Ethical Guidelines & Governance

Ethical Guidelines

The Vishrant Buddhist Society is a community based on trust, harmony, and respect. Sangha members are expected to interact with one another in a manner that upholds the Precepts. The following behaviours are not permissible for any Sangha member, program attendee, or visitor at Restful Waters.

  • Any willful removal or damaging of property, or theft of funds.
  • Withholding or falsely reporting any income generated by Restful Waters.
  • Threatening, abusive or obscene behaviour.
  • Disrespectful or preferential treatment towards anyone on the basis of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, physical disability, income or national origin.
  • Willfully causing injury, whether physical or psychological.
  • Any type of illegal drug use, possession, or sale; any use of legal drugs not in accordance with a physician’s express instructions; driving any motor vehicle or watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or any other drug.
  • Possession of any firearms or other weapons. No hunting or fishing is allowed at Restful Waters.
  • Misrepresenting personal information requested for any program at Restful Waters.
  • Engaging in any type of unlawful activity.
  • Sexual harassment or misconduct, defined as any single act or multiple persistent acts of physical or verbal conduct that is/are sexual in nature; unwelcome or offensive behaviour in the view of the receiver of such attentions.

Violation of the Precepts and Guidelines will be adjudicated by The Vishrant Buddhist Society Board of Directors, as appropriate.

Governance:

  1. If any Sangha member, participant or guest has concerns about how he or she is being treated by another or has concerns about someone’s ethical conduct within the community, he or she may choose to have a direct conversation with that person to address the concerns, provide feedback and reach an agreement about needed changes.
  2. However, if the concerned Sangha member, participant or guest does not feel safe to speak directly with the source of concern, feels the complaint is sufficiently egregious, or if he or she has spoken with that person and does not believe the concerns have been addressed, he or she is encouraged to actively pursue the following process: The Vishrant Buddhist Society’s Board of Directors will designate an ethics committee consisting of three persons to hear, oversee and resolve issues of interpersonal behavior or ethics. Anyone having concerns will be directed to contact someone on this committee.
  3. A complainant may choose one of the following ways to submit a formal complaint. A written complaint can be submitted by the complainant to the board or developed with the assistance of the committee. Or a formal complaint can be made directly with the accused during a dialogue arranged and attended by at least two members of the committee, one of whom will take notes. In the case of a written complaint, after a review by the full committee, it will be shared with the accused so that he or she can make a written response to the committee. After the written response is reviewed, the committee will share it with the complainant and ask for any additional comment.
  4. The committee is authorised to review and investigate the complaint. The committee will retain all notes and correspondence associated with a given complaint for at least ten years.
  5. If the complaint is judged by the committee not to meet the level of plausible illegal activity or egregious conduct, the committee will, at the request of the complainant, arrange a facilitated session with the concerned party for the purpose of achieving understanding.
  6. If, after consideration, a majority of the committee agrees that a reasonable person would likely judge the conduct under investigation as illegal activity or egregious, it will be brought to the attention of the full Vishrant Buddhist Society’s board of Directors for prompt consideration and response. If a member or ex officio member of the board is accused in the complaint then that member’s voting rights associated with Board membership will be suspended during the period the complaint is investigated and he or she will be excluded from attending any meeting related to the complaint.
  7. Disciplinary action by the Board of Directors may include expulsion, discharge, suspension, probation and/or exclusion from future practice and events associated with the Restful Waters. Any egregious activity that is also thought to be illegal will be turned over to the police for investigation.

If you are reading this and have concerns or are aware of ethical matters that need to be addressed, please email your written communication to info@restfulwaters.org. The current members of the Vishrant Buddhist Society Board of Directors are: Acarya Prem Dakini, Ajahan Reverend Prem Tao and Ajahan Prem Ariel.