Practice Committee Minutes June 7, 2019 and August 8th combined minutes
Present: Edie Norton, Judith Koontz, Tim Burnett, Bob Rose, Bob Penny, Chris Burkhart
Sunday Program updates
Retreat Manager invitation
2020 Schedule Notes and call for proposals
Possibly Add new Tanto position
2020 Sunday Program (AKA Pilot Program)
The intention of having this “First Sunday” is to have a pilot program in 2020 with an eye towards weekly Sunday morning practice in 2021. It will give us an opportunity to learn more about our potential participants and the needs of the community. Tim reported on his conversation with our building partner BIMS about the possibility of RCZC doing a Sunday morning program beginning in 2020. It appears at this time that BIMS is open to this. The following items were brought up or discussed:
a) Do surveys for participants of the Sunday programs to find out more about our audience.
b) Conversations about the schedule continue.
c) There is agreement about the following: orientation at 9:30 am, zazen beginning at 10:00 am, program end at noon.
d) The length of zazen periods remains under discussion 1x40 min., 1x30 min., 2x20 min.
e) We may try out different schedules, overall the schedule remains fluid.
f) Service also remains under discussion, the choices are Wednesday evening service and Saturday morning being possibilities. The majority seemed to think that the Wednesday evening service is more suitable until we know more about the audience.
g) We want to heavily advertise the launch of the new program and will be looking for a person to take the lead on the advertising. We discussed posters at the Food Coop and the university, Facebook, etc.
h) Sundays would allow us to invite outside teachers. The outside teacher would be in charge of the amount of time for the talk and how much for tea and dharma conversation.
i) Bob Penny wondered if we should have child care or a kids' program concurrently.
j) What would be the measure of success that we use at the end of the year? Attendance? Formation of a dedicated core group?
Tim suggested to continue the super-brief incense for one month. After, he would like to consider expanding the use for a short time so the incense is lit throughout the offering.
The possibility was brought up to have one retreat manager for the June Samish retreat and having a different retreat manager(s) for the other retreats. Tim brought up a few possibilities for Rohatsu. We might also reconsider changing the title to retreat facilitator or host since the job is not so much managing the retreat but coordinating between the roles.
October Sangha Conversation
The goal is to introduce the sangha to the different roles and jobs that make the sangha work as a whole and how these ctivities extend lovingkindness not only to the community but also the space. This will go beyond the doan ryo and describe what individuals do and also if they are seeking support. Tim will invite specific individuals to speak about their roles.
We will also begin to recruit for the Sunday doan ryo. The goal is to have at least one person in the doan ryo (combined doan/kokyo/time keeper). If a second person is available we can do the mokugyo.
There will be an extended forms training event on December 13 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Upcoming Events and Meetings
Six people will go to Seattle to visit various Buddhist groups. Tim asked for registration to be re-opened since 2 more spots could be available.
Bob Penny will be tenzo for the jukai retreat.
Hannah, Judith, and Bob will have an organizers' meeting on October 23.
Bob Penny spoke of low attendance for the Sunday morning sits on his farm. If we should decide on a weekly Sunday program at the hall, he will rethink the concept.
Bob will continue Wilderness Dharma and may structure a class around that.
Chris Burkhart would like to do a Wednesday 6:00 pm class after the Practice Period.
Tim will do the Practice Period classes / teachings.
Tim will ask Norman to come for the March retreat. Current thought is to hold the sesshin at the hall and have a public talk at the YWCA across the street. Tim will check if Norman is available, if yes, he will book the YWCA.
Tea during Retreats
We determined that tea during Bellingham retreats is very close to dinner. Also it adversely impacts the serving crew. Therefore, we should drop tea service for the Bellingham retreats. Tea service at Samish will continue unchanged.
We will discuss specific duties /job description at the next meeting.
Next Practice Committee Meeting
Prior discussion made it clear that leading the Sunday program is open to all sangha leaders (post-shuso). Whoever runs the program is responsible for set-up, orientation, closing up.