Syra Smith is an artist, organizer and mindfulness educator interested in deep ecology and manifesting a culture where we can turn toward fearless abundance and generosity.
A San Francisco Bay Area native and lifelong meditator, Syra began her personal meditation practice as a teen, in 1988, and has been practicing in the Theravada Buddhist tradition since 2009. She graduated East Bay Meditation Center’s Commit to Dharma study program in 2011 and Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Community Dharma Leadership Training in 2017.
Syra is a Community Teacher with the East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland California, where she is co-creating space with one of the most diverse communities of dharma practitioners in the US. She has served in several roles with EBMC over the years including the Center’s firs Fundraising Event Manager and Development Associate in earlier days. There, Syra helped to raise community and a robust generosity driven center economy.
In 2013 Syra Founded Oakland’s Dana Cafe, a monthly gathering offering transformational teachings at no cost to participants. One of 7 recipients nationwide, in 2014 Syra became a Sharing Cities Fellow and founded the East Bay ShareFest. After serving as Lead Organizer for two consecutive years, this decentralized open collaboration brought together over 60 local sharing projects and organizations in solidarity.
Syra has been educating and working with young people for more than 20 years. She coordinated and co-facilitated EBMC’s weekly Teen Sangha and eventually established and served as Co-Guiding Teacher for the Center’s first peer-led Young Adult Deep Refuge Group. As an Instructor with the Mind Body Awareness Project, Syra worked directly with the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center as well as on multiple high school campuses throughout the SF Bay Area, offering tools for resiliency to incarcerated young people and those disproportionately fast tracked to that end. She worked with Resolve to Stop the Violence, an award winning program in the San Francisco County Jail System, utilizing contemplative and restorative practices to impact violence and recidivism in our prison communities.
Syra is currently participating in the multi-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program through the Awareness Training Institute and the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, under the guidance of Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.
Presently, she co-leads the Mid-Day Dharma Collective at SF Insight (Mondays at noon!) and proudly serves as Core Teacher with the San Francisco LGBT Sangha. She teaches Insight Meditation and mindfulness throughout the SF Bay Area and beyond.
At this time, Syra is living at her home in Lake County, California with her wife of 24 years and 5 precious felines!
Syra is Leading Regular Online Meditation Practice Groups in 2021, accessible via Zoom. Please view upcoming sits below and join us! See how to Zoom
These classes are being offered freely and are supported by the generosity of our community.All times are posted in Pacific Time
Mon 3/15, 12pm-1pm
San Francisco Insight Meditation- Mid-Day Dharma Collective
We joyfully offer the Dharma in the middle of the day and wish to create a space of refuge, inclusivity and community. All are welcome!
Mon 3/15, 5:30pm-6:30pm
San Francisco LGBT Sangha
Unload the weight of anxiety and stress in your life with the practice of mindfulness and loving kindness. Experience the joy of meditating with LGBTQI community and learning about the Buddha’s teachings on awakening.
Offered for members of the LGBTQ+ Community
Thurs 3/18, 10am-12pm
Spirit Rock Meditation Center - Thursday Morning Women's Group
A meditation group for women to honor the feminine using silent and guided meditation, movement, seasonal rituals and group exploration in a safe, nurturing environment.
Offered on a sliding scale $0–$108 ($15–$30 suggested).
Tue 3/23, 7pm-8:30pm
Napa Valley Insight Meditation
Napa Valley Insight Meditation (NVIM) offers meditation training and spiritual teachings from Buddhist and other wisdom traditions. We are dedicated to supporting the cultivation of mindful awareness and compassion in daily life. Our mission is to support one another in applying the teachings and practice of mindfulness meditation and loving-kindness within ourselves, our relationships, our work and our society.
To receive a link to this sit, please subscribe to the newsletter by going to: https://ww.napainsight.org/contact/newsletter/
Mon 3/29, 12pm-1pm
SF Insight - Mid-Day Dharma Collective
Mon 4/19, 12p,-1pm
SF Insight - Mid-Day Dharma Collective
Mon 4/19, 5:30pm-6:30pm
SF LGBT Sangha
Wed 4/28, 7pm-8:30pm
Stray Cat Dharma (formerly Oakland Against the Stream)
Open to all
Tue 5/4, 7pm-8:30pm
East Bay Meditation Center - Alphabet Sangha
A meditation group for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Same-Gender Loving, and Two-Spirit communities. Because that’s such a mouthful, we call ourselves the Alphabet Sangha.
For more information, visit the ALPHABET SANGHA WEBSITE
Zoom info: Please subscribe to the newsletter or email “alphabetsangha at eastbaymeditation dot org” to request Zoom link.