It is our sincere intention to continually realign our lives in accord with the precepts. Persons who encounter inappropriate conduct from any member of the ZCO Sangha (or themselves practice such conduct) should be aware that these actions violate the spirit and practice of right conduct and seriously undermine the harmony of the Sangha. In the event of a concern arising in the Sangha, either by complaint or perception, the Sangha Harmony Committee (SHC), appointed by the ZCO Board of Directors, recommends the following sequence of actions to be taken.
The purpose of these steps is to facilitate communication and bring the problem to a resolution in as honest, simple and straightforward manner as possible. We acknowledge that there is no perfect solution to any problem between people, but we will endeavor to help all parties arrive at the best possible solution given the situation. If a person in the Sangha has a problem with an individual, teacher, board member, or entity within the Sangha, that person should work to resolve the problem by following these steps in order:
1. Meet with the person one-on-one and discuss the problem. If this does not bring a resolution, or if either person, using his or her individual judgment, does not wish to, or is too uncomfortable to meet one-on-one, that person should;
2. Ask for one mutually acceptable person from the Sangha Harmony Committee to witness and/or mediate the discussion of the problem. If that does not bring about a resolution, either party may;
3. Submit a written statement describing the problem to the Sangha Harmony Committee with a request that the SHC as a whole meet with the parties to assist or mediate the issue. If the problem still persists either party may;
4. Request a formal hearing by submitting in writing a grievance to the Committee. At a hearing, which shall be conducted by the SHC as a whole, either party may present his or her version of the dispute, call witnesses and ask questions of the other party or the witnesses. The members of the SHC may ask questions of either party and of the witnesses. A hearing will result in a formal recommendation by the SHC. Either party of the SHC itself may appeal to the ZCO Board of Directors for assistance;
5. After hearing from all parties and reviewing the recommendation of the SHC, the Board may issue a binding decision or, in its discretion, may contract with an outside mediator, or ask for help from other experts and professionals, including, but not limited to, groups such as the Dharma Rain Zen Center, White Plum Sangha, the Portland Dharma Umbrella, and the American Zen Teachers Association, or the One Drop Zen Centers.