Minutes: Engaging the Dharma Meeting #2 (Dec. 2, 2018)

Primary tabs

Meeting starts: 1PM


5 minutes silent mediation





Passes around mailing list sign up sheet.

How to join Google group (which will be private)

Web page will be finished soon (which will be public)

Purpose of meeting today is exploring these important questions personally and as a group:

-       What are we interested in?

-       What do we want to do, to be?



Will have workshop next meeting on Jan 13th “Listening for Activists”

Listening skills and practice exercises

-       Especially helpful for interacting with people who have different views and energized communication, how to hit the pause button when dealing with high emotional energy.

-       Will help you answer the questions: What is my intention? What are the outcomes I want?



The Shambala Warrior Prophecy by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fVqrFNIRAc)

-       Coming of Bodhitsattvas

-       Kingdom of Shambhala emerges

-       Great moral and physical courage is required

-       Problem “monomia” (if made by human mind, it can be undone by human mind)

-       Two weapons: Compassion and Wisdom (specifically wisdom = insight into radical interdependence of all phenomena)

-       Courage required is to have no fear of being in the middle of the suffering of the world



Guided meditation:

     - Why did you choose to enter the world at this time as a human with a special purpose?

     - What are the choices you have made to be here now at this important time on the planet?

      - Connect with your purpose.



Hands out blue question sheets:

-       On back: What did guided meditation mean to you? Reactions?

-       Front: 1) What would you like to receive from this group? 2) What would you like to give to give to this group? 3) What would a successful Engaging the Dharma initiative look like for PIMC??


Group partners up, discusses questions/reactions in pairs.


Group then opens up to full room discussion about what we see group being: qualities, trajectories, projects, core values, etc.


-       Feeling that the group is stronger than we can be as individuals.

-       Brentwood-Darlington local community happy to be part of the group, wants to partner on projects.

-       Let’s look into partnering with coalitions rather than starting from scratch. Wants to be active, get something tangible done.

-       We need to see ourselves in our oppressor, use Buddhist principles to make changes in the world.

-       We need a sense of agency. We have the power to affect change. We can turn fate into destiny.

-       Wants to work with the group, not individually, to help people, practicing active compassion with friends.

-       Do we want to be working on personal causes and use group as support system?

-       We want to bring our Buddhist values: compassion, equanimity, and respect to work in coalition with other organizations/groups.

-       We have interconnectedness outside of PIMC, we are part of a web, this group is a seed.

-       Two questions, two continuums: Are we one thing, or many things? Do we need to measure our success, or is “doing to do” enough for us?

-       Do we want to focus on one project? Overwhelmed by offers. Wants to stay local.



After hearing discussion, de we want to be a group that supports each other, rather than choosing a single group project, enriching our ability to go out into the world as individuals? Do we want to do occasional group events/projects? Group responses:

-       Personally feels comfortable “helping the helpers”. Will assist with that.

-       Too many other progressive activists suffer from burnout or going overboard. We need to avoid this pitfall.

-       Hands on action important. Tangibly and measurably helping people important.

-       Support for that opinion. We need to define the problem, be active, not get stuck on the cushion.

-       Do we want a combination of both models? Support for each other as individuals AND create group activities?

-       Compassionate action strengthens and informs our practice as individuals.



PIMC already has a partnership with Transitions project, do we want to find a date (before end of year if possible) and buy, cook and serve dinner as a group?

-       “Food not Bombs” another opportunity. Avi will investigate.

-       Betsy Toll at Living Earth has monthly "Brown Bag" lunch making and distributing at Friends House on Stark. Next day is Dec. 14th at 8 or 8:30 AM if anyone is interested. Will put on Google group.

-       We should not only pursue finite action because we need a more lasting kind of change. Perhaps look for working with a group and bridging a more difficult gap of perspective. (i.e. a Republican organization)

-       What about a synthesis, and trying different projects/events each month as a group?

-       We should pursue root problems, origins (not political) focusing on how we see each other. “Go to the fire.”

-       There are work parties in Errol Heights that we can plug into, a health study, and many other opportunities already planned in the area.



We need more people to step up to run the group. He is stretched thin, and Tricia has a vacation coming up.  

Volunteers who stepped up:



Ann Marie




See me if you need to sign up to Google group, mailing list, or if you need help getting Google group to send you emails.



Will look into trying to find us a dinner day at Transitions Project before end of year. It will be posted in Google group.


Next meeting Jan 13th after Potluck.


Meeting ends: 2:30 PM