In light of reading the Hardcore Dhamma thread, and some developments in other places I have some involvement in, it seams like a good time to ask (for me at least) one important question.
What standards should a Lay Dhamma Teacher hold themselves to?
There is no minimum standards really except the 5 precepts for any Buddhist, but as Lay Dhamma Teachers do seam to have no real conformity between them, and to assume a position of 'authority', what as possible students, or interested listener would expect?
Personally I would expect the Novice training rules to apply to them in all its entirety (including expulsion/punishment rules)except for the 10th precept directly, but I feel that would still have a bearing in some circumstances, so it would be the 8precepts with the 10th as a loose addition applicable only to selling Dhamma directly, Dhammadana is the highest gift after all.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.John Stuart Mill