Learning Circle Logistics
How to schedule a Learning Circle meeting
MAKE IT CONSISTENT AND COMFORTABLE
Starting with your initial group members, set a weekly day and time that works, and stick to it. Even if only two or three people show up on a given week during a busy time of year, it’s important to continue meeting and sharing. Having snacks and beverages can make the meeting more comfortable. Start out by bringing a snack yourself and then ask members to switch off duties in coming weeks.
Consider logistics and space. What type of meeting place is most convenient for your group? If it’s a group of work colleagues, perhaps an office common space is most convenient. If it’s friends, meeting at someone’s home might be comfortable. Or, if your group is large, consider reaching out to local yoga studios, mindfulness centers, or other community centers.
What platform should you use for a virtual Learning Circle?
- Zoom – free account is limited to 40 minutes, but it is user friendly and people are becoming more familiar with it. Pay for the upgrade and share the cost between members.
- Google Hangouts – free, unlimited time
- Microsoft Teams
How to Communicate in a Learning Circle
Looking for a way to stay connected in between meetings? There are a variety of tools you can use, such as: email, Facebook Groups, WhatsApp or other group text messaging apps. Chat with your group and decide what is best for you!
USE SOCIAL MEDIA
Start a closed Facebook group page to post announcements, changes in meeting time, or food for thought to carry the group through the week and give people things to look forward to. Consider offering a preview of what’s on tap for the upcoming meeting to pique interest and establish a consistent line of communication with your group. Allow space for people to comment, reflect, and share progress on the spiritual path in the social space. Make the social space a topic of discussion for the group. How can the group improve the experience on the page? Another option is to use a group messenger app such as WhatsApp to stay in touch between meetings.
Using Social Media to Support Your Group
Starting a Facebook group is not rocket science. But how many groups or feeds just sit dormant after a flurry of initial activity? Here are some tips for using social media to support your practice group and ensure it’s the best site it can be:
- Align your group page with Namchak’s learning community: Send your name and some basic info about your group to [email protected] and receive beautiful custom cover-image art for your Facebook group page.
- Add a trusted friend or colleague to the administrators list—someone to help share the load of uploading new material.
- Each week, create a fun post (canva.com has great templates for images!) that captures the essence or feeling of the group’s meeting.
- Two to three days prior, post a reminder of the upcoming meeting with any logistical details (meeting space, snacks, change in time, etc.).
- Ask questions to seed conversations—for example, “What inspired you to sit today?” “How long did you sit today?”
- Post links to interesting news or resources on mindfulness, meditation, or Buddhism.
- Include calls to action—if your group is activist oriented, post service or volunteer opportunities.