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Summary of TBS Melbourne Directors’ meetings – 21 October 2023 and 16 November 2023

These summaries are provided to inform interested supporters and friends of the Peaceful Land of Joy Meditation Centre about recent issues discussed at TBS directors’ meetings.

Melbourne directors meet four to six times a year. After each meeting a summary will be posted on the Community Information page on the Society’s website with a link from regular newsletters and communications. You may wish to bookmark this link on your browser.

21 October 2023

Updates from last meeting

  • First Aid training for TBS  – this will be organised in the coming weeks
  • 2024 Calendar for website – consultation with Gardening team to be completed prior to finalising calendar.
  • Solar system – quotes to be sought and potential locations for solar panels to be reviewed. Quotes will be used to inform fund raising activities.

Associate Directors

Martin advised that all current Associate Directors agreed to continue past 30 June ‘24 and it was noted the program had been very successful.  TBS is aiming to achieve a balance in Directors by rotating positions. The minimum term was 3 years, and it is anticipated that another 2 or 3 Associate Directors will be added from June 2024. Michael to coordinate nomination and selection process for these additional positions.

Loden Rinpoche

Anna sought views on including Loden Rinpoche news on the TBS website. It was agreed that publishing Loden Rinpoche news on the website was a good way of informing interested people on Rinpoche’s progress, but it would have to be balanced so as not adversely affect Rinpoche’s privacy or interests generally. Social media was not thought to be an appropriate media channel. It was agreed that the next Directors’ meeting would focus on planning for TBS to support Loden Rinpoche’s development.

Vajrayana Retreat

Martin on behalf of the retreat team requested views on having a Vajrayogini retreat in 2024 with the aim of ensuring that Melbourne’s Vajrayana retreats are out of sync with Perth’s. This has the advantage that it is possible to attend the two different retreat types in one year. The options include no change, a 3-week Vajrayogini retreat next year (but this would involve a change to the draft TBS calendar) or a 2-week Vajrayogini retreat focusing on the various generation stage meditations in the text and not mantra count as 2 weeks would not be sufficient to do 100,000. In this latter case there would be no fire puja. There was general support for this proposal.  The aim is for people to think about it and a decision to be made at a future meeting.

Sydney Centre

Sydney Directors have requested to send holy statues, stupas and texts to Melbourne for safe keeping. This was agreed and the location of specific objects would be determined after delivery.

Other business

Working with Children checks: Rosie reminded everyone of the importance of having the Working with Children card for those supporting activities which involve children. The relevant activities identified were the childrens’ meditations and Banksia Garden lunches. It was noted that TBS receives and files a copy of completed checks.

Next meeting: Saturday 18 November 2023 at 1.30pm

18 November 2023

The sole agenda item for the meeting was so that we could start to think through what we should be doing now from a TBS Melbourne point of view as a foundation to support Loden Rinpoche and the future of the centre.

  1. Priority aims

After discussion the directors identified the following general priorities:

  1. Rinpoche’s safety and well being
  2. Rinpoche’s education at Sera
  3. Doing our best to foster a thriving/vibrant TBS centre

 Points that were discussed included:

  • The priority of Rinpoche’s safety and wellbeing and his being able to pursue monastic studies at Sera Monastery as per Geshe Loden’s objectives with no disruption.
  • Loden Rinpoche’s wishes, especially as he grows older.
  • The role of his carers at Sera including their relationship with Rinpoche’s family.
  • Given Geshe Loden’s stated intent of Rinpoche eventually returning to Australia, having a healthy, happy, and vibrant Melbourne centre for him to come back to with finances under control. This is the main thing that we in Melbourne can try to influence.
  • The ongoing maintenance of Rinpoche’s residence at Sera to a very high standard

 2. Role of TBS directors

Questions relating to Loden Rinpoche and TBS are the responsibility of all national TBS directors.  Discussions by Melbourne directors are focussed on questions and issues as they affect TBS Melbourne or on points that can be raised with directors nationally.

  1. Communications

There is a balance to be struck between making sure our community is informed and can share in the wonderful inspiring story of Loden Rinpoche, and also protecting his privacy, particularly until he is old enough to decide what he would like to communicate and how.

Points that were discussed included.

  1. There is natural interest within our community.  Ensuring people are informed helps build engagement and community.
  2. Because anything we put online contributes to Loden Rinpoche’s digital footprint, until he is at a point when he can make decisions for himself, we should be careful about what we put online for general access. 
  3. However general TBS communications on a regular basis – eg perhaps twice a year – should be fine.
  4. There is a difference between putting information on the website – accessible to all – vs sending it to our mailing list – still reasonably extensive – vs sharing with members and people actively involved in the community.  In the latter case it may be easier to share more detailed information in person at the centre – for example at community meetings.
  5. People did not favour use of social media with regard to Rinpoche until he is in a position to make his own decisions.
  6. This is also subject to discussion at a national directors level.

 4 Likely implications in next 6-12 months

In the next year the following events are likely:

  1. Rinpoche will receive ordination and enter Sera Monastery
  2. There will be a formal enthronement at Sera likely to be some time after

We will look to include an annual event in the TBS Melbourne calendar for prayers of auspiciousness for Loden Rinpoche.