What Membership Means
Do you value what Bright Way Zen offers?
Click here to make a one-time donation, or consider supporting us through membership:
- By signing up as a member, you officially join our community, or Sangha. You say, “Here I am! I value Bright Way Zen and want it to continuing offering opportunities to practice and study Zen and build community.”
- Members pledge a regular a monthly, quarterly or annual donation that allows us to budget and plan. One-time donations are wonderful, but it’s difficult to depend on them to pay for paying rent, covering bills, and supporting our teachers.
- Your commitment is a tangible source of energy for the Sangha.
- Members are eligible to vote for the directors on our Board, and if they take Jukai they can also serve on the Board.
- Members can communicate with one another through an email group, and have access to an online member directory.
- Members look out for one another, and support one another in life and practice over the years.
How Much Does Membership Cost?
There is no set amount for membership. We have about 75 pledging members, and pledges average about $50 a month but range from $5 to $125, and you should give what feels right for you. You can make a monthly, quarterly, or annual pledge.
Your participation and membership are valued regardless of how much you give, and we never want anyone to be discouraged or turned away because of financial limitations. If you need to decrease or pause your pledge at any time, simply let Domyo know (info[at]brightwayzen.org).
On the other hand, you may choose to give extra in order to help make Bright Way available to everyone no matter what their financial situation! You may also choose to give extra in order to help Bright Way achieve its vision (see Our Dream of Developing Community, right-hand column).
Our Dream of Developing Community
In this age of increasing isolation, materialism, and busyness, one of the most important things we can do is create, sustain, and participate in community. Bright Way Zen is a community. Right now we have about 75 pledging members and many more people who participate regularly. We’re getting to know one another. We sit, study, and drink tea together. Over the years our community has grown and matured, and become one of the primary sources of connection and refuge for many of our members.
We aren’t interested in growth for growth’s sake. However, we have several visions for the long term that will require the support of our Sangha, or community:
- We would like to occupy a beautiful space with a Zendo large enough to hold all of our members, sufficient parking, wheelchair access, a kitchen, dining room, office, and various meeting spaces. This would allow sangha members to gather on a daily basis for practice, work, socializing, and communal meals. Ideally it would also be a space where we could hold small overnight retreats.
- We would like to own our space. Then sangha members could contribute by caring for and improving the space. We could make it suit our needs, and would also have a source of financial investment.
- We would like to support our teachers. We’d like to give Domyo, our guiding teacher and Executive and Spiritual Director, a living wage so she can continue to work for the Zen center 20-25 hours a week, or more, even once her husband retires. Currently Domyo receives $1275 a month, and offers scheduled practice 6 days a week, offers formal teaching 2 days a week, develops programs, takes care of correspondence, bills, administration, and finances, offers one-on-one meetings, and is available for community members in times of need.
It’s important for the sangha to be able to pay for teacher support long term because eventually Domyo will retire, and the sangha will need to be able to recruit and support new teacher(s) who are unlikely to be able to work for free (think about the sangha lasting 100 years or more!).