I’ve established my daily practice, and I was right that hosting a group sitting and writing a blog would help me focus on meditation, but I’ve had little success building a community. The attendance at my Goenka Vipassana group sitting has been low mostly because there just aren’t enough meditators in this tradition around. There are meditators of other traditions around, but my tradition is pretty strict and encourages me to not mix practices. And to be honest, meditation isn’t that social of an activity. So how do I build a community of like-minded people?
I think the angle I want to try next is to tap into the yoga community. Yoga has spread like gangbusters in America and there are all types of people doing meditation for many different reasons. I practiced yoga for about 10 years before I started meditating, but having a serious meditation practice has transformed what yoga is about for me. It used practice yoga to improve flexibility and get some exercise. Now I’m learning how to be in touch with my body while it’s in motion. The values of acceptance and gentleness are growing stronger than the desire to push harder and achieve. I think I’m learning what yoga was meant to teach rather than turning it into what my American mind wanted it to be.
Nonetheless, yoga has helped many Americans live happier, healthier lives. There are lots of yoga classes in my community with many yogis to share my life with. I’m going to attempt to organize a group of meditators who are interested in attending a different yoga class every week followed by a cup of tea. Hopefully this will be more engaging and fun for people and will help me develop a community of like-minded people. Only time will tell.
If you have any ideas or suggestions to help me develop my local community I would enjoy reading them. Until then, I’m just going to keep winging it. Time to go meditate.