If you share private information with a monk, what you say will be kept strictly confidential.

This includes not only information confided in sanzen or other formal settings, but also any information that would normally be considered private which is confided in more informal contexts.

There are, however, some important exceptions to the above which we would like you to be aware of.

Consulting with other monks

Occasionally the monk you confide in may need to consult with another senior monk. This is an aspect of the Sangha Refuge, and is for the benefit of both the monk and the confiding person. Any information shared in this way will be kept confidential by the monk consulted. At Turning Wheel Buddhist Temple that monk will usually be Rev. Master Daishin, the abbot of Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey, but may be another senior monk at Throssel Hole, or another senior monk of the Order.

Rare exceptions

In very rare cases the monk confided in may need to act to prevent serious harm to a third party, even if such action involves revealing confidential information. An example of this that occurred in the UK in recent years involved the ongoing abuse of a child by the confiding person, who was not willing to act to safeguard the child.

How to find out more

The above is a summary of the OBC Policy on Confidentiality and also the Rules of the Order which relate to this. Each temple also has a copy of both the Policy and the Rules available for people to read.

You are also very welcome to discuss any aspect of the above with Rev. Aiden.