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Liberation, Social and Spiritual — East Bay Meditation Center

May 25, 2010

Hey friends!  Sorry I dropped off the face of the earth so suddenly!  I went into another Vipassana meditation retreat (my third so far under S. N. Goenka), and by the time I realized I’d forgotten to update the blog about it, it was too late: no phone, internet, reading, writing, or speaking for ten long days.  Thanks to everyone who’s visited and written to me in the meantime — a number of delightful messages and comments when I arrived home to San Francisco.  Mmmm.

For the first day or two since returning from the retreat, I’d been experiencing something of a blockage.  A mild panic or depression that left me feeling that all the activities and avenues I had been struggling to juggle up until the meditation course — work at the Faithful Fools; grad school and blogging; political study; and day-to-day dharma practice — were far too hazy, murky, massive, or complicated for me to ever significantly impact or contribute to any of them.  It’s been a long time since I felt such strong pessimism and self-doubt, and the timing — directly after a Vipassana retreat, which usually leaves me feeling giddy and abundant — added to the confusion.

Fortunately, I had just spent almost two weeks focusing at a deep level on the reality of change.  So I did the best that I could do: watched and waited.  Tried not to spin out or magnify things unnecessarily.  Felt and explored the negativity, stayed curious about it, rather than trying to push it away.

And wouldn’t you know — it worked!  Today my feet started coming back under me, thanks to some conversations with Ryan as well as three key pieces of media: one video, one book, and one radio segment.

I’ll share the book and the radio spot in the next few days.  The video, below, is an independent documentary made for this year’s East Bay Meditation Center annual fundraiser.  Seeing it today for the first time since early February, when it debuted at the event with Alice Walker and Jack Kornfield, reminded me just how much this organization inspires me, and how fortunate I am to be able to take part in it.  (Even participating in the documentary making was great!  Met some wonderful fellow members, and the filmmaker was tremendous, too.)

No more introduction necessary, really.  Enjoy!  And if you feel so moved, join in.

———

love,

katie

4 Comments leave one →
  1. bohemiankitsch permalink
    May 25, 2010 9:35 pm

    amazing how you do that. :)

    a friend is heading to Ecuador for 6 weeks and she has asked me to sub-let her place in Oakland while she’s gone. i was pretty sure that i was going to decline. but seeing that video and all of the beauty and diversity, something i NEVER see here, really speaks to me.

    pretty sure i’m going to stay in Oakland now. not to mention become a regular donor to the center.

    so Thank You. :)

  2. nathan permalink
    May 26, 2010 8:18 am

    glad to see you back in the blogosphere :)

  3. May 27, 2010 9:21 am

    Thanks, nathan! I see you’ve been holdin it down in the meantime, with the clubbyness-in-zen discussions. And I like your take today on the fascinating nature of the young, ungainly Buddhist phenomenon in America.

    bk, i hope you’ll enjoy your time in Oakland! i can totally picture you at ebmc — should be a lovely fit. :)

  4. June 4, 2010 5:19 pm

    just watched this, and was *so* moved…and a little envious. Nothing like it here, even as great as CIMC is, right?

    miss you!

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