The ZEGG Forum is a community building communication tool which promotes transparency, empathy and mutual understanding. Here is how the San Diego Polyamory family is adapting the Forum to use at the PolyPalooza festival for free lovers!
(Picture Above shows Kamala Devi and Michael McClure Teaching “Free Love– California Style, at ZEGG, Germany.) When used regularly, with a committed group, ZEGG Forum can be to reduce competition, triangulation, and judgment amongst lovers. We find that difficult jealousy issues are dissolved more easily when addressed in a safe ritualized space and witnessed by the group.
Different facilitators have a variety of styles when leading the Zegg Forum. Kamala Devi thinks of the Forum as an intimate lover, and invites you to speak as if your deepest confessions would always be forgiven, and to listen as if you were looking into a mirror, but didn’t have to believe a word you were saying. Over the last 7 years, the San Diego Polyamory Community uses Zegg Forum for a variety of outcomes such as: community building, decision making, global healing, and/or self realization.
Overview: The goal of Forum is for an individual to reveal what is alive but not known to all. The community sits in a circle, forming a stage for one person at a time to stand and share. Facilitators may assist the person (or “presenter”) to reveal themselves more deeply. Afterward, community members may offer reflections on what they saw.
General Guidelines :
- No Cross Talking.
- Do not bore the audience.
- Please do not enter or leave the circle while someone is in the middle.
- If you arrive after Forum has begun you will not be allowed to speak in Forum.
- You don’t have to take the Facilitators direction, but please don’t question it until afterwards.
Presenter: The presenter’s prime directive is to show themselves authentically. Everything is welcome – joy, sadness, confusion, amazement, even not knowing what you want to say or do. When in the center keep moving and speaking to the whole circle. Use the 1st person or 3rd person and avoid speaking directly to anyone.
The Circle: The role of the group is to pay silent, compassionate attention to the presenter, and to appreciate that what the presenter is sharing is their personal story and also a part of the universal human drama. We encourage listeners to stay curious about their own reactions and reflections.
Mirrors: After the presenter shares, the observers may give mirrors. A mirror is feedback about what the listener felt or observed about the presentation and is given in the spirit of loving contribution. Please speak in third person and don’t look directly at the presenter. Mirrors are short and never give advise. Do not give a mirror if you are triggered.
Facilitators: During the forum, the facilitators are like midwives to the process. They are listening to the presenter as well as circle. Facilitators may use a variety of tools such as dance, humor, role playing, silence, questions or any other suggestions to help the presenter release attachment to story and reveal their authentic self. Facilitators may also speak from the center and often offer “global” mirrors. If you have questions, appreciations and/or criticism for the facilitators, please hold it until the end.
Confidentiality: If you feel the need to discuss something that happened in Forum with people who were not present, speak about your own experience without naming names if at all possible, and speak from a place of compassion and contribution. If a presenter needs additional confidentiality they should request it at the beginning of their share.
Ask Permission: After sharing in the Forum, a presenter is often emotionally raw and tender. While it is fine to approach the presenter and offer support, please do not speak to the presenter about their piece without asking their permission – and please wait until after at least one meal to give the presenter time to digest! (Some communities suggest 24 hours.)
24 Hour Rule for Mirrors: The presenter is requested to wait 24 hours before discussing mirrors to allow them time to digest.
Group Mind: The Forum is an organic and evolving practice that was born in a culture that is sensitive to “Field Energy” or collective intelligence. As a result, participants often experience spontaneous insights, collective healing and expanded awareness.
Aknowledgement: These guidelines were adapted by Adam Paulman & Kamala Devi for Poly Palooza from the work of www.nfnc.org Sarah Taub- firstname.lastname@example.org and Debby Sugarman- email@example.com Deep Gratitude to our teachers at ZEGG, Achim Ecker & Ina Meyer-Stoll from www.zegg.de
We are interested in hearing about your experience with Zegg Forum, please leave your comment below and let us know your thoughts.
If you are interested in experiencing the ZEGG Forum at PolyPalooza with the San Diego Polyamory Family please go to: http://PolyPalooza.com
If you want to read more about Zegg Forum and how it is used in San Diego Read this blog post.