Oneness Project Trustee Council

 April 20, 2000
Lava Hot Springs


Present at meeting:

Facilitator- Ella Peregrin

Council members- Jerry Fries, Connie Delaney, Eric Waldman, Mary Martha Jacoby, Christine Manz, Tony Rasch, Lee Compton

Others present: Ellen Kafe Mariam, Ginger Lee, Wayne Talmadge, Lyn Wandel, Robert Gluckson, Kay Rasch, Peter Reynolds, Talia Marcus.

Guidelines for meetings.

AGREEMENT for participation in meetings (This is to make sure that participants are up to speed and we aren't rehashing old business): First meeting you audit, second meeting you can begin to share minor input, third meeting you enjoy full participation. Members of the Advisory Council are given full participation.

AGREEMENT on ways to encourage new members: We'll let them know there are ways to get up to speed. We encourage new members by helping them find a buddy, showing them how they can find information on the web site/publications. All people are encouraged to participate on committees. Committee meeting space is a good time for new people to get a place to share input. New members will respect the authority of the trustees council.

Discussion - We should have committee meetings early in our meeting and more space can be given to committees.

There is a need to help people learn how to participate appropriately, and also a need to let people know where and how they belong. We need to make time to discuss how to encourage new members.


is given a Budget of $13,000



As of this time, April 2000 Oneness Project has the following

Seven council members: Term ends

Jerry Fries Dec, 2000

Mary Martha Jacoby, April, 2000

Eric Waldman, April, 2001

Lee Amin Comptin, April, 2001

Zareen Connie Delaney, April, 2001

Tony Rasch, April, 2001

Christine Manz, April, 2002

Lyn Wandel is added April 2000 April 2002

Alternates: Lyn Wandel, Patsy Saphira Boyer, (Provisional alternate: Talia)

President: Eric Waldman

Treasurer: Christine Manz

Secretary: Connie Zareen Delaney

Ella Peregrine is Liaison to PeaceWorks


Chair—Tony Rasch

Members--Jerry, Narayan, Lee,



Members--Zareen, Munir, Eric, Nuria


Chair- Lyn & Robert

Members-- Wayne, Janel, Helen, Lane, Haqqikah, Brian, Darvesha, Sidiqi.


Chair—Lee Amin Compton

Members-- Eric, Lee


Chair - Zareen

Members-- Peter, Lyn, Robert, Wayne


Chair—Christine Manz

Members--Eric, Christine


To decide policy about members of Oneness attending workshops to learn things for the community.

Chair: Munir

Members: Zareen


To set up a library system for getting dance books to communities

Chair: Kay

Members: Nuria, Vajra, Amin, Kay & Tony, Talia


CHAIR: Narayan

Members: Narayan, Munir, Amin, Talia


Chair: Wayne

Members: Talia Marcus and Jim Steele


Chair: Munir

Members, Ellen, Talia, Nuria, Jerry, Vajra


Chair: Narayan

Members: Lee, Talia, Munir

Child program committee

Chair: Nuria

Members: Talia, Robert, Lyn, Zareen


Chair: Christine

Wayne, Christine, Munir, Lyn


Fund is up to 2,784,000. The majority of income to Oneness Project comes from Dancing Dollars. Expenses are mainly from renting retreat sites, paying staff, and grants given.

Tom Braveheart fund is $8396


We have two aspects to report on. Membership: encourage volunteers in our dance community by having a brief announcement telling what Oneness is, asking them to be involved, identify trustees and then committee chairs and ask people to come and talk to us if they want to be involved on a committee.

And extension of this idea is to have this info available in the newsletter.

We agree to work with Nuria (who is setting up the coming Lava retreat) to find a good time to announce both the Rainbow gathering meeting, and a meeting with Trustee Council and committee heads.

We have returns of postcards asking the question, "Am I a member." Some people feel they are a member and some feel they would be more of a member if they could sign up and pay dues.

Lyn volunteers to take the information off the web site and turn it into a hard paper book.

We bought communities directory and membership and magazine. There is a Northwest Communities organization. Robert suggests we consult with the head of this organization.

The community's workshop that Lyn went to last year is going to be happening again and Robert suggests that we send someone to the May 19th meeting in New Mexico, It'll cost about $800 per person. Art of Community Intentional Communities 3 day workshop. We will add it to the agenda to decide later.

Future Agenda to talk about stipend for Zareen for web development.

Council agrees to allow Narayan and Zareen to make decisions about the web site

Council agrees to allow Wayne and Zareen to write up guideline for email meetings, they will send out the guidelines to be approved over email.

Council agrees to let Zareen spend $18 to turn the flashing off the chat room.

Zareen asks for articles for the newsletter from dance circles, committee heads, and for poems.

Discussion about Lee's feelings on email. We agree to talk about it later.


Tony makes a proposal on Bozeman land. Tony is reluctant to bring this up because he knows he has a bias towards having Bozeman be a place to spend dollars for a retreat center. This is a significant amount 600,000 to a million dollars. Positive reasons for a yes to this: a big part of the heart of Oneness is Eric and Ginger. Where they are living is a big part of where the heart of Oneness lies. That makes Bozeman a little above others for possibilities. There is a strong dance community there already that does more than just dance together, we get together for life passages, birth, croning, we have 8 dance leaders there now. If Bozeman were to have a center it is likely the community would grow, people would be drawn there. We could organically reach our goal of having a community there. Bozeman is a great place to live, good community, college.

On the other side of the equation: Bozeman is not near a big population center. No telling how often we would physically fill up the center - we would get more people near Seattle or Denver. Is it a wise use of our money. The price of land is high in Bozeman. There are many places where we can buy land cheaper.

Eric: I am not opposed to this idea. I have concerns a out the amount of commitment, money and energy wise, and wondering about the timing. But it continues to raise questions. We had quite a deal about Sky Song Farm and we decided not to precede on the that. Where I could leave this, is that I am not opposed to it, but I want to understand about the size and structure of our commitment. I want us to be wise about that.

Nuria, I think it has a great advantage. There are 7 of the 13 people in this room who live there. That is the heart of Oneness. There is a strong commitment without having to make a lot of change in our lives. We could go about our lives adding in the care of a retreat center based around the dances. The other thing I see as a fact - is most of us who live there do not have a job. We have more ability and time to see what's needed and direct our energies to the building. I see the advantages as this being a model, a small size model before we get into a larger situation. The people resources are there. Of course it serves, me. I don't have to think about packing up , moving the kids in school. When I think about it from my own personal point of view. I think, "Wouldn't that be nice." For me to be able to contribute to this vision of a retreat center perhaps growing into a community without having to relocate my family. I would have a studio for drumming. I see disadvantages, it's on the edge of where everybody lives. But there is already a dance center community living, breathing, on a day to day basis.

Zareen is for it.

Jerry, I think of the energy in Bozeman. We have some energy there that is directed towards the dances. Since I live there I could put a lot of energy into this. When we were considering the property in Hamilton I was planning on putting a lot of energy into it, but I would put a lot more energy into a center in Bozeman. We have all sorts of overlapping circles of people in Bozeman. It's really a happening place.

Christine. How far is it from an airport.

There is an airport in Bozeman, and it is a 6 hour drive to the next major airport in Salt Lake City.

Christine: it seems that it would be hard for people to get there.

Vajra: my experience of going to Bozeman, it costs $80 to go to Seattle, it is $250 to fly to Bozeman. When we traveled from Boise to Bozeman three times a year, our trips were a lot of fun, and being in Bozeman, it was real homey. It seems a likely place for a "home for the dances."

Lee: I like the idea similar to Common Ground where it is small and a place to dance, but doesn't spend a lot of money. Pragmatically I don't know who you would draw from to keep a retreat center going. But you could run a Common Ground that would run off the local community, and not spend so much money. Geography, air transportation, and cold winters make it difficult to get there.

Vajra: maybe there would be enough money in the endowment fund to create a "Common Ground."

Eric: the key is that the Common Grounds are in town.

Christine: In Sacramento there are already places which satisfy this need that a place like Common Ground fulfills, and we don't have to do all the stuff of administering it.

Nuria: How does it serve the larger community? I see that it gives us a training ground for what happens next. It's a baby step. It serves a long range goal. We will keep doing wilderness and Lava.

Lee: if you spend a million dollars and only use it a few times a year it is too much.

What is Oneness willing to invest in a retreat space in Bozeman?

Narayan: We've discussed a range from 600,000 and down. The land Tony is suggesting is easily a million dollars. We have this other range where it is more like a community building which is probably non-residential and closer to town. That could be as cheap as a couple hundred thousand dollars.

Talia: we need money to make a commercial kitchen, permits and all.

Council agrees that Bozeman is a good place for a center depending on the parameters. Should we have a visioning time now or later.

Tony proposes that we have a committee, mostly of Bozeman people, to work on visioning the project with a cap of 250,000 purchase price, as a total price.

Wayne - there is no way anyone would be opposed to a Common Ground sort of thing. I think the center should be able to take the place of Lava and Wilderness Dance camp.

Ellen - Think it would be excellent that a proposal come from the Bozeman community. It would be inappropriate to say to the Bozeman community that they have so much money to spend on a center, the council is abdicating it's responsibility. It would be hasty on the part of the trustees to grant to request. The Trustees should ask for a business plan from the Bozeman community. There are a bunch of Oneness Trustees in Oneness. If they start to work on the Bozeman project they won't have energy left for other projects. Not to say it shouldn't happen, but think about how you will compensate. Some of you know how much administration and management goes into stuff when you don't even own real estate - when you look at how much time you spend dancing and how much in administration - how long are you signing on for - ten years. What happens when a key player is gone from the program.

Munir: it is a real labor of love to operate a community center. The question that has always loomed for me about a large retreat center - you get into the business of putting on retreats. That is a major commitment. You have to get personnel, staff, operating expenses. To put in a plug, I think the Symms hotel proposal is a real gem. You just go and don't have to operate the place. You don't get into the management of property.

Nuria: One of the things that I have heard is the ongoing hesitancy to make a commitment to do anything. There is always reasons not to do something in this circle of people. We talk it, and people come up with good ideas. But we need to be able to move because it is also juice. If you keep holding it, then you have it in your hand. But if you throw it out there it can grow into something. This is something that I've seen.

We'll digest some of this and get back with it tomorrow.


Proposal for Oneness Project to support a significant DUP presence at the Rainbow gathering. There could be 10,000 or more people there. What we need from the Trustees is an approval of the budget. We've established a budget of $13,000 from the general fund. The biggest portion of the expenditure would be in the purchase of capital goods; buying a large tent and trailer to pull it around (approx. $10,000). It's a good opportunity to buy a tent.

We would need one strong dance leader from June 27th through July 6th. Ten or eleven days. Covering the high point. Hopefully we would have a core of dancers. A large festooned tent. We have people on a setup committee, a dance operations committee, and a cleanup committee.

Lee : who has researched the tent.

Eric: Roger and Bernie have researched the tent, But we haven't seen one erected.

Lee: Can we get references. I'd like to get the tent.

Eric: This isn't the best tent, it's lower budget. It has one center pole. 52 feet in diameter. It has stakes, and sidewalls you can attach. We could spend more money and have mosquito netting sidewalls.

DECISION: Rainbow Gathering committee is given the budget for creating the event at the Rainbow gathering and authority to act to create the event.


There is a big dispute because the boy scouts want to sell a camp they bought to a developer, They bought the land for cheap with the agreement that they wouldn’t sell it for development. Perhaps we could come in as a White Knight and buy the place and run it as a beautiful retreat center.


Greg Long talked to someone with 80 acres out of Fort Collins. The lady is converting a barn into a community center. She called up, she knows Greg but hasn't danced. She wants to help kids.


There is a place for sale near Bend with 40 acres and buildings already on the property. They say we could pay back the mortgage by doing retreats. IT is a beautiful place but none of the buildings are good for dancing, we would have to build a building. Bend has a good airport, but it would not serve our group of dancers. We don't have any Oneness people there. Perhaps if he came up with a good business plan that would show us how we could be repaid we could look at it later.


Lee; I am in the exploration process for ideas for Whidbey Island. I am looking for possible partnerships with groups on Whidbey. There are several groups wanting to build retreat centers there. I'm keeping the door open for possibilities for retreat centers there. I've talked with several people there.

Narayan: the idea about partnerships. Like the Roger Berrills thing, and the Symes Hotel thing. I want to hear what people think of partnerships. We've been approached by the Sufi order of the West. There are lots of people with plenty of dough, but we also will share power and responsibility. How will that work out.

What action is being asked of the board at this time?

Lee wants to know if we have any interest in this. He is asking if we want to pursue this?

How many retreats would we do?

Lee: We would do two retreats.

Vajra. I would like to propose that we put together a committee to look into this.

Narayan: the committee would form questions to look into.

Lee: can a non-profit organization go in partnership with a profit organization?

Narayan: things could be arranged.

If it was an available retreat center could this be used by people outside the intermountain west.

Nuria: the Spokane, Seattle people would use it.

Narayan: this is more like a long term lease.

Munir - it has to have a critical mass for a proposal to make it. This proposal has a lot of merit as an example of a partnership.


This is a component of training, we can look at how we have been doing things and learn through our process.


R&D report was an example of a clear, direct report.

Check in was real good, but we needed time lines for how long people could speak.


Response to R&D report was not succinct

Lack of trust wastes a lot of time. We spent a lot of time discussing detail of the tent instead of trusting Bernie's recommendation.

People need to know they can come to a committee to ask questions and give feedback.

If we could keep it at a conceptual level, instead of a detail level we could get more done.

Would like the meetings be structured in a more formal manner, start, committee reports, old business, new business.

There is a general tendency to underestimate the time an agenda item will take.

We take a long time working on agenda

We did not have an agenda before we came to the meeting

Facilitator repeated what was going on in the group too often.

It would have been helpful to hear a prioritization. Don't know what the priorities are to accomplish. How will we know if we have completed what we want to complete.

It was often not clear when we started something what the purpose was, such as committee reports.

There are different types of agenda items:

When you set an agenda first be clear about your items.

These things should be put on the agenda: What the agenda item is, who will be presenting the item, how long it will take, what action will be required from the council, date for the decision, priority


Could we establish a rating system for agenda items with a scale from one to five.

We have topics (grants, land search, R&D). The agenda item would look like "the board approves the Rainbow gathering concept and a budget of $13,000." The committee chair actually drafts what the minutes are going to look like when it is done. Whose responsibility is it to compile the agenda?

Zareen suggests that we finish business on the first day, then on the second day start the committee work for the next bunch of business.

Ellen: we could do so much in between time getting business done on email, and then use our face to face time for more valuable things, discussions which need face to face encounters.

DAY TWO April 21, 2000

Grants committee

Talk about our process

Recommendations to the council

We need more information

Talk about guidelines and procedures


This is the process that we use: First we put out a set of preliminary guidelines. These guidelines were sent to the Committee in early Feb. Feb 18 was the deadline to receive grants. As proposals came in he emailed them to the committee members and asked a specific member to do research and clarify any questions or concerns that may arise about the grant.

At the meeting the person who researched the grant presented it to the committee. They went through all the grants that way. Then people who had a conflict of interest left for the voting.

We have put in quite a bit of thinking about what we are doing and where we are going.

We have five proposals submitted. Two came in after the deadline. One was from PeaceWorks asking for information on what they can request from us.

There is a proposal from Malika in Missoula. She has arranged to have a workshop with Anahata on a weekend. She is looking for a guarantee of Anahata's fee. What they don't need she will pay back. Recommend that the Council OK the project for $1000.

Proposal from Baraka who has put together sufi activities for many years. They are asking for $1000 for their children's program. This will help pay for staff to create a focused teaching and activities (very creative) for the children which will tie in to the programs the adults are doing. $1000 is twice what the staff asked for, but part of what is being created is curriculum that can be useful for Wilderness Dance Camp and Lava. This fits into the Oneness goals of enhancing children's programs. Committee recommends that the council fund them in the amount of $1000. Some of the money will be for materials and supplies.

Proposal from the International Council of the Dance Network. They have twelve regions around the world. They have not had a personal meeting. They have submitted a proposal for travel expenses for representatives to meet. The reasons for this meeting are: many of the people have never met, there are issues that are difficult to address by email. We propose that we go ahead and set the money aside for this project with the understanding that they submit a more detailed proposal that gives a more specific idea of costs and who will be organizing, a more detail description of what they hope to accomplish with this. This is the sort of thing that will never happen if someone like us doesn't come forward and pay for it. Recommend we set aside $12,000 for this project.

Council approves the recommendations of the Grant committee on all three points.

Grants Committee recommends that the Endowment committee allocate to the Grants committee funds from the previous year for the next year so that we know how much we have to work with on a yearly business. Do the operating expenses for the operation of the Grants committee come out of the general fund or out of the endowment funds. Making a recommendation for this is given to the Endowment committee.

There is a certain amount of bookkeeping which needs to be done into perpetuity about the Grants committee, archiving all the grants requests, sending letters of explanation to the people requesting grants. This is going to be a lot of work and Munir recommends that we don't entrust this job to volunteer work. He recommends that we look for secretarial support from a person in the Bozeman area. As this gets bigger we need to be mindful of what it takes to do this properly. It needs to be an open process, everyone needs to know what the rules are, everyone needs to monitor the process, the committee needs to be insulated from political concerns. The committee is Nuria, Jerry, Munir, Ellen, Talia, Mary Martha. The records need to be available to everybody. We cannot be benefiting individuals, it is better to give the money to a fiscal agent.

We need to research the guidelines. Talia volunteers to research what the rules are and write up a summary. Munir will rewrite the changes of the Grants Guidelines and send them to all the council members. Zareen will make sure the guidelines get on the web site.

Zareen will email to Munir what she has written here about the recommendations he has presented to the committee. He will edit them and they will be submitted to the council via email.

BOARD TRAINING: Ellen shows how to present an agenda item. She is modeling another style of presenting an item for approval that is different than the way we are doing. She will facilitate the discussion:

We are being asked to approve a proposal from the Sacramento dance circle for $1500.

Ellen: Is the council willing to entertain this request? Yes.

Sacramento circle wants to bring in a guest leader. They are requesting $1500 for the guest leader's salary. They will hope to return 40% of that. Knowing that the grants committee would have recommended it if it had been turned in on time, would the council agree to granting the funds?

We get a no this time.

We have to remember that in the consensus process silence means consent. If a council member does not speak it means a yes.

We are back to asking if the council is willing to consider whether we want to approve this grant request.

Council agrees that Christine can stay in the room while we make the decision. Trustees council agrees to consider this grant proposal. Christine Manz stands aside from the decision.

There is a discussion on details with no resolution.

Ellen proposes that we end this discussion now and the people who have reservations meet with Christine and members of the grants committee to sort out the details of this proposal. We put it on the agenda for later.


Roger Berill sent us a proposal about 6 weeks ago asking for Oneness to help him buy a yurt and build a road on his land. The land has already been purchased and Roger would like to offer the potentiality of having this land available for a retreat center. The most simple way to go about this would be to build a yurt (which is a portable structure which could be moved).

Proposal is for purchase of a 30 foot yurt with a deck, a propone heat system, and two composting toilets. He is also asking for improvement of the access road to the land. Dollar amount would be approximately $55,000 in a grant and expect there will be conversation around the structure of that. Oneness would own the yurt.

* We need to give Roger the list of land search criteria.

List of questions:

Bernie's impression:

The vision is spectacular. It's my feeling that this community needs a sacred space. That is what is being proposed here: a sacred space. Bernie thinks there is enough volunteer labor to build something other than a yurt. Roger is very inward, so having him shepherd the vision may have certain difficulties.

There would be issues. He is supportive of the proposal and willing to work with Roger. There are 20-60 dancers. Bernie is the only certified leader, but there are several others who are in the process.

Roger's answers:


Zareen: I like the idea of doing something in the Paonia area.

Eric: I feel quite similar, Paonia is a very strong dance community. The dollars are not that huge, if ownerships are addressed, and these questions resolved, it is a modest investment.

Jerry: I would be ready to pursue Tony's direction of asking for approval and moving forward with this.

Christine: ditto

Mary Martha: If these questions are answered satisfactorily and community support is evident I am in approval.

Tony: I am very excited about the proposal, even if we lose out on the money, we've learned from it. It's an excellent opportunity.

Lee: I am for going forward and would like more information.

This is general agreement for conceptual approval of the agreement. And it is turned over to the Land Search Committee.

Ellen: (Wearing her advisory council hat): There is a lot of truth in Roger saying that sometimes you have to just move forward. Make sure you know the difference between start up energy and maintenance energy.

Council gives approval for land search committee travel expenses to go down and see the land personally.


Should SIRs get part of the tithe.

Lee feels SIRS is a very important to the lineage of PeaceWorks and the Oneness Project. Lee has thought about it a lot and initiated a call to Moinedin, he is the SIRS head and was given the torch by Sam Lewis 1971 to be successor. Moinedin was there from day one. He told the history of the dances how the started in San Francisco and the Relationship of SIRS to the Ruhaniat. Lee is proposing that PeaceWorks does 3/4 of the work and SIRS does 1/4 of the work. Moinedin is an active advisor to PeaceWorks.

He asked what Moinedin feels about it. Should some of the tithe be given to SIRS. Moinedin came up with the same split. Peaceworks does most of the work and should get 75% of the tithe, SIRS provides the inspiration and should get 25%

Lee proposes that we tithe 10% and split it 75% to PeaceWorks and 25% to SIRS.

What does SIRS do? A lot of the activity is focused on archiving and publishing the works of Hazrat Innayat Khan and Sam. Sam's commentaries are stored in filing cabinets which are full of papers typed by Wali Ali and dictated by Sam. They want to put his works on CD ROM. Another aspect of the work is supporting the Pir, we provide him with a (regrettably small) income to support him in this work. He does a lot of work for us and has agreed to be advisor of Oneness Project. Part of the work is addressing the sufi message. They hold the spiritual transmission of the dances, what comes down to us as the Mentor Teachers guild.

Council agrees to Lees proposal. We tithe 10% of our income: 75% to go to PeaceWorks and 25% to go to SIRS. PeaceWorks will send us information on their new structure so we know who to send the money to.


Mary Martha would like to ask the board to accept her resignation. She is moving and does not have the time to be putting into this organization. Her heart and thoughts will be put into her family and community as she prepares for a big move.

Lyn is the longest standing trustees trainee. She feels she has the time to do the work and is excited about doing it.

This will be two years starting in April 2000 and ending in April 2002.

Munir: we need to outline what sort of specific skills are needed by a Trustees Council and go out and look for members. As we grow we need to expect a change in the way we get Council members. Right now it is okay to take people as they show up.

Tony: would like to propose that we establish a goal to have a board development committee to help us establish these goals.

We have access to PeaceWorks guidelines.

Council agrees that we need a board development committee.

Volunteers to be on it:

Christine, Wayne, Lynn, Munir

Committee will meet

Nuria: This appears to be enough of a discussion, that it is rightly placed on the next meeting as an agenda meeting. Each TC can write down what they do so we start with some information.

Lyn: It's good to take into account what people have done before. It falls into some aspects of research and development committee.

Trustees council asks Christine Manz if she wants to renew her Council seat for two years. She agrees and the council approves the appointment.


Do we have an agreement to let Lee and Narayan go forward with the idea of pursuing a regional center in the Whidbey Island area.

Narayan thinks Whidbey Island has a potential to be a larger center. The cap on Paonia is obviously small. The cap on the Bozeman idea is larger. Perhaps we shouldn't put a cap on the Whidbey idea.

Lee is given council approval to pursue possibilities of a retreat center in the Whidbey Island area.


Robert: the council is asked for approval to spend $800 to send someone to be our representative at the Communities Workshop. The reasons we should go: we could do research in things like land use, buying property in partnerships, how groups communicate with each other, now to do consensus, we may find things that could be of our benefit.

Could we get the dances connected with the workshops?

Lee would like to see more than a 5 minute report.

Council agrees to send two representative with a maximum budget of $800 to the Community Workshop. (probably Lyn and Robert will go).



Will have to be decided in email


Secretarial support will be discussed by the Board Development Committee.


There have been 9 applications for the Russia camp. Ken and Faith, Tassia, Gene, Loraine Grey, Lorenzo Highland, Maribay, Jerry Fries, Lee Amin. Council gives permission to grant the scholarships.

Report: we are quite close to being within budget of $6000.

Council agrees to pay for Gene's full air fare to the Russia Camp.


Trustees Council conceptually agrees that Bozeman folks can move forward with developing a plan to create a regional retreat center. And furthermore, we agree that in principal Bozeman would be a prime place for such a regional center.


There are a lot of issues around money.

Money has its own rules. You can't give money away, you can't receive money as a gift.

Another possible objective about Oneness is to learn how to make objective decisions around money and the impact it has on other's lives.