Today we will be talking about How to lead a meditation session. And the way to begin is to start with your intention: What’s your intention for hosting a circle? This will help you connect to a deeper meaning and higher purpose and creating the circle space because it can be at times challenging. This is something that you’ll find will anchor you and ground you, and give you the confidence to move forward when things aren’t certain.
Start with your intention
Starting with your intention, and then think about who you want to serve. Who is your circle for? oftentimes, people teaching mindfulness or meditation, want everyone to feel included, and anybody could come to the circle? But sometimes it helps when people know how they’re going to benefit or if it’s for them.
So for example, saying meditation circle for healing, or a meditation circle for busy professionals. Stating the intention through the title of your circle buffering, and then deciding how often you’d like to offer your circle, if it’s once a week or twice a week, or once a month.
The most important thing is that you’re consistent. People respond to consistency. So whatever you choose, just making sure that you show up each time and you come early to set up the space to welcome people in to decide on the structure of how you’d like to host the circle experience. Is it eight weeks, once a week, six weeks, every other week.
Decide on the rhythm and structure of how you’d like to create your circle and when you’re deciding on what you’d like to offer. Think of something fun and joyful for you, as somebody who’s leading and facilitating. If it’s something that you love that you connect to you that you’re passionate about, that’s going to transmit and touch the people that you’re connecting with.
The meditation session basics
After you have a thought of your intention who you’d like to serve, perhaps even the title of your offering, then put together a little bit of content: Is it for beginners? Is it for all levels? How long is it going to be? What are people going to receive? Through the circle experience? What are the benefits? the takeaways people are interested in? How is this for me?
So making sure that you answer some of those questions, finding a good space where it’s quiet, it’s contained, it’s peaceful, making sure that you have that level of space as you’re offering this because you want to feel good in that space. That’s an important thing where you feel solid you feel supported, that will come through in your meditation guidance. So finding that space, putting down the details of how they can get in touch with you.
You want your attention and your focus to be towards holding that sacred space not necessarily having to deal with registering people or signing them up or having them pay or do your best to make it a very seamless, easy process where you don’t have to put a lot of effort into that or ask somebody to help you as an assistant.
How to lead a meditation session?
Now, you have thought about some of those logistical elements. Now, your actual circle, what’s the format of hosting a circle will generally think of it as a beginning, middle, and end.
How to lead a meditation: The beginning part
So the beginning part could be an intro about you very brief, perhaps an intro talk with the sometimes call a dharmic talk, teaching that you want to convey, or a focus for that day’s meditation.
And again, if you’ve decided on what your circle is about, perhaps you have a theme each time and that’s something that you’re working with every time people come, you’re building upon the same basic theme.
So you start with that talk, something that I highly recommend is that if you’re teaching meditation techniques and tools, to teach the same techniques and tools, consistently, all the way through, because that’s the way people learn, they learn through repetition, through practice, and if you come every time it’s a new class, or a completely new format, we can sort of throw off that space, people don’t know what they’re coming into, it’s uncertain.
Practicing those tools over and over again, you can always layer in new tools or new information, but kind of having a foundation of, you know, what are people learning? What’s the meditation practice that they’re learning with you, and think about what you would like to focus on.
Now, you have that beginning intro talk, that might include a reading from a book, or it could include poetry, or perhaps even ancient texts, it could be anything just to talk, that’s a free flow talk, you know, the lesson of the week, or what you experienced, maybe it’s a story that’s going to demonstrate how these tools are going to help them.
How to lead a meditation: The middle part
Then, you have the middle section of the meditation. Again, focusing on those tools that you want to emphasize are those practices.
So if you’re teaching awareness, meditation, to always have that element of awareness, meditation practice, in that middle section, and let people know. As you start the meditation can kind of set them up with their posture, their eye gaze, perhaps connecting them to their breath, and their body, letting them know how long the meditation is going to be, how much of it will be guided. And then also, how much of it will be silent, perhaps, you know, there’s 10 minutes of guidance, and then 10 minutes of silence, or where there’s very little meditation guidance.
So letting people know, in advance how long that meditation section is going to be, this is going to be 10 minutes or 20 minutes. That way people can have a level of expectation. Then you have the meditation guidance, so you can facilitate that in any way that you choose. There are so many different types of creative meditations. Generally speaking, they’re active meditations and passive meditations, active being more of a focus or concentration or affirmation. And the passive types of meditations where it’s just being open and allowing anything that arises to come to the surface of their awareness, it can be any type of spiritual practice.
How to lead a meditation: The close part
Then having a close end to the practice. If you’d like you can use a soundboard. This is a wonderful way to awaken the senses.
Your guided meditation is complete. Let’s take the energy from this guided practice, and invite it into our hearts into the center of our being, and send this as blessings to everyone, all living beings in the world, you know, applying that practice giving it back, or even connecting to a sense of gratitude, or surrender, and then having this close.
I recommend having the close of the meditation section before going into the discussion. So, if you have a separate section for discussion, you might say now we’re going to, you know, spend some time, I’m happy to hear what your experience was like, or if you had any questions and opening up that space for discussion, connection, and community.
You can set the time for that space. Or you can let it be open, where people can get up and go get tea, talk to each other, or can stay in that circle format. But it’s a way for people to integrate when they’re able to share their sacred experiences in a safe space. It allows them to integrate that experience. And to embody it. There are some other things that you might want to bring into your circle.
Meditation session recommendations
I recommend coming 15 to 30 minutes early to make sure that you have a nice clean space, you’ve set up the chairs, or the way people will be sitting on the floor with the bolsters or cushions, just making sure that everything’s prepared because people like that feeling of being invited in and things being ready for them.
You might want to have candles. So if you have candles, making sure that they’re safe in a container, and unscented preferably because again, people have allergies.
So you can set up a few candles to help set the tone, that peaceful place. It’s like a sanctuary when they come in. What you can also have are essential oils.
My advice to you is to come with an open heart with no expectations or attachments to how your circle needs to be. Because remember, you’re starting with your pure intention of what you’d like to create this experience with your community.
And if one person comes, that’s okay, if there are two people, great if there are 20 people, wonderful.
It doesn’t matter what those numbers are. What matters is that you show up that you stay dedicated, that you commit to the process, because we’re in you know, new times and people are creating these new spaces to connect. So sometimes that takes time to build that it can take time to build The class or to build a circle. What’s required is patience, perseverance, and also humility, and faith.
So remember to these qualities, how important they are, and they’ll give you the strength and the resilience to have the confidence to keep posting, inviting people, some people will come, some people won’t come back, some people will come back, and to be open to having a new experience every time. This is how to lead a meditation session.