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Four Positions for Wrestling with your Dark Angels

Dear Integral Meditators,

When you find yourself wrestling with difficult or challenging mind-states, what mindfulness practices can you actually ‘do’ that will make a difference? The article below investigates four practical ‘mindful positions’ that you can start working with.

For those in Singapore, we will be exploring these positions in the Tuesday & Wednesdayevening classes, and doing related work in the Language of the Shadow workshop this Saturday.

In the spirit of mindful wrestling,


Four Positions for Wrestling with your Dark Angels

In my previous article I talked about the ‘Dark Angels’ that we sometimes have to wrestle with. These dark angels are states of mind that arise from challenges in our life. They are characterized by:

  • Feeling as if you are wrestling with a dark force within that you would rather run from, hide from and/or forget about.
  •  It being difficult for you to sit down and be present with yourself because your mind cannot rest at peace.
  • If you do choose to sit down and wrestle with them you develop 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.

So, then the question may arise “Ok so if I do choose to sit down and ‘wrestle’ with them, how can I actually ‘do’ that?” With this in mind, here are four basic ‘mindful positions’ that you can adopt and develop your ‘wrestling skills’ with.

Position 1 – Observational curiosity: This first position involves taking one step, or at least half a step back from your experience, and from there be curious and gather information about what you are experiencing. Quite often just this simple act of stepping back and observing starts to reap insights quite quickly. There is a certain stability that comes from the position of observing. It puts us in the position of being in the calm centre of the storm, rather than simply being tossed around by it.

Position 2 – Courage and careThis involves extending the energy of care to yourself, and if possible to other people involved in the situation. Whatever is arising, you make care and compassion the basic perspective from which you experience the challenge. The same principle applies with courage; you simply hold the position of courage mentally, and see how it starts to work on and affect your experience of the situation…

Position 3 – Mindful framing: With this stance, you simply look for ways of mentally framing what you are experiencing that help you to see it in a positive light, for example:

  • This health problem is good because it is helping me to become more mindful of caring for my body, and look after my health more
  • The stress in my relationship is good because it is helping me to really work on and strengthen my appreciation of what my partner is doing right, rather than being fixated on what they are doing wrong
  • This financial demand is useful as it is helping me to become a better business owner and make more money whilst at the same time holding to my core values.

Your mental perspective defines your experience (and the choices you make) in large part!

Position 4 – Coming back to your body: Often when we are struggling emotionally our mind speeds up as we seek for a solution. This fourth position involves getting out of our head and into our body and senses. Come back to your body or one of your senses and use it as a stable, non-conceptual base where you can relax and gather strength and relief from the activity in your mind. Let the emotions flow through your body, just feel them somatically, without judging them, repressing them or intellectualizing them.

So there you go, four positions that you can play around with whenever you find yourself being confronted with one of your ‘Dark Angels’!

© 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

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)

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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