Red Cedar Zen Community, 1021 N Forest, Bellingham Washington

RCZC Board Minutes 01.07.2009

Red Cedar Zen Board of Directors

meeting minutes                                                                                      Wednesday, January, 7th 2009

encouraging words

full value contract

We commit:

  • to maintaining physical, psychological, and emotional safety
  • to working together to foster both group and individual goals; giving the group what it needs and individuals what they need.
  • to speaking and listening fearlessly to one another and fully talking things through.

In Attendance

Tim Burnett, Jeff McKenna, Brian J. Davidson, Koelle Bodhi, Marti Bartlett, Mary Apple


Our Guest’s Business

Joan Dow: to discuss and explore the workgroup and VP roles

            Unable to attend due to weather

Latona Mallard: to discuss BIMS, communication, agreements and wishes

            Unable to attend due to weather

Marti Bartlett: to discuss RCDH name change:

            Marti discussed that as a member of RCZC and a regular morning sitter, she prefers a move to a more encompassing name like the Bellingham Dharma Hall in order to reduce confusion about what the center is and what it is for.  “I feel that this is more than a Zen center.” Marti suggested that more people will be drawn to a Dharma hall than a Zen center. She also suggested that there could be a certain membership for the hall which would carry benefits like access to the hall for meditation when not in use.  Marti’s contribution was welcomed by those present.

            decision: not at this time

            action: not at this time

Our Old Business

Membership Numbers: review and set a date in mid January for a membership celebration (Greg):

            Greg was unable to attend due to weather, but Tim and Marti together compiled that after the membership drive, we are now up to $1008.00 in pledges per month. In 2008 RCZ gained $9,200.00 and the account totals at $28,000.00.  The Dharma Hall also saw a gain of $4,500.00 in 2008. The Group decided that we like the yearly reengagement of our membership as part of our culture, and it does not have to only focus on money.

            decision: Membership Celebration set for Wednesday, January 21st. It will include short guided       meditation and a desert potluck. Families are invited to attend.

            action: Secretary will focus on the celebration in the minutes letter.

Potential Renter Letter: for review (Brian):

            A draft was presented and discussed. Brian asked for feedback which the group provided.

            decision: The direction of the letter is acceptable

            action: The Secretary will incorporate the suggestions into the letter and send it out to the Board prior to   the next meeting.

The Change Chart: for discussion (Jeff)

            decision: moved to the next meeting

            action: none

BIMS Name Change Proposal: discussion

            decision: See discussion by guest Marti Bartlett

            action: none

Mini Organizational Chart: handout (Tim):

            decision: Moved to the next meeting

Dharma Mentoring: up for discussion (Brian)

            decision: moved to the discussion on Communicating and Renewing the RCZC  Workgroup structure.

            action: none

Our New Business

Updated Membership List: handout (Tim)

Book Store: a proposal to invest capital (Tim)

Operate a modest bookstore in library room

 1) Small selection of core books, incense, cushions, meditation supplies, art, including art/crafts by             sangha members

 2) Sales transaction set up to be self serve (instructions, special envelopes, receipt book to sign)

 3) Selling to members and if possible the public with regular open hours (Friday and Saturday?)


 1)      Service to members and community both

 2)      If labor stays volunteer, should be profitable for sangha

 3)      Way to invite the public in – everyone knows how to shop

 4)      We have the perfect room for it – public, inviting


 1) Admin overhead (going forward dependant on finding a Bookstore Manager):

            a. Sales and B&O tax has to be figured out and paid

            b. Some impact on bookkeeper even if Bookstore Manager does the filings

 2) We need to tie up some capital. Propose $2000 to start.

 3) Possible library/bookstore confusion (but good signage should take care of this).

Marti added that her experience in St. Paul was that a book store at a Zen center is more work than it is profit.  Others added that the value would not be in profit but a service to the community and a way of opening up to others in a safe and normative manner.

            decision: If someone is found who is interested in being a full bookstore manager and wants to write up      the full proposal then we can move forward. The bookstore would operate internally using the honor    system of payment at first. If successful there is opportunity to expand to the community during events            or open houses.

            action: none

Communicating and Renewing the Volunteer Structure: for discussion (Tim)

            decision: moved to next meeting

            action: none

Community Group Rentals: Proposal (Tim)

Allow community groups to use the Dharma Hall for meetings on a donation basis.

*Details: *

That we allow a group to use the Hall without charging the hourly rental rate if:

1) Group does not charge the people coming and the facilitator is not paid.

2) That a single person be the responsible party with a designated backup person and they will

            a. Hold the door code privately (between them)

            b. Provide complete contact info

            c. Sign agreement of liability for damages

            d. Provide a clear way for all members to donate, explaining that the Dharma Hall is normally rented for an hourly rate which is being waived, all donations collected going to the Hall

3) Building manager maintains a separate door code for community groups which rotates more often

4) Scheduling will be up to a month out with community groups getting lower priority than rent paying in groups in scheduling beyond the month scheduled. Automatic monthly renewal an option for ongoing groups


1) Service to community

2) More people see and experience Dharma Hall

3) Any lasting event likely to collect donations similar to rental rate


1) Admin overhead for building manager

2) Increased use always increases possibility of damage, scheduling issues, trouble

A letter was submitted by Tim from a David Bradley who is interested in utilizing the hall in this matter for a Course in Miracles.

            decision: The group decided that we would try this arrangement with Mr. Bradley pending the approval   of the Building Manager. In addition, all such arrangements would be month to month. If RCZC was           approached by a renter which would cause a scheduling conflict with the donation renter, then the        donation renter would have the option to move to full renter status first. The donation renter would be        encouraged to recommend a $5.00 dollar donation at each event.

            action: Tim will discuss with the Building Manager and contacts Mr. Bradley.


Our Workgroups Out of time for this meeting

          Spiritual Director


          Vice President



meeting reflection

on relationships, process, values and mission

of good value


upholding the contract                                                       

sangha on the horizon

next assembly: Wednesday, January 21st 2009


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