Wednesday Meditations
with Dr. Rick Hanson
with Dr. Rick Hanson


How do I get started with Zoom?

Zoom is an easy-to-use meeting platform designed to be used as a cloud service.

To join a meeting, you will need to sign up at // Once you have signed up, the desktop app will auto-download. To download on your phone or another device, search for the Zoom app in Apple Store or Google Play.

To join a meeting, click on the link we’ll send you in an email for the Wednesday evening meditation. If you have not used Zoom before, you will be prompted to enter a display name. This is the name that will appear next to your image and helps to identify you to others in the meeting.

You will then be prompted how you would like to join your audio: by computer or telephone. (Tip: You can click the “Automatically join audio by computer” box and you won’t get prompted again with this choice.) To join by computer, click on the “Join Audio by Computer” button.

During the meeting, the host (usually Rick) will have control over the muting of participants and will mostly keep them muted to ensure a quiet space for everyone. 

During the Q&A session, if you would like to ask a question, use the Chat window and type in a question (click on the “Chat” icon in the tool bar to make the Chat box visible, then type a question where it says “Type Message Here”). Your question will be visible to all participants, and the teacher will decide which questions to choose to answer.

When the meeting is finished, the host will end it and your screen will disappear. To leave the meeting earlier, click the “Leave Meeting” button in the bottom right corner.

Can I join via telephone instead of my computer or mobile device?

Yes! If you would like to attend a Zoom meeting by phone, please call the U.S. number listed in your Zoom invitation email (or the number from the country you’re calling from). Then enter the Meeting ID and PIN (if required) when prompted. Note that calls will be charged by standard rates depending on your location.

Can I use a combination of computer and audio-via-telephone?

Yes! Just enter the Zoom room via your computer first, then select “Join By Phone” when the audio pop-up window appears. This will display the U.S. dial-in number (or the number listed in the country you are dialing from), as well as the Meeting ID and PIN or password. Dial in from your phone and your computer video and phone audio will be synchronized.

I can’t see the Chat window. How do I send a message?

Hover your mouse over the Zoom window until the toolbar appears at the bottom of the window. Click on the “Chat” icon. This will open the Zoom Group Chat window on the right side of your window. Enter a message at the bottom of this window where it says, “Type Message Here,” then click return to post it. The message will appear in the chat window for all participants to view.

The host has opened the meeting up for participants to speak, but no one can hear me! What do I do?

Hover your mouse over the Zoom window until the tool bar appears at the bottom of the window. In the lower left corner, click on “Unmute.” This will enable your microphone and people should be able to hear you. If they still can’t, it could be an issue with your computer audio configuration (see below).

I prefer not to be seen during meditation periods. How do I turn off my video?

Hover your mouse over the Zoom window until the tool bar appears at the bottom of the window. In the lower left corner, click on “Stop Video.” This will turn off your camera and you will no longer be seen by others. When you are ready to be seen again, simply click on the same button that will now say, “Start Video.”

I notice that when some participants’ videos are turned off a picture of them comes up rather than their name. How do I do this on my window?

Log into your Zoom account at // and click “Profile” in the left-hand column. You can add a photo next to your name here. Once uploaded, this photo will appear in your box every time you stop your video during a meeting.

My Mute button is not on but people still can’t hear me, what do I do?

It’s a good idea to test your audio and video before you join a meeting. 

To test your audio: when the first pop-up window appears after you’ve clicked the Zoom meeting link, you’ll see “Test speaker and microphone” under the large green “Join with Computer Audio” button. Click this first. A pop-up window will appear to test your speakers and ask you if you’ve heard a ringtone. If you don’t hear the ringtone, click “No” and then select another speaker on your computer or device from the drop-down menu. Once you hear the ringtone, click “Yes” to continue to the microphone test.  If you don’t hear an audio replay of your voice, click “No” to switch microphones until you hear the replay. Click “Yes” when you hear the replay and you will be directed to a window that allows you to “Join with Computer Audio”.

If you are already in a meeting and participants can’t hear you, you can access your audio settings and test your audio by clicking on the Meeting Controls (the up arrow next to the “Unmute” button on the toolbar). Click on “Test Speaker & Microphone” and you will be taken through the same procedures described above.

Is there a way to turn off the Chat window during part of the session?

Yes! Click on the down arrow next to the Zoom Group Chat and select “Close.”

Is there a way to automatically adjust the volume of the person speaking?

Unfortunately, no. You’ll need to do this manually using your computer or device volume button.

I’m a regular Zoom user and notice that some of the functions I usually see aren’t available during our meditation meetings. Why is this?

To make for a smooth and comfortable experience for everyone, we have adjusted many settings so that participants have less functions, but more security. These include: no private messages to others in the chat, no file sharing, and no screen sharing.

Can I log into a Zoom session more than once?

Yes! If you get cut out of the meeting, just log back in using the same link. You can also log into multiple devices at the same time with the same link.

Can I record the Zoom session?

No. Only the host can record. All Wednesday night meditation sessions are recorded, posted on the website, and the link emailed to participants.

Can I chat privately with another meeting participant?

We’ve disabled this function to keep the meditation as calm and focused as possible.

Can I use a Virtual Background so other people can’t see my messy room and private space?

Yes! Click on the up-arrow next to the Stop Video button and select “Choose Virtual Background.” Choose an available option or upload your own image by clicking on the + sign.

Is there a way to turn off the chat notifications that pop up in the Zoom toolbar?

While Zoom has this on their list of feature requests, there is not a way to do it just yet. However, one workaround is to partially minimize a static browser window (i.e. a text-based Google Chrome page with no animations) and move it over the Zoom toolbar, so it covers the notifications.

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Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, and expert on the impact of toxic narcissism. She is a Professor of Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, and also a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg.

The focus of Dr. Ramani’s clinical, academic, and consultative work is the etiology and impact of narcissism and high-conflict, entitled, antagonistic personality styles on human relationships, mental health, and societal expectations. She has spoken on these issues to clinicians, educators, and researchers around the world.

She is the author of Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With a Narcissist, and Don't You Know Who I Am? How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility. Her work has been featured at SxSW, TEDx, and on a wide range of media platforms including Red Table Talk, the Today Show, Oxygen, Investigation Discovery, and Bravo, and she is a featured expert on the digital media mental health platform MedCircle. Dr. Durvasula’s research on personality disorders has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and she is a Consulting Editor of the scientific journal Behavioral Medicine.

Dr. Stephen Porges is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He is a former president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and has been president of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences, which represents approximately twenty-thousand biobehavioral scientists. He’s led a number of other organizations and received a wide variety of professional awards.

In 1994 he proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological states in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders, and has had a major impact on the field of psychology.

Dr. Porges has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers across a wide array of disciplines. He’s also the author of several books including The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation.

Dr. Bruce Perry is the Principal of the Neurosequential Network, Senior Fellow of The ChildTrauma Academy, and a Professor (Adjunct) in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago and the School of Allied Health at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. From 1993 to 2001 he was the Thomas S. Trammell Research Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and chief of psychiatry at Texas Children's Hospital.

He’s one of the world’s leading experts on the impact of trauma in childhood, and his work on the impact of abuse, neglect, and trauma on the developing brain has impacted clinical practice, programs, and policy across the world. His work has been instrumental in describing how traumatic events in childhood change the biology of the brain.

Dr. Perry's most recent book, What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, co-authored with Oprah Winfrey, was released earlier this year. Dr. Perry is also the author, with Maia Szalavitz, of The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog, a bestselling book based on his work with maltreated children, and Born For Love: Why Empathy is Essential and Endangered. Additionally, he’s authored more than 300 journal articles and book chapters and has been the recipient of a variety of professional awards.

Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith is a child clinical psychologist who specializes in trauma and issues of race. She earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard and then received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She performed postdoctoral work at the University of California San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital. She has combined her love of teaching and advocacy by serving as a professor and by directing mental health programs for children experiencing trauma, homelessness, or foster care.

Dr. Briscoe-Smith is also a senior fellow of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and is both a professor and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Wright Institute. She provides consultation and training to nonprofits and schools on how to support trauma-informed practices and cultural accountability.

Sharon Salzberg is a world-renowned teacher and New York Times bestselling author. She is widely considered one of the most influential individuals in bringing mindfulness practices to the West, and co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts alongside Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. Sharon has been a student of Dipa Ma, Anagarika Munindra, and Sayadaw U Pandita alongside other masters.

Sharon has authored 10 books, and is the host of the fantastic Metta Hour podcast. She was a contributing editor of Oprah’s O Magazine, had her work featured in Time and on NPR, and contributed to panels alongside the Dalai Lama.

Rick Hanson, PhD is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and New York Times best-selling author. His books have been published in 29 languages and include NeurodharmaResilient, Hardwiring HappinessBuddha’s BrainJust One Thing, and Mother Nurture – with 900,000 copies in English alone. His free newsletters have 215,000 subscribers and his online programs have scholarships available for those with financial need. He’s lectured at NASA, Google, Oxford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. An expert on positive neuroplasticity, his work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, NPR, and other major media. He began meditating in 1974 and is the founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. He and his wife live in northern California and have two adult children. He loves wilderness and taking a break from emails.

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