If you are participating in one of my free, open, group sessions, chances are that it’s being recorded… Here’s why, and the options available to you if this makes you uncomfortable:
On the Topic of Privacy
If you missed our opening group session last night, that’s perfectly okay. I’ll be posting a recording of the session on my YouTube channel and sharing a link on Facebook and in our private Facebook group.
This brings up an important point though – these sessions are free, open, online group sessions that are meant to reach as many people as possible. They are recorded and shared – and for good reason. Our world is in a state of chaos and disarray, and the message of Self-realization is more important now than ever before – it is, in fact, essential to our very survival. I offer these types of free events because I have seen these teachings radically alter my own life and the lives of many, many people. Sometimes, however, participants will express a concern or a preference to be private, to not be broadcast or recorded. I always want to honor the requests of everyone who has taken the time to entertain and investigate the material that’s being shared, but at the same time it’s very important to me that the larger necessity of openness, transparency, accessibility, and availability be kept in mind. Therefore, I’d like to make the following suggestions.
If you prefer to remain private, to not be seen, heard, broadcasted, or recorded during the live group sessions, you can:
1) Leave your camera and microphone off, using the chat to ask questions or make comments, and/or schedule a private session afterwards where we can discuss your own questions, concerns, interpretations, or experiences. During this series I’ll make free weekly sessions available to anyone who would prefer to just listen in the live group sessions, and then ask their questions or go deeper into the content in a private setting instead.
2) Or, follow the live session through FacebookLive instead of Zoom. The FacebookLive stream doesn’t have visual or audio recording functions available within it. You can use the comments area to ask questions or make comments without really exposing yourself in an uncomfortable way. You may find this preferable to the use of Zoom if you want to exercise a greater degree of privacy.
Please note however that I tend to wait until later in sessions to read comments and questions from the chat windows in both Zoom and on Facebook; usually as part of the Q&A period. I will however get to your questions – and make sure that anything asked receives a response.
I hope this clarifies my position on broadcasting and recording these sessions, and offers you a few alternative options to help you feel safe and protected if you have a preference for a greater degree of privacy.
I’m still not sure I understand why you record these sessions…
I record and share these sessions because many people do not or can not participate. Or may not be aware that the sessions are available. Or may stumble across the website a year from now and say ‘wow I wish I would have seen this sooner’. Some people may also be fearful of attending in person and want to encounter the material on their own terms instead.
It is also very very common for nondual teachers to record and make public group sessions freely and openly available – not private sessions of course, and not paid group workshops – but when we do these things freely, from our hearts, it’s because we are extending an invitation and doing our best to make these teachings and this way of seeing broadly available to all.
We are also not likely to concern ourselves so much with matters of privacy, as we do not see privacy as a reality of realized awareness. We try to respect where others are in their own understanding and apply appropriate levels of confidentiality to private sessions, but when someone attends a free, open, public session and is uncomfortable with being recorded, I and others like me, will suggest that they use their discomfort to examine what it is they are trying to protect or defend, what aspect of the ‘self’ exactly is uncomfortable?
This is the way nondual teachings work. Our suffering, discontent, and discomfort are the raw material of awakening – and reveal what needs attention, what we are holding onto, and what we need to let go of.
Again, these sessions are free – and I ask nothing in return for this work. I do this because of how deeply I value the transformative potential of nondual realization – and because I want everyone, everywhere to have the opportunity to encounter and experience these teachings. Because this is why I offer these free, open, public group sessions, I must make the materials available in the manner of their intention – which is broad dissemination.
The goal of these sessions is not so much community-building as this is essentially a brief psychoeducational group with a focused curriculum and clear endpoint. Our focus is on elucidation, investigation, and examination. Also keep in mind that whatever issues you might be contending with or hesitant to reveal, pretty much everyone is in the same boat with the same challenges and questions. Your own willingness to be vulnerable has the potential to serve as a gift to others. But I leave it to you to decide what you are comfortable with.
I would also encourage you to watch and listen to other nondual teachers, like Adyashanti and Rupert Spira. You will see that they are doing exactly what I’m doing and they encourage openness and vulnerability in public because it is such an important part of letting down our guard, opening up, and being vulnerable – and when we do so together, we all learn from each other. This is just the way it is with nondual teachers – and how it has been done for thousands of years.
I’ve offered some alternatives for attendance if privacy is important to you, but the material itself and the availability of it cannot be limited by the discomfort of one participant. We can always meet separately and privately if there are things that you would prefer to address behind closed doors, but as we continue, these free, open, public sessions will be shared on FacebookLive and recorded to make them available to others in the future.
If you feel that this is not in alignment or accord with your preferences and choose not to participate in the future, I totally understand, but I hope that you will consider one of the alternative attendance options or use this as an opportunity to examine your own discomfort.
I will continue to add additional comments to this topics as an FAQ to address any additional related concerns. Thank you for your time and attention regarding this important matter.