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Meditation as a Way of Life

Dear Integral Meditators,

Is meditation something that you sit down and do each day as a formal practice, or is it more fundamental, a whole way of approaching life? The article below explores that latter option.

Yours in the spirit of meditation,


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia :

Special offer for 1:1 Coaching For January at Integral Meditation Asia  (Via skype or face to face)

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

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

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


Meditation as a Way of LifeThe commitment to contemplate life deeply
One way of defining meditation is simply a commitment to contemplating and investigating life deeply. This definition is useful as it takes us away from the idea of meditation as something that you do as a formal practice for 10minutes, 30 minutes, an hour a day, and indicates that it is really a fundamental stance toward life; to be a true meditator is to be committed to looking at your work, your relationships, your sex life (or lack of it), your philosophy and so on… deeply. It means to be dis-satisfied with superficial surface experiences and hungry for real experience, to make your life your own and not just a pastiche of what somebody else told you life should be.The temptation to stay on the surface
We are without a shadow of a doubt the most educated set of human generations that has ever lived. We have the potential to look deeply into our life and find patterns of meaning and consequence, but do we? Despite having the capacity to look deeply, many of us avoid it. We content ourselves with the superficial, with the easy. We pay attention to that which society guides our attention to, we define ourselves according to the prevailing trends and beliefs, we avoid the voice within us that calls us to look beyond the surface and the comfortable because it makes us uncomfortable, makes us feel vulnerable, and also makes us feel genuinely powerful (which is perhaps the most scary of all).

To be a meditator means to be committed to go beyond the surface patterns of our life each day, and contemplate the depths.

The courage to go deeper
Being a meditator is an act of courage, curiosity and care; commitment each day to connect and heal the hidden parts of ourselves that are damaged, the curiosity and interest to develop the powers of our body-mind-spirit to the next level, and to care about our lives and the lives of others enough to go beyond indifference, numbness and apathy, which each day tempt us to fall back into a state of passive unconsciousness.

It is a 24hour practice!
From this we can see that to be a meditator in the true and broader sense of the word is quite an heroic activity. It is demanding, it is inconvenient, it is sometimes tiring, it causes us to make difficult choices, it may mean we have to spend time alone.
What is the reward of this all? The reward of committing to contemplate life deeply? The reward of being a meditator? It is that we get to feel truly alive in way that cannot be taken away from us.

Related articleLife-fullness

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

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Is Meditation about Stress Management or About Enlightenment?

Dear *|FNAME|,

What is the reason that we meditate and practice mindfulness? This is the subject of this weeks article, it is one of those questions that it is very useful to be clear on!

The main development at Integral Meditation Asia this week is that  I have created a newshadow coaching service. As many of you know I have been offering shadow meditation workshops for some time now. This coaching service is designed to provide a personalized service for people to really get to grips with their own shadow self, and start enjoying it rather than running away from it!

With all best wishes for your inner wellbeing,



Is Meditation about Stress Management or About Enlightenment? 

Why do we meditate of practise mindfulness? Traditionally and historically it was practised by those who wished to attain a spiritual liberation or enlightenment, but more recently meditation and mindfulness have been touted as methods that can help us deal more effectively with our secular stress, help us relax and improve our work performance. So, is it about enlightenment, or is it about stress relief?
Thinking about this I came up with three basic levels of meditation practice that gives a spectrum of possible uses for meditation practice.

Meditation from the perspective of the ego: Here we are motivated to practice meditation in order to reduce stress and negotiate our life challenges in a more fulfilling and enjoyable manner. In this context meditation is a secular skill which value adds in a measurable way to our quality of life.

Meditation from the perspective of the soul: Here we practise meditation in order to provide the inner stability and strength to live a life of principle and depth, for example to live life according to the principles of goodness, beauty and truth. Meditation in this context contains within it the “ambition” to go beyond our biological and lower human nature, and to start consciously embodying positive principles in the world through our actions.

Meditation from the perspective of spirit: On this third level we practise meditation in order to pursue enlightenment – the realization of the ultimate, formless, timeless dimension of reality and of ourselves. Here we commit not just to doing this in sitting meditation, but also to embody that reality in our daily action; to mediate (not a typo; mediate, conduct, channel) the energy of enlightened awakening into the outer world of illusion. The goal if meditation on this level is to accomplish the same fundamental realizations of your Buddha’s, Christ’s, Krishna’s, Lady Tsogyal’s, St John of the Crosses etc… and to act as forces of enlightenment within the world as they did.

So, there are your three basic levels, it’s up to you where you pitch your own practice. Even if you only think yourself capable of the first, then this is still a wonderful step to take and commit to.
I think the reality is that every time we sit down and meditate we do a little of all three levels; we reduce our stress (ego level), go a little deeper into our inner self (soul level), and awaken even if it is only in the smallest of ways to our true nature (spiritual level).
© 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 Meditation Recordings Meditation techniques

Recording of “What is Meditation?” Talk

Hi Everyone,

Please find below a recording of a free talk that I did last week entitles “What is Meditation, and the Role That it Can Play in Transforming Our Life”, Enjoy!

I have placed a resume of the talk content beneath the recording.

Yours in the spirit of the journey,


[audio:|titles=What is Meditation Free Talk]



With meditation teacher Toby Ouvry

As modern life continues to make more and more demands upon us more and more people are turning to the ancient art of meditation as a way of coping with stress, reducing anxiety and re-orienting their mind around positive mental and emotional habits that give  rise to peace of mind. But what exactly is meditation? This talk, given by Toby who has 15 years of experience of teaching meditation, including five years as a Buddhist monk aims to provide answers to the following questions:

  • What is meditation?
  • What are the different purposes that it can be used for?
  • How can I begin practicing meditation today in a simple and effective way that will enhance my quality of life?

Click HERE for a list of Toby’s current and upcoming meditation classes.