What if you could feel more connected, more passionate, and more loving toward your romantic partner in just twenty minutes? Couples meditation can help.
It may sound like a wasted endeavor, but ‘sitting’ with your husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend for just twenty minutes can make all the difference in how you relate to one another both in the bedroom and outside of it. Instead of sitting with them in the traditional sense, as if you are hanging out at a coffee shop, distracted with the busyness of the world, you sit and mindfully connect using the age-old practice of meditation.
It may seem like the most counter intuitive thing to do when you are frustrated or fighting with the person you love, but often, this is the best time to sit down facing them, spine straight, legs folded, and simply, quietly gaze into their eyes. You can also practice ‘sitting’ together when things are just fine, to further deepen your connection. Just like meditating for yourself, taking time to meditate with another shows that you value them enough to give them your undivided attention.
When we sit alone in meditation, we allow ourselves the space and time to let whatever is bothering us at a deep, unconscious level to come to the surface. Many people see meditation as a way to relieve stress or to become ‘enlightened,’ but really meditation takes many forms, revealing many layers of detritus that has collected on our minds and hearts. The practice of meditation gives us an opportunity to ‘clean the windows to the soul’ and to mindfully examine what is causing us pain, anger, frustration, jealousy, or other unwanted emotions without blame or condemnation.
Without exerting any more effort than simply offering an observational, non-judgmental, and calm attitude, we can practice meditation with a partner to help remove the sediment that is clouding our vision of love for that other person. This couples meditation practice can help you to work through blocked intimacy, latent fears, or even mundane issues – often without actually ‘solving’ anything from a practical perspective. That’s the magic of meditation. It works, often without us even understanding how or why.
If it helps to know, though, couples meditation works for a number of reasons:
- Using fMRI technology, researchers have observed changes in the brain that happen even after twenty minutes of sitting mindfully. Our beta waves decrease, indicating that instead of processing information, (placing judgment, reasoning, planning, or ruminating over what seems to be the problem, etc.) we can relax.
- The prefrontal cortex, also referred to as the ‘Me’ Center’ calms down, so that we can perceive another as they truly are without the hyper-focus on our own desires, wants, needs, etc. This allows a deep connection to anther person, even without using words, simply because our neural stimulus is changed to induce more feelings of compassion and empathy. Who couldn’t use more of that in their relationships?
- Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are lessened, and happy hormones like serotonin, melatonin, GABA, and DHEA are increased. A study conducted by Rutgers University found that meditators experienced almost a 50% reduction in cortisol production! If you find that you’re arguing over the little stuff a lot with your loved one, just meditating for a few moments together will help to reduce the fight—or—flight cycle that creates a cascade of stress hormones. GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) helps us to feel calm, reduces anxiety, and helps with sleeplessness. Serotonin and melatonin help to regulate our moods, and to connect with others, and DHEA levels help us to age more slowly, and to experience grater longevity.
- By sitting instead of arguing, your etheric energies connect in ways that they do not when you are simply conversing verbally. To learn more about how our energy bodies over-lap and interact, you can read the mounds of research on this topic at the Heart Math Institute.
If a twenty-minute couples meditation session seems too long to start with, you can begin with a smaller chunk of time. Try sitting with your partner for five minutes, and gradually build up to twenty. Being consistent is more important than feel closer to your partner for years to come. Here’s how to practice a tandem ‘sit.’
Clear your schedule
Make sure that no one will call your phone, ring the door bell, or interrupt your practice for the duration you’ve set aside to practice it. Turn off the television, put the dog outside, and put away your cell phone. Your commitment is to each other and the practice of meditation.
Wear comfortable clothing
Wear comfortable clothing so that when you are sitting you can relax in a comfortable position. Also adjust the temperature, the lighting, or whatever else might be distracting before you begin.
Try to sit tall
Sit tall so that energy can freely flow along the spinal column, and through the seven chakras which are aligned along this energetic runway. Slouching impedes the energy and keeps it from flowing to the higher chakras from the lower chakras, which is where you want it to go. It is thought that the higher three chakras in the body are associated with harmony and peace, while the lower are only concerned with our more gross needs like food, shelter, sex, sleep, etc.
Sit directly opposite your partner
Hold their hands while looking into their eyes. You can blink. It isn’t a staring contest, but an effort to look deep into their uncommunicated feelings, longings, hurts joys, and other feelings. You’ll be surprised how much we communicate with one another without saying a single word.
Do not speak
Commit to not saying anything to one another throughout the duration of your meditation session. Just take note of thoughts, feelings, or sensations that arise, and let them flow through you. You aren’t trying to stop them, but observe them. If you like, you can share your experience with your partner when you are through – but wait until the meditation practice is complete before doing so.
If your partner is obviously processing emotions while you look into their eyes during the meditation session, just hold love and acceptance in your heart for whatever they are feeling, and try to ‘stay present,’ with them. They don’t need you to ‘fix’ the emotions that they are feeling, but just to be with them as they experience them fully so that they are no longer clouding their experience with you and others in their life.