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Karuna Talk Guidelines for Members

Many of the discussions on Karuna Talk have focused on how we might best communicate with each other.  These conversations have included:  1) the qualities of a caring person; 2) confidentiality and trust; and 3) how and when to offer advice. Following is a summary of these topics.  By subscribing and participating in Karuna Talk, members are asked to reflect on and hold to these principles when communicating with each other. 

The Qualities of a Caring Person
A caring person is willing:
  1. to experience another person's suffering
  2. to feel and fully acknowledge one’s own pain
  3. to listen without judgment
  4. to be spacious (respect the other person's experience and not rush in to fix the problem or give advice)
  5. to "hold one's seat" - not become overwhelmed by the other person's experience
  6. to be warm, friendly, ordinary and genuinely interested in the other person
  7. to be uncompromisingly honest
  8. to cultivate a sense of humour, playfulness and lack of self-consciousness
  9. to be inconvenienced, slowed down, and to put the other person's interests or priorities first
  10. to ask for help from others
  11. to trust oneself and discriminate between idiot and genuine compassion
  12. to risk making mistakes
  13. to continue to learn to help others
These are the same as the qualities of a friend and are present in our approach to meditation practice, in how we "make friends with ourselves." A caring person is able to care for others because she cares for herself in exactly the same way.  Mindfulness awareness practice is caring for our body, speech and mind.

Trust and Confidentiality
At this time, Karuna Talk is accessible to all members of the Shambhala Buddhist community.  Given the focus of the group, members of Karuna Talk are often sharing very personal and vulnerable experiences, and opening up in this way requires bravery and generosity.  For others to share in these conversations requires respect and appreciation. 

We endeavour to create an environment of mutual trust, openness and healing. As practitioners of mindfulness, we agree to avoid gossiping or creating any situation that would result in the stigmatization of another person.  It is understood that confidentiality will be respected at all times, and that any messages posted on Karuna Talk will not be shared with non-members. 

Offering Advice
When offering advice on Karuna Talk, it is understood that:
  • it is best that advice only be offered when asked for
  • those wishing to share advice will contact the person directly, not the entire group
  • it be left to the discretion of the person receiving the advice to share with the group whatever has been valuable
  • confidentiality is always maintained unless sources of advice have willingly agreed to be named
  • as Karuna Talk members, health professionals may offer their suggestions (as stated above), but are asked not to market their services
These guidelines will evolve as Karuna Talk grows and develops.  Everyone is encouraged to help foster an environment where healing and spiritual growth can take place.  If you have any additional suggestions or revisions, please share them with Karuna Talk.
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