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’m a new meditator and I’m beginning 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’m worried about our relationship.

Susan Piver: Dear new meditator, it is wonderful that you are beginning to practice and seeing the ordinary/extraordinary consequences!

I relate to part of your question, by the way. My partner is not a meditator either. I don’t find this to be a problem. In fact, there is a sort of secret benefit: because we don’t share the practice, the only way I can communicate to him about the benefits is to manifest them (rather than talk about them). I can only walk the talk. It is very direct and practical.

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

But this doesn’t get to the actual problem in your question, which is that your partner does not approve of what you are doing. This gives me pause. How can approval be withheld for something that is helping you? And why is approval required?

It’s one thing not to share the practice (which is fine), but it’s another to be judged for it. I think you are well within your rights to move ahead with whatever practice you choose without requiring anyone’s approval. And if you find yourself having to choose between a relationship and a practice that supports you, I would find myself questioning the nature of the relationship.

I wish you (and your partner) well!

Read more from our #MeditationHacks series…



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

 



Vipassana teacher Konda Mason answers the question: “Is it OK if I find other ways to be meditative besides sitting on a cushion following my breath?”

 



Author and musician Miguel Chen comforts a practitioner who doesn’t seem to be getting any closer to enlightenment.

 



Rev. angel Kyodo williams, founder of the Center for Transformative Change, advises on what to do when confronted with too many choices.

 



Author and psychoanalyst, Pilar Jennings, offers advice to a practitioner who continues to feel unworthy and unloved.

 



Anita Feng, teacher for the Blue Heron Zen Community in Seattle, helps a practitioner navigate the path between drowsiness and daydreaming.

 



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

 



Lila Kate Wheeler, author and trainer at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, answers what to do if you don’t like to meditate.

 



A Mahayana Buddhist who is encouraged to practice for the benefit of all sentient being feels like they are only practicing for their own benefit. Venerable Thubten Chodron answers.

 



Josh Bartok, a Zen teacher, suggest what to do if meditating leads to an unstable mind.

 



A reader asks Sylvia Boorstein: “What’s the point of practice if it’s not making me a better person?”

 



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

 



An isolated practitioner asks dharma teacher Mitchell Ratner where to look for community.

 

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