Join Rick Archer, Jac O’Keeffe, Craig Holliday and Caverly Morgan as they discuss the ethics of teacher-student romantic relationships together while at the Science and Nonduality Conference (SAND) October 26, 2018.
This lively discussion took place the day before the group presented at the SAND conference to introduce the Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers. Below is a summary of the discussion as written and posted by Rick Archer on his website, Buddha at the Gas Pump: Panel Discussions on Ethics and Spiritual Teaching. Watch the video below, and your comments are welcome!
- The Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers does not have a moralistic, judgmental orientation. It’s a community endeavor. We don’t agree among ourselves on certain points. We’re trying to balance our subjective perspectives with standards that fit our contemporary culture.
- A key point of disagreement is the issue of teacher-student romantic/sexual relationships. None of us are rigid or adamant in our opinions.We’re trying to work it out.
- There are exceptions to every generality. In graduate school, psychotherapists are taught that it will never be appropriate for therapists and their clients to become partners.
- Relationships tend to be the most challenging aspect of people’s lives. These challenges shouldn’t bleed into a teacher’s teaching activities.
- When a teacher/student or therapist/client relationship transitions into romantic involvement, the potential for growth is undermined.
- Sometimes “divine compulsion” arises in your spiritual path, shattering your conception of appropriate behavior.
- The problem with teachers who haven’t transcended desire and explored their own shadow.
- There can be a huge disparity between the apparent enlightenment of a teacher and their behavior.
- Isolation and being closed to constructive criticism can be very dangerous for a teacher.
- If a teacher doesn’t have friends other than his students, he might want to ask why. If he doesn’t have regular relationships and is always on a pedestal, he won’t get real-world feedback.
- The culture is changing anyway. We’re just trying to give voice to values that are becoming lively in collective consciousness.
- There can be a lot of practice involved in having your actions be a reflection of your deepest understanding.