From the President
by Carole Maurer
Gratitude to the Sangha. The Eternal Mystery has given us to each other—rare gift. And in our gratitude we give this gift again and again wherever we show up in the world. The gift multiplies and the sum is past figuring. Its power is beyond measure. Every human needs this kind of community. So, our joy-filled work will never end. There will be no unemployment for the Sangha. (Pat Webb, mindfulnessbell.org)
Season’s Greetings to All
For more than 20 years, White Heron Sangha has been my spiritual community, and I am enormously grateful for this gift. As former Treasurer, Retreat Chairperson, and, for the last five years as President of the Board, I have been actively engaged in the Sangha’s growth and development, along with other dedicated practitioners, as we moved from place to place, expanded our offerings, and became a significant member of the wider Buddhist community.
As much as I’ve given of myself to the Sangha, it doesn’t compare with what I have received. I smile and my heart fills with joy as I step into our beautiful center, greet my spiritual friends, and sit with them in silence as we share in the wonders of each moment together. And I continue to grow as I learn more about the Buddha’s teaching through the Sangha and allow myself to open to new experiences.
Recently, I asked Allen Dailey, one of our newer members, if he would share his thoughts on what White Heron Sangha means to him. Allen’s beautiful testimonial to the power of Sangha is included in this newsletter. I encourage you to read it.
There will be many opportunities for meditation practice and teachings from multiple lineages this quarter through our Sunday evening programs, weekend retreats, and mini-retreats. See the Retreat Report from Sharon Rippner, and be sure to check the White Heron Sangha calendar to see the Sunday program schedule.
The Somatic Meditation Practice Group, led by Alice Reinheimer, has been added to our White Heron Sangha-sponsored meditation sitting group schedule. It meets at our center on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month. You might want to check it out.
Renewal and Annual Fund Appeal
By now, everyone who is considered a “member” of White Heron Sangha should have received the annual membership renewal letter that must be returned in order to remain on the official contact list for the Sangha for the next year. See the article by John Dilworth for additional information. If you’re reading this article and you’re not yet on our official member list, please consider signing up as a “member” here.
Also enclosed in the envelope were a letter from the Financial Stewardship Committee and a donation card to send back with your gift to the Sangha. If you didn’t get this letter, or want to read it online, you can see it here.
I’d like to personally thank all those who have contributed or will be contributing this year. It’s now easy to join our Stewardship Circle by setting up a recurring donation by credit card directly from the White Heron Sangha Donate Now webpage. You might also consider including White Heron Sangha in your estate planning. If interested, please contact our Treasurer, Greg Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through your generosity we are able to continue to afford our current location in Avila Village and begin to build a reserve for future expansion of our offerings.
Board of Directors Changes
It is with some relief and sadness that this is my last President’s Column. At the January 2020 White Heron Sangha Board of Directors meeting, we will be welcoming new Board members and electing new officers for the coming year. I will be staying on the Board as Past President. Sharon Rippner, now President-elect, will be taking over the primary leadership role of the Sangha.
There will be other changes forthcoming for heads of some of the committees. We will also be trying out some new procedures for Board business over the next year. Our hope is that we can shorten the Board meetings and address minor financial and programming issues in a more timely manner without the need for full Board involvement. We will update you on the new Board members and officers in our March newsletter.
My heart is with this Sangha and, as the quote above states, this “joy-filled work will never end.”
I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve you and I wish you blessings for this season and the New Year.