One women’s experience of the impact that group meditation had on her life.
I had the courage to meditate often and did so for a few months on my own. I have to say I was feeling pretty confident with my progress. I was certainly no ‘spiritual giant’ but I had my daily practice room all set up with comfy pillows and I was showing up for myself in a way I hadn’t ever done before.
In fact, the way I had set it all up felt like the perfect escape. So when I first heard that a group meditation was being held at my local yoga studio, I baulked. The idea of bringing others into my tried and tested formula for meditation seemed like it would terribly hinder the peace and serenity I was aiming for. After all, I spend all day with other people. I thought meditation was supposed to be my alone time.
But after continuous encouragement by a friend I decided to try attending the group session. Admittedly it took me some time to accept her invitation because if I’m honest, I have enough trouble finding peace and quiet in my own home, on my own cushion, with my own endless cycle of thought. It felt like being with others would be paradoxical when I could hardly even sit with myself. But, I decided to give it a go and I learned a few things I never expected.
NEVER DOUBT THE POWER OF GROUP SILENCE
I have to say that discovering group meditation changed my life entirely. And let me tell you, that’s a pretty big call for a woman like me. I’ve always been very independent and almost too self-reliant. It’s not that I struggle to ask for help but I certainly prefer to do things myself and the thought of sitting in a room trying to meditate with others made me cringe a little on the inside. However, I was wrong. So wrong in fact that I decided to blog about it and note all the reasons why I’ve fallen in love with group meditation.
But before I get started, I want to explain the Sanskrit principle of Satsang. It’s part of a wider concept called Sannyasa and it pretty much sums up the reasons why group meditation has become one of my new passions.
Satsang: The pleasure of belonging to a community of like-minded people who commune to share knowledge of peace and wisdom.
THE BENEFITS OF GROUP MEDITATION FOR CHERIE
- New techniques and styles!
This was the first thing I noticed, I’d been using my own routine at home with no idea that there are so many other ways to meditate. The group I attended used a completely different style and technique to find a place of calm and I loved it. It turned out that my loyalty to my candle and my solo practice was just the start of my journey to the heart.
- Reinforced discipline
The group I go to meets three times a week and I have to say that it has taught me so much about being disciplined and accountable to my group members. I don’t always feel like meditating so I’ve had to transform my good intentions from just thoughts to a solid weekly commitment.
- The inspiration of shared progress
I’ve never felt less alone on the spiritual journey. Each time we meet I find I am able to touch a new sense of achievement. I can feel it in the way my practice has deepened but it’s also such a pleasure to talk with group members after our sessions. We often go for green tea at a local cafe and share about our challenges. They inspire me to continue showing up and coming back to myself.
- Energy amplification
Rather than being a distraction, the energy of a group of women meditating around me has amplified my practice and led me to a deeper place of inner silence then I’ve ever achieved on my own. There are surely scientific studies out there examining the transmission of energy frequencies between people, but let me tell you – it has to be felt to be believed. It’s a truly profound experience.
- The Power Of Group Intention
Not only have I found a community of like-minded women to connect with, I believe that we have a deeply positive effect on each other and the world. One practice, in particular, is the act of giving meta or sending out nurturing love to those around us. We send out compassion and forgiveness to everyone in the circle and to the planet. It may sound small but it feels like a very powerful way to live a life of peace and wise action and I’m so grateful I found it.
ESCAPE TO THE SILENCE OF THE GROUP
For me, the hardest thing about group meditation was the decision to make a start and I’ve found that’s so often the way in this life. Once the decision to act is made, the rest becomes part of the stunningly rich tapestry of life. So as someone who’s found joy in the group and been part of the Escape Haven family for some time since I joined their Bali yoga retreat a few years ago. I urge you to give group meditation a try. You can make a start by coming to a yoga retreat, by asking at your local yoga centre for courses or by downloading an app and using that. It’ll be a decision you’ll never regret.
Meditating with others makes it personally and socially more profound. Do you have a group meditation you want to share with us? Post your info on your group meditations in the comments below!
Cherie is a previous alumnae of Escape Haven and a meditation convert!