The foundation of Buddhist practice rests upon ethical guidelines (known as sīla). In Buddhist countries meditation teachers are usually monks or nuns who have committed themselves to living by the traditional code of ethical conduct. For Theravada monks this is governed by 227 training rules contained in the Vinaya, while for fully ordained nuns there are 311 training rules. In countries that do not have a traditional Buddhist culture (like Australia) meditation is often taught by lay teachers who are not necessarily committed to one of the traditional codes of conduct.The Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre recognises the importance of maintaining the tradition of ethical integrity for teachers of the Buddha Dhamma. In keeping with this understanding all teachers at the BMIMC:
- Have made a personal commitment to live in accordance with the Buddhist precepts. For lay teachers this means the five precepts of – refraining from killing¸ refraining from stealing, refraining from sexual misconduct, refraining from false or harsh speech, and refraining from intoxicants that cause heedlessness or loss of awareness.
- Are current meditation practitioners with at least 10 years experience in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw.
- Have undertaken to maintain confidentiality in relation to each student’s personal information.
- Offer their teachings at the Centre freely.