Listening to your spouse in day to day life is an essential skill in every marriage. Communication is not possible without listening. It is a skill that requires constant practice, even for the longest-married couples, to hear what your partner needs, wants, or has to share with you. You are two individuals after all: how else can you understand each other? How can you effectively collaborate or have any teamwork without listening? The act of listening is a fundamental tool in any functional relationship.

There is a deeper practice of listening that has spiritual dimensions, which serves as a pathway to wisdom, communion, and the deepest knowing. It is akin to meditation, to listening to the Self: you settle into the altar of the heart and behold the glory that dwells therein. You may drink the nectar that exudes from inner flowers. You may hear the exalted glory of celestial choirs or the unstruck sound of nada. You may revel in the glory of angels and devas, behold stunning arrays of colors, gems and swirling beauty, and you may bask in the indescribable radiance of the Sahasrar, the crown of the head. And you gain knowledge of the Self, you develop a deep understanding of who you are. These all arise from beholding the glory of kundalini shakti alive within your body, illuminating your consciousness.

Similarly, within your marriage, there is an intelligence, a consciousness, a force of grace that is alive and potent. It is the mysterious sphere of the Self that is shared by the two of you. It is more than the overlap of your inner space and your partner’s: it is a unique realm that you have built and is a living entity that arises from the transformative power of your love. It may be hard to grasp that unique identity and intelligence, but know that it exists. Practice deep listening in your marriage and develop a clearer understanding of the power and grace that your marriage embodies.

Just as you engage in Yoga practices to evoke and magnify knowledge of the Self, so too can you practice knowing the sacred power of your union. Any practice of sadhana, performed as a couple, can help you cultivate this consciousness that you share. Meditate as a couple, silently walk in nature, offer Guruseva together, chant kirtans together. But it is not simply performing the practice alone that works: also listen to how your togetherness changes the feeling, the resonance of the practice or activity. Do you feel the inner space more fully? Is there a greater ecstasy? Do you experience a different kind of knowing? Even in mundane endeavors: as you plan a dinner party, conjure a vacation, re-envision your garden, are there ways you inspire one another or encourage inspiration? As you wrestle with some conundrum, can you give it some space, and instead listen for a new possibility to arise? Find within these spaces where grace emanates forth: creative power, resolution, knowing, inspiration. Listen for something deeper within your being together.

You may well experience the opposite, that your partner’s presence reduces your feeling of inner spaciousness, cuts you off from a flow of grace. This too is important to recognize, that there are aspects of your sadhana that remain yours to practice alone, that you need a measure of your own space to plumb your inner depths. It may also serve as an invitation to both of you to explore whether there are obstacles within your marriage that have not been addressed but which manifest as suppressing your joy and light. This is all well and good. But this does not preclude also finding and exploring the pathways and spaces where they two of you magnify and deepen one another, and in those spaces, a deeper wisdom and intelligence, where your unique power of grace dwells. Deep listening aligns you with your wisdom, insight, creativity, purpose. These qualities, these powers, are alive within you, and they are alive within your marriage. Go there and listen, drink, and know.

Next essay: Work With Devas

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