Former community organizer, Lama Rod Owens is a Buddhist minister, author, activist, yoga instructor and authorized Lama, or Buddhist teacher, in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. He is one of the leading voices in a new generation of Buddhist teachers. He holds a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School. He is the co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation. His teachings center on freedom, self-expression, and radical self-care.
A long labor of love, Lama Rod's second book, Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation Through Anger, was written as a guidebook through these difficult times. It addresses the important work we must do to take care of our deep hurt in order to experience the emotional liberation needed to embody fierce and radical love for ourselves, others, and the planet. Lama Rod writes,
Lama Rod also leads the in-depth Love and Rage 7-week course and online practice group. The course teachings include: compassion-based processes to manage cumulative trauma; what self-care really looks like; practices to connect and engage with our ancestors in order to ground ourselves during difficult times and enrich our self understanding; and how to be loving, open and vulnerable... but still fierce! Stay tuned for the 2023 course dates.
Visit Lama Rod Owens' Website
This past September, Movement Matters held our first in-person Advanced Facilitation Training (AFT) since the COVID pandemic. This comprehensive 3-day training is tailored to increase the facilitation capacity of organizers in order to move more intentionally toward constituency building and reaching organizing goals.
Together, organizers and cultural workers from 12 organizations (including Tenants & Workers United, Empower DC, SEIU 1199, Beloved Community Incubator, and Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco) gathered for three full days of learning, reflection, cross-pollination and relationship building.
Given the central role that facilitation plays in base building, especially at this crucial organizing moment, we deepened our curriculum to include the role of rhythm and voice as somatic practices and techniques for incorporating self-regulation, community building, and joy. We included theater based activities such as "moving circle" work to deepen communication and trust. We also introduced forum theater and graphic facilitation to move participants beyond simple discussion-based engagement. Participants also learned how to recognize different stages of group development and design meetings to move groups meaningfully towards their campaign goals.
Organizers were able to deeply reflect and share on how their experiences shape them as facilitators and what that means for how they and their organizations need to expand and grow. This understanding was paired with ready-to-use skills to move toward this growth.
We greatly appreciate the contributions of many institutional and individual supporters of the 2022 AFT, including the DC Eaton Workshop.