Develop deep relationships through stillness
If spacious stillness is missing, the relationship will be dominated by the mind and can easily be taken over by problems and conflict. Most human interactions are confined to the exchange of words. It is essential to bring some stillness, particularly in close relationships.
- Meditate or spend silent time in nature with a loved one (partner, friend, family member).
When going for a walk, or sitting in the car or at home, become comfortable with being in stillness together. The stillness does not need to be created. Just allow for the stillness that is already there but normally filled with mental noise.
- Choose one or two conversations a day to practice listening in the following way:
When you are listening, notice whether you are already evaluating the other person’s words in some way and starting to anticipate what to say next.
- When you notice this happening, do the following:
Become fully engaged and present with the other by resisting any anticipation of how or with what to reply. Be okay with not knowing how to reply. Just be present and listen, and notice what it’s like to listen “beyond the words”—which can be achieved by also noticing the space between the words.
- When you sense emotional drama in your relationship, become aware of it and realize that it is not who you are.
Recognize it for what it is: past pain.Witness when it happens in you or your partner. When you are able to observe it within yourself, you are no longer attached to it. If you are not attached to it, you don’t feed it, and it will lose its energy charge.
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