Meditating in a noisy area is a challenge to your state of concentration. It is easier to meditate without outside distractions, especially if you are doing mental mantra repetitions.
Ideally, pick a place to meditate where you won't be disturbed, such as your bedroom or special meditation space, and a time when you are by yourself, or other people in the house know you are not to be disturbed.
It is impossible to expect a group meditation to be quiet: You are probably meditating in a commercial building with traffic noises outside or down the hall, and even in the room other people trying to meditate may be unable to suppress coughing or fidgeting.
The benefit of group meditation, even though you know there won't be silence, is the feeling of camaraderie being part of the group generates.
I find it is worth it to meditate with others knowing I won't be in complete silence. To me, it feels good to be with like-minded individuals who are meditating to improve the quality of their lives, or to get in touch with their spiritual nature.
Group meditation has the power to awaken us to awareness of our links as members of a worldwide family.
A quieter experience
If you want a quieter experience in group meditation you can wear special noise blocking headphones, or wear a headset to listen to a repetitive noise of your own preference, such as a waterfall or waves crashing on the shore. Just be sure your appliance doesn't leak noise to disturb another person meditating.
In summary, individual meditation is great for getting in touch with your personal harmony. It is a time to move at your own pace to calm your body and calm your mind by taking some time for even and regulated breathing at the beginning of your meditation. You are in complete control of how long you will sit.
Group meditation is a time for experiencing we are each one of the parts of humanity, and for enjoying our feelings of being brothers and sisters to those in the group; part of the worldwide human family. In group meditation you can wear ear devices to control outside noise, if needed, especially while learning to meditate.
Article by Susan Helene Kramer
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