The activities of the Secular Buddhist Association are extensions of the dharma practice of its volunteers and board members. Therefore, in participating in the SBA we will strive to conduct ourselves with equanimity, kindness, compassion and sympathetic joy in all our words and deeds.
We hold the intention to harm no one, physically, mentally, or emotionally, either by word or deed. We intend to be mindful of how our actions and speech may cause others to feel unwelcome or unvalued, and of how actions taken out of covetousness, fear or anger create an atmosphere in which awakening is hindered.
We intend never to take what is not freely given. We intend to conduct the financial transactions of the SBA with the greatest possible honesty, integrity and transparency, and to use any contributions to further the work of the SBA, and never for the private gain of any individual. As volunteers, we will treat one another fairly, and strive never to exploit anyone. We intend to be mindful of how our actions may inflict exploitive patterns of power on others, especially those based in gender, race, sexual preference, religion, and political beliefs.
Mindful of how sexual misconduct corrodes the trust we should have in one another as dharma sisters and brothers, we intend to avoid any activity under the auspices of the SBA that causes the sexual exploitation of anyone, that leads to conflicts of interest, that makes anyone feel shamed or unvalued, or that may create the appearance of impropriety.
Mindful of the influence of our words on ourselves and others, we intend to always speak what is true and what contributes to our own awakening and that of others. SBA board members and volunteers should avoid non-constructive criticism, gossip and slander regarding each other and be aware that even speaking the truth, if done at the wrong time or with an unskillful intention, can harm others. We will always report the activities of the SBA with the greatest possible honesty and integrity.
Clarity of Mind
We are mindful of the way that greed, anger, hatred, fear, desire, and other unskillful mind states can cloud our judgement and lead us to violate our skillful intentions. Board members and volunteers under the auspices of the SBA should strive to avoid promoting unskillful mind states in others through the use of inflammatory rhetoric and tactics, and should take care to speak and act from a state of equanimity and compassion to the greatest possible extent.
It is the responsibility of the SBA Board of Directors to lead the organization in the fulfillment of these intentions. Anyone who is aware that an SBA board member or volunteer has violated one of these intentions should report it to any member of the SBA Board of Directors promptly. That member, working in concert with the board as appropriate, shall cause the violation to be investigated and dealt with promptly and appropriately. No one shall suffer retaliation for reporting a violation of these intentions. If appropriate, violations may result in a warning or in suspension or revocation of the individual’s participation in SBA activities. If any SBA board member becomes aware of illegal activity conducted under the auspices of the SBA, they should cause it to be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authority promptly.