As Buddhist practitioners and Sangha members, we are committed to living an ethical life. Central to this vow is providing a safe haven for individuals to explore the true nature of existence in an environment of kindness, compassion, and respect for all—regardless of race, class, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, and other forms of cultural identity.
The following guidelines are based on the Five Buddhist Precepts of moral behavior.
- I undertake the training principle of abstention from harming living beings.
Activities at the Dharma Center support the awakening of the individual, for the benefit of all beings, in a manner appropriate to each person. In all our dealings with one another, we recognize and honor differences and aspire to behave in a spirit of loving-kindness.
Within our community, individuals in positions of trust commit to not misuse their trusted position or authority (real or perceived) for their own benefit or to influence others inappropriately.
To minimize harm to living beings, physical violence and strong expressions of anger have no place among us.
We will work within our community, and with other like-minded groups, to reduce and minimize our impact on the environment, locally and internationally. All events at The Dharma Center are vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
- I undertake the training principle of abstention from taking the not given.
We offer the Buddha’s teachings in the spirit of generosity, making them accessible to all, regardless of financial circumstances.
We aspire to express generosity by caring for our community and those who work and practice here by supporting those seeking to further their practice, regardless of their ability to pay.
Those who handle money, property or other resources for the Dharma Center commit to do so responsibly and avoid their deliberate misuse or misappropriation. The Board will investigate any suspected misuse and take appropriate action.
- I undertake the training principle of abstention from sexual misconduct.
The Dharma Center Sangha is a community of people practicing the Buddha’s teachings together, with a strong emphasis on spiritual friendship. Close relationships can develop, including sexual relationships between members of our community. All members of our community are encouraged to conduct their sexual relationships ethically, with awareness, kindness, and respect.
To maintain an atmosphere of stillness, simplicity, and contentment, we take responsibility for the potential impact of sexual and romantic comments or overtures.
People in teaching roles, or otherwise helping to lead center activities, have a particular responsibility in this regard. Anyone teaching at the Dharma Center agrees to specific limitations on sexual and romantic involvement with those they teach. These include prohibitions on relationships with people for whom they are the primary teacher or point of contact. Further, visiting teachers agree to refrain from any sexual or romantic involvement with local students. We take violations of this guideline very seriously.
Anyone who feels they have received unwanted, uncomfortable, or inappropriate romantic attention from a teacher, other leader, or community member at the Buddhist Dharma Center is invited to contact any member of the Board either directly or through another person.
- I undertake the training principle of abstention from harmful speech.
In all our interactions, we are committed to truthful, meaningful, helpful, and harmonious communication. We recognize that this may be expressed very differently across cultures and communities.
We aim to cultivate an atmosphere of friendliness, co-operation and trust. When discussing others, we commit to sharing information carefully, motivated by desire for the wellbeing and spiritual progress of those we discuss. Community members agree to not share information about others without permission. We respect each other’s confidences.
- I undertake the training principle of abstention from intoxication.
The Dharma Center provides support for the development of wisdom and compassion through deepening awareness.
We seek to provide supportive environments for those wishing to live without intoxicants. We will not serve alcohol or other intoxicants, and we ask that people not participate in events at the center while under the influence of recreational drugs or alcohol.
If you have any concerns related to these guidelines, please contact any member of the Board. Ultimately, each individual is responsible for his/her/their own actions.