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Radical Dharma

Talking Race, Love, and Liberation
Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins

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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

Critic reviews

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) 

“Radical Dharma is a powerful and vulnerable circle held by three Dharma practitioners who are people of color. It is a beautiful and rare invitation to listen to how each transformed their pain. Some of this is familiar: no one sees me because of my weight. And some of this, for white people, will be new: What does it look like to truly sit with the pain caused by racism in your body? Radical Dharma demands that we step into the circle and ask: How do we restore our humanity? How do we transform ourselves and the world? In this book, Rev. angel Kyodo williams has created a powerful circle of truth around race and reconciliation. Sit, participate, and be broken open and transformed. Understand how the system of racism has traumatized all of us and how we need to heal individually and collectively.” (Marianne Manilov, cofounder, Engage Network) 

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-09-19

Vital and Powerful Invitation <3

The dialogue between its tbree authors and practotioners is disarming as it is revitalizing. A pivotal ‘listen’ for our times and the co-liberation of humanity.

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  • Byron McMillan
  • 06-09-19

Powerful and very important book

These 3 souls are on to something very big for humanity. We must listen and absorb what they have to say and get on our mats and join in the work they are doing.

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  • Tianna
  • 03-09-19

Oneness explained through black, queer, presence

This book extrapolates the black spirt, expression, and experience while examining the tolls that terrors of white supremacy and militarism takes on our souls and families. I appreciate every word and story here from these wise teachers. A book that will take you deeper into your unknown and deeper into trusting your inner self only to strengthen your commitment to embodying and integrating love ✨