Author Archives: brucemacrae

2020/10/17 Christina Feldman Online Retreat

The Treasures Within: The Seven Limbs of Awakening. Online Study and Meditation Retreat with Christina Feldman

Saturday October 17 and Sunday Oct 18, 9am – noon PST
Registration Open. REGISTER A Zoom link will be sent to those who register.
The Buddha describes awakening as a process and a fruition of understanding.  The seven limbs of awakening are a grouping of qualities to be cultivated – they are our essential allies on the path.  The Buddha refers to them as the Seven Treasures, already present within us.This weekend will be a time of teaching, contemplation and reflection.  There will be extended teaching sessions and times for questions.
About the teacher: Christina Feldman is one of the first generation of lay dharma teachers to teach in the west.  She is a co-founder of Gaia House, a retreat centre in the UK, a guiding teacher for Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, and more recently co-founder of the Bodhi College, UK.  She is an author of several books; her most recent publication, co-authored with Willem Kukyen: Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology. 
Christina’s compassionate wisdom has touched the lives of many people. Victoria IMS is honoured that she is available to teach for our community.

1 VictoriaIMS Retreats

We offer one-day and two-day non-residential retreats. Retreats have usually been held at Goward House, 2495 Arbutus Road, Victoria, BC. At this time we have cancelled all in-person retreats but have scheduled online retreats using Zoom.

The following online retreats are scheduled for the remainder of 2020.

Christina Feldman online retreat 17th and 18th October, 2020.
Registration open. REGISTER

Carol Wilson online retreat 14th and 15th November, 2020.
Registration opens on Oct. 19, 2020

2019/11/21 VIMS Council Minutes

VIMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)

Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

June and Brock’s home

Present:          

June Fukushima, Brock Brown, Rhonda Duncan, Bruce MacRae, Brian Chapel

Absent with Regrets: 

Sandra Joy.

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda: 

Motion from Bruce MacRae to approve the agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (September 5th, 2019): 

There were no changes to the draft minutes from the September council meeting.  Motion from June Fukushima to approve the amended minutes. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates: 
  2. June Fukushima agreed to take minutes in Sandra’s absence.
  • Vance Pryor retreat update (October 12/13, 2019): There were 49 participants on Saturday (12th) and 40 participants on Sunday (13th). Thanks to all those who supported this retreat: Coordinators: June Fukushima and Lawrie Thicke; Co-managers: June Fukushima and Sheena Wilson; Registrar: Joan Glover; Sound: Bruce MacRae. 
  • Howie Cohen retreat update (November 9/10, 2019): There were 91 participants on Saturday (9th) and 76 participants on Sunday (10th).  Thanks to all those who supported this retreat: Coordinator: Brock Brown; Co-managers: Kathy Jago and Josephine Johns; Registrar: Brian Chapel; Sound: Bruce MacRae and Metta VanderVliet. Thanks to Brock and Joyce Elliott for driving Howie to and from the retreat location.
  1. Finance
  2. June Fukushima presented the September 2019 Financial Report prepared by Wei Wu (reports were distributed to council members prior to the meeting).
  • The key points of the financial report were discussed.  June Fukushima motioned to receive the September report. Carried.
  • Account Balances since the September 5th, 2019 council meeting:

Account Balances as of October 1st, 2019: 

Chequing:      $2,058.63

Savings:      $6,811.13

TOTAL:      $8,869.76

Account Balances as of November 1st, 2019:

Chequing:      $2,973.25

Savings:      $6,812.58

TOTAL:      $9,785.83

  • Quickbooks has now been installed on the new computer and the software is registered to June Fukushima.
  • Two scholarship requests have been approved for 2020.  Each is for the value of $250.
  • Council agreed that should there be sufficient excess funds at the end of 2019 we would consider giving donations to Dharma Seed, Birken Forest Monastery and Wat Metta.
  • Sunday Night Community Sit:
  • Sandra Joy provided a written report as she could not attend the council meeting:
  • The scheduling and rotation of facilitators is working well with Kevin Keliher doing most of the administration in collaboration with Sandra. Sandra updates the website facilitator information as soon as everyone is confirmed for the coming month. Attendance seems to be steady with quite a lot of different faces – drop-ins – and many of the regulars still attending.  
  • 2020 Sunday sit facilitators are scheduled through to the end of June.
  • Communications:   
  • The annual fee for Constant Contact has been paid for 2020 and Bruce MacRae has replaced Rod House as the contact person for payment.
  • The problems experienced with our retreat registration software at the time of Ajaan Geoff’s retreat seem to have settled and we have decided to forgo further discussion on the matter with the vendor.
  1. 2020 Programs:

The teachers and dates listed below are confirmed for the Victoria IMS 2020 retreat schedule.  All retreats will take place at Goward House.

  • January 18/19 – Heather Martin. 
    • February 22/23 – Margo McLoughlin.
    • April 11/12 – Pascal Auclair. 
    • May 23/24 – Ajaan Geoff.
    • September 19 – Brock Brown. 
    • October 17/18 – Christina Feldman.
    • November 14/15 – Carol Wilson.

Thanks to Isy House for finding the volunteer Coordinators, Managers, Registrars and Sound Technicians for the 2020 retreats and thanks to 
Joyce Elliott for communicating the provisional teams.

  • A proposal from Aranya Refuge was discussed.  The proposal concerned the sharing of costs for Ajaan Geoff’s visit in May 2020. June Fukushima and Brock Brown recused themselves from this decision as they have association with both Aranya Refuge and Victoria IMS.  Bruce MacRae will coordinate a response from the other council members.
  1. 2021 Programs:
  2. Discussions and planning for the 2021 retreat programs are well underway and a model for inviting teachers was agreed upon.
  3. In 2021 Victoria IMS will no longer have a volunteer organizer for the staffing of the weekend retreats.  Council discussed various ideas to secure volunteers and to manage the operations for the retreats.
  4. Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

Next Council Meeting 

January 16th, 2020 – 7:00-9:00p.m. 

Brian’s home.

2020/04/20 VIMs Council Meeting

Victoria IMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Online Meeting 

(Facilitated by Brock Brown)

Present:          

Brock Brown, Rhonda Duncan, Bruce MacRae, Brian Chapel, June Fukushima, Sandra Joy

Absent with Regrets: 

None

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda:  One new item concerning scholarships was added to the agenda in Business arising from the Minutes and Updates (point #3 below). 

Motion from Sandra to approve the amended agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (March 19th, 2020): 

There were no changes to the draft minutes from the March council meeting.  Motion from Brock to approve the minutes. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates: 
  2. Donation: as agreed at the previous Victoria IMS meeting, a donation of $300 Australian has been made to Wat Buddha Dhamma to help with their rebuilding efforts following the damage to the monastery from wildfires. Brock has let Ajahn Tiradhammo know about the donation.
  • Scholarships: 
    • At the previous Victoria IMS Council meeting the decision was made to offer scholarships to the People of Colour (POC) group organizing a one day retreat with Anushka Fernandopulle. This daylong was cancelled due to the pandemic and as a result the scholarship has also been cancelled
    • There were two other scholarships that were offered to applicants for retreats that have been cancelled. These will be refunded to Victoria IMS. 
  • Pascal Auclair’s retreat scheduled for April 11/12 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Goward House has reimbursed Victoria IMS for the rental costs of the weekend.
  • The May 23/24 weekend retreat that was to be led by Ajaan Geoff, co-sponsored with Aranya Refuge has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Goward House has reimbursed Victoria IMS for the rental costs of the weekend. Brock is looking into Victoria IMS obtaining a refund for the monks’ flights that were cancelled.
  • No payment was made to Helga Beer Yoga for the month of April 2020 as the Sunday Night sits have also been cancelled due to the pandemic. We will wait to hear from Helga about the coming months.
  1. Finances
  2. The March financial report from Wei Wu was circulated to all council members by email prior to the meeting.
  • Account Balance since the March 19th, 2020 council meeting:

Account Balance as of April 1st, 2020: 

Chequing:      $1,430.17

Savings:      $6,819.55

TOTAL:      $8,249.72

The amount shown above does not include a deposit made to the Victoria IMS Coast Capital Chequing account on April 21st for the two refunds from Goward House (for the April and May cancelled retreats) and a refund for a cancelled flight. In addition there is a further deposit to be made from the scholarships returned due to cancelled retreats.

June motioned to receive the March financial report. Carried.

  • June will speak to our insurance company to see whether we might be able to get a reduction of our insurance premiums or perhaps another type of temporary ’break’ as there may be no further retreats this year at Goward House or Sunday Night Sits at the yoga studio.
  • Sunday Night Community Sit:
  • As the regular Sunday Night in-person sits are currently suspended due to the pandemic, it was suggested by some of the facilitators that we move to an online format. After some discussion, Council agreed that we should wait until August and see what the COVID-19 situation looks like then.  At that time if possible, we can start up the in-person sits at the yoga studio with a new set of parameters (social distancing, sanitizing, etc.) or we can consider a commitment to the virtual format.  Sandra will get in touch with Metta and Kevin.

NOTE: Launching a virtual sit model would require a fair amount of facilitator coordination, implementation of appropriate software and operational expertise across all facilitators. 

  • Communications:   
  • The newsletter went out to our mailing list on March 27th with information about cancelled programing and another communique went out on April 17th with information about various online offerings from other organizations. 
  • There will be no newsletter in April but we will send one out in May.  
  1. 2020 Programs:

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided to cancel Howie Cohn’s retreat in July. There is uncertainty as to whether it will be possible to hold in-person retreats in September, October and November so we will wait to see how renewed social engagement plays out once provincial restrictions are lifted. In the meantime Sandra will look into the feasibility of conducting these retreats in a virtual model. 

  • Upcoming retreats/events:
    • July 18 – Howie Cohn – CANCELLED
    • September 19 – Brock Brown 
    • October 17/18 – Christina Feldman.
    • November 14/15 – Carol Wilson.
    • Completed retreats/events:
    • January 18/19 – Heather Martin.
    • February 29 / March 1 – Margo McLoughlin.
    • April 11/12 – Pascal Auclair – CANCELLED
    • May 23/24 – Ajaan Geoff – CANCELLED
  1. 2021 Programs:

The teachers and dates listed below are confirmed for the Victoria IMS 2021 retreat schedule.  All retreats will take place at Goward House unless otherwise indicated and we will continue to monitor the potential impact of the pandemic on social gatherings and consequently on the 2021 retreat schedule.                          .

  • January 23/24 – Heather Martin.
  • February 27/28 – Margo McLoughlin. 
  • April 17/18 – Tuere Sala.
  • May 22/23 – Adrianne Ross.
  • August 13/14 – Ajaan Geoff.  (at Sidney Shoal Centre)
  • September 18 – Brock Brown.
  • October 16/17 – Howie Cohn.
  • November 13/14 – Ajahn Candasiri. 
  1. Other:
  2. This year the Victoria IMS Annual General Meeting (AGM) will likely be held as an online/virtual meeting due to COVID-19. Council proposed having the AGM on June 11th, 2020.  Brock will contact the non-Council members to see if that date works for them.
  3. Annual reports are to be ready for review by May 18th so feedback can be provided at the next council meeting on May 21st.  
  4. Reports are assigned as follows:
    1. Report from the Chair – Brock
    1. Finance – June
    1. Retreat Statistics – and Volunteers – Rhonda
    1. Communications – Bruce, June and Brian
    1. Sunday Night Sit – Sandra
    1. Special Events – Brock

Sandra will consolidate the reports into a single document before distributing them to the invitees for the AGM.

  1. Meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Next Council Meeting 

May 21st, 2020 – 7:00-8:00p.m. 

Online meeting.

2020/03/19 Vims Council Minutes

VIMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)

Thursday, March 19th, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Online Meeting 

(Facilitated by Brock Brown)

Present:          

Brock Brown, Rhonda Duncan, Bruce MacRae, Brian Chapel, June Fukushima, Sandra Joy

Absent with Regrets: 

None

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda: 

Motion from Brock to approve the agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (January 23rd, 2020): 

There were no changes to the draft minutes from the January council meeting.  Motion from Brock to approve the minutes. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates: 
  2. Margo McLoughlin retreat update (February 29/March 1, 2020): There were 62 participants on Saturday (29th) and 32 participants on Sunday (1st). The retreat was well received and appreciation was expressed by a number of the participants. Thanks to all those who supported this retreat: Coordinator: Joyce Elliott; Co-managers: Louise Takeda and Metta VanderVliet; Registrar: Joanna Stonechapel; Sound: Metta VanderVliet. 
  3. Finances
  4. Account Balances since the January 23rd, 2020 council meeting:

Account Balances as of February 1st, 2020: 

Chequing:      $3,780.52

Savings:      $6,816.88

TOTAL:      $10,597.40

Account Balances as of March 1st, 2020:

Chequing:      $2,117.67

Savings:      $6,818.23

TOTAL:      $8,935.90

  • Charitable donations from Victoria IMS to Wat Metta, Birken Forest Monastery and Dharmaseed have been made.
  • A decision was made by the Council, via email discussion, to offer $250.00 in scholarships to the People of Colour (POC) group which is organizing a one day retreat on April 18th, 2020 with Anushka Fernandopulle.
  • Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the Council agreed to cancel the retreat with Pascal Auclair scheduled for April 11/12.  As a result of this decision, it was also agreed that we would reimburse Pascal for the portion of his flight to BC for which we were responsible – that is $213.25.
  • Goward House has been supportive with regard to the cancellation of Pascal’s retreat and has agreed to fully reimburse Victoria IMS for the rental already paid. 
  • The flights for the monks from Wat Metta (they will visit in May) were cancelled and had to be rebooked. Brock took care of these logistics and was reimbursed in February. 
  • Sunday Night Community Sit:
  • As concern about the spread of the COVID-19 virus escalated nationally, and following the cancellation of Pascal Auclair’s retreat in April, Council discussed, via email, the possibility of suspending the Sunday Night Sit. We agreed that it would be wise to cancel the sittings until such time as we were able to start again.
  • June will contact Helga Beer (from whom we rent the yoga studio for the Sunday Night Sit) to request a pause in our rent payment for the month of April.
  • Communications:   
  • A special announcement went out to our mailing list on March 16th, 2020 to notify everyone about the cancellation of Pascal Auclair’s April retreat. In addition, the website was updated to show this cancellation.
  • A special announcement regarding the cancellation of the Sunday Night Sit will go out to our mailing list on Friday 20th March, 2020. The website has been updated to reflect this change. Included in this notice will be details of Pascal’s online retreat, to be held on March 27th and 28th, 2020.  This retreat is being sponsored by BCIMS.
  • The monthly newsletter, scheduled for the end of March will contain information about a number of online resources that might be helpful to our Sangha during this time of social distancing.  It will also contain a supportive and encouraging message from Ajahn Jayasaro, a senior monk in the Ajahn Chah lineage 
  1. 2020 Programs:

All retreats will take place at Goward House unless otherwise indicated.

  • Upcoming retreats/events:
    • May 23/24 – Ajaan Geoff.
    • July 18 – Howie Cohn (at Sidney Shoal Centre)
    • September 19 – Brock Brown. 
    • October 17/18 – Christina Feldman.
    • November 14/15 – Carol Wilson.
    • Completed retreats/events:
    • January 18/19 – Heather Martin.
    • February 29 / March 1 – Margo McLoughlin.
    • April 11/12 – Pascal Auclair – CANCELLED
  1. 2021 Programs:

The teachers and dates listed below are confirmed for the Victoria IMS 2021 retreat schedule.  All retreats will take place at Goward House unless otherwise indicated                           .

  • January 23/24 – Heather Martin.
  • February 27/28 – Margo McLoughlin. 
  • April 17/18 – Tuere Sala.
  • May 22/23 – Adrianne Ross.
  • August 13/14 – Ajaan Geoff.  (at Sidney Shoal Centre)
  • September 18 – Brock Brown.
  • October 16/17 – Howie Cohn.
  • November 13/14 – Ajahn Candasiri. 
  1. Other:
  2. It was suggested that Victoria IMS consider giving a donation to Wat Buddha Dhamma Monastery in Australia where Ajahn Tiradhammo resides.  This monastery suffered extensive damage in the recent fires. Ajahn Tiradhammo has been a frequent visitor to Victoria and his presence, humour and wisdom have brought benefit to our sangha.  Motion from Rhonda to send this donation.  Carried.   
  3. Meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Next Council Meeting 

April 16th, 2020 – 7:00-9:00p.m. 

Online meeting.

VIMS Council Minutes January 2020

VIMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Brian and Joanna’s home

Present:          

Brock Brown, Rhonda Duncan, Bruce MacRae, Brian Chapel

Absent with Regrets: 

Sandra Joy, June Fukushima

Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda: 

Motion from Brock to approve the agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (November 21th, 2019): 

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

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates: 
  2. Brian agreed to take minutes in Sandra’s absence.
  • Update from Heather Martin retreat Jan 18/19
    • Attendance:   85 on Saturday    72 on Sunday
    • Coordinator: Bruce MacRae
    • Registrar: Brian Chapel
    • Managers: Karyn Woodland and Sheena Wilson
    • Sound: Bruce MacRae, Louise Owen
  1. Finances
  2. Brock presented the December 2019 Financial Report prepared by Wei Wu (reports were distributed to council members prior to the meeting).
  • The key points of the financial report were discussed. Brock motioned to receive the December report. Carried.
  • Account Balances since the November 21st, 2019 council meeting:

Account Balances as of December 1st, 2019: 

Chequing:      $3,086.80

Savings:      $6,813.98

TOTAL:      $9,900.78

Account Balances as of January 1st, 2019:

Chequing:      $2,429.37

Savings:      $6,815.43

TOTAL:      $9,244.80

  • Total assets at end of 2019 including pre-payments: $11,727.92
  • 2020 Budget from June circulated.
  • Brock motioned to receive the 2020 budget. Carried.
  • Motion from Bruce to set aside $1000 for scholarships (max. $250 each) in 2020. Carried.
  • Motion from Brock to donate 200 USD to Wat Metta, 200 USD to Dharma Seed, 250 CAD to Birken Forest Monastery. Carried.
  • Brief discussion of one-time donation to Wat Buddha Dhamma for rebuilding after Australian fire because of how much Ajahn Tiradhammo has done for VIMS. Set aside for next time when all of council present.
  • Sunday Night Community Sit:
  • Running along smoothly.
  • Kevin continuing in his role.
  • Rhonda to be more involved in the future.
  • Communications:   
  • Next newsletter will include link a to a BCIMS retreat in Nanaimo (Adrianne Ross and others) that has a few openings.
  •  Still looking for someone to take over from Bruce.
  1. 2020 Programs:

The teachers and dates listed below are confirmed for the Victoria IMS 2020 retreat schedule.  All retreats will take place at Goward House.

  • January 18/19 – Heather Martin. 
    • February 29 / March 1 – Margo McLoughlin.
    • April 11/12 – Pascal Auclair. 
    • May 23/24 – Ajaan Geoff.
    • September 19 – Brock Brown. 
    • October 17/18 – Christina Feldman.
    • November 14/15 – Carol Wilson.

Still need someone to set up sound equipment for Margo’s retreat.

  1. 2021 Programs:
  2. Heather Martin – January 23/24 – booked
  3. Tuere Sala – April 17/18 – booked
  4. Ajaan Geoff – August 13/14 – date to be investigated
  5. Ajahn Candasiri – November 13/14 – booked
  6. Discussion of teachers and dates for four other retreats.
  7. Need new volunteer organizer to replace Isy. Possibility of Brock doing it and absorbing coordinator role. Bottleneck is finding managers..
  8. Meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Next Council Meeting 

March 19th, 2020 – 7:00-9:00p.m. 

Brock and June’s home.

Audio file for Margo McLoughlin retreat day 2

The following files were recorded at Goward House in Victoria during a retreat presented by Margo McLoughlin.
These are from day two of the retreat on Mar 01, 2020

Audio files Margo McLoughlin retreat day 1

The following files were recorded at Goward House in Victoria during a weekend retreat presented by Margo McLouglin.
These are the day one files on Feb 29, 2020.