Practicing with Partners and Alone
- Here are some guidelines developed from my experiences with phone buddy meditation and now, zoom.
- If you are practicing with a partner or partners, or alone consider these ground rules for success with daily meditation support.
- Create an optimal environment. Make your space a comfortable, quiet place where you won’t be interrupted and you can return to easily. Sitting in our homes can be challenging!
- Turn off the ringer on your phone and use a timer for sit and response periods. Do everything possible to avoid distraction and stay on task.
- Begin meditating promptly. This is a friendly but not social call. Even if you enjoy talking to your friend, respect your friend’s and your own time by starting within 3 -5 minutes. Otherwise, you’ll end up on a 2 hour call and eventually feel you won’t be able to meet the daily Challenge because you don’t have enough time. Agree on a set time (20 minutes plus) to meditate and a set time to share responses. One of you can use your phone insight timer as the formal timekeeper for sit and response periods and call partners back at the end of the sit. After the sit, you can, if you choose, compare experiences for a set time 5 – 10 minutes each. Or compare weekly, or keep your response private. This activity is not required. We can also discuss responses in Sangha meetings.
- If you choose to discuss afterward, try making a factual report. What happened first, next, after that, not dwelling too much on how you felt. Otherwise it is easy to mix what actually happened with what you wish had happened. When I facilitate meditation, I sometimes ask practitioners to keep a very simple log or journal. They record time date and facts about what transpired. For example, I saw this image, I felt this physical sensation when I put my attention on X, and so on. This can work well for those who practice alone. Best done directly after sitting.
Most important is that you or you and your buddy develop a plan and stick to it at least for a while.
- Ask questions by email or at Sangha. If we put our minds together we may find a solution. Lots of guessing and groping is involved in developing a practice.