Path to Freedom
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EPP is committed to creating and maintaining brave, safe, and accountable spaces for people from all backgrounds to do the vulnerable work of personal development in a compassionate and loving community.

Creating and maintaining a space of emotional and psychological safety requires clear expectations and rules for how we engage with one another as participants in EPP programs, as well as other EPP spaces. Participants in EPP’s programs are required to acknowledge and accept the following Principles of Safety:

Practice Emotional Responsibility | “I create my own emotions and corresponding feelings. Therefore I can take responsibility for them. Taking responsibility for my feelings and reactions means that I am accountable to myself for my own cognitive, emotional, and behavioral well-being.” Emotional Responsibility also includes attuning to the impact of my behavior and emotional reactivity on others and, when necessary, committing to the “We Do the Work Together” repair that is sometimes required.

Locate Yourself | Being able to locate yourself in the present moment and openly share where you are using the Above / Below the Line model is the first step in being able to make a conscious choice and practicing Emotional Responsibility. Being above the line includes the capacity to maintain curiosity.

Speak Your Truth | Use “I” statements when speaking. You are the only person who has your unique experiences. I statements must include a statement of your own feelings, and awareness that they are based on your own perceptions. Eg: “I feel scared. I’m sensing that you are angry because your face
is red and your tone sounds very loud, and I am making up a story that this means that you are frustrated with me. Is that true?”

Use Other People’s Pronouns | Misgendering someone is traumatic and harmful and occurs when we make assumptions about someone’s gender, or openly disregard pronouns. Creating a safe space for everyone includes using the pronouns.

Confidentiality | What is said in the room, stays in the room. Do not share information about other people with others inside or outside the space. In rare circumstances if a participant demonstrates disregard for these principles and the safety of others, a faculty member may be invited by participant or guide(s) to mediate in which case context may need to be divulged in order to achieve resolution.

Camera’s ON | Participants in our online virtual courses are expected to stay muted when not speaking, and keep their video “ON” during all program sessions.

Language Creates Reality | Participants are invited into practicing mindfulness in all aspects of their being, including the language that we use. Understanding that our language creates our reality is an important aspect of being in community with people from all backgrounds, especially those who have lived experiences that are different from ours. We do the work together to identify and name our own biases, and meet each other with unconditional positive regard. EPP celebrates and honors our diversity, and recognizes our shared humanity by using inclusive language. EPP does not tolerate “othering”, dehumanizing language or behavior.

We Do The Work Together | To those of us at EPP, “Doing the Work” means getting present to reality as it actually is. It was Gurdjieff who said, “It is not just difficult to do the work alone, it is impossible.” Because we cannot see ourselves clearly, we need one another to reflect different perspectives. We know to get present by “pausing,” by standing still. We value this pause because we know that we cannot always sense things accurately when we are in motion, when our thoughts are frantic, or when our feelings are running us. Stopping allows us the space to get curious about our own perceptions, to ask hard questions of ourselves and each other. It is in this space that we find we have a choice where, if we can meet ourselves with compassion, we find that we are free to choose our responses with a kind of love that our conditioned, automatic selves often cannot.

EPP Guides will hold participants accountable to the Principles of Safety outlined above. This applies to all spaces and places where we are in community with one another. If a participant in a course or program demonstrates disregard for these principles and the safety of others, EPP Guides will request the participant meet with them for a “We Do The Work Together” conversation.

If a participant consistently demonstrates disregard for these principles and the safety of others, they will be asked to leave the course, or program. If a community member demonstrates disregard for these principles and the safety of others, anyone within the EPP community may request a “We Do The Work Together” conversation regardless of their role.