The guiding teacher of the POC sangha is Spring Washam. We are also blessed to have many other visiting teachers on a regular basis grace the sangha with their teachings.

Spring WashamSpring Washam, Founding and guiding teacher, EBMC People of Color Sangha

Spring Washam is a meditation and dharma teacher based in Oakland, California. She has studied meditation and Buddhist philosophy since 1997 in various traditions. After many years of teacher training with Dr. Jack Kornfield she is a new dharma teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Spring is one of the founding members and core teachers at the East Bay Meditation Center and leads the weekly sitting group for people of color. Spring is considered a pioneer in bringing mindfulness based healing practices into diverse communities. Also considered a curandera, Spring studies indigenous healing practices and works with students individually from around the world. She currently leads healing and meditation retreats throughout the United States. To contact her directly visit her website at www.SpringWasham.com

Anushka Fernandopulle

Anushka Fernandopulle has trained in meditation in the Theravada Buddhist tradition for over 20 years in the US and Asia. Other influences have been mystics from various cultures and traditions, creative arts, nature, service work, progressive social change movements, and modern urban life. Anushka teaches retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Insight Meditation Society, and around the country. She has an MBA and also works as an executive/life coach, facilitator, and organizational development consultant. More on her teaching can be found at www.anushkaf.org

Arisika Razak

Arisika Razak, MPH, Health Care Administration, U.C. Berkeley 1978; Certified Nurse Midwife, U.C. San Francisco 1979; Performance Artist, Spiritual dancer, Community healing, Women’s health, Ritual and ceremony for individuals and groups, Diversity training, and Embodying the sacred.

Konda Mason, Leadership Sangha/Core Teacher

Konda Mason is a certified Kripalu yoga teacher. She has been a student of yoga since 1974 when she was introduced to the Kundalini yoga community in Berkeley, California. Konda annually teaches yoga at the January Metta retreat with Sylvia Boorstein and the People of Color retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Konda has been published in Healthquest magazine and in the book How Has Yoga & Meditation Changed Your Life. She is a former member of the Board of Trustees at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. Konda uses vipassana meditation & yoga as a means of spiritual transformation.

Larry Yang, Leadership Sangha/Core Teacher

Larry Yang teaches in meditation and mindfulness nationally, and has provided support for deepening Dharma teachings within multicultural communities. Larry is a Leadership Sangha member and core teacher at EBMC, and is the teacher of EBMC’s Commit2Dharma Study Program. He is also on the Teachers’ Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and is part of the lead teaching team of the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader Training Program. Larry is trained as a psychotherapist and has spent six months as a monastic in Thailand. He considers retreat practice, family practice, livelihood practice, and householder practice all integral to a spiritual path towards Freedom. www.larryyang.org

John Mifsud

John Mifsud has practiced insight meditation for 11 years and graduated from the Community Dharma Leaders Training Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.  He is a Community Teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland and a leader of EBMC’s Deep Refuge Group for Alphabet Brothers of Color.  He has taught at the San Francisco (SF) Gay Buddhist Sangha, the SF Gay Buddhist Fellowship, the Vajranpani Institute, Seattle Dharma Buddies, the Seattle People of Color and Allies Sangha, San Quentin Prison, Insight Meditation in Modesto, the Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group and the Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC.

Mushim – Leadership Sangha/Core Teacher

Mushim (Patricia Ikeda)  is a Buddhist meditation teacher, socially engaged Buddhist activist, diversity facilitator, and author, who teaches meditation retreats for people of color, women, and social justice activists nationally.  She is one of three women featured in Acting on Faith: Women’s New Religious Activism in America, a documentary available from the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. Mushim was originally trained in the Korean Zen monastic tradition, and has had broad exposure to Buddhist practices and teachings within the Mahayana and Theravada lineages since 1981. Her writing has been published in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, ColorLines magazine, the Poets Against the War anthology, Turning Wheel: The Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism, seminal anthologies of Asian North American poetry, and other books and journals. She is the first recipient of the Ragdale Foundation’s Alice Hayes Fellowship supporting a writing project having to do with social justice issues.  For more information, see http://mushim.wordpress.com/

Shahara Godfrey

Shahara Godfrey has trained in the Theravada Buddhist tradition for over 20 years. Other influences have been spiritual teachers from various cultures and traditions as well as the creative arts. She is a graduate of CDL and POE programs from Spirit Rock. Shahara has a Ph.D. and currently works as an Educator.


Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is a Zen priest in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition in which she includes African and Native American indigenous healing practices. She holds a M.A. from U.C.L.A. and a Ph.D. in Transformation and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is currently working on a third unfolding of her divination deck the Black Angel Cards as well as a novel based on the water goddess Erzuli. Her Website is www.zenjuearthlynmanuel.com. (photo by Simbwala Schultz)


People of Color Sangha Coordinator

Email POC Coordinator