We meditate on our own and we meditate with groups, but meditating with our partners doesn't happen as frequently. Taking that time to meditate with your significant other, though, is one way to strengthen the bond and improve the quality of your relationship.
Consider all of the health benefits associated with meditating on your own -- a calm mind, feeling more connected with yourself, feeling grounded, improved mental clarity and reduced stress.
Now imagine coming out of a co-meditating session and spending the rest of your day or weekend in that happy space with your partner. Not only do you reap the post-meditating benefits together in the hours and days that follow a session, but you have also shared a powerful experience together.
How To Have A Self-Guided Co-Meditation Session
Mental coach Al Fuentes says,
One of the most important things about a couple's meditation is that it be a guided experience, as in a guided meditation or visualization. The reason why is because you want both brains experiencing the same thing. There's going to be a natural, connected energy when that happens and this is critical because when you experience something special with someone else, there is a strong bond that just naturally forms.
So how do you do this with your SO? You have to be in the same space, for starters. If you're in a long-distance relationship, Skype or FaceTime can serve as an alternative, but being in the same room is a major key here.
Once you're together in a quiet, peaceful space -- a garden, your home, a sanctuary or elsewhere -- sit facing each other with your eyes closed. Start by focusing on the rhythm, sound and feeling of your own breath.
From there, begin actively relaxing each part of your body, bit by bit, as you continue breathing. Step away from your thoughts as best as you can, guiding yourself back to your body and breathing when thoughts interrupt you. Do all of this individually, but at the same time, so that both of you can find that calm, focused space. Fuentes adds,
The next part of the guided visualization is to use that space to connect to each other. This is done in a way where it allows you to feel your own power, your own energy and your own breath within the other person.
He explains that, because your eyes are still closed, it remains an individual experience at the base level. However, having your partner there and being actively aware of his or her presence, takes your co-session to the next level.
Continue visualizing your partner in your mind as you're breathing, says Fuentes and then envision the air you're breathing in as a “white light filling your heart.” He says to visualize sending that white light from your heart to your partner's as you continue breath in and out. As you're breathing, think about your partner in their best light and inwardly say the words, “I love you,” to your partner or think other positive thoughts. You can even hold each other's hands to feel a greater connection.
The next step is seeing what it's like to just be happy exactly where you're at. Whatever the circumstances are, whatever the conditions are, just to be free, light and happy in the moment. Then open your eyes and look at your partner as you keep breathing for about 10 breaths together. What this does is it takes what is in the visualization and brings it to the real world, allowing you to sync up with your partner in the active brain. It keeps that connection longer and stronger.
Repeat this as often as you like with your partner for about 10 to 15 minutes each session. The more consistently you do it, the better. You'll begin to feel the powerful effects in as little as the first session, but most definitely in the weeks and months that follow a consistent regimen.
Other Ways To Be More Mindful With Your Partner
Meditating alone and with your partner can provide a greater quality of life by improving your overall mental help and strengthening the bonds of your relationships.
You can also take the habits gained from active meditation and apply them to your everyday life, especially where your partner is involved. Consider these simple techniques a complement to your co-meditating sessions.
During sex: “Make love mindfully,” says Dr. Kathy Gruver, a health and wellness educator specializing in mind-body medicine. Be fully present, touch each other, focus on each other's breath, body and movements and be aware of your physical and mental connection.
The long hug: Simply holding each other, even if it's only for a minute, can make you feel more connected with your partner.
Gazing into each other's eyes: “Take a few minutes holding hands and staring into each other eyes,” suggests Dr. Gruver. “It brings you back to the present moment and can actually be quite an emotional experience.”
Eating: Put the cell phone down and focus on the food and each other. Make it a full-night experience by planning and cooking a meal together, then being fully tuned into each other while you enjoy the meal.