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Bodhi College wants to offer a more interactive experience directly between members of our community. This would build on the strong learning experience they have had for many years in Bodhi College, while adding to the experience through sharing questions, reflections and insights.
As a first step, we are establishing a Pilot online study community, which would bring together participants in our existing Thinking Out Loud series. We intend to choose one of the topics from that series – one that particularly engaged the participants, but also where there were so many questions and reflections that it wasn’t possible for the teachers to answer them, even in the 90 minutes that was available.
In doing this, we can make use of the large range of learning tools and resources that are available for online learning, and have been used for years in universities and other educational contexts. We are already using some of these, with our Tricycle courses and with the Zoom sessions we offer for some courses and the weekly Thinking Out Loud series. Now we want to expand this range of activities to one which would allow our community to share their learnings and help each other to mature in the dharma.
How we propose that the community would function:
To make this manageable, and allow a level of trust between participants, we would form groups of about fifteen participants. They would be expected to attend most or all of the live sessions on Zoom, probably every two weeks, for a minimum of four sessions . Sessions would last between 90 minutes and two hours. Before the first of these sessions, a group would be provided with the recordings, and existing Questions, Reflections and Homework provided by the teachers for the Thinking Out Loud series.
Participants would then be asked to contribute their thoughts on topics – Questions or Reflections, or possibly selected readings, suggested by the teachers – on an online Discussion Forum. In this way, they would be able to see the reflections and other thoughts of what others in their group are considering, and add their own. Then, at the meetings on Zoom, a trained facilitator would lead a live discussion on the topic, along with meditation and other activities such checking in with their “internal weather”.
Between these sessions, the Forum would continue to be live, and we also would add new Questions and Reflections, and possibly Homework. As mentioned above, the meetings would be held regularly, probably at two-week intervals. The groups would be timed so that participants in both Europe and the Americas could attend.
We intend to set up at least one Pilot group, depending on demand. This will test the concept, but also provide real value to those who wish to participate actively in this community-building experiment. We hope to create a genuinely international and diverse community.
Interested? Attend an Orientration Session.
Gary Born, a Bodhi College Trustee, is taking the lead on this Online Community, and to help you decide if you want to join this endeavour, will lead two one-hour Zoom sessions in June to introduce how these community groups will work and demonstrate the tools they would use.
These sessions will show how the Zoom sessions will run, as well as how participants can use the Group forum. It will, of course, be a chance to ask questions, and discuss joining a group with other potential participants.
If you wish to join one of these sessions, which are just for information and require no commitment, please click on register and choose the session you prefer. However, if you have any questions about this initiative, please send an email to Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 17th June 11:00 – 12:00 UK / 12.00-13.00 CEST / 6 am – 7 am EST
- 24th June 2020 19.30 – 20.30 UK / 20.30 – 21.30 CEST / 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm EST
GARY BORN Since retiring as a Director of a multi-national IT software company, Gary has taught mindfulness, focusing on people with cancer and on health professionals. He also supervises other mindfulness teachers and mentors graduates of mindfulness courses. Gary is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leadership Programme led by Gaia House, and completed the Committed Dharma Practitioners Programme of Bodhi College in 2010. He has been practising Insight Meditation since 2001, and has been a Board member of the Buddhist Insight Network and Sitting Groups Coordinator for London Insight Meditation. Gary is married, with two grown-up sons.