Re-aired September 2020
"Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams is one of our wisest voices on social evolution and the spiritual aspect of social healing. And for those of us who are not monastics, she says, the world is our field of practice."
Aired for the 3rd time on the esteemed podcast, On Being, the prescience of the exchange is humbling in times of great uncertainty and shift. Listen to it again and again:
"This prophetic conversation, which Rev. angel Kyodo Williams had with Krista in 2018, is an invitation to imagine and nourish the transformative potential of this moment — toward human wholeness."
She’s an esteemed Zen priest and the second black woman ever recognized as a teacher in the Japanese Zen lineage. To sink into conversation with her is to imagine and experience the transformative potential of this moment towards human wholeness. —Krista Tippett, On Being
ANGEL KYODO WILLIAMS: There is something dying in our society, in our culture, and there’s something dying in us individually. And what is dying, I think, is the willingness to be in denial. And that is extraordinary. It’s always been happening, and when it happens in enough of us, in a short enough period of time at the same time, then you have a tipping point, and the culture begins to shift. And then, what I feel like people are at now is, “No, no, bring it on. I have to face it — we have to face it.”
MS. TIPPETT: I’m Krista Tippett, and this is On Being.
REV. WILLIAMS:...The way that I think of love most often these days is that love is space.
MS. TIPPETT: Say some more about that. What do you mean?
REV. WILLIAMS: It is developing our own capacity for spaciousness within ourselves to allow others to be as they are — that that is love. And that doesn’t mean that we don’t have hopes or wishes that things are changed or shifted, but that to come from a place of love is to be in acceptance of what is, even in the face of moving it towards something that is more whole, juster, more spacious for all of us. It’s bigness. It’s an allowance. It’s flexible.
REV. WILLIAMS: ... if any of us were willing to be just a little bit sane [laughs] and look, we would recognize, “Oh, my goodness. How extraordinary that black people, in particular — indigenous people, as well — could live the lives of dignity that they have chosen for themselves in the face of the onslaught of what this country’s history has been and continues to be and continues to put upon them.” So grace, I think, is a gift that black peoples have inhabited for a great deal of time. Fearlessness, though —
MS. TIPPETT: It’s such a wonderful word to call out too, as you say.
REV. WILLIAMS: Yeah, but fearlessness is a really bold statement because we are expected to not be fearless. And in fact, our fearlessness is dangerous and threatening. And so having people of African descent, people that identify as black, to choose fearlessness is a very, very [laughs] bold statement of defiance.
Listen to the full re-aired interview here: https://onbeing.org/programs/angel-kyodo-williams-the-world-is-our-field-of-practice/