This is a powerful practice to do with your intimate partner.
Once you are awake in the morning,
Sit opposite each other on the bed.
Take turns doing this practice.
Look into one of your partner’s eyes.
One of you will go first:
When it is your turn
Express love, devotion and surrender to your partner.
See your beloved as the deity.
Tell your beloved of the depth of your commitment,
That your beloved knows you better than you know yourself.
Surrender to the guidance of the beloved.
Bow to your beloved, bring your head all the way to the mattress,
Surrender yourself completely.
Then switch roles.
I have been blessed in my life to be close to some of the greatest teachers of our time, and to have received profound teachings and tools that have helped me immensely. Furthermore, I have found an extraordinary support group all over the world, an extended sangha, a community of like-minded and openhearted friends. Supremely blessed as I have been, nothing and no one has come close to bursting the bubble of illusory separation like my marriage to Chameli, my wife.
When you go to see a teacher, you are on your best behavior. You sit with a straight spine, you ask the right questions, you appear to be the model student. When you take as your guru your connection with your beloved, it is not like that at all. There is no time to prepare, and nowhere to hide. First thing in the morning, when I first open my eyes, still drugged from sleep, there she is, in my face. “Are you here? Are you present? Can I count on you to show up and be present?”
When you take your marriage to be your guru, there is no time off. It is a serious commitment. If you are willing to open to your beloved as your guide, if you are willing to accept that your beloved knows your shadows and weaknesses better than you know them yourself, then you have surrendered to a strong medicine.
This requires commitment and a dedication of the relationship every day. We have done this simple practice every day for many years. It sets the tone of the day. It is a conscious choice to melt down defenses, again and again, and to intentionally see the divine in the eyes of your beloved. At first it may be difficult, and you may feel foolish or defensive: “Just last night she was making such a fuss about nothing, and today I have to bow down to her as a deity?” But bring that also to the puja. The word puja means a ritual of worship, the invocation of divine power. But do it anyway; it will grow on you. Confess your resistance, express your vision, lay down your defenses, and something will awaken between you that is not personal at all, that is the meeting of the divine masculine and the divine feminine in both of you. Practice this every day for several weeks and it will open a resource that you can return to easily during the day.
Photo credit: Tantrictherapy.org