SnowFlower Sangha Guidelines for Schedulers
This document for schedulers is meant to offer support and guidance, not rules, and may be approached with mindful flexibility. Also, please note that these guidelines pertain for the most part to Tuesday and Friday meetings. Sunday and Wednesday meetings do their own scheduling and meet in private homes.
The role of the scheduler is:
- To schedule a two-month cycle of Sangha meetings. This includes recruiting leaders and possibly suggesting topics.
- To provide guidance for newer leaders, such as locating a bellminder, or resources such as the laminated card with End-of-Sangha Details, as well as pointing out formats in Chanting from the Heart, etc.
- To reminder leaders to bring flowers.
- To ask all leaders to familiarize themselves with the Guidelines for Leaders document, to be found on the website or in the altar drawer.
- To help find a replacement if a leader needs to cancel or switch. Get new info to website volunteer and to person who sends Last Minute Reminders.
- To send the finalized schedule, including a few lines to introduce your Calendar cycle, to the Newsletter Editor approximately ten days prior to publication.
- To take stock of materials at the meeting house a couple of weeks before their cycle starts and let Celeste know if anything needs to be restocked.
Recruiting leaders, including couples and panels, can be done in various ways.
- Decide on a topic and contact a specific person to lead.
- Make a list of topics and email a group of potential leaders, asking them to sign up for a given topic and evening.
- Open the calendar to a selected group and let them choose their own topics.
- Email the listserv with a theme that you have chosen and ask for volunteers.
It is useful to know that certain programs are scheduled on a regular basis.
- The Mindfulness Trainings, alternating the 5 and the 14, are scheduled once each cycle.
- Copies of the Five and Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings, Chants, Songs, and Sutras can be found in the accordion file in the supply closet, and/or in the altar drawer.
- The Five Mindfulness Trainings are the primary focus of all of September and either late August or early October (depending on the fall retreat date), and this 5MT study culminates in a Transmission Ceremony at the October Annual Retreat.
- The Ancestors Prayer is offered close to the winter Solstice or the New Year.
- Guided Metta Meditation and evenings with extended sits are regularly scheduled.
Examples of topics for programs and other pertinent information.
- Thay’s books or articles or excerpts from his talks at retreats. Other Buddhist authors, referencing mindfulness practice.
- Your own ideas, including personal stories of experiences on the Path.
- Basics such as the Noble Eightfold Path, Four Noble Truths, Three Jewels, Brahmaviharas, Gathas, Three Dharma Seals, Bodhisattvas’ Names, Five Remembrances.
- Sutras such as Heart Sutra, Breath Sutra, Four Foundations of Mindfulness, Better Way to Live Alone, Metta Sutta, Sutra on Happiness, etc. See Chanting from the Heart and Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching.
- Concepts such as impermanence, non-self, emptiness, interbeing, nirvana, historical and ultimate dimension, no coming/no going.
- Other Types of Presentations such as movement and spirit, poetry, chanting, tea ceremony, guided meditation, extended sits, metta. Generally, a dharma talk includes Buddhist teachings as well as one’s personal experience related to the teachings. In SnowFlower we seek to combine Understanding (the Dharma) and Love (speaking from personal experience).