What I want to introduce today is a practice that any two or more people can use. But for the sake of clarity, I will set it in the context of a couple.

I learned this from Michael Brown, the author of the Namaste books The Presence Process and Alchemy of the Heart. It is a simple but powerful procedure for resolving difficult issues or going through tense times.

Suppose you and your partner have reached a point on an issue where you are either at loggerheads in terms of a direction to take, or you are having a hard time simply getting along—perhaps even having difficulty being civil to each other.

Sit opposite each other, not far apart, eyes open, and gaze into each other's eyes. No looking away, just gazing steadily. Then begin breathing in a connected way—that is, breathing normally but not pausing between the in-breath and out-breath. Just keep your breath flowing in a steady cycle of in and out without a break. It shouldn't be at all forced, but quite natural.

If you want to grow yourself up spiritually, this is an intense exercise that will move you light years ahead of your present experience.

At first, it's likely to feel extremely awkward to look into the other person's eyes and not allow yourself either to take a hostile approach of deliberately "staring," in a way that's meant to intimidate, or looking away.

When the discomfort of looking in the other's eyes in this protracted way begins to intensify, which it will unless you have already reached quite a profound level of conscious development as a person, simply let yourself be with the thoughts and emotions that arise.

I can promise you that, although you may feel like you are about to drown or die from suffocation, nothing of the kind is going to happen. You are breathing normally and rhythmically, and you are quite safe.

This exercise invites you to relax into the wonder of each other's presence. It is in fact far more than two people quieting themselves so that Presence can emerge into their consciousness and guide them through the difficult time they are experiencing. It is a tryst with transcendence.

We should never try to force or manipulate a person into doing this practice with us. It should always be done as the result of invitation. We can certainly invite a child to sit with us in Presence, coaxing them to join us in this, but we must be careful not to use our adult authority to overpower their will. The exercise must always be voluntary to be effective, never forced or the result of cajoling.

What is almost certain to happen as two people sit together with their focus on each other is that, first, they will experience intense discomfort, and then the discomfort will begin to subside and a quiet acceptance take over. There is likely to be a melting between them, and the atmosphere will become suffused with a spirit of kindness.

When we sit in each other's Presence, we begin to see the other as a precious manifestation of the divine.

If we continue ten, fifteen, twenty minutes into this practice, unflinching and allowing ourselves to simply be with each other, we will likely end up smiling and laughing with each other.

As the practice ends, we are wise not to seek an immediate solution to a difficulty, but rather to quietly put space around it. As we continue in a state of openness, the way forward will begin to form in our heart.

With the approach of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year's, the potential for tense times and difficult decisions is greatly increased. We can use this practice to enter into any negotiations that become necessary in terms of how we spend the holidays.

When we are present with each other in this way, it is amazing how love begins to permeate our discussions, replacing all sense of insistence on having our own way.

Yet, there is no sense of capitulation in this approach. It is not a matter of being subsumed in another's will. On the contrary, it is, as Michael Brown puts it, about "showing up" for the powerful person we are—a person whose true power is that of serving in love.

Author's Bio: 

David Robert Ord is author of Your Forgotten Self Mirrored in Jesus the Christ and the audio book Lessons in Loving--A Journey into the Heart, both from Namaste Publishing, publishers of Eckhart Tolle and other transformational authors.

If you would like to go deeper into being your true self, powerfully present in the now, we invite you to enjoy the daily blog Consciousness Rising - http://www.namastepublishing.com/blog/author/david-robert-ord.