Could you please give advice on how to meditate *with* someone, not merely next to them? During daily meditations with our spouse? In group meditations? The problem I run into is split focus between the 3rd eye and the person next to me.
Meditation is defined as concentration on God, or on one of His/Her aspects. It would be best to keep it like that. So in your meditations with your earthly spouse withdraw from the outside world and let your one-pointed focus be the spiritual eye and your Heavenly Spouse.
Are you then not really meditating together, missing out on the unifying effect? No. What happens is that an automatic exchange of magnetism with your partner or within a group is taking place – a bonding which happens without our conscious effort. Yogananda explains, "Group meditation creates a deep spiritual bond among all members of the group. The bonding agent is their own Self-realization."
So while meditating with our spouse or in a group we are being deeply and divinely bonded, on a soul level. There can be no deeper bond than that, I believe.
Master continues about that subtle exchange of magnetism: "Group meditation is a castle which protects the new spiritual aspirants as well as the veteran meditators. Meditating together increases the degree of Self-realization of each member of the group by the law of invisible vibratory exchange of spiritual magnetism."
Swamiji in his book Expansive Marriage encourages partners to enjoy silent togetherness while walking or eating, but during shared meditation each one focuses on God:
"In a spiritually focused marriage it is certainly possible, with mutual consent, to practice silence during certain periods of the day or week. Practice silence together. Recognize each other’s need for occasional privacy. Find periods of time when you can be happily and lovingly silent together—not only in prayer and meditation, but while walking, or eating, or reading. Encourage each other to take a week or so every year for solitary prayer and meditation. Far from placing a strain on your relationship, such periods of seclusion will help to center your relationship more deeply in divine harmony and peace.
How often should you meditate together? That depends. In principle it is good, of course, to share your spiritual practices. Two people’s rhythms, however, don’t always coincide. Let your sharing be natural, never forced. One of you may prefer to meditate longer, or at different hours, than the other. If you give each other space in these matters, you will preserve a freshness in your relationship that would fade, were you to force them.
It is important to realize that your highest goal is not earthly perfection, but union with God. Strive to deepen your relationship together in Him. The closer you both come to God, the deeper will be the love you share between you. As Jesus Christ put it, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.' (Matthew 6:33)"
In divine friendship, jayadev