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Shinzen Young

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning

Why is this under Shinzen Young? He doesn't seem affiliated with them. If he's not, perhaps this should be moved elsewhere in order not to give the appearance of criticism of a well-respected teacher.

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/10/13 12:50 PM as a reply to tsetse fly.
I feel annoyed with Katy for raising an apparently well-meaning but decidedly inherently controversial topic. Since it's been raised, however, and since I know something about it, I will speak to it.

CML is definitely affiliated with Shinzen. It is a start-up monastery in Burlington, VT, where Basic Mindfulness (Shinzen's meditation system) is practiced and taught. It is located in the historic Friends (Quaker) meeting house. I was there recently for a week, as a practicing guest in residence and to further my training as a Basic Mindfulness facilitator.

Although he lives just a few blocks away, Shinzen is only occasionally there in person (and not once during my stay). He is, however, "there" pervasively in the spirit, style, and tone of the place; in the fact that Basic Mindfulness is the structuring principle for the contemplative practice so vigorously pursued there; and in the fact that just about everybody there (I think it's safe to guess) has some sort of personal relationship with him.

But that's just the thing: Shinzen doesn't want people to depend upon him personally. Although he works tirelessly and is surrounded by a fluid team of assistants, staff, and supporters who put a great deal of effort into helping him schedule his every waking minute for maximum effectiveness, he just doesn't have the time to work with enough people himself to do what needs to be done. This is why he has initiated a range of projects, including the annual cycle of retreats (assisted by his facilitators), software initiatives, the facilitator training program, the Home Practice Program (HPP), and of course CLM. The monastery itself is run by Soryu, whom Shinzen describes as his "colleague" and with whom he works very closely.

CML was a first-rate retreat experience for me, bringing to life the very best of contemporary pragmatic dharma: strong practice inspired by many streams of traditions from all over the world, all organized under Shinzen's "big tent" of a system. All of these ideas and practices are great and wonderful, but they also exist here and now, in the real world. Although much of the food we ate was grown in the garden, for example, it was cooked with power and the dishes washed with water that came from municipal utilities. That costs money.

I have no idea about the context and comprehensiveness of the financial details disclosed in the public record that Katy posted (for example, does that include just start-up donation funds, or also operating revenues?) but I would like to mention -- indeed to emphasise -- that my experience of CML was a case-study of ascetic frugality. Housing and feeding 10 people in an urban environment, to say nothing of connecting them to the Internet and supporting their surprisingly extensive community outreach activities, on an annual budget in the range of the numbers reported in the disclosure would be a remarkable achievement -- and like I said, I'm not sure how to read those numbers, because they may reflect one or more start-up donations, rather than just operating revenues. In fact, it's not my business.

Money, like sex, is a topic around which there are social taboos for good reason. Knowing how much the other guy "got" without also knowing all of the corroborating contextual information (and perhaps even "walking a mile in their shoes") only rarely leads to equanimous, empathic connection and harmony. Much more often such knowledge leads to jealousy, smug superiority, or other unwholesome less-than-perfectly-equanimous reactions. On the other hand, charities and nonprofits have legal requirements to disclose certain information to prevent abuses and maintain a certain level of transparency and accountability. That being said, publishing such information, even with a disclaimer about how "this is not a criticism" is different from having it on record, and leaving it there. It is extremely difficult -- all but impossible -- to raise the topic of money without also implying a criticism. Unless you wish to level an allegation of impropriety, best to leave it alone; simply maintain noble silence.

Since tsetse fly seemed unaware of the connection between Shinzen and CML, I have taken the time to spell it out, because I hope that this information will be helpful. Scrutinizing CML's finances in this forum -- indeed, even raising the topic of them -- I don't think is very helpful, unless you think there is a problem whose resolution would benefit from the exposure. For my part, I detect no financial or any other kind of impropriety at CML whatsoever.

To summarize:
- Katy, I am annoyed with you for even raising this, but hopefully my explanation will be helpful.
- Yes, CML is affiliated with Shinzen.
- I was there, and stand as a witness to the fact that they are a Good Thing and certainly no den of opulence.

EDIT: the original post seems to have been deleted (thank-you), but I'll let my response stand, as I think it has value... and it took me an hour to write.

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/10/13 1:10 PM as a reply to tsetse fly.
Hi,
If he's not, perhaps this should be moved elsewhere in order not to give the appearance of criticism of a well-respected teacher.

There is no criticism in providing a company's tax-free income, assets, salaries and affiliates or a paid teacher's income... Form 990 data.

The public supports these non-profits by paying for the non-profit corporations' portion of their received services (such as fire and safety...). It's just gracious good sense for a non-profit to provide its annual Form 990s to its generous hosting public without requiring the public start writing letters.

But I'll write them to learn more unless you've found a link or a link has been added showing corporate structures, income/dusbursements from student payments, assets and so forth. He recommends them and is a guest teacher at CML's residential entity.

However, if the founder and sole provider of this site finds posting Tax ID and Form 990 data about dharma-based corporations, I certainly respect that. Here, he is taken something that was passed down through generations for free or for dana and he is not only not charging for it, but he is paying for us to have a place to access it and share practice. This is similar to accesstoinsight.org and numerous books monastics provide free for the taking.


Best wishes,
Katy

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/10/13 1:30 PM as a reply to Tarver .
I feel annoyed with Katy for raising an apparently well-meaning but decidedly inherently controversial topic. Since it's been raised, however, and since I know something about it, I will speak to it.

It's okay, Tarver.

Please consider this in another light. This teacher and his students can separate themselves easily from trouble and opacity by simply providing what they are required to give the government each year on line via linked PDFs.

This will also protect them from being associated with people who use their name. For example, the teacher I saw in 2012 (who I'm not interested in naming by name) who claimed a dana-only life and yet who had behind-the-scenes income and profit-sharing with their senior student(s), claimed your teacher as a friend. I hope that non-profit corporate dharma group has changed the way they do business and I fairly raised these points directly with the senior hosting students and host group.

I have no idea about the context and comprehensiveness of the financial details disclosed in the public record that Katy posted (for example, does that include just start-up donation funds, or also operating revenues?) but I would like to mention -- indeed to emphasise -- that my experience of CML was a case-study of ascetic frugality.

So, Tarver, as you are a paid teacher for them (well, you teach a paid home-practice class that you mentioned hundreds attend) and use this site to advertise your class, would you also be the intermediary here and provide 990s? Would you like to introduce the topic to the employees of the corporation and affiliates?

It is a healthy thing to do, transparency can help an organization thrive. Especially if they're so frugal diligent with the payments made to them.

If you interpret this an unwholesome query, that would be your activity.

I, on the other hand know this financial transparency for non-profit, paid-dharma teaching corporations, to be a wholesome activity. The public is hosting them and paying for their access to public services and it would be good sense to just show what monies their students pay them, total income, assets etc... basic tax information.

Many times totally honest transparency helps people and corporate entities earn trust and more support. Please consider working with me on this and, if you like, for the benefit of this company (or umbrella of companies) and for role-modeling a high standard of honesty and transparency.

For me, I am personally grateful that dharma is also made freely available and that in fact someone is paying for us to be able to study and share here. That there have been great humans throughout history sharing freely on being and being well.


Best wishes,
Katy

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/10/13 1:55 PM as a reply to tsetse fly.
Also, I have the opening post if anyone wants it restored. I would repost it with more affiliate information per the request of the DhO participant "Tsetse". It includes some of the Form 990 information I was able to find in a big Internal Revenue Service excel spreadsheet and why I decided to start threads that include paid-dharma tax information.

Again, I know this financial transparency serves a wholesome purpose (and it is super-easy to do: PDF-link the Form 990s and associated docs to the paid-dharma website), that good honest accounting actually helps forthright organizations.

As stated in the opening post "This is not a ban/criticism on paying/paid teachers. To each their own; mind is the forerunner of all dhammas, so intentions bear fruit. Troubles and aid can arise equally in paid and free systems."


I, myself, am glad that there have been great human teachers, secular and spiritual, who've passed on freely their knowledge on being, studying being/here, and being well. I'm grateful that I'm on a site that has been paid for for me/us to practice sincerely.


Here is Thanissaro Bhikkhu on dana, "No Strings Attached: the Culture of Buddha's Generosity"
Excerpt:
Thanissaro Bhikkhu: "How can I ever repay you?"
Ajahn Fuang: "By being intent on practicing."

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/10/13 2:10 PM as a reply to Tarver .
Here's my OP then. Tsetse, I hope the above satisfies your interest in connection:
Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning

9/7/13 8:41 AM
Reply
Reply with Quote
Company: Center for Mindful Learning Inc
Tax Identification: 364695073
% NANCY KAPLAN
177 N PROSPECT ST
BURLINGTON
VT 05401-1607


Filing year: 2012

Form 990 Revenue Amount: $208,442
What is a Form 990? A tax filing for organizations that pay no taxes (tax-exempt groups).
Compensation/Salaries: (to be supplied, anyone)


Assets: $85, 572
Assets are: (to be supplied, anyone)


Affiliated/umbrella companies: (to be supplied, anyone)


To be updated.


Source: Internal Revenue Service
www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/eo_vt.xls‎



_________________________
This thread is started because I attend a retreat (not one by this tax-free ID) in 2012 in which the teacher noted their only source of income was dana ("generosity"; commonly a call for donations after retreat payment). Some research found this dharma teacher involved in for-profit and non-profit businesses as well as drawing their pension; there is no good reason students would not be made aware of these revenues particularly when there is the call for "dana" (generosity) given at the end of a retreat, particularly when it has been said, "This is the teacher's only source of income." Regardless, it is a wise teacher who discloses this when taking money from students who are in dukkha.

Further, there was undisclosed profit-sharing of dana by the hosting organization and the teacher. Therefore the organization's affective call for dana monies was also self-interested.

Corporate transparency is a useful metric everywhere. I hope this sort of tracking in a public dhamma forum will encourage paid teachers and their tax-free corporate structures to disclose their revenues and income, and for students to ask about this, though it is hard when students are in dukkha and wanting the shelter of family/acceptance/need for instruction so great they will pay for it. For example, when paying a paid dhamma teacher who is also receiving funds through a tax exempt structure, the students receipt could include the income, revenue, assets and salary disbursements. Disclosure takes up very little space on a receipt.

This is not a ban/criticism on paying/paid teachers. To each their own; mind is the forerunner of all dhammas, so intentions bear fruit. Troubles and aid can arise equally in paid and free systems.


Here is Thanissaro Bhikkhu on dana, "No Strings Attached: the Culture of Buddha's Generosity"
Excerpt:
Thanissaro Bhikkhu: "How can I ever repay you?"
Ajahn Fuang: "By being intent on practicing."

___________________
Tarver:
It is extremely difficult -- all but impossible -- to raise the topic of money without also implying a criticism. Unless you wish to level an allegation of impropriety, best to leave it alone; simply maintain noble silence.

Since tsetse fly seemed unaware of the connection between Shinzen and CML, I have taken the time to spell it out, because I hope that this information will be helpful. Scrutinizing CML's finances in this forum -- indeed, even raising the topic of them -- I don't think is very helpful, unless you think there is a problem whose resolution would benefit from the exposure. For my part, I detect no financial or any other kind of impropriety at CML whatsoever.

To summarize:
- Katy, I am annoyed with you for even raising this, but hopefully my explanation will be helpful.
- Yes, CML is affiliated with Shinzen.
- I was there, and stand as a witness to the fact that they are a Good Thing and certainly no den of opulence.
You can be annoyed, but you are asserting an unwholesome basis from and for your own mind, the forerunner of all actions.

Tarver, you seem well-placed to help with their transparency and I hope you do. I think this action would garner more support for them if they are absolutely forthright in their finances, and at a minimum making their 990s available easily.

I do not share your negative projection on financial transparency. I know that corporations that are easily transparent and honest actually do better business; people rightly trust honesty and transparency.

I added bold emphasis.

Unless you would have shame for the payments you've made and/or for the system that requires payment for dharma teaching (scholarships excepting), there are only wholesome reasons for helping their generously tax-paying and supporting public obtain the public data (Form 990s) for each year of corporate operations.

I don't know why they don't do it for themselves, actually. It is literally just linking PDFs, the annual Form 990 package.

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/10/13 3:35 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
I find the OP confusing. You list CML's tax identification with some empty fields at the top of the post, then state "This thread is started because I attend a retreat (not one by this tax-free ID) in 2012 in which the teacher noted their only source of income was dana ("generosity"; commonly a call for donations after retreat payment). Some research found this dharma teacher involved in for-profit and non-profit businesses as well as drawing their pension; there is no good reason students would not be made aware of these revenues particularly when there is the call for "dana" (generosity) given at the end of a retreat, particularly when it has been said, "This is the teacher's only source of income." Regardless, it is a wise teacher who discloses this when taking money from students who are in dukkha.

Further, there was undisclosed profit-sharing of dana by the hosting organization and the teacher. Therefore the organization's affective call for dana monies was also self-interested."

Emphasis mine. If the guilty teacher didn't run this particular retreat at CML ("not one by this tax-free ID"), why show CML's tax information at the top of the OP? This incident report would be more comprehensible if you were to identify the teacher who made the misstatement, where the retreat took place, what you want the teacher and the center to do about the misconduct, along with any documentation you have, including any records of communication with the teacher and the center about this issue.

Also, it is ultimately Daniel's call, but I'm not sure the DhO, a practice-focused forum, is an appropriate venue for bringing a wayward meditation teacher to justice, especially if you won't name the teacher in question (so we know not to sit retreats with that person).

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/10/13 4:27 PM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew Horn:

Also, it is ultimately Daniel's call, but I'm not sure the DhO, a practice-focused forum, is an appropriate venue for bringing a wayward meditation teacher to justice, especially if you won't name the teacher in question (so we know not to sit retreats with that person).


Does this really help people's practice, katy?

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/10/13 5:09 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Also, it is ultimately Daniel's call, but I'm not sure the DhO, a practice-focused forum, is an appropriate venue for bringing a wayward meditation teacher to justice, especially if you won't name the teacher in question (so we know not to sit retreats with that person).
I don't assume this person intended to deceive people nor do I assume they were wayward about money. I researched their statements, found other revenue streams, discussed it with a condition of anonymity with one person, and then discussed it privately with the teachers senior student who then raised the point with their host group and their teacher. This way allows their non-profit corporation to privately consider what they say, and they can decide should they say, "This teacher's only source of income is dana," which it was not. If I thought they were deliberately abusing students I would bring this forward, Matthew, like you've mentioned.

When Tarver posted an advertisement about his paid class on the DhO a few days ago without disclosing that it was an advertisement for paid class it caused me to wonder about Shinzen's corporate structure and his value of transparency. It is a surprise to me when an organization that can simply link its financial documents does not happily do so. Because non-profits exist on the generosity of the public paying for their service infrastructure, it's just good sense and gracious to offer the public openly and easily their books, that 990s which the government requires.

There is no shame in that disclosure. On the contrary it is a reciprocal gift to the public, "You trust us non-profit structure and offer us the benefits of infrastructure without tax contributions. Thank you, we offer you at least what we must give the government." They could always disclose more than the bare minimum, too.

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/10/13 5:24 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Matthew Horn:

Also, it is ultimately Daniel's call, but I'm not sure the DhO, a practice-focused forum, is an appropriate venue for bringing a wayward meditation teacher to justice, especially if you won't name the teacher in question (so we know not to sit retreats with that person).


Does this really help people's practice, katy?


It might, Nikolai. I suppose that's a personal decision.

Objectively, it seems that the paid/non-profit dharma service providers and the paying dharma service buyers can benefit. In the United States, services like Charity Navigator have helped well-run, transparent non-profits become better funded because people are attracted to honesty and openness; the more of it the better.

1) So, ready honesty and openness can benefit centres like CML and Shinzen's other affiliates (e.g., Vipassana Support International). And I have just mentioned the bare minimum --- the Form 990 --- which is required and can be linked easily each year as a PDF. I suspect if they disclose more and fully they will have more support because transparency and clear conduct rightly builds trust.

2) Simply linking PDF Form 990s also benefits the entire dharma service community by upholding sila, good reasonable standards of ethical discipline and right speech and right livelihood. Linking Form 990s is a very simple and incredibly easy administrative feat that contributes to a basically good standard, though nothing exceptional.

3) Students can practice and not worry about paying for dharma. They can see for themselves the innards of their organization (corporate satipatthana?).

4) It can benefit those who truly do not have any incomes or control over their sustenance. If an organization does not rejoice in showing what they've been generously paid for their services and their tax relief/municipal services gifted by the community at large, then I can turn my dollars to those that cannot currently earn monies and sustain or advocate for themselves, e.g., human beings incapable of providing livelihood or self-sustenance at a moment (e.g., war, disaster), and/or advocacy for the earth/environments and non-human sentients.



Dhamma can be had and shared freely; those are its roots, provided by the founder a looong time ago. It is a surprise to me that I had to hunt for the Form 990, hence part of why there is this thread. A community that highlights study, careful looking, seeing for oneself could delight in contributing to the positive change in finance and economies big and small.

We hopefully have many more decades to come as a richly diverse planet and that outcome relates to causes like governance and transparency. Unless booted from the forum for asking for/posting 990s, then I'll start a buddhist economics thread next month based on some studies I started reading this week emoticon

Religious traditions and institutions seem to regularly face scrutiny, so their own economic lessons and conduct can offer nice standards and lessons for secular economic changes and how we give rise to planet/life conditions in the coming years, including sentient well-being.

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/10/13 7:08 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
Tarver, you seem well-placed to help with their transparency and I hope you do.


Yes, perhaps, but mostly no.

I am torn between ignoring this, responding offline, responding... I guess I am responding publicly, though with misgivings.

I have no idea about the finances of the many organizations that Shinzen is involved with, for it is literally exactly none of my business. As for me being paid, Jee-zus, Katy! Will you please just chill?! I get paid less for doing a session of the HPP than it costs me every month to run the phone and Internet lines on which I will do the call. The number of people on the call makes no difference to the pay, but by the time Emily is also paid (and I assume and dearly hope she is paid, although I don't know for sure), and overhead is taken into account, Shinzen may even lose money on a first-time junior facilitator such as myself, because subscriptions to undiscovered gems such as moi-meme always run at a fraction of what Shinzen gets. I took the gig before I even knew there was any payment. I hesitate to discuss this because it is so totally beside the point, and because it isn't my place to disclose the internal details of organizations that yes, I participate in, but no, I don't actually speak for, unless perhaps you would like help distinguishing your thoughts from your emotions in which case maybe I can help you out.

When I was at CML, Soryu reminded me of a teaching of the Buddha that some things are true to say, some things are useful to say, some are both, and some are neither. The idea was to stick to what is both true and useful. Katy, my impression of these multiple posts of yours is that they may be true -- some government form or other... some tax status something... some abstract virtue of accountability/transparency this or that... but basically the overall tone is somewhere in the range of tabloid journalism and/or an accusation of wrongdoing. I don't get any wrongdoing vibe from Shinzen, CML, the HPP, or any of the other fun, interesting, and helpful people I have been learning from and getting increasingly involved with lately, up to and including recently being invited to offer these cool and clever teachings through one of the established channels. And being invited to teach on the HPP is a real blessing and privilege and pleasure for me; I thought I would share my joy and mention it here. These posts of yours, however, seem accusatory, inflammatory, and in one carefully chosen word: unhelpful. Please desist. If you want to know more, contact me offline if you like.

Mods, if there is even one more post to this thread -- or even right now, for that matter -- perhaps you might consider moving this thread to the Dharma Battleground.

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/11/13 2:39 AM as a reply to Tarver .
Tarver:
When I was at CML, Soryu reminded me of a teaching of the Buddha that some things are true to say, some things are useful to say, some are both, and some are neither. The idea was to stick to what is both true and useful.
Indeed.

but basically the overall tone is somewhere in the range of tabloid journalism and/or an accusation of wrongdoing. (...)These posts of yours, however, seem accusatory, inflammatory, and in one carefully chosen word: unhelpful.
Is this true and useful? You could support your statements here if they are true versus created beliefs.

For me,
-- transparency and even delight in transparency is useful time and again, and
-- expresses appreciation graciously and skillfully for being accepted and publicly supported as a non-profit entity
-- it helps uncertain students to see the 990 history when paying a teacher; I'd encourage 990 sharing here.
-- 990 sharing helps an organization earn trust and more support.

You will also find that, personally, I have included thanks this teacher in the past two weeks elsewhere. It is unrelated to this thread, so I feel in stating it that your emotions are being placated where they could be placid naturally through clearly seeing. Still it may help you to know that, so there it is.


I don't get any wrongdoing vibe from Shinzen, CML, the HPP, or any of the other fun, interesting, and helpful people I have been learning from and getting increasingly involved with lately, up to and including recently being invited to offer these cool and clever teachings through one of the established channels.

Good. Nor do I. Otherwise I would have said so clearly and with support.

Speculating, based on just going to the center once, I do think your teacher and his colleagues could handle this transparency well if it is brought to their attention. Accountability and transparency are great friends to a business and monastery alike.

[edited: we've covered it]


The number of people on the call makes no difference to the pay, but by the time Emily is also paid (and I assume and dearly hope she is paid, although I don't know for sure), and overhead is taken into account, Shinzen may even lose money on a first-time junior facilitator such as myself, because subscriptions to undiscovered gems such as moi-meme always run at a fraction of what Shinzen gets.
You mentioned in your thread that hundreds participate. So it's probably okay at $20/pp even if it's a handful.

And you're learning for yourself a difference between teaching dharma for dana (gift, generosity, including none at all) versus charging a payment (dealing with overhead, profit, compensation) while also being a non-profit guest of the public and the public's generosity by way of offering non-profit status, free provision of municipal services, funds, etc. Many great teachers taught freely, accepting dana, receiving no dana, and then the dana of "just practice sincerely; sincere practice is more than enough payment". And the dharma lineage began with no payment, just dana if dana was offered.



Best wishes.

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/11/13 8:21 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
Best wishes.


Thanks, but look, I am so the wrong person to talk to about this. I asked Sweet-E to look this over and she said you have a point. I was surprised, because honestly I can't see it. There is a disconnect. Something doesn't add up. I realized that I must have a blind spot around this. You know how if you try to raise certain topics with certain people -- veganism, climate change, alcoholism, and even meditation itself all come to mind -- at first you get a blank stare, and if you persist they react poorly and irrationally, even if what you are trying to tell them is "true"? Well, I'm like that in the area of paperwork, taxes, and bureaucracy. It's not that I am in favour of wrongdoing or ripping people off or being a bad citizen or any kind of evil, it's just that I have something between a phobia and a learning disability around certain clerical topics. A few years ago I had to go to a government office to deal with a minor matter and by the time I got to the clerk I was visibly shaking and my shirt was totally soaked with sweat. I apologized for my condition and she very patiently and kindly walked me through what we had to do. The whole episode was humiliating. I have certain strengths and talents, but this, for me, is a glaring weakness. If you try to start a conversation with me with anything like "Hey, you need to deal with Government Form XYZ..." even if you are right and what you are saying is true (and you are solidly convinced that it is "helpful"), what I will hear is "I am the Devil and I am here to eat you and destroy your world." You may well be onto something, but it isn't my department. Please stop quoting me. Katy, you updated this thread about 90 times yesterday. I get a notification every single time. I don't wish to unsubscribe, because I monitor the entire Shinzen section where every once in a while I try to answer questions that I am competent to answer. As far as I can tell, this has nothing to do with Basic Mindfulness -- although it's within a "blind spot" to which I am admitting, so maybe it might, but I doubt it. I am quite sure that I have done nothing wrong, and I do not wish to discuss taxes or paperwork -- no, that's putting it too mildly. My worst nightmare, my living hell, my re-traumatizing trigger-point is being confronted with and dragged into this shit. I am triggered and angry just thinking about it. It really is like stepping into shit for me... I get feelings of disgust and anger, strong feelings... how do I wipe this off and prevent it from happening? Fight, flight, or freeze! Fuck off already! These kinds of feelings. Yes, of course, this is wonderful fodder for further practice and personal growth. I'll get right on it. In the meantime, if you want to talk about the mind, consciousness, or other topics of that ilk I'm right there. But if you want to talk about paperwork, "filing" of any kind, corporate blah blah blah, or "transparency" or suchlike, please seek out the administrative people who handle such things, or the government bureaucrats or whoever, and talk to them. In fact, I'll do it: I will send a link to this thread to Shinzen himself and a few of his peeps so if there's anything that really needs to be dealt with, the appropriate competent and responsible people will get on it.

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/11/13 9:11 AM as a reply to Tarver .
Hi Tarver,

Thanks for your thoughts and thanks to Sweet-E for looking at this with you. Amazing: I think it would turn most people to dust. She's hardy.

In the meantime, if you want to talk about the mind, consciousness, or other topics of that ilk I'm right there.
Yup, I'm subscribed I think to your column on Leslie Dewart (né Gonzalo Gonzales Duarte) still, no? I haven't seen an update in months. Am I still subscribed, do you think?

In fact, I'll do it: I will send a link to this thread to Shinzen himself and a few of his peeps so if there's anything that really needs to be dealt with, the appropriate competent and responsible people will get on it.
Awesome. I actually speculate this school is one of the well-suited entities to help lift the transparency standards. There's no need to excuse paying for something that their root teacher (Gotama) gave out freely; just being open, easy to understand and accountable about all spending. People understand. It will probably garner more support if done well and whole-heartedly.

Even if groups have troubles in their past (not that there are here), in 12-24 months of great tidy up, people tend to love and support honesty and transparency...especially when people want to know, "Where are my limited dollars best shared? How can I see exactly how they are using money?"


Best wishes on the HPP
(the details of which I think are: SEPTEMBER 15 (Sunday AM) - Focus In
5:00 am to 9:00 am Pacific / 8:00 am to 12:00 pm Eastern, $20, Leader: Tarver, with reading from Shinzen's freely provided manual Five Ways to Know Yourself) So there you have it.

RE: Tax Identification: 364695073 Center for Mindful Learning
Answer
9/12/13 12:34 PM as a reply to Tarver .
Hi Tarver,

This point of yours I especially like:
I have no idea about the context and comprehensiveness of the financial details disclosed in the public record


I think it would be really nice to accompany a dharma corporation's financial (990) posting with a teacher/founder interview and getting the teacher's thoughts on what it's like to found a company around dharma and some of the lessons they'd want to share with the dharma and non-profit corporate community.

When you approach your teacher, perhaps consider raising an interview opportunity. It could take the rest of this fall to organize a nice interview and a template for this sort of thing so that anyone can take up a 990-interview toolkit.

Why?

So this sort of financial dharma section (and I'd like to develop dharma economy models threads, next month, too):
a) would create an opportunity for dharma teachers to share in one area their experience of creating a dharma corporation; there's quite a body of dharma corporations now, and
b) this not only gives a place for 990 information, AND gives a little life for the numbers (re: addresses your excerpted words above) while being more personable than the standard corporate summary one sees on charity review sites,
c) and dharma teachers could also pass on what they like seeing in other corporations and/or directions they'd hope to nurture, and
d) take up corporate and fiscal integrity, for which there is a big niche right now, with real delight, like it's a pleasure to run transparent corporations with openness for the public trust, which is for oneself, ultimately.

Corporation dharma is still pretty new, yet has a few decades worth of companies now with some longevity, and has distinctions from monastic dharma centers, diverse in themselves, and from each other.

Pragmatic?
It's also a pragmatic dharma issue as people here commonly want to know which systems and teachers can they trust; the answers and clarity there directly relate to how quickly a person can choose and just focus on their practice. It really can be just 1-2 posts as anyone feels inclined to post:
1) the 990 or country-equivalent, and
2) an interview if the founder/teacher is willing