Meditation – online or physical or both?

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It is six years since online meditation began in the UK. In 2017 a small group of Oblates started offering online meditation twice a day, morning and evening. Their aim was to offer meditation to meditators who could not get to a physical group, through disability, being housebound or there was no group meeting within a realistic travelling distance. It was also suitable for meditators who wanted to meet more often than once a week.

It started slowly with only a few joining at first, but gradually numbers started to increase. All who came enjoyed it and commented on how it had helped their discipline of meditating twice a day.

In 2020 Covid arrived . Physical groups stopped and online boomed.

Many group leaders came to enquire how to run a group online, to see how it was done. Online meditation became a lifeline to many during this time.

Eventually things started to ‘open up’ once more and physical groups restarted.

We wondered if the mediators joining online would decrease. They did not!

A survey was carried out last year by WCCM in the UK to see how things had changed, how groups were meeting, etc. The survey revealed that many local groups had decided to stay online, many had restarted their groups meeting physically and some do both, they became hybrid, some of their members meeting physically and some joining online at the same time.

The face of meditation had changed.

Online and physical groups both offer valuable ways to be together to meditate:

♦ Online groups – meeting people from other geographical locations – worldwide. Opportunity to meet twice daily from the comfort of your own home.

♦ Physical groups – local to where you live. There is something special about meeting physically.

It’s very definitely not a case of ‘either or’ but ‘as well as’!

Both are very important ways that enrich our spiritual path. Being in regular contact with other meditators either virtually or physically is so encouraging and uplifting.

Fr. John Main encourages us to meditate twice a day. Knowing that the community is meeting twice a day at certain times, even if you cannot join them, is very comforting and encouraging.

How to join an online meditation group.

♦ Go to the Online Meditation website
♦ Filter by language → English speaking That will bring up all the English speaking groups
♦ Look for a suitable time and day. Click the Join this group button and you will be asked for your email address . That will then be sent to the facilitator for that group who will contact you with the link.
♦ You do not go straight through to the group.

How to join a local meditation group.

♦ These can be found on the website. You can check here to see if there is a local group in your area
♦ You will be asked for your Post Code which will show groups in your area. Click on More Info to show the location of a selected group. You can then make contact with the Group through the Regional Coordinator or the UK Office.

Julia Williamson – Online Meditation Coordinator

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