We call the governing model of our Zen Life & Mediation Center the Shared-stewardship Model. The model consists of circles which are open to members only. There are many different circles within our community.
- Administrative circles such as our Board of Directors, Generosity and Membership (GEMS) Circle, Marketing Circle, Program Circle, Work Practice Circle and the Children's Dharma Circle.
- Support circles such as the Death and Dying Circle, the Women's Circle, the Men's Circle and a Quilt Circle.
- Social Action circles such as our Race Circle.
Each circle is chaired by a steward who is responsible for calling the circle meetings, scheduling them and corresponding with members who wish to know more about what the circle is doing.
Each circle usually begins with a council process where a talking piece is passed from person to person reminding members that there is no cross talk. Only the person with the talking piece can speak. Guidelines are to speak and listen from the heart.
Once the circle is done with council it may choose to spend some time asking guiding questions and then, depending on the nature of the circle conduct business. Most circles meet for 2 hours.
Any member can form a circle if they feel there is a need for one in the community and they are willing to steward that circle. Circles may come and go depending on the needs they meet in the community.
We believe this is a sane and wise model for growing our community and governing ourselves in a way that remains open, transparent and person and community-based. This is a work in progress. We are constantly learning and making adjustments.
Code of Ethics and Grievance Procedures
In 2015 the Zen Life & Meditation Center Board of Directors completed work on a Code of Ethics for ZLMC Teachers and Instructors. The board also completed work on drawing up a Grievance and Reconciliation Procedure. The board of directors voted and approved both of these ethical codes and procedures in 2015.