Social Meditation turns social interaction into a meditation practice.
Most people’s introduction to meditation is in a personal practice. Many people who start a meditation practice find that their first months or years of meditating alone are very difficult, and they often don’t continue.
As human beings, we’re wired for social interaction. Social Meditation utilizes this innate connectedness to strengthen our ability to remain in the present moment.
Social Meditation facilitates emotional resonance in groups, helping practitioners connect with their own and the group’s wisdom. This generates a culture of care that is a powerful support for individual practice, and a feeling of belonging and learning within community that makes the meditation journey more joyful, meaningful, and sustainable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can practice social meditation?
Absolutely anyone. Practicing social meditation isn't about delving into any form of outside knowledge or belief. Rather, it's about tuning into your own direct experience in a group setting that is gentle, welcoming, and open to all.
Where does social meditation come from?
Social Meditation was developed by Nick Kranz, a teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition.
The core of Shambhala Buddhism is basic goodness: that at the center of every person's nature is an awareness that is naturally kind, strong, wakeful, gentle, and wise.
Over several years of exploration with meditation practitioners in Boston, Nick realized that certain ways of creating a group environment allow people to share a powerful, direct experience of this basic human worthiness—in themselves and each other—without the need for additional terminology or teachings. What he discovered is now practiced worldwide as Social Meditation.
What should I expect my first time joining a gathering?
The practice happens in three parts:
1)The facilitator will provide brief meditation instruction for any newcomers then the group will sit in silent personal meditation for 20-30 minutes. For online gatherings: You are welcome to turn your camera off during this time if you wish. There will be a short stretch break.
2) The facilitator will then provide the view and instruction for the practice of social meditation. The group will practice social meditation for about 40 minutes. For online gatherings: Please leave your camera on during this segment of the gathering.
3) Following social meditation, you are welcomed to stay for a few minutes of “naturalness,” where we bring the glow of social meditation to a more conventional social gathering.
I have social anxiety. Can social meditation help me?
While social meditation is not an evidence based therapy, many people struggling with a wide variety of concerns have found social meditation to be a supportive and welcoming place to grow. Since there is no pressure to say anything or be any certain way in the practice, many have found it a good place to practice relaxing in social situations.
I’m an introvert. Should I come to social meditation?
Social meditation is a space where all types of people can find a sense of belonging and confidence in their own authenticity. Many introverts find this practice particularly supportive, as there is no pressure to actually say anything during the gathering. The group embraces moments of silence as a part of the practice, and plenty of space is left for quieter people to share when they wish to do so.
What should I do if I feel uncomfortable and want to leave?
If you need to leave for any reason, that is totally fine. If you would like to speak to an instructor about your experience or have questions about the practice, we would love to talk with you!
Can I arrive late?
It’s better to come for the whole practice, not the end of the world if you arrive late.
What if I’m interested in becoming a facilitator?
Awesome! Visit this page here.
I’m a facilitator and I want to go deeper. What should I do?
Awesome!! Check out upcoming trainings and other offerings here.
I’m new to meditation and I want a meditation instructor.
Have you met Nick? He’s great. Click here.
What about Social Meditation Online?
Where should I sit while practicing SM on zoom?
Ideally, in a quiet space in your home with limited distractions, where you feel comfortable and can sit upright either in a chair or on a cushion on the floor.
What should I do with my camera and microphone on zoom?
We ask that you leave your camera on, as this is a social practice about building trust in ourselves and others’ basic goodness. Please leave your microphone off during the first 30 minutes of silent meditation and while the facilitator is giving instructions for the group practice. After that, feel free to leave your microphone on so long as you have a quiet background.