Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace

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9780670892686: Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace

An African American's Zen guide to happiness, satisfaction, and balance shows black Americans how to apply Buddhist principles to their lives to achieve the "warrior spirit" path to truth and responsibility. 25,000 first printing.

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Review:

In this exquisite primer on Zen Buddhism, author and ordained Zen priest Angel Kyodo Williams is not trying to convert African Americans into a new religion. Instead, she is simply presenting Zen principles and practices that emphasize living a life of grace and self-acceptance. Having faced the daily challenges of growing up black in America, she is especially adept at showing how these Zen principles apply to the African American experience. "People of color are especially in need of new ways and new answers to the separation and fear we face each day," Kyodo Williams writes. "It wouldn't be a stretch to say that as black people, more than most groups in this country, we live our daily lives with the distinct taste of fear in our mouths.... While the principles offered here are not an antidote to the underlying reasons for our fears, they can give us a different way to approach them."

Kyodo Williams offers a savvy yet tender voice as she walks readers through the basic principles of Zen. It's hard to resist her invitation to take on the numerous sensible vows that lead to enlightenment, such as staying true to the warrior spirit while "committing ourselves to practicing good." The bottom line is that this is a book about claiming the strength, compassion, and integrity that dwell within everyone. And although it speaks to the particular needs and trials of the African American community, readers of all colors and walks of life will find this an irresistible invitation. --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

Angel Kyodo Williams is an ordained Zen priest and founder of the Urban Peace Project. She has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, and Essence, and is a columnist for Ms.

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Williams, Angel Kyodo
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