Allison Shore
Every Body, Every Mind Sangha Coordinator
Allison has been practicing mindfulness meditation since 2003. A graduate of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher Training Practicum at El Camino Hospital, she also trained at the Sati Chaplaincy Training Program, and is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader Program at Spirit Rock. Allison has taught in a variety of academic, clinical, and community settings, and volunteers at a local hospital as an interfaith chaplain. Part of the Every Body Every Mind teaching team since 2016, and the Program Committee since 2017, she is passionate about social justice, and making dharma communities accessible for everyone.
Arisika Razak
Maha Sangha Coordinator

Arisika Razak, RN, NM, MPH

Arisika is the former Chair of the Women’s Spirituality Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). Her teachings incorporate diverse spiritual traditions, women’s health and healing, multicultural feminisms, queer theory, and contemporary diversity theory. Arisika has led national and international spiritual and healing workshops and ritual celebrations for women for over three decades, as well as embodied spiritual workshops for women and men, including several daylong workshops at EBMC. She has also co-facilitated workshops for POC with Marlene Jones at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

Blake Tolbert
POC Sangha Coordinator

An educator with Oakland roots, Blake has been a Zen practitioner for a couple decades. Lay ordained in 2004, he first sat with the EBMC sangha when it resided on Broadway and has recently rejoined the sangha and POC Leadership Committee. His interests are in cultivating the dharma in people of color communities as well as participating in prison dharma projects. 

Debra Kerr
Every Body, Every Mind Sangha Coordinator
Debra Kerr has meditated since 1991, and is influenced by both Vipassana and Dzogchen practices. A graduate of Community Dharma Leader training at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, she cofounded and served on the board of the East Bay Meditation Center from 2000 to 2006. Deb is the guiding teacher of the Every Body Every Mind sangha, and also teaches and mentors others in various groups around the Bay Area. She is especially interested in how wisdom practices support the development of loving and diverse communities.
Evan Hashi
POC Sangha Coordinator

Evan Hashi has been practicing at EBMC since 2016, and has lived in the East Bay since 2013.  As a musician and artist, he is interested in how the dharma and mindfulness practices can be in conversation with creative visions and relationships, and as a Hawaii-born, 4th-generation Japanese American, how he can bring his full self in supporting people of color communities, and beyond.

Jenn Biehn
Dharma in Motion Leader
Jenn Biehn has practiced in Zen, Vajryana and Vipassana traditions over the past 30 years and recently ordained as a lay minister of Embracing Simplicity Hermitage Contemplative Order. Passionate about sangha building, Jenn helps to facilitate Awakening in Deep Refuge and Dharmacharya Deep Refuge Group and is on the coordinating committee for Restorative Practices for Dharma Practitioners and the Midday Sangha. She was on the organizing/teaching team for the 2015 six month program of White and Awakening in Sangha. Jenn loves teaching/practicing Tai Chi, is lesbian, married to her partner of 23 years and active with Neighbors for Racial Justice.
Jessy Zapanta
Dharma in Motion Leader
Jessy Zapanta is a mixed Filipinx and East Asian healing justice facilitator, born and raised in culturally-rich but under resourced Bay Area cities. They are committed to increasing accessibility of embodied mindfulness practices in a respectful, non-Orientalist way to those who need it most–meaning everybody and every body! Having taught POC Yoga, All Bodies Centering, and Mindful Movement at EBMC, Jessy has also supported youth of all ages, social service staff, and formerly houseless individuals in moving through stress and trauma using these practices. Jessy brings compassion, lightness, and body wisdom to class, using knowledge gained from ancestors, eastern medicine, and the guidance of Raja Yoga teacher B.K. Bose.
Julio Rios
POC Sangha Coordinator

Julio was born in Peru and lived there until his family moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s. He formally studied engineering and still works as an engineer, although he spends much of his time volunteering for social justice causes and practicing mindfulness in all aspects of his life.

Rachel McLean
Alphabet Sangha Coordinator

Rachel McLean is a public health practitioner, crafter, and wanderer who got hooked on the dharma after experiencing metta (lovingkindness) meditation at the U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta in 2007. She was introduced to EBMC by her friend Lisa Moore in 2008/2009, and soon began volunteering at Alphabet Sangha, partly for an excuse to talk to people! She is a graduate of the Practice in Transformative Action (PITA) program and leads a monthly mindfulness meditation group at her workplace. She is deaf in her right ear so if you say hello, please do so from the other side!

Ray Grimsinger
Alphabet Sangha Coordinator
I am queer non-binary secular Buddhist, environmentalist, vegetarian and lover  of all life.  Grew up in the Deep South (Louisiana) and have been in the Bay Area since 2000. Mindfulness and Buddhism has greatly helped me with my states of severe depression, anxiety  and addiction.  I have not had alcohol since Jan 2020. I am currently enrolled in Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach’s Mindfulness Teacher Certification Program (MMTCP) with the desire to become a mindfulness teacher so that I can continue to develop my practice and give back to help others.
Rebekah Eppley
Maha Sangha Coordinator

Rebekah Eppley is a writer and librarian living in Oakland. S/he was first introduced to meditation and the Dharma through Mindful Writing workshops taught by he/r beloved late teacher Chris Malcomb. S/he found her way to EBMC in 2014 and has been practicing with the Maha Sangha since that time. S/he volunteered as a Temple Keeper in 2018 and found this to be one of he/r most rewarding volunteer experiences. S/he is grateful for the spiritual family and community that has embraced he/r at EBMC. S/he is married to Carmen Cortez, h/er partner of 23 years.

René Rivera
MidDay Sangha Coordinator

René Rivera is a leader and bridge-builder, working and learning in all the spaces in-between race, gender, and other perceived binaries, as a queer, mixed-race, trans man. René has been a student of the Dharma since 2004 and has been a part of the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) Alphabet Sangha since 2008. He has participated in the Commit to Dharma and Practice in Action programs at EBMC and the Community Dharma Leaders program at Spirit Rock. He currently serves on the EBMC Program Committee and Midday Sangha coordinating committee.

Sarwang Parikh
Maha Sangha Coordinator

Sarwang Parikh (he/they) was borne into the Dharma within a devotional Hindu Gujarati Indian culture from an immigrant, working-class family in the South. They have been steeped in the practice and study of  the Yogic sciences and Buddhism, primarily within the Theravada Vipassana lineage, for over 16 years.

Sarwang strives to weave ancient wisdom traditions with a decolonized approach to mental health as a psychotherapist primarily serving BIPOC masculine-of-center folks. He also regularly facilitates mindfulness-based trauma resilience trainings within school systems and organizations. 

Sarwang's devotion to the Dharma has been sustained through Spirit Rock's Dedicated Practitioners Program, being a long-time sangha member East Bay Meditation Center (currently a part of STL: Spiritual Teacher Leadership training); mentoring youth with iBme; and supporting Engaged Buddhism at Buddhist Peace Fellowship (link needed). Sarwang is most at home in a forest, playing flute/handpan drum, immersed in a sci-fi novel/film or on the dance floor.

Maha Sangha Coordinator

Shay is a Buddhist-Marxist computer scientist/gardener with a deep love for books, plants, and the struggle. Thanks to EBMC she began a meditative practice 4.5 years ago that has not only saved her life but transformed it.

Alphabet Sangha Coordinator

Yasemin (they/them) is a young person of Turkish and European descent living on Ramaytush Ohlone land (SF) since 2018. They have been practicing meditation and dharma since high school as a means of healing and learning. They explore how the dharma informs our response to capitalist conditioning, the dharma's inherently queer & anti-capitalist nature, and weaving Buddhist practices with Muslim practices from their homeland. They are an artist of multiple mediums and bring the dharma into their creative work.