I teach silence as a healer in some of my workshop offerings. I also have been meditating regularly for 6 years, both alone and in group settings.
My experience shows me that when first learning how to meditate (and there are many paths) one should seek out a class or group and stick with them only. Do not try different styles and classes without a full effort in one style. It slows down progression. After one has a few weeks of classes, whether once a week or more, then continue the practice as homework at home in a quiet space.
After 5 years of meditation by myself, focusing on only a daily 2 minutes to begin with in my car before work, or 2 minutes after a hot yoga workout, I signed up for a 12 day meditation course which was aimed at silence and scanning the body. I stayed at the course location, with no cell phones or to-do lists. The intensity of the group practice 12 hours a day or more and private practice in my bedroom at the retreat was a wonderful opportunity to figure this meditation thing out.
I think when we go it alone or only with an app on the cell phone it is easy to get distracted in the head as well as with the outside world. Once we have mastered tuning out, then the home practice becomes stronger.
It is always a struggle though. The thoughts and feelings do creep in, and sometimes while practicing home meditation, the grocery lists, tv shows, and music do take over my quiet time.
I think it is important to take time out once in a while and go back to a class setting. The group energy of everyone focusing on the same thing helps to strengthen one’s personal and private practice.
I hope this helps you.
-Author and Creator of the Superior Self series
-Life and Wellness Coach
Visit me at www.superiorselfwithkjlandis.com