Are you interested in making spiritual practice one of the primary focal points of your day-to-day life?
Are you interested in deepening your meditation practice and exploring serious Dharma study?
Are you interested in exploring service to family and community and culture, as dharma or secular mindfulness practice?
If so, then, one of these practice programs at EBMC might be of interest to you.
Spiritual Teacher and Leadership Training
We are excited to announce the launch of East Bay Meditation Center’s Spiritual Teacher and Leadership Training (STL). STL was developed in alignment with the mission and vision of EBMC and carries the goal of fostering liberation for diverse communities by advancing personal and interpersonal healing, social engagement and transformation, and radically inclusive community building. The purpose of the training is to cultivate future teachers and leaders to step into leadership roles within EBMC’s infrastructure and into the expanse of surrounding, diverse communities and partnering organizations.
STL is a comprehensive, two-year training offered by the East Bay Meditation Center for dedicated Dharma practitioners who are leading or coordinating meditation/Dharma groups and/or participating in programs at EBMC. The training will begin in February 2021 and go through February 2023. The core curriculum will be offered by guiding teachers: Noliwe Alexander, Carol Cano, JD Doyle, and Amana Brembry Johnson. Selected guests will offer teachings in their specific fields. Participants will meet monthly in training configurations that include: two, week-long residential retreats, non-residential and single day retreats. All participants are expected to commit to full participation for the two-year period.
RATIONALE FOR TRAINING
EBMC has created and continues to evolve a comprehensive and far-reaching social ecosystem, one that is equitable, ethical, inclusive, and challenges the dominant market capital system that prospers the few over the many. EBMC’s ability to thrive is rooted in interdependence, diversity, and connection to the larger world environment. The center has increasingly become an exemplar of how to integrate radical inclusivity and social justice with the Buddhadharma, creating a model that is of great value to organizations and institutions on a national and international scale. Throughout EBMC’s history, dedicated Dharma practitioners have evolved who are ready to step into leadership positions. Due to this confluence of individual and collective development, we are launching STL training at this time.
OVERVIEW OF PROGRAM COMPONENTS
- The STL training will:
- Impart a strong knowledge of the Suttas and the Buddhist lineage
- Connect classic teachings to contemporary issues in ways that align with social justice, transformative healing, and radical inclusivity
- Master pedagogy for leading meditation groups, Dharma classes, daylongs and weekend retreats
- Teach how to cultivate and sustain diverse community-based groups and Dharma organizations, in alignment with trauma informed practices and accessibility awareness
- Explore the values, principles, and practices of shared leadership and gift economics
- Support the embodiment of relational skills, such as: empathy, humility, curiosity, humor and ethics
- Deepen knowledge to create sacred spaces and rituals, rooted in the wisdom and compassion of Buddhism and other spiritual traditions
PREREQUISITES FOR NOMINATION
- An active member of the EBMC community.
- A minimum of five years of dedicated Dharma practice.
- A daily meditation practice based in foundational elements of Buddhist teachings.
- 30-40 nights or more of residential retreat practice. This can include other silent meditation retreat experiences with Buddhist or other traditions and should include at least two, seven-day, silent meditation retreats, or a month or more of continuous retreat practice. Recognizing that this criteria is not accessible to everyone, applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis through a holistic selection process.
- A commitment to embody the core elements of EBMC’s principles which include: Gift Economics, Radical Inclusivity, Buddhism and Mindfulness, Shared Leadership, and Social Justice and Healing.
- An embodied practice of the 5 precepts.
- An understanding of the importance of environmental/climate justice and human/animal rights as it relates to ethical integrity.
- Completion of EBMC’s White Awakening in Sangha (WAS) and/or an equivalent anti-racist training by all white participants.
- Strong communication and leadership skills.
- Personal and interpersonal maturity that includes an understanding of power and privilege.
- A commitment to full participation for the entirety of the training.
Participants will be chosen only from nominations by EBMC Teachers, Staff Members, Practice Group Coordinators, and meditation teachers from other organizations and institutions. Nominations will be accepted between March 15, 2020 and June 22, 2020 via this nomination form.
All nominations will be reviewed and qualified candidates will be invited to submit applications starting on August 1, 2020. Final application deadline will be September 30, 2020. Candidates will be informed of participation by November 15, 2020.
For more information, please contact STL@eastbaymeditation.org
Resilience, Refuge and (R)evolution
Announcing EBMC’s New Half-year Radical Buddhism Leadership Program for People of Color!
We are excited to announce EBMC’s newest program: “Resilience, Refuge and (R)evolution” a six month Radical Buddhism leadership program for self-identified People of Color that took place January -June 2019.
In order to nurture and create deepened connectivity, networking and growth for current and future POC leaders, “Resilience, Refuge and (R)evolution” has limited its participation to 35 individuals.
Resilience, Refuge and (R)evolution is currently on hiatus. (As Of Jan 2021)
Practice in Transformative Action yearlong program
UPDATE MAY 2023: EBMC Practice in Transformative Action on Hiatus
EBMC’s yearlong program of secular mindfulness training for social justice activists ran continuously for ten years, from 2013-2023, graduating ten amazing cohorts. It is currently on hiatus. For those interested, the program description of the tenth cohort, which graduated in July 2023, appears below as a reference.
APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2022-2023 COHORT NO LONGER BEING ACCEPTED.
NOW OFFERED AS A HYBRID PROGRAM (due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic), and in its tenth year, our third year opening this yearlong program to English speakers for whom the time zones work for participation by Zoom. Those who can gather at EBMC’s physical space in person are invited to do so, Covid safety measures allowing. This award-winning yearlong program of East Bay Meditation Center for social change and social justice activists, community workers and volunteers, transformative thought leaders is open to all, offered on a gift economics (donation) basis, with a special invitation to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) to apply. PiTA 10 trains participants to take practices of inner awareness (mindfulness meditation) into their spheres of activity, and to ground themselves in a Vow Not to Burn Out.
[Please note: This is a secular mindfulness training program, not a Buddhist or Dharma study program.]
Guiding teacher: Mushim Ikeda, EBMC Core Teacher
assisted by apprentice teachers Angel Nguyen, Damali Robertson, Ellen Morrison, Maureen Anderson, and Tracy Stewart, with guest teachers at three or more sessions.
Sept. 11, 2022 – July 9, 2023
Deadline for applications for the 2022-2023 yearlong program is Monday, August 8, 2022. Notifications responding to applicants will go out by August 22, 2022 at the latest.
Email PITA@eastbaymeditation.org for detailed information on how to apply.
“With the Practice in Transformative Action program, you are all carving out an exceptional space for practice and insight.” — Peter Doran, author of A Political Economy of Attention, Mindfulness and Consumerism: Reclaiming the Mindful Commons (Routledge Studies in Sustainability)
“The PITA 2 program was invaluable to me as a future physician. Before the program I was meditating off and on for about 10 minutes where now I find myself pushing 20 minutes at 5 days a week. This program has given me the confidence to share this stress reduction tool with my future cohort this upcoming year. I am involved in a program designed for physicians of color who are dedicated to provide care to underserved communities in California. This tool has helped me feel more calm and confident in the day to day demands of a rigorous journey. I have gained a deeper awareness with my body regarding fatigue and responding appropriately in dealing with burnout.” — Alejandro
Fully alive. Seeing clearly. Training in secular mindfulness meditation-based practices. Deep listening and respectful interaction in multicultural community. Reducing stress, increasing joy. Opening to what is new. Transforming ourselves, transforming our communities and the world.
Practice in Transformative Action (PiTA 10) is aimed at supporting individuals to foster transformative inner and outer change by bringing mindfulness awareness practices into their work with progressive social change organizations, coalitions and social movements. Beginning and seasoned social justice activists, as well as people who may not think of themselves as activists, but who are agents of change nevertheless, are invited to apply.
We’ll spend a year together, with 11 monthly meetings in full group, and small group meetings in between full group meetings, learning and practicing a variety of inner awareness practices, in stillness and in movement, designed to inspire a radical understanding of what mindfulness really is, then learning how to extend its benefits and practices to those around us. Guest teachers are invited in order to bring fresh viewpoints, innovative train-the-trainer workshops, and expertise in applying mindfulness to social change and transformation. Program enrollment will be limited to 40 – 60 people, with a special invitation to Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
Those who apply to PiTA 10 must commit to making a sincere effort to deeply understand and acknowledge their own and other people’s experience, background, cultural expression and dimensions of privilege and power. This program will support an environment of empowered exploration rather than debate, and we will practice developing spacious awareness in which transformation can occur, as new ways of being and doing, seeing and understanding, are offered and exchanged. This deep receptivity is the foundation for wise, courageous, and strategic action that comes from a profound inner clarity when the intimate realization of interconnection spontaneously arises.
For more about the context of East Bay Meditation Center’s vision, goals and its theory of transformative social change, click here.
How much does this program cost? In order to provide access to people of all income levels, Practice in Transformative Action 9 is offered on a gift economics basis. No upfront fees are required and the guiding teacher receives minimal payment from EBMC for teaching this program. (Guest presenters will receive a stipend, thanks to a supporting grant for this program.)
Program applicants are asked to make a strong “stretch” commitment to financially support the teacher and, separately, the meditation center, according to their ability and to reflect mindfully and pragmatically on how they can contribute to creating a financially viable program. If you request the online application form by emailing PITA@eastbaymeditation.org, you will also receive information about EBMC and this specific program’s generosity-based economic model, which aims toward sustainability for everyone involved: the program participants, the guiding teacher, and the meditation center. The apprentice teachers generously offer their time and skills as volunteers.
The first PiTA program in 2013-2014 and Mushim were awarded the Gil A. Lopez Peacemaker Award from the Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California.
PiTA 10 meeting dates and times
Continuity, commitment and community building are important for best outcomes in any transformative group process. You need to commit to attending all of the eleven (11) sessions. All meetings will be hybrid if possible, with some members of the cohort meeting in person at the EBMC physical site, 285 17th Street in Oakland, and others joining on the Zoom videoconference platform. (If it is unavoidable that you miss one or more sessions, please indicate this on the application form.)
PiTA 10’s full group will meet 11 times, four times in 2022 and seven times in 2023.
2022: September 11, October 9, November 13, December 11. Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30 pm Pacific Time.
2023: January 8, February 12, March 12, April 9, May 21,* June 11: Sundays, 1:30 – 5:30 pm Pacific Time.
The final meeting will be on July 9, 10 am – 5pm Pacific Time, a daylong PiTA 10 retreat & celebration.
*Note that this is the 3rd Sunday of the month
In addition, program participants will work in small groups to deepen their socially-engaged mindfulness practices, engage in processes of inquiry and study, and support one another to take transformative mindfulness practices into their communities, workplaces, and networks in innovative and culturally appropriate ways. One-on-one mentoring meetings with Mushim, the program’s guiding teacher, will be offered.
About PiTA’s founding and guiding teacher: Mushim (Patricia Ikeda) (she, her) is an internationally recognized socially-engaged Buddhist teacher and author, and a core teacher at East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, California USA where she lives. She has practiced mindfulness and meditation for over 30 years, in North America and in Asia, and she has a long track record of diversity and social-justice activism in Buddhist-based, interfaith, and public education communities. Mushim has taught mindfulness meditation retreats nationally for Black, Indigenous and People of Color, social justice activists, and women. Her approach to mindfulness as a tool for transformative social change encourages creativity, embodiment, and cultivating humor, equanimity, and a resilient and stable mind. Mushim was selected by Lion’s Roar Buddhist media magazine as one of twenty-six “Great Buddhist Teachers” in the January 2022 issue. See http://www.mushimikeda.com for more information about Mushim.
PiTA 10 Apprentice Teachers (alphabetical order by first name)
Angel Nguyen (she/her) is a Business Consultant/Analyst in Clinical Technology at Kaiser Permanente. With over 10 years in local government and higher education, Angel has extensive experience in training & facilitation, learning & development, team building, and program & project management. She also holds an MBA and DBA in Global Business Sustainability
Angel grew up in the Bay Area, California and is passionate about diversity, equity, inclusion and mindfulness work. She is a PiTA 2 graduate, a certified mediator, a yoga & mindfulness meditation practitioner and a nature lover. Angel aspires to help individuals reclaim wholeness and looks forward to supporting the PiTA 10 cohort in developing and deepening their mindfulness practice.
Damali Robertson (she, her, spirit) I’m on a mission to disrupt “Imperialist, White Supremacist, Capitalist, Patriarchy” (bell hooks) in everything that I do. After a 15 year career in nonprofit leadership and seeing the nonprofit industrial complex (NPIC) up close, I am now the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the California Institute for Integral Studies where I develop liberatory programming and communications that interrogates racism, oppression and colonial ideas and seeks to build trust and belonging across the college community. I am also a facilitator and writer/artist who creates liberatory content through my writing on Medium, my Soul-Centered Conversations, and Write Your Way to Freedom workshops. I also design liberatory frameworks for organizations through my newest initiative Liberation As Praxis. My work supports individuals and organizations in moving toward practices that free the mind, body, spirit, and soul. I completed PiTA 5 in 2018 and credit the program with my commitment to self-awareness and mindfulness in everything I do and BE.
Ellen Morrison (she/her) I am a PiTA 7 cohort graduate, looking forward to being an apprentice for PiTA 10 and in reciprocity with the EBMC community as I credit both to being pivotal to my growth and steadiness. I am grateful for the opportunity to be in community with all of you, bringing what I can to this culture building experience. With a focus on anti-racism, I work as an anti-oppression facilitator and therapist collaborating with individuals and groups in catalyzing their efforts toward equity, bringing attention to the analysis of power as a core element of interpersonal and organizational change. I am informed by a career in community mental health, inspired by a lineage of movement work and impacted by an intentional personal journey in understanding my relationship to power and privilege all of which are grounded by mindfulness and arts practice.
Maureen Anderson (she/her) has worked as a strategist and communicator in social/economic justice movements and is currently chief of staff at the Alliance of Health Care Unions. She is committed to practicing the principles of mindfulness and compassion to help sustain activists for racial and environmental justice, within organizations that are internally just and welcoming. A lesbian mom of two young adults, Maureen lives in Oakland with her wife and their dog. She’s a graduate of PiTA 4 and deeply grateful for the opportunity to learn with and support another class.
Tracy L. Stewart (she, they) has been a mindfulness-based mental health therapist and activist for over 14 years. She is the cofounder and codirector of Gathering Roots Wellness to support BIPoC community liberation and has served on the board of Surge Reproductive Justice and cofacilitated Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) – Seattle. Tracy was a member of the 2021-2022 PiTA 9 cohort, which has impacted how she visualizes and practices leadership. Actively sharing PiTA values of healing justice and Mindfulness grounding, Tracy works to support community practicing healing justice values and “not burning out.” Her cup is filled by the outside places, silly friends with microphones, passion for life, and folx sharing their good medicine with each other. Tracy says, “My focus is learning to be a good elder in order to support those out in the community fighting for all of us to BE.”
We are intending these meetings to be hybrid, and part of cohort 10 will we hope be meeting in person at EBMC in Oakland (285 17th Street, Oakland, CA 94612), with other members joining through simultaneous Zoom. Those attending in person will need to register for each meeting they attend in person, and will be required to follow Covid safety protocols as determined by the EBMC Safety Squad committee. Those attending in person will also need to arrive at the center completely free of fragranced hair, body, and clothing products. Keeping our community as safe as possible is important to East Bay Meditation Center and to the Practice in Transformative Action program. For more information and a list of products, including those that are particularly good for BIPOC, please go to https://eastbaymeditation.org/resources/fragrance-free-at-ebmc/ .
Fragrance Free Policy: Out of respect for people with environmental illnesses, we request that everyone attending EBMC please not wear fragrance or scented products when attending events at EBMC. This includes clothing that has been laundered with fragranced detergent or softening products. We greatly appreciate your efforts to make EBMC accessible to those with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities). Please view our list of fragrance-free products and related resources that can assist you in keeping EBMC fragrance-free.
The East Bay Meditation Center is wheelchair accessible.
White and Awakening in Sangha
White and Awakening in Sangha: Continuing on the Path
with Crystal Johnson, Heather Lear
Dates: January 22, February 26, March 26, April 23 and June 4, 2023 10:00-12:00 Pacific Time
Since we first launched the White and Awakening in Sangha course in 2014 (and its sibling/cousin courses at SRMC, SFZC, SZBA and Branching Streams) we have had the privilege of being in community with hundreds of white identified people seeking to see more clearly into the delusion of race and move into wise action to disrupt the operation of white supremacy culture and the harm of race-based oppression. Many of you have asked for a regular forum to support your ongoing (un)learning and action.
This edition of Continuing on the Path will consist of 5 2-hour sessions (90 minutes just wasn’t enough!) on Sundays from 10:00-12:00 Pacific Time, January 22, February 26, March 26, April 23 and June 4, 2023 with Crystal Johnson and Heather Lear. We will focus on Metta (Lovingkindness) and Karuna (Compassion) as practices that support, sustain and inspire our efforts. Technology and COVID willing, we will do our best to hold some of these dates as hybrid programs, so that folks in the Bay Area can gather in person (!), and those who can’t come in person can join us via Zoom.
These meetings are a time for us to gather in community as white identified people working to operate in the world in a way that fosters equity, healing and community building. If you are like us, you find yourself from time to time overextending, or worrying about whether you are doing “enough,” or whether you are too concerned with your own happiness when there is so much suffering in the world. These are deeply conditioned mental/emotional habits that drain energy and get in the way of being effective and joyful. The practices of metta and karuna support you to build a sustainable course of action that fosters joy and connection.
In this series, we will offer brief dharma talks, guided practice, small and large group sharing and discussion, and, of course, lots of resources and some new readings. If you would like to be part of a small, peer-led group in between meetings, we will help you arrange that with other participants. We will offer partial recordings of the sessions for those who can’t attend live, but still want to see what we are up to.
If you are white and have not taken the original course, you are also welcome here; just know that this is not a beginning discussion. If you are biracial or otherwise identify with a significant dose of European ancestry, you are also welcome. Again, just know that our focus is on whiteness and white conditioning.
About the money: at the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC), we practice Gift Economics, which means, among other things, that we welcome you into our community, and invite you to contribute according to your capacity and inspiration, rather than as if you are purchasing a product/course. Those of you who have taken the course know that the teachers have always donated their time and wisdom as a personal practice of reparation. All proceeds from your registration contributions will go to support the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC). By donating to EBMC, you are supporting a community founded and dedicated to creating a dharma refuge for BIPOC, LGBTQI2+, people with disabilities, other marginalized communities, and everyone (including us white identified folks) who seek to end suffering and cultivate happiness. Our mission is to foster liberation, personal and interpersonal healing, social action, and inclusive community building. We hope that you will join us.
Commit2Dharma is a yearlong program with guiding teacher Larry Yang. The C2D program explores the teachings of the Buddha through the lens of our different lived experiences—our householder lives, our cultural identities, our histories, and our visions of ourselves. These teachings include the Four Noble Truths, the Three Characteristics, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, and other primary Buddhist teachings.
Commit2Dharma is taking “sabbatical”. More information about the next (fifth) iteration of C2D will be posted at this website when it becomes available. Deep gratitude for your dedicated interest in the Dharma, your earnest intentions to deepen your practice, and your commitment to building spiritual community.