October 2021

03Oct(Oct 3)10:00 AM21Nov(Nov 21)12:30 PMWhite and Awakening Together: The Journey to ConnectionA Benefit for the East Bay Meditation Center and Spirit Rock's Dr. Marlene Jones Scholarship Fund(October 3) 10:00 AM - (November 21) 12:30 PM Online Teacher(s): Crystal Johnson, PhD OnlineNo prerequisiteOpen

Event Details

Dates: 8 Sundays, October 3 – November 21, 2021; October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, November 7, 14, 21
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Sliding Scale: $50-$1008. Our sliding scale options include financial support for our teachers. Code WA1C21.

Registration open until September 30, 2021.

Please Note: This program is offered online only. We invite you to try this creative form of practice as we take care of one another and respond skillfully to COVID-19.

A Benefit for the East Bay Meditation Center and Spirit Rock’s Dr. Marlene Jones Scholarship Fund
Co-sponsored by Spirit Rock and The East Bay Meditation Center

Designed for self-identified white folx, or for whom whiteness is a significant part of your identity.

In this course, we will use mindfulness practice, mindful dialogue, and the teachings of the Buddha to investigate the ways in which the conditioning of whiteness creates a barrier to our own freedom, alienating us from ourselves and others. We will seek to uncover the deep nourishment and connection that arise from sustained practice, inspired not just by the urgency of the moment, but by our shared commitment to the long journey to freedom.

We will offer didactic presentations, small and large group discussion, experiential exercises, and recommended readings. We will also invite you into a daily meditation practice designed to support your learning. By gathering in this affinity space, we aim to create the conditions for our own deep learning without placing undue emotional, psychological, and/or spiritual demands on Black, Indigenous, and People of color (BIPOC).

Class objectives:

  • Examine the dynamics of privilege and oppression within the framework of nonself and the Four Noble Truths
  • Explore the ways in which this work is an integral part of the Buddhist path, bringing us toward greater awareness, (inter)connection, and freedom
  • Increase awareness of the ways our behaviors, values, social norms, and leadership practices perpetuate the harm of the status quo, and explore alternatives.
  • Develop our capacity to stay present in the difficult experiences and conversations that can bring healing to our minds and hearts.
  • Cultivate the commitment to values and connection that are the basis for sustained effort and change.

When we first offered this class at Spirit Rock, many of us were reeling from the recent murder of George Floyd, and deeply stressed by a new level of overt racist rhetoric and behavior at the highest levels of government, while also being inspired by the blossoming of the Black Lives Matter protests. Our collective investigation of whiteness was empowering and enlivening, and many of us finished our time together with a new level of commitment to equity, connection, and inclusion. Much has happened in the last year; so where are we now? What has really changed?

This course is designed as a guided, collaborative exploration for people who self-identify as white, or for whom whiteness is a significant part of their identity. Previous experience with whiteness work and/or meditation is not required in order to benefit from this course, though it is certainly helpful; and we invite those of you who took the class last year to join us on this continuing path. Please bring your beautiful hearts and your open minds to this important exploration.

We ask that you commit to attending at least 6 of the 8 class meetings, because a lot of the value of the class is in the live discussions and Q&A sessions. We will make partial recordings available to participants who need to miss a class.

*Spirit Rock as an organization (including our founding teachers and current faculty) continues to be dedicated to this anti-racist work and these teachings of non-harming and interconnection. In order to do this, we are honored to hold space for various affinity groups (such as womxn, LGBTQIA+, and families) to fully explore, awaken to, and unpack their experience and conditioning in relevant containers. It is particularly important that self-identified white people do this work without causing further spiritual/emotional/psychological/physical harm to the Black, Indigenous, People of Color community – intentionally or unintentionally. We are honored by and grateful to be able to support and share these teachings. Thank you for being part of our sangha as we continue our journey towards a greater awakening of ourselves and each other!


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