In today's meditation center, practitioners meditate with others in group sitting. After an hour or so of meditation, the practitioners may proceed to seek advices from the teacher on their progress.

Did Buddha practice group meditation with bhikkhus, bhikkhunis and laymen, and then they may seek advice from Buddha? Is there any such event described in the Sutta?

2 Answers 2


Yes, it seems he did. For example in DN 2:

10. And when King Ajatasattu came near the mango-grove he felt fear and terror, and his hair stood on end. And feeling [50] this fear and the rising of the hairs, the King said to Jīvaka: ‘Friend Jivaka, you are not deceiving me? You are not tricking me? You are not delivering me up to an enemy? How is it that from this great number of twelve hundred and fifty monks not a sneeze, a cough or a shout is to be heard?’

‘Have no fear, Your Majesty, I would not deceive you or trick you or deliver you up to an enemy. Approach, Sire, approach. There are the lights burning in the round pavilion.’

11. So King Ajatasattu, having ridden on his elephant as far as the ground would permit, alighted and continued on foot to the door of the round pavilion. Then he said: ‘Jivaka, where is the Lord?’ ‘That is the Lord, Sire. That is the Lord sitting against the middle column with his order of monks in front of him.’

12. Then King Ajātasattu went up to the Lord and stood to one side, and standing there to one side the King observed how the order of monks continued in silence like a clear lake, and he exclaimed: ‘If only Prince Udāyabhadda were possessed of such calm as this order of monks!’

(Walshe, trans)

  • Thanks, didn't realize that they might be meditating when I read this earlier.
    – fxam
    Mar 18, 2015 at 23:22

Yes, it seems he did. For example in Yasoja Sutta:

Now, at that time the Blessed One was sitting in imperturbable concentration [either in the fourth jhāna, the dimension of the infinitude of space, or the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness]. The thought occurred to the monks, "Now, in which mental dwelling is the Blessed One now residing?" Then they realized, "He is residing in the imperturbable dwelling." So they all sat in imperturbable concentration.

Then Ven. Ānanda — when the night was far advanced, at the end of the first watch — got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, stood facing the Blessed One, paying homage with his hands placed palm-to-palm over his heart, and said to him, "The night, lord, is far advanced. The first watch has ended. The visiting monks have been sitting here a long time. May the Blessed One greet them." When this was said, the Blessed One remained silent.

Then a second time ... (Ananda did the same thing later)

Then a third time ... (Ananda did the same thing later)

Then the Blessed One, emerging from his imperturbable concentration, said to Ven. Ānanda, "Ānanda, if you had known, not even that much would have occurred to you (to say). I, along with all 500 of these monks, have been sitting in imperturbable concentration."

  • Wow, was that 6pm to 6am of the next morning? Wonder what Ananda was doing while the others were in imperturbable concentration for such a long period.
    – fxam
    Mar 18, 2015 at 13:38

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