Caretaking Council of the Sangha

Caretaking Council of the Sangha (CTC)


Introduction and mandate

The Caretaking Council [1] is not separated from the Dharma. It is the Dharma.

The Caretaking Council is a small Sangha in the heart of the MPC Sangha within the great Sangha of Thich Nhat Hanh.  It is composed of volunteers who participate in as dedicated a way as possible in the activities of the Sangha.  They support the activities of the Sangha as a practice of Engaged Buddhism and dana (giving of themselves in service to others) to renew and develop their spirit of love according to the Bodhisattva ideal of the Mahayana tradition.

Caretaking Council members study and practice the 14 Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing (OI) in their daily lives.  They make the effort required to correctly implement the lessons and recommendations contained in the book "Joyfully Together" by TNH.  In addition, they work to cultivate their joy in every moment, fully aware that the joy felt in the Caretaking Council is based on the joy of everyone and it reflects throughout the whole Sangha.  All members personally take into account their capabilities because they are convinced that by taking care of themselves, they also take care of the Sangha.

Objective


The Council's objective is to supply the Sangha with the energy of Mindfulness, Joy and Love.

Mandate


Practitioners belonging to the Caretaking Council contribute to this objective by implementing the necessary and sufficient conditions for the manifestation of:

  • ctivities of regular meditation
  • Information sessions
  • Days of Mindfulness
  • Mindfulness retreats
  • Courses and workshops.

Taking beneficial actions required to ensure that these activities are carried out are opportunities to practice for Council members.  These allow the development of their individual practice, their energy of Mindfulness and the increasing of their energy of Love, essential to the life of the Sangha.  The practitioner member of the Council receives the benefit of his or her participation in the completion of activities in support of the Sangha.  His or her experience cannot be reduced to a simple task.  On the other hand note that the following activities are not part of the mandate of Caretaking Council for the moment: the workshops of MIAM [2], special activities, MIAM research or pilot projects.

Functioning and decision-making


The Caretaking Council discusses issues submitted to it and right actions to be undertaken in the framework of its mandate. Depending on the needs of the Sangha, Council members are invited to meetings taking into account the availability of the majority.  The Council shall use methods deemed appropriate to ensure its proper operation, including setting an agenda and producing of the minutes of the meetings.  Communication with other bodies of the Sangha is carried out through a person designated for that purpose.

The Caretaking Council reaches its decisions by consensus. To help in this process, meetings of the Caretaking Council begin with a short meditation, sometimes followed by a walking meditation to establish a climate conducive to consensus.  Then the Gatha for Meetings is read so that participants use loving speech and deep listening throughout the meeting.

Values and Principles


The core values of the Caretaking Council are Joy, Brotherhood and Sisterhood.  The principle of equanimity is a foundation of our actions: no right action to promote the harmonious fulfilment of its mandate has more value than the others.   Some are prerequisites, others are less critical, but all are equally appreciated.  The Caretaking Council focuses on developing versatility amongst the volunteers supporting the Sangha.  Therefore, it is not relying solely on its members.   The Council aims to ensure that practitioners are interchangeable and can support each other through training, practice, sharing and rotation in each of the practices, including hospitality, information, management, maintenance, etc. ...

Support, guidance and reference


The Caretaking Council relies on the support of the Board of Directors and the Council of Dharmacharyas of the Sangha for guidance in its practice.

  • Any expenditure or financial commitment is submitted to the person responsible for the treasury of the Sangha in order to obtain approval.
  • All questions relating to legal responsibilities or relationships with people outside the Sangha are forwarded to the Board of Directors of the MPC-MIAM.
  • Any questions regarding the content of teachings during activities are referred to the Council of Dharmacharyas.

Composition


To become a member of the Caretaking Council, you must:

  1. Adhere to its values, purpose and mandate
  2. Be diligent practising the activities of the Sangha for a few months
  3. Want to deepen your personal practice by giving back to the Sangha

Although this is not a requirement for membership, practitioners of the Caretaking Council may, if they wish, further their commitment by becoming an Aspirant and then a Member of the Order of Interbeing.  Conversely, participation in Caretaking Council is not a requirement to become an Aspirant or member of the Order.  Membership in the Caretaking Council is another opportunity to practice mindfulness within the Sangha.

Revision


It should be emphasized that the mandate of the Caretaking Council of the Sangha is always open to change. This document will therefore be revised periodically as needed



[1] In French : Conseil de soutien de la Sangha (CSS)


[2] MIAM : Montreal Institute of Applied Mindfulness

Do not miss :

14 December 2017 - 19:00 : Thursday evening meditation
18 December 2017 - 13:00 : Méditation du lundi PM
18 December 2017 - 19:00 : Méditation du lundi
20 December 2017 - 10:00 : Tai-Chi en Pleine Conscience
20 December 2017 - 19:00 : Méditation du mercredi
21 December 2017 - 12:00 : Méditation du jeudi midi
21 December 2017 - 19:00 : Thursday evening meditation
25 December 2017 - 13:00 : Méditation du lundi PM
25 December 2017 - 19:00 : Méditation du lundi
27 December 2017 - 19:00 : Méditation du mercredi
Sitting and watching our breath is a wonderful practice, but it is not enough. For transformation to take part, we have to practice mindfulness all day long, not just on our meditation cushion.
- Thich Nhat Hanh