There's never been a better time to explore the world of mindfulness and meditation. With so many new mindfulness apps on the market, it is relatively easy to start meditating on your own. However, I've been thinking a lot about the benefits of meditating outside of your own personal space in a community.
I've been teaching mindfulness and meditation for years and as much as I am excited by the rise of mindfulness apps and people taking meditation into their own hands, I cannot express enough just how powerful the benefits of meditating in a group setting can be. Creator of the meditation app, Tranquil Me, Kathryn Remati recently wrote an article for Yoga International where she outlined some of the benefits of group meditation and I couldn't agree more with what she finds. So many of the points that she makes, I have observed in my own classes and teachings.
For instance, the most obvious benefit of meditating in a group setting Kathryn observes is the added accountability. While apps and self teaching are a great starting point in your mindfulness journey, having a group of people around you to support your journey can help you stay on the path. Often times in life, we will try to develop certain routines to improve our state of mind. Yet, it can be hard to continue when your everyday stressors and responsibilities seem to stand in the way. Group meditation gives you an added incentive and push to continue practicing meditation because you have like-minded individuals supporting you in the process. I consider myself fortunate to guide others in their explorations into the world of mindfulness. Together, we have become better students of mindfulness as we practice in a supportive community.
In addition to those benefits, Kathryn’s article also cites fascinating research on the influence of others on one's own meditation practice when meditating in a group. According to her article, there has been research on a “ripple effect of peace” within group meditation settings. Kathryn even cites an experiment that showed a decrease in crime in a particular town where 1% of the population of the town began doing group meditation.
Practicing mindfulness in any setting will improve your quality of life. Joining a mindful community will bolster your mindfulness practice and relationship with mindfulness in ways that you cannot experience by yourself.
This Friday, I will be hosting Mindfulness Friday at Enso where we will explore a variety of mindfulness meditation practices. Join me at Enso and experience the benefits of a mindful community. Sign up for Mindfulness Friday!