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Publisher's 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

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) 

What listeners say about Radical Dharma

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loved this book.

As a white woman of certain privilege this book answered many of my questions, fuelled self enquiry and begged me to acknowledge my role in upholding these systems. It spoke to me in a language that was so real and accessible. It is a book for everybody - regardless of colour, gender preference, socioeconomic or religious origin. Thank you!

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  • Wendy Chan
  • 10-09-2020

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 🙏🏽

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  • Josie castaldo
  • 14-08-2020

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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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-05-2020

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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  • patience chabvuta
  • 04-03-2020

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
  • 20-09-2019

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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  • Cliente de Amazon
  • 10-04-2021

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
  • 30-01-2021

A real call to action

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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-12-2020

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.”

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  • Tj
  • 10-12-2020

War With Themselves: Great book title, ehh book

I only right this because those early in their journey shouldn't take this book seriously.

The author/narrator's are in such opposition with the negative things in the world that they clearly need more self-healing. The book focuses on who hurt them... speaking to an audience of presumably, spiritual diaspora as if they haven't had any experience being black in a caucasian dominant world.

The first half of the book, they fight for validation as to why they should be able to right it. This wouldn't be so bad for one chapter. However they spend half the book speaking about how and who have wronged them. I could feel this early on and kept thinking it was just this chapter, they'll get to relevant information. That information took too long to come.

Over their poorly edited voice work. Listening to breaths and different speakers having different room echoes on top of these adults angsty teen deliveries was enough. This is the first audio-book I couldn't complete. It's clear the book was their baby and they didn't want the help of anyone who knew what they were doing in the process of recording it.

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  • C. Chrisotphe
  • 27-09-2020

Great topic but...

This was very interesting. I got a sense of the varied experiences of POC navigating their own liberation within dharmic spiritual traditions. I would have liked for the authors to have delved a little deeper thought. I also thought that the performances were very dry and mostly monotone in delivery.

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