June 2013

June 2013

Dear Beloved Sangha,

Happy June!! As summer approaches, we are grateful for all that is beginning to grow at the EBMC POC Sangha! We would like to thank everyone who participated in the Community Potluck on May 30, 2013, as we honored our former POC Coordinator Shenaaz Janmohamed! We would also like to welcome the new POC Coordinating Committee members, Lourdes Martinez, Sierra Pickett, Anna Rensi, Michele Williams, and Lauren Veasey. EBMC has an exciting schedule of Thursday night sittings, workshops & daylongs for and/or led by people of color coming up this summer. Please see below for more information! We hope to see you soon at sangha & bring a friend!


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!


June 6: Spring 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. North Carolina.  For more information, see: http://www.embracingsimplicityhermitage.org/index.html.

June 13: Special Guest Teacher Venerable Pannavati, Embracing Simplicity Buddhist Hermitage
Visiting from North Carolina, Venerable Pannavati will be visiting EBMC.  She is the fully ordained nun/monk in the Theravadan tradition and founded her own retreat center, Embracing Simplicity Buddhist Hermitage, in North Carolina.  For more information, see: http://www.embracingsimplicityhermitage.org/index.html.

June 20: 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 Meditation Center. Shahara has a Ph.D. and currently works as an Educator.

June 27: Spring Washam,  Founding and guiding teacher, EBMC People of Color Sangha

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


  • EBMC POC Sangha has a Facebook Group! Find out about events and connect with the sangha here

  • The Alphabet Sangha is moving from Wednesday to Tuesday Nights, beginning in June.

  • New Sangha at EBMC – Recovery and the Dharma, led by Shahara Godfrey beginning on June 15, 2013 and will take place on the 3rd Saturdays from 1:30pm – 5pm.

  • 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 pocsangha@eastbaymeditation.org to learn how you can support the sangha!

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.


> Stand In Your Power – Celebrate Diversity Within – a workshop for those who identify as Multiracial with Michele Benzamin-Miki.  Saturday, June 8 – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.  More info here

 > Stand In Your Power – Celebrate Diversity Within – a workshop for those who identify as Multiracial & Allies with Michele Benzamin-Miki.  Sunday, June 9 – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.  More info here

 > Saturday Night Social Sangha – Pride month! Showing two queer documentaries featuring EBMC sangha members! Refuge in Sangha and Speaking for Ourselves, and then dancing with DJ Farzana. Potluck food & soft drinks. All are welcome. Saturday, June 15 –  7:00 pm -10:30 pm. More info here

 > Being Free: A Workshop for People Living with Illness and Disability with Charlie Johnson and Debra Kerr. Sunday June 23, 2013 – 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  More info here

 > Going Deeper in the Dharma: Group for Experienced Practitioners with Mushim. Saturday June 22, 2013 – 9:30 am to 1:00 pm. More info here

 > Dream, Believe and Soar! A daylong on discovering your life’s purpose with Spring Washam. Saturday, June 29, 2013  – 9:30 am – 5:30 pm. More info here

 > Dwelling in Compassion, Joy, Love & Equanimity with Mushim. Sunday, June 30, 2013 – 10:00 am – 4:30 pm. More info here

 > Soothing Warmth & Liquid Love. Fire-element Meditation for People with Physical Pain with Leo Lok. Mondays, July 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2013 – 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. More info here

 > Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong. A half-day retreat with Zoketsu Norman Fischer and Rev. Keiryu Liên Shutt. Saturday, July 6, 2013 – 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. More info here

 > Be the Mystery! Living the Present Moment Without Definition with Noliwe Alexander and John Mifsud. Saturday, July 13, 2013 – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. More info here

 > Awakening Community. A Daylong for People of Color with Spring Washam. Sunday, July 21, 2013   – 9:30 am – 5:00 pm. 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 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.

Have feedback about or an announcement to include in the POC Sangha Newsletter?  Email: pocsangha@eastbaymeditation.org.


wishing you love & ease,
poc sangha coordinating committee <3