VIMS Nov 2012 Minutes

Victoria Insight Meditation Society (VIMS)

Minutes of the Victoria IMS Council

November 5, 2012


A meeting of the VIMS council was held at the home of John Hilditch,Victoria, B.C. on November 5, 2012. The meeting commenced at 1:05 p.m. with a brief meditation.


Present:           Brock Brown              chair

Joyce Elliott               retreat operations

John Hilditch              secretary

Theresa Aspol

Bruce MacRae                        technology and communications

Regrets            June Fukushima

Rod House

1.         Approval of the agenda: It was moved by John Hilditch that the agenda be approved. The motion received unanimous endorsement. Brock declared the motion Implemented.


2.         Approval of the minutes of the October 1, 2012 meeting. It was moved by Brock Brown that the minutes be approved as circulated. The motion received unanimous endorsement. Brock declared the motion Implemented.


3.         Business arising from the minutes and updates:

  • The visit of Venerable Pannavati to our sangha on November 3 and 4 was very successful. She gave a talk to the community on Saturday evening at the Garry Oak Room, Fairfield Community Centre. We very much appreciate the contribution of Shivon Robinsong and the Gettin’ Higher Choir who sang several songs at the entrance while waiting for the doors to be opened. Venerable Pannavati expressed her own appreciation and asked that the choir repeat a couple of songs so she could record them. On Sunday evening she gave a dharma talk at the Sunday evening sit at the yoga studio. Both events were well attended. Dana collected on Saturday evening was $664.32, on Sunday evening $258.85, a total of $923.17. Because the doors at the Garry Oak Room were not opened according to the agreement Brock anticipates a rebate. The council agreed that the rebate be added to the dana to be given to Venerable Pannavati to help her with her charitable work inNorth Carolina and inIndia. The council thanks everyone who helped with this event. John will send a thank-you card to Shivon and the Getting’ Higher Choir.
  • A note has been received from Sati Saraniya, thanking us for our donation of $247 to the meditation hall building project.
  • A $36 scholarship has been awarded to a participant in Margo’s course.
  • The Thai monks who visited and taught at a Sunday evening sit have given the sangha a gift of a Buddha Statue. Brock thanked them on behalf of the sangha.
  • Rod has culled the email list; 123 names were removed, resulting in 351. It has subsequently increased to 359.
  • A card has been sent to Joanne Broatch expressing our good wishes on the occasion of her retirement.


4.         Brock reports that we are in a healthy financial position.


5.         Theresa reported from the Finance Team. The Finance Team, consisting of Joan Glover, Sandra Joy, Brian Chapel, Liliana Lipka, Theresa Aspol and June Fukushima met on October 5, 2012; Brock Brown joined the discussion. The purpose of the meeting was information sharing and general discussion.

The group endorses the concept of transparency in the bookkeeping records. An anticipated net loss from the study group is acceptable because it is a valuable program. Considering the 2013 Budget, they group endorsed setting aside a defined amount of money to cover unexpected net losses. The group supports the use of surplus money to try different types of retreats, such as Eve Decker’s music and Dharma Retreat. A proposal may be forthcoming for a regular chanting practice. A suggestion was made to reduce the Scholarship Fund to $500 for 2013.

The meeting resulted in a draft Policy for VIMS Non-Specific Budget Expenditures (next agenda item). The council thanks the Finance Group for their work and thanks Theresa for her report.

John Hilditch moved that should sufficient surplus funds be available that we maintain the scholarship fund at $1,000 for 2013 and that no single award should exceed $250. The motion received unanimous endorsement. Brock declared the motion Implemented.


6.         Draft Policy for Types and Amounts of Expenditures that the Treasurer can Approve:

This draft policy, prepared by June was pre-circulated to the council. John suggested some minor changes, moving “Flowers for retreats/talks” to the “Costs Associated with Retreats/Talks/Teacher Support” category, and adding “Payment for room rentals” to “Support for VIMS Gatherings” category. The policy gives the VIMS Treasurer with a second signing officer, or two signing officers, the authority to issue cheques for certain types of expenses up to $200 (the types of expenses are outlined in the policy).

Bruce MacRae moved that the policy be accepted as amended. The motion received unanimous endorsement. Brock declared the motion Implemented.


7.         Update on Communications: Bruce MacRae presented a report from the Communications Team.

In response to Rod’s request for volunteers to help with communications, three people have come forward. Pascal Courty is working with Brock to get Sunday Evening Sit information to the web-site. Dori Blackie will take photos and help with the editing. Rick Mickelson will help with editing and do some writing.

The email list has been culled.

Joseph Briante continues to do an outstanding job producing the newsletters. June has asked that more people write for the newsletters, and people are happily contributing.

Bruce is the point person for event audio recordings and looks after Heather’s Study Group homework and audio recordings.

June wishes to move out of the role of Communications Hub, so that more people will feed information to her and Joseph without having to be asked. Specifically, she would like someone to be responsible to provide a short write-up for each retreat. Council members or other volunteers could submit information updates for the newsletter.

The council thanked Bruce for his report.


8.         Brock presented an overview of the 2012 retreats and plans for retreats for 2013 and 2014.

In 2013 Heather Martin will give week-end retreats in January and May; Solwazi Johnson will give a week-end retreat in September. Joyce will ask Adrianne Ross to give a week-end retreat in November. One day retreats will be offered by Margo in February, by Brock in April and by Howard Cohn in August. Pascal Auclair will give a week-end retreat in April, 2014. The possibility of retreats and talks by other teachers is being explored.


9.         The next council meeting will be held on December 3, 2012 at the home of Brock Brown at 1:15. The first council meeting in 2013 will be held on February 11.


The meeting terminated at 3:55


Brock Brown, Chair                           John Hilditch, Secretary