FAQs

You have questions…We have answers!

You have questions…We have answers!

Who are you people?

We are a diverse, multicultural community of leatherqueers, committed to social justice and to maintaining a Sangha that’s led by and for queer leather/kink folks of all races, ethnicities, classes, genders, abilities, sizes, and ages. We welcome and celebrate sadists, sluts, singles, tops, bottoms, switches, sirs, polyamorous and monogamous folks, submissives, dominants, celibate folks, sex workers, littles, masochists, and every possible flavor of queer leather sexuality. We are an ever-evolving Sangha, doing our best to support and respect each other while recognizing and striving to better embody the welcoming, inclusive, and diverse community we aspire to be.

Wait, Queer BDSM and Buddhism?

Yup! This is a sex-positive and affirming queer leather space. We want you to bring your whole kinky queer self to meditate and practice with us. Our Sangha is based in the shared understanding that queer and trans/genderqueer/non-binary folks involved in BDSM are healthy and whole individuals, with no inherent conflict with the Buddhist principles of wise action and non-harming. While not all our dharma discussions are specifically about BDSM or sexuality (but some are!), we invite you to bring your whole self and whole life to our discussions when exploring how our practice supports and intersects with our daily lives. Our gatherings often include laughter and irreverence. Note: If you are looking for a space to challenge or debate this fundamentally healthy and fabulous view of our genders, sexual orientations, and sexualities, then this is not the sit for you.

What style of meditation/buddhist practice is this?

Short answer: It varies. If you didn’t like this month, try again next month. Long answer: The Queer Leather Meditation group is a deep-refuge group of the Oakland-based East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC), which primarily engages in Vipassana (Insight) practice in the Theravadan Buddhist tradition.

Deep Refuge communities are intended to provide a safe, intimate, and community-led space in which folks can explore what relevance wisdom teachings from different lineages and traditions have in their lives.

In practice, our little Sangha comes from a variety of meditation traditions, although most of them are grounded in some form of Buddhist practice. The specific sits on a given night are based on the interests of the volunteers involved that night and can vary greatly from month to month. We include religious or spiritual folks and atheists alike. Past sits have included Vipassana and Zen guided meditations, mindful movement, chakra visualizations, and more.

What should I expect?

We are a small, friendly group! We promise we don’t bite…unless asked. Our gatherings last 90 minutes. We start with introductions (names, pronouns, etc), then sit for a guided 20-minute meditation. After that we have some group discussion or other mindful interaction exploring our practice in our lives and getting to know each other. We close with a 5-10 minute guided sit (usually metta/loving kindness) and announcements.

Can I just drop in? Is this an open sit?

No commitment or RSVP required! Drop in any month.

How much does it cost?

There is no fee to join us! Our group is run entirely on your generosity.
We follow the East Bay Meditation Center’s practice of gift economics. You can support the sit by just showing up, volunteering, and/or donating to support EBMC to keep the doors open and provide us with a meeting space.
Learn more about dana and gift economics: https://eastbaymeditation.org/resources/gifteconomics/
(The Queer Leather Meditation sit receives no financial support from EBMC.)

What if I am running late?!

We’re here, we’re queer, we all run late. Just come! If you arrive during a sit, please be quiet when you enter EBMC. On Friday nights there is another (different) sit going on in the main room. Just come into the Compassion Room where we are and find a seat anywhere. There is no way to completely avoid making noise when coming in and sitting down, and that is okay.

Do I need experience?

No experience — BDSM or meditation — required! Whether it’s your first sit or your 10,000th, join us!

Am I * enough?

Do you self-identify as queer/LGBTQ and leather/kink/BDSM? If you feel this is the right space for you, that’s good enough for us! Trust us, you are fabulous enough just as you are.
This is an affinity group. If you do not identify as queer/LGBTQ AND leather/kink/BDSM, we ask that you respect this space as a place for those who do, and instead seek out one of the dozens of other meditation sits happening around the SF Bay Area, including a growing number of queer Sanghas.

What should I wear?

Whatever is comfortable for you. Some folks are coming from work, some are dressed up to go out afterward (including leather/fetish wear), and every other variation possible. EBMC is fragrance-free; please do not wear scented products or clothing that has been washed in scented detergent.

Can I bring my…

Pets: Sorry, only human pets allowed. (Trained service dogs that meet ADA criteria, are allowed.)

Plushie: Yes!

Cushion/chair/bench: Yes, if they are unscented (But not required; the space has zafu cushions, zabutons, and chairs.)

Is this a play space/party?

No. But we sure have a good time.

How can I get involved?

First, show up! We are 100% volunteer run. We can use help setting up/taking down the space and in leading any part of the meeting.

Can’t join us in person? Connect with us virtually.

Have other ideas of how to support our community? Just let us know, we are community-driven and want to hear your ideas and inspirations.

Wait, I have other questions/opinions/ideas!

Of course you do! And we want to hear them.