Since his time spent living as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Sean Fargo has spent over 10 years focused on sharing mindfulness across organizations, communities, and around the globe. He has taught in a wide variety of settings, including corporations (such as Tesla, Facebook, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), prisons, and his Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Certification Program. It’s his varied and extensive experience that has lead to his insight on how to guide group meditation.

Guiding groups through meditation is of growing interest in this ever-quickening world. If you are an educator, a health and wellness professional, or a corporate professional, you have likely observed the need for greater mindfulness, peace, and ease. In fact, no matter what your title is, you’ve likely observed that deep yearning we each hold for peaceful presence.

Guided meditation scripts for groups are resources that can assist us in delivering words and messages of tranquility. If you’re new to guiding others in this way, scripts offer step-by-step support to guide you through specific practices. At the same time, teachers with more experience can use scripts as a framework for teaching, adjusting the words and pace as it feels natural to do so.

group meditation, 6 Guided Group Meditation Scripts

In this comprehensive guide to using guided meditation scripts for group settings, we will explore:

  • The Benefits of Group Meditation
  • Who Guides Group Meditations?
  • How to Guide Groups in Meditation
  • 6 Guided Meditation Scripts for Groups

The Benefits of Group Meditation

It’s no secret that meditation can offer a host of benefits. However, is there something unique about group meditation in contrast to solitary practice? The answer is yes: environmental setting impacts how we experience the practice. Whether for your personal knowledge or to support your role as a teacher, consider these benefits of meditating with others:

  • Increased Feelings of Social Connectivity: One study compared the impact of practicing meditation in three different practice environments: group practice, nature practice, and solitary practice. The results showed that watching others meditate while meditating was most effective at increasing feelings of social connectivity and inducing a state of mindfulness.
  • Opportunity to Share and Hear from Others: Barry Boyce, Editor-In-Chief of Mindful magazine, reminds us that in group meditation: “You have a group to bring your experience back to (sometimes using video-conferencing), which takes you out of the echo chamber of your own mind, clouded as it can be with self-doubt and recrimination.”
  • Strengthened Social Relationships: Even meditating in a small group of two has unique benefits. One study found that dyadic meditation (i.e. meditating in pairs) increased participants' feelings of closeness and willingness to self-disclose with their meditation partners over time.
  • Increased Inspiration and Belonging: According to Deepak Chopa, joining a group can make us more committed to our meditation practice. It can also help us to create a lifestyle around meditation that inspires us to keep practicing. Group meditation can help build community, which may increase our sense of belonging.

It’s helpful to be aware of the benefits of group meditation whether from the perspective of a student or a teacher. As a student, this awareness may increase our motivation to attend a group class. As a teacher, we might inform our students of these benefits to encourage them to bring their practice to the community - to share, listen, and grow with others.

group meditation, 6 Guided Group Meditation Scripts

Who Guides Group Meditations?

So while group meditation sounds like a great idea, who organizes and guides them? Given the applicability of mindfulness and meditation to all types of settings and scenarios, there are no hard rules on this. However, some of the groups of people that often find benefit and success in leading group meditations include:

Educators

Teachers at any level can weave mindfulness teachings into their lessons. From incorporating simple breathing techniques into physical education to reading meditation scripts for relaxation, there are numerous ways to explore meditation with youth. Practices and scripts chosen will depend upon the age and maturity of the class.

Health and Wellness Professionals

Another category of people who tend to lead group meditations are health and wellness professionals. For example, yoga teachers, social workers, and coaches might use guided meditation scripts to support those they work with. In a group setting, this could be done in workshops, schools, conferences, or any other fitting environment.

Corporate Leaders

Bringing mindfulness into the workplace can help to reduce stress of employees and increase wellbeing and productivity. Corporate leaders or human resource professionals might train to lead these types of sessions. However, regardless of the formal training one has, scripts for mindfulness meditation offer support in guiding employees through these practices.

Parents

A group might also be as small as a family unit. If you are a parent, using guided meditation scripts for kids can help you to bring greater peace, happiness, and presence to your children. Explore age-appropriate meditations in this case, starting short and sweet for the youngest family members.

Regardless of your background and particular interest in leading meditations, mindfulness teacher training can provide you with added skills, confidence, and direction for your teachings. If you are interested in helping others in this way but are unsure of where to start, mindfulness teacher training might be well-suited for you.

group meditation, 6 Guided Group Meditation Scripts

How to Guide Groups in Meditation

Leading others through mindfulness and meditation practice requires more than a script. Depending on the needs and goals of the group you are working with, you can tailor the following suggestions accordingly:

1. Gain clarity on the backgrounds and hopes of those you are working with.

Leading a youth group through meditation looks much different than guiding adults through anxiety-relieving practices. So, getting to know who you are working with and what they are after will help you to choose the right script. Meditation scripts for relaxation are a good place to start, but you’ll want to make sure that the language, length, and techniques covered are appropriate.

2. Choose a calm and soothing setting.

Additionally, you’ll want to consider your setting. In some cases you’ll have more flexibility over where the session is held than in others. However, in any case, be mindful of temperature and lighting and your ability to adjust these. Also, note what props are available. Are there chairs and cushions? If not, what are you able to bring in with you that will help to promote peace and relaxation?

3. Consider what supports you will use.

Adding to the last point, feel free to use any supportive tools in your guided meditation. For example, music and singing bowls are beautiful tools that can add to the collective sense of peace. If you are considering using aromas or essential oils, ensure that there are no sensitivities to these items amongst the group. Also, remember that an extra person might be the support that you need. You might consider having someone to assist you or collaborate with you from the beginning.

4. Be mindful of the space you hold and the tone and pace of your voice.

Lastly, it is important to be mindful of the fact that meditation is not a comfortable experience for everyone. While one person might move into these group settings with ease, others may feel out of place. Warmly welcome everyone, checking in before and after the sitting to see if anyone needs extra support. Ensure that your tone and pace of speech is soothing as well.

Challenges You May Face During Group Meditations

When leading meditation in group settings, it’s important to be aware of common challenges that can arise. When we’re aware of these challenges, we can ensure that we’re better prepared to navigate them should they arise. Consider the following four common challenges that are unique to group meditation settings, as well as tips for how to address them:

  • Distractions and Disruptions: With more people comes more noise. Participants might cause a stir if they enter the room late or there may simply be more shuffling, coughing, and sneezing. These can disrupt or distract the other participants.

    TIP: When it comes to managing disruptions, be clear about the ground rules. For instance, do you expect people to arrive on time? If they’re late, how must they enter the room? How late can they be? Ground rules can minimize the number of disruptions. And when it comes to distractions, you can use noises (like coughing or sneezing) as an invitation to practice mindfulness of sound. Is there judgment of the sound? Can we let the sound come and go just like anything else that might arise in our awareness?
  • Varying Preferences and Experience Levels: It can be difficult to lead a meditation that is ‘just right’ for everyone. The more participants you have, the more variety there will be in experience and preference.

    TIP: It can be helpful to be upfront in your advertising of a session to state what type of practice you’ll focus on and who the session is for. For example, you could call your session ‘Compassion for Beginners’ or ‘Mindfulness of Death for Advanced Practitioners’ to be transparent about what participants can expect. If your session is more general and open to anyone, consider surveying the class when they enter the room about their experience with meditation. You can also offer choice and caveats to the practice to make it suitable for a wider audience.
  • Energy Dynamics Amongst Participants: One of the biggest challenges of leading group meditations is navigating energy dynamics of your students. For example, some students might want to give advice to others, or some might overshare, leaving little time for others to ask questions and express their experience.

    TIP: It’s essential to remember that part of your role as the meditation teacher is to manage these group dynamics in gentle and compassionate ways. Establishing ground rules can help with this, and you may have to intervene if a participant is sharing too much or trying to advise others. Always approach these situations from a grounded, wise, and compassionate place, trusting your inner wisdom to create an environment that serves all.
  • Trust and Privacy Concerns: Participants may struggle to share about their experience or ask questions because there are others in the room. Others might share sensitive information that they later regret having shared.

    TIP: With this challenge, like the others, ground rules are invaluable for laying the foundations of a supportive and trusting practice environment. At the start of each session, emphasize the expectation for confidentiality, compassion, and non-judgment within the group. Also, ensure that students are aware that they are not obligated to share. You may want to have a written agreement outlining your group rules.
group meditation, 6 Guided Group Meditation Scripts

Tips on Guiding Group Meditations Online

If you’re facilitating a group guided meditation in an online setting, there are additional considerations you’ll want to make. Online classes come with their own advantages and challenges and it’s helpful to be aware of these. For example, many people prefer online classes because they can meditate from the comfort of their own home and don’t have to travel to be with the group. On the other hand, it can be difficult to get an accurate read on how your students are doing with the practice.

If you’re guiding a group meditation online, with or without a script, consider these helpful tips as a starting point for leading a well-managed session:

  • Do a trial run with a friend. This can help you address some of the common audio, video, or other technological issues that may arise - in advance.
  • Consider how you’ll encourage sharing and interaction. Will you use a chat section? Will you invite participants to introduce themselves? Will you use breakout rooms? Consider what makes the most sense for the group you’ll be guiding.
  • Offer choice to make people feel comfortable. While ‘video on’ can increase engagement, there are many reasons why people may prefer to have their video off. This is one choice you’ll want to offer people. Other choices to give your students include whether or not they share about their experience and alternative postures to do the practice in.
  • Be available after the session officially ends. Some students may want to ask questions privately or in a smaller setting once the official class ends. Let your students know you’ll stay around for another 5-10 minutes if there’s anything else anyone wishes to share or ask. Also share your email so students can reach you that way if needed.

Discover additional helpful tips and learn more about the opportunities and challenges of teaching meditation online here.

6 Guided Meditation Scripts for Groups

The following guided meditations scripts for groups are just a sample of the various techniques available to be explored. Consider these scripts or explore the full collection to find exactly what you are looking for.

This simple guided meditation for deeper breathing is a great place to begin when guiding groups. In addition to mindful breath awareness, it also includes positive affirmations to redirect the mind. Furthermore, this script includes time stamps to let you know how long to hold pauses for.

This body scan meditation script is a simple guide for leading a body awareness practice. It includes notes on recommended length of pauses, as well as reflection questions. At the end of the practice, where appropriate, you can open up conversation for participants to share their experience.

Another mindfulness meditation script, this practice guides listeners to liken their thoughts to snowflakes. It encourages a shift in one’s relationship to the stream of thoughts that moves through them. Consider exploring this script to help your students or clients to witness their inner world with greater clarity.

Tackling a more difficult subject, this meditation script for anxiety includes a powerful visualization for releasing some of the weight we carry. It is suitable for adults and is best guided by someone with professional or interpersonal experience with these topics.

This longer meditation is great for more advanced groups with a deeper understanding of the soul. It carries the listener on a journey into an alternate time and space, and as such, it is best suited for those who are experienced and grounded.

Lastly, this meditation is a script well-suited for youth between the ages of 13 and 19. It explores the topics of self-compassion and confidence, encouraging a positive sense of self to emerge. In addition, it includes a brief body scan and positive affirmations.

Choosing the right meditation script for your group will depend primarily on who you are working with. While a particular meditation script might work well for one group, it might not be as fitting for another. So, take your time to consider the needs and experience level of those you are working with before choosing the one you’d like to recite.

Breathe deep and ground yourself in the space before reading, letting your heart and higher mind surface. If your heart is present in the space you hold, you can trust that it will rise to co-guide you – alongside the script before you.

group meditation, 6 Guided Group Meditation Scripts

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About the author 

Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]

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