Deep Refuge in Spiritual Friendship: a Network of EBMC Online Practice Communities

“To have spiritual associates, spiritual companions, spiritual friendships, is the whole of the Holy life.” ~Buddha

The Deep Refuge program was created to support the many individuals and diverse communities of the East Bay Meditation Center to deepen their spiritual path in their lived experiences. Deep Refuge communities are intended to provide a safe, intimate, and community-led space in which folks can explore what relevance wisdom teachings from different lineages and traditions have in their lives.

Deep Refuge groups can have many different themes or organizing principles, such as a particular area of study, a common interest, a shared identity, or a shared neighborhood. They generally consist of 5-12 members, making it possible for Sangha bonds to grow strong as well as providing an intimate enough setting for true exploration of Dharma topics. This deepens the development of daily life as practice.

Deep Refuge groups are community-led practice groups of people in the EBMC community. However Deep Refuge groups are not facilitated by EBMC.

Current Deep Refuge Groups

If you wish to explore joining one of these groups, please contact the facilitators directly. If a group is closed or doesn’t yet exist, you are warmly invited to start a new group. For more information about starting a Deep Refuge group, please download the Deep Refuge Guidelines (PDF).

Every Saturday from 10AM – 11:30AM PST / PDT ONLINE

Compassionate Dharma Deep Refuge Buddhist meeting focuses on ways to heal addiction. Based on the Eight Steps to Recovery developed by Dr. Mason-John M.A (hon.doc) and Dr Groves, we believe this inclusive approach can build a solid foundation for those at any level of recovery and for those who have yet to seek help.

Through these practices we hope you gain a practice that can sustain you in your recovery.

We ask that you attend sober on the day with respect for others that may be active in recovery.  Open to all in Recovery.

Advance Registration is not required.

For additional information, please contact: ebmcrecovery at gmail dot com.

This deep refuge group is for people who have ancestry in Asia (mixed race folks welcome!), and an established meditation practice (can practice without instruction) and foundation in the Four Noble Truths. We gather to build sangha and to support each other’s practice in a safe(r) space that allows us to explore the intersections of Asian Diaspora identity/experience and Buddhism.
Meeting info: We are currently meeting on Zoom, Tuesdays 5:30-7pm Pacific time.
To join, please email to be added to the google group.

Tendramos una meditación, tiempo para convivir/hablar sobre un tema budista y comunidad.

“Deep Refuge” le invita a una reunión de Zoom programada.

Información de Zoom: Por favor envíe un correo electrónico a melvinescobar828 at gmail dot com

The Multiracial Deep Refuge Group is a monthly exploratory Deep Refuge Group for and by people who identify as multiracial. Our meetings include periods of mindfulness meditation and sharing of narratives and perspectives as we come together to be seen and to see one another. By sitting and exploring our own unique stories, we can come to know and care for the common threads that bind us together. Our collective work bravely expands the narrative that informs multiracial experience today.

Meets 7-9PM PST on the second Saturday of each month. Newcomers welcome. We are currently meeting online. Please contact us with a couple lines about why you are interested in the group: mrdrcoordinators AT googlegroups DOT com

We are a peer-led meditation group for those of us who have a meditation practice and are queer and leather/kink-identified. Our group holds a safe space where we can support each other as we practice in our daily lives. Specifically, this group provides an accepting space where we can include the queer and leather/kinky parts of our identities and experiences when talking about our practices. We practice both sitting and lovingkindness meditation together, and also take time to share about our practices. We meet on the 4th Friday of every month from 7 – 8:30 p.m. For more info or to join our mailing list or online groups, please visit

Racial Justice Skills for White Practitioners meets monthly online in 2022 and 2023 on the third Thursday of the month from 6PM-7PM Pacific time, with the intention to support self-identified white practitioners of meditation in working with the skills and commitments of meditation practice to contribute to racial justice and to end white supremacy, in ourselves and in the world. This group is open to all self-identified white people who have a regular meditation practice and are working towards racial justice.  In each meeting we will work with a skill from dharma practice to undo a habit of white supremacy culture.

Sign up for the Zoom link at

The talking circle is an indigenous tradition that is both ceremony and council. In circle, all things are connected, no one is held in a position of prominence, and we function as equals while honoring our differences. The circle is strong enough to hold joy, pain, anger, quiet, paradox, or the anxiety and hope of this uncertain time. (Kay Pranis).

For those interested in Restorative Practice Deep Refuge Group work with various types of Community Building Circles to deepen our familiarity and capacity to participate in, as well as increase our skills at holding a Circle Keeping Process collectively.

Need to contact us with questions, training inquires or know someone who’d like to be added the or email list? Feel free to reach us at rpdpsangha at gmail dot com.

Meets 3rd Tuesdays of Every Month, 3:00 – 4:30PM PT via Zoom. 

Closed Captions Available.

The purpose of this refuge group is to provide a space for sex workers to connect with each other, build sangha, and to deepen our spiritual practices in community. Sex workers continue to be a marginalized group in society and this sangha would be a place where we would support each other in bringing our whole selves into our spiritual lives.

For Zoom Access, Please Email: sexworkersangha AT eastbaymeditation DOT org

Join us second Tuesdays at lunchtime from 12pm to 1pm Pacific time. A place to practice and reflect with #EBMCOakland organizers and activists. Includes a 30 minute meditation and time for sharing what’s on our hearts, deepening our commitment to community and movements for justice and liberation.

For zoom access, please email: socialjustice at eastbaymeditation dot org

This peer-led Deep Refuge group is led by Christine Cordero, EBMC board member and former director of the Center for Story Based Strategy and Amanda Ream, union organizer and former EBMC board member. Both are graduates of EBMC’s Practice in Transformative Action Program.

Trans and Gender Queer/Gender Variant Deep Refuge Group
Fourth Mondays (Online over zoom)
6:30-8pm PM PST

Refuge for us means this group is led by Trans and Gender Queer/Gender Variant facilitators, for people who identify as Trans and/or Gender Queer/Gender Variant. Our goal is to provide a safe and welcoming space for all folks with these identities/experiences who are interested in practicing and exploring Insight/Vipassana meditation; the observation of one’s mental and physical sensations, in our moment-to-moment life experience. This group is for beginners as well as folks who have been practicing meditation for a while.

Group core leaders are currently René Rivera, Cian B. Dawson, and Fresh Lev White. We are actively looking for experienced leaders, teachers, and Zoom hosts.

Check out TGQMM – Trans & Gender Expansive Mindfulness Meetup, Oakland on Meetup

please email: trans-dr (at) for more info

The WAS Deep Refuge Group is a supportive learning community of white practitioners exploring racism in the context of Buddha Dharma and working on ways to transform our own white racial conditioning, and the white supremacist systems in which we live.

White and Awakening in Sangha meets at EBMC every 4th Tuesday from 6-8PM. For more information, please contact: