Oakland sends sound of hope to Haiti

On Sunday evening in Oakland, approximately 3,700 miles away from devastated Haiti, more than 180 Bay Area musicians got together to deliver the sound of hope to the Haitian people.

Kuro mame, A Japanese delicacy for New Year’s

This Kuro mame (black beans) recipe comes from a program the Buddhist Church of Oakland (BCO) held 12 years ago, highlighting food for the Oshogatsu (New Year’s) celebration. New Year’s is an important time in Japanese culture. Many of the foods served on this occasion are symbolic and come from the Buddhist tradition. Mame translates to “beans,” but also means “health.” When the black beans are combined with chestnuts (kuri, symbolizing success) and kelp (kombu, symbolizing joy), the dish symbolizes…

Rehearsing your own death: not your typical night in Oakland

“Hi, my name is Becky and I am going to die,” I said as we went round the circle. We were at a three-day workshop run by Chris Zydel and Sharon Pavelda called a “death rehearsal,” a therapeutic workshop designed to help people envision and accept the eventuality of their own deaths.