The Buddhist Precepts are a cornerstone of the Teaching of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, and an integral part of our practice. We aspire to perfect our understanding and expression of the Precepts for the benefit of ourselves and others, and we endeavor to maintain Preceptual and ethical conduct within our temples and meditation groups. We undertake this aspiration, not as perfected beings, but as fallible people practicing side by side with others. When doing so, we try to have the same sympathetic tolerance for the humanity of others that we hope is extended towards ourselves. Within this framework we hope will grow mutual respect, and the appreciation of the fact that the potential for Buddhahood exists within everyone.
The primary purpose for which one practices meditation is to effect change and transformation within oneself. Success requires a considerable amount of focus on one’s own thinking and actions, and a willingness to not be quick in finding fault with others. However, this should not translate into the abandonment of personal responsibility or becoming blind to unethical behavior.
Even among those with goodwill and common goals there can arise misunderstanding, conflict, and the causing of harm. We are not immune from falling short in these areas, and we continue to evolve proportionate means by which grievances can be received and resolved. In all cases the wish is to seek the resolution of any problem that has arisen, and to do so in a way that will help all involved, and maintain as much as possible the ethical integrity as well as the harmony of the Sangha.
The rules of the Order describe the means by which someone can raise a formal complaint in the case of possible serious ethical misconduct. They also include the procedures for having such a complaint looked into initially by a special commission, and for having it examined more formally if the commission recommends it, or if the initial findings are appealed. Most matters are resolved in less formal ways. More often than not, sincere practitioners sitting down with one another and having an honest discussion will go far in resolving an issue. Such discussions allow differing points of view to be heard and appreciated, and give opportunities for apologies to be offered and accepted. Sometimes having a neutral third party present can help
If, however, you have a concern, and such informal methods are unsuccessful, or not fitting the circumstances, please feel free to discuss it with the priest of your temple or any other OBC temple, or any senior priest or lay minister of the Order. Temple contact information can be found on this page on our website. If you feel the matter is of a more serious nature, or if your concern remains unresolved, you may contact anyone listed at the links below. They will receive your concern and convey it to those who have the responsibility of making sure it is heard and looked into. The Head of the Order may be contacted at any time about any matter with the information on this page.