Monthly InterCouncil Summary

March 2014


This summary describing the work of the temple’s three major decision-making bodies is published regularly. Each of the three major bodies of the temple mandala – the Board of Directors, the Dharma Council and the Mandala Council – meets monthly and provides notes to be consolidated for a report to the sangha. A governance notebook with approved minutes is filed in the temple office. A list of current Council members and areas of concern, individual charges to leadership, and temple job positions are listed on the temple website.
The ICMRC (InterCouncil Mandala Review) committee met, with a member from each Council present, and notes include all the matters reported above in more detail by each Council.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors met at the Siskiyou house with a required quorum. The Secretary read from the section of the website Introducing the Board in order to keep the group focused on its primary tasks.

Sub-Committee Reports

  • An excellent offer on the Dharma House has been made ($824,500K, $10K earnest, 20% down). The buyers would plan to close on April 15 and rent back to DRZC through June 16th. Our asking price is $839K. The Board unanimously voted to instruct the realtor to accept the offer and work out details.
  • The potential buyer has an appraisal of the Zendo building of $460-490K. Our asking price is $475K. An offer is coming and negotiations are progressing on upgrading the wiring, realtor fees, closing and a flexible moving date. A motion passed pre-approving a specific price range for the sale.
  • HHR: There is lots of new interest and some new $1000 members have joined. Surcharging will continue but financing for HHR may not happen in the fall. Siskiyou Cohousing LLC needs an additional $500-800K on top of its current $500K subscriptions to pay for infrastructure and design costs that will be accrued this summer and this amount at least will be necessary for a lender to close a loan. Once the Sodo building is up, the project will present a more credible picture for construction loans. A number of contingencies were presented.
  • A wide-ranging discussion concerned the Mindful Early Learning Foundation (MELF), the new name selected for the soon to be formed 501(c)3 organization working on fundraising for the new preschool building. The Board is generally supportive, noting that there are many details that need to be clarified.

The new hire in the accounting manager/comptroller position has begun work and she will continue to train in preparation for the transition to the new Treasurer.  While overall donations are on budget, the building/property donations have cut into donations for general operations.
Spring Fundraiser will support the general fund, emphasize honoring the sangha treasure and will be held April 26th at the Kennedy School.
A committee has formed to research an evaluation of the Abbots.

Transition Communication Subcommittee: Best ways to distribute information around the move are being developed and small group discussions will continue as planned. The Board is open to any concerns that we can pass on to this subcommittee.

Sunday April 20th is Sangha Forum and the time will be divided between the Board and the Dharma Council. The Board presentation will include updates from the Prison Program, the DharmaGarden, property development, capital campaign and moving/transition milestones.
Ending the meeting, many different ideas were floated of ways to recognize and celebrate our many memories of our buildings.



Dharma Council

From the Intercouncil meeting we know that the sales of the house and the zendo are moving forward. Final decision on the site for Denkoe remains unknown and may be a combination of house and zendo. The Board and the Mandala Councils will announce changes in membership and leadership. The Elders Council suggests a schedule for the last day at the Zendo to include meditation, a closing ceremony, an all-sangha photo, skits and an ice cream social. Kyogen is researching ceremony from the Soto-shu ceremony book. June 8 is moving day, with the first day at Jason Lee being June 15th.

Where should the altar be stored?  Perhaps at a member’s house?  Shisei and Genkaku are looking into a way to capture memories on a website.

Fumyo will step down as Seminary Student Advisor in the fall.He will try to have all records cleaned up by then. The DC will need to find a replacement who has completed seminary. The job includes:

  • screens applicants for seminary
  • explains requirements, interviews, explains the process
  • monitors students as they follow the process
  • manages and reports who needs what class, etc.
  • advises and counsels with students

Anyone interested should be encouraged to talk with Fumyo about possibilities and perhaps job shadow. The Mandala Council will be contacted and consulted. A combination of strictness and flexibility is needed for the job.

A long and thoughtful document introduced at an earlier meeting regarding seminary statistics and proposals for long-term planning needs review, clarification and possible correction with concerns for the original mandate for the seminary program which was to create a shared body of knowledge. An additional function has become developing teachers and leaders and raises many questions about teaching and mentoring still to be fully considered.

The Council confirmed that membership is required for seminary.

The Moving Milestones document was reviewed and one inconsistency was corrected.

The Dharma Council noted questions about numbers of zabutons and zafus needed in various spaces. Summer Wednesdays are planned to be outside at the oak savannah with some kind of outdoor space to be built. A permanent outdoor classroom near the tent is planned which we will share with other groups for an ecological classroom. (A grant is in process.) At this point, smaller programs and events can be on our property with the exception of overnights and retreats that are still being planned. Signs and flagging will be required to keep people safe from hazards.

Annica and Anatta are proposed for as names for the temporary buildings. Signs will be needed to take care of any confusion. We’ll need backup plans if permits don’t come through for portables in the fall.

Sangha Forum: A handout of (hopefully) no more than two pages will be developed and presented by the DC to describe programming.

Sorting and archiving of dharma tapes and CDs is mostly done. Some cross-referencing and documenting is still going on.

Next meeting is April 10.



Mandala Council

The Mandala Council meeting was led by the new chair James Still. He briefed everyone on the closing and sale of the Zendo. The group reviewed the job list with changes and comments as follows.

The White Family has no changes other than a new shuso and new family rep James Still.

The Red Family. The Workshops team leader is doing fine with finding workshop assistants and will hold a team meeting.

The Yellow Family. We need to remove the website resign from the list as the project is over.

The Green Family is working on emergency preparedness training. The Red Cross does charge a sizable amount to train and the question will be taken to the Board for guidance. There was some discussion on providing training for volunteers at the property to avoid and treat injuries out there. We have also asked for people to sign up to store artwork during the transition.

The Blue Family. Wednesday evening closing seems difficult to staff. We need some more people to rotate through those positions.

  • Discussed the new business manager function, a paid staff member reporting to Jyoshin.
  • The current Head Sacristan will be stepping down, with a new person taking over in June.
  • A new leader for the seminary program is needed as Fumyo is stepping down as Student Advisor (see Dharma Council report above for more information).

The Shuso reported that the audio team is planning to record two Sunday morning services in April.

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