Sitting with Zoom

Each week we offer a meditation practice session on  Sunday 9am  Atlantic time. Members and friends of MBMC should receive invitations to these events.  If you did not and you wish to attend, please email us. Note:   As of September 2020, previously offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evening sessions are no longer offered via Zoom, but in-person sessions take place on Sunday and Tuesday mornings.

Sunday morning 9am

The session is 3 hours long, alternating sitting and (optional) walking.  You may join or leave the session at any time.  Please leave your microphone muted unless you have something critically important to say! Our session leader will lead the morning chants.  We encourage you to chant along, but once again please be sure your microphone is muted!  A group chant in Zoom is an absolute cacophony.

Using Zoom

Theoretically you just click on the link in the Zoom invitation and follow instructions.  However, there are a number of things that can go wrong, especially the first time you try this.  We recommend you download the Zoom client program  and install it before you accept an invitation.
The Zoom Client for Meetings should get you something suitable for a desktop or laptop computer.  Further down the page there are Zoom Mobile Apps which you could use on an iPad, iPhone, or Android gizmo.  Follow whatever instructions there are for installing the program (app) on your system and then launch (open) it.  This will allow you to test your microphone, speakers, and camera, which will avoid a number of potential technical difficulties later on.
If all went well during the installation and testing process, clicking on the invitation link should work smoothly.  If it fails for some imponderable reason, launch your Zoom program, “Join a Meeting”, and enter the Meeting ID and Password from the invitation in the relevant boxes.

Why Zoom?

We have chosen Zoom for these events because it is widely available, familiar to many people, and generally free to end users.  There has been a lot of discussion in the news and on social media regarding Zoom security failings, “Zoom bombing”, and other issues that may put you off using it. This is, of course, a personal choice and we are not going to try to change your views, whatever they may be.  No communication channel is ever 100% secure:  telephones can be tapped, mail and email intercepted, telephone numbers and addresses spoofed, and so on.  Video conferencing software is no different, and the risks must be weighed against the benefits.  However, some of Zoom’s shortcomings have (in our opinion) been somewhat overstated.  For example:
  • Most of the Zoom bombing incidents arise because invitations to Zoom meetings were made public – published on web pages or otherwise widely distributed.  MBMC does NOT do this, and we ask all of you not to share the invitations we send out!
  • MBMC meetings are set up with shared file and shared screen access disabled.  This eliminates any easy ways for a malefactor to gain unintended access to your personal information.  You can avoid almost all such concerns if you run Zoom on a computer (or tablet or phone) which has no highly personal information stored on it.
  • Many concerns about Zoom are only relevant when highly confidential information is being shared in a meeting.  That does not apply to the stuff we do.
  • We do not record meditation sessions, so there is no prospect of anyone finding such a recording on the Internet.
For those of you who are interested in the more technical details, here is an overview which may be of interest to you and which advises:
Unless you’re discussing state or corporate secrets, or disclosing personal health information to a patient, Zoom should be fine to use. Just require that meeting participants sign in with a password.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues, drop us a line.