Mushim Ikeda

Mushim Ikeda and Brenda Salgado join us to talk about encouraging and creating diversity in our sanghas.

Hi, everyone. Before we get started with today’s podcast, I want to extend an invitation to those listeners in or near or visiting the Twin Cities of Minnesota. For quite some time we’ve been imagining what it would be like to fill a gap, and create a truly secular meditation community. One that does not focus on a particular tradition, but instead meets people where they are, finding that practice intersection of our shared human experience in this life. To that end, in partnership with First Unitarian Society, I’ve started a weekly Mindfulness Meditation drop in, every Thursday evening from 7:00 to 8:00 at First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis, MN. For more information you can use the Contact page on this SBA website. Hope to see you there as we experiment with these first seeds of a secular community for contemplative practice, learning, and friendship.

Think about this for a minute: we in the United States live in a time when we have the first African American president. We still see racial divides, deep disparity between classes, and bigotry masquerading as religious freedom. But we also see that being exposed for the sham it is; we see opposition to that which divides us, and support for everyone, regardless of race, ideology, gender, sexual preference or identification, finding our shared human rights. This is not an easy evolution, and there is a long way to go before we rest. But right here, right now, we have a choice to not simply invite the wonderful strength of diversity in our sanghas, but to create it in partnership with one another.

Mushim (Patricia) Ikeda is a Buddhist teacher, author, mentor, and community activist. She teaches meditation retreats for people of color, women, and social justice activists nationally. She is a core teacher at East Bay Meditation Center near where she lives in Oakland, California.


Brenda Salgado

Brenda Salgado is the Director of East Bay Meditation Center, and has over 13 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and management, facilitation, strategy, and consulting. She has worked in the areas of environmental health and justice, women’s health, and health equity. Throughout her career, she has served organizations such as Movement Strategy Center, Breast Cancer Action, Literacy for Environmental Justice, and Kids for the Bay.

So, sit back, relax, and have a Coke, because some people really do want to teach the world to sing.

Web Links

Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez

The music heard in the middle of this podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. You can visit his website to hear more of his music, get the full discography, and view his upcoming tour dates.

No Comments

  1. Jennifer Hawkins on October 11, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    The more episodes I listen to, the more I can imagine Ted drooling…, “Yes… soon we’ll have a WoC on our board of directors….” ::slurp::, “yes…”

    • Jennifer Hawkins on October 11, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      I posted too soon… I wanted to add that I love the rules for making a safe space and their no-fee / dana system. That’s definitely something to imitate. I’m still not sure about groups that exclude “White, hetero/cis, males” because hey… that would mean my father, my husband, and my hypothetical son wouldn’t be able to go, but still… great talk, great work. Thanks for having them!

  2. David S on October 29, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Hi Ted.

    Only 2 weeks ago did I stumbled across this podcast with the introduction of a sitting group in my parent’s church. I went tonight to find you no longer are there. I ended up instead dropping into a discussion group on Stocism and Epicureanism! Now that is a typical Unitarianism experience. A bit of this and a bit of that all up for discussion. It was a bit of serendipity for me because I have only come across those philosophies by being a part of the discussions here on this site. Mufi has brought them up and made me interested to know more.

    Ah, well, I didn’t get to sit with you and others. Have you settled elsewhere? Out in the burbs somewhere?

    Without an way to contact you I tried this. Cheers.

    • Ted Meissner on October 30, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      Hi, David. We did the drop-ins for a couple of months, and though they were very well received, there were some organizational challenges with the group doing oversight for volunteer activities like this. As it wasn’t getting the necessary internal support (and we were continuously scheduled against conflicting programming), we decided to conclude the series until such time as the church could dedicate a bit more to the effort.

      We’ve not started up elsewhere yet, as location for a perpetual group is prohibitively expensive. Libraries are fine with short-duration series, but not ongoing, and Community Centers are simply too expensive. Other churches are a possibility, but I’m a little shy initiating contact with one after our recent experience.

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