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Honoring the Passing of Dr. Marlene Jones

Via Larry Yang of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the East Bay Meditation Center:

With a sad heart and deepest sympathies, I share with you that our dharma family member, friend, teacher, and colleague–Marlene Jones–has passed away on at 4:51pm today. She passed with her close family surrounding her and her transition was described as “so peaceful”.

The family is aware of all the vigils being offered by our communities and are deeply appreciative of the offering of our hearts to them.

Marlene was a singular pioneer for and force behind multiculturalism at a time when our collective mainstream community consciousness was completely not aware of how these issues affect so many people’s participation in the dharma. For almost 20 years, Marlene has worked in bringing the dharma to diverse communities and revealing how much awareness and consciousness we yet need in order to do so. Among other things, she was instrumental in creating the first Diversity Council at Spirit Rock, the first daylongs for People of Color, the sitting group for Women of Color, the first residential retreats for People of Color, and the first diversity trainings at Spirit Rock. She has taught many events at Spirit Rock including Monday nights. She worked tirelessly as the chair of the Diversity Council to create change in programming, staffing, and organizational structures. She served on the Spirit Rock Board for many years. Her contributions to Spirit Rock are an indispensable part of our history and legacy as being one of the leaders in creating access for the dharma to western culture. One example is that programming at Spirit Rock and EBMC would not be where it is today without standing on the shoulders of her dedication, commitment and love for the Buddha’s Teachings.

Please take a moment to offer blessings on Marlene’s shift to another existence, as well as to honor all the contributions she made to our lives in the dharma.

with deep respect and honoring,

Larry

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