Oneness Project

Trustee Council Minutes

November 18-19, 2006

1309 S. 3rd Street, Bozeman, MT


Present: Jerry Fries, Tony Rasch, Phil Notermann, Linda Lindsay, Narayan Eric Waldman, Jaya Sheila Lindquist, Steve Gray, Ellen Fitz-Hall; Staff present: Munir Peter Reynolds, Shahar Solander. Guest: Stuart McKinnon.


The meeting convened at 8:45 am with Dancing and a check-in process. Peter Reynolds was selected as meeting facilitator; Ellen as deep listening coach. Agenda item numbers are given in the bold headings below. Follow up items are highlighted.


A1) May, 2006 TC Meeting Minutes

Jerry moved, Narayan seconded and the board agreed by consensus to approve the minutes from the May 2006 board meeting as distributed.


B1-3)-Year to Date Financial Report and 2007 Budget

Treasurer Tony Rasch noted that Oneness Project investments are doing well in 2006 and event income is also up as the Events Committee works on reaching the break-even point for events. Allowing for investment fund growth, we will still be able to fund committee budget requests in full, but this will require making an adjustment. Formerly we have put Dancing $ investor contributions fully into the Endowment Fund; instead now we need to put about $35,000 of those contributions into the General Fund. Also we need to move the funding of Grant administration from the general fund to the 2007 Endowment Fund budget. Details are in the 2007 budget projection. Peter suggested that we approve each section of the 2007 budget as the relevant committee makes its report or presentation. Some discussion about the budget followed. Tony would like OP to do some research to put information about making bequeaths onto the OP website to increase contributions.


Sheila noted that we may need to do some research on private foundations, which we are now becoming due to our income structure. She noted that there are no IRS foundation auditors in Montana.


B4-Change in Dancing $ Contributions

Narayan explained the change he has made as fund manager of Dancing $ LLC – Reducing the annual contribution investors make from profits to OP from 5% to 3%. Less money will now come from contributions. This is likely to total about $31,000 in the future. This move is intended to keep Dancing $ competitive as an investment with SRIONE. Narayan noted that OP can change the size of the Endowment Fund if it is deemed necessary in the future - there is no regulation on that internal change—in order to maintain our programs.


B5-Bookstore Report

Shahar - We’re making more on the tithing since keeping a new form for bazaar sales folks, and Kay is now managing the bookstore. We are also making a lot from the sale of batiks, plus they are used to decorate our Dance spaces.


C1—Review/Approve Fall 2006 Grants

Munir reviewed the recommendations to the TC from the Grants Committee for the fall 2006 grant round. One grant was withdrawn because of time. Munir presented background of some of the recommendations and answered questions from the TC. Jerry moved to accept grant proposal as is; Linda seconded. Passed by consensus.


C2MicroGrants Report

Munir presented the report, which showed $4700 expended out of $5000 budgeted for this program. He and Jerry have made award decisions as requests came up. The recipients submit a letter with amount of request and how the money will be used. We ask for more information if needed and request a report after the receipt. Only two requests were denied in 2006. It was generally agreed that the pilot MicroGrant program was a success and should be continued.


B3aGrants Administration Budget for 2007

Phil moved to approve the 2007 Grants budget as presented, Sheila second. Discussion followed regarding payment of honoraria to Grants Committee and staff wages. Tony noted that DLT program administrator Nuria Lee would receive a raise from $15 to $18 per hour under the proposed plan. She has not had a raise in 3 years. Linda noted that Nuria has processed 183 applications so far in 2006. Linda would like to see a report for those to see where applications are coming from. Munir will ask Nuria for this. Grants Budget passed by consensus. Tony asked about increasing the upper limit on project grants. Jerry suggested that this was a topic for long range planning.




D1 Events Committee Revised Job Description

Sheila presented the revised job description for the Events Committee. Two items formerly in the description were shifted to other committees. The new description appears in the appendix to these minutes and will be placed in the OP Policy Manual. Sheila moved to accept, Linda second. Passed by consensus.


D2 Alcohol and Drug Policy

Sheila presented the following policy drafted by the Events Committee:

  1. OP events are alcohol and drug free. This notice will be placed on event flyers.
  2. Anyone using alcohol or drugs at OP events should be brought to the attention of OP staff or trustees. An OP staff person or trustee will approach the person and, if deemed necessary, ask them to leave the event. Discussion followed.

Narayan moved to accept policy as presented; Phil second. Passed by consensus.


D3 Russian Tour Report

Narayan noted that a lot of what we do we can’t quite quantify; we just hope it has a positive effect. Anyone that met Anatoly and Alisa feels the youth exchange was a positive event. Tolik broke his collar bone mountain biking while here; Narayan took him to Urgent Care and paid the bill. Tolik had insurance, and Natalia followed up on that and the insurance reimbursed Narayan about $240. Jerry said that he wants to see a notice to OP trustees when something like this happens to someone we’re sponsoring. 


Munir reported from Timothy that Alissa was gone for a day unaccounted for and eventually returned by a Forest Service employee. We need a policy in the future for visiting youth and our expectations of them with hosts. Ellen further suggested that such a policy for youth ensure that they are not out “on their own” in order to protect OP’s liability.


B3 2007 Events Budget

Sheila reviewed the 2007 Events Budget, and noted the $50 increase in registration fees for WDC 2007. Discussion followed. Tony moved to accept the budget, Linda seconded. Passed by consensus.


B3 2007 Events Budget

Amending Budget for Events Scholarships

Tony asked if need more scholarship money available. Sheila said that this would be a good idea, since we are raising prices. She moved that the scholarship budget be increased to $5000. Agreed by consensus.


The budgets for Whidbey Island, Montana Family Camp, Narayan Travel Fund, and other events items, approved by consensus.


Munir recognized Sheila for the wonderful job she’s done as Events Chair in 2006, our best organized year ever. The WDC management team had such a good time they’re all back! We are already doing some planning for 2008. Jerry noted that he feels the Events Committee Chair should be included in pre-camp meetings.


I1 Library Committee Report

Kay presented the Library report. Munir said that he spreads the word to Dance circles about the availability of these grants and encourages the rest of the Trustees to do the same. Discussion followed regarding translation of instruction booklets and whether the Foundation Manual should be made available. Stuart noted that all of the recordings with the Foundation Manual are made specifically for Dance Leaders; they are much clearer than what is on the other CDs. This is very helpful for new leaders. Ellen asked about making the Foundation Manual CDs available in our libraries rather than the Foundation Manual itself. The English version is $50 plus shipping. Linda- Moved to accept the Library Budget 2007, with an increase from $2400 to $3600, Sheila seconded. Passed by consensus.


Ellen - Listening Coach Report

It’s a pleasure to see you in action; I’m pleased with the quality of attention to others speaking, the level of detail brought to reports, OP’s conscientiousness about reports, and the easy flow of discussion, awareness of others. No sense of pressure. I liked the spirit of the meeting.


Lunch break


Dance; Meeting resumes at 1:30 pm mountain time, Listening Coach is Steve.


E2 Advisory Committee Job Description

Steve - At the last meeting it was requested that this committee be more carefully defined. Discussion followed. It was agreed by consensus to refer to this group as simply “OP Advisors” since they do not meet together as a committee. The amended text appears in the appendix to these minutes. Narayan moved to accept Policy; Phil second. Approved by consensus.    


E3 Evaluations, Trustees’ and Committee Chairs’ Reports

Steve wondered if evaluations might be more valuable if more introspective with comments rather than using a numbered rating scale. Jerry feels it’s valuable to yearly go through process to remind yourself of duties and how you feel you’re doing. Steve thanked everyone for working with him on filling out surveys. Steve has spoken with Nancy Stetter regarding possibly working with individuals one-on-one with what is up for them. A second possibility for board training is Nancy or someone else working with the TC on co-dependency issues. Steve is researching more possibilities for board development and inquired if Phil is interested in attending the Montana Non-Profit conference next year.


E4 Program Manager – name change for position

Steve presented the proposed name change for Shahar’s position. She is working more as a program manager than as an assistant. Munir said that this would make her position reflect more of the authority she actually has and exercises. Linda, moved to accept; Narayan second. Passed by consensus.


E5 Wage Recommendations for ED/PM

Steve noted that OP is ahead of what many MT non-profits can pay their staff; fortunately we can afford this. In the future we need to be look at paying them for the hours they are actually spending doing the work. Discussion followed regarding work hours of the staff. Shahar said that it is difficult for her to complete all her work in 20 hours a week. There are times when work backs up, like the TC meeting and Lava both coming this month, along with the website and e-newsletters. She works more hours some weeks, but also plans to take time off this winter for five weeks and won’t be working then. It helps balance out on an annual basis. Shahar is not necessarily charging for all of the hours she works.


Phil suggested that this is something the HR can work on. Munir said that he will keep an eye on this matter and bring recommendations to the TC as needed. Right now we budgeted at 20 hours a week, 52 weeks a year for both the Executive Director and Program Manager. Further discussion focused on shifting more responsibility to volunteers. Listening coach brought us back to topic. Phil moved to accept, Sheila seconded. Passed by consensus.


E6 Plan for Volunteer Recruitment

Steve presented an outline for volunteer recruitment and said that he would like to get everyone involved with recruitment and defining what our needs might be. Phil and Tony volunteered to join the HR Committee. Discussion followed regarding how to define our volunteer needs and ease the burden on staff. Steve said the outline is not refined enough to go into Policy Manual, but rather a call to TC for assistance and for them to understand how HR is approaching volunteers.


E7 Honorarium Policy Proposal

Steve presented the proposal he wrote with input from Tony and Jerry. A good deal of discussion followed, with some differing points of view expressed. They included arguments both pro and con for giving generous honoraria to departing trustees. Other ideas presented included giving a stipend to Trustees (like the Grants Committee receives) for in-body meeting time. Another alternative would be to make sure we offer trustees benefits like good food when we’re meeting, good connections on plane tickets, an evening at the hot springs, and/or offer half-price registration for our events. Some expressed that serving on the OP board is an honor in itself. Consensus was that the proposal needs more work. Steve said that he would continue to develop the proposal via email discussion.


E8 Volunteer Survey, Stuart McKinnon

Steve welcomed and introduced Stuart McKinnon to the board. He and Jerry today interviewed Stuart and enjoyed talking with him and his enthusiasm with the Dances. Jerry moved that Stuart as a Trustee in Training be added to the Agenda, Narayan second. Discussion followed regarding Stuart’s interests in OP and where he might volunteer his time in committee work. Jerry moved to make Stuart a Trustee in Training, Phil seconded. Passed by consensus.


B3 Human Resource Budget 2007

Tony moved to accept, Sheila seconded. Passed by consensus.




F1 Common Ground Activity Report

Shahar, a member of the Common Ground Center Council, presented the report. Munir noted that the center and grounds have never been more beautiful. Steve replaced a beam in the shop so we could add support and have it re-roofed. Joetta is interested in stepping down from the president of the council. At the end of the year CG Council gives us a cash award of whatever profit is had for the year. Last year that was an extra $4000, and this year will likely be $1-2000. Under maintenance and repair this year ,we did replace the compressor in the refrigerator of the cottage, which was around $500.


B3 Common Ground Budget 2007

Tony moved to approve the Common Ground budget, Narayan seconded. Passed by consensus.


G1 Communications Committee

Phil reviewed the work of the committee. The board took some time out to view and discuss the new OP web site, under construction. Munir thanked Steve and Shahar for their hard work, and Bill Grout who has served as OP’s technical consultant.


G2 Photography and Videotaping Policy

Phil reported the complaints regarding intrusive photography and videography at OP events, particularly after WDC 2006. There is a clear need for a policy. The photographer needs to work closely with our staff at events. We are designing a clearer purpose for recording of images and music. Phil moved that policy be passed by board, Linda seconded. Discussion followed regarding OP’s purposes in documenting events and how to reconcile this with personal desires to record/document events. In the end, the board felt that something needed to be put in place. Tony said he favored accepting the proposal, and it can be worked on more. Sheila seconded. Phil amended the proposal to add to #8 that there will be opportunities to speak with individual leaders for learning new dances. Passed by consensus. (Amended text appears in the appendix to these minutes.)



Shahar asked if everyone was receiving these. OP has contracted with MailDog Manager for $50 a month, with a charge of $.01 for each email. They are sent out individually, and we have access to elaborate reports to show who is opening and viewing what email message.


B3 Communications Budget 2007

Narayan moved to accept, Phil seconded. Consensus


Break for dinner and Jerry’s Recognition Party!





Daily Affliction read by Narayan; Listening Coach, Stuart; Munir facilitated.


H1 Music/Media Committee Report

Munir described the work of the committee in 2006. A Best of WDC 2005 CD project was abandoned because of lack of good recorded material. Michael helped bring to final production the River of Guidance CD of the interview with Shabda Kahn this fall. He wants to put out a WDC 2006 CD this year and possibly another of zikr recordings. A lengthy discussion followed regarding the purpose of recording OP events and issues of distribution. Tony moved to accept the Music budget as is, noting that we can’t resolve the deeper issue today. Phil seconded. Passed by consensus.


B3 General Administration Budget 2007

Phil moved to accept budget, Tony second. Passed by Consensus.


B3 Finance Committee Budget 2007

Tony moved to accept budget, Phil second. Passed by Consensus.


J1 Land Camp Search

Sheila reported on seeking a site for WDC 2007. She spent a lot of time exploring Forest Service possibilities and also talked with Barry of the Rainbow Family. She looked at relevant sites and talked with people in charge of the specific forests, but when she got closer there were usually one or more significant drawbacks. She and Munir traveled to a site outside of Salmon which turned out had possibilities, but only for a smaller gathering. There were lots of mosquitoes and other drawbacks. There were other site possibilities near Livingston, but everyone was so happy with Luccock, we did not follow through with looking at them. Munir added that we have explored the possibility of other sites to have larger gatherings and get better dates so we can increase our involvement of youth. Narayan said we’ve lucked out with Luccock for now, but in the future that may be different. We may need to look into it more.


B3 Land/Camp Search Budget for 2007

Tony moved to accept budget, Linda second. Consensus


K1 Tom Braveheart Committee Report

Steve - We had $1200 budgeted for 2006, and we spent that amount. The additional $375 was paid in advance for an award for a 2007 event. It should show up in next year’s budget.


K2 Braveheart Fund Management Policy

Phil moved to accept the Braveheart Fund Policy, and expressed how much the grant to Shakur had benefited everyone at the event. Tony second. Passed by consensus.


B3 Braveheart Budget 2007

Tony moved to accept, Narayan second. Passed by consensus.


N1 Youth Committee Report

Shahar explained how this has been the most frustrating aspect of OP for her this past year. There was a lack of clarity of committee personnel and leadership. The Events Committee in January 2006 disbanded and absorbed the Children’s Committee. Then was sort of restored and called the Youth Committee, but it has been difficult for Shahar to move forward with this because of lack of members and clarity from the council. At the last Lava retreat Sheila and Shahar learned a lot working together on this and now see the need for distinct programming with a plan to involve youth from young children through teenagers and into young adults.


Shahar said it’s been difficult because no one wants to get involved and take responsibility; they just want it to happen. She would like to schedule some phone conferences and an in-body meeting next year, perhaps attached to Lava retreat. She is also recruiting more members, possibly to include Bob Effertz and Jelehla Ziemba from Mendo Camp. Phil suggested that OP perhaps needs an overlapping of committees, Children’s, Events, Human Resources to meet and discuss how to involve the children in a larger way.


B3 Youth Committee Budget 2007

Munir: we’re now voting on the rest of the Youth Budget for 2007. Tony moved to accept, Narayan second. Passed by consensus.


B3 Young Adult Budget 2007

Munir reported on current young adult program plans, including bringing three Young Adults, Daniel, Katie, and Jacob to Lava. We’re hoping to have Kai come to join us from Germany this summer; not a whole tour this time. We’ll have another Young Adult program at WDC in 2007. We’ll have Saladin and Tara Andrea coming to WDC more as advisors this time. Narayan moved to accept, Sheila second. Passed by consensus.




L1 Evaluate 2006 and Update 2006 Goals and Activities

Jerry walked the TC through the Goals and Activities form as a group to get everyone’s input. The following ratings were recorded:


1A 5

1B 4.5

2A 5

2B 5

2C 5 $$

3A 5

3B 5

3C 5

3D1 - 5 3

D2 - 5

3D3 - 3

3D4 - 1

3E 5

4A 5

4B 1

4C 5

5A 3

5B 2

6A 5

6B 5

7A 3

7B 5

7C 2

7D 4

7E1 - 5

7E2 - 5

8A 2

9-1 3

9-2 4

9-3 5

10-1 5

10-2 2

10-3 5

11-1 5

11-2 5

11-3 3

12 2

13A 5

13B-1 3 Steve has a plan

13B-2 5

13B-3 4

13C 4

13D 3

14A 5

14B 5

14C 5


Linda will send rosters of Marsh House attendees to Shahar.


Goals for 2007

Staff will prepare a draft after committees submit their goals. Ellen asked what the advantages and disadvantages are of geographical diversity on the TC. Might we want to reconsider the word diversity?


O1 Invitation to host the Jamiat Ahm Bitterroot, April 2008

Munir presented Shabda Kahn’s invitation to OP to host the Jamiat Ahm in 2006. Jerry said he was favor of the Bitterroot Team taking this on and this would be empowering them. They could apply for a grant if they need it.


O2 Spring Meeting

The TC checked calendars and decided to meet June 1-3, 2007, Thursday-Sunday in Hamilton, with the Grant’s Committee meeting May 31st. The fall meeting dates were selected to be November 16-18th, Thursday- Sunday, location not yet decided. Later discussion suggested that the June 2007 meeting be a visioning/planning meeting and that key board business be conducted prior to the meeting via email and telephone. See below.


M1 Outgoing TC Chair Report

Jerry thanked all for allowing him to be part of all this; “It’s been a great experience. After today’s discussion, you can disregard the part about CD production in my report; I did enjoy watching everyone get involved in that discussion rather than it being a ‘slam dunk’.” He described co-dependence as a way of looking at organizational .problems and that he had personally come to a different relationship with the Dances. Munir said, “We’re grateful you have been part of it. You’ve brought us a long way.” Narayan said, “I hope the next Dance comes for you. What will next get you excited, and I’ll get some of that from you. I’m excited for you.”

Thank you, Jerry, from all!


E1 Special Election of TC Chair

Jerry nominated Phil as Chair of Oneness Project, Tony seconded. Passed by consensus.

Jerry noted several items of transition, including that the Common Ground water right is in Jerry’s name; he has sent the paper to Munir. The Common Ground loan is in Jerry’s name, and he is on the Hamilton Bank account. We need to add Phil’s name and take Jerry’s off all OP documents and accounts.


L2 Long Range Planning Ideas

Phil said that he has had exposure with 12 step programs, and it has occurred to him about the ‘high, dry, and light’ aspect of the Dances. There is a tendency to own our own codependency in our lives. It’s about confronting our own control issues, and the myth that we are in control of our lives.


Phil then guided the TC in a Long Range Planning/visioning process. It was agreed that much more time is needed to adequately address this area. It was discussed that the June, 2007 TC meeting be given to planning and that essential board business be conducted in advance via email and telephone. Shahar’s transcription of this discussion is available for review in the context of planning.


Meeting adjourned.


Attested to as a true copy____________________________

                                                Phil Notermann, Chair



D1) Events Committee Job Description as approved:


  • Coordinate and integrate the work of all ongoing Oneness Project event teams and report back to OP Board


  • Develop, review, approve, and submit budgets for all OP events to the Trustee Council by October of preceding fiscal year


  • Encourage and recommend outreach DUP programming to churches, universities, and organizations to attract young people to dances


  • Provide support in developing DUP programs for young adults


  • Network with dance circles to identify youth involved with dances and dance leading to be included in youth program


  • Create and make available to the public retreat presentation manuals for Marsh House, Lava, and Wilderness


  • Design thorough evaluation forms for Wilderness and Lava and take responsibility for distributing and analyzing data


  • Coordinate with volunteers presenting OP events to ensure all jobs needed are covered by volunteers


  • Assist Executive Director in planning events and determining financial expenditures


  • One committee member will liaison with Wilderness Camp Manager and Asst Camp Manager each year to support the camp by attending all meetings


  • One committee member will liaison with Lava staff and OP registrar as support for two Lava retreats each year


  • Consider recommendations for Wilderness Camp site changes and make the final recommendations to OP Trustees


  • Assist in creating event flyers and actively promote Lava Retreats, Whidbey events and Wilderness Dance Camps


E2A) - Oneness Project Advisers as amended and approved:


Oneness Project recognizes the broad skills and knowledge base of our worldwide community of Dancers and their potential for assisting OP with the on-going development and execution of its programs. To this end, individual dancers from the worldwide network will be invited to serve as Advisers to OP as needed. Members of this committee will serve in the capacity of advisors to specific committees, staff or to the Trustee Council in general. They are not required to attend meetings or events, but will be asked to offer their guidance as needed. Regional diversity will be strived for in selecting advisors.


Purpose and Policies

  1. The Advisers will operate within the OP bylaws.
  2. Advisory personnel can add credibility and status to OP.
  3. They may function as a ‘political’ bridge between OP and other Dance Network organizations.
  4. An Adviser can make a proposal via a sponsor among the TC/ED/Committee Chairs.
  5. Any trustee/ED/Committee Chair can nominate someone to be an Adviser; the TC would make final decision.
  6. All positions are voluntary.
  7. Advisers can be removed by uninviting with stated reasons.
  8. Advisers serve 2-year terms and may re-up;
  9. Human Resources will contact the Advisers annually to thank them for their service and remind them about terms.

G – 2.A Photography, Videotaping and Audio-recording Policy




Oneness Project events aim to create a safe and inspiring container in which participants can fully experience the sacred and celebratory power of the Dances of Universal Peace. Recording these events through photos, videos, and audio can support the DUP through such uses as accurate archiving of specific dances as well as history, promotion, enhancing and extending event experiences by making recordings available to participants following such events. We are aware that recording dance sessions can potentially detract from participants’ sense of safety and/or the coherence and depth of their experience, therefore all recordings shall be carried out in a manner that protects both the integrity and depth of the dancers’ experience as well as avoiding any intrusion on their personal, spiritual or intimate moments.




  1. Attendees will be requested to sign a photo permission form consenting to have their pictures taken at events. There will be an option for dancers to opt out of having their images taken, and the desires of those not wishing to be photographed will respected as much as possible. Any group photographs in which they are included will not be used without their specific permission.

  2. Photo, video and audio recordings will be used by Oneness Project for promoting events, in newsletters, announcements, music CDs, and on the web site. OP may occasionally release photos for publication elsewhere for promoting the DUP and/or OP events. At no time are photos taken at OP events to be used for publication without express permission of OP.

  3. Photo, audio and video recordings taken during the event by individuals enlisted and supported by OP through work exchange, scholarship, honorarium, or reduction in registration fees shall become the property of OP for their sole use following the above stated policies. The photographer/videographer relinquishes rights to the images and shall not retain copies thereof without specific permission from OP.

  4. Such individuals will work closely with OP to develop an event plan that clearly targets specific objectives (promotion, archiving, etc.) with the least intrusion on participants’ experience. (e.g., recordings for archiving purposes could be done in special sessions, promotional recordings designed to insure an effective product with the least amount of intrusion)

  5. OP is conscious of the possible distraction caused by recordings, audio, video, or images, and will restrict the number of photographs taken during dance sessions to a minimum needed to reflect the flavor of the session/retreat.

  6. Photographs and video taping will be done without a flash, and we will also request that retreat attendees refrain from using a flash during dance sessions.

  7. No recording of images will be taken during Zikr by OP staff or attendees.


  1. Attendees will be requested to refrain from any recording, video or audio, during Dance sessions, however, OP will ask dance leaders to provide opportunities to speak with individual leaders for learning new Dances.


  1. No photos or videos will be taken of intimate moments (e.g. weeping) or be invasive to the dancers.

  2. The photographer/videographer/recorder is to use discretion and be unobtrusive in obtaining images and recordings so as to not detract from the experience of the dancers.