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The ideal plan is to meditate together each day, so any disagreements are seen, acknowledged and resolved before they escalate into something more damaging. The second-best plan is to recognize that differences have arisen, and then to take time apart to contemplate what has happened. We learned this when we had a marriage blessing at a Buddhist monastery in Scotland. We asked the abbot, Akong Rinpoche, what advice he could give us.
Akong suggested if two people disagree or argue, then they should both take time out by themselves to meditate and reflect on what they were doing that might be adding to the situation. Rather than blaming and pointing fingers, complaining about what the other person is doing to you and that is why you feel so bad, or he/she just doesn't get it and probably never will, or he/she has no right to treat you like this—instead you should look at yourself.
You look at what you did or said that may have been misunderstood, how you may have added to the situation, how what you said may have triggered the anger, or how your behavior, attitudes and hidden agendas might be affecting your partner. What are you doing to that person to make him or her act like this? How can you treat your partner more kindly? When you are done, you can come back together and put into practice what you have learned.
Ed and Deb Shapiro are the authors of Be the Change, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World. They are featured weekly contributors to Oprah.com, HuffingtonPost.com and Care2.com. Ed and Deb write Sprint's The Daily CHILLOUT inspirational text messages. They have three meditation CDs: Metta: Loving Kindness and Forgiveness, Samadhi: Breath Awareness and Insight and Yoga Nidra: Inner Conscious Relaxation. Deb is also the author of the best-selling book Your Body Speaks Your Mind, winner of the 2007 Visionary Book Award.
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