Conscious Listening: A Practice to Deepen Intimacy with your Partner
Here is a simple technique to deepen intimacy in any relationship, to improve the communication between you and your partner, to learn more about each other, and to be more compassionate to the other and to yourself (but don’t worry about it getting too solemn, you’re in for a few laughs in the process as well!).
This practice is, in its own way, a form of meditation, since it brings more awareness of how your body is feeling at the moment.
And slowing down, in order to listen more closely to all parts of ourselves, is what meditation is all about.
It’s simple, but it requires a bit of trust in our own intuition, as well as trust in our partner to hold empathic space regardless of what comes up.
Preparing for the Practice
Here’s the simple outline you can follow for the practice, making sure each of you takes turns so you can both experience the active and the receptive roles.
You can start by sitting in front of each other, and breathing really deeply and slowly for a minute or two in order to make yourselves present into the moment.
One person, we’ll call them Partner A from now on, closes their eyes, and mentally scans through their body, ‘listening’ for any body part that wants a bit of attention.
Maybe this is because there is a bit of pain there, or a bit of shame there, maybe it’s just suddenly a bit warmer than normal, or maybe there is just a gut feeling about it.
Just trust that the right part will present itself, if you actually go through your body slow enough to detect any sensations you are experiencing at the moment. When my wife and I do this practice, there are usually many parts that want attention, and we have to disappoint some to choose just one.
It could be the knees, or the inside of the thighs, the wrists, the small of the back, the breasts, the lips, any part at all. Once it has been chosen, the other person, Partner B, can start talking to that body part.
Begin the Dialogue
Yes, that’s right, just start a conversation where you address directly your partner’s body part. Here are some samples of how the dialogue could work: