Mindful Pride in SF

Over the weekend, San Francisco hosted its annual Pride Celebration and Parade. Below you will find some highlights of how SF celebrates Pride and a video about one man’s journey from addiction to mindful meditation. But before you delve into those, here’s a time-lapse video of the Civic Center illuminated with rainbow lights.

I began my Saturday with a Camino event—I attended a tapas lunch for NorCal Chapter members of American Pilgrims on the Camino at Esperpento Restaurant. Later that day, I met with family to watch the San Francisco Giants baseball game. On my walk from the Mission to the ballpark, I saw the city streets decked out in rainbow colors to celebrate the Parade. Once at the stadium, my family and I sat in our favorite section of AT&T Park, the bleachers. Before the game started, we followed the long-standing tradition of singing our national anthem. For those of you who are not familiar with this tradition, before each baseball game, we stand up, take our hats off, and put our right hand on our heart to sing our national anthem. Usually it’s a poignant moment, but on that day, seeing the rainbow flag flying alongside the U.S. and California flags, I got goose bumps.

Pride2016It’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement and revelry of the Pride weekend. But after the tragic shooting in Orlando, it was a much needed opportunity to get together and celebrate love. However, I think many of us are still struggling with the gun control debate, prejudice, and the political climate in this election year. The theme of this year’s Pride celebration was “For Racial and Economic Justice.” Let’s hope this theme prevails through this election year and beyond.

“Those of us who are part of marginalized communities, our path is not easy. The unconsciousness of the larger culture creates a lot of harm. . .”
Larry Yang
Grand Marshal of SF Pride 2016

In this video, Larry Yang shares his challenges of growing up gay, trying to fit in, self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, and eventually finding peace through meditation.

Perhaps now more than ever, mindful practices like meditation can help. If you are new to meditation or just need a nudge in the right direction, take a look at the list of Free Mindfulness Apps Worthy of Your Attention. If you’re in the SF Bay Area, check out the East Bay Meditation Center.

Rainbow flag proudly waving

How does your community celebrate pride and equality? Please share in the comments below.

The weekend was filled with many events. Some great photos capturing those events can be seen here: Hundreds of thousands celebrate SF Pride Parade.

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Mindful Monday

 

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