“Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to truth, to right and a perfect contentment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Some years ago we had the good fortune to participate in an intensive year-long silent contemplative retreat. As a couple, we lived in separate rooms and had very little contact with each other or with any of the other participants in the retreat. Other than an occasional deep bow, or rare hug on the path to the dining room, we had no physical contact, and we had only a few hours’ worth of actual conversation during the entire year. Yet, each day at five o’clock in the afternoon, we had a “date” and would shift our attention from the contemplations that were the focus of our retreat, to hold each other in heart and mind. Merging together like two spheres of light, we would rest in the light of each other’s love as if we were two beings sharing one heart and looking out through each other’s eyes. It was often a deeply moving and affirming connection that left each of us uplifted and amazed, and honestly, looking back at the depth of connection we felt with each other, it was strangely the most intimate year of our lives together.
In this disruptive time of physical distancing and isolation, when we are likely to be separated from loved ones and friends for long periods of time, this heart-to-heart meditation can be extremely meaningful and profoundly healing. You can either simply do this practice on your own, merging your heart and mind with a loved one or friend – or – you can set a date with a loved one to 'meet-up' and do this practice together at a specific time each day.
As a couple now, when we are physically apart for any length of time, we have continued to set a time each day to sit together and hold each other in our hearts. During this time, we reach out to each other from our hearts and let ourselves merge to share a common heart and core. Resting in a state of deep, intimate, connectedness, we rest in the radiance of the love we share. We allow the light of our love for each other to radiate out to others as an offering and a prayer that will strengthen them in whatever they need at that time.
Even though we may be away from each other for some time, when we come back together, we usually feel closer than ever before. When we are home or traveling together, we also often make some time to sit quietly together in this way and carry this sense of deep connectedness into our busy day and work in the world. Many people we work with have taken this example to heart and have developed a similar practice that they share with their partners, parents, children, grandchildren or beloved friends. The results are always inspiring."
Joel & Michelle Levey, excerpted from a chapter on "Staying Sane in Crazy Times" in a Covid19 Anthology coming soon from Inner Traditions.