East Bay Meditation Center Statement
on Black Lives Matter
June 25, 2020
“Our inability as a nation to honor the theft of these lands and the building of wealth, power and privilege on the countless backs and graves of Black people is our most significant obstacle to being at peace with ourselves, thus with the world.”
— Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Radical Dharma
As Core Teachers, Staff and members of the Leadership Sangha (board of directors) of the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC), we express our solidarity with national movements in the United States of America demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Oluwatoyin Salau, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, David McAtee, Tony McDade, and so many other Black individuals and communities that have been harmed by state-sanctioned violence. These abuses are the legacy of centuries of genocide, exploitation, and slavery which have institutionalized heteropatriarchal capitalist white supremacy and the oppression of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
Our commitment to social justice and radical inclusivity asks all of us to move toward right speech and right action—two of the central ethical spokes of the Buddhist Noble Eightfold path. At this critical moment in our history, we are being asked to recognize and respond to the resounding repercussions of systemic racism—from the disproportionate effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic to the brutalization of Black people, including of Black trans individuals. We avow that all Black Lives Matter. Like our Tewa Sisters, “we recognize that by centering #BlackLivesMatter, we do not de-center our Indigenous/ Asian/ Latinx/ Muslim/ LGBTQAI relatives (the list grows as we re-claim our ability to self-identify and name ourselves). For our Earth Mother is round and this means at any given time, we are all ‘the center.’” With appreciation for the Mahayana Buddhist Bodhisattva vows to decrease suffering in the world, we ground ourselves in our interconnected struggle for liberation and remain in solidarity with our Black community members.
Rooted in the Buddhist Four Noble Truths and other Buddhist principles of mutual care, compassion, equanimity, and love, and to collectively work toward the liberation of all beings, we dedicate our practices to remain present to this legacy of trauma and to nurture our collective healing. We vow to be accountable to how we as individuals and as an institution are shaped by anti-Black racism. We call for comprehensive reparations and social and ecological healing, including the reallocation of resources away from policing and into the well-being of BIPOC communities, so that all people may live without fear, in abundance, dignity, and thriving communities.
May the practice continue to be a refuge.
We dedicate the merit of our practice to all our Black community members who are suffering. May we all know peace, freedom, equanimity, and joy.
EBMC Core Teachers
Amana Brembry Johnson
shah noor hussein
EBMC Leadership Sangha (Board of Directors)
Resources and Suggestions for Action
We offer the refuge of East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) as a spiritual community in these times. To support our community, we are offering the following events: (all times are Pacific time)
Grief, Resiliency, and LGBTQIA2S Pride, Saturday, June 28, 2020
Turning Towards Our Body During a Time of Turbulence, Suffering, and Fear, four class series beginning Wednesday, July 15, 2020
And the following East Bay Meditation Center weekly groups:
(all times are Pacific time)
Alphabet Sangha (for LGBTQIA+ community members), Tuesdays 7:00-8:30pm
Dharma in Motion for LGBTQIA+, (mindful movement)Tuesdays 6:00-7:00pm
Midday Sangha, Wednesdays 12:00-1:35pm
People of Color Yoga, Thursdays 5:45-6:45pm
People of Color Sangha Practice Group, Thursdays 7:30-9:00pm
Mindful Yoga, Fridays 6:00-6:45pm
Maha Sangha (for all beings), Fridays 7:00-8:30pm
Every Body Every Mind Sangha (for people living with disabilities, limitations, differences, and chronic illnesses), Sundays 6:00-7:30pm
Compassionate Dharma Deep Refuge: 8 Step Recovery Buddhist Meeting, last Saturday of the month, 10:00am-12:00pm
Trans* * Genderqueer/Gender Variant Peer-Led Deep Refuge Group, bi-weekly on Sundays 6:30-8:00
Social Justice Lunchtime Sangha Peer-Led Deep Refuge Group, second Tuesday of every month 12:00-1:00pm
Suggestions for grounding and action:
A List of Ways You Can Stand in Solidarity with the Black Community, including resources for Black people in mourning.