As a preface, I am completely unqualified to understand or suggest the more delicate aspects of sangha operations, so where ideas are not present- it is due to a lack of understanding on my end and will likely not be something I can fill in. GLOBAL ORGANIZATION The global organization will operate in a dynamic and organic fashion; having all the resources of individual creativity and qualifications while offering qualified ...more »
As a preface, I am completely unqualified to understand or suggest the more delicate aspects of sangha operations, so where ideas are not present- it is due to a lack of understanding on my end and will likely not be something I can fill in.
The global organization will operate in a dynamic and organic fashion; having all the resources of individual creativity and qualifications while offering qualified leadership and organization at the same time.
In this model, my personal belief that a global sangha leader/Acharya is of utmost importance will be presented, but that aspect of things should be able to be omitted without collapsing the rest of the model.
I will start out by imposing my personal belief that a global Acharya is of utmost importance for the health and efficacy of the sangha. In many ways, having a living and active Acharya is the glue of the sangha- giving each person someone to look up to and serve.
Includes those directly engaged in the service of the global sangha and is delineated into four sections…
TEACHERS: teach, correct, inspire, initiate
PROACTION: publishing, websites, outreach
ADMINISTRATION: financial, legal, back-office
CONTRIBUTORS: teachers, writers, travel organizers, artists, content, editors, archives, etc.
References a local group of any size and the activities they perform, goals they set, centers the build, programs they offer, festivals they host, and so forth.
Working backwards from the sangha section…
Each community sangha would be responsible and accountable for:
• Building their sangha based on preaching and outreach
• Creating and maintaining space for center, ashram, temple, etc.
• Hosting programs, events, festivals, etc.
• Hosting teachers and supporting regional festivals
The individual sangha would essentially be the interface between the world at large and the teachings of our line.
The individual sangha would be part and parcel to a regional sangha (i.e. Southern California, Colorado, Rotterdam, etc.). Individual sanghas would work in partnership with other sanghas to offer support, financial aid when available, share information, ideally host a yearly regional festival, and so forth.
Within the support section…
TEACHERS refer mostly to those of the Sanyassi order and define those who would be able to properly teach, correct, inspire, and give initiation. This is not being presented in the ISKCON Rtvik sense, as each person given this ability is himself giving initiation. For each region defined in the world, a teacher or teachers from this group would be their adviser and leader. This is similar to the model of the Pope in Rome, archbishops over certain territories, and the priests within those territories.
PROACTION refers to those global sangha members actively engaged in the processes of publishing and printing books, creating web content, and organizing large scale sangha tasks
ADMINISTRATION refers to those involved in the management of the global sangha in financial, legal, back-office, and ‘red tape’ support to local groups.
CONTRIBUTORS are those involved in writing books, writing content for web, creating art, organizing travel and regional festival tours, etc. This is essentially any devotee who has a specific talent they bring to the table and applies this consistently to managing or adding to some aspect of the global sangha.
Devotees start and run their own sangha. They…
• Know what should be done because references and books outlining the goals on preaching and worship are detailed for them
• Have open access to support, resources, and inspiration via their regional adviser and yearly festivals
• Feel they are accomplishing and contributing
• Feel they are growing and serving
The guidelines provided each sangha will be a franchise-style outline of basic center and sangha operations… what should be done and some ideas on how to do it. These are guidelines. Aside that, each sangha has creative and circumstantial room to adjust their offerings and seva to location, public paradigm, financial abundance, and so forth. They know what needs to be done, and are then given room to make that happen in the best way they can with their unique circumstances, creativity, adhikari, and inspiration.
Because this would lead to a very cohesive and stable global connection, each sangha would also quickly develop skill sets and abilities within their respective members. At this point, Seva Teams comes in and links individual people to the bigger process of the global sangha.
Seva Teams would have a website interface with:
• Want ads: we need someone who can do this…
• Classified: I can do this and want to help out
• General ideas on what anyone CAN be doing
• Access to shared stories and inspiration
Seva Teams would become a holistic and creative platform which any sangha or individual can log on and find someone to help. If a center needs a flyer designed- they can track someone down to help. If someone is great at sewing cloth for Thakurji- their services can be made known.
Each sangha member will be encouraged to put themselves out there and get active by their fellow sangha members.
Each center/sangha would be creating information, support, and service for themselves, other centers, and the global sangha. In return, the global sangha would offer the same back to them creating a holistic, self-sustained cycle.
Resources such as purebhakti.com, Bhakti books, Bhakti store, back to Bhakti, purebhakti TV, etc. should be integrated.
If we take ISKCON’s main site, Krishna.com as a very successful example…
Information, books, media, shopping, center locations, news, forums, downloads, etc. are all available clearly and simply from one main place. In essence, it seems that the current offerings online are too far apart and would benefit, like the sangha itself, from being brought under one cohesive and easily-navigated umbrella site. This would not only be easier for any user, but would also create a truly powerful and dynamic ‘one stop shop’ resource online which would bring a deep sense of efficacy, stability, strength, and love to those who connect with IPBYS. ‘Branding’ of IPBYS would also be of great importance in this regard. We need something tangible to be proud of and to join together for. We have all the pieces- we just need to put them together properly.
As it stands, it seems that the general mentality is either a) move to the Dham, or b) good luck. Sri Chaitanyas Mission of ‘every town and village’ is clearly one with global implications regardless of time and circumstance. We have such an unbelievable level of potency in this sangha that truly anything can happen. People just need to feel that they have something to belong to, something to rely on, somewhere to get help, and somewhere to give help. At the end of the day, we’re all humans (for the time being) and need to feel connections in certain ways in order to be productive people. As it stands, attendance at a yearly festival, listening to MP3 lectures, and getting by on the occasional phone chat is not enough to keep people plugged in, fired up, and engaged.
The more we can become a truly connected family under the banner of Srila Gurudeva, the more we will find people feeling safe enough to come out of their shells and make some magic happen. In cases where this kind of support has been created (Ganga-Matas, as an example) we are seeing so much happen! This can easily be applied to any town, any village, any sangha whether 5 people or 5,000.
I feel that organization at local levels can be effective on its own, but that if some Acharya-level leadership is not present then things will turn sour through corruption, ego battles, power play, and lack of motivation.
If people are given permission to create, share, inspire, and connect I think they will. As it stands, this permission does indeed exist in some ways- but it is being given to people who are not sure what to do with it, who are burned from playing with it in the past, or who simply fear what taking action might mean. If we can properly present clear and effective ideals for people to follow (using NLP in this case would be phenomenal for this sangha and its specific challenges and strengths) I believe they will follow them and build.
In short- we need freedom and leadership, room to make mistakes and a place to go for help when we do, the permission to become our own best resources, and a banner under which we can all unite. If we move ourselves 10 or 15 years into the future given the current state of organization, we will not be happy with the outcome. The time to fix this and ensure it is done with the heartly blessings of our beloved Srila Gurudeva is now and I am so grateful that this has become priority-one for our sangha!
Below, I am including something I use in my private professional practice with clients (holistic life coaching & NLP). I am working to alter these a bit to make them more applicable to the Vaishnava-Dharma, but as they are I think there is great inspiration and wisdom to be obtained.
Thank you for taking the time to read my ideas. I realize this will be full of faults and offenses, so I beg your forgiveness for the countless errors herein and pray that I may become qualified to inspire properly.
An aspirant for the dust of the lotus feet of Sri-Guru & Vaishnavas…
Jai Gopal das
The Presuppositions of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
1. People respond to their experience, not to reality itself.
We do not know what reality is. Our senses, beliefs, and past experience give us a map of the world from which to operate. A map can never be exactly accurate; otherwise it would be the same as the ground it covers. We do not know the territory, so for us, the map is the territory. Some maps are better than others for finding your way around. We navigate life like a ship through a dangerous area of sea; as long as the map shows the main hazards, we will be fine. When maps are faulty and do not show the dangers, then we are in danger of running aground. NLP is the art of changing these maps, so we have greater freedom of action.
2. Having a choice is better than not having a choice.
Always try to have a map for yourself that gives you the widest and richest number of choices. Act always to increase choice. The more choices you have, the freer you are and the more influence you have.
3. People make the best choice they can at the time.
A person always makes the best choice they can, given their map of the world. The choice may be self-defeating, bizarre or evil, but for them, it seems the best way forward. Give them a better choice in their map of the world and they will take it. Even better give them a superior map with more choices in it.
4. People work perfectly.
No one is wrong or broken. They are carrying out their strategies perfectly, but the strategies may be poorly designed and ineffective. Find out how you and others do what they do so their strategy can be changed to something more useful and desirable.
5. All actions have a purpose.
Our actions are not random; we are always trying to achieve something, although we may not be aware of what that is.
6. Every behaviour has a positive intention.
All our actions have at least one purpose - to achieve something that we value and benefits us. NLP separates the intention or purpose behind an action from the action itself. A person is not their behaviour. When a person has a better choice of behaviour that also achieves their positive intention, they will take it.
7. The unconscious mind balances the conscious; it is not malicious.
The unconscious is everything that is not in consciousness at the present moment. It contains all the resources we need to live in balance.
8. The meaning of the communication is not simply what you intend, but also the response you get.
This response may be different to the one you wanted. There are no failures in communication, only responses and feedback. If you are not getting the result you want, change what you are doing. Take responsibility for the communication.
9. We already have all the resources we need, or we can create them.
There are no unresourceful people, only unresourceful states of mind.
10. Mind and body form a system. They are different expressions of the one person.
Mind and body interact and mutually influence each other. It is not possible to make a change in one without the other being affected. When we think differently, our bodies change. When we act differently we change our thoughts and feelings.
11. We process all information through our senses.
Developing your sense so they become more acute gives you better information and helps you think more clearly.
12. Modeling successful performance leads to excellence.
If one person can do something it is possible to model it and teach it to others. In this way everyone can learn to get better results in their own way, you do not become a clone of the model – you learn from them.
13. If you want to understand - Act
The learning is in the doing.