It it better to meditate alone or in a group?
By LP John Paramai
Meditating alone allows you to choose when to do it, where to do it and a good time to do it. So, you can get your environment setup to your preferences and you don’t have to face noises and distractions from people around you as well. However, doing it alone isn’t easy or sometimes impossible for those who still lack motivation, commitment and perseverance in the practice. It’s easy to find hundreds of beautiful reasons not to meditate and nobody can help you because you are alone. If you plan to do it at home, your comfy couch, bed or pillow can become stronger attractions than your meditation cushion – not to mention distractions from TVs, phones, Internet or computer games etc.
Meditating in a group will give you extra encouragement to continue especially when you want to give up. When meditating together with other people and you are already out of your concentration; you open your eyes, look at other people and find that they are still doing it, that’s already a huge motivation to continue. Talking to meditation instructors, mentors or peers will also reveal some tips to overcome meditation hindrances. Listening to inspiring stories of how people’s lives have changed because of meditation also impacts our motivation and commitment to follow the same path.
When meditating in a group, we can feel positive energy from the instructor and participants alike. This sometimes helps elevate our spirit and follow the flow of peace energy to the purer state of mind altogether. We can also do loving-kindness meditation and share energy among each other too. That’s a beautiful gift we can take back home and share with loved ones there.
However, it does not mean that we will neglect our personal meditation and only meditate in a group. Both are important, similar to an orchestra band that requires both team and individual practices. You don’t want to be left behind and become the only one who opened your eyes with a grumpy face or hear your friends talk about how marvelous their session went without tasting the same volume of inner peace. That’s not fun. It will be much better to create our own discipline and willpower for our own individual practice and become ready, well prepared for visiting a meditation event.