Ethical Guidelines and Safeguarding Policies

We take the safety and well-being of all people coming along to the Buddhist Centre very seriously - the first ethical precept for Buddhists is to cultivate loving-kindness (or metta in Pali), and to avoid harming living beings. We have ethical guidelines for people who are in a teaching role or leading Triratna activities - the full text of these is copied below..

We have policies on Child Protection and Adults with Safeguarding Needs, and Codes of Conduct for people on the Teaching Team - copies are available in the Centre, or contact Saravantu@gmail.com.

Many, many thanks to Annette, one of our volunteers, who has put lots of energy and love into the implementation of these policies, including organising and delivering awareness-raising sessions for our Teaching Team and others in the Shrewsbury Sangha.

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If you are concerned about a child ...


If it’s an emergency, call the police on 999


If you’re concerned but it’s not an emergency: 


Seek advice from the Buddhist Centre’s Safeguarding Leads - Saravantu (female) on 07913 764480 

or Akasharaja (male) on 07528 369502


Shropshire Council has Children’s Safeguarding Services - First Point of Contact service (0345 678 9021) and an emergency out of hours service (0345 678 9040)



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If you are concerned about an adult ...


If you’re concerned about an adult who may be at risk of harm, encourage them to seek help. You can also seek advice from the Buddhist Centre’s Safeguarding Leads - Akasharaja (07528 369502) or Saravantu (07913 764480) 


If you know that the adult or others are at serious risk, call the police on 999 or Shropshire Council’s First Point of Contact (0345 678 9021) or their emergency out of hours service (0345 678 9040) for advice. 


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If you take action to safeguard a child or adult with a connection to the Buddhist Centre please let Akasharaja and Saravantu know.


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Ethical Guidelines 


These Guidelines are to be reviewed and updated regularly as circumstances and understanding develop.


The guidelines follow the framework of the Buddha’s five ethical precepts - widely known

throughout the Buddhist world - offering a general principle for each and one or two

specific applications.


The precepts can be applied to all areas of human behaviour. These guidelines are mainly

intended to offer guidance in one key area: where Order members, or other experienced

members of the Triratna community, are presenting and communicating Buddhist

principles to those who are new or less experienced, especially in public situations, where

a particular duty of care is owed.


1.

I undertake to abstain from harming living beings.

With deeds of loving-kindness I purify my body.


In principle all Triratna activities aim to support the awakening of the individual. In all our

dealings with one another we aspire to behave in a spirit of kindness, expressing

kalyanamitrata, which we translate as ‘spiritual friendship’.


Our spiritual community has been defined as a ‘free

association of individuals’. While respecting this principle, it is important that individuals in

positions of trust and authority as members of Triratna do not misuse their trusted position

or authority for their own benefit or to influence others inappropriately.


Wishing to minimise the harm we do to living beings, we affirm that physical violence and

strong expressions of anger have no place among us.


We will work within our community, and with other like-minded groups, to reduce and

minimise our impact on the environmental, locally and internationally.


2.

I undertake to abstain from taking the not given.

With open-handed generosity, I purify my body.


We wish to offer the Buddha’s teachings in a spirit of generosity, making them accessible

to all.


We aspire to express generosity by caring for our community and those who work and

practise within it, finding ways to support those who undertake particular responsibilities in

teaching and administration or serving as trustees or council members.


Those who handle money or property for a Triratna Buddhist centre or enterprise will take

care of them and avoid their deliberate misuse or misappropriation. If misuse is suspected,

we will investigate and take action promptly.


3

I undertake to abstain from sexual misconduct.

With stillness, simplicity and contentment I purify my body.


Triratna is a community of people practising the Buddha’s teachings together. As such it is

natural that close relationships should develop between us, and that some of these may

be sexual relationships.


We encourage all members of our community to conduct their sexual relationships

ethically, with awareness and kindness.


People in teaching roles or similar have a particular responsibility in this area, particularly

to those new to Triratna. We propose that they do not start a relationship while they are

the other person's main connection with Buddhism and Triratna, even when there is clear

mutual attraction and wish to enter into a relationship. Rather, we would ask them to wait

until the less experienced person has established other effective friendships within our

community.


We suggest that any proposed relationship between someone in a teaching role and a

less experienced person is discussed openly in an Order context. Usually this will mean

their chapter and/or their preceptor and kalyana mitras.


4

I undertake to abstain from false speech.

With truthful communication, I purify my speech.


At ordination, members of the Triratna Buddhist Order undertake ten training precepts, of

which four concern ethical communication. In all our dealings with those we teach we are

committed to truthful, meaningful, helpful and harmonious communication, written or

spoken.


We wish to create an atmosphere of friendliness, co-operation and trust. We will share

information carefully, motivated by desire for the wellbeing and spiritual progress of those

we discuss.


We encourage ethical reflection and disclosure in our community, but are careful to

emphasise that this happens in its own time and at its own pace.


We note that confession may offer no protection from the law, though this may differ from

country to country. Illegal activity disclosed in the context of confession may have to be

reported to the relevant authorities.


5

I undertake to abstain from intoxication.

With mindfulness clear and radiant I purify my mind.


The Triratna Buddhist Community aims to provide support for the development of wisdom

and compassion through deepening awareness.


We aspire to engage with our practice and with each other with as much mindfulness as

possible.


We aim to provide supportive environments for those wishing to live without intoxicants.

We will not serve alcohol or other intoxicants at Triratna Buddhist centres or events.



Sabbe satta sukhi hontu

May all beings be well and happy