Meditating seems like it’s best when done alone, right? It appears to be a highly individual activity. You find a comfy position, close your eyes, silence your mind, and try to stay there for 30 minutes. So it's not exactly an ideal time for a social gathering — or is it?
In my experience, meditation with a friend, or "frienditation," can be even better than meditating solo. It heightens the experience by creating a special bond between buddies, enhancing your personal practice as well.
Here are five reasons why it’s better to meditate with a friend:
1. You don’t have to dive in alone.
Sometimes the idea of meditating can be intimidating. If you're a beginner, it's tough to know what to expect, how to do it and to know whether or not you are doing it right. With a friend beside you, you will feel more comfortable diving in and trying something new.
Your buddy will feel like your wingman, hanging by your side to make sure everything goes smoothly. And even though you will be trekking the dark corners of your mind alone, at least you will have your friend with you when you get back to discuss anything that may have come up.
2. You won’t back out.
It can be easy to forget to meditate or to decide to forgo meditation because of a busy schedule. But if you have a meditation buddy like you would a running buddy, you are held accountable and won’t back out so easily. You and your friend will continue to help one another to find time for stillness, and both of your meditation practices will thrive as a result.
3. Experiences are better when you share them.
Like vacations, dining experiences, movies, and just about every social experience, it is way more fun to be with a friend than by yourself. So why can’t the same logic be applied to your spiritual practice?
After a frienditation, the two of you can talk about your experiences, sharing your thoughts and difficulties. Even if you don’t feel like sharing the fact that you couldn’t tame your monkey mind for the whole 30 minutes, you can at least feel proud together that you were willing to take the journey toward peace of mind.
4. Frienditation will deepen your friendship.
Not only will a shared meditation create a shared experience, meditating with someone you care about will connect your friendship on a deeper level, because of your shared willingness to be mindful.
5. You can ride each other’s meditation waves.
Subtle flows of energy emit from our bodies all of the time, and when we meditate, our brains are more susceptible to sensing them.
When you share a meditation space with one or more friends, you can feel these waves emitting from the other person, and this can elevate both of your meditations to a whole new level.
When I started meditating with others, my meditation practice strengthened and became more enjoyable. It helped me develop a regular meditation habit, and it enhanced and strengthened my relationships.
The next time you feel like you need to work through an issue, or want to feel more connected and peaceful, call up a friend instead of meditating alone. The two of you can go on a meditative walk together, meditate on the phone, or get together to share a few moments in stillness.
No matter how you choose to engage in frienditation, I promise it will be twice as fun as doing it alone. When you share a space of peace and intentions of love, both of you will be better friends and individuals as a result.