Married to a non-meditator


How do I encourage my husband to meditate? He is supportive of me, and believes in meditation, but he does not do it himself!

—niru, USA


I know it is sad to be married to someone who does not share your commitment to meditation. But at least he believes it is a good thing to do. This fact holds great promise for the future. Count your blessings! Many meditators have a spouse or other family members who obstruct and oppose them around their meditation practices.

No one is going to take up a regular practice of meditation unless he or she is sincerely motivated from within themselves. It is rarely effective to try to “get someone” to meditate or even to learn to meditate, even if you are sure they would benefit very much from doing it. If a person is not ready to do this, he never should be urged to do it—this could even be counter-productive or cause negativity or deeper resistance.

The best thing for a you to do is simply to keep your own practice strong and focused. Pray for him, of course, but leave the timing of his spiritual search in God’s hands. Always remain open to his questions about meditation, why you are doing it, what you are experiencing, etc. But stay centered and only answer his questions in a basic and non-threatening way—don’t be tempted to go beyond what he is asking. If and when he does become ready, he may ask more. And certainly he will be silently watching your example and what meditation is doing for you in daily life. Example is the most powerful of all teachers. Be lovingly patient and non-attached.

Another important thought: Swami Kriyananda has taught us that it is never wise to place oneself in the position of “guru” to a spouse or other close family member. Still, you might try inviting him to meditate with you from time to time, but only if you really feel he is open to it. But never insist or pout because he doesn’t want to yet. This is really between the person and God! Let his spiritual development take its own course. Your silent prayers and good vibrations may be all that are appropriate for now.

One final thought. People often wonder why they find themselves married to a non-meditator, when meditation and the spiritual life has become the central focus of their own lives. Generally speaking, this is because of what might be called “flip-flop karma,” meaning that possibly, in a recent past lifetime, he was the sincere meditator and you didn’t want meditate. Now you both get to see what it feels like to be on opposite sides of this situation. Life is a school, so be compassionate and understanding. We’ll all get there in God’s good time.