If you have ever wondered how you would have shown up in the face of the challenge put before white America when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, upending the accepted social order, now is when you will find out. Will we actually embody our practice and teachings—or not? It is a clarifying moment about who we are as individuals and who we have been thus far as a collective of people laying claim to the teachings of the Buddha, waving the flag of wisdom and compassion all the while.
Rev. angel Kyodo Williams doesn’t like stereotypes. That’s not entirely surprising, since she also seems to enjoy shattering them. She’s a black queer woman in an American Buddhist tradition often steered by white men; a Buddhist operating in activist circles of mostly Christians and Jews; a leader of the Religious Left who doesn’t use the word “God.”
Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation was released on Juneteenth—a day that symbolizes and holds forth the promise of Black Liberation—of this year. Rev. angel notes, “Love and Justice are not two. Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.”
Sharon Salzberg has a conversation with Angel Kyodo Williams about political activism and spiritual practice. What is the interplay between activism and personal practice? In this talk recorded at the JCC in Manhattan, Sharon and Rev Angel Kyodo Williams, discuss the qualities of the two and what they bring to one another.
Love and Justice are not two. Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters. —Rev. angel Kyodo Williams, Sensei
Zen teacher angel Kyodo Williams and meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg will discuss challenging questions about the relationship between the personal and social transformation. The central message of Radical Dharma is that personal and social transformation must be brought together, with an extra emphasis on those who have been historically marginalized. Do I have that right
This week on, Metta Hour, Sharon has a conversation with Rev Angel Kyodo Williams about political activism and spiritual practice.
15:20 – Sharon shares a story about meeting civil rights leader Miles Horton. After sparking a conversation about meditation and loving-kindness, Horton recounts Martin Luther King Jr.’s beliefs on loving everyone. Horton insisted that he only had to love the people worth loving, but Rev King would say, “you gotta love everybody.”
The webinar included discussions on why using the phrase white supremacy is critical, why it’s important to see differences between people even while acknowledging that we are all one, why a mindfulness approach helps people confront inequity, and how each person needs to learn to love and free their own self on the way to promoting love and freedom for everyone else.
I’m a New Yorker. I lived in Fort Greene and had a little sitting group, an offshoot of my main practice home of Village Zendo. Not in the sense of tomorrow, but I’m hopeful that the seed has been planted, that the irrelevance of the systems that continue to privilege small groups of people is laid bare now. We’re in this wonderful moment of going, “Oh, this doesn’t work. There are no winners in this.”
Zen teacher, activist, and author of Being Black and Radical Dharma Rev. angel Kyodo Williams describes how nurturing a sense of inner well-being results in outward action that doesn’t feel like a struggle.