Important Update on Membership from the IDC

As we come to the end of a membership year, there are some important points for everyone to know.

We’ve asked the Gakyils of Gars and Lings to encourage all their members to register on dzogchen.net before the end of the year – in some cases this has meant a lot of support needed for those who feel they cannot do it for themselves. We don’t have to leave this work just to membership coordinators – if you easily registered yourself and know clearly what to do, and you know people who have not registered yet and need help to do so, please go ahead and offer to help!

We’ve also asked the Gakyils to do their best to bring membership contributions and shares up to date (from Ling to Gar and Gar to IDC) – this depends on every individual member being up to date themselves with membership payments, whether made online or direct to Gar or Ling.

Basically, for the Gars and Lings and IDC to function, it is really important that we all renew our membership early in the year. Many people have had the tendency to wait till they go on a retreat to their Gar to renew their membership, or simply even to wait till the last moment of the year just to maintain continuity.

From 2016, there are some good practical reasons for everyone to renew in good time, at least before the end of March:

  • access to Closed Webcasts, replays and associated restricted files will depend on membership being up to date and recorded online on our Membership Managment System (MMS). Your dzogchen.net username and password will be what you use to access closed webcast and replays.
  • continuity of membership can only be maintained by renewing before the end of March – otherwise it could be necessary to revert to being a Welcome Card Holder for 3 years

This may seem a little draconian to some, but really it is only a reflection of how things are in this world we live in – without financial resources, Gars and Lings can’t be maintained, programs and activities can’t be implemented and other services such as the webcast can’t be provided – it is a natural consequence. So also if we want these things to continue, we should naturally want to do our best to maintain them through our membership contribution.

Also, it does not necessarily mean that you must have paid your full membership by the end of March. If you can do so, that is the ideal, but most Gars and Lings do offer a gradual payment option in some form. As long as you have entered into an arrangement to pay on a regular basis through the year, then it is considered that your membership is continuous and up to date. Gradual payment can also make it possible to be a member at a higher level – the higher financial contribution of sustaining and meritorious members remains very important. And if you have real financial difficulty, please do speak with your Gakyil to make some arrangement you can manage.

One very important point about registering on dzogchen.net – it is essential to complete all the personal information in the registration form, otherwise your registration will not be successful. For example, if you leave out your date of birth, you will not be registered. In case anyone still has concerns about data security, it is good to know that we are using best industry practices for data protection, encryption and user authorization.

We are also approaching the end of the first 3 year term for the International Gakyil. We have a date for the next Annual General Meeting, to be held at Dzamling Gar on Friday April 1st 2016. It’ll be at noon to maximise the possibility of electronic particpation in all time zones. This will include an overall review of what has been undertaken and achieved over the three year period, and what remains to be done to be complete our initial mandate. Currently several existing members have indicated their willingness, or at least availability, to continue for a second three year term in order to complete the basic structural work for the organisation of the global community – such as completing alignment of Gars and Lings, completing the establishment of our web portal and overall communication strategy, and continuing the work of establishing guidelines for many areas of Community activity. However it is also agreed that we need appropriately qualified new members to spread the workload and smooth eventual transition – watch this space!

Julian King-Salter
for the International Gakyil