Focusing the Lens: Uncovering Social Bias and Creating Vibrant Community (Eagle Rock)

with Acharya Charlene Leung & Michaela McCormick

November 4th (2017)

Date details +
  • $90.00 Program Price
  • $120.00 Patron Price
Room: EAGLE ROCK SHAMBHALA- Main Shrine Room- 963 Colorado Blvd, 90041

No matter what our social identities are, all of us have inherited social biases. These biases tint the water we swim in - our expressions of body, speech and mind - and create blind spots as we sense people of a different race, class, clan, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, or physical, mental or perceptual characteristics.  

While it is not our fault that we have these biases, it is our individual and collective responsibility to become aware of them and how they may be impacting us, other people, and our society at large. If we are to connect more fully with the world and be of help to others, we have to bring into focus what we don’t see but what is often clear to others.  

Overwhelming evidence shows that our social systems advantage some and disadvantage others. It takes community to move beyond societal cocoons to liberation. When we are able to bear witness to ourselves and to one another, we make societal healing possible. And inevitable.

In this daylong program for Shambhala Center leaders, members, teachers and educators, we aim to create a brave and caring space to explore our blind spots, fears, and other emotionally charged topics that arise when we look closer at socially constructed hierarchies and how they affect us, individually and collectively. Our ground is unconditional wakefulness infused with kindness and warmth. Using meditation, experiential exercises, journaling, and multimedia, we explore our edges through feeling rather than concept, as we learn to trust the wisdom held in our bodies and to act in helpful ways that change the fabric of society.

Program costs include a catered lunch. Open to all Shambhala center members and those with a familiarity with the Shambhala teachings and practices.


Shastri Charlene Leung has been a student of Shambhala since the early 1980’s. She serves as the Chairperson of the Diversity Working Group for Shambhala International.  In addition to teaching and mentoring in Shambhala, she co-facilitates groups for the UNtraining, an organization devoted to healing personal and social oppressions.  She practices Chinese medicine and teaches qi gong in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Michaela McCormick has been meditating since 2001 and has been a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche since 2005. She is a teacher, meditation instructor, and leader of Queer Dharma at the Portland (OR) Shambhala Meditation Center, and a member of the Diversity Working Group of Shambhala International. 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.

The Shambhala Center of Los Angeles remains open because of the ongoing generosity of our community. One of the cornerstones of our policy is that no one be turned away for lack of funds. If you can’t afford a program, please call our office (323-255-5472) to register based on what you can afford. At the same time, the Center relies on program revenue to cover costs. For those who are able to pay more than the program price, your generosity in paying the Patron Price helps cover the costs for others who are not able to pay the full price, and provides additional support to the Shambhala Center of Los Angeles. Thank you for your kindness!

If you cancel more than 7 days prior to your class (and have already paid), you will receive a full refund less a processing fee of $15. If you cancel between 1 to 7 days prior to arrival, we will credit your payment towards another program at Shambhala Los Angeles to be used within 1 year. No refunds or credits are issued for cancellations received fewer than 24 hours prior to arrival.

Shambhala is an international community of urban meditation and rural retreat centers founded by the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and now led by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Learn about our vision, lineage & community. More →

los angeles meditation center

Shambhala Meditation Center of Los Angeles offers a rich array of ongoing meditation programs free to the public including weekly public sitting meditation hours and dharma talks. No prior meditation experience required to attend.  All are welcome. More →