Interpersonal Conflict Meditation (ICM)

Conflict in relationships cannot always be prevented. For example marital conflict, conflicts between friends, parents and children, siblings, colleagues. They may range from simple misunderstandings to serious fights. Even if you meditate regularly and are in general a calm person, you cannot have the mood of the other person in control. Sometimes the other person can be tired or have other issues in mind and thus, the misunderstandings are easier to happen. In many of these cases, we tend to forgive each other and move on eventually, but we can stay upset or mad at them for few hours to few days before doing so.

In general, the traits anger, hostility and aggressiveness have long been associated with coronary heart disease [1,2]. Research shows that higher levels of anger expression is a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke [3]. In the latter study, people with higher levels of anger showed higher risk for stroke and coronary heart disease, but also people with very low levels of anger expression. Possibly because they did not express their anger despite feeling angry. That is why meditation is important as we must stay in touch with our emotions and do not ignore them. But the consequences of these negative emotions do not limit themselves to coronary heart disease and stroke. I’m sure that there are many more negative consequences of anger, conflict and hostility. But I don’t want to go into much detail about this now as it is not the topic of this post. Even without research telling us about the impact of anger or sadness on our health and wellbeing, none of us like to feel that way.

Although mindfulness has shown to be an effective technique for anger management [4], conflicts cannot be completely preventable. But what if we could go through the whole process a lot faster and save us and others a lot of pain? This is what I thought about when I created a new version of meditation which I call “Interpersonal Conflict Meditation” or ICM.

In our daily life and in majority of cases, it goes about conflicts with people we love or we care about. It can be caring because we love them or caring because we have to work with them and maintain a healthy relationship with. That is why it is especially important to feel better much faster after such conflicts since we suffer even more when we’re having conflict with someone we care about. After a fight or conflict, once we are calm, we start to see things from a more positive perspective. And little by little we decide to forgive our spouse, sibling, parents, friends or colleagues. For example, we start to remember the good things they have done for us or the good memories we have about them. Or just because the love we feel for them stands in contradiction with the negative emotions we are experiencing towards them. And eventually you decide to accept the situation, forgive them and move on. However, in certain situations if the other person is being oversensitive or has made a mistake that we don’t like to see repeated, it is still better to talk to them about this once we are both calm.

Another important point is to be able to forgive even if at that moment you cannot understand why the other person behaved in a certain way. Judgment in most situations is very wrong since we don’t have all the necessary information at hand to make a fair judgment.

Let me give you one example from the social psychology course I took many years ago for you to better understand what I mean. Imagine you are at a restaurant and the waitress brings your order very late and she is not being friendly at all either. You get mad and decide to complain to her boss about this.

But wait! what if you knew that she has had a very tough night because she is a single mother, her child is very sick and she cannot afford the treatment and on top of all these, her car broke down on her way to work. And that’s not all! It was not her fault that the order was late, people in the kitchen prepared it late and treated her bad as well because of the stress they were feeling in the kitchen. Well, now that you also know her side of the story, would you still be mad at her? That is why in this meditation I want you to try to imagine what is the other side of the story. What could have possibly led to the behaviour of the other person you are mad at. Since it is not impossible for us to find out about all the factors in a certain situation, you need to  use your own imagination.


This meditation helps you to go through the whole process of acceptance, forgiveness and more in only 10-30 minutes (depending on how much time you need to spend on meditating in different steps). I use different types of stones at each step but don’t worry if you don’t have stones. You can just imagine holding the stones I am using. If you wish to buy stones, they are also not very expensive. I bought my stones for about 2 to 5 euros each. So, let’s start now. 🙂


1)Find a peaceful place where you know you won’t be disturbed for at least 30 minutes.  

2) Optional: use candles and incense to create a calm and spiritual atmosphere as candles soothe the eyes and provide a soft and relaxing lighting and incense creates a relaxing scent.

3) Optional: meditation music. You can use any relaxation music that you like. Personally, I really like the album Calm the mind from Dan Gibson. I love all the songs. I use this one mainly if I need to relax my thoughts. Also, if you prefer nature songs like birds chirping and the water sounds, then you will love this album. All the nature songs are mixed with very calm and beautiful piano music. You can listen to one of the songs in this album here:


4) Start off your meditation by closing your eyes and taking deep breaths while holding a black (Onyx) stone in hand, or just imagine holding one. Imagine having a grey bulb around you like the drawing below. With every breath you take, imagine the air cleaning all the negative feelings you have and with every exhalation imagine giving all those bad feelings out of your body. As you try to give your negative emotions and thoughts out as you exhale, imagine the black color of the stone getting even darker and the grey bulb around you getting darker and darker, with you feeling lighter. Repeat these steps until you feel very light, without any negative feelings and have a little smile on your face. 🙂


5) Next, hold a transparent (Spodumene) stone in your hand or imagine holding one. Continue taking deep breaths and see yourself in a bulb with a very clear white color. Try to see things clearly without ignorance, while accepting the situation you are in. Try to think about your own mistakes that led to the current situation. Put your right hand on your heart and forgive yourself for your mistakes. Then, try to think of the possible scenarios that led to the other person’s mistakes (or things that led to the behaviour that did upset you). Use your imagination therefore and try to come up with at least 4 things that could have led to the behaviour of the other person you were having a conflict with and try to show empathy for him/her. For example, having a headache, being tired, being hurt by someone else, feeling lonely, stressed or worried and so on. Now try to forgive them. Feeling empathy for them and becoming aware of your own mistakes, make it easier to forgive your spouse, parent(s), friend,child, colleague or whomever you were having a conflict with.


6) Next, hold a light blue (Aquamarine) or light green (Aventurine) stone in your hand and see yourself being surrounded by a bulb in the same color. Take few deep breaths and imagine a very deep peaceful feeling within you. Continue this step as long as needed for you to feel completely peaceful.


7) In the next step, hold a pink (rosequartz) stone and imagine yourself sitting in a light pink bulb. Take deep breaths while trying to remember the things you have done that you are proud of or the things you like about yourself. Think about as many as needed for you to feel good about yourself. Now put your right hand again on your heart and feel the love for yourself. Then start remembering the good things that you like about the other person. Think about as many things as needed for your to feel good about the other person. Now try to imagine them in your pink bulb and feel your love for them.




8) Next, hold any type of stone that you like, one that is smooth and feels easy and nice to hold while making a fist. Take deep breaths and think about all the things you have at this moment you are grateful for. It can be anything. Again think of as many things as needed for you to feel great.





9) Whenever you feel ready start moving a part of your body (pinky finger or a toe) and slowly come back to the reality by trying to pay attention to the sensory information around you such as a sound, smell or anything else you can experience at that very moment. Then, you can slowly open your eyes.

10) Optional: Whenever you feel ready, you can talk to the person you were having a conflict with about how you feel or you can just let them know that you are not mad at them anymore, but you have certain expectations from them.


I hope you liked this meditation and that it will help you become a calmer and happier person, even when you feel stuck in a difficult situation.

I know that some people prefer guided meditations and I am thinking about doing that, but for now it would be great if you could just read and try to memorize the steps. Personally, I prefer to meditate on my own pace because then I can spend as much time as I need in different steps. But for people who really prefer guided meditation, I will try to either record at least one guided meditation or introduce some good ones to you.

Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions or problems you may have either in the comment box below, or if you prefer a private message, you can send us a message using our email in the contact section.


With Love,




1) Smith, T. W., Glazer, K., Ruiz, J. M., & Gallo, L. C. (2004). Hostility, anger, aggressiveness, and coronary heart disease: An interpersonal perspective on personality, emotion, and health. Journal of personality, 72(6), 1217-1270.

2) Williams, J. E., Paton, C. C., Siegler, I. C., Eigenbrodt, M. L., Nieto, F. J., & Tyroler, H. A. (2000). Anger proneness predicts coronary heart disease risk. Circulation, 101(17), 2034-2039.

3) Eng, P. M., Fitzmaurice, G., Kubzansky, L. D., Rimm, E. B., & Kawachi, I. (2003). Anger expression and risk of stroke and coronary heart disease among male health professionals. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(1), 100-110.

4) Wright, S., Day, A., & Howells, K. (2009). Mindfulness and the treatment of anger problems. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14(5), 396-401.

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