Meditation classes are becoming increasingly popular within the U.S. One reason is the rise of meditation teachers around the nation. Even though meditation is generally a personal process, Meditation teachers offer many benefits for helping to develop one’s meditation practice. With an open mind, a meditation student can learn much from a teacher. They act as a guide during meditation sessions and they help you overcome challenges for improving the overall quality of your practice.
In the U.S, classes are held at a variety of places. They are held at traditional meditation centers like urban Buddhist monasteries, temples, and churches, and also in more commonly known places such as community centers, hospitals, yoga and fitness studios, schools and universities. Therefore, it is fairly easy nowadays to find a meditation class, especially with the help of the internet. Most classes are open to the public and for all levels and backgrounds.
Meditation classes come in many styles. Some are lecture based, some are meditation only, and some are a combination of both. It depends on the center in which you attend. If you attend a Buddhist meditation class for example, you may find the class having a meditation session in the beginning and then a talk or lecture at the end. Some Yoga studios offer meditation-only classes on a drop-in or membership basis. Many classes offer the benefit of group interaction. Classes encourage people to share experiences and ask questions. However if a question can’t be answered during the class, the teacher usually offers a way to contact them afterwards. By attending classes, you also have the benefit of surrounding yourself with other like-minded people.
Some classes are organized as meditation groups or meet ups but not necessarily associated with an actual center, although groups can formed by people who you’ve previously met at a center. Meditation groups (also called “sittings”) are usually held by a meditation leader, one who is experienced or trained in meditation. In many cases, the leader is a volunteer. Groups are typically organized at a predetermined time and place. Many people find groups to be helpful because they provide a dedicated period of time for meditation. Also, people find that group meditation improves the overall quality of their meditation experience.
Online Meditation Classes
Online meditation classes are also available for those who prefer a more private learning experience or are unable to attend a class. Like traditional classes, there are many different types of online classes. Online classes offer instructional material and sometimes online interaction. Some people new to meditation start with an online class and then work their way up to attending physical class. It all depends on the person.
Meditation Programs and Workshops
Sometimes its useful to attend a medition program or workshop. These services provide people with a more focused approach to learning about different meditation methods. They may be combined with other related themes such as a yoga meditation program, or stress reduction program. Programs can range from 1 day to several days. They can be held on online, at a meditation center. retreat center, community center, or classroom. A meditation program or workshop is useful if you want to know more about a particular type of meditation practice.
Keeping an Open Mind
There are many reasons why people gravitate towards meditation. Many have a clear intention while others are still trying to figure it out. The most common reason is to find inner peace and happiness. Nonetheless, in order to get the most out of a meditation class, whether it be at a center, an informal group, or online, is to always keeo an open mind.
By Cheryl Schneider