Maybe you’re used to thinking of meditation as a solitary activity, but it can be a shared experience. In fact, many practitioners rely on a meditation buddy as an important part of their journey towards greater peace of mind.
If you’d like to try meditating with a partner, check out these suggestions. They’re guaranteed to keep you from feeling lonely on your cushion.
Benefits of Having a Meditation Buddy
1. Hold yourself accountable. Maybe you’ve wanted to start meditating for a long time, but you find it difficult to get started. On the other hand, maybe you sit down diligently for weeks at a time, but then drift off track. A meditation partner helps you become more responsible because someone will notice whether or not you show up.
2. Receive instruction. If your partner is more experienced than you, they can teach you the basics. You’ll progress more quickly when you know how to breathe or maintain good posture for meditating.
3. Share your knowledge. If you’re already experienced at meditating, you can provide assistance. Answer your partner’s questions and volunteer the information you wish you had starting out.
4. Enjoy mutual support. Contrary to what you may have heard, meditation is not all about feeling blissful or zoning out. Difficult emotions and unpleasant thoughts may surface when you look deeply into your mind. It’s good to have someone by your side while you’re struggling.
5. Tap into collective power. Many practitioners like to gather together with others for at least part of their practice time. By pooling your energy and good wishes, you’ll both feel more connected and courageous.
How to Find a Meditation Buddy
1. Ask around. Your meditation partner could be your spouse or closest confidante. They may be a neighbor you’ve wanted to get to know better. Check among your family, friends, and acquaintances to see who might be interested.
2. Explore your neighborhood. If your first efforts fail to pan out, cast a broader net. Visit local places where like-minded searchers probably hang out. That includes yoga studios or public libraries.
3. Go online.The internet makes it easy to reach out. Consider joining a Meetup Group.
How to Work with a Meditation Buddy
1. Clarify your purpose. Ensure your goals align. It will probably be easier to communicate if you share the same spiritual or secular orientation.
2. Schedule time together. Agree on the time commitment you are willing and able to make. You may want to sit together daily or touch base every couple of weeks to discuss your progress.
3. Listen closely. However often you connect, give your meditation partner your full attention. Show them that you care about what they have to say.
4. Talk openly. Choose someone you can trust and be prepared to divulge your inner thoughts. Your practice will be more rewarding when you can work through any obstacles that are holding you back from greater happiness.
5. Exchange feedback. Give generously of your insights and impressions. Challenge each other in a loving and tactful way. Let your partner know when you’re impressed with how far they’ve come, and when you think they need to work a little harder.
6. Take practical action. Meditation is more meaningful when you keep your practice in mind all day long. Collaborate with your partner on translating your sessions into concrete steps in other aspects of your life.
Sharing your practice with a partner makes meditation even more beneficial. Support each other on the path to increased wisdom and compassion.