Safe Spaces Policy
If we are really Dzogchen practitioners & members of a Vajra-family we are already bound to certain standards of behaviour towards one another by our samaya. If we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation & we recognise that we are not in the state of instant presence then we should at least make every attempt to remain compassionate, considerate & respectful to others.
Beyond this clear need, often reiterated to us by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and recognising that sometimes non-members of the community may be present at our events, we must make it clear that we aim to provide a safe, welcoming space for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion.
Harassment of participants in any form will not be tolerated. Anyone violating these rules may be sanctioned or banned from future events by the Gakyil or the event organisers. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination, or which deprive others of their dignity or humanity, on the basis of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion;
- deliberate intimidation, stalking or following;
- photography or recording without the consent of the subject;
- sustained disruption of talks or other events;
- inappropriate physical contact;
- unwelcome sexual attention;
- advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviours.
Dealing with inappropriate behaviour
Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in abusive behaviour, event organizers retain the right to take actions to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender and/ or expulsion from the event or meeting.
We expect participants to follow these rules at all community events and interactions, in person or online.
If a participant is being abused or harassed, notices that someone else is being subjected to this or has any other relevant concerns, they are encouraged to contact a Gakyil member or event organiser immediately.
There is no point in claiming to hold a safe and welcoming space if there are no sanctions we can use against those who violate it. In The Fundamental Principles of the Dzogchen Community, part 15, The Members of the Dzogchen Community, Rinpoche says that the Gakyil can withdraw membership of the community from repeated and unrepentant offenders who do not behave correctly.