“Loneliness and isolation represent profound threats to our health and well-being. But we have the power to respond. By taking small steps every day to strengthen our relationships, and by supporting community efforts to rebuild social connection, we can rise to meet this moment together. We can build lives and communities that are healthier and happier. And we can ensure our country and the world are better poised than ever to take on the challenges that lay ahead.” ~ Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. 19th and 21st Surgeon General of the United States Vice Admiral, United States Public Health Service
Many of us in the Elephant Journal community are lifelong learners.
We open our app and read articles created by this community in order to connect with ourselves and others in a meaningful way. We heart, comment, and share. We get inspired, find tools for being kinder, and note modalities for strengthening our pelvic floor.
This community allows us to explore a gamut of information and to drink the fountain of knowledge and inspiration each day. We are community-builders!
If you’re like me and are feeling that back-to-school vibe, but you’re not sure what you’d like to do, I’d like to share 10 reasons to join a meditation immersion in service of becoming a community-builder.
Having graduated nearly 100 meditators over the past four years, I can unequivocally say that an immersive meditation experience is highly transformative and can be applied to every aspect of our life. The tools learned in a meditation immersion can be used to show up for yourself and others in such a way that builds healthier and happier individuals and communities—something the world needs right now.
Top 10 Reasons for Community-Builders to Join a Meditation Immersion:
1. Mental health.
Life is a wonderful journey filled with ups and downs. When we have a stabilizing anchor like a formal meditation practice, it is much easier to weather the vicissitudes of life in a mindful way. When we feel grounded and present, we are inspiring for others.
2. The capacity to hold space.
Imagine feeling capable of holding space in any situation from a crying baby to an aging parent or a pissed off boss, with grace. Learning how to hold space for ourselves and others allows us to offer presence to the people around us. One of the most desired human experiences is to be deeply seen, felt, and heard.
3. Creating and keeping intentions.
Unlike a goal, our intention is how we want to feel each day. Having a consistent meditation practice allows us to check in with how we are feeling and to make modifications to our sleep, diet, and other routines. When we are living our life in service of how we want to feel each day, we become community-builders.
4. Like-Minded Community!
My friend Karen (and others) say that meditating with friends is simply more fun. When our practice is fun and something we look forward to, we tend to prioritize it. The most awesome thing about the dopamine hit we get when things are fun is that we naturally want to do it again. This equates to consistency and a consistent practice is where we can find the juice.
5. Take it off the to-do list.
When we learn to meditate with ease, it becomes easier and something we look forward to. When that happens, our meditation practice becomes something that moves from the to-do list that hosts tasks like washing dishes and dusting furniture to our heart practices. It becomes as enjoyable as reading poetry, dancing, and listening to music.
6. Become a meditation guide.
What a great skill to share with others! We can guide our friends, family, colleagues, and more. This is a wonderful community-building skill to bring to a yoga session, a board meeting, babysitting the grands, and any other environment where people come together.
I have written other articles about how I wish I would have known the power of meditation when my mom passed away unexpectedly. I might have saved myself many years of grief. Anxiety, an inability to slow racing thoughts, low-level depression, and more has been shown to become more manageable when we have a consistent meditation practice.
My friend Jane says that, “Life is Hard. Find the Joy.” I can say unequivocally that the many immersion students I’ve trained have all found their capacity to find joy gets stronger as a result of their experience immersing themselves in meditation.
9. Less conflict.
One of the greatest skills I’ve received from my practice is learning how to “zip asana” my mouth. Rather than contributing to the negativity out in the world, I am better able to tap into the pause that allows me to respond rather than react. The kindness ripple effect cannot be understated in a world filled with division and hatred.
10. Learn to work with fear instead of running away from it.
Having a formal meditation practice gives us feedback about the fear, doubt, and trauma that holds us back from realizing our dreams. Immersing ourselves in meditation over a period of time gives us a strong way to not only notice how fear and trauma holds us back but also gives us a tool to see what else is possible.