The following is a list of thoughts that were offered to a group of government executives to help them cope with the complexity and conflicts in their jobs. These ideas are suggestions that surfaced from readings, people’s experiences and simply lessons of life learned in the workplace. Enjoy and pass along.

"Uni-Tasking" — Many managers take pride in their ability to multi-task, doing everything from phone conversations, e-mail and reading simultaneously. Give yourself the opportunity to bring your focus to just one thing, and to give it your complete attention.

Listening — Similarly, it is good to remind ourselves what all management books suggest — to be engaged listeners. It is not only a gift you give the person you are with, but it gives you a moment to place all of your mental energy in one place. This is particularly challenging (and useful) at meetings.

Your Windows — The windows in your office are more than simply a light source that augments the fluorescent fixtures. They are an opportunity to look beyond your desk, your office and your immediate issues. Take a moment during the day to broaden your view.

The 50-Yard Journey — In an effort to squeeze more out of each day, e-mail and phones have become the choice of communication. Leave your desk to pass a note, to share a thought, to ask a question, but also use those "50 yards" as a chance to breathe, refresh yourself and slow down.

Sanctuary — In an article by Harvard Professor Ron Heifetz, he emphasized the need for leaders to have sanctuary, "a place where they can go to get back in touch with the worth of their life and the worth of their work." It does not need to be a physical place you go to, but simply a moment you give yourself to reflect.

Lunch — Is lunch a place in the middle of the day where you consume the calories you need to get to the end of the day? Can you use it as a time and a place to also nurture your mind? Take a walk, close your door, or simply enjoy what you are eating.

Letting Go — A confrontational discussion, an angry e-mail, or the "bomb" that lands on your desk first thing in the morning. These challenges all can start our adrenaline surging and our emotions boiling. Before you hit "send" or dial the phone, ask if what you want to say will actually help you and others. And once you have settled on what to do, let go. The pain, anger and anxiety these interactions can cause are mainly what we carry, rather than what was delivered.

* Three Breaths — It is something we always have with us anywhere we go. It is a moment to help you calm yourself, return to where you need to be, and give yourself a smile.

* The Red Light — As you come and go, think of red lights as an opportunity to stop your mind from racing as well. As you stop, simply take a calming breath versus thinking of the light as a barrier to getting "where you want to go."

* Silence the Radio — Give yourself the gift of a few minutes of silence. As much as you like NPR or the "oldies," set aside time in your travels to turn off the radio. Enjoy the morning, the sunrise, or just the quiet.

* One with your Car — I loaned my car to a friend, and she returned it with this verse taped to the dashboard: "I know where I am going. My car goes with me. When I go fast, my car goes fast." A nice reminder that you have a choice, whether you are traveling or leading.

A Precious Gem from the "Free to Be Me" Retreat at Charter Hall, January 2003

By Irene D’Auria

It’s the delicious stuff that traditions are made of — a moment so delightful that it’s impossible not to want to repeat it again and again and again. There were a few such moments with the younger-than-usual crowd at Charter Hall in January. With a total population of 13, six of whom are under the age of seven, there were plenty of moments easy enough to leave behind, as well. But one fond memory is worth sharing here.

Colin Sidley wanted cookies. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that he NEEDED cookies, he craved cookies, he was obsessed by the notion of eating cookies, and no reasonable substitute would do. The meals were meticulously planned and executed. Annie and Steve, being of sound mind in provisioning, wouldn’t think of stimulating our already super energetic flock with processed sugar — WE HAD NO COOKIES. Well, not real cookies anyway. Luckily, the cupboards were stocked with all the imaginary essentials for making our own — what the heck, we were headed for a meltdown, why not make some imaginary cookies?

Out came a cookie sheet — a 3-D one. There wasn’t time to find any more props. With fearless abandon, I listed the ingredients and pleaded with Colin to help measure and mix. As he was still not on board, Annie chimed in her support. It was cold outside — remember late January? — but beads were now forming on my brow as I creamed butter, sugar, flour and eggs together in our imaginary bowl. By the time we were ready to add the chocolate chips, the cynical child approached, half-willing to help the crazy lady spoon the dough onto the greased cookie sheet. Then he went outside to play. VICTORY! ... until Annie and I realized the whole thing was a scam, unless we could really come up with the goods.

We were seriously fooling ourselves thinking he’d forget about the cookies anytime soon. We’d merely delayed. We hadn’t defused. Luckily there was gas in the car and a few dollars in our wallets, so Annie and I, giggling and giddy, hightailed it to the convenience store down the road with hopes as high as Colin’s. A few boxes of Chips Ahoy would have to do. By now Annie and I were both in a (mindful) sweat. We ran right into Colin and several others between the car and the lodge, our coats bulging shamelessly with odd corners and angles. The pressure was definitely ON.

Blasting the oven and doing my best to bury the boxes in the garbage, Annie stalled the boy while I warmed the store-bought cookies. With not a breath of a moment to spare, Colin muscled his way into the kitchen, anxious to "tell us so." And then it happened — he opened the oven and the look on his face brought tears to my eyes. He believed.

For the next 15 minutes, little fingers and faces got covered with melted chocolate chips as the children discussed the possibilities of magic cookies. Next time, we’ll make our own cookie dough and stash it away in a secret place. Now, when thinking about our next retreat, I do so look forward to making imaginary cookies with Colin.

EDITOR’S NOTE: All interested members of the Washington Mindfulness Community are welcome to attend Community Gatherings, which take place quarterly and are followed by a delicious pot luck supper.

In attendance: Carolyn Bluemle, Richard Brady, Joseph Byrne, Carolyn Cleveland, Irene D’Auria, Mary Hillebrand, Joann Malone, Annie Sidley, Steve Sidley and Joe Toole.

Mary Hillebrand invited the bell and led a brief meditation before beginning. Richard Brady skillfully chaired the meeting. Irene D’Auria took the following notes:

Communications Committee

* Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) published an appeal for peace statement; it’s on the web site and was distributed to the list-serv.

* Soon committee will be sharing pictures of Barbara Newell, newly ordained nun, at Plum Village; see p. 4.

* WMC Member Directory will be updated based on the election registration forms.

* In search of new list-serv provider that enables distribution of e-mails with no ads (inappropriate material is currently being advertised on our e-mails) at no charge; will ask Pittsburgh sangha how their service is working; may also consider Carolyn Cleveland’s domain; if ad-free list-serv costs money, will consider a special fundraiser for that purpose.

Community Care Committee

* Second Body Practice is half-way into the current session and reporting 100 percent participation!

* Current round of study groups is going well; coordinator Steve Sidley, stevesidley@aol.com, would like to know if anyone is interested in forming a study group during the summer months, perhaps May through July; suggestion that a comment form be used to gather feedback from study group members.

* Erica Hamilton is very sick and in the hospital; committee will assist WMC members wishing to visit in pairs, if some are uncomfortable visiting alone.

Family Committee

* End-of-January "Free to be Me" retreat was a tremendous success, due to the complete cooperation of the attendees regarding chores, mindful and flexible scheduling, excellent and frugal provisioning by Annie and Steve Sidley, diligent communication between all the adults and all the children, and the determination among participants to take care of themselves first, then take care of others; retreat incurred a small deficit, after paying for use of Charter Hall and purchasing provisions, due to last-minute illness that diminished attendance by nearly 40 percent. The Family Committee expresses gratitude to the community for covering the deficit, which is less than $200, from the WMC treasury.

Mindful Politics Committee

* Carolyn Cleveland conducted a wonderfully energizing meeting, attended by 9 or 10 people, to outline the committee’s basic goals and priorities.

* Coordinating with the Faith & Politics Institute a two-day Congressional retreat with Thay, which may correspond with the scheduling of a public talk by him in D.C. Dates are being discussed, but it’s too early to say more.

* Next meeting will focus on ways to better organize the committee.

Board of Trustees

* Glass fusing parties at Joe Toole’s have had tremendous success, raising more than $500; sharing of glass-fused ornaments has provided non-threatening, social vehicles for exposing friends and relations to mindfulness practice.

* Vihara basement bathroom renovation project, funded by glass-fusion proceeds, needs skilled volunteers. Contact Joe Toole, glasstool@aol.com.

* Joe Toole will also coordinate Vihara gardening/outdoor cleanup day soon.

* For treasurer’s report, see p. 7 in this newsletter.

Operations Committee

* Coordination and participation of various bell inviters is stabilizing.

* Tom Eigelsbach and Bill Menza are creating an inventory of WMC library and wish list for additional titles; Board will consider their requests for money for new books; notice will also be published on WMC list-serv seeking donations of wish-list books.

* Volunteers for registrar and retreat coordinator are needed for next WMC retreat. Contact Richard Brady, bradyr@sidwell.edu.

Practice Council

* Received request from Insight Meditation Community to advertise their courses to our list-serv and in our newsletter. Understanding that our answer to this request would set a precedent, Council determined that WMC list-serv and newsletter should be reserved for activities initiated and endorsed by WMC. WMC continues to welcome flyers advertising mindfulness practice-related activities, which will be available during social time on Sunday evenings on basement literature table.

* Addressing question of how to provide appropriate space and encouragement for all to participate in dharma discussions, especially, but not exclusively in study groups. Council determined that each study group should have an informal facilitator who will repeat at the beginning of meetings that each person share only once until all have had a chance to speak, and that leaving space and silence between sharings is a deeply valued practice.

* Council will draft statement of same sentiment for bell inviters to repeat at beginning of Sunday night dharma discussions; statement will be included in bell inviter training sessions and distributed via WMC list-serv to already-trained/participating bell masters.

* Twenty-minute guided meditation is no longer offered as part of newcomer’s night.

* Suggestion about developing mentor program to assist newcomers; ideas and questions can be addressed to Carolyn Bluemle, tangokali@erols.com, or other Community Care Committee members.

Annual Elections

* 21 WMC members registered to vote; 16 votes were counted; three people ran for Board of Trustees and three ran for Practice Council; Carolyn Bluemle and Joann Malone tallied votes.

* Board of Trustees: Joseph Byrne and Irene D’Auria were re-elected to serve with Mary Hillebrand and Joe Toole on the Board. James Figetakis was also on the ballot. Practice Council: Steve Sidley was newly elected and Richard Brady was re-elected to join Bill Menza and Jeanine Cogan on the Practice Council. Carolyn Cleveland was also on the ballot.

The Metamorphosis of the WMC Second Body Practice: Two Perspectives

From Bill Menza:

The bonding result of Second Body Practice among Washington Mindfulness Community members is really quite amazing. By creating greater understanding, it has led to friendships and love among Sangha members. It has also helped participants to deepen their Eight-Fold Path practice in everyday life by doing what the Buddha said is the Practice: noble friends having noble conversations.

The metamorphosis of the Practice in the community has been instructive. It started out as a connecting circle arrangement almost two years ago, and now the arrangement is a dyad. The circle arrangement may have been too demanding because of the time and energy it involved, working with two other people. The dyad arrangement seems to be more efficient. Also, when the Practice was first implemented, there seemed to be some concerns about giving a lot of guidelines to participants, while currently the basic guideline is to let each matched pair work out best a weekly communication with each other. Some use the phone, some e-mail, some have lunch or tea together, and some all three. Participants, on their own, have shown an appreciation for keeping focused on the Practice and the spiritual health of their second body. And although there was a question about matching opposite sex members together, no problems appear to have come from this kind of matching, as some other Sanghas had anticipated and as a result kept matches to the same sex.

Although each round of the Practice has been for four months, some practitioners have continued Second Body Practice with those they have been matched with, kind of indefinitely in one way or another, so that they now have a number of Second Bodies!

From Richard Brady:

Having participated in the first three rounds of the WMC’s Second Body Practice (SBP), I have found this practice to have much in common with other mindfulness practices but also some significant differences. Like all other practices, SBP takes commitment. I found my commitment waxed and waned depending on how busy I felt myself to be, how easy or difficult it was to be in contact with my current SBP partners and my feelings about the benefits of those contacts. How similar all this is with other practices!

When I do my daily sitting meditation, I go through periods of doing meditation on the mindfulness trainings, doing loving kindness meditation, doing meditation on feelings, as well as a number of other meditations. Often I will do a particular meditation for several weeks or several months. I have the freedom to choose which practice feels most appropriate to the place in life I find myself. Because my SBP commitment includes others, I don’t have the freedom to do it when it feels right and stop when it doesn’t. In the latter cases, I get to learn about my resistance, my judgment, my impatience and other significant attributes, learning I am able to avoid when I can choose the practice that suits me.

My experiences with all my SBP partners have been different. Some brought life/practice issues to me that were totally new to me. I learned a lot. Others brought issues that were all too familiar, and I had a hard time listening. I learned a lot. When I shared about my life/practice, it was wonderful to have a partner who listened, and it was also wonderful to have a partner who asked helpful questions, made helpful observations, or shared relevant experiences. From each one, I received a lot. With each SBP relationship, I learned about communication, but in a sense each relationship felt like a different practice.

Although I knew each of my six SBP partners at least a bit before the practice began, I know them all much better now. While the amount of our contact almost inevitably diminished after the conclusion of our round together, I would feel comfortable sharing about my life in a deep way with all of them and would be comfortable if any of them asked to share theirs with me. In fact, very recently a former SBP partner offered to listen to me after I had spoken at a Dharma discussion and was very helpful when I called later in the week. Another SBP partner and I continue to get together on a regular basis to share our life/practice experiences. I see each round of SBP as an opportunity to develop my relationship with two more Sangha members, relationships that will continue to enhance my life (and hopefully theirs) long after our round concludes.

Spring/Summer round of Second Body starts May 18.

E-mail secondbody@aol.com by May 16 to sign up.

By Bill Menza

March 16, 2003 — Barbara, now Sister Thuc Nghiem, opened the meeting with telling us how happy and natural it was for her to be at the Buddhist Vihara in Washington, D.C., with other practitioners. And that she was very grateful to the Washington Mindfulness Community sangha for being here, and that she continues to feel that she is a part of this community. She said that sanghas like the WMC are very important, because they give "support and nourishment" to practitioners. Living in a lay or monastic community "helps you not to forget to practice," she said. A sangha also presents opportunities "to give, share, and cultivate the practice. And this sharing is what it is all about." She noted that, unfortunately, many who come to Plum Village do not have a sangha like the WMC to return to when they leave.

Barbara mentioned that by being at Plum Village, which is near Bordeaux, France, she was exposed to the great dislike by the French people for the U.S. Bush invasion of Iraq. And that she was happy to find, since her arrival back in the United States, that many people are against this violent war. She said being either in France, the U.S., or someplace else: "We practice with whatever we find in and around us."

One of the first major questions on her journey toward becoming a monastic was something like "What am I to do, since I want to live the practice fully like it is done at Plum Village by the monastic community and my teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh? And I know that lay practitioners at Plum Village cannot be fully integrated into the monastic community, because they are not monastics, and ultimately return to the secular places they came from."

A second part of this initial inquiry was whether or not she "needed" to live with a partner. She was confronted with what might be called a koan: "What am I to do with the tendency in myself when I am in an intimate relationship to be ‘grasping and controlling’ of the other person, yet wanting them to be completely free?" She found that as a monastic the koan is solved, because she would be able to love every person equally, with non-discrimination. There would not be "grasping and controlling," but freedom.

Some of the first practical questions she had to answer were about her health care and the care of her elderly parents...

about her health care and the care of her elderly parents who have health problems. Her father was receiving chemotherapy for lung cancer and her mother had just suffered a heart attack. She found that the monastic Sangha would provide health care for her. And that she would be allowed to go home to care for her parents, if this became necessary.

When she called and told her mother that she had decided to become a monastic, her mother was concerned and cried. However, her father said: "It’s her life and she will have to decide what she wants to do with it." His words helped her mother to understand that the decision to become a monastic is a personal one each aspirant must answer for herself.

After making her decision to become a monastic, Barbara found that the constant demand "to make a living" that a lay practitioner has, was now gone. She also realized whereas lay practitioners all leave the Plum Village community at some time to return to the places they came from, she as a monastic would be living with this community for her lifetime.

Giving up her belongs, she said, "is a little bit surreal." Over the next few days she gave away her possessions to those who wanted them. She also commented that she had a good life and was letting it go for a better one. Monastics receive $45 a month to purchase personal items.

When asked what she missed most about her former life in the States, she said, that it was not being able to go to a store or post office or someother place whenever she wanted. "This autonomy was missed." She went on to say that actually there are no nearby stores, post offices, or what_have_you at Plum Village to visit, as well as, such visits not being part of monastic life.

She found that "living in community" at Plum Village, including her living with five other women in close quarters for the last six months, was not difficult. Part of community living means " you have to give up the desire to control," she said. "You have to let go. It’s very freeing."

Her practice over the years with the Washington Mindfulness Community, The Mindfulness Practice Center of Fairfax, VA, the Stillwater Mindfulness Practice Center, the Order of Interbeing, as well as at Plum Village, especially over the past months made it very rich. It built a fruitful momentum that allowed her to be ordained as a monastic within a short period of time.

Her ordination began with Thay (or Teacher as Thich Nhat Hanh is called by his students) cutting a symbolic piece of her hair while she recited after him the vow, which went something like this: "Shedding my hair completely I make the great vow today to transform all my afflictions and live for the happiness of all being." She said that the loss of her hair was not a sad event at all, because as the vow says she is leaving behind worldly afflictions and entering a path to help all beings. Eighteen others were ordained along with her.

Each monastic has a mentor assigned to them. It is similar to the assignment of mentors to practitioners who come for the three-month winter retreat at Plum Village. Her mentor gives her assignments. There is also a second body practice among the monastics, where one monastic looks after another to make sure they are okay and attending to things as needed. Sort of like an older brother or sister looking after a younger one.

Each monastic is encouraged to write to Thay. She suggested that we write to Thay. To tell him about our Practice, our suffering, our transformation, our life. She knows he read her letters because she heard some material in his Dharma talks, which she believes, may have came from one of her letters. Thay’s hermitage is near the New Hamlet, where Barbara was living during the time she contemplated becoming a monastic.

She said that her stay at Plum Village over the months leading up to her decision to join its monastic community revealed to her just how deeply the Village is a "practicing Village." She found that Thay, and the monastics and lay practitioners there are naturally practicing the Way of the Buddha. And that among them is a deep rich insightful understanding of the Buddha’s teachings. As a monastic you are able to be close to Thay, but he is here "for everyone," she said. He is trying to pass on his love and deep understandings to others. She saw this greatly demonstrated
during the recent China retreat in which Thay put great energy into his teaching and practice while there.

This trip to China was particularly remarkable for her, because it made her feel a connection to the ancient Patriarchs. They seemed to speak to her as she traveled the ground they walked and visited the temples where some of the Ancestors had lived, taught, and died.

When she was asked if she would find a way to continue her animal rights works, she said that this work would not be ending for she now would be working to help others overcome the fear and ignorance that leads to violence against all beings, including animals. She said that she had discovered in animal rights work that fear and the lack of mindful awareness produce violence. And that the busyness and fastness of society are contributing factors to this mindlessness.

*** The END ***

"Surfin’" song

Erica Hamilton

I’m breakin’ through my sea of reality

Lookin’ deep to see what’s really me

I’m surfin’ a wave of my wonder at beauty

Finding it’s in everything I see

I’m smiling to my anxieties

Finding in them the seeds of peace

I’m peeling away the layers of my fears

Finding understanding in my tears

I’m breakin’ through my sea of reality

Looking deep to see what’s really me

I’m surfin’ a wave of my wonder at beauty

Finding it’s in everything I see

I’m moving through illusions of my dreams

Standing in the light of full sunbeams

A rose is blooming inside of me

The power of love to be so free

I’m breakin’ through my sea of reality

Lookin’ deep to see what’s really me

I’m surfin’ a wave of my wonder at beauty

Finding it’s in everything I see

pink-cloud evening walk

Sharron Mendel

silver moon sliver mirrors silly smiles

funny birds flap and flutter by

wintry winds whip branches

waving weary worried woes good-bye

healing heart shouts "hooray!"

with happy songs of

silly smiles

fluttering birds

and woes waving

goodbye

shhhh

mmmm

flutter-flutter

aaahhhh

whssshhh

bye-bye

WMC Meditation and Dharma Discussion: Every Sun., 7-9:15 p.m., at the Buddhist Vihara, 5017 16th Street NW, Washington, DC. Sitting and walking meditation and a brief taped dharma talk by Thich Nhat Hanh, followed by discussion. Everyone is welcome. Phone: 301-681-1036; wmc@mindfulnessdc.org; www.mindfulnessdc.org

Live Dharma! Throughout the year, the WMC hosts dharma teachers during our Sunday evening meditation and dharma discussion meetings. Upcoming dates: June 1, Anh-Huong Nguyen; Oct. 5, Vien Nguyen; Nov. 9, Thu Nguyen; Dec. 7 Mitchell Ratner.

Ceremony for the Departed: Nov. 9, 7 p.m.

WMC Newcomer Orientation: Last Sun. each month, 6-7 p.m., before the regular sitting; a time to ask questions about sitting and walking meditation, bells, gathas, other aspects of mindfulness practice. Open to all, especially newcomers. Informal orientation available on other Sundays; call or e-mail to arrange.

Peace Walks: Third Sun. each month, 6-6:45 p.m., before the regular sitting. Meet in front of the Vihara.

Next Community Gathering: June 8, 3:30 p.m. See pg. 2 for more information on these quarterly gatherings.

WMC Retreats: Three times a year at Charter Hall, on the Susquehanna River. Next retreat: Sept. 26-28. Please use above email address to inquire about registration.

Second Body Practice: Everyone wishing to participate will be paired with one partner. Each partner in the pair takes turns listening to and supporting the other in mindfulness practice. Spring/Summer round starts May 18. E-mail secondbody@aol.com by May 16 to sign up.

OTHER D.C. AREA SANGHAS

Mindfulness Practice Center of Fairfax (MPCF): At the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, 2709 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton, Va. Morning sitting & walking meditation: Mon.-Fri. 8:15 a.m. Mid-day meditation: Thurs., noon. Mindful movement: Tues., 4:15 p.m. Evening meditation: Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Please call 703-938-1377 to confirm. More info: www.mpcf.org.

Next MPCF Retreat: May 23-25, Claymont Court, W.Va.

Practicing the Art of Mindful Living (MPCF): With resident teachers Anh-Huong and Thu Nguyen, we come together once a month to learn and practice the art of mindful living as a community. Donation: $30-50. Upcoming dates: In Oakton: May 17, June 21, July 19. In Annapolis: June 28 (contact Phyllis Culham, culham@usna.edu.

Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center: Sitting meditation and reading: Mon., Wed. and Fri., 6:30-7:30 a.m.; sitting meditation and other mindfulness practices: Thurs., 7:30 p.m. All gatherings at Crossings: Center for the Healing Traditions, 8505 Fenton Street, Suite 202, Silver Spring, Md. (Above Whole Foods/Fresh Fields Supermarket). Contact Mitchell Ratner (301) 270-8353, info@StillwaterMPC.org, www.stillwatermpc.org

Still Water Retreats: Three times per year at Charter Hall on the Susquehanna River. E-mail for more information.

Capitol Hill Mindfulness Practice: Sitting meditation Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri., 7-8 a.m., at Capitol Hill Yoga Center, 221 5th St., NE. Practice evening Wed., 6:15-7:15 p.m. at Healing Arts of Capitol Hill, 320 G St. NE.

Boat of Compassion (Thuyen Tu) Sangha:

Mindful day, first Sat. each month, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., except April and October, when mindful retreat is held. Giac Hoang Temple, 5401 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C. More info: 703-938-9606, 301-294-7966, thuyentu@crpcv.org, www.crpcv.org/thuyentu.

Arlington Mindfulness Practice: Sitting meditation, singing and outside walking meditation: First and third Sun. each month, 7 p.m. Practice evening: Mon., 7:30 p.m. Contact Peter Guerrero, 703-820-1524, pfguerrero@aol.com.

Annapolis Mindfulness Practice: Thurs., 7-8:30 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, 333 Dubois Rd. Contact Art Hanson, 410-216-9551.

Columbia Mindfulness Practice: First Mon. each month, 7-8:30 p.m. Contact Judy Colligan, 410-730-4712.

Bethesda Mindfulness Practice: Tues. & Thurs., 7-8 a.m. More info: 301-897-3648.

Baltimore Fresh Breeze Mindfulness Sangha: Sat., 8:30-10:15 a.m., Govans Presbyterian Church, 5824 York Road, Baltimore. Contact Carol Fegan, 410-583-7798.

THAY IS COMING TO WASHINGTON!

Thich Nhat Hanh is scheduled to give a talk to Congress Sept. 10 as part of the Faith and Politics Institute's Caps-Emerson Lecture Series. In addition, he plans to lead a two-day retreat for members of Congress, followed by a public talk on Sept. 14.

WANT TO GET INVOLVED?

• The WMC’s Committee on Mindful Politics is assisting

with organizing the Congressional events.

Contact Carolyn Cleveland, ccleveland@solespring.net.

• WMC members are assisting with advance preparations and providing logistical support for the public talk on Sept. 14.

Contact Bill Menza, wmenza@capaccess.org.

2002 WMC Financial Report

Welcome to the first annual WMC financial report! A few things should be pointed out.

1. Our income as a community was over $10,000 last year, including monies from our special fundraising projects. That’s pretty darn impressive for a small community such as ours. We spent just over $9,500, also impressive. We were in the black last year in total funds, but in the red after subtracting the extra income from the dedicated accounts. The $1,245 remaining in the dedicated accounts is still dedicated — that is, it must be spent on projects for which the money was raised. Subtracting that money from the $714 surplus, we are left with a deficit of $531. Still, that’s not at all bad for a year in which Thich Nhat Hanh did not come to Washington to give a public talk (a reliable source of income for the community, via ticket and book sales).

2. Our fund-raising for special projects, i.e. the dedicated accounts, was quite successful. We raised $4,805 for the year, nearly half the overall amount, and spent $3,560. This shows that folks are willing to give generously for specific projects, when they see the benefit for the community (the WMC) or for kindred communities (Plum Village). And not only did we help provide a server to Plum Village, we also gave them our own Barbara Newell, newly ordained as a nun!

3. The $528 for remodeling the Vihara’s downstairs bathroom was entirely raised from the sale of glass ornaments, made at two "mindful glass-fusion parties." Thanks to everyone who helped make them, and to Joe Toole who provided the supplies and showed us how.

4. The income statement is not as detailed as it could be. The vast majority of the income falls under the heading "General Donation." This is because I was not as diligent in keeping track of where the monies came from when I made deposits. Now that I see what our annual financial statement will include, I will track our income in more detail in the future. It would also make my life easier if, when folks drop something into the dana box or hand me something, they make a note on their check or put a sticky note on their cash if the contribution is for a specific purpose, such as retreats, classes, or book sales. No need if it’s a general-use donation. Thanks!

Joseph Byrne, Treasurer

WMC INCOME 2002

Community Care Committee

Fall Retreat attendance fees: $910

Subtotal: $910

Retreat Scholarship Committee

General Fundraising: $250

Subtotal: $250

General Donation

WMC dana box contributions: $4,290

Subtotal: $4,290

TOTAL 2002 INCOME: $5,450

WMC EXPENSES 2002

Board Allocations

Donations to the Vihara: $1,500

Donations to Plum Village: $500

Subtotal: $2,000

Retreat Scholarship Committee

Scholarships Awarded: $1,000

Subtotal: $1,000

Operations Committee

Books for Sale: $157

Plum Village Dharma Talk CDs: $492

Post Office Box: $100

Magazine Subscription: $20

Subtotal: $769

Community Care Committee

Gifts for Guest Dharma Teachers: $67

Charter Hall Fall Retreat: $910

Subtotal: $977

Communications Committee

Community Telephone: $102

Newsletter Printing: $368

Newsletter Postage: $241

Subtotal: $710

Committee on Mindful Politics

Sound System, November Vigil: $450

Banner, November Vigil: $55

Subtotal: $505

TOTAL EXPENSES: $5,961

WMC DEDICATED ACCOUNTS

Plum Village Server

Income: $2,997

Outlay: $2,280

Balance: $717

Barbara Newell Plum Village Fund

Income: $1,280

Outlay: $1,280

Balance: $0 (account closed)

Vihara Bathroom Fund

Income: $528

Outlay: $0

Balance: $528

TOTAL DEDICATED ACCOUNT

ACTIVITY

Income: $4,805

Outlay: $3,560

Balance: $1,245

2002 WMC ACCOUNT

ACTIVITY

Total Income 2002: $10,255

Total Expenses 2002: $9,541

Difference: $714

Beginning Balance 2002: $4,875

Ending Balance 2002: $5,589

Difference: $714