Wednesday, March 15, 2006

On starting a Practice Group...and some feedback and celebration
reprinted with Mary Ann's permission

Hi Jim,

Questions: I meant to ask you when I saw you on 3/11,
but forgot in the thick of the workshop: what is the
minimum number of members that you would suggest for
starting a practice group? Including me, there are now
5 potential members for a Santa Monica/WLA practice
group that would meet on the weekend, or at times
other than the Wednesday eve group.

Jim: Five is a luxury! I have heard of practice groups from 2-20. My experience tells me that 6-8 offers an ideal range. Having 100% attendance each week by all participants is unlikely, so a few more is better than a few less...

I thought it a good idea to have all the members meet with you
together once we commit to the process. Is that what
you would suggest?

Jim: Sounds like fun! I wonder if we could have a potluck followed by about 90-120 minutes of "meeting" time...

Comments: I also wanted to tell you: the insult I
brought to the practice group you facilitated at Wild
Oats in Santa Monica was a parking lot issue. I don't
recall whether I told the group that, but that was
exactly the situation. I didn't get a love note on my
car, I got reamed by another yoga student, a defender
of parking lot justice as represented by those
sometimes extremely narrowly drawn white lines. What
ever happened to the positive view of doing things
"outside of the box"? :-P

Jim: I'm smiling as I read this...meets my need for empathy and understanding, as well as compassion and humor! Sounds like your love note was more like a singing telegram! (I am guessing "reaming" means he/she spoke in a voice louder than you enjoyed and projected an intensity of emotional energy outside of your tolerance zone in that moment, yes?)

More workshop feedback: BTW because the workshop felt
so special and alive to me, I would have appreciated,
and request for the future, a 10 min break before the
closing check-in/comments, so that basic bathroom
needs don't get in the way of fully being present and
savoring the experience. It could even be done in
contemplative silence, but that was just an
afterthought I had now. I appreciated the freedom to
take care of my own needs throughout the workshop, but
wanted more ceremony around the closing.

Jim: I feel grateful hearing this feedback. Seems like it could work as part of the written feedback process. Something like, "As you're working on your feedback, feel free to check with your body and address any needs it might have before we move into our closing process..." What do you think?

I learned a lot during and since the workshop through
paying attention to my thoughts, recognizing the needs
underneath, and responding more compassionately to
them (me), and to others, even in my own mind as I
replay various scenes. If your April Radical
Compassion is on the weekend, I plan to attend.

Jim: I love hearing your expression of integration! And I feel happy hearing you want to play and learn some more on April Fool's Day, Saturday April 1!

Enjoy your time in ABQ.

Jim: I will endeavor to...

Namaste to you and to Jori,
Sat nam


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