Author Archives: brucemacrae

2018/10/10 A six week course with Margo McLoughlin

Tending the Spark: Mindfulness and the Creative Life

Explore the connections between mindfulness
and living a creative life. 

Rediscover your passion for creating,
or simply reframe 
your approach to the tasks of daily life. 

Dates: Wednesdays, October 10 – November 28, 2018.

Time: 4:30 – 6 p.m.

Location: The chapel at the Oak Bay United Church, adjacent to the church offices at 1355 Mitchell Street, Victoria, BC.

Registration Fee: $80 – $120 sliding scale. To register, please send an e-mail to Margo (margostoryteller@gmail.com) with “Tending the Spark” in the subject line.

Margo McLoughlin
#6, 914 St. Charles Street
Victoria, BC  V8S 3P6
 
250-208-8150

2018/10/13 Christina Feldman Week-end Retreat

Awakening & Forgetting
A Study and Meditation Retreat with
Christina Feldman

Held at Goward House, 2495 Arbutus Road, Victoria, BC,
Saturday 9:00 to 4:30 pm;  Sunday 9:00 – 4:00 pm.

Registration open. REGISTER

Through this 2 day retreat, Christina will reflect on the qualities that support an awakened and dignified life and the factors that undermine that quest. Or put another way, this retreat will be a contemplation on the creative tension between the hindrances and the Seven Limbs of Awakening.

This will be a study practice weekend with a large teaching element to it. There will be periods of formal practice, periods of extended teaching and also time for questions and reflections. The weekend will be held in a background of silence.

Christina Feldman is a co-founder of Gaia House in England. She has been leading Insight Meditation retreats worldwide since 1976 and is a Guiding Teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. Christina is the author of a number of books including ‘Women Awake’, ‘Way of Meditation’, ‘The Buddhist Path to Simplicityand co-author of ‘Soul Food’. Her most recent book is ‘Boundless Heart – The Buddha’s Path of Kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity’.

2018/06/24 Ajahn Viradhammo Retreat Audio Day Two

The following files were recorded at University of Victoria during a weekend retreat given by Ajahn Viradhammo. These are from Day two.

 

2018/06/23 – Ajahn Viradhammo Retreat Audio Day One

The following files were recorded at University of Victoria during a weekend retreat given by Ajahn Viradhammo. These are from Day one

 

2018/09/14 VIMS Council Meeting Minutes

VIMS Council Meeting Minutes (UNapproved)

Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

Sandra’s home

Present:

Brock, June, Sandra, Bruce, Brian, Rhonda

Absent with Regrets:

None.

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda:

An addition (point 3 last item) to the distributed agenda was proposed to request updates on two outstanding items. Motion from Rhonda to approve the modified agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (July 20th, 2017):

There were no changes to the distributed draft minutes from the July council meeting. Motion from June to approve the minutes. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates:
  • Ajaan Geoff retreat update (Aug 19/20): There were 74 participants on Saturday (19th) and 63 participants on Sunday (20th). Participants were enthusiastic and good feedback was received after the retreat. Thanks to all those who supported this retreat: Coordinators: June Fukushima and Brock Brown; Co-managers: Eric Bedard, Ken Sohm and Grant Laing; Registrar: David Axon; Sound: Bruce McRae; Hospitality: Pascal Courty, Piriya and David Nowak, Brock Brown and June Fukushima.

 

  • The visit to Galiano Island with the monks following the retreat went well.

 

  • Arising from Ajaan Geoff’s visit is a new pilot project named the Aranya Refuge. It is a project that is separate from Victoria IMS but is supported by a number of sangha members. The purpose of the project is to have a place on Vancouver Island for monks to come from Wat Meta in California to be on retreat. The initial plan is for May 2018 when two monks would stay at David and Piriya’s house in Duncan and David and Brock would act as stewards. During that month there would be an opportunity for people to offer dana meals on Saturdays. Following the meal people could stay and listen to a recorded talk by Ajaan Geoff and then meditate with the monks.

 

  • Victoria IMS total retreat participants between January and August 2017 was 259.

 

  • Update on the status of outstanding items discussed at earlier meetings this year:

 

    • Gender inclusive signs for the washrooms at the yoga studio: Helga spoke to McAvoy and Associates who own the building but as at this time nothing has happened. June will follow up again with Helga.
    • Verbal acknowledgment of First Nations’ land at the start of retreats held at Goward House: Council is still undecided about this matter and will keep the topic in consciousness and see how it evolves over time (perhaps a chant; perhaps something in print that we can leave on the dana table; etc.).
  1. Finances:
    • June reported on the July-August financials (the report was distributed to council members prior to the meeting).

Account Balances as of August 1st, 2017:

Chequing: $1,240.95

Savings: $6,774.34

TOTAL: $8,015.29

Account Balances as of September 1st, 2017:

Chequing: $1,764.91

Savings: $6,775.78

TOTAL: $8,540.69

Motion from Sandra to receive the July-August 2017 financial report. Carried.

    • A scholarship was requested from Victoria IMS and was approved by Brock and Bruce. The value of the scholarship was $157.50 and it has been remitted to the sponsor organization.
  1. Bylaws and Constitution:
    • The Council agreed at our last meeting to move items 3, 4 and 5 of the current Constitution (see below in italics) to the new by-laws in accordance with the new regulations. Our new Constitution will comprise items 1 and 2 of the existing Constitution.

 

1. The name of the Society is Victoria Insight Meditation Society

2. The purposes of the Society are:

a. To promote Buddhist teachings and meditation practices as taught in, but not limited to Theravada Buddhism.

b. To provide access to the practice and study of the dhamma, the Buddha’s teachings.

c. To facilitate the growth and sustenance of a sangha, the community of Buddhist practitioners.

d. to promote the cultivation of insight, generosity and kindness in order to awaken heart and mind and to foster the possibility of freedom from suffering for all.

e. to encourage a personal meditation practice and the embodiment of the dhamma in daily life.

f. to do those things incidental and necessary to promote and attain the foregoing purposes, which shall include but not be restricted to the promotion, organisation and conduct of Buddhist meditation retreats, instruction, study and practice groups in British Columbia, primarily in the Greater Victoria regional district.

3. Upon winding up or dissolution of the Society, the assets, which remain after payment of all cost, charges, and expenses which are properly incurred in the winding up shall be distributed to a registered charity or registered charities as defined in the Income Tax Act (Canada), as may be determined by the members of the Society at the time of winding up or dissolution. This provision is unalterable.

4. The above purposes of the Society shall be carried out without purpose of gain for its members, and any profits or other accretions to the Society shall be used for promoting its purposes, and all the above purposes shall be carried on in an exclusively charitable manner. This provision is unalterable.

5. No Director or Officer shall be remunerated for being or acting as a Director or Officer, but a Director or Officer may be reimbursed for all expenses necessarily and reasonably incurred by him or her while engaged in the affairs of the Society. This provision is unalterable.

    • Member-funded society or not: after some discussion and with reference to page 5 of the BC New Societies Act: A Guide to the Transition Process, Council determined that Victoria IMS is not a member-funded society. Bruce motioned that we designate ourselves as not a member-funded society. Carried.
    • Brock suggested that we use the government offered model by-laws template as a start to creating the new Victoria IMS by-laws. Sandra suggested that we do this with reference to our current by-laws to retain anything we feel relevant.
    • Council decided that we would hold a separate meeting specifically to discuss and assemble the new by-laws. Before the meeting we will review the new model by-laws which can be found in Schedule 1 at this link: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/216_2015#Schedule1
  1. New by-laws meeting
  2. October 12th, 2017
  3.  7:00 – 9:00
  4. June and Brock’s home
  1. Sunday Night Community Sit:
    • As there will be no sit on Sunday December 24th, Margo has suggested doing a Solstice evening at the Yoga Studio on Friday evening December 22nd between 7 and 9pm. Council is supportive of this event. Sandra will speak to Margo about the logistics of the evening.
    • An extended meditation siting will be held on Sunday 31st December between 4 and 9 pm.
  1. Communications:
    • Newsletter: There has been a request to put an announcement about the Aranya Refuge project into the newsletter (see #3 point 3 above) and to also provide a link for readers to subscribe to the Aranya Refuge mailing list. Motion from Sandra to include in the newsletter. Carried.
  1. 2017 Programs/Retreat Operations:
    • Upcoming retreats/events:
      • Sep 16/17 – Adrianne Ross – registration opens Aug 21, 2017
      • Oct 14/15 – Steve Armstrong – registration opens Sep 18, 2017
      • Oct 27 – Victoria IMS Potluck/Social
      • Nov 11 – Brock Brown – registration opens Oct 16, 2017
    • Retreats completed:
      • January 21/22 – Heather Martin
      • February 19 – Margo McLoughlin
      • March 18/19 – Howard Cohn
      • April 30 – Tuere Sala
      • May 27/28 – Ayya Medhanandi
      • Aug 19/20 – Ajaan Geoff
  1. 2018 Programs:
    • January 20/21 Heather confirmed – Goward House reserved
    • February 23 – Margo McLoughlin – confirmed – evening talk – Goward House reserved
    • February 24/25 – Margo McLoughlin – confirmed – Goward House reserved
    • March 31/April 1 – Pascal Auclair – confirmed – Goward House reserved
    • May 26/27 – Susie Harrington – confirmed – Goward House reserved
    • June 23/24 – Ajahn Viradhammo – more than likely – UVic conference room reserved
    • September 15/16 – Brock Brown – confirmed – Goward House reserved
    • October 13/14 – Christina Feldman – confirmed – Goward House reserved
    • Nov 10/11 – Carol Wilson – confirmed – Goward House reserved

It has been suggested that we have a Friday program (day long) on May 25, 2018 facilitated by Susie Harrington. This would be the day before Susie ‘s two day retreat. The Friday one-day would be a separate event from the two day weekend retreat and would be focused on Buddhism and the environment. Earthspring Sanctuary outside Langford is suggested as the venue for the 25th May and the cost would be $400. Earthspring holds 25-30 people. Lawrie and Brock would be endorsers. Bruce motioned we should go ahead with this. Carried.

Isy has been working on the 2018 retreat teams. Brock distributed copies of the 2018 retreat schedule populated with current volunteer staffing and requested Council to review before our next meeting.

We are still looking for additional Sound support for retreats.

  1. Meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

Next Council Meeting

November 16th, 2017
7:00-9:30p.m.

Sandra’s home

2017/11/16 Council Meeting Minutes

VIMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)

Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

Sandra’s home

Present:

Brock, June, Sandra, Brian, Rhonda

Absent with Regrets:

Bruce.

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda:

Motion from Brian to approve the agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (September 14th, 2017):

There were no changes to the distributed draft minutes from the September council meeting. Motion from Sandra to approve the minutes. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates:
  • Adrianne Ross retreat update (September 16/17): There were 74 participants on Saturday (16th) and 63 participants on Sunday (17th). Participants were engaged and appreciative and good feedback was received after the retreat. Thanks to all those who supported this retreat: Coordinator: Joyce Elliott; Co-managers: Joyce Elliott and Kathy Jago; Registrar: Lawrie Thicke; Sound: Bruce McRae and Juli Macdonnell; Hospitality: Joyce Elliott.

 

  • Steve Armstrong retreat update (October 14/15): There were 89 participants on Saturday (14th) and 80 on Sunday (15th). The teachings were very well received and good feedback was received after the retreat. Thanks to all those who supported this retreat: Coordinator: Lawrie Thicke; Registrar: Rod House; Co-Managers: Isy House and Sheena Wilson; Sound: Rod House; Hospitality: Lawrie Thicke.

 

  • Brock Brown retreat update (November 11): There were 46 participants for this one day retreat. The teaching of Joy permeated the day and feedback received after the retreat expressed appreciation for the benefits experienced. Thanks to all those who supported this retreat: Co-ordinator: June Fukushima; Registrar; Pascal Courty; Co-managers: Sandra Joy and Margo McLoughlin; Sound: Juli Macdonnell and Bruce McRae.

 

  • Victoria IMS thanks all volunteers who gave of their time to support our retreats during 2017. In addition to those mentioned above who took on formal roles, there were many volunteers who undertook small tasks, came early at the start of the retreat to help with set up and stayed late at the end to help with clean up. Your contributions are greatly appreciated.

 

  • Victoria IMS total number of retreat participants for 2017 was 354.

 

  • Victoria IMS social: the gathering in October was smaller than in previous years and in discussion Council suggests that in 2018 we opt for a more informal venue such as a home garden.
  1. Finances:
    • June reported on the September-October financials (the report was distributed to council members prior to the meeting).

Account Balances as of October 1st, 2017:

Chequing: $2,395.82

Savings: $6,777.17

TOTAL: $9,172.99

Account Balances as of November 1st, 2017:

Chequing: $4,298.65

Savings: $6,778.61

TOTAL: $11,077.26

Motion from Sandra to receive the September-October 2017 financial report. Carried.

    • Another scholarship was requested from Victoria IMS and was approved by Brock and Bruce. The balance remaining in the 2017 scholarship fund after two earlier scholarships were granted was $157.50. Brock sent an email to council members requesting that we add to the fund increasing it to the maximum value of a single scholarship (that is $250.00), in order to support the applicant to attend a retreat. Brock made motion to implement the increase. Council members were in agreement and the motion was carried. The scholarship has now been granted and the funds remitted to the sponsor organization.
    • June put forward a suggestion to make suitable donations to three organizations with some of the Victoria IMS year-end surplus funds. The organizations are: Wat Metta, Forest Sangha and Dharma Seed. All of these organizations provide us with the ongoing use of dhamma educational materials. Motion from June to put the donations into effect. Carried.
    • 2018 Budget: June prepared a draft budget for 2018 which was distributed to Council prior to the meeting. Upon review, Council felt that the proposed Budget looked good. June will send it to our bookkeeper Wei for her review and modifications as needed. We will further review and approve the Budget at our next meeting.
  1. Bylaws and Constitution:
    • Council met on October 12, 2017 to go through the current Victoria IMS Constitution and Bylaws in conjunction with the new Society Act. Modifications were discussed and documented during the meeting. Sandra incorporated the results of this meeting into a working version which has been circulated to Council. Council will revisit and refine this working version at our March meeting and a final version will be created for review and approval at the 2018 Annual General Meeting.
  1. Sunday Night Community Sit:
    • Victoria IMS hosted a beautiful evening with Will Pegg’s community and the CBC as they documented Will’s journey through his illness. Those in attendance were deeply moved by Will’s honesty and courage in speaking about his illness and too his humour, open heart and depth of compassion. Thank you Will for allowing us to be a part of your journey.
    • In 2018 there will be a change in the Sunday Night Community Sit program which is scheduled to have more teacher-led evenings than in previous years and will be more focused on specific dharma topics – e.g. Brock Brown will be presenting on the Eight Fold Noble Path over several Sundays and likewise, Margo McLoughlin will be presenting on the Brahma Viharas. Community member-led Sunday evenings will continue to be offered.
  1. Communications:
    • Website: discussions about ‘revamping’ the Victoria IMS website have been in progress for some time but no action has been taken as yet. We will revisit this subject again, early in 2018, after the revision of the bylaws is complete.
  1. 2017 Programs:
    • Retreats completed:
      • January 21/22 – Heather Martin
      • February 19 – Margo McLoughlin
      • March 18/19 – Howard Cohn
      • April 30 – Tuere Sala
      • May 27/28 – Ayya Medhanandi
      • Aug 19/20 – Ajaan Geoff
      • Sep 16/17 – Adrianne Ross
      • Oct 14/15 – Steve Armstrong
      • Nov 11 – Brock Brown
  1. 2018 Programs:

All programs will be held at Goward House with the exception of the retreat with Ajahn Viradhammo which will be held at the University of Victoria.

    • January 20/21 Heather confirmed.
    • February 23 – Margo McLoughlin – evening public talk – confirmed.
    • February 24/25 – Margo McLoughlin – confirmed.
    • March 31/April 1 – Pascal Auclair – confirmed.
    • May 25 – Susie Harrington – evening public talk – confirmed.
    • May 26/27 – Susie Harrington – confirmed.
    • June 23/24 – Ajahn Viradhammo – TBD.
    • September 15/16 – Brock Brown – confirmed.
    • October 13/14 – Christina Feldman – confirmed.
    • Nov 10/11 – Carol Wilson – confirmed.

The 2018 retreat teams are in place.

  1. 2019 Programs:

Planning for the 2019 retreat schedule is in progress.

  1. Meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

Next Council Meeting

January 18, 2018 7:00-9:30p.m.

June and Brock’s home

2018/01/18 Council meeting minutes

VIMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)

Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Brock and June’s home

Present:

Brock, June, Sandra, Brian, Rhonda, Bruce

Absent with Regrets:

None.

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda:

Motion from Sandra to approve the agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (November 16th, 2017):

There were no changes to the distributed draft minutes from the November council meeting. Motion from June to approve the minutes. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates:
  • Joyce Elliott, filling in for Isy House who is away, sent letters with retreat documentation to the Coordinators for first three 2018 retreats. Joyce herself will be away in January and February. Support volunteer teams for Heather and Margo’s retreats are confirmed.
  • Sandra will speak to Margo about setup for the Friday night public talk before her weekend retreat.
  • The person who requested that Victoria IMS acknowledge it’s presence on First Nations’ territory at the beginning of their retreats has contacted us again regarding the earlier request and whether any action is being taken. The matter remains under discussion.
  • Victoria IMS has received acknowledgements from Dharma Seed, Wat Metta and Abhayagiri, expressing their appreciation for recent donations made to their book/audio funds.
  • 2017 year-end reports: draft reports are due for review at the next council meeting. Responsibility assigned as follows:
    • Report from the Chair – Brock
    • Finance – June
    • Retreat Statistics and Volunteers – Rhonda
    • Communications – Bruce, Rod and June (Constant Contact)
    • Sunday Night Sit – Sandra and June
    • Special Events – Brock
  • The draft of the new Victoria IMS bylaws, distributed to Council by Sandra on October 19, 2017, will be reviewed at our next council meeting.
  1. Finances:
    • June reported on the November-December financials and the 2017 year-end financials prepared by Wei (reports were distributed to council members prior to the meeting).

Account Balances as of December 1st, 2017:

Chequing: $3,005.74

Savings: $6,781.44

TOTAL: $9,787.18

Account Balances as of January 1st, 2018:

Chequing: $4,298.65

Savings: $6,780.00

TOTAL: $9,933.97

Motion from June to receive the November-December 2017 Financial Report. Carried.

    • Council reviewed the 2017 year-end report. The 2017 budget vs. actual had a $6.08 difference. Council was pleased that the retreats and Sunday night program provided sufficient net gains to afford operating costs, several special events, scholarships, donations to book/audio funds, and the purchase of a microphone head-set.

Motion from June to approve the 2017 year-end report. Carried.

    • Wei reviewed the draft 2018 budget presented at the November 2017 council meeting and some changes were made. Council reviewed the revised budget and approved it.

Motion from June to accept the 2018 budget. Carried.

    • A scholarship to support attendance at a retreat was requested from Victoria IMS for 2018 and was approved by Brock and Bruce. The scholarship has been granted and the funds remitted to the sponsor organization

  1. Communications:
    • Newsletter: Bruce continues to produce the newsletter with support from June. The newsletter looks very good a significant number of subscribers read it.
  1. 2018 Programs:

All programs will be held at Goward House with the exception of the retreat with Ajahn Viradhammo which will be held at the University of Victoria.

    • January 20/21 Heather Martin.
    • February 23 – Margo McLoughlin – evening public talk.
    • February 24/25 – Margo McLoughlin.
    • March 31/April 1 – Pascal Auclair.
    • May 25 – Susie Harrington – evening public talk.
    • May 26/27 – Susie Harrington.
    • June 23/24 – Ajahn Viradhammo.
    • September 15 – Brock Brown (changed from two days to one day).
    • October 13/14 – Christina Feldman.
    • Nov 10/11 – Carol Wilson.

The 2018 retreat teams are in place.

  1. 2019 Programs:

Planning for the 2019 retreats schedule is still in progress. However, the teachers and dates listed below are now confirmed. Goward House has been reserved for the May and October retreats and space at the University of Victoria for the August retreat is being finalized.

    • May 25/26 – Ayya Medhanandi.
    • August 17/18 – Ajaan Geoff.
    • October 12/13 – Steve Armstrong.
  1. Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

Next Council Meeting

March 15, 2018 7:00-9:00p.m.

Sandra’s home