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For BAM to be a successful event, it doesn’t have to be complicated, and in fact, let’s run the events in the spirit they are intended - that is with kindness to ourselves as well as kindness to the planet and other beings.
Here are some Tips for organizing a successful BAM:
Keep projects SIMPLE.
Buddhists can be busy people – engaged Buddhists even more so so that sometimes just the thought of taking on an extra responsibility can feel a little overwhelming! Here is a little teaching courtesy of Maitrisara on the Three Actions: three things you can do even if you are busy
A swop action: This is when you know you cannot do an extra thing in your week - but you may be doing a study group or a GFR group/mitra study/chapter anyway, so maybe you can do this group or event but with a different focus, e.g. the welfare of the planet, or ask if we keep in mind how our actions affect future generations, or discuss the ethics or our consumption habits?
A virya action: sometimes we THINK that doing ‘another thing’ is going to be tiring - but it is worth remembering that some actions give us MORE energy! They put us in touch with our vision and aspiration, they allow us to feel effective, in fact they unblock energy, so they are not just ‘another thing to do’
An adding action: sometimes you really cannot do anything in addition to what you are already doing: but we can always make a point of supporting others who are doing something that you think is a good thing to do: encouraging someone else and showing your support can have a really big effect.
Even really simple events can be very effective as well as enjoyable:
- have a picnic in your local park or go for a walk with sangha members. Share times in nature that have been important to you in your life, talk about trees or animals that you love!
- Show a film at your Centre that addresses ecological or ethical issues and have a discussion after it
- go vegan for a week or month and have a discussion about the ethics of the diary industry
- switch to green energy and tell your friends about it
- have a ‘no buying’ week and share with your friends you’re your experience
Make sure your projects are FUN.
Or at least enjoyable. If you don’t enjoy it you will not do it again, so what can you do to make sure you are enjoying yourself?
It’s handy if projects REPEATABLE.
You don’t need to do something different every year - it is ideal if volunteers can repeat or build on their projects – you achieve more a sense of success and you and your participants can deepen your learning
Make sure your project aims are SMART:
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Go for what you can achieve successfully. Better to be realistic and successful than ambitious and fail and feel disheartened.
CELEBRATE your project – communicate!
BAM communications: acting locally, communicating globally
An important element in BAM is communicating what’s happening across Triratna as a whole, so that everyone learns from what you’re doing locally. Your sangha is one potent little hub of activity in the marvellous worldwide network of relationships, actions and consequences that is Triratna. Letting others know what you are doing is inspiring, encouraging and supportive and is the way we can change our culture and become evermore effective in our intention to benefit the world.
Please share what you do not just on yourCentre’s Facebook pages that nobody else sees, but to report your activities centrally on the dedicated BAM 2016 page [www.thebuddhistcentre.com], in writing, pictures, video and audio.
Please use this BAM 2016 page to share what you’re doing, and report on your progress, on your successes, joys, disappointments, realisations.