Sometimes the universe works in strange ways to give you exactly what you need. I recently started my 30 Day Meditation Challenge and it just so happened that CBC radio had a weekend segment on the art of meditation. May I just say how much I love CBC radio (Ben says its his favorite thing about moving to Canada…except being married to me I imagine)? Because not only was it compelling, but full of useful tips.
During an interview with a Benedictine Monk and Meditation Author, Father Laurence Freeman, it was suggested that meditation newbies start out by doing it in a group. This helps us focus our concentration as it creates a collective energy of calmness. I think it also forces us to sit still out of peer pressure instead of cutting your times short to sneaking off to watch Daily Show clips on Youtube (a different kind of relaxation technique :).
While I have taken meditation classes and hope to participate in more soon, I wanted to do this asap. So, Ben and I have taken to meditating together. Sometimes in the same room, sometimes in our own adjoining spaces. This buddy system has been very handy because we now have two people accountable for actually doing our daily meditation. Its much harder to skip this practice when you feel like you’re letting someone else down. Kind of like when people go on cleanses or new diets together. But its also nice to share the meditative experience with someone else. You feel less like this is a feat you must do alone, and find comfort in the sounds of inhalation and exhalation of your meditation partner. In a strange way, it keeps you grounded.
I also think its great for couples and people who live in the same house. Not only do I feel good about striving for something so healthy and positive with someone I care about, but it also makes our home more peaceful. It strengthens our connection. Furthermore, we have been doing this lately at nighttime right before bed, and since we are both put into a zen space, it has helped decrease the pillowtalk – and thus has been helping us both sleep better. Ben and I are really Vata chatty Cathys (Cathies?) and can’t stop stimulating chatter sometimes (basically we can’t shut up). So, if you are trying to get into the habit of meditating daily, try pairing up with a buddy. Whether you live with them or not, its a beautiful shared experience that will help you stay on track and fall deeper into mental clarity.