Participate in Groups for Meditation, Problem-Solving, and Task Completion
Meditation With The Sangha
Among regularly practicing meditators and various meditation traditions, the sangha is the social, emotional and spiritual collective that continues to support ongoing serious practice and progress along the Path. Given that so much has been written about the many benefits of practicing with the sangha, I will only reference it here. We are more likely to meditate regularly; more likely to grow spiritually; more likely to ask for help as needed; and, more likely to remain in long-term practice due to our relationships within the sangha. It is one of the three jewels in Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism. Practicing according to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha may lead us to realization of ultimate truth and the deepest of wisdom.
Problem-Solving and Task Completion in Groups
The following list of characteristics and attributes for working in groups strongly supports group collaboration. The more items that reflect your working group, the more likely the group is to achieve it’s goals and tasks while operating in a positive manner.
1) Communications within a group is more effective than hit-or-miss communication among individuals.
2) Group process allows for better use of diverse skills and strengths among group members.
3) Effective groups support the realities that all members have valuable ideas and all members are welcomed.
4) Respect, respect, respect among all members is essential for progress and reinforced by good group norms.
5) Groups help members respond to challenges with shared responsibility and intelligence.
6) Groups may enable dominant people to fall back a bit and quiet people to step forward within normal group process.
7) Groups help members move in the same direction toward task completion on common goals.
8) Group process may promote improved ownership of problems and solutions.
9) Groups that employ the “no argument” rule require members to work out differences without resentment and emotional dysregulation.
10) Group process contributes to a sense of both individual and group accomplishments.
11) Group “think” may reduce the frequency and impact of errors in thinking, without imposing positions of more dominant members.
12) Group process helps to balance use of scarce resources, like time, money, space, individual differences, and energy.
13) Group process works best when we keep our EGO at bay; this allows process to remain on task and kind-spirited.
14) Tasks need to be tracked (dated); reinforcement of positive group skills needs to occur; and, ongoing maintenance of morale is a must.
15) In groups we all need to charge ideas, discuss, and listen carefully.
All group members need to pay attention to the fifteen items listed above. They are mutually shared responsibilities in groups.
By Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
From the Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont
Author of Mindful Happiness
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