Hosting Study Groups
Part III – Preparing the Space
Prior preparation for a study group
Preparing the Physical Space
Take a look with “new eyes” at the space where the meeting will be held. Here are some questions to reflect on as you prepare for your first gathering:
- Is the room clean and arranged appropriately for the gathering? Are there enough chairs?
- Arrange seating in a semi-circle. This allows everyone to feel connected and see each other.
- Decide where the audio player/computer should be placed so that all can hear it easily.
- Decide where the recorder should be placed so you can record yourself as you begin the group. Then decide where it will be placed so others can hold it when they speak. (It’s best for each person to hold it when they speak; otherwise, Sat Shree cannot easily hear what people are saying.)
Prepare the Recordings
It is best to listen or watch Sat Shree’s recordings on the Gita or Mother Book in advance of facilitating a study group. As you do so note the beginning and ending times of those segments that appeal to you or which you feel would be helpful to share with the group as a way of prompting discussion and self-reflection. These can be 5 to 15 minutes long. There can be two or three of these per meeting. In this way there is time for people to contemplate the material and share their experiences.
Recording the Classes
Sat Shree listens to recordings from the groups studying the Gita and the Mother Book, so you will need to record each group session and send it to New Dharma (see below How and where to Send Recordings).
- Place the recorder near you when you start the program and ask for people to speak up when they are asking questions or interacting with the room.
- Sat Shree listens to these recordings so try to make sure each person is speaking directly into the recorder when it is their turn to speak. Be sure to start the recording at the beginning and end it when the program concludes.
If you are beginning with just an audio recording (as opposed to conducting your group over Zoom), there are any number of recording devices you can use. New Dharma suggests using a Sony model ICD PX440 with the USB plug-in for your computer on the back as a good audio recording device.
Format for Recordings
Please put your recording in the following format: Date, location, book name, chapter and your name. Here is an example: 2018.06.07 Nevada City Mother Book.Ch1.SharonWikoff
How and where to send Recordings
You can then easily transfer the files to your computer after the class and then email them to New Dharma and your group participants.
- In order to ensure the best quality, have each person who talks hold the recorder.
- Since the recordings are large it is best to use Google as your server because it offers Google Drive, which allows you to send larger files.
All recordings of classes should be sent to New Dharma at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org