A meditation workshop is a practical course on learning how to meditate. Such a workshop usually involves a small amount of theory and tends to focus on a guided meditation session in which the instructor talks the students through the process of meditation. In general, such courses are given to a group of people, though individual meditation workshops are also available. Guided meditation is helpful for those who have never meditated before and have trouble finding the time and patience to do so alone. A meditation workshop provides a time when the sole purpose is to meditate and other concerns are much less likely to interfere with the meditation process.
The precise nature of a meditation workshop varies substantially based on the type of meditation being practiced. Many forms of meditation, such as Zen meditation, are based in clearing one's mind of all thought and reaching a state of total relaxation. Other forms are based on particular religious practices and primarily involve contemplation of a religious principle, such as one from a Bible verse. Whatever the goal of meditation is, the instructor at a meditation workshop tends to talk the students through the necessary mental steps. Some seek to help the students focus on their breathing and nothing else while others try to focus the students on a particular idea to contemplate.
In some cases, a meditation workshop will begin with a short discussion of the theory behind a given school of meditation. This tends to include an explanation of the value of meditation and the goals of the workshop. The main focus of a meditation workshop usually is to successfully enter into a meditative state. The students tend to sit on cushions on the floor or in comfortable chairs while the instructor explains, step by step, what they need to do and think. In some cases, this explanation encompasses everything from when one should breathe to how one should sit.
Some meditation workshops are intended to be primarily instructional while others are intended to give people the opportunity to meditate on a regular basis. An instructional meditation workshop usually provides students with the knowledge they need to meditate on their own time in addition to the guided meditation session or sessions. The other form of meditation workshop tends to only include the guided meditation. People commonly use such workshops to encourage themselves to set aside time to meditate, particularly if they would become easily distracted or prioritize other tasks without such guidance.