Ethical conduct is the foundation for Buddhist practice of meditative cultivation and developing discernment or wisdom. Ethics has also been my focal area of study since the early 2000s in college. In my classes I always talk about the importance of ethics as a basis for developing mindfulness. I know that some people hold an aversion to the term, due perhaps to a societal history of empty moralizing by people in positions of power (the old, 'do as I say, not as I do'). Nonetheless, our actions in everyday life are important: mine for my mindfulness and ability to teach clearly, and yours for your practice to be successful.
Below are the ethical guidelines attached to my meditation teacher certification. I take these guidelines to be necessary, though not sufficient, in my teaching practice. That is, I strive to go beyond them with further guidelines including:
- Teach with honesty and integrity (e.g. saying "I don't know" when I don't know)
- Continuously develop my own ethical sensibility through conversations with fellow teachers, mentors, and students
- Offer help when possible to those in need
- Being mindful of Shinzen Young's 80/20 rule with complaints. 80% might have more to do with them, but 20% likely hit home and a pattern will emerge if we take the time to take criticisms seriously.
Aura Meditation Teacher
Aura Meditation Teachers are trained to live and teach wisdom, compassion for all beings, and ethical conduct. Aura Meditation Teachers are expected to lead by example and live a life that models the way to health, happiness and wholeness for their students. Aura Meditation Teachers are taught to understand the interconnected nature of life, to respect the dignity of all people, and to teach for the benefit of all beings. The Body wise ethical Code is that of ahimsa, or ‘non-harming’.
Aura Meditation Teachers are specifically required to:
- Teach with kindness and gentleness
- Maintain respect at all times for the integrity of the student.
- Maintain the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct.
- Realize that meditation students are vulnerable when practicing.
- Solve conflicts with respect for all.
- Refrain from discrimination on the basis of gender, age, race, religion, color, nationality, disability, or sexual preference.
- Touch students only for the purposes of asana education, healing massage, or comfort, and to avoid all forms of touch that would be emotionally or sexually invasive.
The failure of an Aura Meditation Teacher or an Aura Meditation Intern to comply with these ethical guidelines will result in either a reprimand, the loss of their certification as an Aura Meditation Teacher, or permanent dismissal with no chance of reinstatement, depending upon the severity of the infraction. To be reinstated you are required to wait 1 year, to present proof of 40 hours of professional counseling, and to attend 20 hours of Meditation Teacher Training in Methods, Ethics, and Philosophy at our facility.
l have read the above ethics agreement and will follow the guidelines.