Awareness and insight Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Meditation techniques mind body connection Mindfulness One Minute Mindfulness Presence and being present Uncategorized

Bringing Congruence to the Mind Through Meditation – Three Ways

Dear Toby,

Congruence – To bring harmony, agreement and compatibility. This mid-week article is about how to bring congruence to the different elements of your mind.

After an enjoyable Greenworld Meditation Workshop last Sunday, there is a chance for anyone who wanted to come but could not to come along this Sunday, 2nd March for the second date!
Also on Sunday is the Introduction to Walking Meditation Workshop, registration for this will close on Thursday evening.
Finally, date for your diary I will be doing the Meditation and Mindfulness For Developing a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention on Saturday April 5th at the Reiki Centre.

Yours in the spirit of inner congruence,


Bringing Congruence to the Mind Through Meditation – Three Ways

 Imbalanced, fragmented, confused. Does that ever feel like the state of your mind? Here are three meditative methods to bring your mind from fragmentation to a state of relative balance and unity through meditation:

  1. Still your mind
  2. Focus on one thought or image
  3. Allow it all to be there

1. Still your mind – When your mind is still, all of its disparate parts start to come back into balance and settle naturally. If you can still your mind, you may not solve anything externally, but you will bring the different parts of your mind back into congruence with each other, and so when you do go back to your life you will do so with a new experience and perspective. One simple technique to still your mind is simply to sit still and focus your sensory awareness on the physical stillness of your body. By being physically still and focusing on that, you find that after a time your mind starts to become still through its attention to the body. Once your mind becomes still in this way you can then switch your focus from the stillness of your body to the stillness you feel within your mind, which you can now see and feel clearly.

2. Focus on one thought or image – Use one thought, image or even a physical object as your point of focus. By anchoring your attention to it, the other elements of your mind can ‘swirl’ around it, and gradually come back into balance simply as a side product of you placing your attention on one thing and letting everything else ‘even out’.

3. Allow it all to be there – Simply sit with everything in your mind without trying to focus, control or judge it. This technique involves gaining control and congruence within your mind by abandoning all attempts to control it. Simply sit and watch it, be with it without feeding any of it. The by-product of this allowing is that once more the different elements of the mind gradually come back into congruence and balance with each other.

None of these practices ‘solves’ anything, but by bringing congruence to your mind  they enable your natural intelligence to function freely, and encourage you to have confidence in your own natural capacity to bring your personal best to the challenges you face each day.

© 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 Awareness Meditating on the Self Meditation and Psychology

How Can We Experience Integral Vision? (And a list of the free meditations posted for October)

Dear Integral Meditators,
Meditation and the development of expanded states of awareness always needs to go hand in glove with psychological development and maturity. This weeks article  looks at one method I use in my coaching practice to help people (and myself, I do use it myself!) to develop a more mature psychological vision of what they are experiencing.

November meditation workshops are mainly focused around Zen practice from an integrated point of view on Tuesday evening 19th December we have  An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Zen Level 1  and then on Sunday 24th November we have  Zen Meditation Workshop Level 2: Journeying Deeper into the Path of Zen  , It you are able to make it , see you there!

Finally, here are the various free audio meditations that I have posted on the IMA website during the month of October in case you missed any of them: Dropping Your Conceptual LeavesMeditating With Your Shadow SelfTransforming Your Stress,Finding a Place Beyond Ordinary Happiness and Suffering.

Yours in the spirit of a more integrated vision of life,


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia:
Sunday October 27th, 9.30am-12.30pm – Finding Freedom From What Holds You Back in Life: Practical Meditations And Techniques For Working With your Shadow-Self – A Three Hour Workshop

Tuesday 19th  November, 7.30-9.30pm – An Introduction to Meditation from the Perspective of Zen Level 1

Sunday 24th November, 9am-1pm  – Zen Meditation Workshop Level 2: Journeying Deeper into the Path of Zen 

Sunday December 1st – Shadow Meditation Level 2: Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self

How Can We Experience Integral Vision? 

An alternative title to this article might be “How do you coach psychological insight and growth?” In my coaching with people, one of the main ways in which I help people to increase the quality and power of their mind is to help them increase the number of points of view from which they are able to look at their life circumstances and challenges.

Normally we think about out life challenges mostly from one point of view – our own, occasionally interspersed with how one of the other people in the situation might be feeling or thinking. Not surprisingly, as a result our vision of our life and the circumstances remains very limited and partial.

The aim of the exercise that I will be explaining below is to turn the way you view a life challenge from a partial vision to a more integral or integrated vision.  An integral vision is simply one that is able to take many perspectives on the situation, each of which will reveal a certain part of the REALITY of what is going on. The more points of view you can take in, the more “whole” and integrated your understanding of what is happening will be.

Developing an Integrated Vision on One of Your Life Challenges:

This is an exercise that I sometimes do with clients. You can simply do it mentally as you are reading through it if you like, but it really starts to take off as an mind development tool when you do it as a written exercise.

Begin by selecting a situation or life challenge that you wish to process. Think of it clearly in your mind, or write it down.

Then ask yourself these eight questions, write freely and quickly without over-analyzing:
1) What is my personal experience and perspective of the situation?
2) How might the other person/peoples involved be experiencing the situation?
3) What does a 3rd person or objective experience of the situation look like?
4) What might a “spiritual” (spiritual in your own terms) interpretation of the situation be?
5) Describe the situation in purely sensory and physical terms
6) How would you describe the principle feelings involved?
7) What are the economics of the situation?
8) Of the people involved, who is looking to gain what from the situation?
Now consider what you have written or thought about with each question, considering each one in turn.

Then, finally ask:
9) Taking into account all of the perspectives I have considered above, what might be the wisest way to positively move forward in the situation right now?

The first eight questions are designed to give you an integral or fully rounded vision, or set of perspectives about what is actually happening in your life challenge. This gives you your “integral vision”. With all the insights you have gained, question eight then asks you to make the all important step of turning your vision into action.

© Toby Ouvry 2013, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

creative imagery Essential Spirituality Gods and Goddesses Inner vision Integral Meditation Integrating Ego, Soul and Spirit Meditation techniques Primal Spirituality spiritual intelligence

Is Spirit a Place of Light of Dark?

Dear Integral Meditators,

When you think of the words “deep spirit”, or “deep consciousness” what sort of ideas and images arise in your mind? This weeks article investigates the encounter with deep spirit and what sort of experience it is.

Yours in the transformation power of deep consciousness,


Is Spirit a Place of Light or Dark? 

There is often a pre-conceived idea that the deeper dimensions of consciousness are somehow domains of heavenly light and bliss, but what is it really like when we connect to deeper levels of spirit and consciousness through meditation?
The deeper levels of spirit have been experienced by mediators and spiritual practitioners of all traditions and, rather than being a realm of light (as some of the levels of consciousness BEFORE we reach this deeper level are) the deep primal or causal level of spirit is a domain where light and darkness appear to merge and become paradoxically one. As the Christian poet Henry Vaughan said:

“There is, some say, in God a deep but dazzling darkness”

So, rather than being a realm of light per-se, the deepest level of spirit and consciousness (I’m using these words interchangeably in this article) are a place where light and dark come together as one.
Put another way it is a place that is beyond light or darkness, a place that is beyond the polarity of opposites.

If you are a consistent meditator, then the odds are after a few years you will start connecting to this domain of deeper consciousness in your meditations naturally, but we can accelerate the rate at which we connect and stabilize our experience of this domain by using images, here are three, they are very simple but very powerful:

  1. The Eclipse – Visualize a sun in the space in front of you. Imagine a dark sphere comes across and blocks the sun, as the moon does in an eclipse. So you are now staring at a dark sphere surrounded by an aura of dazzling light. Now imagine that you become that dark sphere that contains within its darkness a dazzling light. Be this union of light and darkness.
  2. The Union of Heaven and Earth – Sit on a chair with your feet squarely on the floor. Visualize dark life energy rising up from the earth through your feet. Visualize bright, white universal energy coming down through your crown from the sky. See the light and the dark energy coming together in the centre of your chest. As you observe the light and dark coming together, sometimes the space in the centre of your chest feels like a bright star, other times it feels and looks like a deep black hole. After a while it becomes a dazzling space of dark light. Allow your mind to relax and absorb into this dazzling dark space of primal spirit in the centre of your chest.
  3.  The Starry Pool – See yourself descending a spiral stairway into the earth. Eventually it opens out into a cavern. In front of you there is a deep pool of water. On the wall on the other side of the cavern there is a small alcove where a candle burns in front of an image or statue that for you represents God/Goddess or Deep Spirit. Gaze into the pool. As you do so from within the deep blackness there emerge stars deep within the darkness. Allow your mind to sink into the inky blackness of the pool where there is deep darkness in combination with the bright lights of the stars. Feel the darkness and starlight becoming one and rest in that space. At the end of this meditation return back up the stairway to the earth’s surface, don’t just snap straight out and walk off!

These images are not about philosophy, psychology or metaphysics. They are images that you can use to create a personal, experiential encounter with deep spirit and allow yourself to be changed by this encounter.

© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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 Integral Awareness Integral Meditation Meditation and Psychology Meditation techniques Mindfulness Presence and being present

Your Attention as Your Object of Mindfulness

Dear Integral Meditators,

The theme of this week’s integral meditations article is quite simple, but at the same time often difficult to do. It is this; if you can control your attention then you can control the way in which you experience your life. We can’t always choose the way our life turns out, but we always have a choice with regard to what we are paying attention to in our life at any given moment. Exercising the power of that choice is the essential discipline of attention training.

Yours in the spirit of the empowering power of attention,


Your Attention as Your Object of Mindfulness

Any advertising executive will tell you that the most important thing you need to do in order to sell people your product is get their attention. If you can get their attention then there is a chance you can convince them to buy your product. If you cannot get their attention then you can’t sell anything to them.
Consequently, when you go out onto the street or go online, you are not going into a neutral environment, you are going into a ‘hostile’ environment where people are trying to get your attention all the time. By controlling your attention they control the way you think, the beliefs you have, the way you behave, how you act and what you consume.

The corollary of this is that whatever you yourself choose to place your inner or outer attention upon at any given time affects how you think, what you believe (about yourself and your world), how you feel and behave, and what you consume.

From this it is easy to see then why it is crucial if you are trying to lead any kind of considered, evolved and directed life that you learn to be aware of what you are placing your attention on, and be as sure as possible that it truly where you want it to be.

To give a simple example if your attention is entirely consumed by ideas from the mainstream media, then your ideas about what “happiness” is will not actually be your own, but rather simply a reflection of what the mainstream media sources tell you happiness is.
How are you ever going to be really happy if your idea of happiness is a product of what someone else wants you to think?
Another simple example is that we have a strong tendency to pay attention to what is wrong with ourselves, or with our life, without regularly placing our attention on appreciating and enjoying what is right with ourselves and our life. Training in attention in this example involves definitely focusing on what is going well and positively in our life.

Controlling your attention is one of the keys to living a self aware life where you are the one making the choices about how you think, feel and act rather than these things being an unconscious product of ideas that you have been fed by someone else.

Practising mindfulness and meditation are major ways of developing the capacity to consciously control your attention.

Beginning to consciously control your attention

You can start to become aware of, direct and control your attention by doing the following short exercise once or twice a day over the next week, and then subsequently whenever you feel the need.

  • Pick a quality that you wish to develop within yourself that is pertinent and helpful to your life right now. For the sake of an example I’m going to choose “the qualities of lightness and playfulness”.
  • Ask yourself “What has my attention been focused on for the last hour or two? How much of that time have I been consciously integrating the qualities of lightness and playfulness into my life, and into my attention training?”
  • Then ask yourself “Where is my attention placed right now? Where can I focus my attention in order to regain or enhance my experience and development of the qualities of lightness and playfulness?”
  • Finally ask “How can I focus my attention on for the next hour or two in order to continue integrating lightness and playfulness into my life?” Your answer to this final question gives you your “attention training” for the next hour or two of our day.

© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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 Presence and being present Primal Spirituality

On Real Men, Daffodils and Chihuahuas

Dear All,

This weeks article looks at ways in which we can encourage ourselves to get out of the ‘ordinary appearances’ that so often prevent us from living a full and vibrant life.

Quick reminder of this coming Wednesday’s  “Introduction to Meditation From the Perspective of Zen” . There are maybe three or four places left, so if you do want to come I do need to know, thanks! If you can’t make the Zen class physically, but are interested in the MP3 recordings of it, then it is available in this format.

Wishing you a week of non-ordinariness,


Upcoming Classes and Workshops at Integral Meditation Asia in January 2013

Wednesday 16th January, 7.30-9.30pm: “An Introduction to Meditation From the Perspective of Zen”

Sunday 26th January – 9.30am-12.30pm – Three Hour Workshop: ”Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention – An Introduction to Contemporary Meditation Practice

To register or for further enquiries: Email, or call 65-68714117

On Real Men, Daffodils and Chihuahuas

Ordinary appearances
From the perspective of Tibetan Buddhist Tantric practice, one of the main obstacles to us breaking free of our patterns of suffering and pain, and living in a truly creative and liberated state is ‘ordinary appearances’. Put very briefly this means that we see what arises in our daily life as the ‘same old same old’, rather than the reality (from a tantric perspective), which is that each moment of our life is a living encounter and dialog with the divine who/which is in each moment encouraging us to recognize our own inner creative nature, and encouraging us to dance and sing our way through life, rather than remaining stuck in the banal, the unthinking mainstream, the unexceptional and often actually being afraid to connect to and be “who we really are”.

Things that take you out of the spell of ordinary appearance
Some afternoons I jog down the canal to an exercise station to do a little bit of fitness work. Often at about that time there is another guy there, maybe in his 50’s. He has a kind of David Beckham mid-90’s hair cut, with red highlights, and he jogs down with his dog, a Chihuahua that last week was carrying a daffodil in its mouth as it trotted along beside him. I think he must be some kind of night club owner or something, but the thing that strikes me about him is that he is clearly entirely comfortable with his lack of conventionality. We normally have a friendly chat about man-stuff (actually mostly sound approximations, his english isn’t that good, and my mandarin is similarly limited, but with man-talk it is mainly about making the right primal sounds to let each other know that it is one ‘real man’ talking to another, right guys?) before we go off and sweat away in our own corner of the playground.
For me, seeing this slightly eccentric but entirely ‘comfortable in his own skin’ guy, within his flower carrying dog reminds me that life is not ordinary. Seeing him each week makes me smile and laugh a bit, and encourages me to keep on pursuing my own ‘out of the ordinary’ path with humour, enthusiasm, care and creativity despite the obstacles that come up.

Breaking the consensus of ordinary appearance in the world
Like me I am sure that you to have some slightly out of the ordinary people, sights and happenings that occur in your life each week, or if you think you don’t, then have a look out this week and see what you can find. You can use these encounters if you want just to consciously jolt you out of your ordinary, mundane perception of your life, and see your life as an opportunity to dance a little (inwardly or outwardly) to the tune of the divine, and to connect creatively, fully and with care to who you are, who you meet and what you are doing.

© Toby Ouvry 2013, 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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Can Meditation Help You Find Your Life’s Purpose?

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a relaxing and fulfilling Christmas and Boxing day, I had a very pleasant time, just about the right balance of sociability, good food and quiet reflection!

With the new year approaching I my thoughts have been turning (like many people) to what I would most like to focus on during 2012. I write the article below on the question of “Can meditation help you find your life’s purpose?” with this somewhat in mind.

Next week sees the return of regular weekly classes in Singapore, in particular the weeklyQi gong meditation class restarting on the 4th January.

Wishing you all the best for your new year celebrations!

Yours in the spirit of new beginnings,



Article of the Week:

Can Meditation Help You Find Your Life’s Purpose?

One way or another, and for a variety of different motives, many people feel that finding their ‘life’s purpose’ is very important to them. What I want to do in this article is to outline three levels of purpose in life, and then give a few comments regarding how meditation may be able to help people to find their life’s purpose on these different levels.
These three levels of purpose move from ‘basic’ indicating the least evolved (but still perfectly valid), to the intermediate, to advanced, ‘advanced’ in this context meaning advanced from the perspective of meditation and the path to enlightenment.

The three levels of life’s purpose are:

1) The Basic Level – Survival and acceptance:
Here survival means accumulating enough material resources for a basically happy life, and developing enough social competence to build successful, lasting, mutually supporting friendships and family bonds (and thus acceptance into your ‘tribe’).  Here meaning in life is found in living it, and the experience of living successfully and happily within the context of one’s society. For a person on this level meditation can help calm their mind enough to facilitate greater awareness of the choices they have to make, and greater intelligence and control to make sure they are able to direct their behavior and appetites appropriately, so that they are not sabotaging their resource building and relationship efforts all the time. On this level meditation will also help them to enjoy the fruits of their labor, and appreciate the good things in their life as they are able to live more ‘in the present’.

2) The Intermediate Level – Personal achievement and working for the greater good:
On this level two principle things come online; firstly joy in personal achievement (combined with a certain level of ambition, some of this egotistic, some more altruistic), and secondly an expansion of our scope and motivation. We evolve from our life being mainly about ourselves and our family to wanting to make a real, genuine, positive and lasting contribution to society and the world. Our life begins to center around the question ‘What is it in particular that I can offer the world?’
On the first level of personal achievement, meditation helps us in a similar way to the basic level by helping us to optimize our awareness, intelligence and consistency, thus giving us the mental strength to accomplish our goals. On the second level of motivation and scope, regular meditation naturally makes our mind bigger and more open, opening it up to empathy and awareness of both others and the world around us and facilitating the natural development of genuine love and compassion.
Another major way in which meditation helps us at this stage is the opening of our intuition, guiding us toward work and activity that will be of most meaning and consequence.

3) The Advanced Level – Doing Nothing, Going Nowhere:
On this last and most advanced level, the search for a “meaning” in life is dropped as we realize the inherent perfection of each and every moment of our life as it is already, right now. On this level we are able to recognize that the idea of a ‘personal purpose’ and meaning to our life is ultimately both illusory and already fully manifest. Life is perfect as it is and has no meaning other than its own natural, moment to moment self fulfillment.Zen practices such as the practice of aimlessness and thoughtlessness are aimed at realization of this level of our life’s purpose, as is the Tibetan Dzogchen practice of ‘hopelessness’ (meaning if you are hoping for a life meaning to manifest in the future for you, then you will never be able to realize that it is here with you right now!!!).

In Conclusion
I have outlined three levels of life’s meaning here, one thing I would like to flag up is thatyou can’t move onto the advanced level of ‘doing nothing going nowhere’ without having developed high levels of competency at the first two levels, basic and intermediate. There are a lot of people whose life has no meaning at all, and who are doing nothing about it and thus going nowhere in the negative sense of the word and this is not at all desirable!  Thinking advanced meditation teachings and practices are an excuse to be a lazy so and so, and to avoid the basic day to day challenges in your life is a complete illusion! All of these three levels can and should be grown and developed together as we go through our life and develop our meditation practice.

© 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 Primal Spirituality

Meditating on the Four Seasons and Four Stages of Our Life

I’ve been back in the UK now for a few days, enjoying the particular ambience of the English summer time, all the birds in the garden are looking extremely plump and well fed, the flowers are all in bloom and the dragon flies are flying around the pond, showing off their beautiful green and red colourings.

One of the major “diagrams” or maps of the spiritual path as explained in the western tradition is the Wheel of Life, which essentially consists of a circle with four points on it. These four points correspond to the following basic energies and directions:

North: Winter, night time and the earth element
East: Spring, morning and the air element
South: Summer, noonday and the fire element
West: Autumn, evening and the water element.

In addition the four seasons on the wheel spring, summer, autumn and winter also correspond to the four stages of a human (or any other creature’s) life, namely childhood, youth (young adult), mature adult (parental) and old age.  From this we can start to see that our own life moves in a natural cycle that is very much like the four seasons of the year, and also the four stages of a twenty four hour cycle; morning (childhood), noon (young adult), afternoon (maturity) and night (old age).
In the picture that I have posted with this article you can see these correspondences depicted in an artwork that I have created:

  • A pathway in the north (top of picture) leads to a winter landscape
  • To the right hand side is a pathway opening to a spring landscape
  • At the bottom is a gateway opening to a summer landscape
  • On the left hand side there is a pathway leading to an autumn landscape.

Meditation on breathing with the four seasons and stages of life
From the above we can see that our life, like the nature of which we are a part moves in cycles. We can begin to develop a subjective feel for this by meditating in the following manner:

  • As you begin to inhale feel the awakening of new life in your body-mind, like the energy of spring and childhood within you.
  • As you progress through the second half of the inhalation, feel the awakening of the energy of summer and the prime of your youthful-self awakening within you.
  • As you pause briefly at the top of your breath feel your body-mind  to be full of vital energy and life-force, like a landscape in mid-summer.
  • As you begin exhaling feel yourself connecting to the energy of autumn and maturity.
  • As you move into the second half of your exhalation, feel yourself connecting to the season of winter, and to the wisdom of old age.
  • As your breath ceases at the bottom of your exhalation, meditate briefly on death, and the end of the brief life cycle of your last breath. Note how it is from this ‘death’ that a cycle of new life emerges with the beginning of the next new breath.
  • Continue this cycle of breathing for as many breaths as feels comfortable, and end with a period of silence, stillness and deep calm.

This is a nice meditation to do outdoors in direct contact with nature and the seasons themselves. Also, contemplation of the ‘Four Seasons’ artwork that I have done can also be a helpful tool for getting a feel for how the four seasons and stages of our life flow together in a circle, one after the other, and how we can create this cycle of energy within ourselves with each in-breath and out-breath.

© 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 Meditation techniques Presence and being present spiritual intelligence

From paranoia to pronoia and transnoia – The journey to perceptual enlightenment in three steps

Three concepts that describe three states of perception:

  • Paranoia – When we see a world that is attacking us and out to get us. This perception arises from a mind that is seeing the world from the perspective of its own fear, anger, jealousy and other negative mindsets
  • Pronoia – When we see a world filled with love and with people, places and things that are worthy of that love. This perception arises within us when our own hearts and minds are filled with love, kindness and care
  • Transnoia – When we see a world where everything is a manifestation of the divine or transcendent, and everything that happens to us is helping us to awaken and grow in the light of this truth. This perception arises from a condition of faith in a higher power than us that is good, but also from wisdom, the ability to see that the challenges we have to face in our life conform to a meaningful pattern that, if we have the presence of mind to face up to will help us grow, evolve and eventually reach our enlightenment.  

One way of viewing the path to enlightenment could be a journey from the nightmare world of paranoia to the “heavenly” states of mind of pronoia and transnoia.

Meditation for introducing pronoia and transnoia into the heart of our paranoia.

Using your breathing as an anchor for your awareness. Recall times or conditions in your life when you have felt deeply surrounded by your own paranoia. Feel into those times and states as realistically as you can without losing your sense of centre.

Having done this, now introduce the perspective of pronoia into the meditation. See the circumstance and yourself though the eyes of love, kindness and compassion. Observe how this perspective starts to alter your view and perception of the situation.

Finally introduce the perspective of transnoia – See what is happening as a part of a larger plan created by a benevolent higher power (call it God, Buddha, the Tao or word of your choice) that is helping you to develop and refine your character, and move toward your own eventual enlightenment and fully awakened state. Observe how this perspective changes your experience of the situation. 

This is a simple exercise that you can do either in a formal sitting meditation or in a more casual, contemplative way when you have a few moments. The main thing is to start seeing how you can work with them in a practical way to alter your experience of your life. 

© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article, but you MUST seek Toby’s permission first. Contact

Awareness and insight Meditation techniques

Finding inner space within your mind by focusing on outer spaces

An ongoing motivation for both beginners starting meditation and those who are more experienced practitioners is simply the need to create and preserve a sense of space within our mind which we can relax into and use to keep the rest of our busy lives in perspective. One technique I use regularly that I find creates a sense of inner space very quickly is to focus on an awareness of the outer spaces that exist in our physical environment. The mind basically becomes like what it focuses upon, so when you focus on an outer physical space, this in turn quite naturally starts to give rise to a sense of an inner space within our mind. Here is one example of a way in which you can do this:

Making your mind BIG
We have been using this technique recently in the class I facilitate. Once you have sat down in a comfortable posture, become aware of the sky and stars up above you and the earth beneath you, allow your awareness to become big and open like the sky above you, and vast solid and stable like the Earth beneath you.
After you have done this, extend your mind horizontally around you, out to the horizon of the land, to the north, east, south and west. Extend your awareness as far out as you can to feel the curve of the Earth’s surface all about you. Now you have a sense of your mind as being BIG, and spacious, taking in the vast physical spaces all around you.
Stay with this feeling for as long as you like, let yourself relax as much as possible into your sense of the big space all around you; above, below, and extending out into the for directions of the horizontal/horizonal plane.
If you do this for a while, you will find quite quickly that a sense of inner space and calm arises within your mind. By focusing on the big space outside, you start to feel the big space inside!

A final point here is that I have found that this meditation helps ANY problem that I may be facing and that I am concerned about. When your mind feels big, then problems seem much more manageable. In a small mind consumed by itself and its own challenges, even small issues can take on a distorted life of their own!

© Toby Ouvry 2010, you are welcome to use this article, but you MUST gain Toby’s permission first.