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Interview with Angel Kyodo Williams

My name is Reverend Angel Kyodo Williams, I am by training a Zen priest and a teacher in the Japanese Zen tradition. I’ve written two books; one is called ‘Being Black; Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace’ the second is called Radical Dharma, Talking Race, Love and Liberation’.

This time here in Amsterdam I was invited to the Buddhist Film Festival of Europe. The theme this year was Radical Presence which is very much related to the work I do.

Today I was here to lead meditation in the Nieuwe Kerk. We had this beautiful space, mats and cushions were put out and a lovely group of people who I led in meditation.

We talked afterwards about the power and capacity for meditation to increase the muscle of compassion, we do that first starting with ourselves, making sure that in our practice of meditation, any practise that we’re really doing for transformation we don’t introduce, we relax aggression.

These days that we are really in need of that because we’ve been living for so long, both in the NL and also, of course, in the States, inside of a construct of race that has cut off our natural, organic, human ability and desire to be in connection with each other, to have compassion and care for one another.

Meditation is one of the ways we can build up the muscle of compassion and care.

We also need conversation about those things that have kept us from being connected to each other so long.
If you get two together, the practise of conversation; really deep, true conversation and the practice of meditation and mindfulness you can really use your own personal transformation to lean towards social transformation.


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