Guidelines and Principles for Participation

Welcome! We’re glad you’re here!

We are excited that our site now offers full access to Charles' essays, books, podcasts and videos, as well as courses for in-depth study and access to conversational spaces via Facebook communities! We operate on the foundational belief that everyone’s voice is needed and contributes uniquely to the whole. Whatever your background or perspective, you are welcome here and we ask only that each member take seriously their responsibility to communicate openly and compassionately, especially at times when points of view may differ or disagreements arise.

Please read the following carefully, so that we can support one another in achieving an extraordinary standard of integrity in communication.

Our Responsibility to One Another

One of the challenging aspects of entering into online community is that we aren’t in each other’s presence when words, thoughts and feelings are put into form. Written communication can too often lead to misunderstanding. We miss the subtle cues and nuances that naturally soften our interaction when face-to-face. Who among us has not fallen into an impassioned argument online that quickly degenerated, or maybe even caused us to “unfriend” a person that is, after all, not so different from ourselves?

As members of this community, it is our responsibility to consider what story of community we want to act from, especially when conflict arises. Please deeply consider the problem of separateness and judgment that Charles discusses in The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible. As you read, frame it in terms of your role as a member here:

This is the essence of separation: If I were in the totality of your circumstances, I would do differently from you.

A substantial body of experimental evidence shows that this statement is false, that in fact if you were in the totality of his circumstances, you would do exactly as he does. As I shall explain, to align ourselves with this truth is perhaps the most powerful way to magnify our effectiveness as agents of change. It is the essence of compassion to put oneself in another’s shoes. It says, you and I are one; we are the same being looking out at the world through different eyes, occupying different nexus points in the universal web of relationship.” (Read more)

Our Request of You…Compassion

For all these reasons, if you decide to interact in our Facebook communities or even in the comments section of our site, we request that before posting or responding, you put yourself in other people's shoes...especially if you find yourself falling into a contentious, “heated” debate. Return to this page, review both Charles’s words above, and consider the following as you decide how to proceed:

The Four Agreements
By Don Miguel Ruiz

  1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
  4. Always Do Your Best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

What to do if things still get out of hand…

From time to time, despite all best intentions, problems arise. We recommend that in those instances, you move a conversation out of the public arena and into a private one. If you are able to resolve your differences by personal email or even by phone, that is ideal. And, if not, please contact one of our team members to discuss things further.

Our Commitment to You

We moderate comments and Facebook communities as best we can, and attempt to give individuals attention promptly when needed. Given our small staff, we can’t resolve every debate nor would we want to. We ask that you step into this space openly and compassionately, and practice embodying the principles of community that are in alignment with a more beautiful world.

If we sense, however, that a situation is lingering in deep upset, we will reach out to you directly. And we will respond if you reach out to us. We may not always know specifically what to do, but we are available to listen and will support each of you to the best of our ability.

That is our commitment to you, our community. We welcome you all wholeheartedly.

Privacy

Our online community and course environments support participants in delving deeply into new and sometimes edgy topics. We explore the known and unknown; the liminal space between what has been and what is yet to come. Such an experience can carry with it feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability.

We have done our best to design our online communities and courses so that you may share your story with others in a variety of ways. Nevertheless, even when a course or forum area is restricted-access, it is also public in the sense that there may be hundreds of people participating.

Obviously, some areas are more private than others. You should think carefully about what you feel comfortable sharing in the various environments since it is not possible for us to guarantee complete confidentiality. Trust your instincts.

That being said, we are asking everybody to hold the following agreement:

Privacy Agreement

We request that you do your part to keep our sharing spaces private and respectful. When something is shared in a private, course-specific Facebook forum, live call or webinar, please keep personal information among the participants and refrain from sharing it outside of our community.

Of course, there are always blurry areas. You might want to tell a friend, “Someone in the online course I’m in shared this amazing story about how she...” As long as it is stripped of possible identifying details, this kind of sharing is fine. In fact, we hope our courses and communities generate powerful stories that will ripple outward through our circles and beyond.

To prevent ambiguity, if you share a story that you don’t want shared in any form, even anonymized, then please say so. And if you are fine with a story to be shared with your name attached, also say so.

In other words, our default agreement is that it is OK to share things in anonymized form without permission. Any exceptions (i.e. “Do not share at all,” or “no need to anonymize”) need to be stated explicitly. But even when they aren’t, let’s trust each other to exercise care and discretion.

And now for the boring stuff…

Terms of Service

The following Terms of Service apply to your use of our online community and course environments. You are solely responsible for your conduct in regard to these terms. By registering with us, you acknowledge that you have read, understood, and agree to the following:

You acknowledge that you will receive email content from us for the purposes of sharing in ideas, conversation and community.

We reserve the right to remove any comment or discussion that jeopardizes the safety and positive energy of our community.

We respectfully request that you refrain from solicitation and promotion of goods, services, websites or requesting money (profit or non-profit).

Personal contact information (including Facebook, Twitter, email/mailing addresses and telephone numbers) that is not your own, should never be copied, shared, discussed, posted or requested publicly in the community (ie, blog posts, discussions, wall posts).

Please do not post content from our community outside of this space. See the Privacy section above for more detail.

All content on this forum is the sole responsibility of the party who posts it.

In short, you agree that you will make your best effort to seriously consider and remain in alignment with the values and responsibilities voiced here, and of course, will under no circumstances will act in a manner that violates laws and community boundaries that have been established to respect and protect other human beings.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to develop the content/program for which you have signed on.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about new ideas, offerings, programs, site launches, or changes to this privacy policy.

Information Gathering

Your Access to and Control Over Information

You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the Contact Us form on our website:
• Change/correct any data we have about you.
• Have us delete any data we have about you.
• Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

Security

We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.
Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a closed lock icon at the bottom of your web browser, or looking for "https" at the beginning of the address of the web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, troubleshooting tech problems you’ve inquired about) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

Updates

Our Privacy Policy may change from time to time and all updates will be posted on this page.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately.