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Shared Stewardship

In 2000, Roshi Egyoku Nakao led the Sangha in an exploration to reorganize the Center to expand it from a teacher-focused vertical structure to an all-inclusive model that embraces a sangha-oriented horizontal structure. We took a daring leap off the 100-foot pole into an invigorating exploration of what we now call Shared Stewardship.

As it has evolved, Shared Stewardship has several notable characteristics:

  • using a mandala to keep us connected with the big picture and with one another
  • using Council practice to
    • experience the inherent diversity and complexity of ourselves and our life together
    • trust in the wisdom of the group
  • honoring transparency and, at the same time, respecting confidentiality
  • taking actions based on deep listening and collective decision making
  • integrating both vertical and horizontal relationships within ourselves and the community-at-large
  • honoring one another as worthy stewards of the Sangha in whatever way our unique talents and abilities manifest
  • working through our difficulties with one another and the Sangha, whatever they may be

The crux of our understanding is that all life and all activities of our life, without exception, are awakened life. Our actions—how we care for our lives and for each other, how we care for and run the Center—reveal our understanding of the Dharma, not as an abstraction, but as living manifestation of awakening. We do our best!


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