I’ve been noticing a trend with online meditation offerings that I think starves you of the richest possible experience.
When you sign-up for an online recorded series or listen to a guided meditation…there is no doubt a benefit to doing so.
However, the missing element of that equation is where sometimes the most juice can be squeezed – in dialogue.
But Karuna, I thought that meditation was about getting quiet in your mind on your own?
It is important to find time to sit and meditate on your own.
It is also important to engage others along your journey. Both teachers and other practitioners.
Many websites, media outlets, and well-meaning teachers are offering canned courses these days; many at discounted rates. You can essentially learn any kind of meditation technique you’re looking for and have at your fingertips a guided recording that can fit just about any predicament you find yourself in.
But what you are missing in these classes is what I think is one of the most important ingredients to understanding life – the words between us.
Dialogue for Adult Learners
Jane Vella writes in her book, Learning to Listen. Learning to Teach. The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults:
“No two people perceive the world in the same way. That’s a standard axiom of quantum thinking. How can we discover what a group really needs to learn, what they really know, what aspects of the course that we have designed really fit their situations? Listening to learners’ wants and needs helps shape a program that has immediate usefulness to adults.”
Recordings are a one-way street. Undoubtedly you will learn something. However, the classes we offer on Mind Oasis go much deeper because you are invited to converse with your teachers and other practitioners. From fee-based classes to Community Meditation, you are encouraged to ask questions and to delve into the camaraderie of the Mind Oasis meditative community.
Sangha – Community
Sangha is a Sanskrit word that means community. Thich Nhat Hanh writes:
“…practice in the setting of the sangha is much easier. We don’t have to practice so intensely. Our practice becomes the practice of “non-practice.” That means a lot. We don’t have to force ourselves to practice. We can give up all the struggle and allow ourselves to be, to rest. For this, however, we need a little bit of training, and the sangha is there to make the training easy. Being aware that we are in a sangha where people are happy with being mindful, where people are living deeply the moments of their days, that is enough. I always feel happy in the presence of a happy sangha. If you put yourself in such an environment, then transformation will happen without much effort.”
Dialogue + Community = A Turbo-Charged Practice
The Mind Oasis Community Meditation program offers a few other bonus features that you may or may not realize.
– Because Community Meditations are served up fresh each day, they are relevant to current events, the season, and the time of day – more energizing in the morning and dialed in for rest and relaxation in the evening.
– Post-meditation emails your teacher sends — contain inspirations, techniques, and other relevant meditation advices. Some students say they look forward to these short motivations as much as their time in meditation itself.
Purchase canned courses. Listen to guided meditations. Then schedule a weekly Community Meditation and sign-up for a series that resonates for you. Feel into the difference of guiding and shaping the course and the community of which you are a part.
Come for the meditation. Stay for the community. Leave feeling energized.
In our community, we find our strength. – Brant Secunda, Shaman Healer