In 2002 Marilynne Chöphel consulted with SkyDancing Tantra regarding curriculum development for teacher training, and researched and co-wrote with Margot Anand the SkyDancing Tantra Ethical Standards & Guidelines to preserve and uphold the highest level of integrity for teaching and practice.
"As professional facilitators and teachers of SkyDancing Tantra, we value the following ethical standards as necessary to preserve and uphold the highest level of integrity for the teaching and practice of SkyDancing Tantra.
Professional and Personal Standards
- Integrity. We understand and appreciate that Tantra is an ancient system passed on through a heritage of esteemed teachers, and that teaching SkyDancing Tantra is an honor that aligns us with the integrity of that heritage. Accordingly, we embrace the ideals of truthfulness, respect, compassion, and self-responsibility.
- Competence. We are committed to maintaining impeccable standards of professional competence and behavior. As such, we are dedicated to the continuing study and practice of Tantra, in particular the theoretical and practical aspects of SkyDancing Tantra that we teach to others. We also recognize that our competence has limits, and therefore will appropriately represent those limits to our students. When our level of competence does not meet our students' best interests, we will refer them to better-qualified sources. We will also abstain from giving medical or psychological advice, or any advice outside the realm of our expertise, unless we are qualified or trained to do so.
- Personal Health. We are committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, and avoiding actions that cause harm to our body or consciousness. If chemical dependence, organic illness, or mental illness interferes with our judgment to the degree that our students' well-being may be in jeopardy, we will refrain from teaching until we consult the guidance of a trained professional. Should we abuse or become addicted to drugs or alcohol, we will refrain from teaching until we are free from such abuse, taking personal responsibility to prevent reoccurrence.
- Truthfulness. We are committed to cultivating truthful and loving speech, and therefore accurately represent our education, training, and experience relevant to SkyDancing Tantra. We will not represent ourselves as SkyDancing Tantra Professional Facilitators or Certified SkyDancing Tantra Teachers unless and until recognized and authorized to do so. All of our communications, advertising, and promotions cite factual, honest, and accurate information about our credentials, training, affiliations, experience, and skills.
- Equality. We are open to instructing all students regardless of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and social or financial status. We are willing to accept students with physical disabilities, providing we have the skill to teach those students properly.
- Respect for Others. We respect other Tantra and spiritual teachers, schools, and traditions. When we make any comments or give constructive criticism about others, we do so in fairness and with appropriate regard for the facts.
The Teacher – Student Relationship
- Trust. We are committed to promoting the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of our students. We make every effort to encourage and support our students' personal freedom and self-responsibility, and avoid exploiting their trust and potential dependency.
- Respect. We treat our students with respect, including our students' expressed boundaries and needs. We appreciate the fact that every individual is entitled to his or her worldview, ideas, and beliefs, and never force our own opinions on students.
- Boundaries. We are always mindful that students may be vulnerable and in need of guidance and direction; they may not be clear about their own physical and emotional boundaries; and that virtually every professional situation requires us to make judgments about propriety. Therefore, we carefully define our working boundaries with students, listen to their requests and needs, and then mindfully choose the most appropriate action that is in their best interests. We also accept responsibility for the consequences of our actions, by omission or commission, and make reasonable efforts to ensure that all services offered are appropriate, adequate, and not in excess of the needs of the student.
- Responsible Relationship. We take responsibility for facilitating and protecting the safety and integrity of our students' learning experience. We recognize that a sexual relationship is not appropriate between teachers and students, and we avoid hands-on teaching of a sexual nature with a student. We do not invite, project, respond to, or participate in any romantic or sexual relationship with our students during any workshop, private session, or extended training (e.g., a 3-part, year-long training program), and for a period of at least two months before or after. We also recognize the advisability of consulting with our Facilitator/Teacher colleagues on potential or problematic issues concerning relationships with students and former students.
Welfare of Students
- Intention. We clarify from the onset of professional contact with a student or a potential student the goals and objectives of the student and the exact nature of the services being offered. We openly discuss any financial issues and payment obligations of the student, prior to services being offered.
- Appropriateness. We always strive to provide an appropriate learning experience based on the physical and emotional needs of our students, offering alternatives to those unable to participate in a given practice or exercise. For students under the age of 18, we are mindful that any sexually oriented teaching should be age-appropriate; we take responsibility for teaching to the student's level of maturity; and we advise minors to seek and maintain adult supervision and/or guidance whenever possible.
- Confidentiality. We treat all information received about a student as confidential, including the existence of a professional relationship with that student. We always protect each student's confidentiality during any workshop, group, or couples context. We only divulge private information about a student or prospective student to authorities should it be legally required -- disclosure is in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which we practice.
- Informed Consent. We always establish informed consent from our students before services are rendered. If appropriate, we obtain a signed release form. We also obtain a student's written informed consent before using any identifiable information for purposes of education, training, research, or publication.
- Conscious Completion. We always consciously terminate professional services with a student whenever it is reasonably evident, or should be evident, that the student is ready for completion, or will not sufficiently benefit from continued participation. If necessary or requested, we will recommend another professional resource and/or offer reasonable follow-up to further the best interest of our students.
Note: These Ethical Standards are not exhaustive, and the fact that a given conduct is not specifically covered by these Standards does not say anything about the ethical or unethical nature of that conduct. SkyDancing Tantra Professional Facilitators and Teachers always endeavor to respect and, to the best of their abilities, adhere to a traditional ethical code of conduct as well as to the law current in their city, state or country."
For more information or to contact Marilynne Chöphel:
(415) 492-1042 or email [email protected].