As I look back I now feel that the period from the December Retreat 2004 through to the Summer Teaching Retreat July 2005 has been a highly formative period for the Amida sangha. A range of developments that one can, with hindsight, see as having been gestating for some time, came to birth during that span of time. Decisions were made. Much of the fruit of this can be read in the document Provisions for Continuity and Structure. They include a cellular structure for the Order; provisions for the transition when the head of the Order (currently myself) goes; and the innovation of a completely new membership category called The Amida School.
Even more important than structure, there has been a palpable sense that the Order has reached some kind of critical mass, both in terms of numbers - twelve - and in terms of ethos. Now, whenever three or more Order members are present at an event there is a recognisable sense of team that was previously absent. The group is maturing.
One of the topics of the Organisation Interest Group has been to look at Amida Trust as a test case. What sort of organisation is it? What can our knowledge of organisations tell us about it? What can the principles of Dharma tells us when applied to the case of an organisation-cum-sangha-cum-network-cum-community like Amida?