December 2012

December 3, 2012



We meet THURSDAYS at East Bay Meditation Center, 285 17th Street (@ Harrison Street), in downtown Oakland, from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. We usually do a half hour of silent meditation, with instructions for beginners, followed by a Dharma talk and community gathering.

We come together as a community of people of color for meditation, practice and resilience.  We support our struggles and provide a balm to sooth our continued work forward.  As Bell Hooks says, “Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world.”

We carry this spirit forward in gathering people of color in community each Thursday for the POC Sangha.  Join us!


December 6: Spring WashamPOC Sangha Core Teacher

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

December 13: Mushim, Leadership Sangha / EBMC 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 ReviewColorLines 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

December 20: Spring Washam + Winter Solstice Potluck (6:00pm – 7:15pm)

December 27: John Mifsud

John Mifsud has studied insight meditation for going on ten years and completed EBMC’s Commit to Dharma Program led by his mentor teacher, Larry Yang. He is currently in the Community Dharma Leaders Training Program at Spirit Rock. He is on the Leadership Team of the EBMC Deep Refuge Group for Alphabet Brothers of Color and their Euro-Descent Allies. He also studied with Rodney Smith at Seattle Insight Meditation for eight years. John spent ten years on the Leadership Team of Seattle Dharma Buddies, a meditation group for GBT men and also coordinated the Seattle Multicultural Sangha for four years.  His current teaching practicum includes dharma talks at EBMC, the San Francisco Gay Buddhist Sangha, the Gay Buddhist Fellowship and the LGBT Sangha at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center.

Deep appreciation to all of our teachers and volunteers for your generosity! We wouldn’t be here without you!  The Teacher Calendar can be accessed anytime online at:


> Join us on Thursday December 20th for a community gathering and winter solstice potluck!  Breaking bread together, sharing our foods, cultures and stories is all part of the beloved community we are building.  Join us with (or without!) a dish to share at EBMC at 6:00pm for this special potluck, followed by our regular programming beginning at 7:15pm with Spring.  

 Registration Now Open! The Annual People of Color Meditation Retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center is now accepting registrants. This year the retreat is slightly earlier than usual, beginning on Tuesday April 9 – Sunday April 14, 2013.  Sliding scale $515 – $90.  Click here for more information.   

> New Free Yoga at EBMC!  ABC Yoga (All Bodies Centering), led by POC Sangha member Melvin Escobar, every Wednesday from 5:15-6:30pm.  Find more information about this exciting offering here


WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! With our new larger space, we need volunteers to help maintain the space.  If you are interested in learning how to: open and close our center, count dana, and serve as greeter/welcome table, please contact Shenaaz at to attend a 30 minute training session.

Thank you to all who continue to help informally. This training is a step towards creating a structure of mutuality, where we can receive and provide support for one another.


Faith & Freedom for Queer People of Color with Shahara Godfrey – Sunday December 9th, 10am – 3:00pm.  For more here

Free Your Heart: A Transformational Workshop on Exploring Love and Connection with Spring Washam – Saturday December 15th, 9:30am – 5:30pm.  More info here

Practicando Metta para Hablantes Nativos de Español / A Day of Metta Practice for Native Spanish-Speakers with Susana Renaud – Sunday December 15th, 10:00am – 4:00pm.  More info here

The Great Turning Heart: Prayers from the Heart with Spring Washam — December 31st at 8:00pm – 1:00am, and January 1st at 12:00pm – 5:00pm.  For more info





> Please arrive on Thursdays before 7pm to minimize disruption and as a gesture of respect to the rest of the Sangha.


> The EBMC tries to be an accessible, fragrance free space. For support on being fragrance-free, see these resources “Femme of Colour Fragrance Free Realness”,  “How to be Fragrance Free,” and check out this extensive list of fragrance-free products on the EBMC web site.


> The teachings are regarded as priceless. So they are offered without a fee. You are invited to support the teachings and our efforts by contributing voluntary donations (the practice of “Dana”) for the expenses of the meditation center and the support of the teachers.


> Subscribe to the EBMC POC Sangha Newsletter –  the Newsletter is a monthly email with information about our weekly sitting group and other sangha-related announcements.  Subscribe by joining the google groups here.  You will receive an invitation to the group and must accept before you can receive messages.


> Find our POC Sangha Teacher Calendar online on our updated website!  Feedback and suggestions on how to make this online resource useful, is always welcomed and appreciated  =) 

wishing you ease,