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Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
ANGEL KYODO WILLIAMS 81 you think you are or where you think you belong, you’ll find nir- vana. I say that for myself. I say that for Brown bodies. I say that for Asian bodies, for Indigenous bodies. Look how deep it goes—our liberation, our Buddhist path, is being held hostage by a proclama- tion from hundreds of years ago. If you’re committed, if you are on fire, if you want to change what’s happening in this country, then rout out the thing that is stuck in you. If you want children to be free women, to not be raped, to be liberated, rout out the thing that is hindering your liberation. If what I’m saying irritates you, you’re in a really good place. If it doesn’t, and if the lens of your practice is not turned toward libera- tion, then you’re asleep. We’ve internalized oppression. We’ve inter- nalized patriarchy. We’ve internalized the idea that we should be divided, that we should be separated, that we are different, that we are better, that someone’s less than, that I am less than. I’ve internal- ized it too, and every day, with every waking breath, I push against it. I didn’t study race theory, by the way. I didn’t come to the dharma and bring my little trip. Everything I see, everything I say about liberation comes from this very dharma, the same dharma that you hold dear, these fundamental truths that give us the path to see ourselves. The only way I can sit here and not be absolutely furi- ous, livid with every man, every white body, every straight body, is because of my path. Even when I want to be mad or hating on folks because they represent dominant paradigms, I cannot, because liber- ation wants nothing else but liberation for all. That’s the only reason It is the people who are most marginalized, the people who have most been bound by societies, who most deeply understand what it is to be free.