Mentor qualification in our sangha has a long history of experimentation and evolution. We have arrived at a point where we can now bring all this experimentation and evolution together into a coherent and comprehensive system.
Our basic goal in mentoring has always been to to support each other in deepening our practice and strengthening our Sanghas. A mentor’s practice needs to be fresh and alive to mentor an aspirant effectively. To support both mentors and aspirants, the North American Dharma Teacher Care Taking Council has integrated our order’s past extensive experience into the following qualification statement for mentors. The underlying requirement for mentoring is that a Dharma Teacher must be involved as part of mentoring, as set forth in the aspirant application.
There are three situations which qualify one to mentor.
To accept an Order of Interbeing Aspirant for mentoring, one must:
1. Be a Dharma Teacher.
— OR —
2. Have been Ordained as a Core Community Member of the Tiep Hien Order (OI) for at least five years, during which time the Mentor has been consistently practicing with a Tiep Hien Sangha and have the agreement of a Dharma Teacher to provide support, assistance, and as necessary, supervision for mentoring this Aspirant.
— OR —
3. Have been Ordained as a Core Community Member of the Tiep Hien Order (OI) for at least one year with extensive previous OI Sangha and personal practice experience, and have the agreement of a supporting Dharma Teacher to supervise the Mentor and actively participate with both the Mentor and the Aspirant during the Aspirancy process. This would assume not less than significant quarterly contact among the Dharma Teacher, Mentor(s), and Aspirant, and personally practicing together in a formal setting of at least one day’s duration (Retreat or Structured Mindfulness Day led by a/the Dharma Teacher) at least two (and preferably more) times during the Aspirancy.
It is the responsibility of the Dharma Teacher involved with team mentoring to assure that any formal Mentor who is not a Dharma Teacher is qualified for the role before signing off on the Aspirancy.
We also recognize that Mentoring is a maha sangha process. Dharma Teachers and OI Mentors are not the only resources to support the mentoring process. Sangha members who practice regularly with the aspirant, other Dharma teachers, and every Order member in the region may be useful support for the aspirancy. The mentoring team is encouraged to use all resources to develop and encourage deepening practice in this process.
Mentor Qualifications Revised February 16, 2012
Mentor Qualifications Finalized April 10, 2012