Dear SIM Friends,
We hope this letter finds you well. As we approach the end of the year, we want to share what is happening at Sacramento Insight Meditation – changes this year, and how we can come together as a community to help our sangha grow and flourish in the year ahead.
The past year has been a time of growth and accomplishments, as well as significant adjustments for SIM. We moved to the beautiful new Sacramento Dharma Center, improved our website and moved many essential functions online, streamlined our operations and brought new clarity to analyzing our finances, while adjusting to increased expenses and strengthening relationships with our new SDC neighbors. The Board has been working hard to support these changes and lay the groundwork for continued development.
We have great hopes for the future. We want to strengthen our community with new opportunities for practice, including new initiatives for study and mutual support emerging from within the sangha. We seek to develop a stable income base to meet our new monthly obligations, while growing financially so we can offer new programs and reach out to new teachers. Our goal is to fulfill our mission of offering the best support possible to those in Sacramento practicing in the insight/vipassana tradition.
We need your help to accomplish these goals. Our projected operational budget for 2018 is approximately $56,000 – this is the funding needed to provide dana to our teachers and presenters, pay our rent, meet ongoing expenses such as insurance and financial and website support, as well as have funds to develop new programs.
As you plan your year-end giving, please consider supporting SIM by:
• Making a one-time year-end contribution. Any amount will help and be appreciated;
• Signing up for a monthly, automatic on-line contribution to SIM. It is simple, helps stabilize our finances and is the key to our financial success in the long run.
You can make a donation of any kind at http://sactoinsight.org/what-is- dana/ . If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our Board members at http://sactoinsight.org/contact-us/ .
We hope you will consider regularly supporting Sacramento Insight Meditation. Thank you in advance for your generosity. We look forward to practicing with you in the coming year.
Sara E. Denzler
Treasurer, SIM Board of Directors
November 2 will be a special evening to review the considerable accomplishments we’ve made as an organization on our one-year anniversary in the Sacramento Dharma Center. Members of the SIM Board will share their perspectives on the State of the Sangha and plans for 2018 and beyond.
We’ll celebrate all that we’ve achieved in moving to a new physical home, building relationships with the other sanghas who are now our neighbors, and rising to meet the financial challenges that accompanied our move. We are pleased to be able to present a positive year-end report and to share our plans for 2018. We’ll look forward to hearing community members share their observations about the last year as well as new ideas for improvement and change.
An important part of the evening will be an expression of gratitude for the indispensable help from all our volunteers during this year of transition and for all our members for being part of this community and providing essential financial support.
We also want to announce some significant changes in the operation of our Board. This includes several new officers as well as a new President who is scheduled to serve a full two-year term beginning in March of 2018.
We’ll sit, have cake and tea, then have presentations, discussion and questions and answers. This will be a very special evening, and we look forward to seeing and hearing from each of you. Event details are on the calendar.
The Monday night Recovery Sangha will not be meeting on Labor Day evening, Monday September 4th. The group has been meeting on all the other holidays, but not this one this year.
Expressing Our Appreciation For Extraordinary Service
We’ll have an opportunity on Thursday evening (Aug 10, 7 to 9:15 pm) to express our appreciation to Renee Kunz and James Barnes for their extraordinary service to our community. Renee is a long time SIM member, a former member of our Board of Directors and SIM’s former Treasurer. James is a more recent community member and a former member of the Board of Directors who has focused his energy on a number of important special projects, including development of the Family Sangha.
Our celebration of their contributions will include cake and tea!
The Climate Sangha meets the fourth Tuesday of each month from 7 to 9 PM. It’s a supportive community using Buddhist practice to face the future with on-going climate change. It provides a place to discuss hopes and fears openly and address ways to take skillful action.
To join the Climate Sangha mailing list, contact Margaret Buss at email@example.com. Here’s a sample of information you might receive when you sign-up for the mailing list.
Keeping up with things:
Provide rides to former prisoners who had been studying Buddhism while incarcerated.
Volunteers are needed to provide rides to formerly incarcerated men and women who have been practicing Buddhism while in prison and wish to continue their practice in a supportive sangha. Most do not have access to cars and light rail is a problem later in the evening.
If you wish to help with rides as well as provide spiritual friendship, please email Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org
SIM has offered a residential retreat for twelve consecutive years. One of the unique features of this retreat has been that it is attended almost exclusively by SIM members and is designed to foster community.
The SIM Board of Directors is saddened to announce that our 13th annual residential retreat, scheduled for this September, is being cancelled due to a lack of registration and community support.
We look forward to next year’s residential retreat that will be led by Senior Teacher Steven Armstrong.
One of the most fundamental practices in building sangha/community is through service, both within/for the sangha and for the larger communities. Below are three opportunities that will not only provide service, but will also build sangha for those who participate.
Have you arrived “early” for a Thursday sitting and/or a Saturday one day retreat? Have you seen the dharma hall empty, or is it fully set up, ready for the activities of the day? Do you know how it transforms from a generic space to SIM? (hint–not through devas or magic) To “become SIM,” volunteers are needed.
John and Carol Meininger have retired from set-up crew after 10 years. We are very grateful for all that they did — and we also now need to fill the gap.
Many thanks to Ian McLeod and Alan Gottlieb for volunteering for events in May and early June. It was very much appreciated!
Now: Regular or Occasional Set-up
If you are able to become a “regular ” set-up volunteer, that would be great. We need “regular” volunteers for the first Thursdays and fourth Thursdays of the month. If you aren’t able to commit to a “regular” schedule, but are able and willing to help on a one-time basis, on one (or more) of the dates below, that help will be gratefully accepted. No experience necessary; training will be provided. Note that set-up starts an hour before a meeting or daylong, and that the set-up crew also handles closing up at the end. Please contact Margaret Buss at email@example.com if you are interested in helping.
Below are dates and times in June and July when volunteers are needed:
- Thursday June 22 at 5 pm (before the monthly meditation instruction) — need one
- Saturday June 24 at 9 am — Daylong Retreat with Heather Sundberg — need two or three (note retreat ends at 5pm)
- Thursday July 6 at 6 pm — need two
- Thursday July 27 at 5 pm — need one
Click here if you’re interested in volunteering in any way.
SIM Community Mentor Diane Wilde and Woody Garcia are giving a talk at Insight Central Valley in Modesto, CA on June 27th and Diane would love to have SIM sangha members attend.
Talk topic – Freedom: Inside and Out
Diane Wilde and recently released former inmate “Woody” Garcia, will talk about Buddhist practice in California prisons and the impact it is making on inmates and volunteers alike. Diane will read a few stories from her book, “Unlikely Lessons; Practicing Virtuous Conduct in California Prisons”. Woody will speak of his own Buddhist practice and what his life was like “inside”and his new life as a free man on the “outside.”
Registration is now open and a deposit by June 15th will secure your space at this retreat. This is for SIM’s 13th Annual 10 Day Residential Retreat, with SIM Founding Teacher Dennis Warren and Mentors Diane Wilde and Rich Howard. The retreat theme is “A Life of Deep Satisfaction Born of Peace“. For details, click here.