Oakland, CA 94612
Description of Organization
The East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) is an independent center located in downtown Oakland. Founded in a celebration of diversity, EBMC welcomes everyone seeking to end suffering and cultivate happiness. Their mission is to foster liberation, personal and interpersonal healing, social action, and inclusive community building. They offer mindfulness practices and teachings on wisdom and compassion from Buddhist and other spiritual traditions.
They operate on a generosity-based economic model, charging no registration fees for any of their programs. Those programs include meditation classes, daylong retreats, sitting groups, workshops, evening classes, and yearlong in-depth programs. They endeavor to provide a safe space for everyone, including 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. Approximately 50% of EBMC program participants self-identify as People of Color, and 40% as members of the LGBTQI communities.
In 2012, the East Bay Meditation Center received a grant of $10,000 from the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation to support their Blossoming Community Project, a project to support the growth of their programs in a larger facility.
"EBMC’s biggest challenge stems from success. Because of the overwhelming response to our programs, largely driven by the tremendous need of members of under served communities to find a safe, accessible spiritual home, we have outgrown the small storefront space we rented when we opened our doors in 2007. Over half of our classes and retreats now fill up and have waiting lists. From those waiting lists, we estimate that attendance at our classes and retreats could be 45% larger, if we had a larger space.
"The need being addressed by this grant is the overwhelming demand for our programs by our communities, which we cannot meet at our current space and level of funding."
In April of 2014, the EBMC received a mini-grant of $1,000 in support of its proposed collaboration program.