Registration is still open for:

The Four Immeasurables:  Compassion, Love, Joy and Equanimity

A class series taught by Mushim Ikeda

Four Tuesdays:  May 8, 15, 22, & 29, 2012

7 – 9 pm

at East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, California

Imagine you’re in a vast, open field, planting seeds of loving friendliness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Over time, do you think that some of these seeds will sprout and grow beautifully? Of course they will! The Buddha’s teachings on the Brahmaviharas, or Divine Abodes, are also called the Four Immeasurables. Through actively cultivating these limitless qualities, in time we harvest true happiness and peaceful gratitude for all that is available to us in the present moment.

For more information and to register, go to

Registration is still open for:

Mindfulness Meditation

A one-day workshop open to all

taught by Mushim Ikeda

Saturday, April 14, 2012

10:00 am – 4:30 pm

at East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, California

To register, click here.

Would you like to experience increased well-being, mental clarity, compassionate connection, and spiritual growth? Have you been looking for a way to start a meditation practice, but don’t quite know how? This Buddhist-based workshop will give you the basics of sitting and walking/movement meditation in the vipassana (insight) style, as well as loving kindness meditation. Don’t worry about “getting it right.” If you can sit — on a folding chair, on floor cushions, in a wheelchair, or lie down — and breathe, you are off to a good start!

Registration is still open for:
The Buddha’s “How to” Guide to a Life of Happiness & Well-being: The Eightfold Noble Path

Taught by Mushim Ikeda

Four Tuesdays:  March 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2012

7 – 9 pm

at East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, California

For more information and to register, go to

Sixteenth Annual Meditation Retreat for People of Color
with Mushim Ikeda and Ven. Suhita Dharma
June 2 – June 8, 2012  
at Vallecitos Mountain Refuge in New Mexico
Click here to register

See attached testimonial from Pabitra Benjamin, who has attended this retreat for four years!

Retreat Description:    In many traditions, people journey into the wilderness for contemplation and purification. How often do we have the opportunity to connect to our deepest intentions and to experience spiritual renewal? Taking place at 9,000 feet in pristine meadowland in New Mexico, the Vallecitos People of Color Retreat is designed to offer and support a practical introduction to insight meditation (vipassana). Meditation embodies the essence and wisdom of the teachings of the Buddha and has been the foundation of Buddhist teachings for 2,500 years. It is a simple and direct practice. Meditation is extraordinary in its simplicity, its lack of dogma and, above all, its results. This path to self-awareness can be successfully applied by anyone to their everyday lives. The ancient and profound teachings of interconnectedness and compassion are the foundations of spiritual awareness.

The retreat is based on the intensive training retreats that are traditionally the heart of Buddhist practice.  The daily schedule, conducted in silence, is comprised of group sitting periods alternating with walking meditation outdoors. There are group interviews with the teachers and a daily discourse from the teachings of the Buddha. In addition, there will be opportunities for optional group hikes and mindful movement to allow practitioners to fully experience Vallecitos’ beautiful natural setting, and to support physical joy and ease. “Gourmet” vegetarian meals add to the special nature of this retreat. To cultivate the meditation process, please note that complete silence is maintained at all times throughout the retreat, except during meditation practice interviews and the talks by the teachers, which may be followed by a communal conversation.

This retreat continues the ground-breaking tradition established at Vallecitos over the past decade. People of color come to the mountains, the forest and the river not to conference, network, analyze or plan, but to practice one of the world’s oldest and wisest contemplative traditions. For some, the retreat may be the first extended period of meditation practice and practicing silence.  No previous meditation experience is required to participate and the retreat is suitable for individuals at all levels of practice.

Registration & Cost:

Sliding scale fees:

The retreat is offered on a sliding scale basis of $275-$650. Please pay at the highest level of the sliding scale that you can afford. This allows others who need to pay less the opportunity to attend. Whatever you pay above the low end of the sliding scale is a tax-deductible donation to Vallecitos Mountain Ranch. Deferred payment plans are available. There are limited full tuition scholarships for New Mexico Women of Color.

Fees include meals, accommodation and tuition. No donations (dana) will be offered to the teachers.

Shuttle service is available for this retreat. The actual cost of round trip shuttle service to Vallecitos from the Albuquerque airport is $150 per person. Vallecitos pays the cost of the shuttle for participants who cannot afford it. Our resources for this retreat are extremely limited, so please pay for your shuttle service if you are financially able to do so. Paying any amount toward your shuttle service helps Vallecitos to cover shuttle costs for other People of Color Retreat guests who would not otherwise be able to attend the retreat.

Click here to registerMushim Ikeda-Nash is a meditation teacher, community peace activist, writer, diversity facilitator, and mother of a 23-year-old son. She has done both monastic and lay Zen Buddhist practice over the past twenty years, in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and S. Korea. Her poetry, fiction and essays have been published widely in journals and anthologies such as the Shambhala Sun and Innovative Buddhist Women: Swimming Against the Stream. Mushim was coeditor of Making the Invisible Visible: Healing Racism in Our Buddhist Communities. Her work has been featured in two documentary films, Between the Lines: Asian American Women Poets and Acting on Faith: Women and the New Religious Activism in America, a recent documentary presenting portraits of three women activists of minority faiths in the U.S. A longtime volunteer in the Oakland public schools, Mushim is also a core teacher and center coordinator for the East Bay Meditation Center in downtown Oakland.

Ven. Suhita Dharma, Mahathero (called “Bhante” by his students), is a well-known senior Buddhist bhikkhu ordained in the three Buddhist lineages: Mahayana, Theravada, and Varjayana. He is the first African American to be ordained a Buddhist monk; he was ordained by the late Ven. Thich Thien An, the first Vietnamese Buddhist master to come to Los Angeles. Bhante has been traveling to Mexico recently on a pilgrimage to pay respects to the ancient deities of the indigenous peoples of Mexico, praying to ask permission for the establishment of a Buddhist center in Mexico at the request of the Mayans, Yaquis, Tarahumaras, Pimas, and Aztecs and to meet with the chief shamans in those traditions. A longtime social justice activist and social worker, Bhante began working with Indo-Chinese refugees entering the U.S. in 1975 and has since worked with homeless persons, people with HIV-AIDS, and ex-offenders. Bhante teaches compassion meditation for everyday life and practice for those who are working with people in different communities, emphasizing a one-one-one approach as well as introducing students to the practice of the Kalyanamitta (spiritual friend) and helping those who are within the sea of samsaric suffering.