The dharma is meant to liberate us all – no exceptions. Its path begins with self-reflection and feeling – each of us establishing an embodied practice of looking at our own minds and hearts to see what is real. Our culture has conditioned us to see ourselves as separate, cocooned in hopes and fears that keep us from being present for ourselves and each other.
The truth, as the Buddha and masters of other wisdom traditions taught, is we are interdependent. We are here to love each other, but the hierarchy we have inherited across our many identities, i.e., race, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, and mental, physical, and perceptual characteristics, feeds a host of fears and prejudices about each other that cripple our innate confidence and compassion.
This hierarchy and the self-doubt and mutual disrespect that it fosters is not our fault. We are all fundamentally decent, wise, kind human beings, and we have the capacity and the responsibility to choose our courage and compassion over our fears and prejudices. This takes practiced awareness of our lived experience.
This workshop will be a brave and caring space for us all to connect with what Shambhala calls our basic goodness and to use that to begin exploring the social cocoons that cage us in hyper-individualism. With a constant check on inevitable feelings of guilt and shame, we will look honestly at the social conditioning and hierarchy that maintains fears and prejudices about those different from us. We will remind ourselves of our innate curiosity and longing to connect across differences. And to the extent that we can do that, we will claim our power to use self-reflection, contemplation, and embodied practice to help liberate ourselves, others, and our institutions.
This is a one-day workshop co-facilitated by Michaela McCormick and Anemone Fresh.
This program is open to all.
Our Generosity Policy expresses our commitment to make our programs available to all regardless of what one can pay. For those who can offer more than the program price, we have a patron price. Your generosity in offering the patron price helps cover the costs for others who are not able to pay the full price. You can find out more on our website.
We cannot accept Generosity Policy registrations at the door, so please make arrangements in advance.
Early Bird pricing is through end of day on October 31.
About the instructors
Michaela McCormick has been meditating since 2001, a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and of Rev. angel Kyodo williams, among others. She is a teacher, meditation instructor, and leader of Queer Dharma at the Portland (OR) Shambhala Meditation Center, and a member of the Diversity Working Group of Shambhala International, Portland Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and the Poor People’s Campaign. For 25 years she worked as a teacher, trainer, and practitioner of conflict resolution and public dialogue. For longer than that she has been a community organizer/activist. She has written two memoirs and now writes poetry and essays on social and spiritual themes.
Anemone Fresh has been practicing meditation since 2007. She spent 2009-2012 living and tending the garden at Karme Choling Meditation Center. Her conviction in the healing capacity for the Earth and all living beings led her to her current path of studies of Chinese and Naturopathic Medicine. She is one of the facilitators of a Portland-based group of white-bodied people who gather monthly to unravel the ideology and practices of white supremacy. Last summer she participated in a Radical Dharma retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center with rev angel Kyodo williams and Lama Rod Owens. She is a Shambhala Guide and Course Leader and passionate about social justice and the deconstruction of systemic racism.
“Without inner change, there can be no outer change, without collective change, no change matters.” – Rev. angel Kyodo Williams
“Justice is what love looks like in public.” – Cornell West