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An urgent message from the Easing Awake Board of Directors

Why this message:
For sangha to continue to provide programs for the teaching and the growth of yogis, we must grow our administrative capacity by adding a part-time Administrative Coordinator

Dear Fellow Yogis,

This past year has been a momentous one for Easing Awake Sangha. Along with the regular business of sangha, the teaching, retreats, and special events, we’ve also encountered challenges in our relationships leading to new policies and practices. Today we find ourselves a more mature organization, and we are stronger for it. All the while, our Guiding Teacher Doug Kraft has attended to every detail, everything it takes to keep the workings of sangha sound. 

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As most of you reading this know, Doug suffered a neurological event while on retreat last July, describing it in the July Newsletter. Doug has mostly recovered and has returned to teaching, but his return is accompanied by lessons he has learned about stress, time, and energy management. What is clear to him, and also to the board of Easing Awake Sangha, is we have an urgent need to make some changes in how we take care of business.

Speaking plainly, we are considering how best to keep Doug healthy and Easing Awake Sangha viable into the future.

Why does Easing Awake Sangha exist in its current form?

The core of the sangha is the teaching, now largely provided by Doug. In 2014, because those efforts involved the organizing and provision of retreat experiences for yogis (all of us on this path), we found ourselves handling large sums of money without the conventional means for accounting for its movement. That prompted the creation of our current 501(c)(3) corporation, enabling us to be accountable to the government entities who care about how we manage other folks’ money. 

Whether by our attendance of sangha events or through his writings, all of us have experienced and benefitted from Doug’s teaching and care. In the background, though, we have also benefited from Doug’s invisible management of finances, event details, coordination of volunteers, and general organizational needs, all requiring more energy than he can continue to deliver. Physicians have advised him that his work load must be reduced, and his level of work for sangha must change.

What needs to change?

Your Easing Awake Board of Directors, with assistance from not-for-profit professionals, have created a position to relieve Doug of administrative work as much as possible. We have identified the need to raise, on an sustaining basis, $12,000 per year, and it is this need we bring to you now.

A generous donation of $4,500 to seed this effort was made by an anonymous yogi moved by the urgency of the summer’s events, giving us confidence as we seek to reorganize sangha’s processes. We invite you to reflect on your relationship to Easing Awake Sangha, in particular your relationship to Doug and your fellow yogis, and consider what part you might play in the growth of the sangha. Many of you have generously supported Doug with your dana gifts, and those have gone toward his direct support. Think of this as a request for administrative dana, a separate fund for a separate purpose, though like all dana, remains a response from the heart to the benefits of the teaching and your practice. 

Today marks the birth of the Easing Awake Administrative Coordinator Fund Drive. Along with your board of directors, we are asking you to pledge an increase in your current giving on a recurring basis. Until now, most dana has been provided on a per-event basis, but we are now asking that you commit to some level of donation on which we can depend to support this position. To our remote Friends of Easing Awake, please consider a modest, but recurring, contribution. For local yogis, your participation in this effort to sustain an Administrative Coordinator will assure the presence of your sangha for years to come. Most of our current dana subscribers use some form of automatic check sent from their checking account, using services such as PopMoney. The various mechanisms for donating are detailed on our Donations web page. PayPal remains an option, but a significant percentage of your donation remains with that company.

This fund drive will take place over the next two months, September and October. With your support we will have someone in this position to assume administrative responsibilities from Doug beginning November 1, 2018.

Please visit the pledge form below to join us in growing Easing Awake Sangha!

Please do contact us if you have any questions or concerns at all.

Mettā,

Jamie Gutheil - jamie@easingawake.com
To email us all together: board@easingawake.com

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Special Events

Saṅgha Gatherings, Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30, 
Our regular Tuesday saṅgha gatherings are open to anyone practicing or wishing to practice using our Buddhist Easing Awake style of meditation. From September through June we have various programs after the 45 minute sitting. For more information click here. You can find program notes for specific meetings here. Please join us.

Third Sunday peer-led retreats
A new sister saṅgha in Yolo county is offering self-guided daylong retreats once a month. Most of the people have trained with me or Bhante Vimalaraṁsi. So the style of meditation is familiar. They don’t offer talks or instruction — just time to practice together. Here's where you can get information or sign up.

Spiritual Journey Group, 
Second Saturdays 8:30 to noon
We meditate for an hour, then explore other ways to deepen our practice, deepen our spiritual lives, and deepen our connections with each other. Note that we don’t meet during July and August. For information and signup, click here.

Meditation Class
Monday Evenings, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, September 17th through November 12th

The class will be taught by Doug with help from Jamie Gutheil and Maureen Sullivan at the Unitarian Universalist Society, 2425 Sierra Blvd, Sacramento. For information and signup, click here.

Walk in Nature & Meditation, 
Last Saturdays, September through June, 9:00 to 11:00.
We meet with Lance Ryen at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, 2850 San Lorenzo Way, Carmichael, CA 95608. Note that we don’t meet over the summer. For more information, send an email to Lance.

Dhamma Talk
September 13, 7:00 pm
Roseville Sitting Group, 214 Judah Street, Roseville. More information here.

Daylong Retreat
September 29, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Roseville Sitting Group, 214 Judah Street, Roseville
A day of sitting and walking meditation for new and experienced meditators. For information and signup click here.

Weekend Non-Residential Retreat
October 19-21
This retreat runs from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon with meditators going home each evening. Home hospitality is offered for those coming from out of town. For information and sign up, click here.

Daylong Retreat
December 1
More details to come.

Annual Nine-Day Retreat
June 23 to July 2, 2019
Information and sign up for our annual June retreat at St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista, click here.