As an organization, (RDO) believes in building a community of safety and mutual-care based on the Buddhist principle of harmlessness. We believe it is possible to recover together without hurting each other, and for these reasons we uphold the following expansive safety guidelines.

RDO considers the following behaviors harmful and unwelcome in our community:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, pregnancy status, veteran status, political affiliation, marital status, body size, age, race, national origin, ethnic origin, nationality, immigration status, language, religion or lack thereof, or other identity marker. This includes anti-Indigenous/Nativeness and anti-Blackness.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, prescribed medications, parenting, relationships, and employment.
  • Deliberate misgendering, using inappropriate pronouns, or use of “dead” or rejected names.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behavior in spaces where they’re not appropriate.
  • Simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Threats of violence.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual or group, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Deliberate intimidation, including yelling or using aggressive behavior to dominate others.
  • Stalking or following – online or in the physical world.
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Patterns of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
  • Publication of private communication.
  • Publicly defaming or complaining about other group members in any community spaces such as meetings, the “virtual parking lot” after meetings, Intersangha or Group Intention meetings, our Facebook groups, or other public forums. This may include speaking about a person or group without using names, but giving enough detail for them to be identified.
  • Jokes that resemble the above, such as “hipster racism”, still count as harassment even if meant satirically or ironically.
  • Spamming or sustained disruption of discussion in both text and voice.
  • Speech or behavior that is intentionally harmful to any one person or group. 

The above list is not meant to be exhaustive. There may be other behaviors that are not defined above which constitute harmful behavior.

Please note that identifying individuals as members of groups with social and cultural privilege, in and of itself, is not considered harmful when it is done with the intention of kindness, follows the precepts of wise speech, and is intended to promote deeper understanding of one another’s experiences where those identities are relevant. Noting someone’s privilege as a person who is white, male, straight, cisgender, able, or any other mix of non-marginalized identities is not considered inherently harmful to them, but speech or behavior that attacks or denigrates others based on those identities is not welcome in our community.

Harmful behavior has no place in our sangha, and will not be tolerated.

Recovery Dharma Online prohibits harmful behavior by any community member for any reason, as defined above.

Other speech or behavior that fails the 4-faceted test for “Wise Speech” as defined in Buddhist teachings — Is it true, is it spoken with the intention of kindness, is it spoken at the appropriate time, and is it truly important? — may also be determined to be harmful, particularly behavior that intentionally creates a hostile environment for another community member, and has the purpose or effect of harming them. “Speech” also includes any images or symbols that match the description above and are visible during meetings, in community spaces, or in unwelcome personal communications between members.

Any community member who has experienced harmful behavior, as defined above, is encouraged to immediately report it to the Facilitator or Moderator of the meeting or social media site where the harassment occurred, or to another RDO Facilitator. Incidents will be handled on a case-by-case basis, with the goal of compassion and safety for everyone involved.

This document was adapted and amended from Community Covenant  by J. Swift 2020, as borrowed largely from, with the addition of speech and behavior included in the original RDO June 2020 proposal. Community Covenant by Coraline Ada Ehmke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( Based on a work at

This is a living document. To add comments or suggestions, please visit the Google Docs version: