Compassionately Awake to Oppression & Privilege 2015

~ Tara Mandala Bay Area Sangha Presents ~ 

Compassionately Awake 
to Oppression & Privilege

JANUARY 17 - JUNE 13, 2015


Facilitated by
Reverend Jamil Scott & Chandra Easton
with guest speakers

A discussion group exploring Buddhist teachings in relation to issues of Racism, Inequality and Social Justice.

A practice group utilizing Buddhist practices of Feeding Your Demons, Mindfulness, Tonglen, and Equanimity meditation to work with the powerful emotions that this material evokes.

An action group applying the Eight Fold Path of Wise Speech and Wise Action to create ethical responses to social ills.

Lama Tsultrim and our Bay Area Mandala Committee feel that the recent killings of unarmed black men show us that racism continues to be a national crisis, not a current event that will pass. Because of this, we feel the importance of responding with informed and balanced activism by skillfully implementing the tools that we have as a sangha to help bring about social justice.

In this series, we will practice Feeding Your Demons (FYD), a guided process that reveals how to transform our ills into enlightened activity. We will focus on how FYD can help us work skillfully with individual and societal demons of racism and inequality and how to cultivate strong allies to support us in this challenging work. We will also practice Tonglen (Sending & Receiving) and Equanimity meditation to help bring about wisdom and compassion for ourselves and others on this journey.

We are happy to welcome Reverend Jamil Scott, an ordained Buddhist minister by the International Order of Buddhist Ministers and a student of Lama Tsultrim, to co-facilitate this series with Chandra Easton. Through discussion, we will explore the insights of our practice and discuss ethical and effective action. Our hope is to develop a more inclusive sangha and to find tangible ways to contribute to these important social and spiritual issues.

Each session will include teachings, discussion, practice, and suggested readings. We are excited to welcome special guests Alejandra Siroka, Karla Jackson-Brewer, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel,
and Dawn Haney from the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.

To prepare for this class please ponder these questions:

~ How might mindfulness and compassion practice help to heal the internal wounds of racism and oppression?
~ What is the relationship between individual transformation and collective liberation?
~ How can we as a sangha and individuals help contribute to the momentum of social change brought about by recent events?

Also, On January 15, 7-9pm, there will be an event called Mindfulness and the Possibility of Freedom with Angela Davis and Jon Kabat-Zinn in dialogue. We suggest those who intend to participate in this series attend this talk as it will be a topic of discussion in the following class. The event is full but online participation is available here:


All classes take place one Saturday per month from 10am - 1pm unless otherwise stated.


  • Optional but highly recommended:  
    • January 15, Thursday at 7-9pm: Mindfulness and the Possibility of Freedom Angela Davis and Jon Kabat-Zinn in Dialogue. Online streaming is available:
  • January 17, 10am - 5pm - Opening Daylong retreat w/ Chandra & Rev. Jamil - The daylong is OPEN TO ALL and REQUIRED for continuing with the series.
  • June 13, 9:45am - 12:45pm - Envisioning the Future w/ Rev. Jamil & Chandra
Attending the Jan 17th, Opening Daylong is required for continuing with the series. If you wish to continue with the course we ask that you commit to coming consistently to Part One of the series (Jan 17, Feb 28 & Mar 21). After that, you may chose to continue with Part Two (April 18, May 16, and June 13). Consistent attendance is strongly encouraged in order to create a safe container to go deeply into the material.


The Finnish Brotherhood Hall
1970 Chestnut Street
Berkeley, CA 94702


Please register by sending an email to the Tara Mandala Bay Area Sangha at
Consistent attendance is strongly encouraged.


Meetings are open to all, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Optional dana baskets for the teachers and sangha activities will be provided for those who would like to contribute.

(For non-Buddhist audience, the giving of Dana is not a tip or an exchange for teachings, it is a traditional Buddhist practice of generosity. You can read more about the practice of dana here (

SUGGESTED TEACHERS DANA: $10-$30 per class


The Rev. M. Jamil Scott serves as the Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno and is a 2014 Fahs Collaborative contemplative education research fellow in collaboration with Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary. He is completing his Divinity studies at Naropa University and is an ordained Buddhist minister by the International Order of Buddhist Ministers. Rev. Jamil is Buddhist practitioner in the Dzogchen tradition of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and active in faith based social justice work with the organizing group PICO and very recently the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.

Chandra Easton is a teacher and translator of Tibetan Buddhism who focuses on the lineage of the 11th-century yogini Machig Labdrön and Lama Tsultrim Allione, founder of Tara Mandala retreat center. She has taught Buddhism and yoga for 13 years and co-translated Sublime Dharma: A Compilation of Two Texts on the Great Perfection, published by Vimala Publishing in 2012. Chandra is an authorized Tara Mandala teacher and is on the Tara Mandala Bay Area Mandala committee through which she organizes and teaches courses in the Bay Area. Chandra also teaches Shadow Yoga, an approach founded by Zhander Remete. Visit to learn more.