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The Program Committee

The Program Committee is chaired by the Spiritual Director who, together with the Board, elects its members. The Program Committee is responsible for:

  • Programs and teachings offered by, at, and/or on behalf of Portland Friends of the Dhamma.
  • Deciding which monastics to whom Portland Friends of the Dhamma will extend invitations to teach at or on behalf of Portland Friends of the Dhamma.
  • Deciding which laypeople will lead, facilitate, or teach programs on behalf of Portland Friends of the Dhamma.

MEMBERS: The program committee members are: Sakula Mary Reinard (Chair), Joan Benge, Heather Fercho and Matthew Grad.

Reflections about Purpose – Sept 28 2009

Soon after it’s formation the Program Committee reflected on it’s purpose, with the goal of expressing a framework to inform current and future deliberations.

This is that reflection In its simplest and self evident form this committee’s purpose is: To identify, support and develop programs and events that support and advance the mission of Portland Friends of the Dhamma.

But what does that mean, what can we aspire to? We mentioned programs and events that …

  • Support the Precepts and the virtue of generosity (Dana) as vital forms of practice (using our tradition as our example).
  • Bring us in direct contact with the monastics we take as our teachers.
  • Protect the clear focus on our Ajahn Chah / Ajahn Sumedho / Abhayagiri Thai forest heritage.
  • Make it possible for people to approach the monastics in an environment that is comfortable, joyful and respectful.
  • Reinforce the center as a strong, purposeful container for practice.
  • Build a four-fold community of harmony and diligence.
  • Provide opportunity for practitioners deepening their practice.
  • Share the Dhamma with those who seek it (keeping in mind our tradition does not proselytize).

We also recognize that

  • PFoD is a lay center and that lay practitioners will want to share the Dhamma with each other.
  • We are the body responsible for sometimes saying no to people who wish to teach, or programs they wish to support. We must develop the skills and framework for doing this skillfully.
  • We should cherish our sangha, helping keep it harmonious and diligent, as the Buddha advised.
  • We are playing a role in bringing the dhamma, and a dhamma vehicle to North America