Why do I find it so much easier to meditate in a group setting? I recently visited a local branch of Tergar: The Meditation Community of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. This group is from a Tibetan Buddhism tradition, yet is also heavily influenced by mindfulness meditation research. I’ve only gone twice, but am excited about the teaching and practice I am finding there.
I frequently lapse in my regular meditation practice. Weeks (months?) go by with no ‘formal’ meditation, but merely moments throughout the day when I pause and take a quiet, reflective moment. When I do set actual time to meditate, sometimes even 15 minutes can feel like an eternity. I was using a meditation app for a while, but soon after was feeling constrained by the guidance.
When I joined the group in meditation, it felt like almost no time went by before he rang the bell at 20 minutes. I felt so refreshed. This group also has a discussion period focused on different themes. There is so much to learn! I’m looking forward to learning more, meditating more, and experiencing more joy in my life.
I originally posted this on my blog, I Am Many Things, in February of 2019. Fast forward six months, and I’m still going to those weekly meetings. It has changed my life. For the first time, I am meditating regularly, even daily. I’ve only missed a couple of days since April, and I can’t describe how much freer I feel.
While this is definitely not the only form of meditation or Buddhist teaching, I have found that it uniquely fits me. I love how Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche connects cutting edge neuroscientific research with this ancient practice. Also, the focus on practical application, consciously using the techniques in everyday life, has definitely improved my attitude, which in turn greatly benefits my family (and eases their suffering)!
Since this initial post, I’ve undergone more formal teaching in this tradition and am looking forward to continuing my journey. I believe that, at 53 years old, this student was finally ready to listen to a teacher.