Issue 24;

Sangha Update

Dancing Mountains Constitution

By Dancing Mountains

Aims and Objectives

The objectives of Dancing Mountains Zen C.I.C. are to make accessible teachings as expressed by the Buddha’s precepts. These precepts exist to promote compassion in the world. We uphold the ancient Zen Buddhist practice and the lineage as established by Dogen Zenji (1200 to 1253), Shogaku Shunryu Suzuki (1904 to 1971) and our founding teacher, Reb Anderson (1943-). We support all teachers and students who practice in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi. We aim to promote ethical living and social responsibility in today’s world through the practice of the precepts for the welfare of all beings.

The Ten Precepts
We observe the precept of non-killing. We aspire to live in a manner which occasions no harm and supports all life.
We observe the precept of not taking anything that is not freely offered. We aspire to lead a life that cultivates generosity.
We observe the precept of not misusing sexuality. We aspire to encourage compassion and loving relations between all beings.
We observe the precept of not lying. We aspire to manifest truth in all areas of our lives.
We observe the precept of non-intoxication of body or mind. We aspire to live with a clear mind for the benefit of all beings.
We observe the precept of not slandering. We aspire to see the perfection in others.
We observe the precept of not praising self at the expense of others. We aspire to the realization that self and others are interdependent.
We observe the precept of non-possessiveness. We aspire to live a life that cultivates mutual support.
We observe the precept of not harbouring ill will. We aspire to actualize harmony.
We observe the precept of upholding the triple treasure of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. We aspire to realize intimacy with all life.

Through the practice of these teachings Dancing Mountains Zen C.I.C. exists to aid the development of awareness and to end the suffering caused by discrimination, poverty, ignorance and violence. We aim to provide opportunities for residential and non-residential training with teachers from our lineage and tradition. This aim will be supported by the practice of local communities and groups as well as the acquisition of appropriate premises throughout the UK.

We advocate peace and respect for life in all areas of society. We support those who serve in areas such as healthcare, education, prisons, community services, animal welfare and care for the environment. This respect and understanding will be advanced by the teaching of mindfulness, compassion and meditation, as understood within the ethical guidelines of The Dancing Mountains Zen tradition and lineage.

Level of Membership

Member – Entitles full voting rights. Members hold the intention, and make the effort, to support and practice with Dancing Mountains Zen sangha. Members offer a financial commitment of £4 per calendar month (p.c.m.).

Committee and Decision Making

Establishing a democratically elected representative Board from Dancing Mountains Zen membership we shall appoint directors ordinarily from members who have received lay ordination in the lineage & tradition of San Francisco Zen Centre, or who aspire to receive lay ordination in this lineage. Those elected will demonstrate honesty, compassion and understanding toward promoting peaceful and skillful communications with all beings. Elected members will practice giving up attachment to views and will be open to suggestions from all members of the community.
Board members will agree to meet a minimum of twice annually to practice together and hold a full Board meeting. Notification of the venue and dates will be given in writing in advance as indicated in the Memorandum and Articles for Dancing Mountains Zen. A process of consensus shall be presented, reviewed and revised if necessary at the beginning of each meeting. To the best of our ability all committee decisions shall be reached through this process of consensus. However, in situations of deadlock, we recognise that we may need to move to majority vote. Whilst consensus is prioritised within committee activities decisions at general meetings or AGM may normally be reached by majority vote.

The Board should consist of a minimum of the following directors:
Chairperson (s)
Treasurer (s)
Secretary (s)

Other director positions may include Membership Secretary, Publicity / Communications Officer(s) and fundraiser.  Regional Officers from the north, central, southeast, southwest or other UK areas who may be elected to represent these regions especially if they are not represented in the fore-mentioned committee posts.

The Board will of a minimum of three (3) people elected by & from the membership plus up-to six (6) co-opted. The maximum size of the Board is nine. (9)
Some places on the Board may be filled by co-option to positions as required to support the work

No Board member shall hold more than one post.


The annual general meeting shall be held once a year and shall have as its main business:
(1.)    Presentation of Director’s reports since the last AGM.
(2.)    The election of the Board for the next year.
(3.)    An agenda giving notice of the AGM must be circulated to all full voting sangha members at least twenty eight days in advance of the meeting. Nominations for the Board may be made at any time up to and during the AGM.
(4.)    Each nomination shall include one proposer and one seconder each of whom shall be a full voting member of the sangha.
(5.)    Minutes of each meeting will be kept as an ongoing record and will be made available to all members who attended the meeting.
Financial Considerations
(1.) All monies will be held in a bank account under the name of ‘Dancing Mountains Zen Sangha’. Dancing Mountains Zen Memorandum and Articles shall demonstrate explicit regulations and requirements on receiving and releasing any monies from this account in keeping with current law.
(2.) A detailed financial report prepared by the Treasurer(s) shall be presented to the membership annually.
(3.) It may be possible in the future to appoint directors to paid positions when agreed by the board as appropriate.
(4.) In the event that Dancing Mountains Zen Sangha acquire properties, these properties will be held under the national and local regulations of the site. To protect those who may be responsible for the management of community properties, all assets, including bank accounts, currency, real estate, vehicles, etc, are to be accounted for using common accounting practices. If and when local Sanghas hold funds, accounting will be kept separately and detailed reports sent yearly to the Treasurer(s) of Dancing Mountains Zen.
Changes to Constitution
This constitution may be reviewed annually and suggestions from any member of the community will be considered as appropriately responding to change. All previous versions will be clearly dated and preserved. All changes to the constitution will be made by consensus of the directors and not just by simple majority.

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