July 30, 2017

Teacher Code of Ethics

Natural Dharma Fellowship teachers recognize and seek to embody an ethics of non-harm and compassion as the foundation of spiritual life. NDF Core teachers sign a copy of this Code annually to affirm their commitment to its Precepts.

As NDF teachers, we agree to uphold the Five Lay Precepts, in the following form that is appropriate for our cultural setting.

  1. We agree to value and protect life. We will cultivate an ethics of care and refrain from killing and violence towards humans, animals and the natural world. We agree to refine our understanding of not killing and non-harming in all our actions. While some of us recommend vegetarianism, and others do not, we all commit ourselves to fulfilling this Precept in the spirit of reverence for life.
  2. We agree to refrain from stealing. We will not take what is not freely given, and will respect the property of others and the resources of the natural world. We agree not to misuse the financial offerings given to us or misappropriate funds intended for the Sangha.
  3. We agree to be honest and transparent. We recognize that secrecy and hiding are toxic behaviors in a community. We will refrain from gossip, and cultivate the quality of straightforwardness and loving-kindness as the basis of our speech. We agree to hold in confidence what is told to us in confidence in Dharma interviews and other teacher-student communications except where we believe imminent harm may be possible.
  4. We agree to avoid creating harm through sexuality and to refrain from using our teaching role to exploit our authority and position. We will honor the vows we have made to celibacy or to our partner or spouse.
  5. We agree to use restraint and moderation with regard to intoxicants.

NDF teachers accept the responsibility to support fellow teachers in upholding these Precepts. Accordingly, we will take appropriate action if we have knowledge of a fellow teacher potentially acting in a manner contrary to these Precepts. The Ethics Committee is available to discuss appropriate actions in particular situations, as needed.

Approved by Lama Willa Miller on June 21, 2017