The East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) is an independent center located in downtown Oakland, at 285 17th Street at Harrison, just 3 blocks from the 19th Street BART station. We offer meditation training and spiritual teachings from Buddhist and other wisdom traditions, with attention to social action, multiculturalism, and the diverse populations of the East Bay and beyond.
A detailed profile of EBMC appears on the website of the World Religions and Spirituality Project of Virginia Commonwealth University.
Our programs include meditation classes, daylong retreats, sitting groups, workshops, and classes.
EBMC seeks to offer its programs to the widest possible audience. We do this in two ways:
1. Some of our programs are specifically for People of Color, or the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex & Same-Gender Loving Communities. This provides a safe space for individuals who daily confront the effects of oppression, racism, or homophobia and heterosexism in their lives, and who therefore may choose to initially avoid mixed programs.
2. We offer all of our programs for no registration fee or cost to the participant (except fundraising programs). Instead, we invite all program participants to make voluntary gifts at the end of each event, to the level of their ability, for the teacher(s) of the event and to the East Bay Meditation Center. This allows us to offer our programs to all individuals, independent of economic means. Traditionally, this is known as the practice of "Dana" or Generosity, and is a part of many spiritual traditions.
Dana is the ancient Pali language word describing generosity arising effortlessly from deep gratitude. It is the first of the perfections (paramis or paramitas, virtues necessary for awakening) in both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. In Southeast Asia, the practice of dana, or generosity, is taught before the practice of meditation.
At EBMC, we seek to make the practice of Dana an individual and a collective social practice. By making individual voluntary gifts to support the teachers and the center, practitioners develop their generosity, which contributes to their spiritual awakening. By relying on the generosity of our community to sustain the center and its teachers, we create a community in which generosity becomes a social force.
EBMC teachers and workshop leaders are either members of the EBMC Teacher Sangha (the word “sangha” means community of spiritual practitioners), or visiting teachers.
The EBMC collaborates with, but has no formal affiliation with, other meditation centers in the Bay Area and beyond.
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.
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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.