INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS AS MEDITATION
My wife had an Mastermind relationship with a close friend for many years before we met. One a therapist, the other an advertising executive. In the mid-nineties she and I started our own weekly mastermind and haven’t missed since. They have run four to six hours, although an hour is more typical. And throughout the week we both feel the power of the Mastermind guiding us.
The format is constantly evolving. We open by reading from our favorite inspirational works, self-help messages and anything else that captures our spirit at the moment or addresses a particular challenge. We often have some quiet music in the background. Sometimes we’ll do our Mastermind at the beach, the woods, or even an airfield watching takeoffs and landings.
We read affirmations and action plans, which we regularly update, often on the spur of the moment. We read aloud, raise questions, add suggestions, challenge each other, and ask for support. We close with prayers of gratitude.
The rules are flexible. Anything goes. We know we have an alliance, we do this in a spirit of perfect harmony, focused on a common purpose. We also know that our kind of “perfect harmony” often comes after some lengthy, tense moments struggling over some hotly contested issues … just like any other relationship. And yet, it is meditation because we make it so!
“ONE NIGHT OF LOVE IS BETTER THAN
100,000 YEARS OF STERILE MEDITATION”
Meditation can also improve your love life as we learn in works like Miranda Shaw’s Passionate Enlightenment and other books on Tantric Yoga. Similarly, the iconoclastic 15th century Zen Abbot and poet, Ikkyu, was quite blunt in his passion for mixing love making and meditation:
“Love play can make you immortal. The autumn breeze of a single night of love is better than a hundred thousand years of sterile meditation.” Ikkyu also put love in its true context, with a poem to his little daughter: “Even among beauties she is a precious pearl; A little princess in this sorry world. She is the inevitable result of true love, And a Zen Master is no match for her.”
More recently a former editor of the Yoga Journal, Stephan Bodian, made this delightfully titillating promise in Meditation for Dummies: “People who make love meditatively report greater responsiveness and more intensely satisfying, whole-body organisms … mindful awareness helps you infuse more love into your lovemaking, allows you to connect more deeply with your partner, and can actually transform sex into a spiritual experience.”
In other words, what many consider to be an indoor sport can easily be transformed into a profound spiritual experience—if you approach it as a form of moving meditation. Which proves once again that anything can be a meditation—anything—the choice is entirely up to you!