Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Over the years I have heard many dharma talks, and remember only the smallest portions of them. Sometimes I remember the effect of them, and that is certainly the case with Rev. angel: she came to Zen Center fifteen years ago, and I remember the clarity and power of her expression.
Last year she was part of a teachers’ conference I went to on the east coast, and as well as enjoying her presence, I appreciated how she framed particular ideas in convincing and authentic ways.
This week she came to Zen Center again, to speak about her new book (which I have bought, and will doubtless be quoting from), and talked about how Zen Mind, Beginners’ Mind had seemed to articulate exactly what she had in her own mind – she also skilfully recalled her difficult experiences as a person of colour dealing with the sanghas of the time, a time not so long ago. I have often said for myself about Suzuki Roshi’s book that it opened me up to different ways of looking at things than I had been brought up to imagine, and Rev. angel’s words have the same effect on me.
During the question and answer time at the end of the talk, a practitioner brought up her own struggles on how to deal with situations of unfairness which triggered her, and which ended up being a mess because of her responses. The succinct answer, ‘In a word: love’ opened me up.

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