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The Phiroz Mehta Trust Questionnaire 2000

By Rosemary Monk

Dear Newsletter readers,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to the questionnaire and also for the very generous donations we have received.

We had a very good and heartening response to the questionnaire — about 32% of our readership, which was far more than expected. Most of the comments were favourable, although there was some criticism sometimes about the contents being too “heavy”. The new format for the Newsletter was generally liked — this is the work of Michael Piggott and Tim Surtell who look after the actual production of the Newsletter.

One reader asked that short pieces might be printed distilling the essence of Phiroz’s teaching. Although Phiroz did not lay down a teaching as such, saying that each person must find their own way in the religious life (in fact he always denied being a teacher), we hope to print from time to time short extracts from his books. For a start, in this issue we have reproduced “Objects of the Trust”, as they were approved by Phiroz and set out when the Trust was founded in 1989.

A perhaps surprising feature of the results of the questionnaire was that only a minute proportion of readers had access to the Internet. If you do not have it already, I would urge you to get it (I do not practise what I preach, as I have not got it either), and you will be able to view the entire contents of all the copies of the Newsletter dating back to its inception in January 1991.

One of the problems of producing the Newsletter is that we simply do not get feedback from our readers in the form of news, articles, etc. Please do seriously consider writing something, preferably in prose, for us. It need not be long, and is bound to add interest to the “P.M. Times”.

Questionnaire Results and Comments

There were 46 responses to our questionnaire with four readers telling us they did not wish to receive the Newsletter any more. The pie charts show the responses of the 42 readers who do wish to receive the Newsletter. A selection of readers’ views and suggestions about the Newsletter and Website are printed below. We would love to hear from other readers… please send your comments to Rosemary Monk.

How often do you access the Trust’s website?

[Pie Chart] How often do you access the Trust's website? [7% Slice] < 10 times per month [16% Slice] Never [77%] I don't have Internet access

How interesting do you find the Newsletter?

[Pie Chart] How interesting do you find the Newsletter? [17% Slice] Fairly interestong [83% Slice] Very interesting

How interesting do you find the Trust’s website?

[Pie Chart] How interesting do you find the Trust's website? [14% Slice] No answer [7% Slice] Very interesting [2% Slice] Fairly interesting [77% Slice] Not applicable


I enjoy the articles by Phiroz very much. He is unlike any other writer I have read. His knowledge of the Buddhist teaching is very deep and has strengthened my resolve and I’m sure the resolve of others.

The free subscription to the Newsletter is most helpful, especially to one on a very low income.

The Newsletter is really great! Please keep up the good work.

It would be of great value to have the catalogue of Phiroz’s talks categorised into subject matter.

Although I do not go to the meetings, the Newsletter is of inestimable value to keep in touch with Phiroz’s teachings.

I would be interested to read excerpts from some of the books that Phiroz Mehta himself found useful and drew inspiration from, if it was possible to find passages of a certain length.

I like the new format of the Newsletter and particularly the fact that the whole of a Phiroz Mehta talk is given in each edition.

Could we perhaps have a ‘chat page’? Many of us who were so very privileged to sit at Phiroz’s feet for years must have many memories of him to share with readers.

The ‘new look’ Newsletter is a definite improvement in design layout — nicer to read in fact. The subject contents although varied, may require a less serious tone and be more light-hearted on some occasions — humour is also a part of daily life too. One issue in four may be ideal, if possible.

The Newsletter is excellent. I appreciate its un-glossiness in this glossy world.

Would a ‘letters’ section included in the Newsletter perhaps encourage the contribution of views and opinions of others?

I am grateful to receive the Newsletter. I thought issue 37 particularly impressive. My thanks to all those who helped to produce it!


Tim Surtell
Website Developer and Archivist

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