Online: Liberation Teachings of Embodied Wisdom and Compassion Through Presence and Somatic Listening

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Online: Liberation Teachings of Embodied Wisdom and Compassion Through Presence and Somatic Listening
A BIPOC Six Month Book Study of My Grandmother’s Hands
with Peace Twesigye and Nakawe Cuebas Berrios
Thursdays, September 3rd, 2020 – March 11th, 2021 | 6:30pm – 8:30pm ET
This is a meditation and practice group for those who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)

Join us for a weekly guided practice and inquiry group to delve deeply into the dynamic book, My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem. The author is a Black trauma therapist, and offers embodied practices to explore the somatic experience while looking at racialized trauma in the United States. He speaks from the wisdom of his grandmother and his own expertise in somatic therapy, a field that emphasizes the mind-body connection.

“I’ve developed somatic-body approaches that negotiate the common historical and perpetual myths that Black bodies, Native bodies, and other bodies of Color are inherently deviant and that the white body is the standard of humanness.” – Resmaa Mekenam

As dedicated Dharma practitioners and facilitators, Nakawe Cuebas Berrios and Peace Twesigye will provide a safe space to explore with open curiosity and interest how this pathway interweaves with the Buddhadharma path of liberation. Through book discussions, embodied exercises, meditations, and celebrations of resilience, we aim to create a generative communal space while getting in touch with the felt sense of embodied suffering, stress, and unresolved trauma, to (re)learn ancient and new pathways of healing and energy release that is then available for continuing liberation.

Along with My Grandmother’s Hands, we will interweave the Buddha’s teachings with emphasis on the Satipatthana; the four foundations of mindfulness, focusing practice in the first foundation of the body for our base of groundedness and healing, cultivation of the Brahmavihara heart practices, and an exploration of the Three Refuges, with emphasis on building on the refuge of the sangha/community.

In this course we aim, as Resmaa Mekenam offers, “to be able to create a container by which you can reclaim the things that you can heal with and reclaim the things that your ancestors have healed with. Reclaim those things so you can provide a solace and healing for not only yourself and your family and this current generation, but for the next nine generations.”

This is not therapy, nor are we therapists. The intention is to know the experience of the body as we create a communal container to lean into as we move through content of anti-blackness and racialized trauma as it lives in the dominant culture of the United States.

This course will meet weekly from 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Thursdays starting September 3rd, 2020 and end on March 11th, 2021, excluding only November 26th, December 24th and December 31st.

*New and experienced meditators welcome and a daily meditation practice is encouraged to deepen this journey together.

“All of this suggests that one of the best things each of us can do—not only for ourselves, but also for our children and grandchildren—is to metabolize our pain and heal our trauma. Your body—all of our bodies—are where changing the status quo must begin.” -Resmaa Makenam

NYI is committed to ensuring that our programs are available to all, regardless of ability to pay. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. The course price is based on these numbers: $195=$7.80/class, $245=$9.80/class, $345= $13.80/class

We offer sliding scale fees, and ask that you choose the highest rate you are able to afford based on your financial means. If you can afford the Sustaining rate or higher, you assist our efforts to offer reduced rates and support ongoing financial assistance. If you are unable to pay the Base Fee, you can set up a payment plan or let us know how much you are able to pay at this time by emailing


Please register at the highest level that your generosity offers.
Explanations of levels follow below.
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Registration Fees include Teacher Support

New York Insight Meditation Center has streamlined the registration fee levels. Members of our Circle of Friends are eligible to receive 20% off of the Sustaining Rate via a code provided in the email confirming membership, which you can enter after clicking the Sustaining Level registration.

*Benefactor Level: Supports NYI’s ability to offer the Subsidized Base.

**Sustaining Level: This level reflects the actual costs to support this program. Circle of Friends members eligible for 20% discount with code. Click here to join.

***Subsidized Base: Made possible by the generosity of Benefactor Level above and other donations to ensure participation by those requiring financial assistance.

If you have questions about your registration (cancellation policy, membership discount, email confirmation, etc.), please read our FAQs. If your question is not addressed in the FAQs, please email

If you are unable to pay the Subsidized Base Fee, you can learn about volunteering to offer work exchange and letting us know how much you are able to pay for this program by emailing



Peace Twesigye

Peace Twesigye is the Assisting Program Director of Buddhist Studies at Union Theological Seminary. Peace assists in designing and overseeing curriculum in Buddhist Studies, working directly with the Senior Director. Peace supports and creates spaces for contemplative practice that serve as a basis for students’ active engagement and service in community as well as supporting academic advisement of Buddhist students. Peace Twesigye organizes and manages public and private conversations and events as part of the Thích Nhất Hạnh Program for Engaged Buddhism at Union Theological Seminary to further expand its public offerings in understanding applied Buddhism. Peace also serves on the board of Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, and serves as a practice leader and teacher at New York Insight Meditation Center as well as enjoying the opportunity of offering programs in other spaces when invited. Peace Twesigye has two master’s degrees; the first in violin performance, and the second in education, with a specialization in students with disabilities, and is committed to the path of being a lifelong student.

Nakawe Cuebas Berrios

Nakawe Cuebas Berrios feels blessed to be able to study and journey through different healing and spiritual traditions in her life. The common thread between the many traditions that have touched her path has been the belief that health and wellness depend on a balance between the mind, body, and heart. The healing systems that she has studied are: Midwifery, Chinese acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine and yoga. Spiritually the practices are Lucumi (Cuba), with roots from the African Yoruba culture and indigenous ceremonies. These practices helped to strengthen her connection to the Earth and Cosmos. Her ancestral home is Puerto Rico, blending the Spanish, African and Taino Indian roots that flow from her ancestors, and give her guidance and strength daily. Her Nuyorican roots are honored by her experiences growing up in New York City.

By profession she has been a Midwife for 40 years and has worked doing home, hospital, birth center births and now works in a community health center in the Bronx providing services of midwifery/well women health care.

For over 20 years she has immersed herself in the teachings of the early Buddhist schools, mainly Theravada and Thai Forest. She studied in the Dedicated Practitioners Program and Community Dharma Leaders Program affiliated with Spirit Rock. She teaches Meditation through the Buddha Dharma. Presently she is in the IMS Teacher Training program, where she shares the Dharma by assisting and teaching on retreats. For 10 years she has served as a mentor with the BAUS Prisoner Correspondence course.

Nakawe believes we all have the potential to live a life of wisdom and compassion for our benefit and for the benefit and happiness of all beings. These are the teachings of liberation, the truth that she wants to share. She gives gratitude to all her teachers who have guided her throughout the years.

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