East Bay Meditation Center Newsletter
AUGUST 2015  
In This Issue

  
Featured Event


SAVE THE DATE:
Path of Service Sangha
annual brunch,
for *all*
EBMC volunteers,
past and present

Have you ever helped with setup, cleanup, or greeting at any of EBMC's sitting or movement groups or registered events?

Volunteered to
clean the Center, work on the
Website or database,
tend to the plants,
write thank you cards, process Lending Library book returns,
design flyers,
serve on any EBMC committee, and more?

If you're a past or present volunteer you're part of our large and active
Path of Service Sangha!

We want to honor you at our annual Path of Service Sangha potluck brunch and
informal open mic on
Saturday,  
Sept. 19, 2015,  
10 am to 1 pm.

Look for the email blast that will contain an RSVP link and more information or contact
 
admin @ eastbaymeditation.org.










Volunteer
g r aphic designers needed
Feeling cr eative
for a
good cause?

Volunteer  
graphic designers  
are needed to  
design EBMC  
publicity materials.

Position description and more information available from EBMC's  
assistant director,  






 
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"State of the Cen t er"
Center Director's Report from Brenda Salg ado
  August 20, 2015
 
Beloved Ones,
 
Photo by Xiomara Castro
As I prepare to present on EBMC on a spirituality and social justice panel at the annual Bioneers conference in San Rafael, California, I am bowing in deep gratitude to the vision of our founders and to each one of you in our Sangha. It is because of each of you that we are increasingly being looked to on both national and international levels for innovative practices of access to a social justice-informed, living Dharma and as a meditation center that runs solely by Gift Economics. Please know that what we're co-creating is an inspiration and a substantive resource for many many other individuals and organizations around the world. Within the context of today's social and ecological challenges, East Bay Meditation Center is a hotbed of mindful, emergent leadership and movement building.
 
Please join us: Sept. 13 EBMC community meeting!  
3-6 pm meeting, 6-7 pm dinner
Please save the date! At the EBMC community meeting on Sunday, September 13, 2015 we will be sharing a beta version of the new EBMC Website! We'll also celebrate the awarding of an honorary doctor of Sacred Theology (sacrae theologiae) degree to Mushim, one of EBMC's core teachers, from Starr King School for the Ministry. And we'll be sharing about the exciting ways that EBMC is being called into leadership in other settings. So come on down to the Center for a fun and informative time together, plus delicious food! EBMC will provide vegetarian food for our gathering.
 
Special Community Project: At the Sept 13 Community Meeting, we will be...   click here to find out!  
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People of EBMC:
Cassandra Shaylor, Development Coordinator
(With thanks to volunteer Audrey Esquivel for her initial help with this interview.)

EBMC:  Hi Cassandra, what brought you to EBMC and could you tell us a little more about your job position at EBMC?

   
Cassandra enjoying time
with her daughter, Tallulah
 
Cassandra:  I started sitting with the Alphabet Sangha in 2008. Like many of our community members, I was drawn to EBMC because it offered a place to meditate and build community where I also felt I truly belonged, both as a queer person and an activist. I volunteered on the fundra ising committee for a while, and when a position opened up in 2011 for a part-time development coordinator, I applied, and was hired. I organize EBMC's fundraising activities and apply for grants.

EBMC: What are you passionate about?

Cassan dra:  I spent many years traveling as much as possible, knowing that once I settled down and had a kid, that part of my life would change. Those trips were life-changing experiences and I haven't completely given up on that passion; I recently took my two-year-old to Australia for a conference and we survived two 15-hour plane rides, so it looks like she will be a world traveler too!
 
EBMC:  What's something about you that you're willing to share, that most folks at EBMC might not know about you?


Cassandra:  I'm originally from South Carolina, and for many years I was co-director of an abolitionist organization in Oakland called Justice Now that works with people in women's prisons to build a world without prisons. I'm still deeply passionate about the need to dismantle the prison industrial complex and committed to helping build the anti-racist, feminist movements that will end white supremacy and state violence.

EBMC:  Is there anything else you'd like the EBMC Sangha to know?

Cassandra:  I'm truly in awe of the power of people at EBMC using Generosity (Gift) Economics to keep such an important community center available to all who need it, and I feel deeply honored to be part of that effort. 


right-arrow-icon5.gif Volunteer Jonathan Relucio :    
Being a TEA at EBMC

Teachers Event Assistant (TEA) volunteers are volunteer event managers. Our treasured TEAs are high responsibility volunteers who open and close the Center, supervise other volunteers for setup and cleanup, manage the audio equipment, process donations, and make sure the teachers and event participants are well cared for. If you'd like to be a TEA, email us at  admin@eastbaymeditation.org.
 
Why do I volunteer as a TEA for EBMC?

I 've been working with marginalized communities as an activist-organizer, educator, and social service provider for all of my adult life.  EBMC is the only sanctuary I know where a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds (across race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion, education, etc.) come together to heal and rest their tender hearts, and often their wounded bodies and spirits.  EBMC is a community where healing and social justice connect deeply to nurture a path of liberation for everyone who seeks it.  I volunteer as a TEA for EBMC because I wholeheartedly support their vision and work in transforming and grounding our hearts, communities, and world in kindness, compassion, and justice.

How has my TEA experience touched me in a positive way?

I've been engaged and supporting EBMC as a TEA since 2010.  My involvement with EBMC inspired me to seriously change vocational paths, and I began training with and working for Niroga Institute (who some consider to be an unofficial sister organization of EBMC) to share mindfulness practices (rooted in the yoga tradition) with similar communities that EBMC serves.  My TEA and overall experience with EBMC moved me to integrate mindfulness practice as part of my professional life.

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Behind the Scenes:
EBMC's Programming Committee
(Editor's note: These days, on many evenings, you might find two or even three different classes and meetings going on simultaneously in EBMC's main temple space, library (breakout room 1) and Comp assion Room (breakout room 2). Our center is buzzing with joyful learning and life! Did you ever wonder -- who are the dedicated folks responsible for orchestrating all of these programs? They are our all-volunteer Programming Committee!)

Covering many different topics and keeping in mind the context of upholding EBMC's values and the core mission of incorporating social justice and accessibility in the Dharma is a major priority for the Programming Committee. Since core teacher Larry Yang began leading programming tasks at the center's inception, the Programming Committee has grown to include longtime members and newer volunteers, seeking to provide fresh outlooks while maintaining significant historical awareness.

Our Programming Committee members reflect the Center's diversity, embracing one another in a cross-generational, multi-racial/gendered and varied ability group. We combine our varying backgrounds and come together in the name of the Dharma, to review class series and daylong proposals, track attendance, support the Teacher Sangha and check in with Regular Sanghas and Deep Refuge Groups.  Laughter and yummy snacks can be found at our bi-monthly meetings, where we have been known to break into song and cat-related tangents. Miraculously, almost every meeting starts and ends on time.
The EBMC Program Committee  
being a notoriously camera-shy  
group of volunteers, they wish
to be represented by these  
two charming feline mascots. 

Currently the Programming Committee consists of
  • Max Airborne - Dharma Teacher & Former LSangha Member,
  • Joan Doyle (JD) - Dharma Teacher & LSangha Member,
  • Crystal Johnson - White Allies Active & Awakening co-founder,
  • Lisa Moore - Dharma Teacher,
  • Sierra Pickett - POC Sangha Coordinating Committee Member & POC Sangha Teacher Coordinator, and
  • Xiaojing Wang - Assistant Director
      of the Center.
ABC Yoga
photo by Dolores Restrepo-Macias
 
All Bodies Centering (ABC) Yoga was founded in December 2012 by   Melvin Escobar based on the encouragement of his friend and fellow EBMC Community Teacher, Susana Renaud. Melvin's philosophy is "come as you are." He leads ABC Yoga with the intention of making it as accessible as possible to all bodies-minds-hearts. Melvin's teachings are guided by the teacher training  he received through Niroga Institute, a nonprofit organization committed to changing "the face and zip code of yoga." In the spirit of accessibility, no mats are used in the class. Instead, we make use of meditation cushions and chairs.
All instructions are offered using invitational language so that students feel welcome to practice whatever movements are right for them in the moment. ABC Yoga meets every Wednesday from 5:15 to  6:30 pm,  creating a space in which the full diversity of our sangha can experience the healing potential of these time-honored practices.
 
EBMC's Mission Statement

Founded to provide a welcoming environment for people of color, members of the LGBTQI community, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities, the East Bay Meditation Center welcomes everyone seeking to end suffering and cultivate happiness. Our mission is to foster liberation, personal and interpersonal healing, social action, and inclusive community building. We offer mindfulness practices and teachings on wisdom and compassion from Buddhist and other spiritual traditions. Rooted in our commitment to diversity, we operate with transparent democratic governance, generosity-based economics, and environmental sustainability.

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