Meditation can be empowering and healing. So can community and social support. You learn tips from others, and just hanging out with an open-minded group of fellow explorers can make life better. I do this virtually via my free weekly Do Nothing Project broadcast on YouTube, and live (or virtually) via the Consciousness Explorers Clubs (CEC) in Toronto.
To find a local community practice group near you, check out these CEC-Inspired Meditation Groups, or this list of Meditation Centres and Communities affiliated with the Insight Meditation Society. I also like this fellow’s various community initiatives.
The CEC also offers a free “Community Practice Activation Kit” that’s all about encouraging people to start their own practice groups, in a way that’s uniquely responsive to their local needs and context. The kit includes tips on how to write and guide meditation, how to work with meditation-related challenges, and other practical information.
The subject of “practice” is of course much larger than meditation. Occasionally I send out short practice reflections called “The Equanimist Pages” – you can sign up for these here, and also visit me on Facebook and Instagram.
I don’t offer one-on-one instruction, but I do have a network of teachers I recommend: Hokai Sobol, Lama Rod Owens, Avi Craimer, Jude Star, Emily and Vincent Horn. My own teacher Shinzen Young – along with my friend Julianna Raye – train meditation coaches via their Unified Mindfulness teacher training program. A list of qualified Unified Mindfulness coaches can be found here.
I appreciate meditation apps because I personally struggle with structure in my practice. Having short meditations on my phone is like having mini-structure I can access anywhere; I just hit play and pour my mind inside.
I recommend Insight Timer (free, many guided practices), and the two apps I write for: Ten Percent Happier (smartly curated and sane, plus the ability to talk to and receive support from a team of experienced instructors) and Calm (they work hard to live up to their name, with soothing soundscapes in addition to guided meditations). I also recommend Shinzen and my friend Toby Sola’s app, Brightmind. More on apps here.