We’re excited to kick off our 2020 Season of Gratitude with a story from Sangha member Drew Ollero! Drew is part of the Alphabet and People of Color Sangha, and a graduate of Practice in Transformative Action (PiTA 8). Drew reflects on the interconnectedness of his practice with his intersecting identities…
“Do you want to attend a meditation class together?” he said with a half-smile and inquisitive look on his face.
This was never a question I imagined I would have been asked after a second date by my now domestic partner. Saying yes to that question was like an electric jumpstart on a journey I never knew I was on and then became suddenly aware of.
I remember sitting on the edge of my cushion that Wednesday evening, my third date, grasping to every word Mushim was sharing at the Path of the Bodhisattva series. Everything that I’ve done since then as a social worker, organizer, and coach began to appear interconnected. Although meditation and mindfulness weaved in and out of my life before, in this moment I took stock of the room and for the first time felt spiritual refuge.
Over the years, the Sangha and Dharma at EMBC allowed me to work through the hurt and suffering of the world. It provided me the necessary tools and space to challenge systemic oppression and find healing and restoration when the wounds went too deep. It validated my path, my identities, my purpose, and my relationships. To say EBMC is a space for spiritual and personal growth is a vast understatement.
EBMC’s existence is a symbol that “radical” alternatives to the mainstream exist and can thrive. For me and my partner, EBMC continues to be an important part of our practice. It’s a place that we call home (physically and virtually) and a place we go to remind ourselves of our collective path. And to think that it all started with a date!
Deep gratitude and solidarity,
Help Drew and others continue to find support for spiritual and personal growth at EBMC
Thanks to generous Sangha members,