The Enlightenment Intensive Support People
To effectively run a three-day Enlightenment Intensive, it takes a lot of support people and they have to work hard. If you have 30 participants, you will need seven to 10 support people. First you will need an experienced Enlightenment Facilitator; but that is just a start. You also need some Monitors, a Chief Monitor, several Senior Monitors, a de-odder and a cook.
The Enlightenment Facilitator needs a cook. The cook prepares and/or supervises the preparation of the food for the participants and staff. Plan the menu with the Facilitator, but once the Intensive starts, interact only with the Chief Monitor. The cook's main jobs, in order of priority, are a) be on time, b) prepare the food with love and attention, c) have the food taste good. Food is always best when prepared and served with love. The food should be delicious while being simple. When preparing the food, keep in mind that the amounts you will be serving will be moderate, enough to satisfy actual hunger, but not so much that the participant will feel full. When in doubt, prepare a little more than you think you will need. At the end of an Enlightenment Intensive, the cook usually gets the biggest round of applause. Your service is a direct form of real support, which is enormously appreciated by the participants while they are going through the process of the Intensive.
The Enlightenment Facilitator also needs a Chief Monitor. This is the person who is responsible for the physical aspects of the Enlightenment Intensive. This includes scheduling the staff's breaks, handling the food and supplies purchasing, overseeing the setting up of the Intensive environment, and seeing to the smooth running of the Intensive at the physical level. The chief monitor is the most physically demanding job of the Intensive. The chief monitor insulates the Facilitator from interruptions so the facilitator can work on the Intensive without distraction. This person needs a dependable wind-up alarm clock.
The Monitors are people at an Enlightenment Intensive who help the facilitator run the Intensive. They have the job of listening to conversations and trying to protect these vulnerable people from becoming programmed by the person they are working with. The monitor is there to help ensure that the environment is non-abusive, and that people are allowed to work on their problems or discoveries without interference or disruption. Monitors do not have an easy job, they are almost always tempted to butt in and give their two cents worth, but they must resist this temptation. They cannot help a person with their own discoveries, and they must not be afraid of strong emotions, which often come out at an Intensive. Monitors should be especially able people, who have little interference from their minds, and believe in a pluralistic reality. A pluralistic reality is a condition where each of us is allowed to be different, and our differences are appreciated and not punished.
Monitors are experienced people who have been to many Intensives and they attempt to help the participants. They answer questions about dyad techniques - act to stop trip laying - bring you tissue if you start to cry - and generally do the right thing. They are also there to keep people on their question and to - in general - enforce the rules - which means - keep people from hurting one another or hurting themselves. Monitors are best, in my opinion, if they are very calm and peaceful creatures. At every Intensive, there is always rule breaking, and if the monitor responds right away, it becomes a game to play. People will do almost anything to avoid taking on responsibility, so the monitor must know enough not to become part of a manufactured crisis.
For every six to 10 participants, the Enlightenment Facilitator will need a monitor, so if we have 30 participants, we will need three to five monitors. As a monitor, you may interact with the participants, but within certain constraints. Your primary job is to watch and listen to the participants during the Intensive. If any rules are broken, you may remind the participant of the rules and give an appropriate instruction. You can talk to participants about how they are doing, but you should never give advice or implications of what enlightenment is or what it is not. You must understand what trip-laying is and agree that for the Intensive you will not lay trips. You must work with the Facilitator to be the kind of monitor the facilitator wants.
The Intensive might also have one or two silent monitors. A silent monitor is a beginner. They are to watch, listen, and learn all they can, but they are not to interact with participants. If the facilitator is sure they understand what is going on, they can be changed into a monitor. As a silent monitor, you can be asked by the Facilitator to be a "de-odder." This occurs when the number of participants in a dyad becomes odd for some reason. Someone is left without a partner, so you become his or her partner. You enter the Intensive, and you work on your question, just like any other participant.
If you have experienced monitors that understand "tracking," they are called "Senior Monitors." To "track" a participant, you need to know in detail how the enlightenment technique is done, and how to correct technique errors. Before lunch on the first day of an Intensive, the senior monitors will decide who will be in charge of tracking which participants. A good senior monitor is not afraid of invading the privacy of the dyad. The key is to squarely face, with gentle and natural movements, the contact with each and every participant you suggest a technique improvement to. Needless to say, this is extremely difficult. It usually requires many hours of practice and training. Don't get personally involved in your desire to be a Senior Monitor. It is up to the facilitator to decide if you are up to the job.
Each facilitator is different in how they want to run their Intensive, respect this difference. It allows us as a group to go beyond the mental process of running an Intensive. It must be done from the heart. For me (Bill Savoie) I prefer to correct participants' techniques in the lecture period. It can be very damaging to be singled out, it often re-stimulates participants feelings of being attacked and they feel the need to defend themselves and explain their intentions. That in it self changes their direction from abandon search for personal truth, to a "reasonable" search for justice.
If a correction to the technique is called for, say a person is trip-laying. I usually approach the person between dyads with a gentle interaction. Of course one can not use "rules" because truth must be served without compromise. By that I mean one must do the right thing in that moment. Some acts need to be corrected immediately. But as a Monitor or Facilitator recognize that people are very open to your suggestions, which is understandable but unfortunate. To reach the truth, they must do it alone. To "follow" your guidance can often get in the way of their own Enlightenment. Enlightenment is not a rational indirect experience. Sorry, you can't help that much! (We do love your willingness to try - but see the bigger picture and don't. (To help your feelings: just surrender to love - and be open to what you least expect: amazement))
In Osha's words "I always tell people that they are the only ones who can feel their way through their personal obstacles to enlightenment. They are responsible for making their best effort, and in the end, enlightenment is through the grace of God." (In our job as facilitators and monitors) "we do need to maintain an environment of order and safety so that their chances are maximized. I think the important thing is to cut into a dyad without hesitation if one participant is saying or doing something that could damage another. Otherwise, it can usually be discussed individually in the break or addressed to the group before the start of the next dyad or in the lecture." (Thank you Osha for such a simple way to say it all.)