Can Quantum Physics Save Your Marriage?

Do you get more stressed on vacations than you do staying home and working–especially short 4 day weekends on  large public holidays?

Donner LakeFor the 4th of July, my wife and I took the boys to Tahoe. My wife’s stress level reached Defcon 5. Nothing I did seemed good enough.

Finally, on Friday, she took the kids to the lake and left me at the cabin.  The perennial question most men ask on a daily basis echoed in my head, “What did I do wrong?”

Since I was on a blogging break, I finally had time to catch up on some reading. Thanks to my Kindle, I read 3 books simultaneously which leads to mind-expanding perspectives. I was about half way through Wired  for Love by Stan Tatkin; Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chodron; and How Quantum Activism Can Save Civilization by Amit Goswami.

Book 1

Serendipity hit immediately as I read a chapter in Wired for Love subtitled “How to please and soothe your partner.” Tatkin offers a more realistic vow that couples could say at the altar:

“I take you as my pain in the rear, with all your history and baggage, and I take responsibility for all prior injustices you endured at the hands of those I never knew, because you now are in my care.”

This vow reminded me not only of the importance of acceptance in a relationship, but also the need to be an active agent rather than a victim. Taking responsibility for my partner’s burdens even though I might not have had anything to do with them cultivates the kind of compassion that, in my mind, is essential to a healthy relationship.

Book 2

Cover of "Start Where You Are: A Guide to...

Cover via Amazon

Yet I was still feeling like an innocent victim, so I switched books. Pema Chodron solidified the message in a chapter titled “Be Grateful for Everyone.”

“‘Be grateful to everyone’ means that all situations teach you, and often it is the tough ones that teach you best.”

Gratitude is a huge part of my daily practice, but I had not reached the point of being grateful for individuals when they are the most difficult. One of the most shocking and inspirational quotes I have ever read was by the Dalai Lama:

“Many times I am asked if I am angry at the Chinese for what has happened. Sometimes I lose some temper, but afterwards I get more concern, more compassion towards them. In my daily prayer, I take in their suffering, their anger, and ignorance…and give back compassion. This kind of practice I continue.”

The Dalai Lama advises to treat our enemies as “precious jewels” since they give us our greatest opportunities to deepen our patience, tolerance, and compassion. Our loved ones who are, at times, difficult are not our enemies, although we tend to think of them this way during times of strife. Surely, we can be grateful for them and consider them “precious jewels” not just for the love they give us, but also for the opportunities to cultivate our compassion and unconditional love.

Book 3

All good things come in three, so I kept reading. Amit Goswami offered perhaps the most profound advice on the matter:

“If you don’t mind, nothing matters.”

At first glance this is some of the best relationship advice I have ever heard, but it goes deeper than that. Coming from the perspective of quantum physics, Goswami isn’t just talking about conflict resolution. He is offering a new realty. According to quantum physics, nothing exists without the observer. Moreover, modern neuroscience proves that we can change our physical existence by changing our thoughts. Therefore, if we “don’t mind”–put thoughts in our mind–these thoughts cannot create matter or reality.

So when we think thoughts of compassion and peace, instead of thoughts of anger and resentment, we are literally creating peace in our world.  At that very instant, sulking alone in the cabin, I had the choice to create peace or conflict. We all have this choice every moment of everyday. Isn’t that wonderful?

Truth be told, I had trouble releasing the resentment of being abandoned during my vacation, so I minded and mattered some egotistical comments that upset my wife when she did return later that night. But I continue to re-mind myself of these three concepts of 1) taking responsibility for my partner’s burdens, 2) being grateful for my partner even when she is having a bad day, and 3) focusing my thoughts on compassion and peace at all times to create the reality I want to live in.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.

Do you believe in serendipity? Do you believe in mind over matter? Please share.

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30 comments on “Can Quantum Physics Save Your Marriage?

  1. Tracy says:

    Thank you for another insightful post Kozo. I do believe in mind over matter, that our attitudes can set us apart or bring us together and if we don’t mind – don’t react to – trigger situations we’re less likely to end up in an argument. It doesn’t mean the other persons behaviour is ok or that we have to ‘put up with’ everything. It just means we can avoid making a bad situation worse and instead deal with it when it’s less likely to cause world war 3. Sending you peace, compassion and hugs 🙂

  2. csroth3 says:

    Such a great post and a wonderful reminder. I love your honesty. I had a similar experience this past weekend but I can’t post about such personal episodes because it would upset my husband.
    I love the Tatkin marriage vow because strangely enough, we did marry 30+ years ago with that understanding as part of our spiritual heritage. I’m going to check out those books too.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Thanks, Cheryl. I love the term you use “spiritual heritage.” Yes, intimate relationships come with tons of spiritual baggage.
      I was just reading a chapter in Amit Goswami’s book that reminded me of you. He argues that creativity is a necessary step in our evolution. We have to make inner and outer creativity part of our daily practice. I thought you would like that. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  3. jmgoyder says:

    You are such a gem Kozo.

  4. Kozo, I loved your post and the video. “Self-directed neuroplasticity” Bingo! I just had to share this (short) fascinating video with you, as it really compliments what Rick Hanson said just after the 4 minute marker regarding new neurons reaching out for each other. http://youtu.be/Nmvk3zlyQ2w How symbolic, right? There is strength in numbers. I do indeed believe in mind over matter. I also realize that sometimes the brain can be damaged to the point that a person’s behavior and personality can change dramatically. These behavioral changes have little to do with self-directed neuroplasticity, and sometimes the damage is irreversible. I mention this because I think it’s important to understand that people can sometimes be at the mercy of their brain, where mind is no longer in control. It’s sobering to realize that in America alone, someone sustains a traumatic brain injury every 15 seconds.

    But what was life changing for me, and is reiterated in your video, is that every time we have a negative thought, and keep thinking about that negative thought(s), we create neural connections, and networks. Repetitive negative thinking can literally increase gray matter volume in specific regions of our brains, such as the right amygdala (fear and negative emotions). However, the same is also true for positive thoughts. As an advocate for human rights, I am, daily, made aware of horrific injustices in our world. I can become quite sad. I am acutely aware that I can create new neurons (neurogenesis) and reinforce negative thinking if I’m not careful. What has worked for me is that every time I am reminded of these injustices, and sufferings, I immediately think of something positive, something beautiful. I think about all the empathic, compassionate, and caring people in the world, and there are many. I think of the enormous strength and courage people have to endure so much suffering. Having this awareness of the sufferings of others is a reminder that things could be so much worse for me, and therefore, I feel gratitude. I love your strategy, btw.

    One of my strategies is that for every negative thought I have, I immediately replace it with at least two positive thoughts, and throw in a little visualization as well This has been beneficial in helping me to heal from personal traumas that were accompanied by flashbacks. Flashbacks from trauma can reinforce negative thought patterns. I also wanted to mention that we can reinforce negative thoughts (neuroplasticity) by internal dialogs we my not be consciously aware of. I’ve no doubt you are fully aware of this. I just thought it was worth mentioning for other readers who may not be aware of subconscious internal dialogs. Kozo, in 2005, via meditation, synaptic dropout, followed by a kundalini experience, I became acutely aware that I had two internal dialogs replaying over and over. They were negative dialogs. I was stunned by this revelation, and that’s when I really took self-directed neuroplasticity seriously.

    Apologies for rambling on. I am passionate about this subject (your post) because this knowledge literally changed my life, and gave me hope for the future of humanity.

    *hug*

    Humanity has only scratched the surface of its real potential. ~Peace Pilgrim

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I agree with everything you said, NN. Yes, we often get caught in negative thought patterns even when we are trying to do good. Your process of of dealing with injustices sounds a lot like the Tonglen meditation I do where I embrace all parts of humanity. I visualize all the suffering in the world and try to breathe it in to replace with love and light.
      Sounds like we are on the same path. These ideas are changing my life as well. I see not only my patterns and internal dialogue, but also those of others. This helps me empathize with them and try to heal rather than hurt.
      I love the video you posted. I’ve never seen the actual neuro-networks being formed. I’ve seen animation, but seeing the real thing makes it that much more convincing.
      Can’t wait to continue the journey with you. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

      • “So when we think thoughts of compassion and peace, instead of thoughts of anger and resentment, we are literally creating peace in our world.”

        Yes! And we are literally rewiring our brains.

        Kozo, thanks for watching the video and responding. I understand that you have been taking a break this month to spend with family, etc., but when you can spare 18 minutes, I think you will really like this TED talk, if you haven’t already seen it. http://youtu.be/W81CHn4l4AM From a neurological perspective, it compliments your post quite well. Taking a clinical approach, it details how we can intentionally atrophy (synaptic pruning) disadvantageous neural connections that affect our relationships when we focus on compassion. The ending is powerful and empowering.

        Happy weekend,

        Victoria
        Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ

  5. […] Please read Kozo’s post, Can Quantum Physics Save Your Marriage?. […]

  6. I definitely believe everything is in our lives for a reason and we attracted it. Sometimes, it’s hard to see/swallow! lol

    Much Love to you!
    Zully

  7. diannegray says:

    The quantum side is very interesting, Kozo. Sometimes I ‘mind’ and that’s when things can take a turn for the worse. Vacations for me were wonderful when the kids were young and now they’re a bit stressful because I get homesick! Sounds silly, but that’s the way I am 😀

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      I would get homesick as well if I lived in the RUC, Dianne. Yes, when we ‘mind’, we call things into matter. I am trying to make it a practice to not mind, especially when I have thoughts of resentment, anger, outrage, etc. Deepak Chopra said that his whole life changed when he stopped being offended. This is the goal. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  8. I think the brain is wired to be a certain way and then our minds & experiences mixed with the wiredness so to speak creates a cocktail sweet Delicious drinks or sometime Sourballs. But if we are are blessed to have people in our lives to take what we serve up…then there is hope that are brains & minds can improve over time with awareness and will power within our inner man to make life smoother. Just my 2 cents.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Love the cocktail analogy, 1G4AW. Yes, the people who “take what we serve up” are key. I don’t think I would have made any of the steps towards compassion without my wife supporting me through thick and thin. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  9. Alison says:

    I totally believe in serendipity, and in mind over matter, but you already know that about me 🙂
    Mind *is* matter, meaning thoughts are actually “matter” or have form. They only have power if we believe them. We can catch them as they go by and choose whether or not to give them power by believing the. So it’s really awareness over the matter of the mind. Believe it or not.

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Love the idea of giving power to thoughts by catching them as they go by, Alison. Some thoughts are pesky like flies that won’t leave you alone. Or worse yet, mosquitoes. Hard to ignore a bite. But if we can let them go, they have no power. Trying to practice this type of surrender.
      I have to tell you that I miss your blog on my blog break. I will drop by soon. I just don’t want to start visiting blogs and get sucked out of my break. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

  10. 1EarthUnited says:

    Kozo, u’r the most compassionate person I know. Practicing everyday mindfulness, you will overcome your karma and save the world. Your wife seems tense most of the time, so all the more important to teach by example and help reduce her stress load. How we respond to stress is a choice, only she can control her own mind perceptions. Keep up the great work, u’r definitely on the right track and your marriage can only grow stronger for it.
    Also pay attention to your own stress levels, partners subconsciously resonate with us, picking up our vibes. If you feel resentment or suppressed anger, it’ll manifest in her outward behavior as stress, she may not even be aware of it herself! Make her aware of your honest feelings and break the stress habit. Awareness and practice is the key, god bless my wise friend. Enjoy your summer, wishing your family the best as always! 😀

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      Maddy, you hit so many nails right on the head in this comment. I completely agree that my stress level lowers the vibration of all around me. I used to think that my wife’s stress lowered my vibration, but you are right that we have the choice and control of our perceptions. Awareness and practice are key, and I’m getting A LOT of practice. LOL.
      Headed for Kona on the Big Island soon. Let me know if you want to drop by. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • 1EarthUnited says:

        Lucky you, Kailua-Kona is paradise this time of year! I’m there in spirit my friend, although I’m preparing for the fashion festival in Sidney next month. Aloha ahiahi! ☼ {{Big Hug}}

  11. Sunshine says:

    thank you for another great read, Kozo…may your vacation days bring you abundant wisdom, comfort and peace. ☼sunHUGS!!

  12. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Three really great lessons! I love how science is catching up with what those who wrote the Vedas and other ancient texts knew many thousands of years ago 🙂 A great deal of the Stoic philosophy is based on shifting our reality by shifting our thoughts and opinions as well.

    I’ll try to keep these in mind during tough times with friends and enemies alike!

    Enjoy your break 🙂 Hugs!

    Rohan.

  13. Stuck Sucks says:

    This is so helpful: “‘Be grateful to everyone’ means that all situations teach you, and often it is the tough ones that teach you best.” I recently wrote about an issue with a relative, and this applies perfectly… Thank you!

  14. Eileen says:

    Amen: Thank’s to your peace challenge, I learned and grew from an extremely painful criticism, that had alienated me from someone for two years.. Coming to grips with it has given me so much freedom from discontent, that I actually am grateful through and through for the experience!

  15. Geo Sans says:

    during my vacation
    i had an abscess tooth
    my face
    was swollen
    ~
    breathing out the pain
    i was grateful for my sister
    coordinating an emergency dentist visit
    ~
    the moment
    allowed me to feel blessed
    for a caring family
    and to be more appreciative
    of good health
    ~
    I chose with my heart
    I refused
    to allow my situation
    to ruin my holiday

    • Kozo Hattori says:

      {{{hugs]}} for your tooth, Geo Sans. Glad you could find the silver lining. Sounds like you got a nice dose of love on your holiday which will make it a holiday to remember. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

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