The event was the largest-ever gathering of practitioners of color in the history of Western-convert Insight Meditation communities.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s twentieth annual retreat for people of color saw a record number of attendees this week.
“It was quite phenomenal,” said dharma teachers Gina Sharpe and Larry Yang in an email.
With about 180 attendees on one day of the retreat, Sharpe and Yang said the event was the largest-ever gathering of dharma practitioners of color in the history of Western-convert Insight Meditation communities.
The main retreat, titled “Our History, Our Present, Our Future – An Insight Meditation Retreat for People of Color,” reached capacity with ninety-four practitioners in attendance. It was open to all self-identifying people of color and lasted a full week beginning Thursday, June 28th and ending Wednesday, July 4th.
The number almost doubled when these retreatants were joined by a day retreat also for communities of color on Sunday.
The event page on Spirit Rock’s website says the goal of the larger retreat was not only to celebrate the twentieth anniversary but to re-affirm that the diversity of the retreat mirrors the future of dharma. Spirit Rock adheres to a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan that focuses on breaking the tradition of institutional racism on a systemic level.
During the retreat, practitioners engaged in dharma talks, guided practice meditations, sitting and movement meditation, and practiced cultivating mindfulness. The goal: to “open our hearts more widely to the full spectrum of this one and precious life.”