Some simple practices for connecting on a deeper level
Meditation practice is vital to helping us slow down and come home to our bodies. Shared, engaged practice is equally vital to helping us wake up to our lives and become an embodied expression of our best selves.
The practices that I have shared in this section are designed to help people feel safer, increase a sense of belonging, engage everyone with the practice and encourage people to go deeper into their experience.
One of the most important things with group practice is that there is space for people to show up with their full selves; they feel they can share their challenges and difficulties without being judged.
This will make it much easier for people to show up and be present, increasing the depth of the practice for everyone and making profound transformations much more likely.
Introducing an aspect of the interpersonal into practice also means that people will be more likely to be able to take insights back into their day-to-day experience in a meaningful way and make the changes that impact their lives in positive ways.
With all of these practices the role of facilitator is really important.
As the facilitator, whether it’s in a formal practice setting or with a friend, you will be holding the space for the practice to happen in.
The aim is to create a space that people can show up and be themselves in; one that is welcoming of all aspects of their being, rather than a space where people feel like they have to adopt a persona to fit in.
It’s important to make the space physically safe and psychologically safe – people feel that they can share fairly openly without being attacked or judged.
A lot of these practices are incredibly simple and a lot of the magic comes from allowing them to come to life in the collective conscious.
In practice space, problems or challenges don’t need to be solved in the same way that they do in the outside world. You can trust that creating space for things to come to the surface and be seen and held is enough.
You can also use some of these practices to be your own teacher – they offer the tools to hold space for yourself and reflect on your practice in a meta-way. See if you can facilitate this with the same level of compassion and open-mindedness that you would for others.
If you are a teacher, you may appreciate this post on reimagining spiritual practice and identifying your unique values and approach to teaching. This may help you get clarity on your style of teaching and allow you to embrace and embody it more fully.
Why This is Important
I believe that spiritual practice needs to change. It feels like we are at a crisis point in the development of humanity and we need to learn how we can take care of each other better and harness the force of human ingenuity and compassion before we self-destruct.
The power of a team of people who care and respect for each other is immense; we are far more able to focus on the things that matter and to harness people’s productivity in a worthwhile way when they feel seen, valued and welcomed.
Using practice space as a way to learn to connect with each other in more meaningful ways is one of the best ways to change our lives and benefit the world. It also makes the practice itself a lot more fun and rewarding, which is half the point anyway.
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