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Radical Dharma

Written by: Rev. angel Kyodo williams,Lama Rod Owens,Jasmine Syedullah
Narrated by: Rev. angel Kyodo williams,Lama Rod Owens
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Publisher's Summary

Igniting a long-overdue dialogue about how the legacy of racial injustice and white supremacy plays out in society at large and Buddhist communities in particular, this urgent call to action outlines a new dharma that takes into account the ways that racism and privilege prevent our collective awakening. The authors traveled around the country to spark an open conversation that brings together the Black prophetic tradition and the wisdom of the Dharma. Bridging the world of spirit and activism, they urge a compassionate response to the systemic, state-sanctioned violence and oppression that has persisted against Black people since the slave era. With national attention focused on the recent killings of unarmed Black citizens and the response of the Black-centered liberation groups such as Black Lives Matter, Radical Dharma demonstrates how social transformation and personal, spiritual liberation must be articulated and inextricably linked. 

Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, and Jasmine Syedullah represent a new voice in American Buddhism. Offering their own histories and experiences as illustrations of the types of challenges facing dharma practitioners and teachers who are different from those of the past five decades, they ask how teachings that transcend color, class, and caste are hindered by discrimination and the dynamics of power, shame, and ignorance. Their illuminating argument goes beyond a demand for the equality and inclusion of diverse populations to advancing a new dharma that deconstructs rather than amplifies systems of suffering and prepares us to weigh the shortcomings not only of our own minds but also of our communities. They forge a path toward reconciliation and self-liberation that rests on radical honesty, a common ground where we can drop our need for perfection and propriety and speak as souls. In a society where profit rules, people's value is determined by the color of their skin, and many voices - including queer voices - are silenced, Radical Dharma recasts the concepts of engaged spirituality, social transformation, inclusiveness, and healing.

©2016 Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams, Lama Rod Owens, and Jasmine Syedullah (P)2019 North Atlantic Books

What the critics say

"angel Kyodo williams is one of our wisest voices on social evolution and the spiritual aspect of social healing.... A prescient book." (Krista Tippett, On Being, from her interview with Rev. angel)

Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation is the book for right now.” (Autostraddle.com) 

“It is rather astonishing that the Black tradition of continuous and endless enlightenment in this country produces its prophets as if bad laws, discrimination, horrors of financial inequality and so on, do not exist to blight the way. No wonder one often imagines the ancestors laughing. This is a book to grow on, to deepen over, to partner with. We are on a magnificent journey of liberation, every moment we are alive in this odd place that has yet to awaken to itself. And we are always, generation to generation, ready to travel. How cool is this?” (Alice Walker, American novelist and poet)  

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Authentic and exploratory

Loved the authentic nature of this book. Content is so advanced yet so relatable. I am starting to be able to perceive and articulate some of my experiences in spiritual communities that feel uncomfortable (having not known why) when it comes to race, privilege, community, and activism.

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Deeply transformative and loving

It’s incredible hearing this book in the author’s own voice. The stories, dialogue, questions, and wisdom in this book is both profound and practical.

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