• Leslie Booker
    Leslie Booker

    Booker brings her heart and wisdom to the intersection of Dharma + Embodied Wisdom + Activism. She shares her expertise nationally as a guest lecturer at conferences, universities, and Dharma centers, on expanding our vision around culturally responsive teaching, and changing the paradigm of self and community care. She has spoken at Mind & Life Institute’s International Symposium, Contemplative Minds in Higher Education, Mindfulness in America, and Omega Institute’s Mindfulness in Education conferences, along with other pioneers in the mindfulness field such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dr. Daniel Siegel, Linda Lantieri, and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Booker has been a featured speaker and facilitator at the Fetzer Institute, Vassar and Pitzer Colleges, as well as with the Peace Corps and Teacher’s College at Columbia University, and the Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia.

    She began sharing practice with vulnerable populations in 2005, and was a senior teacher and Director of Teacher Trainings with Lineage Project, where she worked with incarcerated and vulnerable youth for ten years. During this time, she also facilitated a mindfulness and cognitive-based therapy intervention on Riker’s Island from 2009-2011, a partnership between New York University and the National Institute of Health.

    She is a co-founder of the Yoga Service Council at Omega Institute and the Meditation Working Group of Occupy Wall Street. Booker is a co-author of Best Practices for Yoga in a Criminal Justice Setting, a contributor to Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality’s report: Gender & Trauma—Somatic Interventions for Girls in Juvenile Justice, YOGA: The Secret of Life, and Sharon Salzberg’s book Happiness at Work. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Mindful Yoga and Meditation training (2012), Community Dharma Leaders’ Training (2017), and will complete Spirit Rock’s four year Retreat Teacher Training in 2020.

Hosting Institution

Community Meditation Center
Manhattan, New York

More Info



Aug 30 2020


Eastern Time
10:30 am - 12:00 pm


By Donation

Canceled: Sunday Session: Dharma Gathering

This offering has been canceled

What To Expect
The Community Meditation Center is known for being a warm and welcoming place to practice meditation and study the teachings of the Buddha. The word “community” is in the name for a reason. CMC endeavors to eliminate divisive “us and them” mentality. Everyone is part of the community as soon as they walk in. There are no categories and no membership. All are welcome without regard for race, religion, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, economic or social status. Just bring an open heart, an open mind, and the courage to grow.

Typically, a CMC session begins with meditation for 20–30 minutes during which the teacher may offer guidance. In most instances, at least half the sitting time will then be in silence. These sessions are appropriate for both beginners and experienced meditators.

After the sitting there will be a short break with tea and chocolates available (Sundays). This will be followed by a dharma talk – a teaching based on a discourse of the Buddha – and then a time for questions. On Sundays, a short introductory session is offered for first-timers before the main session. There is plenty of room and lots of chairs for everyone, so no need for reservations.

On Sundays there are a few zafus (meditation cushions) available. You are welcome to bring your own if you wish. Comfortable attire is recommended.

CMC sessions start on time. You are encouraged to arrive early so as not to disturb others. To show respect for the teachings and the teacher, please plan to stay until the end of the session. Please silence cell phones before sessions. During Q and A periods, please do not comment on what others have said. CMC encourages the practices of skillful speech and skillful listening.

There are no fees charged for CMC sessions. The generosity of those who attend pays for all operating expenses and helps support the teachers. At each session there is an opportunity to practice dana (generosity) by making a contribution. CMC maintains a policy of turning no one away for lack of funds. Learn more about dana here.