I started hosting a weekly group sitting 1 year ago. My simple goal was to meet other meditators in my area, and since there wasn’t currently a group sitting close by, I created one. I managed to track down about 8 meditators who had completed a 10-day course and I did my best to encourage them to come to my house. This didn’t happen.
For the first month or so I people came, but their motivation quickly waned. About 3 months in I almost cancelled the sitting because it was depressing to sit alone. Why am I opening up my house and setting aside one evening a week to sit by myself? So I asked one meditator who I had become good friends with if she wanted to commit to coming every week and she did. Then a second meditator, who had been travelling for several months returned and started coming regularly. We then had a long stretch when at least one of them would come, and we might get another random meditator, so the sits were with 2 or 3 people. This helped me a lot, but still wasn’t what I had planned in the beginning.
Now with my girlfriend who completed her first course in June, we’re averaging about 3.5 meditators per session. This doesn’t seem that impressive after a whole year of hosting sittings, but it has made a big difference in all of our lives. The biggest impact is the ability for people to have a dhamma connection when they want it. The second impact which was less expected, is that people who didn’t attend the sittings regularly, but knew we were sitting locally, were inspired and motivated to meditate more consistently on their own.
I’m curious to see if and how my group sitting will change over the next year. I think it will continue to slowly grow, but it’s hard to say. The main thing is hosting a group sitting, no matter how small, has helped me continue my daily practice. Time to meditate.