The Power of Group Meditation + Your Invitation to MedMob
Have you ever attended a large gathering where you were asked to observe a moment of silence? Perhaps it was a sporting event or even a church service. Regardless of the reason, there’s something incredibly powerful about a large group of people turning their attention to a singular focus in silence. I experience that same powerful sense of common focus when I attend a group meditation.
For most people, meditation means sitting alone, without distraction, and focusing your attention inward as an instrument for self-exploration. However, meditating as a group can have profound benefits, both personally and socially, and can offer opportunities that are not experienced when meditating alone.
On Sunday, July 31, 2011, I will join a group meditation in Ottawa, Canada as part of MedMob. MedMob will bring thousands of people together in over 100 cities around the world to meditate simultaneously as a group. Imagine a flash mob, but instead of singing and dancing, people gather in silent meditation.
MedMob’s intention is to create an environment for people from all walks of life to come together and meditate in public. Through that public display of meditation, we hope to raise awareness and send positive intentions out into the world, to stimulate a shift in the public’s way of thinking, and to make the world a more compassionate, peaceful and loving place.
What are the benefits of group meditation?
1. Shared intentions
Meditating as a group can bring us together with shared intentions for change. People strongly unified by a common intent can profoundly influence larger groups on a global scale. Great movements for peace, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Gandhi, began with people joining together for a common desire of peace and greater good.
2. Influence the greater population
Some people believe that a group meditating together can have a measurable effect on the greater population, despite that population being unaware of those meditating. For example, group meditations have been credited for decreased crime levels, reduced public unrest and even bringing rains to drought ridden areas. Even if you are skeptical of these claims, there is no doubt that the physical presence of a large group meditating in public will raise eyebrows and urge passers-by to ask ‘why?’, and with that question is planted the seeds of awareness and change.
3. Feel more connected
We live most of our lives separate from others. Although we may walk down a crowded street or work in a busy office building, we rarely connect with others beyond trivial interactions. But when we come together in group meditation and share an intention, or even simply share silence together, we discover a sense of connectedness that is very powerful. It is not unlike the camaraderie felt between fans who gather at a football game.
4. Still experience the same benefits as solo meditation
When you meditate as a group you still reap the same benefits that you would when sitting alone. You still de-clutter your mind, gain focus, reap health benefits and reduce stress. For more about the benefits of meditation, read 8 Reasons You Should Meditate.
Where can you find a group to meditate with?
I encourage you to visit the main MedMob website for a list of all participating cities. If your city isn’t yet involved, consider contacting the MedMob organizers and start a group meditation of your own. You may also find group meditations at local yoga studios, Zen centres, Buddhist centres, community centres and the YM-YWCA.
If you live in the Ottawa area and would like to join us for some group meditation, please visit our Ottawa MedMob Facebook page.
Interested in learning how to meditate but not sure where to start? Read Mediation 101: A 10 Step Beginner’s Guide
Photo credit: MedMob.org