Many people engage in meditation practice in solitude – it's commonly believed that the quiet and confinement of being alone allows for greater self-reflection and increased focus. Meditating in large groups, however, can also be beneficial, adding an element of social bonding and community harmony to the personal-exploration practice. And when large numbers of people come together with the shared intentions of pursuing peace, the effects can be even more profound than going it alone.
Renowned Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh understands the powers of group meditation, and he recently held a massive session for people looking to take part in this mindful technique. According to The Boston Globe, Hanh was on an U.S. tour when he stopped by Boston. The Buddhist monk and peace activist sat on the lawn in front of Trinity Church for a one-hour session of seated meditation. He attracted an astonishing number of participants – more than 2,000 people took part.
The session brought the typically-bustling city center to a stand-still while the group conducted meditation practices for health and self-enlightenment. Quiet filled the air – aside from the sound of passing cars and Hahn's occasional instructions to breathe steadily – as the crowd engaged in soothing breathing exercise and focused their attention.