White Hall Meditation Code of Ethics for Teachers

White Hall Meditation (WHM) is committed to providing a supportive and nurturing environment for the study and practice of Insight Meditation and related Buddhist teachings of wisdom, compassion, and the cessation of suffering.   The Sangha meets weekly for meditation and instruction.  Teachers may also meet with small groups or one on one with members.  In all instances, we endeavor to use kindness, understanding and appropriate restraint in our communications and to avoid conduct that conflicts with the best interests of the sangha.

We undertake to practice the Five Precepts:

  1. to abstain from taking life;
  2. to abstain from taking what is not given;
  3. to abstain from sensuous misconduct;
  4. to abstain from false speech and
  5. to abstain from intoxicants as tending to cloud the mind.

By undertaking to practice the Five Precepts we define our ethical conduct individually as teachers and as part of the sangha.  In doing so we:

  1. acknowledge the power we have in a teaching position. We endeavor not to abuse our power and maintain awareness of the nuanced power dynamics.  We agree to be accountable to another teacher or member of the community when working with others.  And we will strive to treat each person with respect and dignity, without discrimination.
  1. offer our teachings on a contribution basis and are grateful for all donations. Along with the honor of receiving comes the responsibility of allowing others to give freely without coercion.
  1. agree to refrain from romantic or sexual relationships with students. We understand that any sexual or romantic contact with a student is potentially distracting and may possibly be harmful.  If a romantic relationship develops, we agree to seek support from the Ethics Committee understanding that the committee will develop an individual approach to each situation. We will speak honestly and fairly.  Our desire is to create an environment where people can share freely and expect what they share to be held with care and respect.
  1. agree to self-report and take responsibility for our intentions and actions. We are human and recognize that something may occur within the sangha that causes concern.  Strength results from being open about ignorance and misunderstandings in relationships within our community.  We favor dialogue over silence and where a conflict arises encourage people to talk directly with each other.  Where discussion is not fruitful, we will bring the issue to the attention of another teacher or the Ethics Committee.  We encourage reconciliation whenever possible.  If the situation warrants, the invitation to teach at WHM may be revoked or restricted.
  1. will refrain from abusing mind-altering substances in order to reduce recklessness and heedlessness. While participating at WHM, we will not be under the influence of intoxicants.

We adopt this Code of Ethics with the intention to learn from mistakes, express regrets and practice compassion and understanding for ourselves, and all beings who walk with us along this path.

Robert Hodge June 30, 2020
Laura Good June 30, 2020