Awakin Circle Logistics

How do I create a RSVP process?
If you're a member of ServiceSpace, you can login, click on 'Calendar' in the left menu, and then click on 'Add New Event'. You can use a description like:

We gather once a month to sit in silence for an hour, do a circle of sharing our "aha" moments from the month's inspirational reading (which is sent out in advance), and have a home-cooked meal together. There is no cost to attend and there is no proposed agenda. It is simply an offering in the spirit of service.

Once you have created an event, you will get access to a public link (like this), which can spread to everyone. Anytime someone RSVP's with their email address, the event coordinator will be notified and you can also login to get the list of all email addresses together. If you have any questions on this, feel free to email us.

Please note that you can also set the limit for attendees, and we strongly recommend that you keep the group to a smaller size (less than 20) as you're starting out because it's easy to build synergy in smaller settings.

Do you have a sample invitation letter?

Here is a version of a letter that is used in London:

Dear Friends,

You're invited to an evening of meditation!

On <DATE/TIME>, a few of us plan to meet in <LOCATION> for an evening of silence and community. We will start with an hour of meditation, follow it up with a roundtable discusssion of "aha" moments from everyday life (based on a recent Awakin reading), and then share a home-cooked meal together.

Inspired by Wednesday meditations in Northern California, these gatherings have no teachers, no set agendas or proposed beliefs -- simply a space to come together to listen to ourselves and each other. There is no cost to attend, nor any solicitations; everything is offered as a humble gift, in the spirit of paying-it-forward.

If you are able to join, please RSVP online, and we'll send you a confirmation email with the details: http://www.charityfocus.org/vol/events.php?eid=3

Let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions. I look forward to our meditation together.

In the spirit of service,

--YOUR_NAME

Do you have a draft the RSVP-follow-up note?

Once people RSVP, they will be awaiting your address and related details. Here is a draft of a letter that people use.

Hello,

Thanks for RSVP'ing to attend Wednesday Meditation in London on September 2nd at 7pm. We plan to sit in silence from 7-8pm (feel free to bring a cushion if you prefer to use one), have a discussion about this month's wisdom reading (see below) and then share a home cooked vegetarian dinner together.

The meditation will be held at our home, the address is: <ADDRESS>. If you arrive late, just ring the porter's desk (Press P) instead of our flat and ask him not to call the flat as we'll already be sitting in silence. I will leave the door unlocked so please push it open and come join us in the living room.

See you all next Wednesday,

--YOUR_NAME

PS. If you cannot make it, kindly email me and let me know (even if it is on the day itself) so I make the right amount of food :)

How do I spread the word?

While it is natural to want more people to experience the gathering, it is critical to focus on the quality of the experience, in place of the quantity. With that said, here are few places to inform others:

  • Your Networks of Friends -- these are the folks who are most likely to attend the intial gatherings.
  • Company Newsgroups -- at your company, or the organization that your friends work at, there are always indians@microsoft or buddhists@google groups that you could broadcast to.
  • YahooGroups -- search for local groups that are in the field of consciousness or social change.
  • Local Organizations -- ask community groups (online and offline) to post information about your event.
  • Email ServiceSpace coordinators to help spread it to their connections in your neighborhood; you may like to post on Funbunch too.

You could post flyers at coffee shops, libraries and such, but with an evening like this, it is most effective to work through a trust network -- that is, ask friends to send it to their own friends, or organizations, or networks and let word of mouth create the ripples.

Part of the beauty of the gathering is that it's grassroot, organic and agenda-less. To preserve that ambiance, it is best to do the outreach work lightly, not get to too vested in the numbers, and enjoy the evening even if it is just two people.

How do I enable word-of-mouth effect?

First, share the stories. In open gatherings like this, lots of beautiful stories emerge. As a host, you have the opportunity to document and then share the stories. If you're so motivated, start a blog, post some photos, and give it a personal feel.

Second, be thankful. Instead of looking at how much you've offered, place emphasis on what gifts others have shared. After the event, send out a thank-you note and reflect on how other people's gifts empowered a change within you.

Third, be in touch and in service. Take personal interest in the lives and think of small ways to be in service to their journeys. Their gratefulness will create a kind of spiritual capital that will become the backbone of your gatherings.

Fourth, make it easy to spread the word. Send out a regular invite every week to people, with some inspiring tidbits, so they can easily forward it to their friends.

Fifth, after every event, write a heartfelt note of gratitude thanking everyone for their personal contributions that they made to make the evening possible.

I have more questions.

Please feel free to contact us anytime.

About Awakin Circles

Awakin circles started in the mid 90s when couple friends got together to sit in silence in an ordinary living room. For over a decade, it was known simply as 'Wednesdays'. Today, it has touched numerous lives around the globe and are now being voluntarily hosted by everyday heroes in over hundred cities.

 

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