While many of us enjoy meditating alone, meditating with others can enhance our spiritual growth significantly. In addition to helping people learn how to meditate, a meditation group can bring a tremendous amount of healing to everyone who attends.
To start a meditation group, you can tell your friends and family members about your meditation practice and invite them to join you.
Here are 10 super easy steps to starting a meditation group:
1. Hold a meeting.
Tell your friends and family that you are starting to meditate and that you'd like to form a meditation group.
2. Find a place.
Once you have several members, you can begin meeting in a member's home, a church, a spiritual bookstore or any other location you deem appropriate.
3. Schedule it.
Next, you need to decide when to meet. Keep in mind that you'll never find a time that's convenient for everyone. Many groups meet on a weekday in the early evening starting somewhere between 6 and 8pm, for up to 90 minutes.
4. Register your group.
Registering your group with the Mindfulness Meditation Institute will connect you with a worldwide network of spiritual seekers just like you. You'll also receive many other benefits to support your group.
5. Lead your meeting.
There are three important elements of an effective mindfulness meditation session: relaxation meditation, concentration meditation and mindfulness meditation. You can also download this free starter kit for detailed instructions to starting your own meditation group.
6. Stay focused.
To help you stay focused on your primary purpose — to learn and practice mindfulness meditation — it's recommended to have a preamble, which includes your guiding principles. Use a beginning level format so that everyone has a chance to learn the basics of the practice.
7. Stick with one form of meditation.
At least in the beginning, stay with one form of meditation to learn and transmit the practice of meditation. The main thing to keep in mind is that you want to both teach and practice mindfulness meditation, so always include some form of instruction along with at least 30 minutes of meditation.
8. Recruit new members.
To keep your meditation group strong and healthy, you need to recruit new members. There are many ways to do this including word-of-mouth, social media, and community calendars.
9. Pay for expenses.
Each meditation group will incur expenses such as rent, refreshments and supplies, but they won't be much. Ask each member to contribute a small amount, but try to make the donation optional.
10. Practice weekly or more often.
Nothing says that you have to meet only once a week. In fact, the more often you meet, the better.
Adapted from the forthcoming book Mindfulness Meditation Made Simple: Your Guide to Finding True Inner Peace by Charles A. Francis, Paradigm Press