of Buddhist Society (of Denmark)

The purpose of these guidelines is to create safe and transparent frameworks for our shared practice, so that we all take care of ensuring that the Buddhist Society can function. Ethical guidelines are skillful means that enable this practice to unfold with full trust in the Dharma.

A Buddhists 'behavior', ethics and morals, are based on the - in everything and everyone - inherent wisdom and compassion as experienced at 'awakening' ('enlightenment'). It is therefore expected that Sangha members, to the extend possible, live and function according to this, this unselfish openness, free from greed, anger and delusion.

This wisdom and compassion is reflected in the fundamental rules:
        Abstain from all evil
        Practice all that is good
        Purify your heart
        These are the eternal teachings of all Buddhas.

An enlightened person's life is expressed through the 'virtues', the so-called pāramitās which, according to some, can be translated into something like 'enlightened behavior' as pāra means 'the other side' (as in the Diamond Sutra) and mitā means' the one (that) which has arrived'.

The six (Mahāyāna) Paramitas are (Dāna, Śīla, Kṣānti, Vīrya, Dhyāna, Prajñā):
        Generosity, to cultivate an attitude of generosity. Drop self-fixation.
        Virtue, discipline. To avoid harm. Drop selfishness and dishonesty.
        Patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance. The ability not to be disturbed by anything.
        Energy, diligence, vigor, effort. Finding joy in what is virtuous, positive or healthy.
        Focused concentration, contemplation. Do not be distracted, rest in presence.
        Wisdom, insight. The perfect distinction of phenomena, all things knowable - as they actually are.

Practicing Buddhism, the Buddhist path, therefore means - actively, every moment - to strive to discover and live in accordance with these 'virtues'.

Especially for teachers and priests, there is no 'to the extent possible'. They are role models for humanity, and therefore should be particularly aware of the above- mentioned and consequences of unethical or hurtful thoughts, words and actions.

Besides this, it is a matter of course that the Sangha members comply with the laws of the country.

Any person who acts inappropriately (not in accordance with the above ethical guidelines) is expected to do everything possible to adjust their behavior in accordance with the precepts, as well as do whatever may be necessary to restore harmony in the sangha and mitigate the harmful effects.

Conflict resolution

Should there be a complaint from a member against another member regarding the above or anything else that creates disharmony in the sangha, it would be preferable for the parties involved to find a solution themselves. It is, of course, expected that all sangham members will work positively to restore harmony in the sangha.

If this is not possible, then the teacher (the priest, the zendol leader) must mediate.

If the latter is unable to impartially mediate, the complaint must then go higher up the hierarchy (to Roshi) or to the board.

If the conflict involves a Zendo leader, priest, teacher or the like, one addresses someone who is higher up in the hierarchy than the one involved. If there is a conflict involving Roshi (the abbot), contact the board.

If (one of) these can successfully solve the problem in a way that all parties can accept, then the situation is over.

If not, the victim will go to the community complaints committee, which will be set up as needed. This committee will be chaired by a teacher selected by the teachers. It will include at least two other persons, be of mixed gender, and include at least one non-teacher. This group will hear from all parties and try to mediate.

In certain difficult situations, the help of a professional conflict mediator can be sought. This may be where one of the parties does not feel comfortable with internal mediation, or in particularly important situations, for example where the abbot is involved.

If it fails to mediate, the committee will recommend an approach to the abbot of the community. This can range from a suggested apology to the other parties, apologies to the sangha as a whole, a remorse ritual (penance) or otherwise.

If the conflict has far-reaching consequences for the sangha, a sangha meeting can be convened where the parties will present the topics and views and we will jointly find a solution.

All parties to a dispute and its resolution shall sign a binding minutes of the proposed solution and follow-up meetings may be agreed upon to review this resolution.

A sangha member who deliberately and repeatedly does not act in accordance with the ethical guidelines, whether there has been a complaint or not, can not be considered a Buddhist, and will therefore be excluded from the Buddhist Society and deprived of any positions such as on the board. or as a priest or teacher. Should the person change his/her position, he/she is of course welcome to apply for admission again.