Today I am sitting in the sunny garden of my new house in Scotland, awaiting the arrival of Choden and Norton Bertram-Smith for a Board meeting of the MA. We are the three Directors of the MA, which is a Scottish not for profit Limited Company. Today we will be mainly reviewing accounts and discussing long term plans for the continuing growth of the MA, while maintaining its long term financial viability. We are assisted in the management of the MA by our Core Management Team (CMT), which includes Fay Adams (MA tutor), Jane Negrych (membership secretary and MA tutor) and Helen Mathieson (office manager), as well as Choden and myself. The CMT meet on a monthly basis online and after each meeting there is a Board phone meeting to review the CMT’s discussions. Then the MA tutor team, and also Hannah and Alan in the office, are consulted about our plans. Sometimes people assume that I run the MA, but it is very much a consensus team effort of colleagues and friends. We make decisions and deal with challenges together.
Our intention has always been to make long term, compassion based, mindfulness trainings, led by excellent tutors, accessible to as many people as possible. We try to do this in a way that supports our employees and tutors to earn a reasonable livelihood. Our motivation is to share the tremendous benefit of Compassion based Mindfulness. This spirit of a group of practitioners working together with a common intention and motivation has served us well since we began, especially when difficult decisions have to be made.
So this morning in my practice I included a loving kindness practice, for myself, for Norton, for Choden, for others in the tutor team and then for all beings. This reminds me of my intention of gentle friendship and gives me a sense of where and how we all are. A good plan before a day of meetings.
Then tomorrow evening, Jane, Alan, Barbara Reid and I start an MBLC retreat at Samye Ling. Accompanying this latest group on their last stage of training to be MBLC teachers. I am looking forward to that – although there is much anxiety to hold and the retreat is intense – as I know by the end there will be the next group of teachers ready to go out and spread the benefit. What could be more worthwhile?
Perhaps one day soon you will join us in this joint endeavour.