Sept 2013 Practice Committee minutes

Practice Committee

28 September 2013

Present: Tim Burnett, John Wiley, Marti Bartlett, Kate Korn-McKenna, Nancy Welch, Talus Latona



Study Retreat

Small, maybe 10 people. Tim will email list saying dharma talk is public and end time later 1 hour until 4 PM. Announcements about public talks have been sparse. Intend to offer Dokusan to all. Tim will depart quickly on Sunday to teach in Seattle.

Jukai Retreat

Organizing sewing has been challenging. Jeffery Harker, Bob Rose, Susanne Wynn, Georgia Mitchell are presently likely to be ready. Saturday, November 16. Jukai 15:00. They will start sitting 09:30. Regular Saturday morning sit. Reception afterward. This is right after Loon Lake.

Idea for next group is previous group makes the envelope. Anyone available to make an envelope Saturday October 19th Susan will be here to help with sewing.


Thu December 5th to Sun December 8th. Bob is retreat manager. Co-tenzos Talus and John Wiley. Seattle group is growing, will help, (they had their first major weekend sesshin at Indianola church camp). Talus will remind Bob he retreat manager; think about registration policy and get a hold of Jeff Kelley early on regarding availability to assign roles to Seattle students, such as jisha for Jeff.

Difficult to assign full time people. Discussion of tightening down a little on people coming and going at all various times.

Tim invited by Norman to assist with Norman's Rohatsu retreat in Mexico. Tim would need to be there on Saturday night, so he could be present for the first half of Bellingham rohatsu. Jeff Kelley agreed to cover for Tim's absence second half. Tim recognizes this has a negative impact on Bellingham rohatsu retreat and would not do this a second time, but would like to accept Norman's invitation.

Practice Committee unanimously supports Tim in pursuing this opportunity.

Winter Practice Period

Wed Jan 22 open night. Day retreat starts Sat Feb 1 one day sesshin. Chris deciding when to offer shuso classes, Saturday morning and either Monday or Thursday evenings. Option to use co-op connections. Topic is Samantabadhra Bodhisattva. Usual March 6-9 3 day Sesshin for Norman. Shuso ceremony 11:00 Sunday March 9.

Once Norman stopped coming, Mountain Rain hasn't had a shuso, and we lost our Shuso exhange and coordination of Practice Periods with them. Would be nice to re-establish that connection.

Probably offer remote practice again.

Buddhas Birthday

April 5th or May 3rd. Possible retreat.

2014 September Seattle Collaborative

Collaborative long sesshin with Seattle Soto Zen. Proposed September Wed-Sun 24-28, 2014 with them as the hosts. Halfway between us and them. Cost per person without food under $200. Part of their maturing as a Sangha. Our commitment would be to have on our schedule and announce, support labor, participate. Half is an option.

Observation we are trying to do more locally, with Vancouver, and with Seattle. Need to care not to take on too much. This is a challenging time of year for many of our members. Bob's long hiking retreats around the same time. What if the collaborative retreat was Rohatsu? Could alternate annually.


Work Practice

Work Practice is a core part of our school. Can we get more in the schedule? Building cleaning is less than we would like, and garden has requirements. Could schedule into monthly rotation. Maybe as an experiential activity after a very short dharma talk about work. The 6PM slot is likely to get more people when used for class discussion; similarly keeping it Saturday relegates it to the small group. The work practice could be the second zazen period in the evening. This would support the perception of joyful work as central to our practice. Pattern sit, kinhin, talk, work. Would like to get precepts ceremonies moved back in. Maybe some months more intensive study and talk and other months precepts and work practice pattern. Starting October 9th a new pattern of Work, Precepts, Two Dharma Talks (opportunity for non-Tim dharma talks). Extending the Saturday morning once per month for work? Feeling is that it would deepen the shortcomings of the existing pattern. Garden is a day item, Saturday cleaning time could be devoted purely to the garden. Deep cleaning once a year, traditionally for New Years. Join in with BIMS on Sat December 28 for annual cleaning. Can also increase work time during retreats.

Sangha Conversation

Practice Discussion

More announcements of which lay teachers a planning to be here when.


Ino and Director will take this committee's comments and make schedule revision.


Our schedule of moving in practice as one body does not include an opportunity during the transition into meals for handwashing. We should respect and care for Buddha's food and Buddha's bodies with conscious hygiene. Our existing practice requires someone to leave the form and chisel out a moment to prepare for eating, such as after temple cleaning before breakfast on Saturday and moving chanting Ho to the dining hall at Samish. Contrast this with cultures who ritually handwash together before meals, passing soap and pouring pitchers of water for each other. Please consider what practice modifications might be more wholesome.

Class by Lay Entrusted Teacher

Nancy is interested in teaching an ongoing class. Time and financial commitment to the class by participants are necessary to develop stable attendance, a consistent participant group which supports deeper, safer discussion, and to cover class materials, building maintenance, and possible teacher stipend. She requests committee input on topics, schedule, etc.

Next Practice Meeting

Saturday January 11th 09:30 to 11:00

Dharma Talks Next Topics

Work through Chant Book.

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