Sitting Together, One Year Later
A year ago, Megan and I had just put together our first meditation pop-up event. We were both still working full-time jobs, squeezing in the planning and inviting around the edges of our busy lives. We didn't know what would happen after we did that first pop-up, but we were really, really curious to find out.
I remember feeling the excitement build inside me as I walked through the deserted Financial District that Sunday afternoon, up to the edge of North Beach where we were holding the event in a beautiful studio. I was thrilled to the tips of my toes to be heading there to do the thing I loved most in the world: guiding people through a meditation and connection experience.
Everyone who came that day was a personal friend of me, or Megan; they were there to support us as we launched WITHIN. Many of them had meditation practices, but some of them didn't. As we set up the space and welcomed the first people, what struck me was the buzz in the room - that feeling that happens when a group of people gather together with a purpose.
As I led everyone through the guided meditation, and then the connected conversations with each other afterwards, that amazing energy just kept building. I realized in that moment that we were really onto something. While it might be a challenge for people to coordinate their lives so they could show up in person, when they did, they were met with an eye-opening, satisfying, and nurturing experience.
Every time I've led a meditation since then, in classes at the studio or in offices around the Bay Area, I've noticed again how much sitting in a room with other people deepens the meditation experience. I have my own personal practice, meditating alone at home; but I get something different out of doing it in community. And so do our students.
A year into this amazing experience of creating WITHIN, nearly 500 people have sat with us in the studio, and another 200 have meditated with their coworkers in a session we've led at their office. The community that started with 30 of our friends on a Sunday afternoon in North Beach has grown and transformed as we've shifted from pop-up events to different studio spaces, landing at last in our current home in the heart of the Financial District. We're so thrilled that meditating together is turning out to be as helpful to you, our growing community, as we hoped it might be when we were just starting out last spring.
As we look ahead to our second year at WITHIN, we're just as curious as we were a year ago where our path will lead. But one thing is certain: we'll continue gathering people to meditate together and connect with each other. We'll be right there with you.