#5183 – Interview with Mark Hovila on the Seattle Nonduality Dialogues Group

Mark Hovila has been running the Seattle Nonduality Dialogues Group since 2004. I wrote in Issue #5177 about Mark’s group. In this issue I include my audio interview with Mark along with the time cue tracks:


00:00 – 4:51 Early days on email forums. Start of Mark Hovila’s in-person group. Greg Goode mentioned. Dr. Jean Klein’s thoughts on starting a local discussion group. How Mark started his group. The shortcomings in watching videos in these groups.

4:51 – 7:42 The mall food court as a meeting place. Other non-traditional meeting places for “satsang.”

7:42 – 12:15 The basic idea behind starting his group. Mailing list. His newsletter. Using a quote to help structure a meeting. Why a meeting can always be fresh even though much of the same themes ae discussed.

12:15 – 15:55 Dealing with discussion with things get conceptual. Moderation of his group, or lack of it. Nature of moderation.

15:55 – 21:14 James Traverse and Jean Klein discussed. Influence of other teachers. Does a group hold a presence that’s beyond the individuals? Online groups and in-person groups discussed. Using meetup.com to host his group.

21:14 – 27:35 Optimal size of groups. Structure and moderation of Jerry’s group and where we meet at the George Wright house and taverns. Introducing new people. The basics of meeting reviewed. People who want to try to take over a group or argue.

27:35 – 35:07 What is meant by a “core group.” Thoughts on a mission statement for a group. “What are we doing here?” “To me it’s a reminder to be present…” Social aspect of truth inquiry. How do members of the core group handle disagreements? When is disagreement a strength? Remembering what this kind of group is all about. Mark encouraging people to start their own group: you don’t have to be an expert.

35:07 – 37:40 Simplicity of starting a group like this. They’re not focused on a teacher, tradition, or teaching. Making people feel welcome.

37:40 – 41:37 More thoughts on starting your group. How members could benefit. The dynamic of sharing between group members as far as teaching and learning. Dealing with psychological problems that arise by suggesting a new perspective.

41:37 – 43:10 Trying to explain nonduality to people not familiar with it. “Not seeing yourself separate from the rest of the world. It’s not me vs the rest of the world, it’s all this.”

43:10 – end Value of stillness and silence. Auroville nonduality group. Other groups in progress. Jerry’s role in encouraging developing of nonduality groups.

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