BIPOC Mental Health Awareness & Mindfulness Meditation

Each July, the legacy of author, advocate, and trailblazer Bebe Moore Campbell is honored by recognizing Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (also known as BIPOC Mental Health Month). This year’s theme is Culture, Community, and Connection.  This theme moves me as a member of the BIPOC community, a Chicana, and a mestiza. This year’s message is that as we begin to heal ourselves, we heal our communities. When one person seeks to take care of their mental health, it impacts the wellness of the community at large. 

As a mindfulness and dharma instructor for InsightLA, I am rooted in this idea of community. When we come together in meditation, we nourish our individual and collective healing.  Our meditation practice does not just stay with us. The results of our practice are a gift we offer to other people too. The more grounded and present we are for ourselves, the more likely we can be grounded and present for others. 

My meditation practice is a much-needed addition to my mental health care practice.  Mediation feels like I am creating spaces of stillness and letting go  – this practice has significantly lowered my stress levels. I have found meditation with others in community to be supportive simply because it makes meditation less lonely! It’s a silent practice, but it doesn’t have to be done entirely alone. That feeling of togetherness in a sitting group has engaged me in meditation for over two decades.

As a mindfulness instructor, I believe in holding a wide, gentle space for the individual and collective healing a sitting group can provide. This mindfulness meditation practice is open and inclusive – if you have a body and are aware you have a body, you can begin a meditation practice.  You are welcome as you are.  Let’s sit together. 

Eileen Ybarra began studying Theravada Buddhism meditation practice in 2004 with Trudy Goodman and has since studied at Insight Meditation Center of Redwood City and Durango Dharma Center amongst others. Eileen has completed two 1-year long facilitator training programs with the Against the Stream Meditation Society as well as the ‘Dedicated Practitioners Program’ at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She is also a regular InsightLA teacher at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and online with the Middle-ish and Young-ish practice Groups.  

Join Eileen for Everyday Wisdom: The Three Marks of Existence In-Person at Benedict Canyon Retreat House and Online for a 3-Class Drop-In Series Wednesdays July 12, July 19, & July 26 7:00 – 8:30 PM PT. 

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