The Basic Facilitator Protocol

This protocol describes the basic phases that the Social Meditation Facilitator goes through while hosting a Basic practice in the Buddhist Geeks Network.

Please follow these phases as you facilitate a social meditation practice in the Buddhist Geeks Network...

  1. The Setup Phase

  2. The Practice Phase

  3. The Debrief Phase

1. The Setup Phase

Silence

Please spend the first couple of minutes being in Silence, giving a bit of time for folks to arrive & settle. It's fine to be polite and say hello if you see someone who may be new–or to wave, or bow in welcome–just to know that the general intention is of this opening phase is toward settling and stillness.

Quick Check-In

Next, do a Quick Check-In Round, asking everyone to share their 1) Name, 2) Location, & 3) How they're doing in a word or two (ex. "There is anxiety & curiosity" or "There is calm."). The quick check-in round will also give you a chance to do a Tech Check. If there are any tech problems, particularly with people's microphones, let them know, so they can troubleshoot as you move on. If they can't get it fixed before the practice period begins, please invite them to take the role of The Witness. Don't spend a bunch of time trying to troubleshoot, just highlight the issue and move on.

Share the Session Details

All Facilitators can choose to offer either a quick debrief at the end of a 30-minute session, or an extended debrief phase–of 15 extra minutes in length–after the 30-minute practice session is complete. This gives you a 30-minute session with a quick debrief only, or a 45-minute session with an optional extended debrief.The extended debrief phase, if you offer it, should be framed as optional.

Review the Instructions

Next, briefly review the basic instructions that you're practicing in this session. If you aren't sure of what they are, or want a refresher, check out the Social Meditation Guide. Let people know what size the practice groups will be, and if there are multiple rounds to the practice, let folks know what those will be, and how long each round will last.

Introduce The Witness

Finally, ask people to identify themselves if they'd like to take the position of The Witness. If you are using a sequential order, then ask people who are witnessing to identify themselves. If you are using a spontaneous order then remind people that they can witness at any time. If you're using some combination of sequential and spontaneous, then do both.

NOTE: Our aim is for the whole process, up to this point, to take 5-10 minutes or so, leaving at least 20 minutes of time to practice.

2. The Practice Phase

Ring the Bell at the End

At the end of the practice period ring the bell to mark the end of the practice period.

3. The Debrief Phase

Quick Debrief

Ask everyone, as they feel moved, to end with a Quick Debrief, in the form of "There was..." + a note or two on what they experienced during the session. (ex. "There was joy & tension." or "There was sleepiness" or "There was unity, awe, & love.")

Goodbye

After debrief phase–either option–feel free to Say Goodbye however you like!