjoyment seem to have a particular colour or musical tone (In your mind’s eye/ear)? What happens to your body posture when you feel the energy of enjoyment?

I mean real enjoyment
Sometimes we seek ‘fun’ as a way of distracting ourselves from things we feel uncomfortable about. There is a kind of fragile, escapist enjoyment that we sometimes seek that is riddled with insecurity. So just to delve a little further, let’s be clear that what we are trying to connect with here is a ‘real’ open hearted and genuine enjoyment, not the ‘fake’ enjoyment that we sometimes use as a smoke-screen for our discomfort.

To me enjoyment seems to be characterized by a feeling of open heartedness, a smiling quality, a playful confidence and inquisitiveness. You may find that for you the essential ‘ingredients’ of enjoyment could be described slightly differently.

From calmness to excitement – the spectrum of mindful enjoyment
So then with this essential feeling of enjoyment we can then experiment with it; we can practice bringing it into our social interactions, our work, our time alone with ourself. According to the activity our enjoyment could be combined with excitement and vigor such as if we are at a party or playing a game, or it could be combined with feelings of calm and subtlety such as when we are sitting in meditation.

The point about this is that, if you make a point of mindfully cultivating your basic experience of enjoyment you can then practice integrating it into a whole spectrum of your life’s activities from the intense to the quiet. You can use your essential feeling of mindful enjoyment to enhance all of them!

The child and the god/dess within
When we contact our enjoyment mindfully in this way we have the opportunity to re-activate our playful inner child, which for most of us gets lost somewhere on the journey from our historical childhood to our present ‘jolly serious’ adulthood. We also activate our inner god or goddess; that mythic part of us that enjoys being creative for sport and that has real power to change the world for the better.

So let’s get going!
Which activity would you like to focus integrating your own mindful enjoyment with today?

Related articles: Moving From Anxiety to Excitement
Related workshop on 27 June: Developing Your Mindful Self-Confidence

© Toby Ouvry 2015, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in May:

JUNE 2015

Wednesday, June 24th 7.30-9pm  – Integral Meditation Session @ Basic Essence – Meditating on benevolence & inner wealth

Saturday 27th June 9.30am-12.30pm – Mindful Self-Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through meditation & mindfulness

Saturday 27th June, 2.30-5.30pm – The Call of the Wild–Meditations for Deepening Your Inner Connection to the Animal Kingdom and the Green-world


Integral Meditation Asia