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Syra Smith

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 been educating and working with young people for more than 20 years. She coordinated and co-facilitated EBMC’s weekly Teen Sangha for over 6 years and eventually established and served as Co-Guiding Teacher for the Center’s first peer-led Young Adult Deep Refuge Group. For several years, Syra 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. As an Instructor with the Mind Body Awareness Project, Syra worked directly within the Alameda County Juvenile Justice System offering tools for resiliency to high risk and incarcerated youth.

A lifelong meditator and SF Bay Area native, Syra began her meditation practice as a teen in 1988 and has been practicing in the Theravada Buddhist tradition since 2009. She graduated EBMC's year-long Commit to Dharma program in 2011 and became a Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader in 2017. Syra is currently participating in the multi-year MMTC Program through the Awareness Training Institute and Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley under the guidance of Amma Thanasanti, Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.

Syra teaches Insight Meditation and mindfulness throughout the SF Bay Area. She proudly serves as Core Teacher with the San Francisco LGBT Sangha. She co-leads the Midday Dharma Collective at SF Insight and is a Resident Teacher with the women's community of Assaya Sangha.

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