Recently a friend of mine said that although he liked meditating and clearly felt better and lived his life with more clarity and stability when he practiced sitting meditation more frequently he didn’t really like the “having to do it alone part”. That resonated with me a lot. When I lived in New York City and was regularly at the meditation center I got to practice routinely with a large room full of people. It was awesome. It got me going in my practice in a strong way that I am grateful for to this day. Sitting alone the other days that I wasn’t there didn’t seem to be a problem outside of the usual vicissitudes of discipline. Later on when I moved to the country I started a family and sitting alone actually felt like a refreshing break from the rollicking going on with two children and a wife. But as they have gotten older and things have settled down a bit I very much felt attuned with what my friend was saying. I use the app “Insight Timer” which shows all the people practicing while you are. I like it very much and it helped give me a feeling of community at times. But it ain’t the same feeling as getting on the phone with someone and rolling through your chants and sitting there “together”. The bell rings, we dedicate the merit and say goodbye until the next day. It has helped us both get going regularly. For someone like myself (and maybe you also?) who had some painful emotional times around being alone or isolated – I recommend it wholeheartedly. I have done solitary retreats and there is so much to gain from that approach but the third jewel – Sangha – is a good one. Check it out any which way you can.