“Community is not a goal to be achieved but a gift to be received.”*
Yesterday in meditation class some of the participants were commenting on how meditation is deeper in the group gatherings than in their home practice. Have you had this experience too?
There are several reasons for this:
- When people get together for common goals the result is often stronger than when we’re on our own.
- A group energy is created, synchronizing our inner experiences in the direction of a more noticeable experience.
- The group’s experience is anchored by the teacher’s capacity to hold a meditative space. The teacher transmits her years of practice energetically to the group.
- When we are away from our regular environment there are a lot less reminders of what needs to be done.
- The length of meditations is often longer in groups which gives us more time to settle into peace.
The deeper experiences that we have in groups are essential for the development of our practice.
An analogy that came to me yesterday was that of a path through tall grass leading to a beautifully spring that we want to get to. Maybe in our home practice we get part-way to the spring. We sense that it’s there, are thirsty for what it has to offer us but haven’t been able to get all the way there on our own. When we have a deeper experience with a teacher and a group we get a little closer to the spring, flattening out the grass so that now our path leads that much closer, maybe even all the way to the spring.
Continuing our home practice keeps the path clear.
Over time, a home practice and community practice complement each other beautifully so that our capacity to touch into the peace and love of our true nature becomes entirely effortless.
(*quote by Parker J. Palmer)