people of color sangha

Brooklyn Zen Center People of Color Sangha

Please note that all in-person programming at BZC is currently suspended. The People of Color Sangha continues to meet online during this time. The next meeting will take place on Saturday, July 11, from 1:30 to 3 pm (NY EST  UTC-5).

Additionally, the POC Sangha is now offering:
– Sunday mornings check-ins (the next meetings will take place on July 19 and 26; all the Sundays in August)
10 – 11 am Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Guided meditation, optional mindful movement, check in, song

– Thursday afternoons check-ins (the next meeting will take place on July 9, 16, 23 and 30)
2 – 3 pm Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Guided meditation, check in

To join the online meetings, please contact poc [at] brooklynzen [dot] org in advance.

Please also email us with any thoughts on how we can support each other, how we might collectively hold the fear, pain, anxiety, and danger of this moment with care and compassion.

The Brooklyn Zen Center People of Color Sangha fosters mutual support and understanding among people of color who find nourishment and inspiration in the teachings and practice of Buddhism. The group’s intention provides a safe, brave and cherished space supported by a Soto Zen Buddhist context to openly discuss our experiences living and navigating oppressive, racial, biased, social structures.

Dedicated BZC practitioners of color facilitate each meeting to support overall flow. Below is general flow of a typical meeting:

  • Welcome and Intro (with brief Zazen instruction)
  • Zazen (sitting meditation)
  • Brave Space guidelines, intentions and commitments (group review)
  • Group check in and share
  • Kinhin (walking / movement meditation)
  • Reading and discussion*
  • Practice Tool (to support daily practice)**
  • Zazen
  • Tea time & free talk***

*Suggested readings are short chapters, excerpts or poems provided via email and Facebook group to support practice tools.

**Sangha members are encouraged to share a practice tool that has been transformative for their daily practice and life. Please inquire with one of the facilitators after a meeting or via email, poc [at] brooklynzen [dot] org.

***Tea time and free talk usually extends past 3:30p. Attendees are free to bring snacks to share with the sangha and to arrive and leave when convenient.

Please check the BZC Calendar for the latest information on meeting dates. 

The next POC Sangha meetings will take place:

  • Thursday, July 2, 2-3 pm
  • Thursday, July 9, 2-3 pm
  • Saturday, July 11, 1:30-3 pm
  • Thursday, July 16, 2-3 pm
  • Sunday, July 19, 10-11 am
  • Thursday, July 23, 2-3 pm
  • Sunday, July 26, 10-11 am
  • Thursday, July 30, 2-3 pm
  • Sunday, August 2, 10-11 am
  • Sunday, August 9, 10-11 am
  • Sunday, August 16, 10-11 am
  • Sunday, August 23, 10-11 am
  • Sunday, August 30, 10-11 am

Testimonials from POC Sangha Members:

“The POC Sangha is where I am continually reminded that I can come as I am. A Be-in for Be-ings. Love to you all.” ~ Camille

“The POC Sangha is a place I feel safe to allow my emotions to be present in community. It is where I find acceptance for tenderness amongst other sweet souls.” ~ Alma

“The POC Sangha offers such love, support, acceptance and ways to approach life. I can be my full self and enjoy a spiritual community free of shame.” ~ Carrie

“The POC Sangha is a bright spot of love and light in Brooklyn. I feel welcomed and accepted as I am whenever I visit the POC sangha.” ~ Bobi

“The POC Sangha is very dear to my heart. There’s always a lovely new face and always so much love, healing, courage, fierceness and joy.” ~ Dexter

“The POC Sangha is home. Especially when I am traveling and in need of a reminder of home I’m able to tap into the felt sense of our POC Sangha and feel support, feel grounded, feel the reminders. Thank you, Sangha!” ~ Jozen

“POC Sangha is a refuge for me — a source of love, support, resilience, acceptance, and authenticity where I feel fully seen and heard and receive constant reminders that I am not alone on this path.” ~ Lissa

“POC Sangha is a gift in which I continually feel expanded everytime I immerse myself in; the sangha’s voice is full of wisdom and courage.” ~ Yoko

For more information or questions, please email us at poc [at] brooklynzen [dot] org and join our Facebook group.