Minutes: Engaging the Dharma Meeting - June 2, 2019

Sunday June 2nd 2019 -- Engaging the Dharma Minutes


Tia welcomed and we began with a 5 minute meditation in the PIMC Living Room

After meditation we moved outside.

People present: Connie, Anne Marie, Tia, Kirsten, Lori, Tricia, Robert, Melanie


Tia opened with the following proposal:

June- Family Night- Soup dinner, craft and show

July- Family Night- Soup dinner, craft and show

August- Family Night- Soup dinner, craft and show

September- Pajama Drive (for Jean's Kitchen)

October- Transitions Project Fundraiser (Lunch box Auction)

November- Mindful Eating Workshop

December- Gift Making

January- Letter writing


Melanie liked these idea.

Connie responded by sharing her involvement in Betsy Toll's Brown Bag Lunches. Betsy Toll is part of the local neighborhood association. The collect ingredients for lunches, make the lunches and then distribute them to people on the street. Connie said it is very satisfying and suggested perhaps we could connect with Betsy Toll and offer our services there.


Melanie liked the idea and also suggested that we could meet here at PIMC and make lunches to deliver like Betsy Toll's group, but at PIMC and the added benefit would be bringing our own community together

Anne Marie shared an avid interest in leading a craft night and also she has a lot going on. She shared a warning about how important the logistics of any of these events will be. She wondered whether Family Night would be open to neighborhood families or just PIMC families.

Robert is supportive but has little energy to help, he is going to connect with ecumenical ministries, larger Buddhist groups… Will bring back ideas

Tricia is back and shared her reservations with taking the group back given that is has a life of its own and also shared her original 2-part vision which was part direct action for homeless/providing meals partly an ecological aspect of examination the great turning and climate change. She suggested that family night could be part of the family program instead of ETD. Loves the idea of scheduling things out in advance for people to grab on to what inspires them. Expand, diverse offerings (environmental, hunger, racism, social justice, etc.)

Anne Marie seconded the letter writing option and we could use it towards supporting environmental action to Congress could involve families in this process.

Tricia added that the letter writing could be an educational component, learning about the issues and then writing letters.

Melanie  shared that Audubon is active fighting a bill that wants to reduce restrictions in wetlands in the area. Mainly developers are supporting this but would be very bad for the wildlife, obliterating their habitat.  Robert asked Melanie to please send out a email to list serve about this.

Lori, new to the group, would like to be involved in feeding people as well as other activities. She would like to help however she can and get to know people. She supports Earth friendly activities as well as the other options people have discussed.

Kirsten is willing to be a background support, navigating logistics such as helping lead teams use Sign-Up to coordinate volunteers and other logistics. She is also involved in Anti-racism work and is personally invested in this topic. August she will go to the Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO so will be gone for several years. Kirsten shared a group she works with called "The People's Institute NW or The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond." They host workshops such as Undoing racism, workshops that intentionally invite the discomfort of being white.


Tricia, would like to provide resources for people like a calendar of events on all fronts. Some kind of wiki calendar that anyone could add to and that would automatically send out a "What's Happening This Week" notification on a weekly basis.

Connie brought up a concern about support. Who actually shows up to support ETD events? Is there a way to approach this differently?

Yes, front-end the information, show it in advance and then display it both electronically as well as in announcements, and perhaps on the backside of the PIMC paper list, offer community action events.


Tia recapped:

It sounds like people want to have:

Workshops, learning, breathing in

Action, doing, breathing out

Provide Resources and a calendar

Plan out ahead of time and provide themes (including environment and environmental justice issues)


We could also ask ourselves some questions every time we decide on an event for ETD:

Is this action a seed for the future? Will it make a difference in 2 years? 10 years? 50 years?

Is this action unifying or divisive?


ETD Members tentatively agree to the following:

Melanie, cooking via a brown bag lunch

Tricia, resources list

Anne Marie, help brown bag, crafting at family night, mala bead necklaces (20) has lots of beads.

Kirsten, create sign up, help lead navigate

Tia-mindful eating (maybe during a potluck), Family Night (will pursue another avenue and Anne Marie will help with this)


An idea brought up was that one of the brown bags could focus on toiletries, ask for specific items. Toothbrushes, tampons, shampoo, socks, pajamas etc. We could collect them in shoe boxes. Families can participate in assembling them.

AnneMarie wants to make sure that any clothing donated is clean and in good condition.


An idea was to assemble bags and then leave groups of completed bags in public locations and request people walking by take one and distribute it to someone else.


Ideas for helping the Environment: Portland Parks volunteering, Audubon, Columbia land trust, River keeper. Maybe sse doodle or sign up to choose which project to join. Frame with meditation. Not Urban Parks b/c of needles.


Another idea: Help people shower mobile buses.

Can rent out mobile showers, Avi

Consider safety, Kirsten, security guard


Next Steps:

-Connie is going to connect with Betsy Toll and ask about how and when PIMC member may be able to join and help with the next brown bag lunch

-Melanie is going to email some information about environmental stewardship opportunities, particularly this Audubon action item.

-Tricia will start work on collecting resources to share with others, including considering how to do a shared calendar/list of events.

-Wednesday June 19, Woodstock Laughing Planet, we are going to meet to choose the monthly focus themes through December. Please come, all are welcome.

-Tia will send out a reminder for this meeting on Monday June 17th.

-Avi will please post these minutes on Google Groups