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moraldilemma

Anybody ever start a group before?

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Thinking about starting a meditation group at a local library or some such place. I used to go to one that was at a Unitarian Church that was quite nice but then I moved. There aren't any non religious ones near me other than ones lead by psychologists. (Referral needed, which requires insurance, which isn't free here.) There's the Zen center I go to but it's out on the middle of nowhere and it is religious, no matter how non-dogmatic they are compared to most other religions.

 

So my pitch for Craigslist is along the lines of "starting a meditation/mindfulness group in the x area. We will have a foundation of silent sitting meditation. We're also going to explore other techniques such as loving-kindness and [other examples]. Works from Daoism, Zen Buddhism, mindfulness psychology, and other schools will be discussed with emphasis on practice in everyday life. Look forward to hearing from you."  

 

So if you got some tips or experience with this type of thing, let me know about it please.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, moraldilemma said:

Is this on the wrong board or does no one give a shit?

 

hmnn, it takes stick-to-it-tiveness and positive outlook.  I've been in martial art and writers groups and starting is hard, keeping up the group is harder.  Enthusiasm and talent are needed as is marketing savvy, especially the no budget kind of marketing. 

 

Multiple fliers and handouts that are interesting, get action and don't over promise.  For better or worse, people want things for free.  So on the fliers offer free CD with some meditations and pdf attached.  Creating CD's are cheap, 20 cent range, if you can burn them yourself and if you run out, Good! take names and promise you'll have extra if they show up next class.  

 

Another thing that keeps people is a sense of accomplishment.  In meditation that can be slow breaths.  Simply have people count there breaths for 1 to 3 minutes at the start of class and again at the end.  They should see fewer breaths because they're relaxed.  See if you can get emails and let people know how they did and they could expect to be breathing slower as they continue on there journey and that slow relaxed 'natural' breath is linked to fewer thoughts, lower blood pressure, and ease of mind..lots of good stuff.   

Edited by thelerner

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57 minutes ago, moraldilemma said:

Is this on the wrong board or does no one give a shit?

To be honest, as soon as I saw the stupid picture I lost all interest.

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I think it is a great idea.  I have done some online ones, but it is often hard to get people to come in person without some sort of perceived certification/legitimacy.  The people I know that have been successful have used community centers and tried to get added formally as an option.

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If you are in the US I suggest Meetup.com. At least in my area (Austin) there are lots of active groups. It should reach many 'non-religious' people. Generally people are less certification biased.

 

Even if you don't want to host your group there, it would be place to ask others who run meditation groups for advice.

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Maybe there will be times when no one shows up, in which case you could just meditate alone...but I think the longer a program consistently runs in the same area, the more likely people are to attend. Think like 5 years...instead of trying it for just a couple months.

Have your friends show up, and entice them with grabbing a bite or drink afterward.

Let yoga and martial art studios know, and other places where people would likely be interested in meditation. Sometimes you can leave business cards or flyers at places.

I second meetup.com as a way of letting people know you exist.

 

Anyway, I like the idea of your group...non-religious meditation. If it's a kind of fun and laid back atmosphere, and people end up feeling better from attending and practicing, then what would keep them from going each week?

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