If you're interested in flying alongside, here are more details.
The Squad is for now in suspension for up to a year, so at present we are not carrying out the activities noted below, but we're giving these details so that you know what we do, in case we reinstate the group - which will happen because new people have decided to join the team.
Flying alongside might interest you if:
you would like to be somewhat involved, but not a lot;
your life-situation means that you can't make a greater commitment;
you live in another country, meaning that attendance at meetings or camp is not easy or possible;
you're aligning toward becoming a full member at a later stage.
What does flying alongside involve?
- There are no expectations or requirements of you - except that you are interested in this work and attend an inaugural meeting.
- We will send you the weekly meditation themes by e-mail and, whenever you can, please join the weekly meditation at 7pm GMT (8pm BST) on Sundays, lasting 30 minutes.
- Optionally, you may send a brief report (a paragraph or two) on your meditation, when you can. If you do, you'll receive a monthly collection of everyone's reports.
- You're welcome to come to our annual week-long camping retreat and any other meeting during the year to which you are invited.
- You can contact any member of the core group to ask questions, find out more or simply be in touch. We will maintain occasional contact with you personally. You can unsubscribe at any time.
- Let us know as soon as you have a settled feeling for it, and one of us will talk it through with you.
- When you are ready, we'll require you to do all of the meditations and send in reports consistently and without fail for a minimum of three months, before we can take you on to the next stage. We need to find out that it's working, you're steady with it and you can arrange your life around it, so that you can sustain your involvement once you join the core group. As in a medical or football team, a band or a theatre company, if one person fails to show up it makes a big difference to everyone else and the collective ability of the team.
- Come to the summer camp or another meeting by invitation. That way, you will meet us and 'sync' with the group and the current stage of its journey at that time.
- After at least three months, and when you and we are ready, you'll be invited to a core group meeting. A mutual decision will emerge during that time.
There's no fast track to full membership, since you need to demonstrate that your commitment is 100%, stable and lasting. This 'no exceptions' agreement is vital to the work of this group - though paradoxically, once you get into it, it's easier. You just clear a way for it as a priority in your life. There needs to be a happy and 'ready' feeling to your membership, for everyone. It takes a while to find your feet and take occupancy of your place in the group. So, fly alongside, give it time and things will develop. You join by doing it.
The weekly meditation starts at 7pm GMT every Sunday. In UK, during summertime, it's 8pm. From the viewpoint of nature and the cosmos, this is the same time - it's just that human clocks have changed. If you live in another timezone, calculate your meditation times from 7pm GMT, and if you have daylight saving time in summer, reckon that in.
Examples. Times in brackets are daylight saving times, if used.
- UK, Ireland and West Africa: 7pm (8pm).
- Much of Europe, Nigeria: 8pm (9pm).
- Eastern Europe, much of the Middle East and southern Africa: 9pm (10pm).
- Russia/Moscow, Iraq, East Africa: 10pm (11pm).
- Brazil/Argentina: 4pm (5pm).
- East Coast USA, Caribbean, Colombia, Peru: 2pm (3pm).
- Mexico, Central America and USA Central: 1pm (2pm).
- West Coast USA: 11am (12 noon in summer).
Themes and notes
Meditation themes arrive by e-mail a few days before each Sunday meditation, once you've told us you wish to receive them. They are chosen each week by two core group members, based on the drift of current world events, what has unfolded at meetings and evolved in ongoing group discussions. This theme-catching duty rotates amongst core group members, as do other roles.
We encourage you to make notes about your meditation, though this isn't compulsory if you're flying alongside. Keep them for your own record and send them in by e-mail. Most of us do this soon after the meditation, writing down noteworthy impressions and experiences. If nothing much seemed to happen, or you had other concerns, note that too - it's all relevant.
There isn't a 'right' or 'wrong' way to do meditation in the Flying Squad. We encourage you to use methods you're familiar with, according to your spiritual background and practice, and to follow your nose and let things develop. You might find that, over time, you enter pathways that are new to you. We do not have a prescribed meditation method - spiritual diversity is healthy, we believe.
For many, it can be good to develop a routine for entering a meditative state at the beginning, and for completing it at the end. That might involve breathing techniques, prayer, visualisation or any inner routines or practices that tune you in and centre you, and later tune you out. With the theme we also specify a 'meeting place' where we all start together, inwardly, at the beginning of the meditation, on the inner levels.
Then, for the main part of the meditation, go where you're called and do what you're moved to do, along the lines of the theme. Follow your nose. Partially, it's all about 'meditative availability' - making yourself available for things to unfold in your meditation. Sometimes it can be quite visual, or close-and-personal, sometimes working with an idea, sometimes reflecting on things, sometimes still and open, and sometimes dozy or inconsequential. It varies greatly.
Sometimes you might be away from home at the time of the meditation - we've done it in all sorts of places! Wherever you are, however your feel and whatever's happening, just keep on doing it. It's like eating breakfast - something you just do, without giving it a lot of thought or struggle.
Usually, we get ready for the meditation around ten minutes before it starts, so that we're settled and ready. The 'channel' or 'slot' is open for thirty minutes exactly. Often we experience a distinct energy-change, an opening up and a shutting down at the beginning and end of this 30-minute period. Sometimes you might overshoot the end of the meditation, and that's okay too - go on as long as you like. But you might find that, looking back, something changed in your focus, preoccupation or level at closedown time.
At times your meditations will be full and meaningful, even graphic or spiritually profound. Other times they might be more 'routine', or you drift off, or you sit there with booming brains and backache. If you get lost, just pull back to the meditation and carry on, without self-judgement or fuss. Sometimes a 'diversion' might have some relevance too.
In a year of fiftyish meditations, if ten are significant and memorable, you're doing well. However, we cannot fully know all that goes on in our psyches, or the use to which our inner work is put, individually or as a team - so just carry on. The main issue is simply to keep doing it. Over time, the process evolves.
If you're judging yourself - 'not good enough', 'useless at meditation' - please gently drop it. It's okay. Just keep going. We who have been with this process for a long time aren't perfect either. The main issue is, just do it. The process changes and evolves and, if you give it time, all will clarify.
It's worth reflecting on the theme before the meditation. Stay tuned to current world events and trends, but don't get caught up in the rantings of daily news media reporting or the minor twists and turns of events - look for considered overviews and background information, or try to get a sense of what lies underneath.
Try to overcome opinion, cultural and political judgements that you might pick up from other people or the media. There are many sides to everything, no goodguys or badguys and no simple answers. We're looking at what's happening behind, underneath and around the defining events of our day, with perceptive eyes. 'Listen more closely to things than to people'.
We seek to encourage forwardness, to unconceal what is hidden, to unblock logjams and to mitigate hardships and tragedies. This we believe allows humanity's self-correcting, progressive and self-healing capacities to come forward. We try not to project on the world what we believe should happen. We believe that the 'soul of humanity' and the 'heart of the world' know what they're doing - and we're helping things move forward.
Thoughts or Questions?
E-mail us and we'll respond in due course. Another option is to 'offer it up' within yourself, and you might receive answers or discover something.
Welcome to the process. It's a path of service: the personal growth we gain from it is secondary to the service we render to it. Though it's amazing how much personal growth results, as a by-product.