Lama Rod Owens – the price of the ticket to freedom
An ordained Lama in a Tibetan Buddhist lineage, Lama Rod grew up a queer, black male within the black Christian church in the American south. Navigating all of these intersecting, evolving identities has led him to a life's work based on compassion for self and others.
"What I'm interested in is deep, systematic change. What I understand now is that real change doesn't happen until change on the inside begins to happen."
"Masculinity is not inherently toxic. Patriarchy is toxic. We have to let that energy go so we can stop forcing other people to do emotional labor for us."
Like Mick Jagger, the Indian prince we know as The Buddha taught that we can’t get no satisfaction from this world, though we try and we try, and we try, and we try.
Buddha means “awakened one”. Awake to the fact that the world is impermanent and we suffer and cause suffering to one another because of that. “Woke” is a newer word for something similar. Waking up to pervasive social injustice. To racism, economic disparity, homophobia, and other forces that poison and destroy people’s lives and relationships. In other words, suffering people cause by clinging onto impermanent things—in this case, power. The intersection of these two kinds of awakening is at the heart of the work of my guest today, Lama Rod Owens. An ordained Lama in a Tibetan Buddhist lineage and the coauthor of RADICAL DHARMA, he grew up a queer, black male within the black Christian church in the American south. Navigating all of these intersecting, evolving identities has led him to a life’s work based on compassion for self and others, and on trying to help people wake up in all senses of the word.
Consciousness isn’t just a problem for philosophers. On this episode of Dispatches, Kmele sat down with scientists, a mathematician, a spiritual leader, and an entrepreneur, all trying to get to the heart of “the feeling of life itself.”