Course Jan 9 – Feb 10, 2023

Healthy Boundaries for Buddhist Leaders

Instructors: Roshi Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts, Patrick Bansho Green, Jitsujo Gauthier

Over the five weeks of the course, through forum discussions, weekly assignments, video curriculum and lectures, you will gain and share knowledge and resources needed to understand the fundamentals and best practices around healthy and appropriate boundaries in spiritual teacher/student relationship. These include the impact of appropriate vs. inappropriate boundaries in promoting effective teaching; the impact of misconduct on spiritual communities; and guidelines for developing appropriate boundaries and necessary self-care strategies.

Weekly feedback between the instructors and students, along with online discussions with fellow classmates, provides each student with an interactive and enriching learning environment.

Weekly Schedule:

Start new topicPost in online discussionRespond to 2 other postsWritten assignment due

Dates for online meetings (Zoom)

The course includes three live online group discussions with the instructors via Zoom. The online meetings will take place on

  • January 9, 2023
  • January 23, 2023
  • February 10, 2023

These online meetings each take 1.5 hours and start at 8:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time (11:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 17:30 CEST)

Who Should Take This Course?

This course was created for those in positions of leadership/authority and who act as spiritual teachers or advisors to people in their community.
You have received formal authorization or transmission in your Buddhist lineage to teach the Dharma;
You have students of your own and you teach independently; OR
You teach under the auspices of a senior/authorized teacher, (i.e. people look to you for spiritual guidance and education); OR
You hold a position of spiritual authority or leadership within your sangha/ community (i.e. you teach meditation, give practice advice, and Dharma talks).

Learning Objectives

As a result of this course, participants will:

  • Establish an informed and ethical foundation for an understanding of healthy boundaries
  • Understand the importance of an awareness of power and vulnerability within teaching relationships
  • Examine dating, friendships and dual relationships and the challenges therein
  • Examine transference and touch boundaries in teaching relationships
  • Consider best practices of responding to misconduct by spiritual teachers
  • Consider the importance of self-care and peer support as preventive measures

Please note that the topics in the course can be challenging, particularly for those who have experienced abuse or misconduct within their spiritual communities. We strongly recommend that all participants have a strong support system.

Course Structure

The course consists of an initial live session during Week I and then five consecutive weeks of sessions that can be viewed on-demand self-paced, and a final writing assignment:

  • Week I: Introduction; Boundary Violations
  • Week II: Power, Abuse of Power, Transference, and Vulnerability
  • Week III: Clergy Sexual Misconduct
  • Week IV: Impact on Victims and Sanghas
  • Week V: Prevention & Self-Care

Workload to be expected

Participants in the course should expect to spend a minimum of three hours per week, on reading and viewing the course material and written participation on the discussion forum and writing a weekly essay. This may increase especially if English is not their first or fluent language.

Additionally there is the participation in three 1.5 hour on-line discussions (through the Zoom Platform) at the start and end of the course and about half way through.


The fee for participation in this course is : $310.00 USD.

Registration refund Information: We will refund your registration fee if your plans change, however we require the following processing fees:

Two weeks before the start of class: $25 non-refundable administrative fee
Less than two weeks before the start of class: $125 non-refundable administrative fee
NOTE: If you are registering on behalf of someone else, please leave a message on the checkout page with the student’s name, email address, and contact information so they receive emails and the course books.

Scholarships may be available for those unable to pay the fee. When you register, please tick the appropriate check box should you require support.


Please click below to express your interest in joining the course. We will contact you soon regarding your request.