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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 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"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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Envigorating my spiritual practice

I feel more confident in bringing spirituality to social justice work and social justice work to spirituality.

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  • Wendy Chan
  • 10-09-20

WOW

Ok now .. this is A READ !! Have had my brainspace blown open to think and act in some ways that I had never considered or on reflection considered so surface-like that it was missing the deeper underlying issue. Thank you 🙏🏽

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-05-20

Evocative Messages for Today

I appreciate the honesty, depth, and wisdom expressed (modeled) by the authors. I have a copy of the print book but love the communication transmitted by the authors' powerful narrations. Although I sm a white straight male, my being resonates with the open hearted truth the authors point to, especially the dialectic of the diversity and nature of suffering in the personal and the unitive and healing nature of transcendent recognition. The critical importance of exploring/experiencing personal and collective suffering as part of doing one's personal work and cultivating compassion is discussed. It was helpful to hear the authors' experience of the challenges finding a truly supportive community or sangha. I am grateful to each of them for the courage and care given in this beautiful work.

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  • Aidan Fraser
  • 16-12-20

One of the most important books of our time

This is one of the most important books for this time. I will listen to it again and again. Hearing it read by the authors was particularly powerful as it is a “talking book.”

1 person found this helpful

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  • Josie castaldo
  • 14-08-20

Informed and Comprehensive

Welll-wrtten book. I personally like when the authors narrate, as was the case with these three the contributors. A comprehensive address of dharma in our current cultural atmosphere.

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  • patience chabvuta
  • 04-03-20

LIBERATION FOR THE HEART AND MIND.

Touching and respectful in the context of discussing what the mind can perceive to be shaming and dangerous.Truth telling has a danger that is more healing and energising to the body.The existential pain and the voices that are speaking ,this body of work is a must for revolutionary evolvement.May you read it and listen with an open heart..

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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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  • cecile sez
  • 19-03-22

This kind of book is best read visually

There were pieces that moved me, things I would have liked to have highlighted to remember. Some of the topics went above my head—perhaps more philosophy than I can absorb via auditory mode. This wasn’t a how to book. Perhaps more a call to action. A call to pay attention to one’s own inner workings. A call to question oneself as well. And to consider rethinking common notions of our binary, white patriarchal capitalist culture.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-12-21

Really worth the time

Really loved this book. Issued many challenges to reach for. Audio quality was inconsistent though.

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  • Cliente de Amazon
  • 10-04-21

immense gratitude for this book.

such a healing, truthful and collaborative book. plan to return to it regularly for inspiration for my path.

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  • Goddess Amina
  • 30-01-21

A real call to action

Wow. My practice has new meaning and understanding. A must read for every student of buddha