Read Francisco Del Toro’s #SeasonOfGratitude Story

Dear Sangha,
To celebrate 10 years of the East Bay Meditation Center, a generous group of Sangha members have pooled their resources to offer us a $20,000 match! Between now and the end of the year, you can double the impact of your gifts to EBMC- dollar for dollar – by clicking here.
As we enter a Season of Gratitude at EBMC, community members are sharing powerful stories of the transformative power of Sangha. The following piece is from Francisco Del Toro:
One Thursday about 4 years ago, I was sitting in the doctor’s office for a physical. The nurse handed me a questionnaire and asked me to fill it out, so I completed and submitted the survey. Twenty minutes later, the Doctor walked in, approached me and said, “According the questionnaire, you’re clinically depressed. Is everything ok?”
I immediately broke into tears, telling the Dr. about my parents passing away, my break up with my ex, how I felt alone, and mostly, how I was tired of life’s tough turns. She hugged me, and assured me that everything would be ok.
She presented two options. I could take medication to help ease the stress of the world, or she could give me the address to EBMC where I could try meditation instead. I rejected the medication. For the next several years, every Thursday is what I looked forward to.
EBMC’s practice groups taught me how to settle the mind when caught in the cyclone of anxieties, insecurities, and fears I created with my perception. Dharma talks were life lessons to help me understand myself and others.
I never experienced anything like that before. After two months of attending EBMC yoga classes and Dharma talks, I decided to get more involved. I signed up as a volunteer, and have been lending a helping hand ever since. Being a part of the EBMC community helped keep me on the right path when I was ready to give up. 
One Friday evening not long ago, some friends and I were at a packed pool house. I remember lining up my pool shot, when suddenly my anxiety started kicking in. My heart was thumping, palms charged with sweat, and my nerves rattled my confidence; I wanted to run and hide. As I tried to remain calm, I looked over to my friends who were focused on their conversation. I closed my eyes with the shot lined up and focused on my breath. Slowly, my mind settled. I continued the night calmly, amazed at what had happened. Through my practice at EBMC, I have found a way to work with issues I have long faced.
My journey in life is still going, I’m glad to say! I’ve recently become a yoga teacher, and it was EBMC’s yoga program that inspired me to teach others what I’ve learned. The love that the EBMC community shares gives me faith for a brighter future for all.
Thank you,
Francisco Del Toro

During our Season of Gratitude, Francisco is one of many Sangha members who have shared the ways that EBMC has changed their lives.
For 10 years, EBMC has run on a radical Gift Economics model which makes our programs accessible to all. Gift Economics means that we rely on the generous support of the community to keep us going. 

Thank you for supporting this diverse meditation center that is changing lives every day.