Online Programs

Insight Santa Cruz deploys Zoom to offer video conferencing support for most of our programs. We have some hints and tips on participating in the events offered.

Zoom Use and Etiquette

The fine art of participating in online Dhamma

We are creating a virtual meditation hall together. Think about your background image and behavior to support everyone’s experience.

  • Consider what is showing behind you. It’s nice to have a neat, clean background. Good lighting.
  • Quiet, phone off, door closed.
  • Use a computer if you can. The zoom phone interface looks odd to others – your image is narrow. And tablets tend not to sit at a good angle for your face to be seen.
  • Sit up, rather than lying on your bed or the couch (if physically possible). It’s like you were in the hall – use your cushion or a straight-backed chair.
  • Arrive early to the Zoom meeting.
  • Use Zoom to test your speakers and microphone.
  • It’s nice to be present at the beginning. If appropriate, turn on the video and microphone and say hello. Not just passive.
  • Mute your mike! Or the host may do it for you.
  • We recommend leaving the camera on during the sit, so that people see you there. They could see you if you went to the hall in person. When people open their eyes briefly, they get a sense of sitting with real people, not just names on the screen.
  • Sit still. Don’t walk around during the sit. It’s not the time to get tea or look at another window on the computer. Only get up for the bathroom if you really need it – just like if you were in the physical hall.
  • Enjoy the session and take a moment to offer gratitude to all the beings who supported being able to access the Dhamma online today.
Getting into the Zoom meeting
  • You were given a link for the Zoom meeting. Meeting links can be found in the Insight Santa Cruz calendar for the program occurrence or on the website page that describes the program. Click on it using a computer, smartphone, or tablet.
  • If your device does not already have the Zoom app installed, it will automatically download (after you click to accept the download). Say “yes” to any prompts. The Zoom app does not require you to create an account, password, or give any personal information.
  • On the “video preview,” click to join with or without video. (Probably “with”).
  • Click to join with Computer Audio.
  • If you must use a phone instead of being online, you’ll find the meeting ID, passcode, and Zoom phone number for a dial-in option within the ISC calendar event. Computer and smartphone users do not need this!
Zoom meeting space:
Zoom screen
  • Upper right corner:
    • Gallery and Speaker view option. The name is the mode you will enter if you click (ie, you are in the other mode).
    • Option to enter Full Screen view. Exit full screen using “Esc.”
  • Zoom menu bar – appears when you mouse over the screen:
    • Mute and unmute both sound and video.
    • Chat window (toggle on and off).
      • Type a message and hit Return to publish it.
    • Participants (toggle on and off – may not need to use this).
      • Generates a list of participants on the side with some properties shown.
      • You can raise your hand, mute yourself, etc.
    • Share Screen:
      • You can share your screen if the host has set this option. It means everyone would see your screen. You wouldn’t do this unless invited.
    • Record – only the host can record unless that power is given to someone else.
  • Three dots over your image (upper right corner when you mouse over the image):
    • You can choose “Hide Self View” if you don’t want to see your picture.
    • It is restored by a button that appears at the top of the screen: Restore Self View.
    • (If only it were so easy to realize anatta!)
Leaving the meeting:
  • Click “Leave meeting” in the lower-right corner of the Zoom menu bar.