Red Cedar Zen Community Practice Committee
Meeting Minutes – January 25, 2013 meeting
Present: Tim, Edie, Kate, Marti, Bob, John
Absent: Talus, Karen
Goals are to provide a clear message about the spirit and intent of dana and it's practical importance as a way of supporting our teachings. Bob and Tim will follow up with: reviewing website events and the registration system providing a clear and consistent message (especially to avoid people being surprised by this request once already at the retreat), a small sign to live by the dana boxes, and perhaps a handout/web page with further information. Bob and Tim will try to create a few succinct presentation, e.g. “5 Key Points about Dana Practice”.
We also explored the options of teachers receiving straight dana or a combination of a stipend and dana and either option was comfortable. Especially with the events that can only have smaller numbers, like the hiking retreats, adding a stipend from registration fees to insure some level of teacher support may be helpful. [March update: Bob prefers to do his upcoming longer hike as a straight dana enterprise].
Forms changes like bowing onto the zabuton seem fine. Interesting how the “new normal” becomes normal so quickly.
All agreed that while the consistency and having Tim come forward more as a teacher have been beneficial it's time to look to adding back in: (A) the precepts ceremony, (B) periodic sangha conversations, (C) other sangha teachers.
Tentative plan for adding these factors into the Wednesday night schedule:
The first Sangha Talk Series will be on the Precepts starting in April. Schedule upcoming from Tim.
At the annual meeting time ran out before we could talk about a sangha ethics/clear communication policy (formerly known as “conflict resolution policy”), at that point a plan to meet on Weds. Jan 30th. Tim expressed reservations about interrupting the Practice Period schedule on reflection. This meeting was re-scheduled for March 6th. [Addendum: we weren't organized or ready for the March 6thmeeting time, new idea is to include the development of the sangha ethics & clear communication policy as part of our precepts studies]
See discussion of Wednesday evening schedule above.
Additional note about dokusan & practice discussion: during the 3-day sesshin we discovered that it IS possible to have practice discussion in the library. Tim will initiate a signup sheet for teachers currently offering practice discussion. We can continue dokusan in the back room with announcements/cards and a jisha and start having practice discussion in the library by sign-up request. Those teachers can manage that themselves as it comes up.
See discussion of Wednesday evening schedule above.
Noted that Tim will not attend most zendo meetings in July as his (new) annual leave. He will be out of town July 7-20 in any case.
RETREATS & PROGRAMS
* reflect on how the last few retreats went – anything stick out for changes?
* any essential planning for the March retreat that requires the whole group of us
Folks at retreat will pitch in. [Note: full house, went very well, thank you to those who helped!]
* Attempt to schedule retreat rest of 2013 and into 2014
May - Buddha's Birthday retreat - scheduling issues ← skipping this year
August – intro retreat? ← probably not, can be revisted
Sept – hiking retreat? Longer? ← regular 3-day retreat will be August 15-18, Bob will also offer a longer retreat in September – see hiking events schedule below
Oct – study retreat ← to be held October 5-6, Tim will teach, considering bag lunch to reduce Tenzo responsibility
Dec – rohtatsu ← December 5 – 8, ends on the “official day” this year. Considering adding one more day so it would start on Wednesday. As part time is allowed this will not exclude anyone's participation. Tim and Jeff will confer and get back to the Practice Committe on this idea.
Jan/Feb – start PP a little later? Stick to 6 week or consider 8? ← current schedule seemed good to the committee. Start mid-January, end beginning of March. Tim does not know yet if he will invite a shuso for the 2014 Practice Period, and it was clarified that inviting the shuso is a teacher responsibility, not committee decision. People who are interested in being shuso are welcome to speak to Tim about it but please remember it's by invitation, not something one arranges for oneself.
Karen McMains will continue through Samish. The hope is that Kevin Connor will then take over, perhaps shadowing Karen during Samish if he can go.
[Note: thank you to Bob Penny for being retreat manager at the opening and closing Practice Period retreats]
Talus will be Retreat Manager at Samish.
Looking for Retreat Managers for October study retreat, and Rohatsu. Possibly August one-day if we do that.
* senior students showing up in an organized way for important events like New Year's we don't all have to be there but if none of you are we can't do the event
Senior Students: please, please, let the Ino know if you can come to significant ceremonies and events that we aren't doing registration for so she can plan effectively.
John Wiley volunteered to be the new Secretary – thank you John.
Still looking for a new Vice-President.
Jeff McKenna has been in the Present position a long time....just sayin'.
Mexican Zen student Bertha Beverido will be joining us early February – mid-April.
[Note: and she's here and participating fully in Zen and Mindfulness Northwest events, look for her poems/performance at the March 23rd sangha arts night too, Bertha is a published poet]
Tim will continue discussion with Jeff Kelley about options for a longer combined sesshin with Seattle Soto Zen.