People of Color Meditation Gatherings

For upcoming dates, please see the calendar.

People of Color Retreat, April 2003If you are a person of color (Native, African, Latina/o, Chicana/o, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Caribbean and Middle Eastern ancestry) with a meditation practice or if you are interested in developing a practice then these gatherings would be of benefit. You don't need to consider yourself a Buddhist and you can come on a drop-in basis. If you have no experience with meditation, please contact Viveka to find out how you can receive  basic instruction.  The instruction at these gatherings is offered by Viveka and Kica Gazmuri.

The purpose of these regular gatherings is to provide:

  • communal space in which people of color can relax and be themselves
  • opportunity for meditation practice with an experienced teacher of color and a supportive community
  • clear meditation instruction and guidance; and
  • time for reflection to share what we are learning through meditation and the challenges of applying those lessons in everyday life



Instruction is offered by Viveka, a woman of color of Chinese ancestry who has been meditating and working for social justice in and with the Bay Area’s low-income communities of color since 1991. She is an ordained Buddhist and meditation and dharma teacher at the SFBC. Her writing appears in Dharma, Culture and Color: New Voices in Western Buddhism, published by Parallax Press (2004), a book written by practitioners of color, and in The Buddha's Apprentices (Wisdom Publications, 2005). Viveka also has an essay about being a person and Buddhist practitioner of color being in Blue Jean Buddha II: Voices of Young Buddhists (Wisdom Publications, 2005). In April 2004 Viveka was one of teachers participating in the Asian and Pacific Islander Dharma Retreat and Conference hosted by Spirit Rock Meditation Center.

Viveka is chairwoman of the San Francisco Buddhist Center of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. She teaches meditation and Buddhism classes and leads retreats for the SFBC and internationally. She also leads meditation and other self-care retreats and workshops for people of color and activists in collaboration with other teachers and organizations in the Bay Area and beyond.

Kica Gazmuri

Kica Gazmuri's meditation practice began in 2000 after attending an introductory class at the San Francisco Buddhist Center. She has been living and working in the Bay Area for seven and a half years as a youth worker, trainer and activist. Her passion for social justice and bringing an end to all forms of oppression through education and empowerment were informed by her experiences growing up as a first generation, queer, latina in Boston, MA.