In January 2013 Natural Dharma Fellowship had our first “Visioning” meeting. The purpose was to define and refine the vision for NDF and our new retreat center Wonderwell. It was led by Mark Leach, a dynamic organizational facilitator with many years of experience working with non-profits to help them shape their mission, and build stable organizational structures.
During the weekend we focused on fleshing out our core values and goals to help us hone in on what NDF is currently doing as an organization, redefine what our purpose is, and propose what we want to do in the future as well as how to get there.
Participants offered important feedback for the organization, including ideas about how we could do better particularly around the values of Inclusion/Diversity and Outreach.
- A Diversity Initiative has been designed
- The Diversity Initiative is looking into coordinating with FAC to plan events such as inviting teachers with a focus on this topic and setting up a reading group.
The idea was suggested to retool the website to improve organizational communication and transparency.
- A News link has been set up on the website for posting recent news and committee activities.
- In order to improve communication of our organizational structure, Committee Descriptions have been compiled and posted, and the NDF Administrative, Committee and Support Staff list updated.
- The Communications/Tech Committee is looking into adding individual pages for local sanghas as a first step in working more closely with these important groups
A subcommittee also discussed NDF’s spiritual offerings and brainstormed ways to better serve our Sangha. During the discussion, for example, the need to initiate and organize programs of teacher and practice leader training within the next five years was brought up.
- The Meditation Teachers and Lama Willa have begun to explore this.
Overall the meeting was helpful to reflect on how we are working together to implement the mission of NDF: to offer teachings and retreats aimed at transmitting and deepening in the practices of wisdom and compassion. Overall it was a rich discussion and reflection on how much we have accomplished as an organization and how we could improve to better meet the needs of our members.
For a visual representation of the weekend, see to the graphic: Growing in Place, Building a Firm Foundation.