Facilitator Instructions

Save/Print as PDF

Our group is enlivened by a rotating leadership. We encourage anyone who has been attending regularly to take a turn at leading the group in order to share a heartfelt expression of how the practice rings true for you.

Note: These times are approximate. Please try to keep each activity to 20 minutes so we can end around 5:30 p.m. If one section runs long, shorten the remaining sections so the first three parts total 60 minutes.

4:00 – 4:05 p.m. Opening the Meditation (see below)
4:05 – 4:25 p.m. Dharma Talk/Reading/Practice (see below)
4:25 – 4:45 p.m. Walking Meditation (see below)
4:45 – 5:05 p.m. Sitting Meditation (see below)
5:05 – 5:30 p.m. Dharma Sharing / Announcements (see below)
5:30 p.m. Departure

What to Share
You may share anything with the sangha which nurtures mindfulness and is by Thich Nhat Hanh or one of his followers. If your activity requires special supplies (e.g., mats), please inform the group in advance via the calendar event description and the discussion list. The following are some suggestions.

  • Dharma teaching (check the sangha library or links under the Resources tab)
  • Deep relaxation
  • Touching the earth
  • Mindful movement

What to Bring

  • Watch or other timer.
  • The material you will be presenting (we have a cd player).
  • Paper and pencil for taking meeting notes.
  • You may want to wear something with a large pocket for holding the bell during walking meditation.
  • A peaceful heart – remember it’s okay if you mess up…a lotus grows out of mud.

The Bell

  • Please respect the bell – it is a teacher reminding you to be mindful.
  • You are welcome to practice inviting the bell in advance of leading.
  • We awaken the bell before inviting it. To do this, gently tap the bell and hold the stick against it for a softer sound.
  • To invite the bell, tap it firmly. Pause and breathe deeply until the sound completely fades away.
  • In general, we awaken the bell once and then invite it three times (pausing in between). See Inviting the Bell of Mindfulness for more guidance.

Set Up

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early.
  • The building will be opened by one of the regulars who have the door code.
  • Turn on the lights.
  • Position the chairs in a circle.
  • Get the platform, calligraphy, candle, lighter, snuffer, small bell, large bell and stand, dana box, business cards, and texts from the supply closet.
  • Arrange the platform in the center of the circle and light the candle. Arrange the dana box and business cards on the table by the door.
  • If it is the second Sunday, arrange the kitchen table with the Five Contemplations (in supply closet), dinnerware, flatware, utensils, etc.

Opening the Meditation
Note: We arrive in and maintain noble silence until the discussion time. Shoes are not worn within the meeting space.

  • At 4 pm when everyone has arrived, we stand, hold hands, share a few breaths, greet each other with a bow, and sit down.
  • Welcome everyone. Provide a brief overview of the Sangha and the practices, especially if there are newcomers.
  • Request that if anyone needs to leave early, please do so quietly with a bow to the sangha.
  • Awaken the bell, then invite it three times.
  • Share your Dharma teaching or mindfulness practice for 20 minutes (adjust the other sections if it is longer).
  • Awaken the bell, then invite it three times.

Walking Meditation
Note: We walk outside unless the weather is inclement. Indoor walking may be done in the eating area.

  • Briefly introduce the practice, especially if there are newcomers.
  • Extinguish the candle.
  • Bring the small bell and a watch/timer.
  • Lead the group in walking meditation for 20 minutes (on the trail, driveway, or parking lot).
  • Invite the bell once during the walk; stop and enjoy a few breaths.
  • Make sure the door is closed by the last one out/in.

Sitting Meditation

  • Briefly introduce the practice, especially if there are newcomers.
  • Light the candle.
  • Awaken the bell, then invite it three times.
  • Sit in silence for 20 minutes.
  • Awaken the bell, then invite it two times.

Dharma Sharing / Announcements

  • Read or summarize the Dharma sharing instructions.
  • Invite each person to share their first name and whatever is in their heart (or nothing as they choose).
  • Remind everyone to bow in before speaking and to bow out when finished as well as to enjoy a breath between sharings.
  • Ask if there are any announcements or Sangha business. Also ask newcomers if they want to be added to the mailing list (see below).
  • If you want, offer a metta, song or other brief closing then dedicate the merit.
  • To close: awaken the bell, then invite it three times.
  • Extinguish the candle.
  • If it is a second Sunday, invite everyone to enjoy a vegetarian potluck in the eating area (see below).

Clean Up

  • Return all supplies to their designated spots (labelled) in the corner closet.
  • Reposition the chairs.
  • Turn off the lights. Reset the thermostat to the temperature it was when you arrived.
  • Make sure that all doors and windows are locked (carefully follow the instructions on the main door and test that it is locked).


  • We share a potluck every second Sunday of the month at the end of the meeting.
  • Newcomers (and others) do not need to bring food to participate – there is always more than enough.
  • Make sure your dish is vegan or vegetarian (eggs and dairy are okay). Please know all the ingredients to accommodate those with dietary restrictions or preferences.
  • A full kitchen is available if you wish to bring soups, casseroles, or other warm dishes.
  • Before eating, invite the Bell three full times. Pause briefly. Recite the Five Contemplations with the sangha. Invite the Bell 1 full time. Note: We do not maintain noble silence during the meal.
  • To clean up: check that the stove and oven are off, wash all the dishes, wipe the tables, take care of the leftovers, and turn off the lights.
  • Make sure that all doors and windows are locked (carefully follow the instructions on the main door and test that it is locked).
  • If you want to share your recipe, please submit it to the Mindful Eating website.

Creativity Group

  • We express our creativity every last Sunday of the month after the regular practice. It is also enlivened by a rotating leadership.
  • Newcomers (and others) do not need to bring anything to participate. The leader needs to bring (or request) any required supplies.
  • To clean up: put away all supplies, wipe the tables, and turn off the lights.
  • Make sure that all doors and windows are locked (carefully follow the instructions on the main door and test that it is locked).

Mailing List

  • Groups.io is used as a mailing list.
  • If newcomers want to join the list, ask them to give their email to Jim or Kristina. Instruct the newcomer to check their spam folder for the email invitation.
  • Note: The mailing list is restricted and new members need to be approved – either Jim or Kristina can do this.

Meeting Notes

  • Note: Include a summary of the practice (perhaps an excerpt from the teaching) as well as any upcoming events, decisions, etc. in the meeting notes.
  • Send out the meeting notes by the next Friday (after any newcomers have joined the mailing list).

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us.

Comments are closed