2015/09/18 Vims Council minutes

VIMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)

Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

Sandra’s home

June, Sandra, Bruce, Brian, Brock Brown (guest)

Absent with Regrets:

Rod was away.

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda:

Motion from June to approve agenda.  Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (August 20th, 2015):
  • There were no changes to the distributed draft minutes from the August council meeting.

Motion from Bruce to approve the minutes. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes:
  • Ajaan Geoff’s visit in August (21/22/23) at UVic was well attended:

Friday night public talk: approximately 60 people.

Retreat: 100 registered; 90 expected over the two days.

Saturday: 71 and Sunday: 55.

  • Much gratitude to the retreat team Brock Brown, June Fukushima, Bruce McRae, Brian Chapel and Sheila Whincup. Special thanks to Piriya and David Nowak from Vancouver for their assistance in hosting the monks at UVic housing; Dinka Pignon from Serbia for creating posters and to Eric Bedard for distributing them. Several participants offered help with the event. Friends of June and Brock’s from Salt Spring Island offered their home at no cost so the monks could rest after the retreat.
  • June read one of the emails of appreciation from attendees that we received after Ajaan Geoff’s retreat.
  1. Reports and Updates
  • Financials:
    • June presented the Treasurer’s report.
    • Month-end August 2015 report from Bookkeeper Wei Wu.
    • Account Balances on June 30th, 2015:

Chequing:          $1,334.25

Savings:            $5,247.07

TOTAL:            $6,581.32

  • Motion from June to accept the financial report. Carried.
  • One scholarship has been requested and approved – for the Arinna Weisman/Adrianne Ross retreat in Nanaimo in November.
  • Communications: Bruce presented an update on the items below.
    • Website: all website information and posted audio talks from retreats are up to date.
    • Newsletter:
      1. It was agreed that we would send out a newsletter in October (we had originally not intended this) as there was content to be disseminated – the various home sits and Howie’s public talk November 6th. Sandra to ask Margo if she is able to produce it at short notice. If not, Bruce and June were available to do it.
      2. Bruce to review the existing newsletter policy and re-distribute to the communications team.
      3. During the assignment of registration open dates for the 2016 retreats (point 5 below), a provisional schedule was determined for the release of the 2016 newsletters.
      4. June will prepare a draft communications plan for 2016 and the newsletter schedule will be incorporated into this.
    • Retreat Operations:
      • Questions were raised about a backup for Isy as overall retreat operations coordinator during the time that she is away over the winter. Council will speak to Isy about this when she gets back at the end of September.  It was agreed that Council would be the fall-back if a manager/coordinator cannot keep their commitment.  This process will officially be added to Isy’s retreat operations document.
    • Sunday Sit:
      • Sandra to speak to Margo about updating the website with the names of each month’s facilitators – ongoing it was suggested that Bruce do this task.
      • Heather has expressed a wish to facilitate more frequently. The Sunday night sit organizing group should be cognizant of the costs related to this.
      • The Sunday night sit organizing group should be cognizant of the retreat schedule when organizing / inviting facilitators
    • Study Group Update:
      • The small Study Group and Heather Martin have decided to end their monthly meetings and so VictoriaIMS will no longer sponsor a study group. Heather and members of the group are considering alternative plans independent of VictoriaIMS. The Council extends its gratitude to Heather and the study group organizers for their contributions over the years.
  1. Planning:
  • Remaining events 2015:
    • Sept 26/27 – Margo McLoughlin – Goward House – Sandra coordinator – Brian registrar – Sandra and Carol co-managers.
    • Nov 6 – Howard Cohn – Friday evening talk at the Helga Beer yoga studio entitled “Letting go into the Present” – Brock and Sandra will provide operations support. June will ensure a single email to go out to our mailing list on the Monday/Tuesday of the week of the event.
    • Nov 7/8 Howard Cohn – two day retreat at Goward House entitled “A view as wide as the sky” – Brock coordinator – Lawrie registrar – one of the co-managers has had to withdraw and Brock is currently looking for a replacement.


All operations roles and tasks related to the above retreats are in place.

  • 2016 Retreat planning:Registration open dates established as follows:
    • Heather Martin – Jan 16/17 – Coordinator Bruce – registration opens 14th December, 2015
    • Margo McLoughlin February 20 – one day – Coordinator Sandra – registration opens January 25th, 2016
    • Pascal Auclair – Mar 25/26 – Friday and Saturday (Easter) – Coordinator Brock – registration opens February 29th, 2016
    • Ajahn Sona – May 20 – public talk (with Margo Jataka tales) – details TBD
    • Ajahn Sona – May 21/22 – June Coordinator – registration opens April 25th, 2016
    • Steve Armstrong – Sept 17/18 – Coordinator Lawrie – registration opens August 22nd, 2016
    • Christina Feldman – Oct 15/16 – Coordinator Joyce – registration opens September 19th, 2016
    • Brock Brown – Nov 13 – one day – Coordinator TBD registration opens October 17th, 2016

Registration open date information to be sent to Isy, Margo, Brian and Bruce for their scheduling of retreat operations and communications.     

  • 2017 Retreat Planning:
    • The following dates are pencilled in for Goward House for 2017. We await confirmation from Goward House:

Jan 21/22; Mar 18/19; May 27/28; Sept 16/17; Nov 11/12

  • Tentatively the following has been suggested:
    1. May – Ayya Medhanandi
    2. Ajaan Geoff (August 19/20) – Uvic
    3. Other teachers to be approached: Heather Martin (Jan), Ajahn Sona (timing TBD), and a senior teacher from Spirit Rock (TBD).  Steve Armstrong, Carol Wilson, Anna Douglas, Sharon Salzberg, Michele McDonald were mentioned. Local teachers to be considered in the schedule include Brock, Margo, Kate Dresher (Portland). Ajahn Tiradhammo may be in BC in the summer of 2017.


  1. Meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Next Meeting

October 15, 2015
7:00-9:30 p.m.
June and Brock’s home