Social Liberation Workshop

with Michaela McCormick & Anemone Fresh

October 20th (2018)

Date details +
  • $40 Patron (help make programs possible for others)
  • $35 Suggested Contribution
  • Pay what you are able, enter amount below.

Social Liberation Workshop

All are welcome

 Doors open at 8:30 for coffee/tea/light breakfast and settling in. 

We will start promptly at 9 and end by 5

The dharma is meant to liberate us all – no exceptions.  Its path begins with self-reflection – each of us establishing a practice of looking at our own minds and hearts to see what is real.  Our culture has conditioned us to see ourselves as separate, cocooned in hopes and fears that keep us from being present for ourselves and each other.  The truth, as the Buddha and masters of other wisdom traditions taught, is we are interdependent. We are here to love each other, but the hierarchy we have inherited across our many identities, i.e., race, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, and mental, physical, and perceptual characteristics, feeds a host of fears and prejudices about each other that cripple our innate confidence and compassion.  This hierarchy and the self-doubt and mutual disrespect that it fosters is not our fault. We are all fundamentally decent, wise, kind human beings, and we have the capacity and the responsibility to choose our courage and compassion over our fears and prejudices. This takes practiced awareness.

This workshop will be a brave and caring space for us all to connect with what Shambhala calls our basic goodness and to use that to begin exploring the social cocoons that cage us in hyper-individualism.  With a constant check on inevitable feelings of guilt and shame, we will look honestly at the social conditioning and hierarchy that maintains fears and prejudices about those different from us. We will remind ourselves of our innate curiosity and longing to connect across differences.  And to the extent that we can do that, we will claim our power to use self-reflection and contemplation to help liberate ourselves, others, and our institutions.

“Without inner change, there can be no outer change, without collective change, no change matters.” - Rev. angel Kyodo Williams

“Justice is what love looks like in public.” - Cornell West

Teacher, Michaela McCormick [pictured above], has been meditating since 2001 and has been a student of  Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche since 2005, as well as a student of Rev. angel Kyodo Williams.  She is a teacher, meditation instructor, and leader of Queer Dharma at the Portland (OR) Shambhala Meditation Center, a member of the Diversity Working Group and an Inclusivity Warrior of Shambhala International, and a member of Portland Buddhist Peace Fellowship.  For 25 years she worked as a teacher, trainer, and practitioner of conflict resolution and public dialogue. For longer than that she has been a community organizer/activist. She has written two memoirs and now writes poetry and essays on social and spiritual themes.



Co-teacher, Anemone Fresh, has been practicing meditation since 2007. She spent 2009-2012 living and tending the garden at Karme Choling Meditation Center. Her conviction in the healing capacity for the Earth and all living beings led her to her current path of studies of Chinese and Naturopathic Medicine. She is one of the facilitators of a Portland-based group of white-bodied people who gather monthly to unravel the ideology and practices of white supremacy. She recently participated in a Radical Dharma retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center with rev. angel Kyodo Williams and Lama Rod Owens. She is a Shambhala Guide and Course Leader and is passionate about social justice and the deconstruction of systemic racism.