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Want to apply? EBMC’s award-winning yearlong mindfulness for social activists training. Deadline 8/5/19.

Apply now for EBMC’s PiTA 7 yearlong program, mindfulness training for social activists & agents of change! Application deadline is Aug. 5, 2019. From Ruby Olisemeka, nature educator, graduate of Practice in Transformative Action 6:


The Practice in Transformative Action program (sixth cohort, 2018-2019), gave me the knowledge, skills and language to have mindfulness moments with my junior ranchers (4 – 5 years old) and longer meditation sessions with my nature explorers group (5 – 11 years old) as well as my middle school science classes (12 – 15 years old). At least 60 children every week got to connect to mindful awareness of breath.
The effects on my students were incredible. The most memorable effect was with a group that was really difficult to bring into a state of calm during our all groups’ morning circle. My co-instructors agreed to change our morning routine by letting me lead all 30 children in a mindfulness/breath awareness exercise. In a few weeks, the children no longer had to be wrangled into sitting and calming their verbal exuberance, so we could begin and have a successful morning circle. As soon as we said “to the stump circle” all our students gathered peacefully and were sitting in circle calmly waiting for me to start the day by saying “Meditation is a survival skill, the more you practice the better you are at it, let’s take a deep breath in and begin.”


For application, email PITA at eastbaymeditation dot org. More information, meeting dates (Sept 2019-July 2020), info about the teachers, click here.

May 18: Buddhists Declare Climate Emergency Actions

Sat, May 18, 2019, 2:00 – 5:30 PM Pacific time –
** Wesak Awakening: Buddhists Declaring Climate Emergency Together** No charge, registration required because of limited space. Location: The Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, 1661 15th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 
We invite you to take action for the world we love. Come together on Wesak (the anniversary of Buddha’s awakening) to bear witness together to our climate emergency. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wesak-awakening-buddhists-decl…
Guided by beloved teachers Thanissara and Kittisaro, we’ll join in ceremony, collectively naming and acknowledging our harrowing climate situation. We’ll also be supported by a diverse array of speakers (including Anne Symens-Bucher on behalf of Joanna Macy), interactive heart-based exercises, movement to help us ground, live music with The Invisible Bee and others, and the opportunity to speak and listen to each other’s intentions for responding, individually and collectively, in these times. 
We’ll end the event with a plant-based meal shared in community, and leave with the strength and inspiration to continue this vital conversation within our families, sanghas and beyond. We hope you’ll join us for this afternoon of contemplation, sharing, connection, engagement and truth!

Note: This event is free. Space is limited. Please register to assure your spot. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wesak-awakening-buddhists-decl…

May 18, 2019: Awakening to Climate Emergency:
Join the Live Webinar! 9:00am Pacific time 
In connection with the Call to Declare Climate Emergency Now and timed with the annual observance of the Buddha’s Awakening to reality, we invite you to join us with your local Sanghas and communities for a live webinar to Declare Climate Emergency at all levels. We will come together to commit the process of declaring a climate emergency together. We’ll be sharing resources, strategies and outcomes as we mobilize together. Register here: https://oneearthsangha.org/progr…/dcen/webinar-registration/

The live event will begin at Saturday, May 18, 2019 9:00 am PDT and will be recorded. As soon as the recording is available, it will be posted here: https://oneearthsangha.org/progr…/dcen/webinar-registration/

The time is upon us to take to heart the Buddha’s radical awakening and to apply all our practice, skills, and what wisdom and compassion we have to the task at hand, which is protecting Mother Nature and her myriad beings while ensuring a liveable planet for our children, grandchildren and the generations to come.

Mother Nature is calling us to be truth messengers and change agents and to enact a radical, quantum shift of consciousness that mirrors our rapid planetary state shift. Through DCEN we honor this call by naming and embodying the reality that “business as usual” is no longer viable for a sustainable future. In particular, we call on the Dharma, mindfulness, yoga communities, alongside all involved in awakening, healing, and transformational work, whatever affiliation, to join us in this effort. If you don’t feel you fit in these categories, you too are absolutely welcome.

The call from Mother Nature, Grandmother Earth is now extremely urgent. We have almost no time left to act as protectors of life on Earth and to pull together to hold a ground of consciousness, resilience, and wellbeing. We need to move while we can, before we experience a collapse into free fall where conducive spaces to share and organise are replaced by the shock of societies becoming more chaotic and dismembered as our life support systems die.

Let us join together in our heartbreak so we can share and transmute our grief, pain and outrage into a clarity and focus that informs creative, joyful, non-violent action.

I hope to see you there.
— Thanissara, with the DCEN team.

Featured Guests
This live webinar will feature:

Kittisaro & Thanissara – Sacred Mountain Sangha US / Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat S.Africa.
Kristin Barker – One Earth Sangha
Jozen Gibson – Brooklyn Zen Centre, Awake Youth Project, Insight Meditation Society.
Noliwe Alexandra – East Bay Meditation Center
Mark Ovland – XR UK Logistics
Charity Kahn – San Francisco Insight
This event will be hosted by One Earth Sangha

And..

If you can’t make these, organize your own event, with your family, community and/ or sangha. Template and sign up here (via 1ES) https://oneearthsangha.org/programs/dcen/share-your-event/

Want to see the source document for a Dharma / spiritually orientated process for declaring, with resources.. go here

Buddhists Climate Emergency Now

Seeking new EBMC board members, application deadline May 27, 2019

Seeking NEW BOARD MEMBERS to join #EBMC‘s Leadership Sangha to help find EBMC a permanent home! Deadline for applications is May 27, 2019. If you love East Bay Meditation Center and have specific experience in fundraising, capital campaigns, and real estate management and acquisition, for full info & to apply, click on this link, download as a Word document, or copy and paste into an email, fill in your information and email it as described in the application form, please. Please share this information with others who may be interested. Thank you. 

Program Committee Accepting Applications

The EBMC Program Committee is accepting applications for new members. Apply here, and contact programs at eastbaymeditation dot org with any questions.

Save the Date! An Evening with Tara Brach on Monday, April 22nd 2019!

Save the Date, Sangha Friends!

We’re excited to announce our Spring Fundraiser on Monday, April 22nd with the wise and wonderful Tara Brach.

This event will be held at beautiful Herbst Theater in San Francisco (ASL interpretation provided & ADA accessible).

Tickets coming soon!

Read Candi Martinez-Carthen’s Gratitude Story

To wrap up a beautiful series of Gratitude Stories, EBMC’s own Event Director Candi Martinez-Carthen shares her experience with feeling genuinely seen in Sangha:

In Fall of 2012, my dear friend Nayomi invited me to meditate with her on a Thursday evening in downtown Oakland. Having admired her meditation practice, I jumped at the opportunity, intrigued further by her describing a meditation group for People of Color (POC Sangha).
I distinctly remember coming through EBMC’s doors for the first time –marveling at a sea of black and brown folks gathered together – taking in this beautiful center and the ease with which I immediately felt at home, both seen and welcomed.

Inspired by this experience, I started attending both POC Sangha and Alphabet Sangha as frequently as I could. As a Sangha member, I feel wildly blessed to be connected to the inspiring individuals I have met through EBMC. Individuals who, under different circumstances, I may never have crossed paths with, are now chosen family to hold and feel held by, whose liberation is bound up with my own.

Before coming to EBMC, I didn’t realize how important and healing this would be – nor how many wounds I was carrying around from the pain of my own estranged family members.

Having space to create connection, community and spiritual friendships at EBMC has enriched my life in ways that I could not have expected.

I am grateful for the quiet joy that comes from sharing a meditation practice with another person, the invitation for ease in my body that I experience during our movement classes, and for being part of a community that I feel genuinely seen and supported by.

Nearly six years after being introduced to EBMC, I am also deeply honored to be serving as EBMC’s Event Director. In my role as Event Director, I help steward the space in which we gather. In this work, love is in the details, and that is where I dwell.

I am touched by and always learning from the ways in which EBMC practices radical inclusivity. It’s truly revolutionary to me – there is so much thought and ACTION put into keeping our center as accessible as possible.

From our practice of Gift Economics which encourages our community to support each other to ensure no one is turned away from lack of funds, to making sure our temple and teachings are accessible for people of different abilities and identities, I have learned what it means to be part of a community that is grounded in genuine (and radical!) inclusivity.

These gifts of radical inclusivity, love and liberation that I and so many others have experienced at EBMC extend far beyond our four walls. They ripple out across our families, our communities and into the world. Your support of EBMC helps to ensure many others can experience these same gifts and more, for years to come.

Deep bows,
Candi Martinez-Carthen


Sangha Friends, 

Today is the last chance to give towards our 2018 year-end goal!

If you haven’t yet offered a gift of any amount to support EBMC, it’s not too late. Thanks to the generosity of many, we are SO close to reaching our goal! As we start off the new year, your generosity will sustain our center and support EBMC’s mission to continue building, as Candi says, genuine and radical inclusivity.

Please join us by making a gift today, so together we can enter 2019 with the resources we need to make EBMC a thriving refuge for all.

Thank you! We are deeply grateful for your generosity.



Help us reach our year-end goal by Dec 31!

Crystal Johnson’s Gratitude Story: Practices for Liberation

In this week’s Season Of Gratitude, Leadership Sangha member and teacher Crystal Johnson reflects on how practices for liberation require tackling the messy

EBMC is a place that challenges and holds me at the same time. I first came to EBMC’s Friday night practice group, now called Maha Sangha, shortly after the center’s doors opened in 2008. I was looking for a dharma community where people were trying to grapple with the suffering that many other dharma centers don’t want to talk about, like that of racism, classism, sexism, and gender-based discrimination. I hadn’t found that elsewhere, and had kind of given up. 


Yet at EBMC, there’s a willingness to tackle the messy, difficult and uncomfortable dynamics that exist among us, which is what I have found is necessary to really connect with people who are different from me in important ways (even as we share a common humanity). I see this effort to end separation as a central commitment to reducing suffering and moving all of us towards liberation. 

This has been especially true in my experience co-teaching EBMC’s six-month long program, White and Awakening in Sangha (WAS), where I could explore my own white privilege through the practice of holding space for other white folks. WAS is designed for white practitioners to come to understand our whiteness as clinging to a delusion that brings suffering to ourselves and others, and to see that accepting the system of white privilege doesn’t align with our dharma practice.  


In WAS, we aren’t doing this work to feel like we are helping people of color. We’re doing it for our own freedom and the freedom of everyone, because it’s all tied together. Over the years, I’ve come to understand this work as a practice of reparation, repairing and restoring, where we move white people into taking action where action wasn’t being taken before. Where we often hear the idea of “me and my needs”, EBMC centers the question, “how does this work for everybody?”, which I understand to mean sustaining EBMC beyond the center, and instead sustaining EBMC as a community. 


This is why EBMC’s financial model of Gift Economics strikes me as a practice for freedom. Gift Economics is the antidote to the poison of narcissistic, materialistic capitalism. It’s the cure for the painful life that we’ve been taught to live–that of getting as much as you can for yourself. Supporting the community, at the highest level we can, means that we all get to be here to practice and act towards the liberation of all beings. What could be more fabulous?


In community,

Crystal Johnson

******

Dharma friend,


What are your practices for liberation? At EBMC, one of ours is keeping our programs accessible to all who come seeking an end to suffering, regardless of ability to pay. We do this through Gift Economics, where those in the community sustain the community. 


We are nearly halfway to our year-end goal of raising $25,000! Thanks to a generous Sangha member, all gifts will be doubled through December 31st, up to $10,000. 


Will you join Crystal in supporting our community’s practice towards liberation by making a year-end gift today?


Thank you for all you do to support the liberation of all beings.


Cultivating Spiritual Freedom… by Challenging Capitalism

Dear Sangha Family,
Can you envision a world beyond capitalism?
For us, it starts with the Buddha’s first teaching that generosity is an essential component of spiritual freedom. 
When you visit or support EBMC, you also participate in this practice of generosity through our financial model: Gift Economics. 
This radically inclusive giving model ensures our programs are accessible to all. By offering programs without a set fee, all are welcome regardless of ability to pay. 
… But there’s more. 
For Gift Economics to thrive, everyone is encouraged to give to the extent they are able, at the highest level they can, to support our Sangha as a whole
As a practice of generosity, a Sangha member has offered us a $10,000 match! Right now, we have just $4,620 left to raise by the end of the year to make our match and get us closer to our $25,000 year-end goal. Will you help us make our match by offering a gift today?
Gift Economics necessitates that those in the community sustain our community. There is no “them” being asked to give for “us”. We strive to support each other and create a “we” that is powerful, resourceful, and abundant. 
Today we invite you to support EBMC as a place of deep refuge for all who come seeking liberation. Will you offer a gift of generosity to sustain our community today? With bows of gratitude for your practice of generosity,
EBMC Staff:

Candi, Cassandra, Irene, Lyla, Mushim, and Xiaojing

From René Rivera: My Journey from Chaos to Refuge

From protests in San Francisco to the cushion at EBMC, Sangha member and teacher René Rivera shares their journey finding a place of refuge for our Season Of Gratitude:

By the time I was five years old I had lived at least a dozen places. By the time I graduated from high school I had lived more in more than two dozen places. I was born in San Francisco in 1968, at a time when it seemed to my parents that the revolution was coming. While my father organized in the La Raza movement in the Mission, we were often evicted.

When my parents separated, my mother joined the land communes in Mendocino County, and I moved between rural white commune life and protests in San Francisco. It was a time for me that was frighteningly chaotic.

Telling a wise person some years ago about the chaos of my early life, he remarked that perhaps this life is one for me to learn what home is. That comment has since stuck with me. I did not grow up with any sense or experience of home. When I first came to the East Bay Meditation Center in 2008, Larry Yang invited me to consider EBMC as my spiritual home. At the time I did not know what this meant, or how big of an impact EBMC would have on my life.

Ten years later, I know in my bones what home is thanks to finding EBMC, a place where I can show up as all of who I am, in a community that accepts me fully. It took me many years and stages of deepening my practice – through Commit 2 Dharma and Practice in Transformative Action programs, Alphabet Sangha and Trans* and Genderqueer Deep Refuge group, and leadership roles on the EBMC Board and Generosity Committee – to really feel the refuge of home that EBMC is.

Today when I come through the doors of EBMC, this refuge of home is something that I draw deep into my lungs with each breath. I feel it in the way the floor rises up to support my body, and in the way I am held in this beloved community.

As we are now in a time of all too familiar fear and chaos, EBMC brings me hope. Imagining a future where we care for one another as family, and where we resource ourselves through generosity instead of capitalism, is more crucial than ever.

Through the model of Gift Economics, EBMC shows us an alternate future where love is ascendent over fear and hatred. For Gift Economics to thrive, it requires all of us to participate. I hope you will join me in making this regular practice of generosity to sustain and grow this unique space of refuge.

With hope,
René Rivera

PS- I have been a Friend of EBMC Monthly Donor since the program started back in 2009. It gives me such joy to know that I am helping to cultivate this refuge of home at EBMC every month, regardless of how often I am able to physically attend. Please join me in offering ongoing generosity to sustain this space of refuge.

***Sangha Family,

Gift Economics at EBMC means that all who are seeking a space of refuge are welcome, regardless of their ability to pay. Instead, Gift Economics necessitates that we all give to the extent that we are able, at the highest level we can, to support our Sangha as a whole. As René calls it, it’s a way of caring for one another as family, through the practice of generosity.

Will you join René in caring for our Sangha and place of refuge by making a one-time gift or becoming a monthly sustain today? Until the end of the year, every dollar you give will be doubled- dollar for dollar!

Thank you for supporting our center through your practice of care and generosity.