Shantideva Center is committed to creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for all. To ensure a positive environment for everyone, we ask that all guests, staff, teachers, facilitators, and volunteers at Shantideva Center abide by our Code of Conduct while on the premises, online, or engaged in any other activity related to the center.
The five lay precepts are the grounding principles of conduct. These guidelines are practices that help calm our minds, live in harmony with all beings, and create positive karma:
- Respect life. Please do not physically harm any living being, including insects. Weapons of any kind are not permitted on the premises.
- Respect others’ property. Please do not take anything that hasn’t been freely given or is not meant for your use.
- Do not engage in sexual behavior. Although the lay precept concerns unwise and unkind sexual conduct, while at the Center please refrain from any sexual activity – including public displays of romantic affection and flirting. These behaviors distract the mind and could make others uncomfortable.
- Speak truthfully. Please be honest with your words.
- Do not use intoxicants: alcohol, recreational drugs, tobacco, or vapor. Although not all teachers consider tobacco and vapor to be intoxicants, they are not permitted on Shantideva Center grounds, including in changing rooms, bathrooms, and outside near the entry or steps.
We have additional guidelines to help co-create a conducive environment for learning, reflection, and meditation:
- Avoid disrupting a session. This includes speaking over a teacher/facilitator, excessive physical movement while seated, and getting up frequently. Please also refrain from wearing perfumes and be mindful of potential body odor, as sense awareness is heightened in this environment. If you are concerned about a medical condition that could hinder your ability to practice this guideline, please let your teacher/facilitator know in advance, to explore solutions together.
- Practice right speech. This includes speaking wisely, kindly, and at appropriate times. Please treat others with respect and courtesy and refrain from speech that could create a hostile environment. If you have a grievance, please refer to our Grievance Procedure.
- Respect personal boundaries. Please respect others’ physical space. Also be mindful of potential needs that others may have for silence or space, especially if they are not engaging in social activity.
- Be on time. This is especially important for sessions on our premises. Teachers/facilitators at their discretion may not admit late students into a session.
- Be mindful of food and drink. Food is not permitted in the meditation hall, unless it is part of an organized event. Only drinks in a tightly sealed container are permitted.
Shantideva Center’s staff, teachers, and facilitators are empowered to directly address issues related to our Code of Conduct. Interventions may include requests to modify behavior but could also include refusing admission or revoking attendance privilege. Shantideva Center may also report to law enforcement any issue that is serious enough to jeopardize others’ safety.
Thank you for helping to co-create a safe, welcoming space for all.