This is a particularly important communication for the future of the Association Pian dei Ciliegi, so we ask you please to read it carefully.
After prolonged deliberation, the Directive Council has decided to introduce certain changes to the regulations as regards the amount and payment of the retreat quota and membership fees.
1a. Payment of the Membership Fee irrespective of participation in a retreat
The Council has decided that membership fees to the association should be paid irrespective of one’s participation in a retreat.
From a spiritual point of view this would mean adhesion to the Association and a sharing in its fundamental mission, namely the diffusion of Satipatthana Vipassana and Metta. As you know, and as the present Sangha testifies, Pian dei Ciliegi offers a unique opportunity for practice, in Italy as in Europe, even in terms of its cost/quality ratio, as well as the teachings which are freely offered in this tradition.
From an economic point of view, this will allow us to rely on a more stable and dependable number of members, which also means it will allow us a more secure source of income to cover the costs of the ordinary maintenance of the center (rent, bills, secretarial costs etc.) that represent about a quarter of the total expenditure.
So we hope that members, recognizing and appreciating the activities of the center, will choose to adhere to the Association, independently of their participation in retreats in 2020.
1b. Anticipated Payment of the Membership Fee
To encourage greater participation on the part of members in the life of the Association, and to enjoy a more serene economic outlook, the Directive Council has also decided to ask associates to pay their annual membership fee for 2020 by 31st December 2019. This is not a binding date, as it will be possible to pay the membership fee even further on, but not after 20th September 2020. But we hope that later payments will only occur with new first-time members.
1c. Loss of Membership Status
A direct consequence of the non-payment of the membership fee will be the forfeiture of one’s membership status. Starting in 2016 – year in which the admission procedure was modified and digitalized – there has been an ever-growing membership list (which now numbers more than 1700) with its additional secretarial costs and responsibilities. So, as unpleasant as it may be, in October 2020 the directive council will deliberate the exclusion of all non-paying members of 2020, to facilitate the management of the Association and of the annual assembly.
1d. Request for New Membership
A disqualified member can in future re-participate in a retreat at Pian dei Ciliegi by reapplying for membership in the manner described on the website, and already in use.
2. Amount of the Membership Fee and Retreat Quota
Another change will be to the amount of the membership fee of 15€ which has remained unchanged for the last 17 years. From 2020, in fact, it will become 25€. But the daily quota of the retreat will be reduced once again to 30€ because there is no longer a necessity for the large outlay of expenses for the construction of new bathrooms and the phytodepuration plant that characterized 2019. The modification to the amounts of the quotas will not change the total cost for those who participate in just a single weekend retreat, well as for those participating in longer retreats it will represent a substantial savings.
We hope that these changes will be well-received by you, because we also recognize that there have been several substantive changes in the last years which you have already had to accommodate. However, there is also a growing complexity to the management of the Center, and as the Directive Council we have to face situations – normative or economic – that require our careful consideration. Entrusting ourselves then to your understanding, we wish you fruitful practice and good progress in your meditation.
Associazione Pian dei Ciliegi
Address: Via Roma, 2 29027 Podenzano (PC) - Italia
IBAN code: IT36S0200865410000104574143
Foreign bank transfers: SWIFT CODE: UNCRITM1V57
A heartfelt thank you from the Pian dei Ciliegi staff