Many Communities, One Sangha: Community-of-Practice Program

BZC will offer an 11-month program to learn ways to make the Dharma available and free from hindrance to all who walk through the gate. The program will focus on increasing our capacity as a sangha to deal with the intensity of emotion and pain that arises when we are intimate together. “Community of practice” is a process of learning by doing, together over time, in community, based on shared values and concerns.
Envisioned is a two-part process: a video/
discussion curriculum to give us the opportu­nity to explore our vision, goals, and concerns, together with experiential learning, offering practical, hands-on skill development. We will meet once a month, alternating between these two modalities.
“Many Communities, One Sangha” is a community-of-practice program developed by the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) in collaboration with the Soto Zen Buddhist Association (SZBA). It includes videos, read­ings, and discussion, with meetings of around 2.5 hours each, exploring questions like:

  • What do we actually mean by equity?
  • What are the values, intentions, and commit­ments that drive our pursuit of equity?
  • What does it mean to create sanghas that offer trust, dignity, and belonging to a diverse community?
  • What does it mean to practice being in “right relationship” to hierarchy and authority in our communities?

The experiential sessions will be facilitated by Rhonda Magee, a student of Norman Fischer and Joan Halifax. Rhonda received lay entrustment from Joan Halifax and is the author of The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Commu­nities Through Mindfulness.
The program will be provided to as many people at BZC who wish to participate. We aim to be able to provide the program to (at least) 50 BZC members and friends. The program will be offered again a second year. There will be some cost to individuals, and we are seek­ing funding through donations and grants.