Ed comes from the Bronx and is the son of a postal worker; Deb comes from the English countryside and is of distant royal descent. As they say in England, we go together like chalk and cheese, meaning we couldn't be more different if we tried! Yet we have spent just about 24/7 together for the past 24 years. This often amazes us, and there is no doubt our mutual commitment to meditation has held us together; when times were tough, meditation has been our greatest ally. In fact, without it, by now we would probably be on opposite sides of the planet!
Ideally, we meditate together every day, and any difficulties that may arise simply dissolve into the shared stillness. Then, when we need to, we can discuss such issues more calmly. However, our ability to stay open and loving, our selflessness and needs, are immediately confronted by someone else's needs. Relationship may be an integral part of being alive, but it is also the most vital and challenging teacher you could ever have!
Shortly after we were married, we went on our honeymoon to India, where we had a private meeting with the Dalai Lama at his residence in the foothills of the Himalayas. As Ed recalls: "After about half an hour talking, I was feeling so moved by this kind, simple and loving man that I just wanted to stay there and learn from him. Finally I said, 'I don't want to leave! I just want to stay here with you!' I thought he would understand and say how wonderful, I recognize your sincerity, but instead he just smiled and replied, 'If we were together all the time, we would quarrel!'"
So if the Dalai Lama, someone who meditates for many hours every day, can quarrel, then so can we. Inevitably, there are going to be times when differences collide and egos clash or needs are not met; there will be times of discord. We get upset because we want the other person to be different from how he or she is. Perhaps one of the hardest things to accept in a relationship is that you cannot change your partner into the person you want him or her to be; the only thing you can change is your attitude toward the person.Find out how meditation can help you get through tough times