Ajahn Brahm's response to concerns raised at BSWA's AGM 2018

Ajahn Brahm has written a response to a letter that has been circulated by members who are opposed to proposed reforms of the BSWA that were blocked at the AGM.

Ajahn has given us permission to distribute his reply.

The attached file is a PDF file version of the document published by Sol.Aj Brahm replied - Mar 27.pdf (79.1 KB)

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Is this a verbatim transcript of a conversation or is it paraphrase? Or is it written text that is extracted? It doesn’t read like direct speech.

Quote marks have been used to indicate the ‘Concern’ (which was, significantly, actually a variety of different people, not a single person) but the response text is not clearly quoted - the text changes voice from ‘I’ to ‘Ajahn Brahm’ which is a bit confusing. It seems odd that Ajahn Brahm would be referring to himself in this way, but if it’s your polite paraphrasing maybe that should be indicated?

I notice that you have also posted these remarks on other social media sites, so it’s probably a good idea to be as cautious and as accurate as possible.

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I agree with Bhante Akaliko, it’s a bit confusing.
I found the original document much clearer to read:

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Thank you :slight_smile:

I’m a bit low-tech. Will amend my post now :slight_smile:

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Sounds like why I quit a vegetarian society years ago.

For every two portions of something done by a volunteer there were 8 portions of “policy” talks by a committee.

As in the letter the conversations at committee meetings just drift with little regard for priority.

I for one got tired of spending my spare time on minutia.

Hey, sorry to be boring but just thought I should check - do you think Ajahn Brahm called the doc ‘fearmongering’ or was it Sol? If not AB then maybe it should be changed…

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I really don’t know Bhante. You make a fair point :slight_smile:
Only Sol has write access to the document. I can’t change it

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Fearmongering seems a fair statement. The intention behind the move to lead to the down-vote was to raise fear over the change.

This is kind of shocking, is there no escaping politics? This whole controversy is exhausting, I can feel it in the States. I can only imagine what it’s like over there.

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Nope. And there’s no hope that it’s going to change soon.

This is samsara :smile:

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I feel very sad for Ajahn Brahm and for the BSWA. Ajahn has given so much to all of us and we, members, bow to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha of which Ajahn Brahm is the head of in our little part of the world. We seek his advice, we listen to his teachings, we see him for the ‘remarkable’ man he is and yes we even laugh at his jokes. Yet when he tells us that he is overworked, tired, burnt out and he strongly advises this change in the constitution we turn away we don’t support him. I for one would love to see Ajahn Brahm be able to rest more and continue his journey in this life without such a heavy burden and with the full support of all of us at the BSWA. We acknowledge his wisdom and his insight as do many tens of thousands of people do around the world yet Ajahn Brahm as our spiritual director, strongly advised this change and he was not supported. What a very sad day for him and for those who care for and value him.

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Maybe something should be done to simply allay the fears? A reduction in the amount of money the subcommittees can determine, for example. A policy on how the subcomittees are managed-guided etc, checks and balances, all play an important role. I’m not saying this to support or not support (‘either you are for us or against us’ irrationality) anybody but rather find a constructive direction, and if it isn’t possible, to prune away dead wood and move forwards.

with metta

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But wouldn’t the committee decide that when they setup a sub-committee?

In which case, asking for this before the sub-committees are even allowed is putting the cart before the horse…

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In the most rudimentary terms, I think that the problem has arisen in the first place BECAUSE the original constitution had too much specificity regarding sub-committees. It is only BECAUSE the constitution specified that subcommittees are comprised only of elected COM members, that that has to be changed. If this wasn’t there then there would be no issue :slight_smile:

Standard good practice also has Sub-committees that are appointed by the COM, are usually chaired by a COM member, who liaises with the COM regarding recommendations etc, thus keeping delegations and processes clear. This type of stuff is typically spelt out in detail in Policies and procedures.

When it is dealt with in such a manner, then adjustements based on practical considerations can occur at the policy and procedures level and not involve the Constitution. :slight_smile:

Metta

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After I read the letter distributed by the members who are against the change in the constitution, I can say that the members do not have a good understand on how delegation of authority and governance work. I am very surprised that Ajahn Brahm who is a monk has a very good understanding on this based on his response. I am working in a listed company in corporate finance and governance area and have been an auditor in the early part of my career. I can assure the members that the so call risk that they highlighted in the concern paper is unfounded concern. In fact, the risk of not having important matters addressed in a timely manner due to lacking of manpower/help/resources is a real one.

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That might be a good way to respond.
My first experience with sangha’s and “Buddhism” was meeting with a few strong headed and negative individuals who’s been fighting like “dogs”, basically about money and control, and they told me to stay far away from all of it.
I listened, and kept myself far away from them …, and it all blew over and settled back to normal in a few weeks.

All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing …or something like that. :slight_smile:

with metta

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The Buddhist Society of Western Australia (BSWA) has officially announced that a Special General Meeting will be held at Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre, Perth at 13:00 hrs. on Sunday, April 22, 2018 Perth time. Please check your email, including the spam or junk mail box. :slight_smile:

If full members don’t receive the notification of the meeting and the proxy form from BSWA in the next two days, please contact me and I will pass your information to the personnel concerned.

For those who wish to exercise their membership voting rights, but cannot attend the meeting, may I suggest contacting Ven Canda.

Venerable Canda Bhikkhuni is a devoted disciple of Ajahn Brahm who has been asked by Ajahn to build a Bhikkhuni monastery in the United Kingdom under the Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project. Ven Canda knows some full members who will attend the meeting and are happy to carry proxy for people who want to vote in absentia. Please message me, and I will connect you with Ven Canda. :slight_smile:

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I was at the interview last Saturday night. I think everything is going to be OK :slight_smile:

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We are OK, Ajahn brahm looked good over the weekend :slight_smile:

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