Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Importance of Group Meditation

Throughout the past three years we have seen people come and go in our meditation group. Some stay for a few months, some for a year. Some never return, some do. But there is always a group of people who come together each time we meet with a shared intention. To meditate.

We each have our own intention in our practice. For some it is to relax. For some to connect with their higher power or divinity. For others it is a pathway to awareness and self-enlightenment. Regardless the reason, we all sit quietly to accomplish it.

I believe passionately in the power of meditation to change lives. It has changed, and continues to change, my life. I have seen growth and peace in members of our group. I would go so far as to say I believe if everyone practiced 30-minutes of meditation each day it could make way for the utopia we all seek.

Finding that 30-minutes each day can be hard. Discipline, commitment and time-management are required. As most things are in our lives, I have found when life isn't going so easy my practice suffers. I go into a "survival mode" that forgets all about meditation and how soothing it is for my soul. I forget how meditation helps me process what is going on around and inside of me. I forget how it keeps me focused on the "here and now", not yesterday and tomorrow.

When life overwhelms and I enter that survival mode, I stop meditating. I might take a few minutes here or there, but not my regular sitting practice. Time seems to escape me and I'm tired all the time. Meditation is too hard. I can't sit still. I have an encyclopedia full of excuses.

One thing I can't shrug off is my responsibility to my meditation group. I have committed to providing a space for people to meditate twice a month. It doesn't matter how many times I've sat between group meditations. It doesn't matter how much I've read or studied. It doesn't matter how "un-Buddha-like" my behavior may have been lately. All that matters is I provide a safe and comfortable space for others to come together and meditate.

While they sit, I sit.

I always sit at least twice a month, thanks to my group. Sometimes, we must learn to rely on others until we find our feet beneath us again.

I am very grateful for my meditation family.