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How To Start A Study Group

Starting a Study Group?

If you would like to be added to our study group list so that others in your area may find you, please email us at info@veritaspub.com and provide the following information:

Address of location where group will be held, contact person, telephone, email, day, time and duration of meeting.

Study Group Guidelines

Note that each group is autonomous and independent, and in no way supervised or authorized by Dr. Hawkins. It is worth reading an explanation of this and suggested guidelines on the FAQ page.

Statement of Purpose:

Consider creating an intention statement of purpose for the group, such as the following example:

"This group is aligned with and devoted to the teachings of David R Hawkins, MD, PhD. The intent for the group is to serve as a vehicle of Divine will, an opportunity to keep holy company, and support our advancement of consciousness in service of God and humanity."

Facilitation:

Study groups based on Dr. Hawkins' teachings are self sustaining, and each group elects or preferably rotates a facilitator, as in the 12 Step groups. Roles may include:

  • Sending e-mail reminders for the group meeting times, topics and location changes, etc.
  • Facilitating a Yahoo or Google group for the purposes of announcing group meetings and changes, in addition to serving as a venue for the group to communicate with one another outside of meetings.
  • Facilitating meetings in accordance with the agreed structure of a given group.

  • Note: Facilitators should never be construed as teachers and should limit their involvement in accordance with the above. Neither Dr. Hawkins, The Institute for Spiritual Research, nor Veritas Publishing has trained or authorized anyone to be a teacher of his work.

Cost:

No charge or fee is required for meetings, aside from optional donations towards meeting related expenses, such as renting a facility, etc

Locations:

Options include local churches, group member's homes and local community centers, among others.

Group Media Library:

Group participants may select an individual to coordinate a group media library. Individuals may or may not donate a suggested amount at each meeting (e.g., $3.00 donation), in which all monies are used to purchase CDs and DVDs of Dr. Hawkins' seminars and satsangs. At each meeting participants may check out CDs and/or DVDs for the period of time in between scheduled meetings, and make arrangements to return checked out materials to the elected coordinator if they are unable to attend the next meeting.

Meeting Frequency:

This depends on the level of interest among group participants. Popular meeting times and frequencies are weekly or every two weeks, for a period of 2 hours. Example: a group may meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Meeting Structure:

Generally, groups seem to gather together to watch lectures and/or to discuss spiritual principles from Dr. Hawkins' writings. Groups may also dedicate specific meetings to practicing consciousness calibration testing together, however due to vested interest and privacy issues, it is not advisable to calibrate the level of consciousness of either yourself or other group members.

Regarding DVDs, a popular structure is to meet and watch portions of a 6 hour lecture at each meeting, not to exceed 15-20 minutes, moving onto another lecture DVD when finished. This may include archived material or the most recent lecture DVD available. Please be aware that showing Dr. Hawkins' videos in their entirety to a group, as in a Dr. Hawkins Study Group, is a copyright infringement.

Please note: It is a copyright infringement to produce duplications of Dr. Hawkins' DVD's or CD's, whether reproduced in whole or edited clips, for public viewing, or any other purpose. In addition, copyright stipulates a maximum of 500 words quoted, copied or posted from the written text is acceptable providing credit is given to David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., the book from which you are quoting, and the page numbers. And finally, the reproduction of the copyrighted Map of Consciousness, as well as all the charts, diagrams, and tables in any of the publications by Dr. Hawkins is prohibited by International Copyright laws.

Regarding Group Discussion, some groups select passages of a chosen book for participants to read in advance of coming to a meeting to discuss together. Another helpful method is to have one participant select a short (often just a 2-3 sentence section of a book) as a spring board for discussion.

Possible Meeting Structure:
6:00   2-3 minute silent meditation/prayer
6:05   DVD Lecture showing
6:20   5 min stretch break and chat time
6:25   Group Discussion
7:55    2-3 minute silent prayer/meditation
8:00   Meeting adjourns

Tips for facilitators:

Beginning a Meeting: Take a moment to have everyone introduce one another if anyone is new to the group. It is always helpful to briefly comment on the group's stated intent for gathering together, and then mention the meeting structure and how to go about checking out materials from the media library, especially if new people are attending.

Group Discussion: At the commencement of the group discussion time, consider commenting on the groups shared intent for the use of this time, such as the following example:

"A reminder for the group is that the intention of the discussion time is to share with one another our questions, concerns, inspirations and experience with Dr. Hawkins' teachings. Tonight, we will start our conversation with an excerpt selected by Nancy from Eye of the I."


Also consider having the group agree upon a time limit for individual group members to speak, say 2-5 minutes, so as to enable participation of more individuals.

Note: A natural tendency of group participants is to start meetings directing their questions and commentary to the facilitator. Be mindful not to answer every question or direct the conversation, but to share when inspired and to remind the group of the stated intent if the conversation should stray. A helpful technique is to simply look at other group members or remain silent when a questioner directs a question at you, the facilitator, in turn quietly inviting other participants to respond.

Other considerations:

Some groups design websites to post meeting schedules and mission statements. Others start Yahoo or Google groups for members to share information with one another, make changes to the group schedule, etc.

The Traditions:

Adopted from AA, Alanon, and the Oxford Groups, these traditions are tried and true basics. The Institute for Spiritual Research suggests following these traditions in the formation and continued support of a study group:

  1. Our common welfare should come first.
  2. For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as he may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for membership is a desire to advance spiritual awareness and enlightenment.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to human beings and support spiritual evolution.
  6. A group ought never endorse, finance or lend their name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary aim.
  7. Every group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. The groups should remain forever nonprofessional.
  9. The groups have no opinion on outside issues; hence the name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  10. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
  11. Anonymity assists the spiritual evolution and respect for privacy of other members, and places principles before personalities.