Today’s guest on the podcast is an author, maverick spiritual teacher, master trainer and founder of Center for Transformative Change, Reverend angel Kyodo Williams. She has been bridging the worlds of personal transformation and justice since the publication of her critically-acclaimed book, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace, which was hailed as “an act of love” by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker and “a classic” by Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. Her new book, Radical Dharma, explores racial injustice as a barrier to collective awakening.
A conversation featuring Sharon Salzberg, angel Kyodo williams, and Robert Wright.
How can we harness meditative practice and the principles of Buddhism to more effectively engage in political arenas ranging from social justice to foreign policy?
I would like to believe that if I were directly touched in a material way by these injustices, having a practice and an understanding that arises out of that practice, would enable me to root my anger in love. To anchor it and take that thread and loop it in love so that my activity would manifest as a loving expression. But I cannot imagine or speak to what it means for people that haven’t had that practice and have had that kind of injustice. I can speak from the seat of comfort and privilege, but I’m not prepared to denounce in any way what it does to the human psyche, the human heart when your humanity has been so denied.
Start the movement toward dismantling punitive justice and discovering the justice that comes from love: What is it that we have to see? What do we have to deconstruct? What are we holding onto that it’s time to dismantle in our own hearts so that we can create more space for real justice? This is justice that arises, not out of a sense of punishment, but out of a sense of love, justice that serves and embodies love. Not justice that is confused and mistaken for punishment.