The newest episode of our university podcast, ‘MindfulU at Naropa University,’ is out now! We are very excited to announce this week’s episode features Naropa’s 2018 Frederick P. Lenz Foundation Distinguished Guest Lecturer in Buddhist Studies and American Culture and Values, Lama Rod Owens.
“Dharma isn’t sexy, or glamorous for me…it’s just work. It’s discipline and work, and I do it because the fruit is spaciousness; this openness. Where I can just be with my life. That spaciousness is where liberation actually happens. Over the years of practice, you realize you’ve become a different person. You begin to trust yourself more because you’re always in tune with your experiences…and that is what I love. It just becomes very ordinary.” – Lama Rod Owens
‘Considered one of the leaders of the next generation of Dharma teachers, Lama Rod Owens has a blend of formal Buddhist training and life experience that gives him a unique ability to understand, relate and engage with those around him in a way that’s spacious and sincere. His gentle, laid-back demeanor and willingness to bare his heart and soul makes others want to do the same. Even when seated in front of a room, he’s next to you, sharing his stories and struggles with an openness vulnerability and gentle humor that makes you genuinely feel good about who you are, with all your flaws and foibles, you’re lovable and deserving of happiness and joy. He invites you into the cross sections of his life as a Black, queer male, born and raised in the South, and heavily influenced by the church and its community.
Lama Rod delivers his knowledge in a way that says, I’m just like you, no better and no worse. He reminds you that he too is human and a work in progress. He asks audiences to call him out if he says anything that is perpetuating misogyny, racism or anything divisive. Lama Rod has done and continues to do his own work, every day, and it’s palpable.
Since coming out of retreat he has completed his Master of Divinity degree at Harvard Divinity School. Lama Rod also practices, studies, and teaches secular mindfulness and is a teacher with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) where he is also a faculty member for the organization’s teacher training program. He is also heavily engaged in social change activism and has just released a book with Rev. angel Kyodo williams (left) and Jasmine Syedullah entitled, Radical Dharma, Talking Race, Love and Liberation. He is the Guiding Teacher for the Radical Dharma Boston Collective.’