It is possible to benefit from group meditation, where you sit in a place with others who are meditating, and it is also possible to get benefit on your own, in solo meditation sessions. Many people wonder which is best for them, and that often depends not as much on your personality, but on your schedule.
To meet in a group, even if there is just one other person, can require extra effort because you have to make sure that your schedules coincide. Otherwise you may do it once or twice and then something will come up and one of you has to postpone or cancel. In a large group or class, this is not as much of a problem, because if some people are missing, you can still have the session without them. But to keep to a good routine, the group should meet in a place and at a time that works well for everyone, otherwise you will get stressed out trying to keep the appointment to make it to the meditation on time. So the choice should be made in a practical way, to suit your own needs.
There is scientific evidence that supports the idea that meditation with others is a powerful force, so even if you are a solo practitioner, take some time now and then to participate in group meditations. Researchers who study quantum physics noticed that when a large group of monks gathered together to meditate, it had far-reaching affects that seemed to hard to dismiss as simple coincidence. For instance, group meditation at that monk conference coincided with a dramatic drop in crime. Since that study, law enforcement agencies in Washington DC have begun exploring the possibility that meditation could have a practical good effect upon crime rates in their city. In other instances, meditation seemed to cause rain after a long drought and famine, or to cause flowers and other plants to flourish. Meditation in groups has been credited with curing disease, reversing aggression, and saving people from famine â€“ so if you get an opportunity, join a group to celebrate the power of meditation.
And while you are doing your meditation alone, keep in mind that we are all connected by meditation, even across vast distances.