Thank you for all your rich contributions last night in the discussion following the talk, When Your Partner Doesn't Practice. It was definitely a beneficial exploration together that was much appreciated by all.
For this week, please pick only one of the following suggested practices and set the intention to work together to see what is forthcoming through concerted efforts.
1) Gratitude Practice aka Appreciation Practice: Sit quietly together in meditation and spend some time opening the heart. One in the couple can guide a simple lovingkindness meditation sitting. Afterwards, open the eyes and take turns speaking with the other deeply listening and bring forth 2-3 things that the one speaking appreciates about the other who is listening. Reverse roles. Spend time with each aspect of appreciation to have a felt sense in both persons' bodies, look at one another's eyes and feel into how and why these aspects have contributed to a loving and committed relationship between the two persons.
2) Vulnerability Practice: Taking the time to sit together as in the instructions above, open the eyes and take some time together to reflect and discover areas of vulnerability within each other, setting the intention to trust and have the courage to speak to one another about. Ex. it could be shame that one in the couple does not feel as though they measured up in terms of providing for the family, afraid to admit fear in the face of aging, wanting to spend more time with the other but not knowing how to ask, etc.
3) Impermanence Practice: Here we can really feel into and mark by noting/verbalizing the beginnings and endings of our daily life activities together and separately. So the beginning of the day, waking up and taking some time to feel into the stirrings of consciousness, moving the awareness into the body, then getting up together. Saying goodbye to one another as each leaves each other for the day, coming back together at the end of the day, beginning to prepare and then eat dinner together, etc etc. The point of the practice is to notice with a higher degree of mindfulness the beginnings and endings of how we go through our day in our lives together.
Hoping that you will all have a productive week of practice. Do not forget that the nuns are coming next Sunday. This will be the very first time that our sangha will have a night of monastic teachers! Should be an exciting event. Below is the link to the Aloka Vihara website to the history of how it came to be and how the nuns decided to come to the US from the UK.
Aloka Vihara Website and the Saranaloka Foundation who supports them.
with metta, Pauletta