Date: November 17, 2002
Present: Jeanine Cogan (facilitator), Steve Sidley, Richard Brady,
, Carolyn Bluemle, Sara O’Brien, Joe Toole, Bill Menza, Joseph Byrne,
Mary Hillebrand, Carolyn Cleveland, Carrie Rose
COMMITTEE REPORTS HIGHLIGHTS
Retreats — Jeanine Cogan reported the results of the summer survey
on retreat preferences:
a. People generally want practice opportunities including meditation,
walking meditation, noble silence, and dharma discussions at WMC retreats.
b. Few expressed interest in theme-oriented retreats.
c. Friday evening to Sunday after lunch was the most popular time-frame
d. The majority of respondents said they are open to the inclusion
of families and children and said they would attend family-centered
e. Very few respondents expressed interest in a winter (January) retreat;
most said fall and spring are their preferred times. Despite this fact,
the WMC will hold a winter retreat January 24-26, 2003, because the
Family Committee requested an opportunity to offer child-specific activities
(see Family Committee report).
— Jeanine also reported that the fall 2002 retreat had higher than
usual turnout, perhaps because the survey helped boost awareness that
the WMC holds retreats and also let WMC members know they have a role
in creating their retreat experience.
— The WMC is forming a new committee to plan, operate, and evaluate
retreats, building on the momentum generated by the summer survey and
well-attended fall retreat. Jeanine agreed to head the committee and
is seeking volunteer members.
— Suggestion: Make the schedule of events for each retreat available
in advance — perhaps in a flyer — to help people decide whether to attend.
Community Care Committee
1. Welcoming Ceremonies for New Children — Carolyn Bluemle reported
that the first such occasion, a "baptism" for Rob DeBara’s
twin girls, was "very wonderful"; the event, planned with
the help of the CC Committee, provided the WMC an opportunity to support
parents and a model to work from when assisting other parents in creating
or planning their own welcoming ceremonies.
2. Second Body Practice — Steve Sidley reported that the current round
is going smoothly, with 14 people participating at the start.
— Changes implemented in fall cycle: a new 1-1 paired format is being
used, instead of the 1-1-1 groups formed in the past;
— Early observations about the changes: there is "a lot of energy
behind it," Steve says; people like the 1-1 format because it makes
contacts easier to schedule and facilitates deeper interactions.
— 1-1 format’s challenges: Because each person in the pair plays both
the roles of speaker and listener, participants report tendency to fall
into "conversational" mode instead of deep listening and mindful
speaking; some pairs find it challenging to divide the time evenly during
each interaction to enable each person an opportunity to speak and to
listen; some participants noted that it is easier to determine how the
time should be split during face-to-face interactions than during over-the-phone
Communications Committee — Joseph Byrne and Mary Hillebrand
1. Several new pages about the Dec. 7-8 weekend of prayer for peace
have been added to the WMC web site.
2. The WMC directory, distributed to WMC members who have agreed to
have their contact information included in it, will be updated and distributed
with the fall newsletter; Joseph continues to work on a directory sign-up
form for the WMC web site.
Family Committee — Steve Sidley reported:
1. Childcare on Sunday nights — The committee will provide childcare
for parents during the first half of Sunday evening sits that are preceded
by a WMC Peace Walk (currently the 3rd Sunday of each month).
2. Family-oriented Events — The committee organized an Interbeing Scavenger
Hunt for adults and children in November to create an opportunity for
families and children to interact mindfully with other members of the
3. Retreats — Nearly all committee members have committed to attending
January 2003 retreat and organize events for children; Irene D’Auria
volunteered to be registrar and Annie Sidley volunteered to head the
cooking team; Steve will work with Richard Brady and Joanne Malone on
preparations; WMC must bring in at least $850 to cover the cost of the
Committee on Mindful Politics — Carolyn Cleveland reported:
1. Interfaith Prayer Vigil and Peace Walk — See page 1.
2. Carolyn’s personal project — bring Thich Nhat Hanh to address Congress,
either by speaking to the entire body, holding a retreat with some members,
or speaking as a guest at a program; working with Faith & Politics
Institute and looking for opportunities for WMC members to get involved.
Practice Council — Richard Brady reported:
1. Live Dharma Talks — will continue in 2003; Bill Menza will join
the group of Washington area dharma teachers, after receiving the lamp
transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh in January; Bill will give live dharma
talk on February 2.
2. Suggestions for future Community Gatherings: more time for open
conversation of issues, not just committee reports; hold on different
night from Sunday (makes for long Sunday evening when held before evening
sits) and combine with potluck; be clearer about what the Community
Gathering is when announcing it beforehand; examine ways to encourage
more WMC members to participate.
*Full minutes available at <www.mindfulnessdc.org/reports/commgath1102.html>