January 2013

January 4, 2013

Wising our people of color sangha a blessed 2013 and Happy New Year!!  As Spring reminded us last night — bring in light, and don’t give it up for nothing or nobody!   

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!



January 10: Lien Shutt

Rev. Keiryu Liên Shutt, LCSW was ordained in 2005 with Zenkei Blanche Hartman. She began meditation in the Insight tradition of Spirit Rock and co-founded the Buddhists of Color, a San Francisco meditation group, in 1998. Her monastic practice began in 2002 at Tassajara, San Francisco Zen Center’s monastery. She has also practiced overseas in Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. Currently, as a social worker working with formerly chronically-homeless seniors, Liên’s intention is to share ways in which the deep settledness of traditional practices can be brought into everyday life. To access talks and other retreat information, please go towww.sfzc.org or contact her at joyinzen@att.net.

January 17: Sage Mahosadha

Sage Mahosadha is a teacher, sacred activist, public speaker, and writer focusing on the themes of diversity, cultural evolution, transformation, and liberation. A former catholic monk and trained as a psychotherapist, Sage was introduced to Buddhist meditation and philosophy while in the monastery. While membership in the monastic community did not ultimately endure, practice and the study of Buddhist meditation and philosophy did. He eventually found his true home within Zen and the mindfulness teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh which also deeply inform his activism and diversity work. http://ravenanda.blogspot.com/

January 24: Spring Washam, POC Sangha Core Teacher

January 31: John Mifsud will give a special talk, We Are All Egyptians!  

The liberation movements in North Africa persevere and echo our own longing to be free. Freedom movements deeply impact our lives and the world; always have…always will. We still have much to learn from the historic and ongoing, systematic approach to liberation in Tahrir Square. It can certainly inspire our own practice. So do we stand or do we sit? We do both! We stand in solidarity with people all over the world fighting for justice and self-determination. We sit in meditation to free ourselves from the repression of our own minds. Our practice is parallel peaceful protest. Come join us as we collectively dedicate merit to our internal and ongoing global liberation movements.

John Mifsud has practiced Insight Meditation for 11 years and is a graduate of 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 Society of Washington DC.

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



 Registration Now Open! 17th Annual Vallecitos People of Color Meditation Retreat in New Mexico, from Saturday June 1 – Friday June 7, 2013.  Sliding scale $275 – $650. Teachers include: Mushim Ikeda-Nash and Ven. Suhita Dharma.  Click here for more information and to register.


 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.  Teachers include: Anushka FernandopulleBhante Buddharakkhita,Michele Benzamin-MikiSpring WashamSusana Renaud (yoga).  Click here for more information.


> Free Yoga at EBMC!  ABC Yoga (All Bodies Centering), led by POC  and Alphabet Sangha member Melvin Escobar, every Wednesday from 5:15pm-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 pocsangha@eastbaymeditation.org 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. 


> Dream, Believe and Soar! A daylong on discovery your life purpose with Spring Washam – Saturday January 5, 9:30am – 5:00pm. More info here


> Gifts from the Heart: Embracing the Brahmaviharas with Shahara Godfrey – 4 Mondays starting January 7, through Jan. 28, from 7pm-9pm. More info here 

> Beginning a Meditation Practice Class Series with Mushim – 4 Tuesdays starting January 8, through Jan. 29, from 7pm-9pm. More info here

> Making it Real: Recovery in the Dharma, Dharma in Recovery with Larry Yang and Noah Levine  Saturday January 12, from 9am – 5pm. More info here
Going Deeper in the Dharma: A Group for Experienced Practitioner with Anushka Fernandopulle – Sunday January 27, from 9:30am – 12:30pm.  More info here

Introduction to Meditation for People of Color with Mushim – Sunday February 10, 10am – 5pm. More info here




> 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 ColourFragrance Free Realness“,  “Howto 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,