Love and Rage
Reconsidering the power of anger as a positive and necessary tool for achieving spiritual liberation and social change.
For many Buddhists, anger is often thought of as a root cause for suffering and lasting, negative repercussions. In American culture at large, anger--particularly among people of color--is delegitimized, demonized, or "supposed to be" suppressed. Social activist and Kagyu lama Rod Owens offers a different understanding. For Owens, the coauthor of Radical Dharma, anger is one of the most important aspects of his personal identity as a Buddhist, social activist, African American, and gay man. Anger serves as a bodyguard for our personal pain and suffering. When recognized and handled with attention, love, and compassion, it can be a powerful mobilizing factor in our solidarity and commitment to enacting social change. However, too many activist communities have an ill-informed, immature, and romanticized relationship to it. What is needed, says Owens, is a relationship to the heartbreak of anger that is embodied, nondestructive, and deeply healing for all. Here he offers personal insights, stories from others, as well as Buddhist teachings and meditations for tapping into anger's liberating potential.