The Harmony, Ethics, and Reconciliation (HEAR) Committee has recently addressed several conflicts which arose between sangha members when one person hired another to do work that resulted in a series of misunderstandings, unclear and unspoken expectations, anger, and general distrust. These resembled situations in the past when sangha members engaged in arrangements with other sangha members that involved the exchange of work and money or rental arrangements.
Until now, the guidelines addressed professional relationships between helping professionals and other sangha members. The HEAR Committee felt there should be some strengthening of that guideline. The Committee also wanted to add that all business relationships among sangha members are potentially fraught and should only be entered mindfully.
Therefore, on the recommendation of the Committee, the BZC Board passed the following revision to section 3 of the BZC Ethics Guidelines, which deals with Sangha Relationships:
3.d. Professional or Business Relationships Among Members
Sangha members are discouraged from using the community as a source of business, contract work, or professional clients. BZC teachers and sangha members who work as physicians, psychotherapists, or attorneys should avoid entering into professional relationships with other sangha members.
Problems have sometimes arisen when one sangha member enters a business relationship with another member. All sangha members should be mindful of the delicate balance between worker and client and the complexity of these connections when both parties practice at the same dharma center.
A complete copy of the Ethics Guidelines can be found on the BZC web site. If you have questions or comments about the Ethics Guidelines or these revisions, please contact any Board member or the chair of the HEAR Committee, Stan Dewey (firstname.lastname@example.org).