Sharing Professional Standards Across Western Buddhist Communities
The purpose of the organization is to support the expression of the Bodhisattva ideal in Western society, and to bring the flowering of Buddhism in the West more fully into the mainstream of Western society. Buddhism has already spread widely and influenced many disciplines, such as hospice and palliative care, psychotherapy, neuroscience, addressing stress and anxiety, and chronic pain management. Western Buddhist priests, lamas, and insight meditation teachers undergo many years--often decades--of intensive training and inner transformation, but as yet, no common standards, degrees, or empowerments acknowledge this training across different Buddhist traditions. As well, the mainstream acceptance of this training continues to meet with challenges in an overwhelming Judeo-Christian society which struggles to integrate Eastern spiritual ideas, cultural norms, and language constructs. CoBuds aims to create common ethical guidelines and to standardize equivalent training across three Buddhist traditions, using terminology that is readily understood in Western contexts of professional religious ministry, counseling, and caregiving.