Community Meeting Minutes, August 8, 2021

Community Meeting Minutes, August 8, 2021

Board Report-Elizabeth

  1. Financially good
  2. IT up to date takes to Yiar and Ken G.
  3. Teachers Council-exciting possibilities, ongoing development
  4. Thanks to Hybrid Report and Giving Project

Hybrid report-Lisa

Survey Results

When would you be willing to attend an in-person sangha meeting at Turner Center?

42 responses:
48.8% Now
17.1 September
2.9 December
2.4 Next spring
19.5 Not sure

Would you be comfortable with no masks required? Please remember that there may be those who are unable to participate if others are unmasked in their presence. Don’t answer for them.

30 Responses
60% Yes
40% No

Should all attendees to the in-person meeting be vaccinated?

31 Responses
100% Yes

If vaccinations were not required, would that exclude your in-person participation?

31 Responses
48.4% Yes
51.6% No

There are 17 comments as well.  If you want to include those, here they are:

Thanks for this careful approach to Covid issues.

I would feel much more comfortable if in person participants will be vaccinated. It may affect my decision to attend.

Because of the tight relationship between vaccination and mask wearing, this is complex. I would be comfortable in-person with no mask required BUT I think vaccinations should be required unless there is a documented medical reason why a person cannot be vaccinated. For those people only I think in-person attendance might be permitted but they should be seated at a distance from everyone else.


If vaccinations were not required then I think masks should be encouraged.

No matter when we start, all attendees should vaccinated. 

I would hope to participate in person at some point & it is a challenge for me due to medications & timing to arrive by 10 a.m. so I do appreciate the Zoom option.

For me, vaccination is crucial. I am vaccinated & I can still get sick even tho not as seriously. I don’t want to get sick. And then there are the variants… I am still very cautious & wear a mask whenever in public. So, I’m not yet comfortable meeting in person. Thanks so much for your careful consideration!

Thank you — this is not easy! I can only answer for now but not for in the future because too much is changing.

If Vac is not required, then we need to wear mask

I’m comfortable without a mask, but happy to wear one if anyone prefers that. Some people with health conditions might not be able to be vaccinated, it works be better if everyone else was vaccinated.

IMHO, the people who are participating in the in-person meditation have the right to know if no-vaccinated are sharing the space with them 

I think my willingness has to do with other people’s comfort level. I don’t feel comfortable being enthusiastic about attending in person for fear that I would pressure people into feeling they have to attend also even if they are not comfortable with it. In general, I think we should follow the Turner Center and CDC guidelines.

Last Answer clarity: All attendees in person should be vaccinated (unless you have a dr’s writtten assessment that due to an underlying health condition you are at risk if getting the vax). IE there are medical situations where people with compromised immune systems are recc’d not to get vac’d by the medical establishment. If Vac’ not req’d, would that exclude my participation: No- but only if then it is required that anyone not vac’d must wear a mask at all times.(and if not wearing a mask, must be able to show you’ve been vac’d).have to show 

Although I live remotely and would not attend, I would be OK without a mask if I know that unvaccinated attendees did wear masks.

If vaccination is not required, masks should be required

Turner will be open for in person meetings as of September 1st but not confirmed for Still Mountain. 

Yair reported on the technical aspect of meeting Hybrid. 

Last Tuesday was a room test with Yair, Ken G and Jim W.  and Carol and John participated from Zoom. 

Yair said from a technical point of view “we are ready.”

Suggestions: Use “speaker view” to see people in room as they speak instead of trying to see everyone in the room at once. 

Lisa mention will try 10 in room at first and increase as possible though process not determined. 

Giving Project

Ken explained the purpose of the Giving Project and how it corresponded to the Purpose of Still Mountain stated in the By-Laws.

From the May group meeting the following was determined

  1. Amount available to give- $3,000-6,500 initial first step with possible increase.
  2. Start process of determining candidates:

     Teaching dharma

     Practicing dharma  (explicit or implicit)

  1. Avoid conflict of interest i.e. board member on board of another organization. 

Survey results

Here’s what we have so far, from 27 responses.

Is it your wish to share excess Still Mountain funds with outside organizations and/or individuals meeting the parameters outlined above?

96% yes

Do you prefer to give only to Buddhist organizations and/or teachers or also to non-Buddhist organizations that can be seen as practicing the Dharma?

96% both Buddhist and non-Buddhist

Where do you prefer to give?

69% both locally and non-locally
31% only locally

Comments: (from survey)

There is such an overwhelming need for food, water, and shelter. Any system that honestly and effectively supplies those items is fine. 

Every fifteen seconds a child dies because of starvation or the secondary complications from poor diet and lack of food. 

Thank you for your thoughtful work on this. 

Thank you for working to give definition to this idea that has been vague for several years.  You have thoroughly processed this and your presentation is so clear and well-written.  How could we not do this!  Although I tend to give globally, for some time one of our SM goals has been to become more involved in the local community.  It has been on the back burner because there was always something else so this is a great opportunity.  It could even lead to developing relationship with local organizations and people and possibly to other ways to connect locally.  I don’t like the idea of SM’s generosity being limited to groups of our own beliefs and practice; many others also practice generosity which is the point.  This would encourage me to give more to SM because for a good while we have had all that we need and other organizations haven’t.  

I like this initiation, with our thoughts, and our deeds, we create and change the world 

I do not think we have enough money to have a big impact national or international projects. so would prefer local recipients. 

I appreciate the opportunity for Still Mountain Sangha to practice generosity and to demonstrate our interrelations with all others. 

Thank you! I appreciate your service.  

thanks for the work you are all generously giving to make this project more clear for all of us.  DANA IN ACTION!!!

Love you all even though I don’t know who of us you are.  D. A. 

I’m particularly interested in seeing the money go for basic needs such as food, clothing. and shelter.  

It would be nice to be able to decide about distribution every year.  So an organization might be gifted this year but not the next.

Thanks for doing this sacred work.

I think the committee recommendations are perfect.

There was some discussion in the meeting regarding what would be concerned Local and Nonlocal. 

Also, the meaning of dana and giving without criteria (such as becoming more known in local community.)

Also, what is “local” with members now in different states. 

Next steps 

A questionnaire has gone out to ask for specific donation locations and the explanation of how the receiver connects with the Dharma.


Jim sent email on Still Social to determine interest for Meditation, Mindfulness and Photography on Zoom for Fall.

One comment

  1. I read the comments on the donation thoughts/ideas from your members. One very worthy organization that I support is the Novi Rotary Feed the Need Program that provides summertime lunches and activities to several hundred low income children in the western Detroit suburbs. Let me know if you would like additional information on the program. The program is staffed by community volunteers and largely funded by small donations.

    Todd Lockhart, Program Treasurer

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