“Meditating in a group is very powerful. 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.” – Gabrielle Bernstein
1. Meditating with a group helps to develop a habit
We all know that developing a new health routine can be a challenge at home with so many distractions to take us away from our practice. There is always so much to be done that is waiting for us that it can be challenging to free our minds from thinking about to allow time for us to meditate. It can be also hard to find a regular place or time of day to suit our individual needs.
By joining a group, you’ve set aside a time of day and a special place for your personal practice that will offer you less distraction from thoughts of chores or things that “must” be done at home.
Once you have formed a weekly habit within a group environment, you will feel more inspired and enthusiastic about making time to spend a few moments each day at home to meditate. Knowing that most people within the group will be experiencing similar challenges to yourself makes you feel less alone in your struggles.
2. You can receive feedback and support
Having the guidance and experience of a teacher or group facilitator can help answer your questions and reassure you if you are unsure of anything you experience during a meditation. This can be especially helpful if challenging emotions, feelings or memories arise in meditation.
A group environment provides you with the opportunity to share experiences and connect with others in a very unique and non-judgmental way. Everyone’s experience and meditations may be very different, but others questions and comments might help you to understand your own practice better as you will no doubt come across similar experiences in your meditations.
3. Sacred space, collective energy. You can’t get that from an app!
Satsang which in Sanskrit is the coming together of a group or a sacred gathering of like-minded people who come in peace with a shared intention to meditate and share wisdom. It is an ancient Indian spiritual practice which has very powerful flow on affects for the participants. There is a beautiful resonance and energy that stays with you which you can take into your own practice long after the group has concluded.
It is a source of continued connection to a powerful collective consciousness, an energy and a place to return to knowing that you are accepted and belong just as you are, allowing you to access your inner truth within a safe and sacred space.
Group based activities which offer the opportunity to engage socially in respectful and meaningful interactions are so beneficial to mental health and general wellbeing. Together you hold space for each other without the pressure to be anyone other than yourself. There is no pressure to impress, compete, outdo or “sell yourself” to anyone. Just be with each other in a space of peace and acceptance.
It is such a unique experience to be able to be in a place with others without these pressures and to be real and authentic. It allows for deeper connection to yourself and to others.
There is a beautiful sense of belonging in a group which comes from knowing that the silence of meditation you are experiencing, whether it’s comfortable for you or not, is also being tapped into by the person sitting next to you. There is an unspoken sense of being held, uplifted and supported throughout your meditation that may just enable you to let go of the mental chatter and access the energy of peace and love within the group.
You in are also contributing to this energy and this can make you feel a deeper profound connection to yourself. Visualise this as a light within each person in the group which grows stronger and brighter when all the lights come together in collective intention of being peacefully present. Your light helps others to shine brighter, and they’re light helps yours to shine brighter. No one individual is more important or less than anyone else, but together you are all equal as your inner awareness and light grow. This exchange of energy is called Shaktipat.