It's no surprise that meditating every day is challenging.
We live in a world of to-do lists, anxieties and time crunches, and sometimes we just lose ourselves in the noise and chaos of every day life. The cruel irony is that meditation helps us live above that noise with intention, courage and kindness. So how do we find time to meditate in our busy lives?
The secret is simpler than you think — it's group meditation. Here are five reasons why group meditation works:
1. Group meditation holds you accountable.
Think about it like reading on your own, versus reading with a book club. If you didn't have anyone asking you if you read the book or not, and if you didn't have anyone to discuss the book with, isn't it more likely that you would get too busy to read the book in the first place?
It's the same for meditation. When you are in a group setting, you have likeminded individuals asking you about how your meditations are going. You'll also have people sharing tips and tricks with you and keeping you on track as you work to achieve your goals. These friends will hold you accountable while you build your practice.
2. Group meditation frees you from fear.
Every meditator goes through a phase where they wonder if they are "doing it right". If your mind starts to wander or anxiety takes hold, it is natural to question your methods and intentions. When you are practicing meditation on your own, this phase of doubt can kill your attempts at building a daily practice.
When you practice in a group however, you have the ability to freely and openly question the practice of meditation with your peers. Instead of silently wondering if you are meditating right, you can pose the question to the group and hear how others have dealt with similar issues. You may find that someone else has already dealt with the same problem and has a solution ready for you.
3. Group meditation gives you a specific time and a place to meditate.
One of the biggest issues facing the meditators I work with, is that they struggle to define a specific place and time to meditate. Practicing in a group forces you to define your place and time in advance, which allows you to schedule other tasks around your meditation.
This can be very helpful in building your practice because little distractions from home, like the sound of the television in another room or the sound of a car arriving in the driveway, wont be there to interrupt your practice. It's just you, your group, and your meditation.
4. Group meditation helps keep your meditation practice fresh.
There is nothing worse than having meditation become another task on the to-do list that you can't seem to find time to accomplish. When meditation becomes a chore, something needs to change. By turning meditation into a fun practice with a group, it is easier to stay committed to yourself and to your meditations.
The momentum that you gain from your group practice also translates into your solo meditations. When you learn a new trick to calm your mind, or when you experience a new level of peace, gratitude, or joy, you want to experience it over and over again.
5. So how do I find a meditation group?
If you are ready to transform your life through daily meditation, there are a few easy steps you can take to connect to a meditation group near you.
One way to find meditation groups in your town is through Meetup.com. It's free to use, and you can see a variety of local groups in your area.
You can also search for meditation teachers online who do digital group meditations via Skype or Google Hangout. These classes are great opportunities to expand your practice and share it with others. There is always someone willing to work with you, all you have to do is decide to make the change.