Vision, Mission & Core Values
FCM's vision is to create a community, and eventually a world, where principles of loving-kindness, generosity, and selflessness result in global peace, environmental sustainability, and the cessation of suffering for all sentient beings.
In support of this vision, FCM's mission is to offer Buddhist teachings that are relevant to the realities of day-to-day life and lead to personal transformation. FCM provides a variety of educational and practice opportunities to support those who sincerely aspire to cultivate mindfulness, equanimity, compassion, and joyful selfless service to others. FCM realizes its mission through the creation and nourishment of a healthy and active sangha community, where teachings and other practice opportunities are shared in an environment of mindfulness and loving-kindness, under the guidance of our teacher Fred Eppsteiner.
FCM's core values are the essential principles that underlie, motivate, shape, and guide our community.
- Awakening: Through the practices of mindfulness, deep understanding/wisdom, and compassion, we grow personally, heal psychologically, and transform our suffering into the flowering of an awakened being. We use Buddhist meditative practices to rediscover eternal truths about reality through direct investigation and experience, rather than through blind faith in dogma.
- Non-Denominational Buddhism: While practicing within the Mahayana Zen tradition, we take inspiration and guidance from the full breadth of Buddhist teachings. We are creative and experimental in our forms since we desire to be relevant and accessible to American culture, issues, and vernacular. We apply the Buddhist teachings based on their appropriateness to the individual(s) being taught and practice skillfulness in their application.
- Community: Having the support and personal connection with a sangha/community of spiritual friends is a key element of our Buddhist practice. We seek to live our path with the support of a harmonious practice community. Sangha-building is, in itself, a meaningful and deep practice which embodies interconnection instead of separateness.
- Inclusiveness: Our community is open to anyone who is dedicated to following this path. We respect and encourage diversity.
- Mindful Living: We practice an engaged form of Buddhism, i.e. a Buddhism that is relevant to the lives of our members and the society we live in. We primarily utilize the broad traditional teachings and practices of Buddhism, applied in the context of modern life. As a community of lay practitioners, we learn how to live an awakened life in the midst of our relationships and everyday activities. We are dedicated to living a meaningful, open and joyful life, guided by the Five Mindfulness Trainings of the Plum Village tradition.
- Service: We help bring joy and reduce suffering by being of service to our families, our communities, and our society. We practice selflessness and “love in action” and give generously of our time and resources to those in need. When engaged in activities to benefit and heal our world, our actions are based on selflessness, mental and emotional calmness, non-violence, compassion, and deep acceptance of what is.
- Deep Sharing/Deep Listening: We create trust within our community of practitioners to encourage speaking from our hearts and listening to each other without judgment.
FCM's Board of Directors, Teacher, and Executive Director, with much input from the membership of FCM, have developed a Strategic Plan that guides our Community's activities, in alignment with the Vision, Mission, and Core Values expressed above. The current Plan is attached below.
- Direct Transmission: Our teachers have received their authorization from within the continuous lineage of the Buddha. The direct personal relationship between teacher and student is central to the true Dharma transmission within the Buddhist tradition.
FCM 2015-2017 Strategic Plan and 2017 Priorities