Season of Gratitude: Ruby Olisemeka

We invite you to join in our Season of Gratitude at EBMC! As we close out 2019 we are sharing stories from our Sangha about how EBMC has positively impacted them and asking our Sangha to collectively raise $25,000 to keep EBMC sustainable and accessible for the benefit of so many. 

We are tremendously grateful to a generous Sangha member who has given a matching grant and so all gifts to EBMC between now and the end of the year will be matched dollar to dollar, up to $10,000! Please support the center today at the highest level you can and help us meet our end of year goal! 

From Ruby: 

I first discovered EBMC while I was teaching young people at a nature school. The director forwarded me information about EBMC’s yearlong Practice in Transformative Action (PiTA) program, and that is when I began my meditation practice. 

It is not an exaggeration to say that EBMC changed the course of my life—it was a place of awakening for me. During that first year of practice, I shifted the way I perceive myself and others and the larger world in which we live. Through guiding teacher Mushim Ikeda and the community of practitioners I found there, I was able to create a support system of peers that held me and has helped me continue to practice in ways that are transformative. As a farmer and a teacher, I know that diversity is health. At EBMC, diversity is intentionally cultivated, and that is why it is such a healthy and healing space.  


My work as a teacher focuses on fostering young people’s connection to nature and supporting their sense of responsibility for preserving ecosystems. The practices I learned at EBMC have helped me expand my understanding of suffering and injustice, and now I share that with my students and inspire them in turn. I have learned that the wider my perspective, the more I can help them to expand theirsNo matter what the subject matter, I work to inspire my students to be more expansive in their thinking in order for their actions to be more impactful. My ability to do that is directly connected to the practices I learned at EBMC. 


EBMC practices loving kindness in action; it is a place of refuge and healing. I carry the lessons I have learned at EBMC with me wherever I am. I live in New York now, and when I come to the Bay Area, I return to Mushim as my guiding teacher and EBMC as my spiritual home. In this world where there is so much suffering, EBMC is a place where you can put your suffering down for a little bit. For that I am truly grateful.

Ruby Olisemeka