Getting Started with Zoom

Zoom Online Meeting Platform

Zoom is a popular software platform (also referred to as an “App”) that facilitates an online meeting of a large number of people. Zoom is easy to setup and can be used on all kinds of computers, tablets and smart phones. As a minimum, you need to connect your device to the Internet, preferably using WIFI. Your device should have some form of audio (microphone and speakers or headphones/earbuds) and, preferably, a self-facing camera.

To join a Zoom “meeting”, you need the meeting details. These are normally sent by an “invitation” email. Each meeting has a unique “Meeting ID” and “Passcode”. The invitation may also contain a “link” that you can click to join the meeting.

Zoom on a Computer or Notebook
You can use your favourite browser (e.g. Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc.). Click the link provided in the email message (either by clicking on the link itself or by copying the link and pasting it in the “address” bar of your browser). If you are joining a Zoom meeting for the first time you will prompted to install an application called “Zoom Client for Meetings”. Follow the instructions. This should only be necessary the first time you use Zoom.

If you don’t get prompted to install, either your computer already has the Zoom software installed or you will need to install it manually. Go to the Zoom website Hover your mouse over “RESOURCES” in the top bar menu. You should see a drop down menu with lots of choices. Click on “DOWNLOAD CENTER”. You should automatically be taken to the right place on the download page. Follow the instructions to download and install the Zoom client software. The Zoom “client” software is free. If you want to host your own meeting, you will need to create an “account” on the Zoom website. This requires you to supply your name and email address. That’s also free. (The free account on Zoom has “limits” but these only impact on your ability to host your own meetings. There are no limits when you are using the “client” software to join someone else’s meeting.)

Once installed, when you click on the link, the software will try to launch the meeting (the correct Meeting ID is embedded in the link). The software will prompt you to “Join with Video” and to “Join with Audio”. We recommend you agree to “Join with Audio” to be able to hear the session. If you also “Join with Video”, your camera will be activated and your face will appear to others on the meeting. You can choose to “Join without Video” or use the Zoom control icons to turn off your camera later if you prefer anonymity.

Zoom on a Tablet (iPad or Android) or Smart Phone (iPhone or Android)
To join using a a tablet or smart phone, you will need to install the free “Zoom Cloud Meeting” App. This App is available free from the “Play Store” on Android devices and free from the Apple App Store on Apple devices. Please install the App in advance as it can take a few minutes to download and configure. Start the App on your device. You will then be prompted to enter the “Meeting ID” and “Passcode” which you can find on the “invitation”. (Note: The use of Zoom on a mobile device will consume a lot of your “data” quota unless you connect your mobile device to your home or business WIFI.)

Privacy: Hayagriva Buddhist Centre makes a video recording of most of Zoom meetings (but not Sunday meditations). As a participant, you will be notified by Zoom when the recording starts. In general, we only record the teacher’s camera but, in some circumstances, your image may be recorded. If you don’t want your image to be recorded, you should “Join without Video”. If you have already joined with video turned on, use the Zoom Video controls to turn it off. Turning off your video means your image will be replaced with a black screen with your name. If you don’t want your name to be recorded, make sure you enter a fictitious name or just your initials when you launch Zoom. Turning off your video does not affect your ability to see and hear the teacher/leader on Zoom.

Audio: Please “Join with Computer Audio” when you join the Zoom meeting. This enables you to hear the teacher. Your microphone is automatically “muted” on entry to the meeting. We do this to prevent feedback loops and background noise being heard by others and recorded. The teacher may seek your input by “unmuting” your microphone. You will see an invitation on your screen to “unmute” your microphone. You can then use your Zoom control to unmute your mic. Once turned on, you will be able to speak to everyone on the meeting. We recommend that you “mute” your microphone when you are finished speaking.

Recordings: We upload the video recordings of our Zoom meetings to Hayagriva Buddhist Centre’s YouTube Channel and, in general, make them available to the public. This usually happens a few days after the meeting. You can find the links to the videos on our website at