GUIDELINES FOR FOCUS GROUP MEMBERS


Contents

1. Definition of the Core Group
2. Joining the Core Group
3. Roles and Responsibilities of Core Group Members
4. Roles and Responsibilities of the Facilitor
5. Membership Termination
6. Amendments


1. Definition of the Core Group

The Global Meditation Focus Group is a core group of individuals who use the Internet to discuss and prepare regular worldwide meditations focusing on global crises. They are supported by an advisory group which offers suggestions and ideas for global meditations. The core group differs from the advisory group in two main ways:

i) Core group members make decisions regarding the content of the meditation text and the conduct of the Focus Group itself, whereas the advisory group does not.

ii) Core group members agree to actively participate on a regular basis, whereas members of the advisory group are not required to do so. The advisory group may be nothing more than a loosely connected circle of supporters.

Like the core group members, advisory group members receive through a listserver a copy of the regular Focus Group e-mail exchanges posted on the listserver by the core group members, and form a pool of potential core group members. Advisory group members who wish to suggest a Meditation Focus topic or submit a comment must do so through the facilitator who will then post their letter to the listserver unless it is deemed completely irrelevant to the work of the Focus group.


2. Joining the Core Group

A prospective member of the core group should first notify the Focus Group facilitator of his or her interest in becoming a core group member and immediately send a resume. They would then become part of the advisory group for a three-month probationary period so as to become acquainted with the inner working of the core group before being formally considered for acceptance. Before being accepted into the Focus Group as a core group member, each prospective member will research and prepare a Meditation Focus as a final test of his or her ability to produce written material that demonstrates a good enough grasp of the editorial and synthesis skills required to deliver reasonably well-prepared documents. Candidacies submitted by people interested in becoming core group members will be reviewed in the order they have been received by the Facilitator and will be considered as long as they each fulfill the requirements outlined in our "Guidelines for Focus Group Members".

Those interested in joining the core group should first get acquainted with the background information available on the Focus Group by reading the following material on the website:

The Global Meditation Focus Group Charter

The History of the Co-creation of the Focus Group
(See at the bottom of this page)

Selection Criteria for each new Meditation Focus

Suggestions for Enhancing the Effectiveness of our Healing Focus in Meditation


Guidelines for Focus Group Members

Building Consensus within the Core Group

How to join the Advisory Group
(not available yet)

It is also recommended that a good sample of the previous meditation foci and spiritual nuggets are read, which are archived on the website.

Potential new members should introduce themselves to the Focus Group with a short resume giving enough background information about themselves. The facilitator of the Focus Group will e-mail the resumes of the current Focus Group members for potential new members to review. It is a prerequisite for new members to be reasonably fluent in English because this is and will remain the language of communication within this core group.

Members of the core group may remain as members for as long as they wish and are able to follow these guidelines. However, we recommend that individuals remain members of the core group for at least six months, except in extreme cases where this is not possible due to unforeseen external commitments or the consistent breaking of guidelines by that member. By joining the advisory group first, prospective core group members will have no doubt about the level of commitment required from a core group member.


3. Roles and Responsibilities of Core Group Members

i) Core group members are active participants. An active participant is someone who is regularly reading Focus Group correspondence and replying to it whenever possible in a timely manner. When participants are unable to read or respond to this correspondence, they should, when it is possible, notify the Focus Group of this.

ii) Core group members are supportive participants. A supportive participant is someone who respects individual points of view and actively works with the group to make decisions based on consensus; who shares Focus Group responsibilities (see below); and who addresses what is currently under discussion when contributing. If a participant wishes to request a change in the course of Focus Group work, evidence in support of this change should be provided. Core Group members should strive to remain open to constructive criticism and to be willing to consider different viewpoints when they are presented.

iii) To be considered as a decision-making member, participants of the core group must accept to share the responsibilities associated with membership of the core group. These responsibilities are:

a) To contribute from a high-spirited perspective, in a respectful and loving manner, and to do so in a way that serves the interest of the group, as opposed to just the interest of the individual. The Focus Group is not a place to push personal projects or agendas, but a place where we come together to build a consensus and serve a higher purpose in line with the highest spiritual ideals and inspired guidance that we can receive from within. Building consensus means working together rather than separately, and often requires that we transform our ideas and contributions so that we support the whole while still maintaining our individual diversity.

b) To research and prepare a Meditation Focus, submitting it and fine-tuning it through consensual discussions within the group. Out of fairness to other core group participants, we suggest as a guide that participants prepare a Meditation Focus at least once every two months, or six times a year, although more frequent participation is always welcome.

c) To make an effort every week to disseminate the material issued by the Focus Group through networks of contacts.


4. Roles and Responsibilities of the Facilitor

Although the task of facilitating the ongoing discussion process of the Focus Group and ensuring the regular issuance of Meditation Foci is the main responsibility of the Focus Group Facilitator, every core group member shares the responsibility of assisting all other core group members to achieve the general aims of the Global Meditation Focus Group. Hence it is always a collective as well as an individual responsibility within this core group to contribute positively and constructively towards a smooth and efficient functioning of the Focus Group as all core group members strive every week to accomplish the Focus Group mission as outlined in the Focus Group Charter.

More specifically, and in addition to the other Roles and Responsibilities of Focus Group members outlined above, the Focus Group Facilitator is responsible for:

i) Ensuring that a Meditation Focus is chosen and prepared each week, in a timely manner, to the satisfaction of core group members. If by Wednesday no core group member has volunteered in these tasks, or if a proposed Meditation Focus will not be ready in time, the facilitator will propose and prepare a Meditation Focus. Whichever is the case, the Meditation Focus should be submitted to the core group for review by 2 pm local time on Thursday. All material that is to be issued by the Focus Group should first be sent either to the core group listserver or to the mailboxes of all core group members for review and consensual approval as soon as it is ready, preferably 24 hours before being issued.

Note: When exceptional circumstances arise at the last minute, requiring an ammendment or alternative Meditation Focus, as might occur when there is late-breaking news requiring an emergency response, the updated Meditation Focus should be sent to the other core group members for review no later than an hour before being issued. In such exceptional cases, advance notice of the intention to prepare and post such a Meditation Focus should be given as soon as possible to give other core group members the opportunity, if they are available, to check their mailboxes. If no core group members are available for reviewing the proposed Meditation Focus and no feedback is received within one hour of posting it to the core group members, the Facilitator may proceed to issue the Meditation Focus provided that it is judged to be in accordance with the usual standards required by the Focus Group.

ii) E-mailing every Friday before 2 pm local time each new Meditation Focus (English version) to the various Focus Group listservers and the Planetary Awakening Network e-list, in addition to any other lists for which the Facilitator is personally responsible, and e-mail the translations of each Meditation Focus as soon as they become available.

iii) Preparing and posting each week on the Focus Group website each new Meditation Focus and its various translations as they become available, and maintaining the website.

iv) Reviewing and forwarding to the other core group members all the correspondence received that is relevant to the Focus Group mission, especially the suggestions for new meditation topics and comments on previous meditation foci forwarded to the facilitator.

v) Generally ensuring that all concerns raised and suggestions offered by other core group members are acknowledged and eventually discussed as part of the regular Focus Group work.


5. Membership Termination

The Guidelines for Focus Group Members are meant to be flexible and should not be construed as strict and unbending rules to be enforced. They are a reflection of the experience acquired so far in our ongoing co-creation process of this initiative and a needed series of clarifications as to what is expected from each core group member and the Focus Group Facilitator. This will prove especially useful for prospective new core group members and will help them better understand the kind of commitment that is to be made by each individual interested in becoming an active decision-making participant in the core group. With such clarity, it is expected that it should never be necessary for the core group members to have to decide whether another member is no longer fulfilling their Roles and Responsibilities within the core group.

However if a core group member fails to contribute their fair share of active participation to the ongoing work of the core group as outlined above over a period of time longer than three months, and for no obvious reason given by this member, or if a member consistenly acts in a way that is detrimental to the harmonious work of the core group, then it is primarly the responsibility of the Focus Group Facilitator to remind this member of what is called for in these guidelines and to ask what he or she intends to do to correct the situation; other members of the core group may also contribute their constructive observations with regard to this situation. If the response appears to be unsatisfactory and is deemed as such by all other participating core group members - or if there is no response at all within a period of 14 days, then the core group may decide after proper discussion and consensus to terminate the core group membership of this person, who may still remain involved afterwards as part of the advisory group.


6. Amendments

This document as well as the Global Meditation Focus Group Charter may be amended and/or augmented from time to time if deemed necessary by the Focus Group members, but all such changes must be the result of a clear group consensus as was the case for the initial adoption of these two founding documents.




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