Consistency Creates A Rhythm
Consistency in practice lays the foundation for a solid successful practice. It is the same when leaders provide a consistent structure for district activities. It creates a rhythm in the district and members receive regular encouragement in their spiritual lives.
Having a Monthly Calendar
Some districts have a word of mouth calendar. Although the word might get around, it might not also.
Sending out a monthly calendar both by e-mail and in hard copy let’s district members know when activities are going to happen. When a district doesn’t have a calendar, then members are never quite sure when activities are scheduled and it’s much easier to miss them. One district puts driving instructions on the back of the district calendar so members can easily find out how to get to meetings.
The monthly calendar can be used to remind members of activities outside the district schedule as well. One district has a newsletter with major events occurring in the local community center, such as Gosho study, World Peace Gongyo or a major meeting. The district wants to encourage members to attend these events. The district includes both the community center calendar and a district calendar.
Having A Consistent Meeting Day and Place
Some districts have been known to shift the meeting day and place for what appeared to be good reasons. Sometimes a district will do this if attendance has been lower thinking another day would be better. Unfortunately districts which have tried this have found that the attendance remains about the same.
Changing things around tends to result in members coming to fewer meetings. It is harder to remember where to go when a meeting place changes from month to month. When there is a consistent meeting day, time and place attendance tends to be much better. The members know that every Wednesday or second Saturday, for example, there is going to be a meeting at a certain time and place. That makes it easy to invite someone to come with them and to remember to come themselves. It sets up a certain habitual rhythm both in the district and in the lives of the members.
It is particularly helpful to have a consistent weekly group meeting when providing support to new people. It allows for building up their understanding of the practice step by step and. A
weekly meeting helps to connect them more quickly to the district and set up that consistent rhythm in their lives early in their practice.
Why Not Try It and See What Happens
If you’ve been inconsistent with the calendar or times and places for meetings, why not try setting a consistent pattern and see what happens.
Consistency In District Activities Creates A Rhythm, © Margaret Blaine,A Practical Buddhist