Wrestling with your Dark Angels

Dear Integral Meditators,

What happens when your meditation practice becomes difficult or challenging due to your life circumstances, and how can you keep going? The article below explores this using the image of our having ‘Dark Angels’. Enjoy!

For those in Singapore, a final reminder for the Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat this Saturday January 13th, 2-5pm.

In the spirit of the journey,


Wrestling with your Dark Angels

When our life is pleasant, and our emotions are stable it can be easy and enjoyable to sustain a meditation practice. We experience for ourselves how it increases our peace of mind and pleasure. We enjoy the effects of greater focus in our work. We notice our body feeling lighter and more healthy.
For a lot of people however, when our life takes a turn for the worse, the temptation can be to stop meditating. This is because when we sit down to meditate, our difficult emotions confront us and we want to escape from them. Siting meditating becomes a place where, rather than feeling peaceful and blessed, we feel as if we are wrestling with a dark force within us that we would rather run from and forget about.
However, it is precisely at this stage, when we are “wrestling with our dark angels” that it can be most useful to keep meditating and keep on engaging with our challenging mind states. It is by being persistent in this way that we often have real insights into the deeper meaning of what we are going through, and the opportunity that it is offering us.

Wrestling to become stronger
At times like these it can be useful to change your expectations of your meditation practice. When you sit down, don’t expect greater peace of mind to come to you as you sit. Instead, expect to wrestle with what is in your mind, and for that to be the point of your practice. Understand that by wrestling with it you are developing new strength, skills and stamina that you would not be able to develop of your ‘dark angels’ were not arising and inviting you to wrestle with them.

Some examples:
Since the new year I have had certain additional financial responsibilities to take on, so I need to further develop my sources of income. This has become a dark angel for me. I experience the thoughts and feelings coming from these demands, I wrestle with the uncertainty, the insecurity, the fears. As I do so in a mindful way, I notice myself learning, becoming stronger, becoming more confident. I couldn’t grow in this way without this dark angel of mine.
Another example of a dark angel for me has been my desire for certainty and control in my relationships; Part of me want my partner and our daughters to be safe always, I want our futures to be fixed, guaranteed. Sometimes when my mind reflects upon this desire, all the uncertainties that we face, all the possible challenges, all the things that might go wrong rise up. I have to wrestle with these ‘dark angels’, I have to let them train me to be stronger, more compassionate, to change my idea of what I can take, and what I am capable of.
I’m calling these types of obstacles dark angels because, although they are ‘dark’, if we let them, they become our angels. They bless us by training us to develop qualities and strengths that, without them we could not develop. They are inviting us to become bigger and better versions of ourselves.
What are the dark angels in your life right now that you might like to start sitting down and wrestling with?

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com

Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia

Ongoing on Wednesday’s, 7.30-8.30pm – Wednesday Meditation Classes at Basic Essence with Toby

Ongoing on Tuesday evenings, 7.30-8.30pm – Tuesday Meditation Classes at One Heart with Toby (East coast)

Tuesday 2nd & Wednesday 3rd January – 2018 New year releasing and inviting meditation

Saturday January 13th, 2-5pm – Integral meditation & mindful walking deep dive half day retreat

Saturday January 20th – 9.30am-1pm – Meditations for Developing the Language of Your Shadow Self 

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