As our sangha works together to create harmony and benefit and diminish harm and suffering, guidelines are needed to provide ethical clarity for all who practice in the MRO. In 2019 a committee of the board was formed with the goal of reexamining the past ethical guideline framework to bring it up to date and in alignment with the ways in which the MRO and our society are evolving to center equity, transparency and accountability. Religious training within the Sangha relies upon a profound commitment on the part of teachers and students to deeply study, realize and actualize the teachings of the Buddha. This requires that each person, while in training at any training center or affiliate within the MRO, practice in accord with the Buddhist Precepts, the Doshinji Code (Zen Mountain Monastery Rule) and the Karenji Code (Zen Center of New York City Rule). In addition, all monastics are expected to practice in accord with the MRO monastic vows. When this is done faithfully, the sangha dwells together in a way that is mutually supportive, trusting and peaceful.
The intention behind these guidelines is to create shared understanding about the responsibility entrusted to guests, provisional students, formal students, senior students, monastics, transmitted priests and teachers in the MRO because even in the context of spiritual training, issues or conflicts based in race, gender identity/expression, sexual identity, wealth and power arise and each person has varying levels of responsibility to the Sangha and the Dharma.
The following documents add context and detail to the guidelines and our processes.