The March 16th Atlanta shootings claimed the lives of eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, including 63-year-old Buddhist, Yong Ae Yue. Yue’s tragic death follows upon months of unrelenting racist taunts and violence against Asian Americans, including the senseless assault of 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee in San Francisco. His daughter, who herself had been accosted twice in the past year and told to go back to Asia because “Asians caused the coronavirus,” described her father as a devout Thai Buddhist; his funeral was held at Wat Buddhanusorn in Fremont, California. Our temples have also come under attack. Six Vietnamese American temples in Orange County, California were vandalized in a single month; an outdoor Buddhist statue was spray-painted with the word “Jesus” at Huong Tich Temple. More recently, the Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles was damaged when windows were smashed, lanterns broken, and the building set on fire.
Rev. Duncan Williams will speak about the National Buddhist Memorial Ceremony for Asian American Ancestors scheduled on May 4, 2021 – Forty-nine days after the Atlanta shootings. Forty-nine days after death marks an important transition for the bereaved in many Buddhist traditions.
Registered participants will receive a link to join us via Zoom with their EventBrite confirmation.
The Spiritual Teacher & Leadership (STL) training program launched in February 2021 with 30 participants and 4 core teachers. The purpose of the training is to cultivate future teachers and leaders to step into leadership roles within EBMC and into surrounding communities and sibling organizations.
Read more about the participants HERE.
The East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) expresses our collective grief and outrage at the ongoing violence targeting Asian and Asian Americans and in the wake of the most recent tragic attack in Atlanta. We stand in solidarity with Asian and Asian Americans in beloved community.
These violent acts of hatred are arising due to the current and historical oppression of Asian Americans in the U.S. They are the direct result of our nation’s deep roots in white supremacy, imperialism, and xenophobia.
EBMC is committed to co-creating a culture of strongly-rooted resistance, resilience and well-being. This is our steady response to the violence and injustice we witness in society. We continue to cultivate the ground for deep systemic change, to end multigenerational patterns of oppression, and to uphold a spiritual vision for freedom and joy for everyone. This is a time to take refuge in the three jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and support one another on the path of non-harming.
East Bay Meditation Center will continue to offer collective spaces for healing and taking refuge together in Sangha, especially in the coming weeks. We will share programming updates that will include space for our Asian and Asian American Sangha members and opportunities to build solidarity with our BIPOC/White allies. In the meantime, we continue to hold space at our People of Color Sangha practice group on Thursday evenings and our Asian American Deep Refuge group on Tuesday evenings. We are in the process of scheduling more programming and will share details soon. We encourage you to lean on EBMC and each other in Sangha during this time.
The following is a link to compiled resources, including donation, volunteer, and action opportunities: https://anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co/
[Cover image used with permission from artist Pauline Cuevas. Artwork was commissioned by the California Endowment.]
February 28, 2021
Volunteer Position Description: EBMC Real Estate Subcommittee member
We are very happy to be at a point in our search for a sustainable home for EBMC that we need to add members to the EBMC Real Estate Subcommittee of the Space Force! The Space Force (officially the Advisory Committee to the Strategic Planning Committee) is the group in our sangha(spiritual community) that has been working to move EBMC to a sustainable home. During this time of pandemic we have continued to meet and work toward this goal. As we move closer to the time of purchasing a building, we are seeking additional volunteer support.
We are looking for someone who:
- Is able to physically visit potential buildings in downtown Oakland to assess for appropriateness
- Has commercial real estate transaction experience: purchase, contracts, subcontracting
- Can attend bi-weekly meetings of the Real Estate Subcommittee (every other Tuesday, 2:00-3:00 pm Pacific time), and, when possible, monthly meetings of the Space Force (Second Mondays, 7:00-8:30 pm Pacific time)
- Ideally, would have expertise in ADA/accessibility, the Oakland real estate market and real estate project management
The estimated time commitment is four to six hours per month, including two Zoom meetings, which usually happen on a weekday afternoon. The committee uses a modified consensus decision-making process, using gradients of agreement. (We’re happy to tell you more.)
By contributing your skills and expertise, you’ll be helping to create a new chapter in the history of American Buddhism and helping to shape the new home of one of the most diverse, social justice-centered sanghas in the world.
If you are interested, please complete this brief form and we will be in touch! If you know someone else who might be interested, please pass this on to them.
With deep gratitude for your practice and your support of our sangha,
Marian Urquilla, Kaily Heitz and David Foecke
East Bay Meditation Center Real Estate Subcommittee
EBMC is currently seeking a volunteer Dharma in Motion Zoom Moderator.
For more information on this volunteer position, please read the Volunteer Description.
Contact: shah at eastbaymeditation dot org if you are interested!
The first thing I noticed about East Bay Meditation Center was its striking difference from the other mostly white-dominant healing spaces I had experienced. I came to the center on the heels of a very traumatic racial experience in a therapeutic training program. What was sold to me as an intuitive, supportive, and conscious training ended up being a mostly white-led space that reinforced white supremacist behaviours. Ultimately, I left the program but carried the grief and pain of that encounter. When I came to EBMC I was nervous and hesitant to enter another healing community. But immediately upon walking into the center, I could tell I was in a different type of space. The center felt humble, simple, and approachable. It had a comforting feel and everyone I encountered was friendly. Even before arriving at the physical space I felt held; the communication around what to expect from the center and what was expected of me was clear: come as you are and be thoughtful of the community.