San Francisco Buddhist Center Teacher Agreements

San Francisco Buddhist Center

Teacher Agreements

Approved April 2019

For the purposes of these agreements, the term “teachers” includes: all people in teaching, leadership, or support roles at the Center, Dharmadhara, and SFBC-sponsored events

Teachers commit to follow and exemplify the 5 Precepts and the SFBC Ethical Guidelines, and our Mission, Vision and Values, including our statement on Equity, Diversity, Justice and Inclusion (EDJI)

Teachers who are order members are further committed to the 10 precepts they undertake at ordination.

Teachers do not exploit others in their role as teachers, and they do not misuse persons they are teaching for financial or other personal gain. Teachers do not solicit private business while teaching or leading, including for paid dharma or meditation instruction. 

Teachers who handle money, property or other resources for the SFBC take care of them and avoid their deliberate misuse or misappropriation.

Teachers understand that students and other sangha members have diverse personal histories and may have vulnerabilities that are not apparent, and teachers therefore communicate with care and sensitivity.

Teachers agree to follow the SFBC pronoun sharing policy.

Teachers agree to specific limitations on sexual and romantic involvement with those they teach and others new to Buddhism and/or the SFBC. 

  1. Teachers refrain from sharing amorous or sexual feelings, flirting or suggestive language, and intimations of future romantic and sexual relationships, most especially during retreats and formal teaching.
  2. A teacher will not enter into a sexual or romantic relationship with a person for whom they are a primary contact nor with a person who is in a course or retreat the teacher is leading.
  3. A teacher will not enter into a relationship with such a person until and unless that person has formed other relationships and points of contact in the sangha.
  4. Additionally, a teacher in the local Order who wishes to enter a relationship with someone new to the center (less than 1 year) will discuss this openly with other Order members and will inform the SFBC council should any relationship develop.
  5. Visiting teachers agree to refrain from any sexual or romantic involvement with local students for the duration of their visit.

Teachers familiarize themselves with these agreements. A teacher who observes a significant breach of these agreements will report it to a member of the SFBC Council. Teachers understand that the SFBC Council takes violations of the teacher agreements very seriously. 

Members of the Council and Teaching Kula acknowledge the importance of vaccinations and agree to stay up-to-date with vaccinations and boosters as currently recommended. Others in teaching or support roles are strongly encouraged to do the same.

Teachers with questions or concerns about these agreements will speak to someone on the council.