I have a partner who is willing to do FIML. How do we start?
Find a clear space in your relationship–a time or place or subject where there is no conflict. Start there.
What if we have some big issues? How can we address them with FIML?
In the beginning, don’t. FIML works especially well because it is designed to work with small things. Work with small stuff first and then gradually add small bits of your big issues when and if they arise. A big issue is only big because we believe it is or have learned to deal with it in that way. If you nibble at the edges of it with your partner you may find that your big issue was not so big after all.
What if my issues really are big?
All anyone can do—no matter what their background—is make the best of it. When analyzing ourselves we need to be careful about two things: 1) overly generalizing and 2) expecting complete change. Instead, we want to focus on: 1) the particulars of who we really are and what our conditions really are and 2) upgrading those things as needed. For FIML practice avoid general diagnoses about what you think your condition is. Seek to upgrade your traits rather than completely change them. Begin with good, clear communication with your partner based on honest FIML practice.
In many places you have said that a neurosis is a “mistaken impression” or that I will find that my understanding of what my partner has just said will almost certainly be a mistake or at least not the whole truth. But what if I did understand what they meant and they confirm it? What if I sense that they are mad at me, do a FIML query and am told by my partner that they are mad at me for something I said or did?
If something like that happens it is because your partner missed an important opportunity to do FIML. When they first noticed their own reaction to whatever it is you said or did, they should have initiated a FIML query. Both partners must understand that asking and answering honestly are equally important skills. If your partner finds it hard to initiate a FIML query, think of ways you can make this easier for them. You might have them practice by just randomly asking you what is in your mind or what you associate with a random word or phrase. Do the same for them. With a little practice you will find it not so hard to do this. It is important that each partner learn to ask as well as answers FIML queries.
We are always very honest with each other and deeply in love. Isn’t that the same as or better than doing FIML?
Maybe. But keep in mind what FIML does. FIML uses objective data agreed upon by both partners to catch and eliminate mistaken interpretations (kleshas, neuroses) the moment(s) they arise. FIML is a practical method that helps partners ensure and maintain excellence in their relationship in a way that emotions or vows alone cannot do. FIML accomplishes most of what it does by being a technique that is called up quickly, the moment it is needed.
We already have a good relationship and my partner thinks it would be risky to do FIML.
I honestly do not believe that FIML practice will harm anyone’s relationship but only improve it. Try a few small FIML exercises with your partner—even if you are both skeptical—and see what they do for you. You will probably discover that there are large areas of your minds that are looking at each other and the world differently. It is not a problem to see this, but a benefit. If you really do have a good relationship, you will only find each other more interesting when you do FIML practice. I do not want to sound too idealistic or simplistic here, but want to be brief for this format. For more information on this or any other FAQ, please look through some of our other posts.
Where do we start?
At the top of the page are some links—What is FIML? How to do FIML? Please read those links and/or other posts on this site. Eventually we hope to give classes on FIML practice but cannot do so quite yet due to other commitments.