6-29-20 - Recording of my responses to proposal
January 2020 Email Excerpts
This first excerpt is from an email from January 8th, sent in response to someone getting in touch with me after the January Steering Committee meeting, which this person and others reported as being quite tumultuous, challenging, charged with energy, etc. It was also reported that the focus of the meeting was around being or not being an Open Source community. I wrote this email to summarize my position on things, in hopes of reframing the focus of your exploration together moving forward and to provide a container for such. My understanding is that this email was shared with the entire SC soon after, and I suggested it be kept around and revisited throughout your process - I am not certain what happened in that regard:
The central-most matter related to my stepping down and the exploration for the community moving forward was/is not WMS being or not being an Open Source community; the central-most matter was/is the lack of/dwindling support energetically and financially for what was being offered in the community these past four years, evidenced in part by there being no response to the dana request letter, people not coming forth to help lead and hold the community in certain ways, and some people who had been regulars drifting away. As a result, the central question now at hand is who/what is WMS as a community, what is important to the community, and how are people willing to commit to and support that which is most important. Being or not being an Open Source community is secondary to all that, and is something that can be clarified and explored once that more central question is addressed thoroughly, and answered sufficiently and satisfactorily.
This email excerpt is from January 9th. The background is a few days prior someone had gotten in touch with me requesting a koan for an upcoming koan gathering, which I declined, stating that, as an Open Source teacher, I cannot support community members gathering as peers to do group koan work together (providing a koan would be supporting such), and said that if you do decide to meet, be clear that you are doing so on a peer-to-peer level and not with any endorsement/support from me as an Open Source teacher (one can expand this statement so that it applies to leading any type of activity, thus it isn't limited to group koan practice). This statement was taken in two different ways, both mistaken: 1.That I said you cannot meet at all to engage in group koan practice and 2.That I was suggesting/providing a peer-to-peer model. Someone who was leaning more toward that second point wrote to me, and this excerpt comes from my response (I do not know if this person shared this information with anyone else):
Regarding no one being endorsed to lead koans, to be clear, I did not offer a model; I pointed out it would be peer-to-peer. That's not something we do in The Open Source, thus I have no instructions to provide in that regard. In general, in order to lead/facilitate group koan practice, a person would be an advanced koan student working closely/regularly with a teacher, who has also demonstrated the ability to lead and facilitate in other ways (weekly meditations, training regarding forms and such, facilitating group discussions, offering intros, things of that nature). ... And yes, if people are wanting to continue with group koan practice as peers and think doing so is in line with The Open Source, I am discouraging that.