Ethics for Formal Relational Meditation Practice

In order to create a safe and wholesome environment that supports the greatest benefit for all practitioners, we apply the five ethical trainings to Insight Dialogue retreats and all formal relational practice, whether in-person or online.

1. Refrain from taking life: Reverence for Life

We aspire to honor the life unfolding in ourselves, our sangha, and other living beings. We hold awareness of and regard for all practitioners and the diverse ways life manifests in each of us due to conditioning of class, ethnicity, race, culture, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical ability, etc. We express ourselves authentically and are open to hearing the impact of our words and actions, especially on those whose experiences may have been marginalized. In this way, we fully support and do not diminish the life of others.

2. Refrain from taking what is not given: Equitable Sharing

We honor the time and energy of the teaching community and our fellow practitioners during Insight Dialogue practice by offering our full presence and participation. Using an economy of words, we allow a generosity of time and space for others to be present. We fully respect the belongings of others and the resources of the host or retreat center. 

3. Refrain from sensual misconduct: Integrity in Sexual Behavior

It is natural to feel attracted, repelled, or neutral towards another human being. Because these feelings can be powerful, we cultivate vigilance and refrain from speech or action intended to manipulate, control, or influence a fellow practitioner. During formal practice, we do not express romantic or sexual thoughts or feelings towards others.

4. Refrain from harmful speech: Ethical Communication

The Insight Dialogue guidelines of Listen Deeply and Speak the Truth form the foundation of ethical communication. We tell only our own truth, not the experience of others. 

It is our intention to be forthcoming and honest when beneficial, and refrain from speaking when harmful.  We speak with care, aware of how our own personal and cultural conditioning shapes our expression. We aspire to foster an environment of safety and inclusion that encourages open dialogue, even when discomfort arises, and recognize that engaging in difficult conversations can be a source of learning and awakening for the community.

5. Refrain from actions that dull the mind: Conscious Consumption

As much as possible, we take care that body and mind are rested, alert, and in a state to be fully present. We refrain from engaging in digital distractions during formal practice. We avoid using any substance in a way that interferes with mindful awareness or reduces our capacity to be present with our fellow practitioners.