Rev angel Kyodo williams

‘While it has long been established by scholars that the lineage as written couldn’t possibly be historically accurate and therefore literally true, any teacher undertaking the ceremony would be hard-pressed to deny that a mysterious and visceral comfort attends the affirmation of one’s belonging, regardless of its being symbolic and maybe even precisely because it is. In this way, I am no exception. After ten years of mostly avoiding the Buddhist mainstream while dealing with the demands of starting up a small dharma community and being a full-time residential teacher, I had become accustomed to going it alone.

The public acknowledgment of what one already is, what is already so, is very much like getting married to a long-held beloved: at the end of the ceremony, you return to the place you’ve always lived, but now it is truly your home. Still, I observe any system of perpetuating a special transmission with the wary eye of a justice-seeking person who has existed in a multiplicity of categories that are famously marginalized in America: black, female, queer, working-class, non-degreed, and under-resourced…

While many people wish to paint over the blight of racism that permeates the Buddhist community by casting it under the rug of a misguided fixation on identity, it was the Buddha himself who expressed an awareness of the need to address race, caste, gender, and class oppression by modeling the path to liberation. In reaching down and touching the earth, the Buddha of that time, and all of the buddhas who follow his radical example, are witnessed by the earth itself and join a sacred, timeless, and unshakeable lineage of liberation—one that is evidenced both inside and out.’ (from her website)


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