Updated: Jan 24
Have you ever attended a concert or football game and felt the excitement and energy of being surrounded by all those people with a common focus? Felt super-charged and took time to “come down” afterwards? Compare this to the feeling of watching a game or concert by yourself - there is a big difference. When people come together and focus their energy for a common purpose it can be very powerful. When we meditate together it can have the same effect - by sharing the same intention and focus we create a shared group energy.
Group meditation also lets us hold each other accountable. When you sit to meditate at home, you can fidget as much as you like, scratch every little itch, move position to get more comfortable, and you can easily end up telling yourself nope now is not the right time - I just can’t focus. I’ll do it tomorrow… or on the weekend when I can really concentrate, yes great I will be able to meditate then! You can see how that ends up….
When you are meditating with others, you respect their experience and don’t want to disturb them, so it prevents you from just getting up to do something else. It motivates you to try and be still and quiet so as not to disturb those around you, which helps to focus your attention inwards.
In group meditation you can also be each other’s motivation. You may have a peek at your neighbour and think wow they look so focused! They aren’t moving at all; this meditation must really be working for them - I should keep trying. Now, it may be that they do the exact same thing and have a little peek at you a few minutes later, and think wow! they look so focused and still, I better keep trying and see if I can be like them! So you see how group meditation can hold us accountable and keep us motivated to keep trying our best and not give in to our mind telling us to give up.
Having this accountability and support of your fellow meditators gives you more motivation to stay focused when you are alone, because you have already proven to yourself that you are capable of meditating. By meeting regularly, you have a chance to share your experiences, try new techniques, make new connections with like-minded people, and stay motivated. Even if you have not done any meditation by yourself, there is never judgement as everyone is on their own journey and we respect each other’s experiences.
Ultimately, group meditation gives you tools to strengthen your own practice, so I encourage you to try it out for yourself and see what you discover.