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I've been practicing for about a half dozen years now, have been fortunate to go on several retreats and have a consistent practice. Where I'm currently living I really don't have access to a sitting group I don't have any delusions about being a teacher but several people who know I sit have expressed interest in learning.

I was considering doing simple guided sits. Are there any cautions? Should I probably not pursue this without training?

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It is good to start a sitting group. My suggestions are:

  • Make the group as informal & self-reliant as possible. 'Self-reliant' means making it clear that meditation is an activity of self-practise & self-endeavour; that the group provides individual members the support & opportunity to develop their own practise.

  • Make it clear/overt it is simply an informal sitting group rather than a formal teaching facility.

  • Provide guided meditation only to newcomers or when introducing a new practise.

  • Keep guided meditation short (e.g. 10 - 15 minutes) & main meditation long (e.g. 30 minutes).

  • If there is no guided meditation, do a text reading at the start, contributed & read by yourself or by a member of the group.

  • If possible, end with tea & formal group discussion on a topic, chosen by yourself or by another member of the group.

  • Be as 'democratic' as possible but without expanding into other spiritual traditions that may cause confusion.
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