Administration & Governance
WMC was formed in 1989, part of a worldwide community of practitioners. Our mission is to nurture mindfulness, love and understanding among those who participate in our activities and in the larger society. Mindfulness is the continuous practice of touching life deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around us and with what we are doing.
The WMC is incorporated as a Maryland non-profit religious institution. All gifts are tax deductible. Our governing structure is a Board of Trustees and a Practice Council.
Community Meetings are held twice a year for all interested sangha members. During these meetings, Board and Practice Council members report to the broader community about ongoing work and our financial status, and discuss plans for the coming six months.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees manages the business, finances and affairs of the WMC, and ensures that we are always in compliance with our 501c3 status. Before making any major decisions, the Board consults with and receives input from the larger community. The Board grounds all its decisions on the wishes and needs of the whole sangha membership. As the elected representatives of the community as a whole, the Trustees are entrusted by the community with holding the wellbeing of the sangha in their heart, and with embodying in their actions the needs of the community as a whole. Board members are currently Neal Riemer, Jude Mccartin, Sankar Sitaram and Dana Dirker.
The Practice Council
The Practice Council oversees the spiritual life of the sangha, and supports the mindfulness practice of community members. The Practice Council looks for guidance from the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh and from Dharma teachers from his tradition. Before making any substantive changes to established practices, the Practice Council will consult with and receive input from the larger community. As the elected representatives of the community as a whole, members of the Practice Council are entrusted by the community with holding the wellbeing of the sangha in their heart, and with embodying in their actions the needs of the community as a whole. Practice Council members are currently Joann Malone, Patrick Smith, Steve Sidley and Nigel Twose.
Elections are held every spring, at a Community Meeting. Each year, we elect two members of the Board and two members of the Practice Council. Both bodies currently have four members, so these rolling elections ensure continuity from one year to the next. In order to vote or to stand, you need to have been an active member of the sangha for at least six months, and have registered to receive or complete a ballot form.
Participation in WMC is free; there is no charge. But if you can afford to contribute something, you will find donation boxes, or dana boxes. Dana is a gift from the heart, bringing joy and benefit to both the giver and the receiver. Anything you feel able to give goes to WMC activities, including donations to the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation, the Vihara for use of their space, scholarships for retreats for sangha members, maintenance of our library, and other expenses. If you prefer, you can make donations - one-off or monthly recurring donations - via Paypal.