Having a community to meditate with can help in many ways.

Photo by PeopleImages/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by PeopleImages/iStock / Getty Images
  • Even with the best of intentions, a steady, daily practice can be a challenge.  Committing to a group can help jump-start and maintain practice. Group practice can boost your willingness to keep meditating, whether it’s during the week on your own or during a group meditation. Through the benefits described below, you may simply be less likely to quit and more accepting of yourself and others.
  • When others share their meditation experience you can begin to understand that you are not alone.  Everyone experiences joys and challenges of meditation. Times when you think “I suck at this” or “I’ll never get this right” or “when the heck is the bell going to ring” may not feel so deflating when you know you’re not alone in those experiences.   
  • Mindfulness meditation has us come face-to-face with ourselves.  As mindfulness practice blossoms difficult emotions may arise.  When you share experiences with a group, you can rest in the understanding and kindness of others.
  • Empathy and patience with ourselves and others flow directly from the practice with the group.  Mindful communication in the group can help you open your mind to ways of thinking beyond your preconceived notions. 
  • A delightful byproduct is the feeling of safety in the group, which may transfer to life in general.
  • For many people the energy of the group is palpable and provides a quality of belonging and self-acceptance.

Micki Fine M.Ed., L.P.C., founder of Mindful Living and pioneer of mindfulness in Houston, TX since 1994, leads all of the groups, courses, workshops and retreats with Mindful Living.  Micki is a certified mindfulness instructor.  Her certification is through the Center for Mindfulness - University of Massachusetts Medical School.  She's also a licensed professional counselor and has been in practice since 1990.

Here are some comments from participants in my groups.

I found the 8-week course extremely helpful but after 1/2 a year, when things were normal in my life again, I started meditating less frequently and then not at all. When things got complicated in my life again, I decided to join Micki’s mindfulness meditation group and I am glad I did.

I discovered I respond better to having a regular schedule, with other people and guidance from Micki. I started meditating on a daily basis again. I saw that other graduates did it regularly and found it useful, so I started little by little, mostly with shorter meditations. I learn from Micki and the group through discussions about challenges in life and our meditation practices. Micki asks some insightful questions that help me look inside myself where I often touch into emotions and answers. Other group members, as well as Micki chime in and help you with what they say, what they ask, by sharing how they deal with similar or different challenges. I always feel energized as well as peaceful after I leave the group.

Thank you so much Micki for all your help!
— Ana E.
I have taken Micki’s 8-week course, attended a number of Days of Mindfulness, one weekend silent retreat, a loving-kindness series, and quite a few bi-weekly lunch-time groups. The lunch-time group meditations are especially helpful.

I started out meditating at home on a daily basis. For many reasons, that routine has been hard to maintain. The lunch-time groups help me get back on track with my practice. The atmosphere is always very supportive and non-judgmental. The gentle stretching, sit, and discussion are a perfect mix. While some experience with mindfulness meditation is required, it is just the basic knowledge and a little bit of previous practice.
— David G.
Being in Micki’s mediation group gave me permission to let go of thinking about what meditation should be like and made me thankful to be sharing the journey with like-minded people that were also searching for peace within themselves. The group is a perfect blend of learning, practicing and sharing experiences with meditation. It has taught me that there is not a right way to meditate. Letting that go has made me more enthusiastic about creating a ritual that incorporates it into my daily life.
Thank you Micki.
— Angie T.
The mindfulness group gives me a sense of community that supports my practice. I feel connected to a group of people who enjoy a practice that is so dear to my heart . And most important I feel that we all support each other on being alive, and human with all that this experience implies.
— Gladys H.
I’ve attended many of Micki’s mindfulness groups and either learn something new or have a reminder of a concept in every group session. The energy of the group meditation is palpable and encourages feelings of safety and connection. The group experience keeps my practice outside the group on track.
— Cynthia S.