If you are new to meditation then joining a meditation group is a great way to start. Sometimes you will find that there may not be a meditation group nearby so you can certainly start your own. When you do start your own meditation group there are a few things you need to consider.
First of all, you need to work out how many people you want to have in your meditation group. If you are new to meditation then it is recommended that you only have 3 or 4 people in your meditation group including yourself. If you have been meditating for some time then you may consider having anywhere up to 10 people however, when you have that many people in a room make sure that your meditation room is an appropriate size.
I recommend that when you are meditating with 10 people that you do it outside because it is much nicer and if you have 10 people outside rather than inside in a warm climate because you may find it gets very uncomfortable over a 20 to 30 minute mediation session. I certainly recommend that you have air-conditioning for this number of people in a small room.
When you are setting up your meditation group, you will need to develop a way to indicate to people how you will bring them out of their meditated state. In many cases the music you are using if it is designed for meditation will do this for you but there is nothing worse than to be brought out of a nice peaceful tranquil state by the blast of a whistle. One retreat I visited did this and they wondered why people got so agitated.
If you are going to host the meditation group at your home make sure that you find a suitable room with no distractions and very low noise. If you live in a suburb which is extremely noisy or next to a train station then your guest meditators may find it very difficult to get to the first stage in the meditation process so in this case you may consider hosting your meditation group at a local hall or community centre.
The next aspect you need to consider when setting up your meditation group is whether the group will be run as a guided meditation group or simply a group of people meditating together. I recommend that if you are starting out that you do run a guided meditation group and invite someone from one of your local meditation centres to guide each session. Ask them if they will run the session for free in return for them being able to offer their meditation tools at your meditation group. Some meditation practitioners will charge a fee regardless of you offer, simply because that is how they make a living which is fair enough.
If you are starting out I would encourage you to have the same meditation practitioner run guided meditation sessions for a period of up to six months, simply so that you can learn as much as possible from them and to get your basic meditation techniques down pat. After this period though, I would encourage you to invite other meditation practitioners to teach you their meditation techniques.
Remember, there are many different meditation techniques that will help you to improve your life and the more people you get to meet to share there meditation techniques the more rounded and effective your meditation will become.
When you are setting up your meditation group it is also worthwhile trying to get all your meditation partners to be of a similar skill level especially if you are running a guided meditation session. Also make sure you have your room appropriately setup. For example if your meditation room has candles, incense and meditation music then makes sure you use those during your meditation session.
One issue you do need to consider is whether or not any person attending your meditation group is allergic to incense or essential oils. I am a strong believe in using a lavender based incense or essential oil for introductory meditation sessions. The lavender fragrance is the perfect fragrance for relaxing and has been used for many years by religious meditators because of its soothing nature. Other fragrance you may want to consider is sweet violets or oriental jasmine.
Make sure if you are running your meditation group in your meditation room that you have enough meditation pillows for everyone. There is nothing worse than to go to a meditation session only to find that you are sitting on the hard cold floor. It does make getting to that state of mind very difficult. Alternatively, encourage your meditation members to bring there own meditation pillows. Some meditators are very protective of their meditation pillows so do set some careful rules on meditators acceptable behaviour at your meditation group.