Saturday, August 19, 2006

Notes from 8-16 mtg, future plans

Bimonthly meetings and planning

All present willing to be considered 'core members': Enji, Rich, Bud, Aaron, George. (Tina and Rhea not present, also core members.) We will conduct the 'business' of BPF Portland via email, plan bi-monthly gatherings, involvement in events, etc. For now we will use email, and if it comes up that we need to discuss stuff in person, we will arrange a meeting.

We will plan to have bi-monthly gatherings,usually in January, March, May, July, September, and November. Our overarching theme for the year the same as BPF, and we will have discussions and/or presentations available to BPF members and the public at our bi-monthly gatherings.

We'll try this out, and see if we'd like to expand our meetings to bimonthly discussions, and 'business' meetings the opposite months, next year. The idea of 'core members' is not meant to exclude, but simply to acknowledge that these are the people willing to do the clerical/planning work of the chapter on a consistent basis.

Meditation vigils

We had a short discussion, mostly questions, about our involvement in the big rallies. How many are affected by the meditation vigils? Hard to say, we've had as many as 20 at a time, as little as 2, but people coming and going, affecting a good amount through the day. We certainly have people taking fliers and brochures and leaving donations. Are there other Fellowship of Reconciliation groups in Portland? Maybe. Bud exploring connections if possible.

Providing space for coming together

Rich raised concerns about how many activists are skeptical about the connection between meditation (inner peace) and activism for world peace, which led to a discussion of what we have to offer as Buddhists.

Rich: Could be helpful to have time/space for coming together where peace and justice groups can share their tools, have a dialog.
George: We could be in a position of creating dialog in the peace community. A place to reconcile how each group carries out activities, create an awareness of what drives each group, create an opportunity not to defend or change, but to show.
Enji: good idea, we could provide a space for listening. we have the model of listening circles from BPF and elsewhere.
Addendum for action: it's possible to start we could invite other peace, justice, and Buddhist groups to share in a listening circle as one of our bi-monthly meetings?

Park Festival

Enji intends to ask all previous teachers if they can act as a nominating panel for future teachers at the festival. This would take pressure off organizers as well as eliminate some touchy situations such as unknown visiting teachers and maverick teachers offering their services. On the question if we want to make it "our" event: we're in a good position to host, being an ecumenical group. We're doing the most work on it. Good to keep it co-sponsored with NWDA, also ecumenical, and keep it in the realm of a multi-sangha collaborative effort.

  • could change the structure to more of a workshop basis, have topics covered throughout the day, and related to the theme of the festival.
  • could have panels that cover those topics, rather than teacher after teacher covering beginning instruction as well as dharma talks.
  • would not need then to depend on leading area teachers, but other sangha members qualified to cover the topics, nominated by teachers who've gone before
  • would be an opportunity for discussion

Action: Enji will compose letter to teachers, and additional letter to past organizers and NWDA regarding workshop format proposal

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