Three Precepts of Ethical Teaching


Ethical teaching should be based on the Eightfold Path of Practice.

1. Wise Action – Do No Harm

Teaching with proper care and concern for the emotional and spiritual well-being of others. Teaching with care means paying attention to the emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of students. Always maintain an ethical perspective of communication and contact with others.

Never use our teaching position to exploit others in any way. We can run a profitable business incorporating the precept of right action. Right action promotes good karma.

Never teach competitively or use our position as teachers for self-aggrandizement. Put ego aside so that teaching comes first. Teaching is not a competition. Achieve at the exclusion of others. It is just the opposite; it is an opportunity to share. There is enough success for everyone to achieve.

“Teaching with care means paying attention to the emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of students”

2. Wise Intention – Intention and Attention

Maintaining a proper intention is paramount to true teaching. With pure intention, we can overcome any obstacle we may face as regards to our own limitations or the limitations of others. Proper intention covers a multitude of errors.

We can achieve a pure intention by giving full attention to those we work with, not focusing on ourselves but on the needs of others, those we are serving. Listening and reading between the lines is ethical teaching. Being a good listener will bring your meditation practice into your everyday life.

“When you know how to listen, everyone becomes your Guru” —Ram Das

Your disposition and attitudes reflect your intention. The human emotion spectrum is based in the elements of either love or fear. Your intentions create the reality you experience. Meditation aids us in shaping and defining our intentions; this is the source of what we call self-reliant or authentic power.

An intention is not only a desire; it is the use of your will. If you're not aware of your intention, the strongest desire will prevail. That’s why it’s so important to self-examine our intentions when we take on the responsibility of teaching others. We set the right intention and then work in harmony with that intention. Intention gives impetus to attention; attention to how were conducting ourselves and then treating others.

“If you're not aware of your intention, the strongest desire will prevail. That’s why it’s so important to self-examine our intentions when we take on the responsibility of teaching others.”

3. Wise Livelihood – Wise Effort – Serving with Humility

Enter each life endeavour with as much humility as possible. With proper intention comes authentic power which leads to true humility. To teach is to serve and true service to others must be based in humility.

Effective teachers are true students. Never stop being students. Always willing to learn from others and always willing to share with others.

Teaching with humility means always being open to the feelings and the needs of those around us. Teaching from the soul or spirit, not the ego.

Meditation practice enables us to realize our soul consciousness bringing our consciousness of the sacred into everyday life, into our teaching, making us dynamic, active and always evolving. Relying on the consciousness of personality limits us. It is limited to sense awareness alone and is static. We are more than the five senses. We contain multitudes.

“Enter each life endeavour with as much humility as possible.”

About the author: Donald Francis is a meditation teacher and freelance writer. Incorporates art, music, poetry and literature into his teaching and makes meditation interesting and relevant to everyone. He lives in London, England.

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Sangha Without Borders is currently physically located in London, UK