While meditation, by its nature, is a time spent apart from the concerns of daily living, there are numerous ways that the changes brought about by meditation can be applied to our outward lives. Among the most important areas that can be improved are relationships, work, and health. In this article we will discuss how meditation can help your relationships.
Little else in life brings us as much joy or as much pain as our relationships with others. We are constantly seeking fulfillment through friends, co-workers, and spouses or significant others.
Yet most of the “choices” we make in our relationships are conditioned by individual past tendencies operating on a subconscious level, and by the magnetism of the cultural environment in which we live. Most of the time we react rather than act.
Meditation centers us, strengthens our powers of discrimination, and reduces our vulnerability to the hidden persuaders of society. Through meditation we are able to become a cause rather than an effect. This is especially helpful for improving relationships.
Ideally, we should become aware of ourselves and others primarily as souls, rather than just bodies and personalities. This realization needs to be gained first through deep meditation, in which it is possible to experience our own deeper nature. It is then relatively easy to transfer that expanded awareness to others.
When we begin to relate in this way, profound changes can happen in the way we see others and in how they respond to us. Instead of demanding, even subconsciously, that they fulfill our “needs,” we can rest in the inner fulfillment and contentment that we experience in a meditative state. Thus cooperation replaces competition, and the joy of mutual giving replaces the tension of reciprocating demands.
A great sense of relaxation comes as we realize that relationships are given to us primarily to help us learn and grow, especially in our ability to accept and to love. Relationships lived in this manner hold the promise of deep fulfillment. The marriage vows we take at Ananda end with:
May our love grow ever deeper, purer, more expansive, until, in our perfected love, we find the perfect love of God.
There is a technique that can be done in meditation for attracting the right life partner. After you have achieved a state of deep calmness, concentrate at the spiritual eye and send out a soul call to God to send you an ideal partner. Don’t concentrate at all on physical appearance, but only on the soul qualities.
Now send out strong energy in the form of magnetism to attract a companion with qualities ideally suited to you and your journey. As your concentration and energy level become more intense, the power of magnetism will increase. Eventually, if the magnetism is strong enough, this “soul call” will find a responsive chord in someone else, and you will be drawn together.
This technique can be used not only to draw a loved one, but also to draw opportunities in other areas of your life. Once, during the Depression, Paramhansa Yogananda gave a public talk about using this power to find work. He told his listeners (many of whom were out of work) that if he didn’t have a job, he would concentrate at the spiritual eye and “churn the ether” until the universe gave him one.
In both these examples, the power of magnetism is paramount. Meditation helps us increase our magnetism in two ways: quantitative and qualitative. The power of an electromagnet depends on the strength of the flow of electricity through a wire.
The same is true of the flow of energy in our minds. When we are no longer dissipating our energy by scattered thinking, the power of intention that flows through focused consciousness can become, literally, infinite. As the power of our thoughts increase, so does their power of magnetic attraction.
This works, unfortunately, in both positive and negative directions. We have all seen unfortunate examples of charismatic, but misguided, leaders and dictators, able to persuade others to their way of thinking.
Meditation also helps us expand and harmonize our sympathies and thereby channel our increased magnetism in more positive directions. One of the best things we can do with our life is to become a positive force in the world, to be filled with love, joy, and compassion, and eager to nurture others. Merely asking the question, “What would God want me to do in this situation?” can profoundly improve our lives and the lives of others.
If you meditate with a partner or loved one, you might try this visualization in order to increase the love and harmony between you. Toward the end of your meditation, start with the same visualization on expanding light that you learned earlier.
As the light begins to expand beyond your body, see it surrounding and infusing your partner. Hold him or her in this light until it fills every cell, every emotion, and every thought. Let the light join your auras together. If there is any difficulty or tension between you, let the light dissolve it until there are no more shadows. This same technique can be done at a distance connecting you and others with a harmonizing energy.
If there is someone who is trying to harm you, it will only aid his agenda if you return negative energy. Instead, send a flow of light. If the negative energy coming to you is strong, you can help to block it by visualizing a cross of light deflecting the darkness, or a protective circle of light surrounding your body.
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These techniques are based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi.