Form a Meditation Circle with your family or friends
Continuous practice of meditation has immense benefits for our physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual health. While we do our daily meditation individually at our homes, gathering with other like-minded meditators periodically is important for mutual motivation and enhancing our meditation practice.
There are many benefits to meditating with others. Meditation generates inner peace and the ability to connect with yourself at a deeper level. When you sit with others, it can be powerful to influence one another in a group setting.
Benefits of Meditating in a Group
There is power in numbers and creating intentions. Coming together with a shared intention can have profound impacts on our lives, our communities, and our universe.
“Meditating in a group is very powerful,” says Gabrielle Bernstein, New York Times bestselling author and motivational speaker. “The shared intention of the group elevates each individual. When one or more gather with the intention to heal and grow, great shifts can occur. The group’s collective energy has a massive impact on the world.”
No matter the size or scope of the group meditation or intention, the idea is to plant seeds—big or small—for a better world. Group meditations can also help you:
- Strengthen your connections
- Support one another
- Learn: New meditators can learn a great deal from those who have a practice, while experienced meditators can learn a lot from guiding and helping beginners
- Stay motivated and committed to a regular practice
How to host a Group Meditation Circle
If you’re interested in leading a group meditation, the first step is to decide where you’ll host it. Here are some ideas on places to gather:
In Your Home:
If you’re going to host a group meditation in your home, setting up a designated area to sit would be helpful. This area should be quiet from outside noises and have comfortable temperature and space. Offer your guests or suggest they bring their own pillows, chairs, or couch space. Have a good Bluetooth speaker to stream music from your phone or player. Pyramids hung on the wall/roof or Pyramid caps/hats can be used for meditation.
Finally, choose a facilitator, whether it is yourself leading the meditation, reading the steps of a guided meditation or playing music. At the end of the meditations session, the facilitator can have the group members share their experiences or ask questions.
Members in a group can rotate the hosting of the group meditation as per their convenience.
At a Community hall or Yoga studio nearby:
Contact your favourite yoga studio or nearby community halls to see if they would be willing to offer their space at an off-peak time, when no classes are scheduled. Several local community churches, who have such spaces for community gatherings, might allow such group meditations. Early in the morning is sometimes a good time for this, whether it’s a one-time meditation, or a consistent meditation group on their schedule. Yoga studios already have students interested in yoga, so the chances are good that they would be interested in joining a meditation group, too.
One among the group can take responsibility for carrying the music essentials – phone/audio player, Bluetooth speaker while another can help with pyramid caps.
Again, a facilitator can lead the meditation – by explaining the steps of the meditation at the beginning, playing the music and facilitate the sharing of experiences at the end.
At a Park or in a Yard:
Spring and summer are great times of year to connect with nature, and meditating outside can bring you closer to the source and universe. Plus, many parks are public spaces so they won’t cost a thing.
“Whenever you feel disconnected from the earth, meditate outside,” recommends Bernstein. “Meditating outside on a rock is very grounding. Being in nature and sitting on the ground literally can bring us back to earth.”
When to Gather
A few other questions should be answered when you’re planning a group meditation. Is this something that you’d like to do regularly? If so, consistency is important so try to find a time you can commit to that’s the same each week. The “same time, same place” saying isn’t just catchy, it’s important. And that way, people will know where to find you each week.
Alternatively, you can choose to have the group meet on special occasions – each fortnight or every month. Full-moon days are special days with enhanced energies. It is a good idea to meditate as a group on every full-moon day.
How long to Gather
It is a good idea to set aside around 90-minutes for each group meditation gathering. While the actual meditation practice should last for 60-minutes, rest of the time will be spent on settling in at the beginning and the last 15-minutes can be used for members to share experiences or clarify questions amongst themselves.
To enhance effectiveness for the entire group, it is important that the group diligently follow some guidelines:
- Start the meditation practice at the exact time. Members should gather at least 5-10 minutes earlier to settle down into their seats, cushions or chairs. Switch off all mobile phones and any other things that might distract. Practice silence during this time. It is also important for the facilitator to be ready with the instructions and music.
- After all the members settle down, start the music to begin the session. You can choose music that plays exactly for 60-minutes. If you are not planning to use music during meditation, you can set a soft musical timer or alarm to indicate the end of 60-minutes.
- After 60-minutes of meditation, allow 3-minutes of silence before speaking.
- Members who choose to share experiences can be allowed 2-3 minutes each to speak. Some of them might have questions that other meditators can answer or suggest. Members who wish to leave can leave during this time. It is important for the facilitator to moderate the conversation and time to avoid this ‘sharing’ practice to become a monologue or dialogue or diverge from the topic of meditation.
The Resources link on this page lists the meditation procedure that you can print out and some links to soothing meditation music that you can download beforehand.
How to Invite People
If you’re going to host a group meditation, you will want to make sure people find out about it. The best way to do this is organically. “I believe in attraction … not promotion,“ says Bernstein. “I find it’s important to value and honor your own practice and trust that those who need it will come to you.” If those close to you know you have a meditation practice, chances are they’re curious what that means, and might want to find out.
Hosting a group meditation might be the perfect time for them to give it a try and learn more about your practice. Make sure you circulate the details of the group meditation so people know where to show up, if they feel called to join.
Here are a few ideas:
- If you’re hosting the meditation gathering or regular session at your community hall or church or an yoga studio, ask the resident team to put it on the schedule so students can easily find out about it if they want to join.
- Create a Facebook Event: Take a few minutes to post an event on Facebook, and invite the friends you think might be interested in joining. Enable the “friends can invite friends” option so they can spread the word to like-minded meditators.
- Send an Evite or Email: Shoot your open-minded friends an email or Evite letting them know the details of the event, should they decide to join.
- Create a Meetup: If this is something you plan to host regularly, create a MeetUpgroup in your area, and find out who else has the shared interest of meditation.
- We can list your Circle on our website and facebook pages as well. Please provide the required information through this form.