Meditating as a community has its advantages. You can exchange feedback and teach each other. You're more likely to show up regularly because you want to see your friends, and you feel like they're counting on you. Most of all, you can pool your energy so that you achieve greater realizations and peace of mind.
If you're ready to share your practice, take a look at these 3 simple approaches to finding a meditation community.
The All-Encompassing Approach
Advanced practitioners regard the time between sessions as a meditation break. If you like the idea of your practice being all-encompassing, welcome everyone into your meditation community.
1. Contemplate gratitude. It's easier to cherish others when you focus on their kindness. Spend a minute thinking about the stranger who holds a door for you or a salesclerk who goes the extra mile.
2. Meditate on helpfulness. When you can't offer practical assistance, you can still give others your best wishes. Imagine feeding the hungry or curing the sick.
3. Welcome irritations. Meditation isn't all smiles and hugs. Instead of backing away from someone you find annoying, open your heart. Try to see the situation through their eyes.
The Local Approach
Meditation is more powerful when you integrate it into your daily routine. Deepen your relationships by sharing your practice with those close to you.
1. Bond with your partner. Enrich your marriage by starting the day with a joint meditation session. Go on a retreat together for your next vacation.
2. Train your kids. Studies show that meditation helps kids do better in school, as well as manage their feelings. Keep your sessions brief and fun so they'll want more. You can play music or buy colorful cushions.
3. Team up with friends. Examining your mind could take your friendships to another level. Invite your pals to sit together. You may be surprised by what you learn about each other.
4. Reach out at work. If you spend long hours at the office, you may want to invite some of your colleagues to join you for a little quiet time. Ask if you can use the conference room or visit a nearby park.
5. Get physical. Meditating is good for your body as well as your mind. Plus, exercises that correct your posture and increase your flexibility make it more comfortable to sit for extended periods. There may be another member of your gym or yoga studio who would love to work some meditation into their workouts.
6. Ask around at church. Meditation encourages spiritual growth as well as relaxation. If you already have a faith community, you might want to add meditation to your usual group activities.
The Technological Approach
You probably wouldn't dream of taking a trip without going online to look up airfares and weather forecasts. Let the internet help you on your spiritual journey too.
1. Use social media. Maybe there's a meditation group on Meetup waiting for you or you can host one of your own. Start a conversation by posting some comments about your practice on your Facebook page.
2. Broaden your perspective. You may not have the time and money to travel to India, but you can communicate online with monks in Dharamshala or schoolteachers in Cleveland. Seek inspiration and learn from what others are doing.
3. Meditate anytime. While face-to-face contacts are usually more intimate, the internet is there for you around the clock. Chat on forums or listen to podcasts when it's too late to call a friend.
There is power in numbers. Meditating as a community will help you to feel more connected and reinvigorate your spiritual practice.