For some people, they have a very consistent solo meditation practice and they find it very enjoyable and beneficial. I would never want to tell anyone that the meditation they love is not good enough. Any meditation is absolutely wonderful.
But, many other people, they can find meditating alone to be more difficult. Moreover, they may be able to get many benefits from doing it with a group of people and a trained meditation teacher. Here are the 7 reason group meditation is better and can be helpful for you.
You, Will, Get the Guidance of a Meditation Teacher
Learning meditation is like learning anything else. Having a qualified teacher you can ask questions to, who can understand who you are and what your situation is, and who can give you feedback to make sure you’re developing a deep understanding is invaluable.
In a group meditation class, a meditation teacher to interact with and learn from by example can help you develop a much deeper practice than you might get from an app or a video online. Only an actual teacher with several years of training and practice can give the guidance and understanding it takes.
You’ll Feel an Accountability to Your Fellow Students
One of the reason group meditation is better is accountability. Whether it’s a fitness class or a meditation class, sticking to a new routine becomes much easier when you have a group of people to whom you’ve made a commitment.
New scientific research is showing that people who have told other people their goals or have buddies to do a new activity with and help keep them committed are more likely to follow through with their goals.
In group meditation classes, you’ll have a group of fellow students who are all there for the same goal. They can all be there to help each other achieve their goals.
Motivation comes and goes in waves. When we’re feeling a great deal of motivation, it’s a wonderful thing to help lift someone else when they need it. Likewise, when we are feeling particularly unmotivated, we know that there will be someone to lift up our spirits in a meditation class and that’s a good reason group meditation is better.
Motivation is contagious, so I encourage many new meditators to found an accountability partner. The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) found that people with accountability partners have a 65% chance of achieving their goal, as compared with a 10% chance of achieving a goal just by setting the goal alone. If you have an accountability appointment (think meditation class) with your accountability partner, your chance of achieving your goal becomes 95%!!!
Go Deeper within the Peaceful Energy Field a Skilled Meditator Can Generate
You don’t have to believe in energy fields or frequencies to know the power of being in the presence of a deeply peaceful person. We’ve all felt what it’s like to sense someone’s mood and how it affects us.
Human beings have mirror neurons in our brain that help us feel what other people around us are feeling. When we are around stressed and agitated people, we become stressed and agitated. Not only this, When we are around peaceful and calm people, we become peaceful and calm.
A Personal Experience…
When I was living in a Buddhist monastery on a remote island off the coast of Thailand, our meditation teacher would often bring one of the Buddhist monks in to sit in meditation with me and the other students because his deeply calm presence created powerful energy in the room that helped us all reach a much deeper meditative state.
And from firsthand experience, let me tell you, it works. When my mind kept repeating, “When will this be over?!” seeing him sitting so peacefully and joyfully made me realize all of my sufferings was just in my mind and I was able to clear my mind, relax and go deeper.
This powerful effect of being in the presence of someone who is in a very deep and meditative state can lead to a profoundly comforting and relaxing experience for people in a group meditation class. It even works over video calls as our mirror neurons don’t know the difference between if someone is there physically or just appearing on a computer screen.
For the best, most restorative meditation experience, try learning from a person who can achieve deep levels of meditation.
You’re More Likely to Stick to it if You Have Skin in the Game
Many people who meditate at home tend to skip a day or two if they’re particularly tired or just don’t feel like it one day. Often, one or two days can turn into one or two months.
But fortunately, buying a meditation class package can be just the motivation they need to get back into it and stick with it.
If you’re having trouble making your daily practice stick, try making a commitment with a class.
You’ll Be Able to More Easily Set and Keep a Schedule
I’m sure we can all relate to this one. We wake up, we want to do yoga or do some push-ups, but there’s your phone sitting right over there. Or you just really want to finish that Netflix show you’ve been binging. Or the kids want to play. Sometimes it’s almost impossible not to procrastinate.
But, if you set aside time for a class, you’re much more likely not to skip it. After all, you can’t procrastinate in a class. They have fixed times and there’s no negotiating it and that’s another reason group meditation is better than solo.
When first starting to meditate, setting fixed times and never breaking these appointments can be the key to setting yourself up for developing and maintaining a consistent practice.
You’ll Get a Sense of Community and Connectedness
Let’s face it, human beings are social creatures. Even if you’re an introvert, human beings need social bonding. Scientific studies have proven that close social connections create healing conditions in the body.
In a meditation class surrounded by people who are all there for the same loving and compassionate reasons, you’ll make new friends, feel more connected, and a greater sense of love and compassion can emerge.
Community is so important in our ever-increasingly isolated world. It combats feelings of loneliness and depression. And being surrounded by a nurturing group of meditators can lead to a miraculous healing and a greater sense of joy and bliss in our meditation and in our life.
You’ll Have a Place to Get Away From Distractions
At home, there are kids, emails, phone calls, spouses, food, and Netflix. In meditation class, none of that stuff is allowed. It’s the perfect place to unwind and recenter.
It can be very hard to put away our distractions when the modern world has so many of them. But that is precisely why we must. Meditation classes for many people are their sanctuaries away from the hustle and bustle, chaos and craziness.
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