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Jewel Heart Community Meeting – September 5, 2019

JEWEL HEART COMMUNITY MEETING
September 5, 2019 ~ 6:00pm - 6:45pm Eastern Time
Online & Participating Jewel Heart Centers

Jewel Heart Executive Directors Carole Corcoran and Nancy Jeffries will provide an update on Jewel Heart accomplishments and plans for the future.

The meeting will be broadcast live via webinar. Participants from Jewel Heart Centers and those viewing online will be able to ask questions and offer comments.

A recording of the meeting will be posted to the Jewel Heart Members Resource Page for one week following the live meeting. Please allow 24 hours for uploading the recording.

For Jewel Heart Members


Audio Only

 

JEWEL HEART COMMUNITY MEETING

MEETING NOTES

 September 5, 2019

Presented by Nancy Jefferies and Carole Corcoran  

  • We are happy to have our sixth community meeting to provide an update to our Sangha and friends. As we have mentioned, we hope to do this every few months, and we are meeting that objective.
  • The purpose of these meetings is to let the Jewel Heart Community know what is going on at Jewel Heart, and to give Sangha a chance to ask questions.
  • We want to continue to thank all of you for being part of, working with and contributing to Jewel Heart as Sangha as our transition continues to evolve in the way Rimpoche wanted.
  • We would like to thank the JH staff, Demo Rinpoche, the Chapter Presidents, Dharma Coordinators, Facilitators, and Jewel Heart’s Board and Executive Committee. Together we are working and seeing Jewel Heart continue to evolve as a home for authentic Tibetan Buddhist teachings and Rimpoche’s archive.
  • We will have another community meeting during December 2019.
  • As with the other sessions, we just want to let you know that this session is being taped and will be available for streaming for about one week for members only. We wanted to give those members who have missed tonight and our friends at Jewel Heart Holland, Malaysia and Singapore and other affiliates the opportunity to listen in.

Earlier Meetings:

In our first two meetings we reviewed our relationship with other Jewel Heart Centers, how Jewel Heart is run and how decisions are made. THIS REMAINS THE SAME.

In our third meeting September 2018, we discussed programs, and the membership drive.

In our fourth December 2018 meeting, we discussed 2018 Programs, the Dharma Coordinator Meetings and the Year-End Campaign.

In our fifth meeting in May 2018, we presented our 2019 programs and gave organizational, financial and archive updates.  We also addressed member and social media efforts.

In this meeting we will discuss

  • 2019 and 2020 Programs
  • Financial and Fundraising Update
  • Promotions update
  • Archive and Digital Dharma Update

We will talk for 30 minutes and take questions for ten minutes.  

We are limited tonight as the Dharma Coordinator Meeting starts at 7pm. 

If you have any questions not covered please email us at: directors@jewelheart.org 

 

  1. PROGRAMS

We continue to have good news to report on strong, outstanding, consistent programs.

As noted before, because of Gelek Rimpoche’s kindness and relationship to so many great lamas and teachers we continue to benefit greatly by:

  • Having Demo Rimpoche actively involved as our Resident Spiritual Advisor
  • Continuing to have many of the other outstanding Tibetan masters recommended and approved by Rimpoche visit, teach and provide initiations
  • Continuing to have many of the best Western Tibetan Buddhist teachers, also recommended and approved by Rimpoche visit and teach us.

Before we briefly run through Programs, we want to touch on a few general program points:

JH PROGRAM FOCUSES ON YEARLY THEMES (as did Rimpoche) ON A THREE YEAR PLAN

  • Jewel Heart’s 2019 PROGRAM has focused on WHAT IS MEDITATION.
  • JEWEL HEART’S 2020 PROGRAM will focus on COMPASSION and how to integrate that into your practice and life.
  • JEWEL HEART’S 2021 PROGRAM will focus on WISDOM/ EMPTINESS

While we do not dictate to visiting Lamas and other teachers what to teach, we are requesting if appropriate that the teachings relate to the topic.

  • JH PROGRAM BALANCES BETWEEN SUTRA AND VAJRAYANA TEACHINGS: We continue to structure programs to offer sutra and Vajrayana teachings, and initiations for all level students.
  • JH PROGRAM OFFERS RETREATS TO APPEAL TO BOTH VAJRAYANA AND NON-VAJRAYANA STUDENTS.  We are now having two long retreats a year, and two short retreats a year as Rimpoche did.
  • JH PROGRAM BALANCES BETWEEN ON SITE AND ON LINE:We continue to recognize the benefits of Sangha meeting in person and also the reality that in these contemporary times there is a growing need to have courses available on line and on demand.
  • JH PROGRAM BALANCES NATIONAL PROGRAMS WITH LOCAL PROGRAMS.
  • DEMO RIMPOCHE’S PROGRAM:Demo Rinpoche, as many of you know, has been increasing his teaching schedule, leading retreats, travelling to centers, spending his time helping us, advising us and getting to know us. We are highly fortunate and deeply grateful to have him as our Spiritual Advisor.  He is essentially teaching full time as you can see and he presented an extraordinary Summer Retreat.

2019 National Program since May 

  • JH Summer Retreat with Demo Rinpoche, June 17 – 22, followed by White TaraEmpowerment, June 23rd(91 attendees on site and on line)
    • How to Enlighten your Mind: Following the Path of Meditation (Kalamashila’s Middling Stages of Meditation) (JH AA Onsite and via webinar, other than the empowerment) (as NOTED THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH OUR 2019 FOCUS ON MEDITATION)
    • White Tara Empowerment
  • Ling Rinpoche, July 12 – 14
    • Three Principles of the Path - 116Onsite JH AA and via webinar
    • Manjushri Empowerment - Onsite JH AA only
  • Demo Rinpoche, July 27
    • Follow Up Summer Retreat Workshop- JH AA Onsite and via webinar (as NOTED THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH OUR 2019 FOCUS ON MEDITATION)
  • Doboom Rinpoche, August 15 – 19
    • In Praise of Dependent Arising (95 on site JH AA and via webinar)
    • White Tara Longevity Initiation
  • Fall 2019 Webinar Series Tent pole Series Mind and Meditation Guest speakers: Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe, Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, Ven. Thubten Chodron, Dagyab Rinpoche?, Joe Loizzo, Bob Thurman, follow-up workshops in JH chapters, run by local instructors ( as NOTED THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH OUR 2019 FOCUS ON MEDITATION)
  • Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe, September 16 – 22
    • Rice Seedling Sutra
    • JH AA onsite and via webinar
  • Demo Rinpoche Monday Lam Rim – Part Three, Song of Spiritual Change Beginning Sept 25(Free to members)
    • Demo Rinpoche will continue to teach on Tsongkhapa’s Middle Length Lam Rim, and then follow up with Songs of Spiritual Change by Tsongkhapa, a Lam Rim Summary
    • JH AA onsite and webinar
    • Monday evenings, 7-8.30 pm
  • Dagyab Rinpoche, October 12 – 17 has been cancelled and has been changed to a weekend workshop in Ann Arbor with Demo Rinpoche
    • Vajrayogini Initiation and Cittamani Tara Teaching and Initiation
    • JH AA Onsite only
  • Dagyab Kyabgon Rinpoche, October 19 – 20 17 has been cancelled and has been changed to a weekend workshop in Ann Arbor with Demo Rinpoche]Preparation Initiation and Main Initiation for Medicine Buddha
  • JH NY
  • Demo Rinpoche: December 14 - 15
    • Je Tsongkhapa’s Spiritual Autobiography
    • Webinar from JH AA

2020 National Program-, which as noted will be focused on compassion, still has a number of unknowns:

2020

  • JH Winter Retreat with Demo Rimpoche: Feb 6-17, 2020
    • Cittamani Tara mantra retreat and fire puja
    • White Tara mantra retreat 
    • 1000 armed Avalokitesvara Initiation by Demo Rinpoche
  • Glenn Mullin, Jewel Heart Chapter Tour (January to March 2020, based on training the mind in compassion, details coming soon.
    • onsite and via webinar
  • Demo Rimpoche Memorial Day Teachings May 23-24, 2020
    • Wheel of Sharp Weapons
    • [with a companion commentary transcript by Gelek Rimpoche on the Wheel of Sharp Weapons]
    • Ann Arbor, onsite and via webinar ( as noted focused on Compassion)
  • JH Summer Retreat with Demo Rinpoche July 13-18
    • Mind Training Like the Rays of the Sun(as noted focused on Compassion). This is a teaching that Gelek Rimpoche wanted to give shortly before he passed away, it would have become the topic of the 2017 Summer Retreat.
    • Ann Arbor, onsite and via webinar  (as noted focused on Compassion)
  • Demo Rinpoche Labor Day TeachingsVenue and Topic tbd

Fall Webinar Series (Tent Pole) September-November about how to train and transform the mind to a more compassionate nature as a continuing part of the year’s theme. It will include topics relevant to developing and maintaining compassion in daily life and practice.

Invites are out to a number of high-level Visiting Lamas

  • Doboom Rimpoche, Ling Rimpoche and Drikung Rinpoche- all who have expressed interest in coming back when in the United States next year.
  • Geshe Negi:Debate Teachings (agreed he will do it, timing tbd)
  • We are in the process of inviting Tokden Rinpoche, Dagyab Rinpoche, Geshe Yeshe Thabkhe.

LOCAL CHAPTERS

  • Chapters remain active: Check Local Chapter calendars and emails for local events.
  • As noted our goal is to balance national and local programming, as was raised at an earlier meeting.
  • This can be seen most recently in in Demo Rimpoche INTRODUCTION TO TIBETAN BUDDHISMChapter visit series commenced in March 2019
  • The will continue in the CBCT Programs our member Bento Soares will present in conjunction with Emory in
    • Bloomfield Hills Oct 25, 26,27th
    • JH NY: Nov 1, 2 and 3rd
    • We are deeply grateful to Bento who is leading these courses to benefit JH students and others and is not taking any fee in doing so but is donating the total proceeds of these courses to JH above the 25 percent that goes to Emory.
    • As many of you know, the CBCT course is the Secular course developed by Emory and Geshe Negi, which was given at JH two years ago, and approved by Rimpoche. 

II    NATIONAL DHARMA COORDINATOR MEETING WILL BE HELD at 7PM FOLLOWING THIS MEETING via the JH zoom link.  Invitations have been sent to the dharma coordinators.   

  • The main topic will be a review and discussion of updates to the chapter guidelines.
  • The guidelines will be finalized based on the outcome of the meeting.

III.  STRUCTURE OF PROGRAM REVIEW REMAINS THE SAME:

  • Program committee meets weekly reviewing and suggesting all courses
  • Recommendations go to EX directors
  • The chair signs off on the all courses and any specific issues
  • Ex co reviewing course annually.
  • Currently the committee is made up of Mark Magill, Anne Warren, and Kathy and Hartmut through their positions as program directors.
  1. PROMOTIONS:
  • Promotions committee (Sean Ike, Kimba Levitt, Kathy Laritz, Mark Magill and Wendy Weiner) meets weekly.  Goal is to increase Jewel Heart’s visibility, as a full-service dharma center with offerings at all levels, in a cost-effective manner.
  • Promo team participated in social media training through a team member’s connection to a company with a savvy social media department
  • The team is tracking promotion response, competitive advertising and return on investment to fine tune future advertising
  • The Advertising Budget was increased based on positive promotion response results. The increased Budget pays for:
  1. Increased print ads in Buddhist magazines as well as new magazines such as Health & Spirituality
  2. Directory placement in Buddhist magazines
  3. Email advertising in on-line Buddhist magazine’s & newsletters
  4. Increased local email advertising in Ann Arbor magazines for Ann Arbor & national classes & events
  5. Began paid boosting of audience on Facebook for event posts
  6. Began Instagram posting
  • Other local non-paid advertising done by Sangha  & Advertising Chair Heather Mooney
  1. Emails to surrounding Colleges and Universities on our academic focused teachings
  2. Poster Pals poster at 75 locations around Ann Arbor and surrounding communities
  3. Placement in calendar postings in local publications and their on-line calendars
  • Social Media: Growth in followers shows growing number of people who want direct access to the teachings of great lineage masters, from Gelek to Demo Rinpoche, offered by Jewel Heart.
    • Facebook
  1. Nationally seen 10% increase in followers in past year
  2. Ann Arbor (Ingrid Asztalos handles NOW daily posts, previously not daily)
  • Instagram
  1. 32% growth in followers in past year
  • 2019 Results:
    • National-Generating increased interest in Jewel Heart programs
  1. Seeing registrants from print, on-line and Facebook advertising
  2.    Website visits up by 108,106.
  3. New website users up by 562.
  • Locally-Focus on entry level meditation courses to address AA community needs
  1. Class registration doubled approximately in past year (doubled prior year too)
  2.    Class registrations are 60-90% non-member

 

  1. BRIEF FINANCIAL AND FUNDRAISING UPDATE
  • We continue to have a budget of about $1m a year
  • We have recurring expenses of about 70k a month
  • We have approximately 350 members and 2018 digital dharma members.
  • Looking at the actuals vs. Budget from January to July, we have a 50k deficit at the end of July and are looking carefully to assess the changes in schedules.
  • We are transparent with our financials which are audited and available on the website.
  • We have accountants and auditors.
  • We urge all of you to continue to support us to the extent you can.  And we thank all of you who are supporting us.
  • On Fundraising, we have three focuses to draw to your attention.
    • We are just coming to the end of our Summer Campaign Securing the Future of Jewel Heart.So far we have about 52 contributors, and of those 31 are members. We have raised approximately 52k and thank those of you, who contributed, and ask all of you to contribute what you can. It is not the dollar amount but the generosity behind the gift. The campaign will end in two weeks so please consider if you can contribute
    • We will have a small JH Benefit in NYC on December 5 with Philip playing and Ben Shapiro and Philip Glass in conversation on the importance and meaning of a practice. The RSVP just went out and all proceeds will go to Jewel Heart. We are limiting this event to 60 people and ask anyone that can afford to and wants to come to a very special intimate NY downtown event to sigh up.  You will not be disappointed.
  1. BRIEF UPDATE ON RIMPOCHE’S ARCHIVE AND JH DIGITAL DHARMA
  • As you know, JH is the administrator and distributor of the Archive.
  • In that capacity, we have formal plans to develop the Archive and will discuss them with you in December. Suffice to say we believe that over the next few years, Rimpoche’s teachings will be available to all of you and many more through an accessible on Line University JH will host as distributor. Rimpoche left us a great gift and responsibility with this Archive.
  • In the meantime, we have an amazing Digital Dharma platform, not only brining you our current courses via webinar but presenting you with the Archive:
    • At the end of Sept we had:
      • GELEK RIMPOCHE VIDEO: 270 episodes
      • GELEK RIMPOCHE AUDIO: 1417 episodes
    • 26 courses available to register for, all in video
    • 51 transcripts available for sale
    • We are adding weekly to the digital dharma platform, and many thanks to Nancy and Willie for all their work there. For example we recently added

 

SUMMARY:

We thank all that are contributing in every way. This is a joint activity and responsibility for many of us.

We hope you are satisfied, and that you feel as we do, that Jewel Heart is perhaps putting on the best dharma programs in the country for a Tibetan Buddhist organization and we thank Gelek Rimpoche for that.

Speak to you soon, and for those in the NY area we hope you will attend the Installation Ceremony of Rimpoche’s stupa at the NY Center with Demo Rinpoche leading the ceremony on Sept 12that 630, followed by a reception.