Jason Nik, Care2.com: As a Life Coach, I’ve had many clients in relationships that meditate, but somehow it always surprises me when they tell me they only meditate on their own. When these clients are going through relationship troubles and I suggest meditating together, they look at me as if I don’t understand the concept of meditation.
We all know that the benefits of meditation have been well-documented as decreasing anxiety and increasing happiness for an individual among other things; but some of the time we have spent meditating alone to enhance our individual lives could also be spent meditating with another to enhance our relationships.
To play on an old saying, couples who meditate together stay together.
Meditation creates an entirely new peaceful world for you and your interest to share together. Perhaps even more exciting, people who just met or recently started dating can meditate together, developing a bond that months of getting to know each other could not replicate.
In any relationship, it takes time to get close to someone. In that time, you have no idea what obstacles may rise up in the way of your relationship developing. Time is important to develop a relationship, but if you want to build a close bond early, meditation with your interest is a great way to start. Meditating with someone new in your life creates a different kind of intimacy that forges a unique bond between the two of you. It may seem strange at first to meditate with someone else. Meditation is perceived to have been built for solitude and seclusion; however, when you consider the core principles of meditation, suddenly meditating with a partner makes so much sense.
One of the core principles of meditation is the removal of distractions. Work, money, health, etc. these are all distractions in our personal lives that can be stressful for us to deal with. They are also things that (with proper meditation) we can remove from our minds—this creates the stress free clarity that we crave. In the same way those issues can be obstacles in our personal lives, they can also be major obstacles in our relationships.
Meditating with a partner will allow you both to remove those distractions from your minds so you can take the time to focus on what is most important: each other.
Having no judgment is another core principle of meditation. People so easily make quick judgments about others. Sometimes we think good things about a person, and other times we think bad things about that person. Whatever judgments are being made, meditation is a no-judgment zone. That means when you meditate with someone you are interested in, you put yourselves on the same level. It’s very important in any relationship that you start off on the same level, or you may create an imbalance that as your relationship progresses could eventually tip over, destroying everything the two of you built together.
The most important principle of meditation is awareness. In singular meditation, awareness is when our senses become heightened in order to consciously feel everything around us and achieve a peaceful state of mind. When we meditate as an individual, our sense of touch is not explored much. When we meditate with another, touch plays a significant role in building our bond.
It always amazes me how little people touch one other in the early stages of getting acquainted. As babies, the sense of touch is the first sense we acquire. As a adults, touch still plays a large role in our lives. When two people touch each other they send emotional signals between one another. The sense of touch plays such an important role in connecting with someone, but often times people are uncomfortable touching someone new.
In general, society far prefers to communicate with words or through facial expressions rather than through touch. Even worse is society’s refusal to communicate naturally at all, with a preference of communicating through texting. Communication may be faster through texting, but it strips away our natural connection and results in a disconnect.
On the other hand, touching brings two people closer together than any other form of communication. With touch, people are able to communicate on a truly emotional level. In order for two people to meditate together touching is required. It is through that touching that you remove the solo nature of meditation and instead create an awareness of each other. Intimacy begins with touching, and if you want to build a bond with someone you need to be comfortable touching them.
How does someone meditate with another, you ask?
Here are seven simple steps to begin your journey of meditating with a partner.
1. Find a quiet place where the two of you cannot be interrupted. Turn off your phones or place them on silent. Put them out of sight to keep them out of mind.
2. Wear comfortable clothing, the same clothing you would wear when meditating by yourself as long as your partner is comfortable with that clothing.
3. Sit cross legged, facing each other.
4. Hold both of your partner’s hands. How you hold hands is up to you, just make sure you are both comfortable with the position.
5. Look into each others’ eyes. Remember, this isn’t a staring contest so you’re more than welcome to blink. Also, don’t simply stare at their eyes, instead look into their eyes as if you’re searching for something deep within their soul.
6. Breathe. Don’t chant, just breathe. If you are used to chanting when you meditate on your own this will be a bit of an adjustment, but the reason I suggest you refrain from chanting is hearing someone else’s chant may catch you off guard. Meditating together relies so much on developing a succinct rhythm together
7. Start with five minute sessions and gradually increase to your desired time in dual meditation.
There are many different methods of meditating with another. This is a good starting point as it is comfortable and doesn’t require too much effort from either participant.
Whether you have known the person you’re meditating with for a long time or for only a little, follow these steps and you will be amazed at the deep and lasting bond you have created with another.
Today, I did a tandem meditation to assist my friend with learning to meditate. I leaned against a tree and allowed my friend to sit between my legs with his back against my heart chakra. He was able to feel my breathing patterns and fully relax. Initially I planned to meditate with him for about 13 minutes, but stopped at 6.5 minutes because the weight of his body was heavy. Surprisingly enough, he was drenched in sweat. Later, my cycle started a week early. I attempted to find research on the energy exchange, but results were limited. This was an extraordinary experience.