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Starts 15 minutes after the Evening Meeting. There is a 15-20 minutes’ activity after the first or after the second session (i.e. run, walk outside, holding the koan – and eating some fruit).
There are two or three sessions at night depending on the Evening Meeting ending time. We go up till about 11:00 p.m. At the end of the last session they have 15 minutes to prepare for sleeping meditation.
Turn on mosquito machines, turn down the lights with the dimmer and switch them off near the door, enjoy your rest! Just before sleep remind people to be with their koan and take it into their sleep.
What to look for
The main function of an assistant is to keep the participants within the structure. Another of your jobs is to go around and listen to people and get a feeling of where they are, where they get stuck, etc. Your observations can help the facilitator to decide the subjects for announcements, sharings or interviews.
Keep the following in mind while you listen: Participants have been invited to
“take the koan inside with the intention of having a direct experience of “who is in” in this moment, be open to whatsoever you are finding as a result of doing so, and present/communicate it to your partner.”
So these are the things you are checking:
1. Is he/she taking the koan inside?
2. Is there the intention to have a direct experience?
3. Is there the openness to whatsoever they are finding?
4. Do they communicate?
Please ask the facilitator if you need further clarification.
We support and encourage the participants in this search by our presence in each and every moment.
Your listening in to participants is an energetic encouragement for them. You can go around systematically, or move where you feel pulled. When listening sit close, preferably next to the listening partner. They may feel embarrassed at first and this is okay.
If anyone needs anything (tissues, bench, shawl) they are meant to raise their arm. Fetch it for them so they can stay in the structure.
Remember to check the helpers schedule and get the helpers in time to do their individual jobs. The facilitator is often involved in interviews or not in the room, and counts on you for this.
You also keep the time book, and use and check the message book. We keep a diary of the timings, and anything else other assistants/facilitator should know of. If you leave a message, write your name behind it. When you complete a message cross it off and write your name, so it can be tracked back if needed.
Be alert and awake – at ease, relaxed, upright in your chair and present. Your presence helps participants to be present too.
Reminders, if needed:
· sit up straight
· speak loud enough so your partner can hear you
· stay within the structure
· keep eye contact
· give this search your total intensity
· don’t waste time / don’t get lost in stories
· come back to the present moment
· don’t entertain your partner
· don’t get entangled with your partner
· talk about “I,” not “you”
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