The Oath Against Harm in the Practice of the Dharma allows people from across traditions to take a united stand for healthy and safe student-teacher relationships and practice environments. We may feel that we lack power individually to do much about abuse; yet we know the majority position against it is clear.
Arguments based on misunderstanding and misconstruing Buddhist concepts have been used to both justify abuse and to justify inaction in response to it. The Oath gives us the opportunity to cut through this with a simple and clear rejection of these views. It harnesses its power from being both a “no brainer” for the majority of Dharma practitioners and by expressing a view which is to the benefit of all and the detriment of none.
People who teach or have leadership roles will be invited to contemplate the Oath, and to consider taking it, if it resonates with their personal views and aspirations. Also, Dharma groups, organisations, and communities will be invited to endorse it at an organisational level if they feel that it is consistent their values, mission, and vision for the practice of the Dharma.
May we all come together, across countries and traditions, to affirm our values and to remind ourselves of what we practice for.