Your Accomplice Disapproves? – Lion’s Roar

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As part of our #MeditationHacks series, a new meditator’s spouse disapproves of their newfound practice. Susan Piver, founder of The Open Heart Project, answers.

Photo by Eric Ward.

I am a new meditator and am starting to relate to my life in an entirely different (and often helpful) way. But my partner isn’t a meditator and doesn’t really approve of what I’m doing. I don’t want to stop practicing, but I am worried about our relationship.

Susanne Piver: Dear new meditators, it is wonderful that you are starting to practice and seeing the ordinary / extraordinary consequences!

I am referring to part of your question by the way. My partner is not a meditator either. I don’t think that’s a problem. In fact, there is some kind of secret benefit: since we don’t share the practice, the only way I can tell him the benefits is by manifesting them (instead of talking about them). I can only speak. It’s very direct and practical.

If you find yourself having to choose between a relationship and a practice that supports you, I would question the nature of the relationship.

However, this does not address the real problem in your question, namely that your partner does not approve of what you are doing. That makes me pause. How can you refuse to agree to something that helps you? And why is a permit required?

It is one thing not to share the practice (which is fine) but another thing to be judged for. I think you have the right to proceed with your chosen practice without needing anyone’s consent. And when you find yourself having to choose between a relationship and a practice that supports you, I would question the nature of the relationship.

I wish you (and your partner) all the best!

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Read more from our #MeditationHacks series …

A new meditator’s spouse disapproves of his newfound practice. Susan Piver, founder of The Open Heart Project, answers.

Vipassana teacher Konda Mason answers the question: “Is it okay if I find ways to be meditative other than sitting on a pillow and following my breath?”

Author and musician Miguel Chen comforts a practitioner who does not seem to be getting any closer to enlightenment.

Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams, founder of the Center for Transformative Change, offers advice on what to do when too many decisions are made.

Author and psychoanalyst Pilar Jennings advises a practitioner who continues to feel unworthy and unloved.

Anita Feng, a teacher at the Blue Heron Zen Community in Seattle, helps a practitioner find the path between sleepiness and daydreaming.

Buddhist teacher Mushim Patricia Ikeda suggests alternatives when meditation becomes too painful.

Lila Kate Wheeler, writer and trainer at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, answers what to do if you don’t enjoy meditating.

A Mahayana Buddhist who is encouraged to practice for the benefit of all living beings feels that he is only practicing for his own benefit. The Venerable Thubten Chodron answers.

Josh Bartok, a Zen teacher, suggests what to do when meditating leads to an unstable mind.

A reader asks Sylvia Boorstein: “What is the use of practicing if it doesn’t make me a better person?”

Author and lay Zen teacher Susan Moon is asked, “Should I stop meditating when the emotions overwhelm me?”

An isolated practitioner asks Dharma teacher Mitchell Ratner where to look for fellowship.

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