LSRF Code of Ethics

Love Serve Remember Foundation is dedicated to preserving and continuing the teachings of Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaji) and Ram Dass. The foundation carries on these teachings through online courses, blog content, films, podcasts, social network channels, and collaborative projects with artists and musicians.


Our Ethics Are Grounded in Maharaji’s Teachings:

Love Everyone, Serve Everyone, Tell the Truth, and Remember the Divine Unity of All Creation.  As Ram Dass taught, ethics emanate from the wisdom and compassion we develop by working on ourselves.


Love Everyone:  We aspire to —

  • respect the inherent dignity and value of each individual (or, as Maharaji said, see God in everyone).
  • avoid pre-judgment and acting from hidden biases.
  • act fairly, with kindness and compassion.
  • embrace diverse perspectives and backgrounds that enrich our knowledge and broaden our community.
  • see each other as fellow souls on the journey through life, as human and vulnerable as we ourselves are.

Serve Everyone: We aspire to—

  • relieve suffering through open-hearted and wise action.
  • act with integrity, to be consistently equitable, trustworthy, and respectful.
  • offer teachings and programs that have value for diverse groups.
  • not misuse a professional position or the resources of LSR.
  • refrain from inappropriate relations.
  • avoid conflict of interest.
  • reach the highest potential of those who serve and those who are served.

Tell the Truth: We commit to communication that is—

  • truthful
  • timely
  • necessary
  • beneficial
  • friendly, warm, gentle
  • respectful of necessary confidentiality and transparent when appropriate
  • and we agree to hold in confidence what is explicitly told to us in confidence.

Teachers Code of Ethics

LSR is committed to creating a safe and respectful place for all who attend our events.  We value the cultivation of our vibrant and connected satsang as an extended family of the heart. We are committed to holding our leaders and teachers accountable to the ethics appropriate to their roles.


All teachers at LSR programs and retreats agree to the following:

  • We will strive to eliminate barriers that prevent or hinder access to the practices and teachings, including barriers related to gender, age, past experience, physical ability, and socioeconomic, racial, and cultural issues.
  • We will not abuse or misuse intoxicants at any time.
  • We will not abuse the power granted by our role within a retreat setting, by our professional position at LSR, or by our wider cultural status. Instead, we will utilize our increased influence to prevent harm, empower others, and serve them in their practice of awakening to their own inherent wisdom. We will also not enable misconduct, but rather work together to nurture a safe, healthy culture of respect and care.
  • While at LSR retreats, we are entrusted as representatives of our respective traditions and disciplines. We are responsible for holding this awareness and for maintaining appropriate boundaries to protect participants. We will not exploit or otherwise misuse our status to pursue sexual relationships with participants.

We will avoid creating harm through sexuality and sexual exploitation, including--

  • Non-consensual sexual touching: a broad term that refers to any deliberate non-consensual touching of a person’s body, which conduct can range from unwanted touching such as fondling, up to and including non-consensual sex.
  • Use of sexually suggestive language or explicit statements, whether through speech or written form, that create an unsafe environment.
committee

Ethics Committee and Process:

To sustain these values and ethical principles, the Board of Directors of LSR hereby establishes an Ethics Committee.


LSRF Ethics Committee Statement of Purpose:

As in all communities, conflicts inevitably arise. It is imperative that we respond effectively, responsibly, and compassionately to resolve interpersonal tension while honoring Maharaji’s instruction to Love Everyone and Tell the Truth. The goal is not to avoid conflict altogether but rather to attend to the conflict in a way that feels reparative, restorative, and safe for those who feel harmed within the community. In this way, we can use conflict as an opportunity for continued growth and transformation that so often lies outside of our comfort zones.

The goal of the LSRF Ethics Committee is not to blame or shame any individual, but instead, fully address the direct experiences and suffering of all concerned and to create a forum process for dialogue through which these feelings are safely addressed and resolved.

The LSRF Ethics Committee will also ensure that LSRF remains in alignment with its values and ethical guidelines outlined in the Code of Ethics statement.

The LSRF Ethics Committee is a group of at least one community member, one board member, and one staff member, called upon for their integrity and ethical wisdom, who are available to any community member who wants help in dealing with conflicts and grievances within the LSRF community (except for employee/personnel-related conflicts). The members of the Committee are appointed by the LSRF Board.

The primary role of the LSRF Ethics Committee is to provide initial, confidential consultation to anyone with ethical concerns. As such, the Committee may, on request, function as a simple sounding board for one’s concerns, as a source of questions to facilitate deeper personal reflection, or as a source of advice on how best to resolve the conflict. In addition, Committee members are available to be mediators or witnesses for discussion between parties in conflict.

However, the LSRF Ethics Committee is also available to oversee the implementation of a formal grievance procedure for conflicts that cannot be resolved through dialogue, mediation, and reconciliation. This may involve setting up an investigation to decide on specific issues submitted by members of the community.

Because many situations requiring a formal grievance procedure contain elements of interpersonal conflict, a formal grievance process may not be effective in resolving the issue in question. If such a resolution is desired, other procedures - such as mediation - are recommended.


The Ethics Committee will:

  • Keep watch over the work of LSR to make sure it follows our values and ethical guidelines.
  • Be available to review, consult and recommend to the board and director necessary interventions for any ethical questions brought by board, staff, faculty, and others who work with and for LSR as well as program participants.

Who Can Call on the Ethics Committee:

  • Any member of the board, faculty and others who work with and for LSR and any concerned community members can bring ethical concerns and questions about LSR  to the Ethics Committee. Staff with ethics concerns will first follow all HR protocols, and only after that consult with the Ethics Committee, should it be necessary.
  • The Ethics Committee is free to work in confidence, and to speak with any and all members of the LSR community in its work. The Ethics Committee shall have the power to recommend to the board any action it believes necessary to safeguard the wellbeing and values of the organization and community.

Grievance Process:

An essential function of the LSRF Ethics Committee is to encourage mutual respect and reconciliation whenever conflict arises within our community. On the rare occasion that a more formal process may be necessary, the following process is available:


1. Bringing a Concern

A formal grievance process is initiated by communicating in writing (email) with the LSRF Ethics Committee. This “letter of request” must include:

  • A clear statement that a formal grievance process is requested.
  • The name of the person(s) whose behavior the complaint concerns.
  • A description of the alleged behavior sufficient to allow the Committee to decide whether the complaint is appropriate for initiating a formal grievance procedure.
  • A history of the attempts, if any, to resolve the complaint through other means.
  • A general statement about the resolution desired.

2. Accepting the Concern

Once the Committee has accepted a request, it must convey its acceptance within two weeks to both the party filing the complaint and the party named in the complaint. As part of this notification, the Committee will state its understanding of the issue under inquiry and will distribute a copy of the original “letter of request” to the party named in the complaint.

3. Investigating the Concern

The Committee schedules closed meetings in which all parties are given a chance to present their understanding of the issue under investigation. The Committee may question all parties and may request additional information. One of the Committee members will document the proceedings.

The Committee may ask other people to provide information pertinent to the complaint. All parties will have a full and fair opportunity to respond to all information – oral, written, or otherwise – gathered by the Committee.

The proceedings will be held confidentially for the duration of the proceedings.

4. Grievance Council Findings

When the Committee members are satisfied that they are adequately informed, they will review and discuss the case among themselves. At its discretion, the Committee may seek non-binding advice from any other source. The Committee’s decision should be reached by consensus. Within two weeks of a decision, all parties will reconvene at which time the Committee will share their verbal and written findings with all parties involved. If necessary, the Committee will make a recommendation to the Chair of the LSRF Board and will work with the Chair to jointly establish the best course of remedial action.

Confidential inquiries to the LSRF Ethics Committee can be made by emailing ethics@ramdass.org.

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