What is the difference in teaching beginners and more experienced individuals pursuing meditation ?
Beginners are usually very unsure of what is going to happen with meditation and how to walk through it. A lot of guidance and suggestions are helpful in beginner classes to make participants feel comfortable. As they become more experienced, less guidance is needed and there is more of a desire to simply have space and time for a break from the chaos of life.
What is vipassana meditation and a vipassana retreat ?
It is insight meditation. This is the style of meditation that many of the popular mindfulness practices come from. A vipassana retreat is an experience in silence for 10 days where you sit with many people for different lengths of time. During this time, participants are simply trying to to be present in their current moment and observe what is happening around them and within their bodies.
How does meditation differ when practicing in a group and practicing solo ?
It feels very different to have a group and a teacher to spin questions off of rather than being alone. It is helpful to have a positive teacher/group experience in order to glean information and techniques to apply in solo practice.
What is the role of meditation in this world ?
The more people who are conscious and aware of themselves vs. being impacted by what is around them, the more people are able to connect with each other's humanity. There is then the possibility that all of the conflict and chaos around us goes away.