An unprecedented opportunity: An interview with Rev. angel Kyodo Williams
Rev. angel Kyodo williams is an ordained Zen Buddhist priest, spiritual maverick, author, activist, and founder of CXC (Center for Transformative Change), in Berkeley, California, which is dedicated to “changing the way change is done.” Rather than encourage spiritual seekers to become more politically active, CXC supports social activists in becoming more spiritual. Rev. angel believes this is the only way we will “flip the switch” in people’s hearts so that we treat each other and the Earth more compassionately. She sees this as America’s “next great social movement: the application of inner awareness practice to broad-based social change.”
When I previously interviewed Rev. angel, for the January 2014 issue of The MOON, I was taken with several of her statements. “The only way the world is going to change the way we want it to, is for us to show up in that same way,” she said. “If we want sustainability in the world, we have to live in sustainable ways. If we want peace in the world, we have to live in peaceful ways. If we want justice in the world, we have to be just in all our dealings.” Under her leadership, the CXC has slowly evolved a model of “being the change we wish to see” in as many forms as it can tackle. And keeps taking on more.
I was also taken by the fact that, as a result of her meditation practice, she knew that, “The universe loves us. It radiates love. It’s like being an infant in your mother’s arms, knowing that your mother loves you because you exist. It’s not about what you do.” Having tasted that universal love, I have found her willing to share it generously with others–of all races, religions, and practices.
In addition to being the founder of CXC, Rev. angel is the author of Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace, which has been called “a classic” by Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield, and “an act of love” by novelist Alice Walker. She is also the co-author, with Lama Rod Owens and Jasmine Syedullah, Ph.D., of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation. She recently has been invited as the first Buddhist member of the Senior Fellows of Faith-Centered Justice Leadership at Auburn Seminary, joining an…