Engaging Societal Challenges

    With The Energy of Mindfulness


    Mindful Peacebuilding is an inclusive welcoming community offering a mindfulness-based approach to creating true peace and justice. We draw inspiration from the wisdom and compassion teachings of ancestral traditions and contemporary peacemakers such as Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as from young people and the world of nature. We are open to all who wish to engage societal challenges in a mindful context.



    STATEMENT - June 2020

    Dear Friends: Recently, the U.S. has surpassed 114,000 deaths due to COVID-19, with a disproportionate number of Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities most severely impacted. And, we have witnessed extreme police violence on Black bodies, resulting in death. We grieve, we support each other, as all of this can be overwhelming. Coming together in compassion and caring continues to be life affirming. Taking action includes supporting Black organizations in your local areas that offer creative responses to challenge unequal health services and policing.





    The collective is made of the individual, and the individual is made of the collective, and each and every individual has a direct effect on the collective consciousness...Engaged peace workers need to be strong, stable, and genuinely peaceful. Inner balance is crucial for peace work...Of course, you do not have to wait until you achieve perfect peace and harmony before you engage in social action. --Thich Nhat Hanh, Creating True Peace, p 56-59



    in Institutions: Prisons, Families, Schools, Workplaces







    . . . recognize fear and anger, give attention to inner peacemaking: heal emotional wounds from the past, grieve and mourn loss, share dreams


    . . . learn ways to recognize, acknowledge, and transform inner suffering, develop the capacity to touch roots of joy in the present, and act from compassion and love









    Earth-Holding & Protecting: Addressing Climate Change, Food Security, and Access to Clean Water





    . . . care for and protect animals, plants, and nature, including air, water, and earth


    . . . develop the moral and political will and the skillful means to ensure that, while protecting nature and the Earth, the need of all human beings for food, water, security, and other basic needs is met


    . . . find ways for all people to participate in decisions which affect their lives









    Watering Seeds of Justice and Peace: Transforming and Healing Historical

    Harm --Touching Our Ancestors and Descendants



    . . recognize, acknowledge and address power and privilege inequities, both historic and current


    . . . honor, value, and celebrate cultural and other diversities, human commonality, and individual uniqueness


    . . . resolve to learn and practice ways of addressing conflicts creatively and nonviolently


  • UPCOMING 2020

    Mindful Peacebuilding Community Via Zoom

    meditation, deep listening, open-hearted sharing

    for healing, community, and skill-building in these times

    send email to request Zoom Link to:





    Nov 7--Listening Circle (2pm-4pmPST)


    Nov 14--Kingian Nonviolence with Kazu Haga, founder of East Point Peace Academy, trainer in Kingian NonViolence, and author of Healing Resistance: A Radically Different Response to Harm. Registration info below--East Bay Meditation Center)


    Nov 21--Mindful Holiday: Thanksgiving (2pm-4pmPST)


    Dec 5--Listening Circle- Remembering Pearl Harbor Day, Chanukah (2pm-4pmPST)

    Dec 19--Listening Circle related to Mindful Holidays/Dec Birthdays:

    e.g., Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa (2pm-4pmPST)

    Dec 31--New Years Eve--108 Bells (4pm-5:30pm PST)



    Listening Circles & Mindful Holidays

    via ZOOM

    Selected Saturdays 2pm PST

    Zoom link will be emailed by request closer to the events...

    if you are not on the email list or do not receive a link,

    please email request for zoom link to



    2pm-4pm Pacific

    3pm-5pm Mountain

    4pm-6pm Central

    5pm-7pm East Coast


    Oct 24 - Listening Circle: Finger Labyrinth, Healing Meditation, Mindful Holidays and October Birthdays


    Nov 7 - Listening Circle Format


    Nov 14 - 11am - 3pm PST

    Kazu Haga from East Point Peace Academy offers training in Kingian NonViolence.


    Register through East Bay Meditation Center--https://eastbaymeditation.org/calendar/online-kingian-nonviolence-mini-workshop/


    Description from: https://www.boundlessloveproject.org/events/2020/11/14/kingian-nonviolence-conflict-resolution


    Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation is a philosophy and training methodology developed out of the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is a transformative set of teachings that can change the way you look at conflict in your own life or in your home, and inspire you to engage in social change work in a way that brings us closer to Dr. King's vision of Beloved Community. Throughout this interactive mini-workshop, we will explore the dynamics of conflict, definitions of violence, myths of nonviolence and the principles and steps of Kingian Nonviolence. The workshop will be facilitated by Kazu Haga, founder of East Point Peace Academy and author of Healing Resistance: A Radically Different Response to Harm, a book about the teachings of Kingian Nonviolence. The book has been praised by many, including Michelle Alexander, who wrote, “Kazu Haga’s deep, nuanced, and principled commitment to nonviolence has challenged and inspired me and many others who’ve had the privilege of encountering his work.”

    Cost: They use a gift economy system, so pay what you think it’s worth given your means. Where to Register https://eastbaymeditation.org/calendar/online-kingian-nonviolence-mini-workshop/







    Silence was meaningful with the Lakota, and their granting a space of silence to the speech-makers and their own moment of silence before talking was done in the practice of true politeness, listening, and regard for the rule, "thought comes before speech." Conversation was never begun at once, nor in a hurried manner. No one was quick with a question, no matter how important, and no one was pressed for an answer. A pause giving time for thought was the truly courteous way of beginning and conducting a conversation. --Luther Standing Bear


    Listening Circles

    Offerings and Links

    For Meditations, Quotes, Songs, Stories

    Click: Resources


    Oct 24

    Finger Labyrinth

    Videos for October:

    Indigenous Peoples Day

    UN Day--Oct 24







    Racial Equity Practice

    Healing Our Ancestors, Healing Ourselves

    Engaging Current Challenges


    San Quentin State Penitentiary


    Re-Entry Support

    Annual Day Of Peace Support


    Mindfulness Practice

    at Mariposa Institute, Ukiah, CA

    Co-Hosted with SugarPlum Sangha


    Mindful Peacebuilding

    Through Music and Other Arts


    Caring for The Earth

    Addressing the Challenge of Climate Change





    2018 - 2020



    Oct 24--Listening Circle/Zoom

    Facilitator: KSuzanne

    Finger Labyrinth

    Mindful Holiday: UN 75th Birthday



    Oct 10--Listening Circle/Zoom

    Facilitator: KSuzanne & Lyn



    Sept 26--Listening Circle/Zoom

    Facilitator: KSuzanne & Lyn



    Sept 12--Listening Circle/Zoom

    Guest Facilitator: Anna Gilman

    Deep Relaxation, focus on bones!



    AUG 29-Empowerment Saturday via Zoom

    Morning Speaker: Kazu Haga, East Point Peace Academy



    Kazu is founder of East Point Peace Academy, trainer in Kingian NonViolence inside and outside of prisons and jails, and author of the Parallax Press book Healing Resistance, A Radically Different Response to Harm. East Point Peace Academy has just received a $300,000 grant! check out eastpointpeace.org


    Afternoon Speakers: Encampment for Citizenship

    Florencia Ramirez, Margot Gibney, Leticia Gutierrez


    Leticia Gutierrez is a Youth Intern with the Encampment

    Florencia Ramirez is author of Eat Less Water,

    The Solution to Worldwide Water Shortages is in our Kitchens


    Margot Gibney is Executive Director of the

    Encampment for Citizenship Youth Leadership Program



    Mindful Peacebuilding is happy to network with the Encampment for Citizenship, a non-profit organization which focuses on youth leadership, community, and social justice. Residential summer programs with year-round follow-up for young people of widely diverse backgrounds and nations provide young people with a compelling experience in democratic living, with emphasis on critical thinking and social action. This is a transformative experience-- young people become more committed to active citizenship and involvement in their community as justice seekers as they become more informed and sensitive about the key issues of our time. One project of the Encampment, with Florencia Ramirez, is with farmworkers and schools in Ventura County relating to pesticide use.


    Saturday Zoom Listening Circles and other Gatherings/2020

    Dec 31 (New Years Bells)

    Dec 19 (Mindful Holiday)

    Dec 5 (Mindful Holiday)


    Nov21 Mindful Holiday: Thanksgiving

    Nov 7


    Oct 10, 24

    Sept 12, 26

    Aug 8, 22

    July 11, 18

    June 13, 27

    May 16--Creative Arts Sharing

    May 9--Longer Check-Ins

    April 25--Speaker: Shabana Shabazz, Ramadan

    Dedication of the Month (April)

    Passover, Easter,

    Ramadan, Earth Day

    April 18--Creative Arts Sharing

    April 11--Listening Circle: Corona Virus

    March 28--Listening Circle: Corona Virus

    Dedication of the Month:

    March: Women's History Month

    International Women's Day,

    World Water Day, Cesar Chavez Day



    Mon Jan 13

    vegan/vegetarian potluck

    Participatory Workshop

    with Rosa Zubizaretta

    OMAH (Opening Minds and Hearts)


    for Heart-Opening Conversations in 2020

    includes Empathy Circles and Dynamic Facilitation


    Mindful Peacebuilding and Edwin Rutsch/Empathy Circles


    Sat, Jan 11

    Guest Shabana Shahbaz from the

    Masjid Ar-Rehman Mosque in Richmond, CA

    will speak about her life in Pakistan, England and the US,

    and her recent Umrah to Mecca in honor of Abraham and Sarah and Ishmael.

    Co-Hosts: Mindful Peacebuilding and Jewish Gateways





    Tues Dec 31

    4pm - 8pm

    New Years Eve

    108 Bells


    Sat Dec 14

    2pm - 5pm

    Honoring December Holidays


    Fri, Nov 15

    7pm - 9pm

    Gather at 6:30pm

    Mindful Peacebuilding Through Music

    Impromptu Musical Evening


    Sat Nov 16

    Gather at 1:30pm

    2pm - 5pm

    Mindful Pre-Thanksgiving


    Sunday Oct 13, 8amPST.--re-scheduled

    "Apologizing to Mother Earth

    and the Land Ancestors"

    with Louise Dunlap

    (recording of EarthHolders' webinar

    Info: simona.coayladuba@gmail.com)


    Louise's forthcoming book is about her ancestors, the land they settled and passed down, and the stories of settlement that they did not tell



    June 15, 2019

    Gathering with

    Encampment for Citizenship


    May 16-27, 2019

    Bodhisattvas In Action:

    Engaging Societal Challenges with the Energy of Mindfulness

    Mindful Peacebuilding Retreat

    co-hosted with Sugarplum Sangha

    at Mariposa Institute, Ukiah, CA


    Practice and Teachings offered by Dharma Teachers and lay practitioners

    from the Plum Village Community of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

    Br Phap Tri, Diane Little Eagle, Jo-ann Rosen and others


    Apr 6

    Mindful Pre-Passover

    Passover Resource Reader Available


    Mar 31

    Racial Equity Practice with Sandra Kim


    Mar 23

    Children's Inclusivity Library Reading

    and Origami Paper-Crane Making for Immigration Protest


    Feb 16

    Quarterly Mindful Music-Making

    Mindful Peacebuilding Through Informal Music Making Together

    Fiddle, Ukulele, Recorders, Piano, Guitar


    Jan 4

    Combatants for Peace

    hosted by MPB Middle East Listening Circle




    Dec 31

    New Years Eve Bell of Awakening

    Sounding the Bell 108 Times


    Dec 15

    Benefit with Charity Cellists

    for MPB Projects

    San Quentin Post-Release Emergency Fund

    Transforming Trauma Training:

    Community Resilience Model (CRM)

    with Israelis and Palestinians


    Nov 20

    Thanksgiving Resource Reader

    Available by Request


    Nov 2

    Mindful Peacebuilding Through Informal Music Making Together

    Fiddle, Ukulele, Recorders, Piano, Guitar


    Oct 27

    Transforming Trauma: Community Resilence Model (CRM)

    Introduction with Victoria Mausisa


    Sep 22

    Inter-Faith Pilgrimage To Angel Island

    Mindful Peacebuilding members joined this pilgrimage

    organized by Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity


    Aug 25

    Compassionate Eating

    for Ourselves, Animals, and Our Planet

    (Click on Resources)




    Aug 25

    MPB Inclusiveness Library

    for Children and Adults

    Reading and Discussion


    THE NAME JAR by Yangsook Choi

    Having just arrived from Korea with her family, Unhei is anxious about making friends.

    Worried that no one will be able to pronounce her name, she decides to pick a new name.

    But when a large glass jar filled with names appears on her desk, Unhei happily discovers that her classmates want to help.







    DONATE to Mindful Peacebuilding on this website or mail a check to MPB, PO Box 5612, Elmwood Station, Berkeley CA 94705. All donations are welcome, and tax-deductible.


    MPB is a volunteer organization/community.

    Contributions support programs .

    • Support at San Quentin Penitentiary: includes weekly origami classes, Annual Day of Peace, Post-Release Emergency Fund
    • Healing Historical Harm 1) Classes and book and discussion groups focused on white awareness of privilege and power 2) Roots Retreats 3) Inclusivity Library for Children and Adults 4) Multicultural Skillbuilding 4) Community Resilience Model for Transforming Collective Trauma
    • Earth Awareness and Protection
    • Creative Arts  - Poetry, Music and other creative arts
    • Community Service/Public Presence/Action Alerts
    • Listening Circles, Mindful Holiday Gatherings, Mindfulness Retreats

    Mindful Peacebuilding Through The Arts

    Origami and Paintings Made By Men At San Quentin


    Origami made by men at San Quentin was shown at the Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco. Beautiful to see! The origami was made in a class supported in part by Mindful Peacebuilding and taught by Mindful Peacebuilding volunteer Jun Hamamoto.


    Paintings made by men at San Quentin for the Annual Day of Peace inside San Quentin have been donated to Mindful Peacebuilding. Proceeds from sale of the paintings are donated back to the San Quentin Annual Day of Peace project. Information: mindfulpeacebuilding@gmail.com. View paintings at A'Cuppa Tea (upstairs), 2992 College Ave, Berkeley, CA (paintings from 2014 SQ Day of Peace)




    "Why I enjoy origami: It aligns my heart and mind with my actions and takes me into another space and time."



    "Why Origami: Lets me touch a certain innocence I haven't felt since childhood."



    "Origami help me connect with others and my Roots."


    "When I fold papers, my mind folds. It creases away the wrinkles of my day."


    "I am very honor to be a part of Cherry Blossom Festival. Never in my life I would have thought this could happen. Thank you so much."




    "Origami calms me. I'm at peace. I feel good when I complete an object."



    "I feel very relaxed and peaceful when I am folding origami."



    "I enjoy origami because it puts a smile on faces. I feel at ease and happy when I do origami."














     "Restorative Justice is taking the blinders off the Lady of Equality - balancing the scales and bringing healing to offenders and victims." --FT (Restorative Justice)






    "I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a part of something like this. In a situation where my ability to be an instrument of peace is limited, I'm grateful for any opportunity like this and I'm always going to make every chance count."--PM

    (ROOTS Program--Restoring Our True Selves)





     "Light always shines brightest in the darkness. Meditation and Contemplative Prayer are the only things that get me through the week."--PS (Centering Prayer)









    "Peace in prison is a rare thing but peace within oneself is rarer.  I am happy I've found mine through programs and art."--TW









    Annual Roots Retreats


    2017, July

    Manzanar Internment Camp, CA


    2016, May

    New Orleans, LA

    Whitney Plantation - The Story of Slavery










    Roots Retreat, May 8-13, 2016

    Six Mindful Peacebuilding friends from the San Francisco Bay Area co-created a pilot Roots Retreat for five days in May, 2016, in New Orleans.  Our intention: to honor the ancestors at a site of major historical harm and suffering, and through deep looking and deep listening help to open pathways for individual and collective healing, transformation, and compassionate action. We were of African-American, Caribbean-American, Vietnamese, white European Jewish, and white Northern European ancestry. 




    As we grounded our practice in sitting and walking meditation, we offered ourselves and our ancestors healing energy at the Whitney Plantation, the first plantation in the United States to focus on the legacy of slavery (www.whitneyplantation.org); at the Tomb of the Unknown Slave at St Augustine's Church; in the Lower Ninth Ward, where houses are still being restored eleven years after Hurricane Katrina (www.lowernine.org); and in Louis Armstrong Park.  And we were fortunate to be invited to sit with two meditation groups and to be joined by Delores Watson, a friend who founded the Flowering Lotus Meditation Center in Magnolia, Mississippi. (www.floweringlotusmeditation.org).




    Two retreatants shared their intentions for participating in this retreat: 


    Devin: My purpose feels truly embodied and bigger than me. I'm not sure how to write or articulate it...I have a sense born of deep listening and looking at what my grand-father taught and instilled in us regarding family and storytelling, and also born of dharma practices in relation to my genealogy work. I feel meant to do it, I feel compelled to do it and it feels deeply ancestral.


    A.J.: The question that is alive for me is, how do I as a person descended from slave holders take responsibility to make right the wrongs of yesterday and today? How do I heal my ancestors who enslaved others? What have those of us whose ancestors committed atrocities done to ourselves? To our descendants? To all of humanity? What is needed now? How do I move forward? How do I make repairs? 


    Protect The Earth
    Consume Mindfully
    Meet Basic Human Needs
    Communicate Mindfully
    Practice Inclusiveness
    Value Diversity

    Deepen Awareness of Privilege



    1. Provide support and training for people who practice mindfulness and wish to engage with societal concerns using mindfulness-based peacebuilding action. 

    2. Design practices for people who engage in public arena service and action to ground themselves with the energy of mindfulness.

    3. Offer opportunities for people who practice mindfulness and mindfulness-based peacebuilding action to share insights, successes, challenges, and resources.

    4. Support people who are concerned about issues in our time but do not practice mindfulness and are not yet engaged in mindfulness-based peacebuilding action to articulate their vision and discern a specific next step.

    5. Articulate mindfulness-based peacebuilding concepts and skill-building practices as a strong foundation for individual, societal, and cultural healing and transformation.

    6. Deepen the capacity for embodying true peace in ourselves, our families, communities, and societies, in the service building true peace on our planet.


    "Peace Is Every Breath, Peace Is Every Step"

    Breathing In, Aware Of The In-Breath
    Breathing Out, Aware of The Out-Breath


    1. Peace In Ourselves, Peace On Our Planet

    Cultivate peace in ourselves by including in our daily lives practices for contemplation, centering, gratitude, mindfulness, and physical well-being as well as play, fun, humor, the arts.


    Support work for peace in the world by embodying the energy of peace in our everyday thoughts, words, and actions. Generate wholesome qualities such as joy, kindness, mindfulness, generosity, ease, and equanimity.


    Embody A.J. Muste's reminder that "there is no way to peace, peace is the way" and Thich Nhat Hanh's reminder that "peace in the world begins with peace in oneself."




    2. Interbeing (Interdependence)

    See that each of us is deeply interconnected with other humans as well as with animals, plants, minerals and the Earth. Seek ways to protect life in all its diversity.


    Attend to the dimension beyond words, beyond our individual saves and individual species.


    Recognize that harming so-called others with words or actions is to harm our own being, refrain from "othering" through enemy-making language and images. 

    3. Inclusiveness

    Celebrate the diversity of human cultures, plant and animal life on our planet.


    Shift from oppressive and exploitative power relationships to more equitable, inclusive and diverse connections in our individual lives and in our societies. 


    Practice inclusiveness in growing the Mindful Peacebuilding organization communications, actions, structures and dynamics.



    4. Positive Approach, Constructive Program

    When organizing or participating in action in the public arena, do so with a positive approach and attitude, speaking constructively and creatively.


    Take good care of strong emotions: grief, disappointment, resentment, desire for revenge, fear, hatred, rage, anxiety, despair, anger, terror.


    Recognize and acknowledge historical and current harmful action. Resolve to take some positive action with love in the direction of transforming historical and current harm.






    1. There is no separation. At a deep level, each human being "inter-is" with the Earth, animals, plants, and other humans.


    2. Peace in the world begins with peace in oneself. . . peace in oneself radiates out contributing to peace in the world.  


    3. The energy of mindfulness, compassion, joy, and inclusiveness is a powerful, effective ground for sustainable and creative peacebuilding.


    4. Three essential elements in true peacebuilding practice are diversity, inclusiveness, and work to transform power-over relationships into power-with relationships at all levels.






















    Racial Justice

    Awareness and Action

    from: Placemat from (SURJ)--Showing Up For Racial Justice. www.showingupforracialjustice.org


    ACTION: Set a chair and a place setting to honor the 1024 people killed by the police in 2015. About 400 of those killed were Black. Many of them were unarmed.



    Listen mindfully before formulating a thoughtful response


    Ask questions when people express strong opinions

    Affirm Clarify the difference between the good intentions and the impact

    Speak from a place of mutual interest, sharing personal experiences and emotions




    Accountability Partners


    Aim: create emotionally safe ongoing space to support each other in a common purpose.

    Accountability Partners are two or three people who have a similar passion or focus related to mindful peacebuilding, e.g, prison and the criminal justice system, climate change, water concerns, eliminating poverty, immigration., compassion for animals. The partners agree to meet regularly by phone or in person, often once a week possibly once a day, or once a month.

    Suggested Format (can be adapted)

    1. Greetings. Re-state how time available.

    2. Continue with any practice to center mind and body in the present moment, e.g., three breaths, sounding a bell

    3. Brief Check-In

    4. One person speaks

    The listener reflects back what has been heard and receives corrections from the speaker

    5. The one who was listener speaks and the practice of reflection back is repeated

    6. When the agreed upon time is approached, check in to express gratitude, clear anything that needs clearing, and each person's next steps if they wish.

    7. Clarify next meeting time.









    Mindfulness-Based Peacebuilding

    Deepening Awareness, Building Skills



    Louise Diamond's

    The Peace Book, 108 Simple Ways To Create A More Peaceful World. participants share their personal challenges and joys related to peacebuilding, as well as challenges related to current events, inspirational stories and information from the media, and visions/action steps.


    The Metta Center for NonViolence--NonViolence Training and Education

    --Michael Nagler's new book:

    The Third Harmony: NonViolence and the New Story of Human Nature


    Prison Dharma Practice 


    Recommended: Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Deepen individual and collective awareness of causes and conditions that have given rise to our criminal justice system; and commitment to contribute to positive systemic change.


    Racial Justice Awareness & Action Practice


    Facilitated by AJ Johnston.

    Info: mindfulpeacebuilding@gmail.com

    Recommended Texts 

    1. The Way of Tenderness--Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

    2. Mindful of Race--Ruth King

    3. Dharma, Color and Culture, ed by Ryomen

    4. Radical Dharma--Angel Kyodo Williams

    5. My Grandmother's Hands--Resmaa Menakem


    And by Robin J. DiAngelo

    1) White Fragility

    2) What Does it Mean to be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy



    ...offer an opportunity for participants to honor ancestors and descendants

    ...bear witness to deep historical collective and individual suffering

    ...heal and transform energy of anxiety, depression, despair, grief, terror, shame, rage, alienation into compassion, courage, commitment, belonging, wisdom


    Healing and transformation occur through practice:

    ...contemplative/meditative silence

    ...awareness of sensation

    ...mindfulness-based engaged inquiry and curiosity

    ... open-hearted listening

    ...speaking from the heart

    ...mindful walking in community

    ...mindful movement, yoga, tai chi

    ...expressive arts including music, dance, poetry, painting/drawing, collage.

    ...study of engaged ethical guidelines (5 and 14 precepts)


    Retreats are organized for small numbers and locally....



    Local: San Francisco: Mission Delores; Museum of African Diaspora

    Regional: Manzanar Internment Camp, California

    (site of Japanese internment during World War II)


    New Orleans and the Whitney Plantation. . . a unique practice opportunity for bringing mindfulness practice to looking deeply into the legacy of racism in the USA and the continuing effect of individual and collective trauma.

    Jewish Women Listening

    Weekly Listening Circle of Jewish Women via Zoom

    Info: mindfulpeacebuilding@gmail.com

    Exploring: What Does it Mean to be Jewish?

    includes deep listening and speaking from the heart, training ourselves in compassionate communication with people who hold very different views, inquiring into questions related to healing and transforming individual and collective traumatic experience, influencing US policy towards Israel and Palestine, transforming historical and current anti-Semitism, including diversity of Jewish experience, roots and Identities, e.g. racial, language, class, gender, LGBTQ differences as well as different forms of Judaism eg religious, cultural and secular...


    Recommended: www.transcendingjewishtrauma.com



    Transforming Trauma

    Training and Practice

    Community Resilience Model (CRM)



    6 week Classes

    Jo-ann Rosen

    Victoria Mausisa

    and others


    Info: mindfulpeacebuilding@gmail.com





    Immigration and Detention

    Individual and Small Group Action


    Small group visits to Detention Courts, San Francisco

    Joining Protests at Detention Center, Richmond CA

    Voluntary Action with Tias y Abuelas at Texas Border








    Elections 2020

    Individual and Small Group Action


    Writing postcards--Reclaim Your Vote

    Poor People's Campaign

    Lisening Circle























    Small Groups

    Face-to-Face Gatherings

    Zoom Gatherings


    Listening Circles, Holiday Observances

    Public Action, Community Service

    Meditation and Study Groups, Retreats


    Listening Circles


    Listening circles are grounded in awareness of the breath. In a listening circle, participants create with each other a safe emotional space in which they can share perspectives and personal experiences related to peacebuilding challenges that may be confusing, controversial, and deeply felt. Participation in a listening circle helps develop basic skills essential for mindfulness-based peacebuilding: capacity to be present for strong emotion and views different from one's own; capacity to listen to oneself and to share with others in a way that others can hear, capacity to deepen understanding for points of view different from one's own. Participants do their best to listen with an open heart and speak their truth with kindness.  Mindfulness-based listening circles nourish understanding, creativity, friendship, imagination, and commitment to action in the context of inclusive and diverse community, 


    Topics are chosen by participants and have included Multi-Faith Sharing, Middle East Inquiry, Recognizing and Ending Racism, Creative Arts, MindfulPrisonPractice. 

    Holiday Gatherings


    Meditative silence, new and traditional rituals, personal stories of experience with the holiday, stories of collective suffering related to the holiday, eating and singing together: all of these come together to create a joyful and meaningful mindfulness-based holiday gathering in community.  Participation in a holiday gathering helps develop basic skills essential for mindfulness-based peacebuilding: capacity to deepen the meaning of a civic or religious holiday, capacity to transform and heal suffering connected with the holiday, capacity to open the heart for deepening understanding, cultivate gratitude and joy, and generate sustainable commitment for engaging in compassionate action to build beloved communities grounded in the values of inclusiveness, diversity, and power-with relationships.


    Holidays have included Thanksgiving, Easter/Passover, Labor Day, July Fourth, Martin L King Day as well as monthly gatherings which honor special days of a particular month.

    Public Action and Community Service

    Offering mindful presence at public demonstrations; organizing and participating in peace walks; planting trees; preparing food at shelters for young adults who are homeless; speaking and writing in public forums are examples of Mindful Peacebuilding's public action and community service.  


    Participation in mindfulness-based public action and community service helps develop basic skills essential for mindfulness-based peacebuilding: capacity to manifest qualities that support inclusive, diverse, and power-with beloved community; and capacity to refrain from using language and images that belittle, blame, demean, shame, and demonize others as "the enemy." 


    Retreats and Classes

    Participation in mindfulness-based retreats and classes helps develop basic skills essential for mindfulness-based peacebuilding and building inclusive, diverse communities grounded in power-with relationships. Specific skillbuilding classes may include  public speaking and writing, mediation, cross-cultural competency, compassionate and nonviolent communication, creative arts, tai chi, interplay, ikebana (flower-arranging). Participation helps develop the capacity to embody the energy of mindfulness and manifest joy, compassion, kindness, and generosity in everyday life and the capacity for creativity, curiosity, and imagination in the service of collective healing and transformation.   Concerns related to climate change, food security, access to clean water, immigration, the school-to-prison pipeline, racial justice and other concerns  may be addressed. 


    Through sharing information, inquiry, personal experiences, and inspiring stories in a mindful context, participants in mindfulness-based retreats and classes deepen their understanding and practice of a mindfulness-based approach to peacebuilding in daily life and public action. 













    Video: Grateful

    One Power video--offered by Enid



    Video: Wonderful World--Louis Armstrong

    With images--offered by Shabana



    On Being.org

    tracy k smith reading

    poem—unrest in baton rouge

    --offered by Annie





    Meditations for Opening the Heart-Mind:

    Four Elements of Love—kindness, joy, compassion, equanimity


    Compassion Meditation

    adapted from Mindful of Race, by Ruth King., p 159


    Become aware of the in-breath, the out-breath

    Notice and send a greeting to parts of the body:

    toes, knees, hip-bones, heart, lungs, kidneys,

    reproductive system, digestive system,

    the spine, the collar bones,

    the eyes, ears, tongue, teeth, jawbones,

    throat, energy center between the eyes

    energy center at the top of the head


    Now bring awareness to the inner children of different ages,

    and offer them the following words of compassion and kindness.

    Continue in widening circles of awareness

    to near and dear ones, and those not known...


    I am here. I am here for you.

    I care about you.

    I care about your joy.

    I care about your suffering.

    I am holding your pain and sorrow with compassion


    May you be soothed, may you be healed.

    May your fears dissolve.


    I’m sorry you have been harmed, ignored, and dismissed.

    I will stay with you. I will breathe with you.


    I may not know how to support you in the best way,

    but it is my wish to do so.


    I am here. I am here for you.

    I care about you.

    I care about your joy.

    I care about your suffering.

    I am holding your pain and sorrow with compassion



    Equanimity Meditation

    adapted from Mindful of Race, by Ruth King., p 249


    May I see the world with quiet eyes.

    May I offer my care without hesitation,

    knowing I may be met with gratitude, anger,

    or resistance.


    May I find the inner resources

    to genuinely contribute where needed.

    May I contribute where needed

    without attachment to outcome.


    May I remain peaceful within.

    I care about the pain of others,

    yet I know I cannot control it.


    May I offer care,

    knowing I don’t control the course of life,

    suffering, or death.


    I wish all beings contentment,

    but I cannot make their choices for them


    I care for all beings,

    and I realize my way is not the only way.

    All beings have their own journey,

    and I have mine.


    May I offer my support,

    knowing that what I offer

    may be of great benefit,

    some benefit, or even no benefit.


    May I bear witness to things just as they are.


    May I offer my prayer without conditions,

    knowing I may be met with appreciation,

    resentment, and resistance.




    From: Awakening Joy: Ten Steps to Happiness

    by James Baraz


    Step 1- Inclining the Mind Toward Joy

    Step 2- Mindfulness: Being Present for Your Life


    Step 3- Grateful Heart, Joyful Heart

    Step 4- Finding Joy in Difficult times


    Step 5- The Bliss of Blamelessness

    Step 6—The Joy of Letting Go


    Step 7—The Sweetness of Loving Ourselves

    Step 8—The Joy of Loving Others


    Step 9—Compassion: The Natural Expression of a Joyful Heaert

    Step 10—The Joy of Simply Being




    Prayer for Healing

    M’She-beirach—Debby Friedman



    Mi shebeirach avoteinu

    M’kor hab’racha l’imoteinu

    May the source of strength

    Who blessed the ones before us,

    Help us find the courage

    to make our lives a blessing

    And let us say,



    Mi shebeirach imoteinu

    M’kor habrachah l’avoteinu

    Bless those in need of healing

    with r’fuah sh’leimah

    The renewal of body

    the renewal of spirit

    And let us say,




    Meditation: GRACE

    adapted from Joan Halifax, Standing At the Edge:

    Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet, p 241-242


    Gather attention

    Recall Intention

    Attune to Self and Other

    Consider What Will Serve

    Engage and End


    Mother's Day Proclamation--Boston, 1870

    Written by abolitionist Julia Ward Howe




    Arise, then… women of this day!
    Arise, all women who have hearts,
    whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!
    Say firmly:
    We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.
    Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage,
    for caresses and applause.
    Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
    all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
    We, women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country
    to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.


    From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
    It says: Disarm, Disarm!
    The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
    Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
    nor violence vindicate possession.
    As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
    at the summons of war,
    let women now leave all that may be left of home
    for a great and earnest day of council.

    Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
    Let them then solemnly take council with each other as to the means
    whereby the great human family can live in peace,
    each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
    but of God.


    In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask
    that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality,
    may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient,
    and at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
    to promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
    the amicable settlement of international questions,
    the great and general interests of peace.



    On Compassion For Animals and Compassionate Eating




    Thich Nhat Hanh

    from: The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching

    "If while we eat, we destroy living beings or the environment, we are eating the flesh of our own sons and daughters. We need to look deeply together and discuss how to eat, what to eat and what to resist. If we are mindful, we will know whether we are ‘ingesting’ the toxins of fear, hatred and violence, or eating foods that encourage understanding, compassion, and the determination to help others."


    Meditation on Mindful Consumption

    Touching the Earth


    I touch the earth three times to nourish my awareness of the suffering of all species in the world and to help me to nourish my compassion.


    I have made the vow to be vegetarian and I feel happy and peaceful because of this. I know that vegetarian food can taste good and be wholesome at the same time... There are many people who are vegetarian because they are aware that to be vegetarian is beneficial for spiritual, physical and mental health. There are also people who are vegetarian because they want to nourish their compassion.


    I am happy when I see that there are associations that are striving to protect animals by preserving their natural habitats or preventing people from using animals in harmful experiments. . . .



    QUOTES (alphabetical by first name)


    Audre Lorde

    .. .and when we speak we are afraid
    our words will not be heard
    nor welcomed
    but when we are silent
    we are still afraid
    So it is better to speak . . .


    Georgia O'Keefe

    Nobody sees a flower--really--it is so small it takes time--we haven't time--

    and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.


    Henri Nouwen
    We cannot change the world by a new plan, project or idea. We cannot even change other people by our convictions, stories, advice and proposals, but we can offer a space where people are encouraged to disarm themselves, lay aside their occupations and preoccupations, and listen with attention and care to the voices speaking in their own center.


    Howard Thurman

    Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.

    Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

    A dream is the bearer of a new possibility, the enlarged horizon, the great hope.


    Luther Standing Bear

    Silence was meaningful with the Lakota, and their granting a space of silence to the speech-makers and their own moment of silence before talking was done in the practice of true politeness, listening, and regard for the rule, "thought comes before speech." Conversation was never begun at once, nor in a hurried manner. No one was quick with a question, no matter how important, and no one was pressed for an answer. A pause giving time for thought was the truly courteous way of beginning and conducting a conversation.


    Mohandas K. Gandhi

    The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree;

    and there is just the same inviolable connection

    between the means and the end

    as there is between the seed and the tree.


    Robert Kennedy

    Johannesburg, South Africa, 1963


    Tiny Ripples of Hope
    Few have the greatness to bend history itself,

    but each of us can work

    to change a small portion of the events,

    and in the total of these acts

    will be written the history of this generation.


    It is from numerous diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a [wo]man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the life of others, or strikes out against an injustice, [s]he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope that crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, these ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.


    And I believe that in this generation those with the courage to enter the moral conflict will find themselves with companions in every corner of the globe.







    Songs For Mindful Peacebuilding



    We Shall be Known (by MaMuse)

    Performed by Thrive East Bay Choir




    We shall be known by the company we keep
    By the ones who circle round to tend these fires
    We shall be known by the ones who sow and reap
    The seeds of change, alive from deep within the earth
    It is time now, it is time now that we thrive
    It is time we lead ourselves into the well
    It is time now, and what a time to be alive
    In this Great Turning we shall learn to lead in love
    In this Great Turning we shall learn to lead in love

    Part 1

    We shall be known by the company we keep
    By the ones who circle round to tend these fires
    We shall be known by the ones who sow and reap
    The seeds of change, alive from deep within the earth

    Part 2

    It is time now, it is time now that we thrive
    It is time we lead ourselves into the well
    It is time now, and what a time to be alive
    In this Great Turning we shall learn to lead in love
    In this Great Turning we shall learn to lead in love


    Songs By Betsy Ros

    May I Be Happy...

    Children in a school in Oakland, CA sing with singer-songwriter Betsy Rose:

    "May I Be Happy, May I Be Peaceful, May I Be Filled With Love

    May You Be Happy, May You Be Peaceful, May You Be Filled With Love

    May We Be Happy, May We Be Peaceful, May We Be Filled With Love"

    --VIDEO by David Nelson, David Nelson Productions



    I Hold My Face In My Two Hands

    (Words adapted from poem For Warmth by Thich Nhat Hanh)




    If You’re Happy Take A Breath

    (NEW WORDS by Betsy Rose to Children's Song)


    If you’re happy and you know it, take a breath.

    If you’re happy and you know it take a breath.

    If you’re happy and you’re breathing, all your joy will be increasing,

    Breathing in and out is sweet, so take a breath!


    If you’re angry and you know it take a breath.

    If you’re angry and you know it take a breath.

    If you’re angry and you know it take a breath before you blow it,

    You can choose how you will show it, take a breath!


    If you’re scared and you know it take a breath.

    If you’re scared and you know it take a breath.

    If you’re scared and you’re breathing, all your fears will soon be leaving,

    You’ll feel stronger if you stop and take a breath!


    If you’re sad and you know it take a breath.

    If you’re sad and you know it take a breath.

    If you’re sad and you breathe, it will give your heart some ease,

    And you’ll know just what you need, so take a breath!


    If you don’t know what you’re feeling, take a breath.

    If you don’t know what you’re feeling, take a breath.

    It’s okay if you don’t know, you can breath and just let go,

    You’re alive from head to toe, so take a breath!



    July 11, 18

    June 13, 20, 27

    May 30--Honoring May

    May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Buddha's Birthday,

    Mothers Day, Memorial Day


    May 16--Creative Arts

    Origami Practice

    --Jun Hamamoto (MBP Board Member)

    Jun shared with the community how to fold origami hearts, and suggested writing note of gratitude on the heart, taking a picture of the origami heart and posting it on facebook and sending to friends and loved ones, or putting the heart in the window of one's home…Jun has been teaching origami classes for many years at San Quentin, where participants find it a meditative and deeply connective practice. Some said they fold every night, it calms them...


    Folding origami cranes

    website and facebook


    1) folding4justice—facebook page (Please 'like')

    2) https://tsuruforsolidarity.org/

    tsuru for solidarity--

    to protest detentions, over 200,000 origami cranes

    will be sent to Congress and there will be a virtual march

    to Washington june 6-7

    Offerings from the Community
    KSuzanne : Langston Hughes poem—dream deferred
    Bernice reads original poem
    Enid reads poem—Winter Grief by David Whyte
    Elise reads original poem—-"after all we have survived"
    Curtis reads prose he is writing—the archive of belonging
    Alely shares an acrylic painting she painted this morning
    Genevieve—offers basket of origami cranes made with friends for Tsuru for Solidarity Campaign

    Lyn--offers practice of re-purposing magazines and catalogues

    to create vision board and soul collage


    Curtis recommends writings:

    1) Clarissa Sligh--Transforming Hate
    2) Tia Blassingame


    Annie offers song: If You’re Happy Take A Breath

    (New Words by Betsy Rose to Children's Song--

    (for additional lyrics, click on RESOURCES in Menu Bar)


    If you’re happy and you know it, take a breath.

    If you’re happy and you know it take a breath.

    If you’re happy and you’re breathing, all your joy will be increasing,

    Breathing in and out is sweet, so take a breath!




    Saturday Afternoon Listening Circles

    --April-June 2020


    Meditation--Earth Touching, Breathing

    adapted from these two poems by Thich Nhat Hanh

    in Please Call Me By My True Names


    Ramadan--Islamic Call To Prayer






    RESOURCES: Stories


    Story For Our Times


    Great-Grandson Mindfully Hugs Great-Grandmother

    STORY OF TWO WOLVES (adapted)

    A Native American grandfather and grandmother were talking to their grandchild about feelings. The grandmother and the grandfather said, "It is as if there are two wolves fighting in the heart. One wolf is vengeful and angry and violent. The other wolf is loving, compassionate, kind, and generous." The grandchild asked the grandparents, "Which wolf will win the fight, Grandfather and Grandmother?"


    Grandmother and Grandfather smiled. Each of them hugged the child, and then the three hugged together. Then Grandmother and Grandfather paused and took a breath. Then Grandmother said, with a gentle voice, "Dear Child, it is the one we feed that will win." And Grandfather said, ever so gently, "Which one shall we feed, my child? How shall we feed it?"



    The Joy Of Being Alive on Planet Earth!

    --Descendant Eating An Apple




























    Post-Release from Prison



    Trailer of Video Made by a student

    at DeAnza Community College



    Inspiration: Posters and Pictures





      Social Clubs Support Social Justice from South Berkeley Senior Stories Mary Trahan Interviewed by Sara Bruckmeier. Artist: Clayton Anderson. Website: http//sbss.bborucki.com



    PICTURE: Social Clubs Support Social Justice

    from South Berkeley Senior Stories. Artist: Clayton Anderson
    Mary Trahan Interviewed by Sara Bruckmeier.
    Website: http//sbss.bborucki.com

    Five Years Ago!

    End of Year Letter and Highlights/2015


    Dear Friend,

    A warm greeting of the season to you! We at Mindful Peacebuilding are reaching out to you at this time to share highlights from 2015 and express our gratitude. If you are hearing from us for the first time, it may be because you signed a list at one of our events during the last few years or someone you know has thought this may be of interest to you. In this letter, we take this opportunity to introduce our mindfulness-based approach to peacebuilding. Thank you for reading on and considering how you might contribute and participate.

    Mindful Peacebuilding is a national nonprofit networking community whose mission is to support people in promoting a culture of peace on the planet with a mindfulness-based approach. Seeds of inner, inter-personal, and societal peace are watered through mindfulness-based community service, public action, retreats, classes, listening circles and holiday gatherings. Started in 2011 by students of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, the community is a volunteer educational organization open to all who wish to engage social concerns in a mindful context.

    We encourage you to consider being a part of this community. Share with us some of the social concerns you are passionate about and daily-life stories of "moments of mindful peacebuilding." What are you currently engaging with? What would you like to engage with more fully? Let us know if you would like to join or start a mindfulness-based peacebuilding practice group where you are, and we will do our best to be of help.

    We invite you as well to contribute financial support. To donate via the web, please go to www.mindfulpeacebuilding.org. To donate by check, please mail check to Mindful Peacebuilding, PO Box 5612, Elmwood Station, Berkeley, CA. 94705.

    We send you blessings of the season, for joy and well-being.


    Lyn, Sue, Victoria, Herman
    Mindful Peacebuilding Leadership Circle



    Mindful Peacebuilding

    Inspiring Highlights 2015


    Mindfulness in Prison: Practice at San Quentin
    Origami Classes: Quote from participant, "the Origami folding class was a first for me, a good “first” in that I was doing more than folding paper into different shapes and designs. I was participating in the 70,000 Cranes for Peace and partaking in the suffering that comes from war and nuclear weapons. Now when I fold Origami I will always fold for peace.”

    Incarcerated men at San Quentin experienced the peace of Origami Paper-folding as they made thousands of paper cranes. They contributed the cranes not only to the Hiroshima-Nagasaki 70th anniversary remembrance, but also to Oakland’s Children’s Hospital and to the Tree of Hope at San Francisco’s City Hall lighted in December. The Origami classes were taught by a MindfulPeacebuilding volunteer.



    San Quentin Day of Peace Committee: Mindful Peacebuilding volunteers joined the men inside to help plan the Annual Day of Peace Celebration inside this state prison.

    "We offer peace as an alternative to violence..." say the men on the committee.

    To invite support and public awareness for this event, Mindful Peacebuilding volunteers helped find venues to display Day of Peace paintings made by the men inside.


    Days of Mindfulness: incarcerated men and volunteers from the outside joined together for sitting, walking, and eating meditation, panel presentations, and small-circle sharing.

    Classes and Retreats: Healing and Transforming Historical Harm
    * Half-Day of Mindfulness, Exploring White Awareness
    * Class, “What Does It Mean To Be White”
    * Roots Retreats, Local, Regional, National

    Mindfulness Meditation Practice Group (Sangha)..

    Weekly meditation group includes sitting and walking meditation and reflection on readings that are also emailed to the wider Mindful Peacebuilding Community: Joanna Macy’s Active Hope; Pema Chodren’s Practicing Peace in Times of War; and Thich Nhat Hanh’s Cultivating True Peace and Together We Are One.


    Mindful Holiday Gatherings and

    Days of Awareness, Action, and Inquiry 
    Inspirational resource materials are available for mindful holiday gatherings. In addition to singing, mindful sitting, walking and eating meditation, gatherings often include sharing of personal experience and discussion of ways to challenge oppression and transform and heal suffering connected with the holidays. Gatherings in 2015:

    · Prison awareness and action, Honoring precious water (Jan – March)

    · ML King, Easter and Passover (April - June)

    · July 4th, The Right To Vote/Women’s Suffrage, Labor Day/Workers’ Rights (July – Sept) 

    · Gandhi and Questions Related to Non-Violence, Peace Walk for Middle East, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve Bell Ringing (Oct - Dec) 

    Community Service 

    · YEAH! Mindful Peacebuilding volunteers cook dinner once or twice a month for young adults at YEAH!, a program in Berkeley that serves 18-25 year olds who are temporarily homeless

    · Diversity Library of Children’s Books created by a Mindful Peacebuildingvolunteer

    Public Awareness and Action: Addressing Climate Change
    Mindful Peacebuilding groups in Redding, CA and Ukiah, CA were formed to participate in an Ecosattva 8-week on-line training…Mindful Peacebuilding offered peaceful presence at Oakland's climate change march.

    We encourage you to learn more and participate!





    PO BOX 5612, Elmwood Station

    Berkeley, CA 94705




    Support Mindful Peacebuilding Everywhere!

    Practice The Art of Mindful Living

    Embody The Energy Of Peace

    Cultivate The Energy Of Mindfulness


    Develop Mindfulness-Based Peacebuilding Skills

    Engage In Mindfulness-Based Community Service And Public Action


    Email us



    You are invited to contribute!

    All donations are tax-deductible

    MPB is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.



    Where would you like your donation to go?

    General Support or Project Support


    San Quentin (Peace Day, Origami and Arts Classes, Post-Release Support)

    Healing Historical Harm/Ancestors and Descendants: Racial Equity and Justice Practice

    CRM Training (Community Resilience Model for Transforming Trauma)

    Kingian NonViolence Trainings

    Earth Justice/Compassionate Eating Practice

    Arts for Transformation and Healing

    Service Projects


    Please scroll down to the bottom of the page

    and send us an email at mindfulpeacebuilding@gmail.com

    indicating how you would like to direct your donation


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    Or, make a note on your check

    about how you would like to direct your donation




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    Berkeley CA 94705


    To learn more or volunteer,

    please email: mindfulpeacebuilding@gmail.com




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    Note: Gift Economics

    Mindful Peacebuilding is a volunteer organization. Inspired by the East Bay Meditation Center and the East Point Peace Academy, we function in alignment with the principles of Gift Economics.

    "Gift economics is a different way of interacting with money and understanding what something is “worth.” In a Gift model, goods and services are not sold as they are in a market model of economics. Rather, they are given freely with no requirement of an exchange... No one is required to give, and no amount is considered too small or too large."--eastpointpeace.org


    To learn more about Gift Economics, check out



    TEDx talks by Nipun Mehta