FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS OF DANCING MOUNTAINS
Development of Dancing Mountains as a charitable organization has progressed. The choice of organizational structure was discussed more fully in the winter 2010 edition no. 12 of Mountain Silence which is still available on our website. I stated then that we had been advised that a realistic time frame from interim committee to set up was identified as 12 months. It looks like that will be the case.
It has been most important to all concerned that this process of formally recognizing Dancing Mountains as a company occurs out of our practice together with integrity and at a pace that is experienced as organic and supported by the wider sangha. Open invitation to U.K. sangha to join in practicing together in retreat at the beautiful Trigonos in Snowdonia 29th April 2011 led to the a representation of sangha and clarification of those available and willing to take on roles as trustees or directors needed to form a core interim committee.
Assisted by our friends in Community of Interbeing and in particular the endless support from C.O.I. trustee Dene Donalds has enabled us to become aware of the need for formal role identification in order to proceed toward registration with The U.K. Charity Commission. These foundational steps serve to represent decision making until legitimate organizational status is achieved. This interim committee has supported the sharing of main director roles and a willingness to expand according to additional support offered from sangha in the context of expertise and availability as liaison or support officers. Mandatory to the submission of the application to The Charity Commission is the identification of two or three trustees. The interim committee voted are Devin Ashwood and Frances Collins as joint chairpersons, Michael Ellesmere as Company Secretary / communications officer and Chris Brown as treasurer. Gill Jackman and Kath Bennett have fully supported this process as liaison officers. Wendy Klein has generously agreed to continue as membership secretary. U.K. Networking between committed local sangha representatives and potential dharma teachers has already begun. Any such representatives interested in skype meeting to arrange retreats and events for 2012 – 2014 are invited to make contact.
As advised by Community of Interbeing monthly skype conference has been found to be both necessary and extremely helpful in promoting and sustaining energy. Meeting of directors face to face will follow a small sangha led retreat at Warminster arranged for 20th April 2012. By that time application to the Charity Commission will have been completed. A general meeting will be arranged following retreat 10th – 14th August led by Ingen Breen which can celebrate wider sangha discussion.
An annual general meeting to review existing roles and hopefully vote in members into new roles will also be arranged. Details of these events will be posted on the Dancing Mountains website.
The Community Interest Company is now a popular structure for a company seeking to operate as a charity whilst evolving into an organization which may express itself through engaged Buddhist activities. Agreement on membership directly from The Memorandum and Articles documents is offered here for ease and as invitation to the community by way of promoting commitment and inclusion whilst offering fundraising opportunity.
As a Community Interest Company (CIC) committed to the inclusion and benefit of all beings Dancing Mountains seeks to promote peace and understanding through the practice of mindful living. A tiered membership is offered to facilitate flexibility and growth according to the evolving needs of those who wish to follow Zen practice as established by Dogen Zenji and Shogaku Shunryu Suzuki and other ancestors and teachers of the soto zen lineage. Such other persons as are admitted to membership in accordance with the Articles shall be members of the Company.
Levels of Membership
- General membership:- free to everyone and provides access to Dancing Mountains’ website, plus free Mountain Silence newsletter only. This level of membership does not require any commitment and does not permit voting rights.
- Committed membership - commitment to regular practice with sangha plus a financial commitment of £4 per calendar month (p.c.m.) provides full voting rights.
- Lay Commitment membership:- facilitates those who have received lay ordination or who aspire to receive bodhisattva vows in this tradition to access relevant practices and training toward development and support of practice. Financial commitment of £4 p.c.m. is required and caries full voting rights.
- Committee membership:- facilitates access to specific support and development of Dancing Mountains organizational committee and full voting rights. Financial commitment of £4 p.c.m. is required.
- Patron (s) membership:- Voting rights are dependent on level of commitment to practice as laid out above.
As our organization expands any generous voluntary offering of skill and time to support this work will be much appreciated. In particular additional roles previously considered and found to be timely right now are: -
- Support for membership secretary
- Support for other committee roles
- Database for venues for retreats and events
- Retreat co-ordinators
- Editors of docs /newsletter
- Web master
Not essential to the legal procedure, the most important practice of weaving Dancing Mountains C.I.C. into existence this far has been how to articulate our precepts through language that tells us and informs others about the practice of our tradition. The interim committee have made great efforts to organize this into one document which has become three examples. Grateful for this opportunity and support from everyone this far, we look forward to this wonderful practice unfolding further as our teacher Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi has agreed to look at the wording of these wonderful precepts with us.
Ji Den Dai U
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