Powerful ideas about mindfulness, compassion and consciousness, originating from Asian cultures and disciplines, have been penetrating Western culture for several decades.
Important writers and teachers such as John Welwood, Stephen and Ondrea Levine, and Gay and Katie Hendricks have written about how these new ideas can help those of us on the path of conscious relationship.
Perhaps the most revolutionary idea that these teachers have presented is that you and your partner can transform your partnership into a path of healing and awareness by doing spiritual work together.
How does this transformation occur?
You have probably noticed that you have certain predictable patterns of behavior with your partner when you are stressed or anxious. These patterns can persist in a relationship for years or decades.
There are many explanations for the origin of these patterns. One is that they are habits born out of previous experience in relationships; other explanations include fate, astrology, etc.
Whatever their cause, the path of awareness and compassion can help you transform these old patterns, connect more deeply with your partner, and become more free and happy.
My wife, Debra, and I have been followers of this path for over 40 years.
Soon after meeting, we noticed certain conflicted reactions (around power, money, and time, to name a few!) tended to repeat, month after month. Same painful conversations.
So we sought out the teachers we named above, and are grateful to them for their guidance.
Using their insights and practices, we have learned that love and mindfulness can carry us on a vast river of healing, beyond our habits and expectations, and into powerful states of joy and openness. We feel more compassionate towards ourselves and our beloved.
Many of you are also students of the path of relationship. You understand the value of spiritual work and the possibilities which I am describing.
But in your day-to-day lives, you often become so burdened by the mundane errands of life that you rarely connect deeply with your partner. In your soul, there is a loneliness which can be assuaged.
Spiritual practices, focused on mindfulness, compassion and right speech can lead to the deep intimacy you are longing for.
These practices and ideas can lead to freedom. Not just the freedom from bad communication habits we learned as children, but the freedom to blossom into your full capacities as adults, loving, powerful, and wise.
On this path, you unleash your natural compassion, creativity, and positive energy in communion with your beloved partner.
What a great life calls to you!
George Taylor LMFT is an author and licensed couples therapist. Many of the practices and ideas described here can also be found in his book “A Path for Couples,” available on Amazon and on his website, www.pathforcouples.com.
He can be reached as email@example.com; email him to get audio files of practices for couples, or to find out about his online sangha.