Indigenous Presence

On Saturday I attended a gathering at the East Bay Meditation Center  in Oakland called Indigenous Presence: Decolonizing the Mind and Cultivating the Causes of Happiness. It was presented by Bonnie Duran, Karen Waconda, Lupe Avila, Peter Bratt and Vivian Chavez cosponsored by EBMC and the  Wicahpi Koyaka Tiospaye (WKT).

There was a special guest appearance by Richard Moosecamp, a renown medicine man, and his wife. He sang us songs of forgiveness, generosity, gratitude and one blessing us with a safe journey home.

I was moved to tears many times during the daylong, I think mainly from being in the presence of these centered and wise people who have been working all their lives for the earth and for all our relations. They have been informed that what has previously been held close to the vest must now be shared and this group was open to all. May we all understand how precious this knowledge is to our world.

They stated that Indigenous Presence is a way of coming into harmony with the present moment and our world; and provides space for acceptance, and the cultivation of clarity, confidence, resilience and strength.

Native ways were combined with Buddhist practice in a shining way that showed us that the two traditions have much in common. Natives have been practicing meditation though using different words for centuries. Just as Buddhists suggest that mindfulness be practiced throughout one’s day, the natives walk through life in ceremony; both are ways to remind ourselves of the sacredness of every moment, a walking meditation with our mother, Gaia.

I am so thankful to East Bay Meditation Center for the inclusive community they are building that on Saturday was made up of people from many backgrounds, ages and abilities. It was a slice of Oakland in its fullest diversity.  Please support their efforts in whatever ways you can—go to events, contribute as a volunteer or as a monthly supporter.

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