Recommended Guidelines for Sanghas

  1. In an effort to live the teachings of the Buddha and to encourage the practice of compassion, non-harming, and the first precept, include the topic of animal suffering in food production in policy discussions and decisions.

  2. Include at least one Dharma talk per year on the topic of animal suffering and the Dharma. Record them and give the recordings to new members to listen to as part of their orientation. Use our ‘Right Eating’ article as a reference.

  3. To reduce suffering for the greatest number of sentient beings, prohibit the eating of animals and animal products at Sangha events. This will help make your events inclusive to all yogi’s wanting to join. Provide a list of ingredients for all prepared dishes so that everyone can make the best decisions for themselves at the serving table. Adopt a food policy, print it out and post it on your food table at events.

  4. With your Sangha, watch our suggested videos. We highly recommend Animals and the Buddha: our film featuring interviews with world-renowned Buddhist monastics and lay teachers about connections between Buddhism and compassion for animals, our US Centers video, and Tricycle‘s interview with Tara Brach: Concern for All Beings: Tara Brach on Plant-Based Eating! We highly recommend listening to Atlanta Insight Meditation Community’s, Stephanie Swann’s, Developing a Compassionate Diet for a Planet in Crisis.

  5. With your Sangha, read The Great Compassion, by Norm Phelps and/or Buddhism and veganism by Will Tuttle.

  6. Consider creating a policy to deal with and protect birds, rodents, and insects at your facility, and if you have a large property please look into posting signs that prevent hunting, fishing, and trapping.

  7. Have available our DVA brochures for yogis to take home, to explore in depth about expanding their circle of compassion to include other species.

  8. Encourage teachers to identify themselves publicly and to speak about if and why they are living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

* Please contact us with your questions, comments, and feedback. We want to encourage people to talk about the decision of whether to eat animals in a safe environment.

Sample Sangha policy from Eyes of Compassion Sangha:

SANGHA SNACKS — In order to “eat in such a way that reduces the suffering of living beings and stops contributing to climate change,” we offer only snacks that contain no animal-derived ingredients.

If you’d like to bring cookies or other snacks to share, please help us “keep our compassion alive” by choosing foods that contain no milk, butter, cream, eggs, whey, casein, gelatin, lard, meat, fish, fowl, or any other ingredients taken from animals’ bodies.

Also, we offer only tea that has been responsibly sourced.

Bowing in gratitude,

The Care-Taking Council, Eyes of Compassion Sangha