Last night (the night of the full moon that has just set), a half dozen of us gathered to create the positive energy that the Oakland Peace Center very much needs right now. At least another dozen were sending blessings and energy although they couldn’t be on site.
You may have heard about the break-in we faced about three weeks ago. It was certainly an expensive break-in for at least five of the organizations in our building, but break-ins, especially ones as destructive as this one, also harm the spiritual wellbeing of those affected.
I have always walked a fine line in talking about spirituality within the Oakland Peace Center. Partly that’s because our partners are very diverse, with some holding no particular spiritual tradition and with many holding diverse traditions.
So I paid attention when, the day of the break-in, after our facilities coordinator notified everyone of the damage, the Buddhist Church of Eternal Enlightenment emailed us and said (even before asking if their offices had been damaged), “and we must pray.”
When the partners who have offices in the building met to discuss what security measures we required to install to re-establish a sense of safety, another of our partners (Liza Rankow from OneLife Institute) also asked if we could close the meeting with a prayer to create spiritual energy to surround this space and neighborhood and to pray healing for those who had broken into the building.
And so, a group of us gathered yesterday and split up so that, in a broad array of spiritual traditions, we could pray blessings of protection over the Oakland Peace Center, that all who enter it may meet and find peace, even if their intent is harm. We were Christian and Yoruban and Six Nations and Religious Science, and we prayed every inch of the building and its perimeter.
I’m still learning how to navigate the role of spirituality in the midst of the very concrete work many of us do to address systemic injustice that is the root of the absence of peace in Oakland and the Bay Area. But I wanted to name that something powerful happened in that space. And I invite your continued sending of positive and healing energy to that space on 111 Fairmount Avenue so that it can be haven and beacon and epicenter of peace in this whole region.