Hosting Study Groups
Part II – Preparing the Space
Preparing the Physical Space
Take a look with “new eyes” at the space where the meeting will be held. Here are some questions and suggestions 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 or the supporting Global Group mentor cannot easily hear.
Preparing excerpts from Sat Shree’s revelations
It is best to listen to or watch Sat Shree’s recordings on the Gita or The Mother Book, and/or read The Bhagavad Gita Revealed in advance of facilitating a Global 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 segments 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 Meeting
Sat Shree often listens to recordings from the groups studying the Gita, The Mother Book, or The Bhagavad Gita Revealed. In addition to Sat Shree listening, each new Global Group will have the support of a Global Group mentor for approximately 3 months. In order for Sat Shree and New Dharma to provide full support it is necessary that each group session be recorded during this period, and the recording of the session sent to New Dharma (see below Sharing Your Recordings).
Following the 3 months period, you may still find it helpful to record your meetings so that recordings are available if an issue arises in your group. It can also be helpful listen to recordings of your group to support your own growth as a facilitator. You may wish to share recordings, from time to time, with your Global Groups mentor if you would like guidance/feedback on a specific issue, but there is no need to send recordings after the first three months of meetings.
Please note that whoever is listening to the recordings on behalf of New Dharma holds it in confidentiality, integrity and with the sacredness of such an intentional gathering.
The purpose for recording the sessions is to best support the facilitator in this role, as well as identify potential facilitators, mentors, trainers, as an opportunity for growth for everybody.
- 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, the Global Group mentor, and others that Sat Shree may find appropriate to share the recordings, will listen 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. You may pause the recording while a video is being played, if your recorder has this capability.
Audio Recording Technical Requirements
If you are conducting your group over Zoom, you can use the record function in Zoom.
If you are hosting an in-person only meeting, 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.
Tech Spec for Audio File Format (Recommendation): MP3 or MP4 Audio, coded at 64kbps to 128kbps
Please label your recording in the following format:
<YYYY.MM.DD> <2-alpha Country code> <City/Region> <Type of recording> <Person responsible for recording>
Country names (ISO 3166 2 Alpha Codes): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ISO_3166_country_codes
US – USA
NL – Netherlands
SE – Sweden
DK – Denmark
CA – Canada
GB – Great Britain (UK)
IN – India
IE – Ireland
2018.06.07 US Nevada City CA Mother Book Study Ch1 Pt 1 Sharon Wikoff
2019.05.08 CA Toronto ON Gita Study Ch 8 Pt 2 Amanda Smith
Sharing Your Recordings
You can then easily transfer the files to your computer after the class and share them with New Dharma and your group participants. Please follow the steps below for sharing your recordings with New Dharma:
- All audio recordings of study groups should be sent to New Dharma at the following email address: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org according to your geographic region.
- Since the recordings are large it is best to save the files in a service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. You can include a link to the recording with ‘edit access’ enabled in your email.
- Please use the audio file name as the subject line for your email.
- In the body of your email please list the names of the group participants and a few sentences about your impressions of the gathering. If you have received a form for evaluation named “Facilitator Summary of Global Group Gathering”, please attach to the email as well. These will be shared with Sat Shree and your Global Group mentor.