Basic Facilitator Protocol

This protocol describes the basic phases that the Social Meditation Facilitator goes through while hosting a 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

  4. The Feedback Phase

1. The Setup Phase


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 this point you can Ring the Bell and Start Meditating!

Ring the Bell Again

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.")

Optional: Extended Debrief

If you chose to offer the Extended Debrief, then after the practice is over you can move right into an open debrief, where you role is to facilitate the conversation, helping to draw out the insights that occurred in the practice period. We ask that you keep this debrief period to 15 minutes. It also gives space to receive feedback, should there be a teacher there that can offer you feedback on how your facilitation went.


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

4. The Feedback Phase (Occasional & Optional)

If there is a Buddhist Geeks Teacher present in your session, they may message you privately to see if you're interested and have time to receive feedback at the end of the session. If this happens, and you have time and are open to receiving feedback, then simply stay after everyone has left, along with the Teacher, and the two of you can both share 1) what you each felt worked well in the session, and 2) what each of you would do differently, if you were facilitating this same practice again. Always start with what worked well, and always go first as the facilitator! Just a reminder, this is optional, even if a teacher offers. :)