Enjoy this excerpt on Partner Meditation from our new book Quieting the Monkey Mind: How to Meditate with Music. When two people have a spiritual practice in common, their relationship has a better chance of surviving and thriving. When they are able to sing, tone, chant, pray, or play instruments together, they can experience their connection in an even deeper way. Dean Evenson and I (Dudley Evenson) have been very fortunate to have both music and meditation happening in our relationship, and this certainly keeps more fun in the equation. We have grown in our spiritual journeys, both individually and as a couple, and we are grateful for the spiritual practice that we share because we know how much it has helped our relationship to flourish. We hope others will consider a shared path using music and sound to enhance their spiritual connection.
For many years, we taught workshops on meditation and sound healing. In the process, we got a lot of practice with vocal toning in groups and appreciated every minute of it. Eventually though, we discovered that by applying those toning practices in our personal life, we especially benefitted from toning together just as a couple. Through the years, we have spent many long, comfortable evenings toning together as we lay amongst the pillows on our comfy couch. We might start off with a low hum and let it grow, flow, and change as we enjoy the simple process of breathing and vibrating together. We feel very comfortable toning together probably because we do it so often. So, we suggest that if you want to enhance intimacy with your partner or good friend, try toning together on a regular basis.
Sometimes, Dean and I tone in the car and it centers us. Other times, we sing along with our favorite kirtan or chant music. There are many ways to join together in musical meditations, and I’m sure new ways are being invented every day by couples across the globe. To be clear about the concept of intimacy, it does not apply to just sexual, sensual, or adult relationships. Intimacy applies as well to a mother and child, brother and sister, and friends. Children can have fun with the toning experience too.
Simply taking time to sit together in a quiet space without talking can improve the partner bond. There is a whole system of partner meditation in the Hindu tradition called Tantra which in some aspects involves sexuality. This is not to be confused with the Tantra practice of Tibetan Buddhists which does not have to do with partners or sexuality (as far as we know). We are addressing partner meditation here in a non-sexual way with activities that can be done by couples or by friends and fellow practitioners.
Conscious toning can release tensions and bring a sense of exhilaration and feeling of ‘aliveness.’ It can help to balance or tune up the whole body system. When toning with another person, listening is a major component as it involves blending one’s own voice with another’s voice. In addition, finding the space between the breaths allows access to a meditative state of quiet stillness.
Partner toning isn’t for everyone, so even if your significant other isn’t interested, you may want to consider toning with a friend. There is great benefit as two or more people feel comfortable breathing together and sounding resonant tones. When people allow themselves to open to this sort of intimate sound connection, magic occurs creating a deeper sense of familiarity.
In partner meditation, you can sit face-to-face, side-by-side, back-to -back, or even lying down next to each other. Each has its advantages, so experiment and choose what works best for you. There is so much more we talk about in Quieting the Monkey Mind. We would be grateful if you preorder now on amazon now to help us hit the ground running with this wonderful guidebook that is filled with tools, tips, and techniques to support your meditation process.