Foreword by Jack Kornfield to Kylea Taylor's book, The Ethics of Caring

Jack Kornfield wrote this Foreword to The Ethics of Caring by Kylea Taylor.

[See also Kylea Taylor's and Selene Vega's online course, Right Relationship: The Ethics of Caring. 6 CEUs available.]

The Ethics of Caring is an extraordinarily helpful and groundbreaking new book for healers, clergy, therapists, and bodyworkers that illuminates what is necessary to offer wise and trustworthy relations to their clients. It teaches in detail and example the ways to understand and deepen the beauty of one's integrity as a healing professional. Traditionally this study is called ethics, but to expand the moralistic and sin-like tone ethics has often taken on, Kylea has grounded her work in the spiritual principle of reverence for life that underlies all the world's great religions and healing systems.

In this Kylea has contributed many new dimensions of ethics, first by carefully articulating a very wide range of traditional concerns in areas such as truthfulness, confidentiality, informed consent,and clear sexual boundaries. Then with equal clarity she elaborates upon the basic principles of non-harming as they are needed for the vast terrain of healing realms, including crisis of trauma, loss and grief work, spiritual counseling, expanded consciousness, energetic and shamanic openings, and much more.

In exploring this greatly broadened territory, The Ethics of Caring alerts healers not to underestimate the power of energies that arise in non-ordinary states through transference and countertransference, and the palpable physical, emotional, and psychic vulnerabilities that come in these states. To help readers understand this terrain, Kylea illustrates what particular difficulties may arise in relation to each of the basic human energy centers or chakras, offering keys to understand how healers may be caught by these energies. She demonstrates through example and exercises how the fears and needs of the healers, sexually, financially, emotionally, and spiritually can become entangled with their clients, especially with the heightened sensitivity and suggestibility found in regressed and transpersonal dimensions.

To read and take to heart this book requires a great degree of truthfulness on the part of the reader. To reflect on The Ethics of Caring is healing and therapeutic in itself, as it brings our consciousness to the potential shadow areas of all healing relationships. Through the exercises provided, and by thoughtful consideration, a healer can use this book to awaken a whole new level of awareness in the areas which have the greatest potential to bring conflict and harm.

And indeed, this is Kylea's greatest gift and offering. From her own years of inner experience and deep exploration, she illuminates these areas for us. She wisely insists that every minister, healer, therapist, bodyworker, and shaman who ventures into the vast territory of the psyche can only offer the light of consciousness that they have encountered and made their own. Their own grief and personal history, their true passion and spiritual nature, their understanding of the difficult task of opening in themselves is their gift. This is the fundamental prerequisite for a true healer, together with the ethics and virtue that Kylea articulates so well.

My own Buddhist Master Achaan Chah loved to talk about this virtue of non-harming, calling it the ground of all true spiritual life. Kylea has honored this ground of healing with her work. Especially in our modern times, where the necessity of integrity for the human heart has been lost in the speed, complexity, and ambition that drives consumer society, we need voices of care and respect that Kylea represents. This is the basis for true healing.

For this I offer Kylea my gratitude and congratulations. May her work bring protection, understanding and compassionate blessings to all who guide and heal.

Jack Kornfield, Ph.D.
Spirit Rock Center
Woodacre, California
1994

Return to Right Relationship: The Ethics of Caring