Written by Fred Meyer on August 12, 2017
One of the most common questions we’re asked is: “Is there a guide to starting and running a Ziji group?”
There never has been before, but we’ve begun working on one. We’re calling it the Ziji Manual. It’s not written yet, and we want your help writing it!
Our Aspirations for the Ziji Manual
We want the Ziji Manual to be a constantly evolving online document that communicates the know-how and wisdom of Ziji groups across the world.
The Ziji Manual is intended mainly as a resource for anyone working to help start or lead a Ziji group. We wish it to be an online document (a Google Doc) that is constantly changing and open to edits, and that is communicates the know-how and wisdom of Ziji groups across the world.
Our Ziji groups have amassed an enormous amount of learning—from underlying spiritual principles, to specific forms and practices, to down-to-earth advice (“have someone bring food” or “Meetup is a great way to get new members”). This learning is currently spread out across dozens of groups and hundreds of group leaders, and few formal opportunities exist for us to share it with each other.
We hope the Ziji Manual can create that opportunity for sharing. Over time, we want the Ziji Manual to become the best possible resource for anyone wishing to learn how to help younger meditators connect with basic goodness, and with each other, in a group setting.
If the Ziji Manual meets these aspirations, it will make it much easier for us to learn from each other, and will help new people, groups, and communities much more easily join in and add to the magic of what we do.
What the Ziji Manual Is Not
Our work on the Ziji Manual is not an attempt to exert authority over anyone or any group, or to dictate how anyone’s group should be run. The Manual is an offering, and we hope that you’ll find some or all of it helpful and contribute your own wisdom to it—but it won’t come with strings attached.
Current State of the Ziji Manual
The Ziji Manual exists in an outline form, prepared mostly by Corey Adkins and Fred Meyer. This outline is in four major sections:
- What Ziji is. This section compiles factual information about what Ziji itself is, what we do, and how we’re organized. Since lots of questions come up about this, we think this section will be really helpful for people—inside or outside the Ziji community—who wish to know what we’re all about.
- Ziji vision. This section introduces the principle of basic goodness, offers a short introduction to what basic goodness is, and explains how it is at the heart of what Ziji is all about.
- Manifesting Ziji vision. This section offers general guidelines for working with body, speech, and mind that are congruent, meaning that they help oneself and others experience basic goodness. An example, from the “body” section, would be that sitting together with a dignified posture in a clean, uplifted space is congruent—whereas slumping in opposite corners of a dark and dirty room is not.
- Skillful means. This section is an open-ended catalogue of specific forms and practices that work well: anything from “How to create a vibrant Facebook page” to “How to lead walking meditation.” This section is the most open-ended, and could potentially catalogue dozens or hundreds of pieces of advice from across the Ziji world.
How You Can Help Write the Ziji Manual
This is where we all come in. We’re looking for people who wish to contribute to one or more pieces of the Guide. We’ll work through the four sections above in around eight weekly meetings. In each week, we’ll:
- Read the existing outline and draft changes and additions to its overall structure.
- Discuss the section’s contents together, leading to a rough draft ready for approval.
- Have an open voting process to confirm the content of the section as a “ready-to-publish rough draft.”
You can participate in as many of these meetings as you want—one of them, all of them, or anywhere in between.
If you’re interested in seeing the current Ziji Manual outline and the weekly schedule of discussions, and signing up for one or more discussions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.