Course Oct 14 – Nov 15, 2024

Healthy Boundaries for Buddhist Leaders

Instructors: Jan – Chozen – Bays, Michel – Plein Ciel – Oltheten.

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

  • October 14, 2024
  • October 21, 2024
  • October 28, 2024
  • November 4, 2024
  • November 15, 2024

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 CET)

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

Fees and Registration

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.