The new Rigpa Code of Conduct is now signed off by all the Rigpa Boards and is in the process of being implemented.
The collaborative process of defining and articulating our community’s ethics and values took almost 12 months. Looking back, I see how important it was for our multicultural, diverse organisation to take its time and not to rush. The workshops, meetings, consultations and seemingly endless refining had the side effect of unifying our diverse organisation.
I’m looking forward to being part of the team implementing the Code because it genuinely reflects our ethical values. As one person wrote when they received it “I had so much resistance to a Code of Conduct, but with this version I am happy”.
The Code applies to everyone, including Vajrayana and Dzogchen teachers
The first part of the Code of Conduct is deliberately short and uses plain, secular language so that anyone who comes into contact with Rigpa can easily read and understand it. It applies to everyone without exception, including non-members, role holders, instructors, teachers and visiting teachers.
The second part is the ‘Rigpa Shared Values & Guidelines’. This part of the Code elaborates more deeply and from a Buddhist perspective, for those who are already on the Buddhist path. It compliments the Code and sets out additional guidelines for Rigpa members and anyone with a role in the activities associated with Rigpa. It uses Buddhist terminology and invites personal reflection. It will be an essential reference point for the members of the Rigpa community and for those who are invited to teach in Rigpa. It might also be interesting for other Buddhist groups to see how Rigpa is dealing with topical issues such as the relationship between a student and teacher.
The Grievance Procedure Guidelines will be published soon
In addition to the Code and Shared Values and Guidelines, a grievance procedure has been developed that is easy to use. It has options for resolving conflicts, receiving formal complaints and making recommendations on misconduct to boards and national teams. The ultimate arbiter will be a neutral international panel. The grievance procedure will be announced once we have received the results of the investigation report, as this may include additional recommendations to implement.