For most people, meditation means sitting on their living room floor or in some other quiet and grounded place where they live and focusing their attention inward for 20 to 30 minutes of dedicated reflection. Without distraction (except from the monkey mind and an occasional dog bark), the purpose is the witness those ever so powerful thoughts in an attempt to change the relationship with one’s experience. And while this can be, and usually is, quite powerful, consider what might happen if you were to expand your practice and cultivate meditation while in a group setting.
Mallika Chopra pens this recent Huffington Post about her experience with group meditation. According to Chopra, although meditation is traditionally about self exploration, for her practicing meditation in a group allows her to feel more connected. Many also attribute group meditation to having more profound and far reaching healing effects.
While meditation is fundamentally about self-exploration, the coherence from meditating with others makes it personally and socially more powerful. While some are skeptical, there have been numerous studies that have shown that a large group of people meditating together has a measurable effect on the greater population.
For me personally, meditating with others helps me feel more connected. The experience of knowing that silence I experience in my meditation is the same silence that the person sitting next to me is tapping into is quite moving.
Meditating together also lets us come together in shared intentions for change. On a global scale, we have witnessed many times how a small handful of people strongly unified by a common intent can profoundly influence a larger group of people. Great global movements for peace, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Gandhi, have always begun with a coming together of people who want peace for the greater good.
Read more from Chopra on the power of group meditation here.