The Daily Candle Ritual
This is a simple but sacred way to connect with your
partner every day. The Daily Candle Ritual is
nourishment for the soul of your relationship.
The ritual takes only a minute and should be done
every day whether you feel like it or not,
especially if you don’t feel like it. Over time, it
becomes a point of safety and connection in the
relationship. At first, it may seem that the ritual is
too simple to be meaningful.
Trust that it is not too simple.
Do the ritual exactly as described without making
any changes. One of the values of the ritual is
that it is reliably the same every time. It speaks
to our bodies, not our minds. It talks to us in
ways our minds do not understand.
- sit facing each other
- light the candle
- exchange ritual statements
- blow out the candle
- get up and leave
THE GROUND RULES
- one person is the host for the ritual each day
- men host odd days
- women host even days
- ensures the ritual happens on his/her day
- lights and blows out the candle
- says the ritual statement first
- ensures that the ritual is terminated without further discussion
- where the ritual will occur (the same place every day is best)
- to use the candle for the ritual only
Man to Partner: “I Care About You”
Woman responds: “I Heard You Say, You Care About Me”
Woman to Partner: “I Appreciate You”
Man responds: “I Heard You Say, You Appreciate Me”
Tools For Intimate Communication
“For one human being to love another is the most difficult task. It’s the work for which all other work is preparation” Rainer Maria Rilke
The Long and Blinding Road
With the exception of learning how to “slow dance” in my 7th-grade guidance class, I never learned a thing about how to communicate with the opposite sex in my formative years. My father, bless his bungling heart, tried his best in those far-flung days of sexual revolution to deliver his man-to-man talk when I came of age. All I can actually remember is that he assured me that anything between a man and a woman was okay, “as long as you’re both in love and use rubbers”. Meanwhile, the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” droned on as the background as music for my raging hormones. (“Why Don’t We Do It In the Road?” was also in heavy rotation.)
So, pray tell, where does a boy (or girl) go to learn about love, let alone “sexual wisdom” ??
Many years later, following marriage, fathering and divorce, I stumbled upon Margot Anand’s Sky-Dancing Tantra, and a simple exercise called “Intentions, Fears and Boundaries“, a specific practice for speaking the truth with one’s lover. And yes, it set me free, but not all at once.
“The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off ” (Werner Erhart)
The very idea of talking, much less telling the truth in my intimate moments just seemed, well, weird. Wasn’t it sufficient that my lover and I were entwined and breathing heavily, our words made obsolete by the overwhelming passion we were feeling? I remember as a young man actually practicing a kind of reckless abandon in my love-making, imagining that the fewer words spoken, the better.
Over the long haul, my way of loving without communicating in words degenerated into a tangle of false pretenses and an actual avoidance of relationship. I felt unable to ask for what I really wanted, and resented it when my partners did. Maybe love conquers all, but as a lover, I was as genuine as a costumed Napoleon!
Slowly Moving Beyond Resistance
What I came to understand as I confronted Margot’s teaching was that my “strong silent type” persona was actually an elaborate way of hiding that gave strength to my negative feelings. Needless to say, my unspoken fears and anxieties prevented me from feeling safe and relaxed in the bedroom, and were even backing up and poisoning the other parts of my primary relationship!
Even though I resisted at first, I discovered that sharing these same feelings with my partner in an atmosphere of trust and sincerity dissipated their power. And as I listened to my partner truthfully expressing her deep feelings, it became obvious to both of us just how much more energy was freed up for our love-making as our bond of authenticity deepened.
As the goal of Tantra is to penetrate experience as deeply as possible, (“ecstasy”), our personal concealment of feelings become exposed as a fundamental split of the Self – they prevent us from wholeheartedly participating in love-making, or any other activity for that matter. The basic Tantric practices of creating sacred space and speaking our truth are incredibly useful tools for opening our hearts and growing into who we really are. Again, the link for a PDF to these readily accessible exercises is HERE.