By Volunteer Writer ┃Posted: January 18, 2018
In the ancient Indian Vedic times, for any spiritual practice one person of a couple wasn’t allowed to take part alone, because it would create an imbalance. If married, both had to be a part of such practices.
The belief was that one would grow while the other wouldn’t; instead, when both the husband and wife would participate together, they moved forward in union. Otherwise, if one was fulfilled and the other wasn’t, there resulted conflict in marital life, and hence a rule came forth that both of them should take part together.
The beauty of this rule hasn’t only played a role in enhancing special, festival-oriented rituals or ceremonies, but also in everyday prayers and ceremonies. Many couples have now adopted the practice of meditation as their ‘together’ time and swear by the benefits.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “There’s a natural tendency for each soul to look for a joy that doesn’t diminish, a love that does not distort. This is possible via meditation.”
Together we meditate
The practice of meditation has many benefits:
1) Meditation techniques like Sahaj Samadhi are so imbued with subtle power that the transformation it brings about has a far-reaching effect.
2) It brings about a profound balance within one that inhibits one’s pride, arrogance about accomplishments, or a sense of difference or separation.
3) The practice of meditation doesn’t put a strain on a relationship. In fact, it actually becomes an inspiration for the other to take on the practice.
4) As the comfort level rises with practice, then couples find themselves meditating together. When couples meditate together there seems to be unity in the energy in and around them, a sense of tranquility, a oneness. An absence of conflict.
5) The happiness that dawns within is reflecting around you as well, at your workplace and in your personal life. Instinctively, due to the very nature of joy, one begins looking to contribute to the other’s life rather than demanding, creating a space of giving rather than taking.
Partners speak about meditating together
Such a relationship remains nurtured, as in the experience shared by a couple, Prashant and Shubham Chaudhari, who have been meditating together for some years now. Prashant is an aircraft maintenance engineer at a leading airlines, while Shubham is a process lead and an Art of Living faculty member. They state the following:
“There’s always this one thing that a couple looks forward to, and that’s spending quality time together. We go to vacations, movies, restaurants but still keep craving for more.
We found that one thing which really gives us the satisfaction of spending quality time together. That’s meditation,” says Prashant.
“Yes!” agrees Shubham. “These 20 minutes of meditating together have added to the charm, love, and bonding that my husband and I share. We adjust according to my husband's office shifts and meditate at least once a day together.
Arguments that previously led to not talking to each other don't happen with us. Meditating together has made us realize the vastness that we are and has given us the direction to move ahead, leaving behind the small things that we used to hold on to.”
Prashant continues, “Acceptance, without any expectation from either side, is the result of meditating together, which allows us both to focus more on our professional careers and give back to the society through seva activities in Art of Living.
Undying smiles and unshakeable faith in the hardest of times is the gift that we have received by meditating together.”
Beauty in diverse approaches
One might think couples making meditation a joint exercise would be simple and effortless - as effortless as the practice of meditation. However, in an era where individual rights and diversity are the rule, it's not always that we find couples wanting to meditate together. And that's all right too. There is definitely a beauty in group meditation, though it's really a matter of individual taste and preference in the end.
Start your meditation: enjoy some time at a retreat center
The Art of Living Retreat Center in Boone, North Carolina, as well as the Art of Living International Center in Bangalore, India, offer a range of programs for everybody, including couples. Therefore, this paradise is one of the most sought out couples’ meditation retreat centers. A day at the ashram involves various activities, including guided meditation sessions, an ideal way for couples to start.
Sahaj Samadhi Meditation, taught at both Art of Living retreat centers, is one of the simplest, most natural techniques for daily practice, with no rigid system of specific couples’ meditation positions or a stringent schedule to adhere to.
How to make meditation into “WE” time?
1. Start meditating together today rather than postponing for another tomorrow.
2. Have a fixed, prioritized time everyday for meditating together.
3. You can include a walk/jog/yoga activity together prior to meditation. Physical activity before meditation can lead to deeper experience during meditation.
Inspired by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s wisdom talks