Statement from East Bay Meditation Center regarding White Supremacist Violence in Charlottesville and throughout the U.S.

Hatred never ends through hatred.
By non-hate alone does it end.
This is an ancient truth.
— from the teachings of the Buddha, The Dhammapada, trans. Gil Fronsdal

August 20, 2017

For over ten years EBMC has been co-creating a culture of strongly-rooted resistance, resilience and well-being that is financially accessible to all. This is our ongoing and steady and committed response to the violence and injustice and turmoil we witness in society. Our commitment, now as it has been from our beginning, is to cultivate the ground for deep systemic change, to seek to end multigenerational patterns of oppression, and to uphold a spiritual vision supported by on-the-ground strategies for a life in community that contains well-being, profound freedom, and joy for everyone.

At East Bay Meditation Center we have been taking refuge in liberatory, resilience- and community-strengthening mindfulness practices for over ten years. We have also been making refuge for people of color; members of the LGBTQIQ/same-gender loving community; people with disabilities and chronic illness; and folks from other underserved communities. This taking refuge and making refuge has always been and still is our entire purpose, our reason for being since we first opened our doors.

In the midst of the recent white supremacist, anti-Semitic violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and elsewhere, EBMC continues to do what we have always done. Our weekly practice groups and other programs continue, attended by an empowered, social justice activist spiritual community, and taught and led by an extraordinarily diverse and skilled group of teachers and facilitators who understand the role that mindfulness-based practices can play in grounding and growing resilience and in helping to heal trauma for entire communities. Our shared leadership model demonstrates our commitment to transparent, empowered spaces in which creativity and innovation can flourish. We are determined not merely to survive; we want everyone in our Sangha (spiritual community), including our children and our elders, to thrive.

At EBMC, our Black Lives Matter altar pays daily tribute to those who have lost their lives due to structural violence in the U.S., and the entire meditation center offers a space of healing for those who are grieving and in pain. Our response to the recent and grievous white supremacist, terrorist events in Charlottesville and beyond is that East Bay Meditation Center’s doors remain open on a gift economics basis; we continue to offer programs and practices of liberation, justice, and healing; and we persevere in providing leadership development based in Courageous Compassion, Wisdom, and Loving Kindness.