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Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation through Anger
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Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation through Anger

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  336 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Reconsidering the power of anger as a positive and necessary tool for achieving spiritual liberation and social change.

For many Buddhists, anger is often thought of as a root cause for suffering and lasting, negative repercussions. In American culture at large, anger--particularly among people of color--is delegitimized, demonized, or "supposed to be" suppressed. Social ac
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published June 16th 2020 by North Atlantic Books
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Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would recommend this book to all (especially people of color) who pursue social justice fueled by their anger and see being agitated, dissociated, and burnt out all the time as a necessary outcome of the work. Lama Rod Owens shows a path where anger is not the fuel, but an informant for all the work that needs to be done. Instead of automatically reacting to anger, he encourages that readers take time notice the hurt in our bodies driving that anger and create love for ourselves around that. W ...more
As a biracial American woman who practices Tibetan Buddhism, I've come to view Lama Rod as a teacher. Though I don't know him personally, I attend his online practice sessions weekly whenever possible. His powerful call to bring authenticity into how we in the west practice Vajrayana Buddhism has changed the way I relate to my personal practice. This is not a form of Buddhism that allows you to sit comfortably on your cushion, do your prostrations and chanting, and bypass all the uncomfortable f ...more
Ryan Hartman
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I want to quit my job and spend my days re-reading this book until I have it completely memorized. I also want to send Lama Rod Owens a thank you card.
Daniel Dao
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
When it comes to Buddhism / activism I’ve always found the two to be somewhat contradictory. Why are westerners / white cis folks telling my friends and allies to live a life of peace and non-reactivity when the world is pivoted against us? How can I engage thoughtfully but also live a life of activism mixed with compassion, generosity, and kindness? What does thoughtful anger and rage actually look like in the contemporary world? I didn’t get *all* the answers, but I got a few that I felt was r ...more
Kami 971
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A master piece !! The book that I was waiting for centuries.
Sav Hauge
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
So many useful tidbits, practices. Many illuminating quotes. I really appreciated the continual invitation to be with what is, over and over, as well as expanding the "what is" to include many, many experiences both within and outside of my body, a more diverse assembly than I can often access myself.

I also really appreciated how open, honest, vulnerable he was showing his truth from the position of being a teacher. He shares inner struggles, shames, pains, stories from his own life that are ra
Monica Alanna
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: witchy
Life changing. A completely new way to view and work with our anger, rage, self and others. If you struggle with boundaries, let Lama Rod introduce you.
Helena Brantley
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Without question, this is the single most important and helpful book I have read so far this year.
Jan 22, 2021 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
Although I skimmed the portions of this book that had instructions for meditation practice (partially because I was unaware going in that there was a practice/"self-help" component to this book, and partially because it makes sense to read them in more detail if I actually attempt the methods), I appreciated this very much. Reading it gave me an unexpected sense of peace, which was, perhaps one if its aims, to create spaciousness around anger and rage so that love and compassion can coexist with ...more
Feb 09, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
Language was so obscure and mystical. I felt like he was trying to sound deep and wise even though it didn't make sense and no one would know what he was talking about unless they were themselves Buddhist. Additionally, I didn't appreciate the loose use of vulgar language being thrown around. It was distracting and unnecessary.

One place Lama Rod Owens tries a redefintion of terms and I feel like it was too far stretched, as if he was just trying to be different (See Chapter 6 on Happiness). He t
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I saw another review that said, “If I could quit my job and do nothing except read this book, I would.” That’s pretty much how I feel.
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Honest look at anger, which is bypassed and looked down on in Euro-American Buddhist literature. Inspiring. Enters into relative reality to find spacious and care.
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Captured my feelings since the 2016 election.
If you need support channeling your rage at the unresolved racial issues in the US this is your book. Self care for BIPOC queers and others. 💕
This is the kind of richly thoughtful book that I read very slowly, re-reading passages, setting it down to process the truth & choices it contains, or suggests. If I had the paper book, I'd leave it in the bathroom & take several months to absorb it. I had the ebook, which is perfect because I love to highlight & return to strong talk. On this "reading," I only had time to read half the book & I'm waiting for it to come back to me. What I got out of half the book was so heavy (positive, intimat ...more
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best, diversity
I picked up this book after experiencing intense and uncontrolled anger directed at those who deny me love and care through politics. Experiencing and transforming my anger into some healthy activity was my goal, and this book gave me a lot to think about. I'm not a Buddhist, but so much of what the author discusses here is just good sense.


"What would it look like if we formed our activist communities around joy, not the suffering or the anger, as a basis for our change work?"

"...if we d
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book definitely reminded me of why I'm not a Buddhist, but it just doesn't matter. Lama Rod Owens speaks with absolute clarity and utter lack of bullshit about unhealthy relationships with anger (he's speaking from and primarily to the Black perspective, but anyone with an unbalanced relationship to their anger [spoiler: it's basically everyone alive in the US right now] will benefit) and why we need to shift those relationships if we want to make any change in this world. The best part is ...more
Jason Pettus
2021 reads, #4. This is the big hot book among leftist hipsters right now (it literally took months for my reserve of it at the library to come up), in reality just another general guide to Zen Buddhism, specifically focusing in on the sensation of anger and how Buddhism teaches you to transform that sensation into something productive; but the gimmick here is that author Rod Owens looks at that anger specifically through the lens of social justice activism, asking for example how we can properl ...more
Dec 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Okay, so by the end of this book, I didn't really know what "making space" or "holding space" or "spaciousness" meant, but maybe that's part of the point. A little unknowing can open something up. This is not a book intended to "cure" you from your anger or eradicate your rage. They are not problems. They are not signs that you are broken. Like all spiritually adept authors, Owen helps the reader identify what is there and make conscious choices around what is discovered. It's not self-help; it' ...more
I received a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review.

This is such a timely book!

Owens shares his experience with anger, becoming a Buddhist, and techniques on handling the emotional labor of anger and angst. This book has exercises to work through anger, fear, and other emotions to help us be more enlightened. This book also talks about the importance of acceptance and anger as well as differentiating between sexuality and sexual attraction.

Full of anec
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
A fascinating read, full of practical strategies for working through difficult emotions, like rage, in ways that promote healing for oneself as well as for others. I've never been especially good at meditating, and so this book's alternative ways of doing it were useful. The author is open and honest about himself and how he came to be a Lama (teacher). His willingness to make himself vulnerable made me more interested in trying out his methods.

I will be returning to this book to review the ste
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I've watched many lectures on Youtube before picking up and working with this book and am currently enrolled in a 7-week course by the same name. He's the first spiritual leader, in my experience, who calls bullshit on bypassing difficult aspects of our personalities and challenging feelings. I've been in therapy and recovery groups for more than 30 years, and eventually, all roads intersect words like, 'forgiveness' and 'kindness' (which is the new woke positivity). And of course, the amputatio ...more
Mar 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this along to Lama Rod's course, which helps to implement meditation techniques much more. Serious question: how do folks meditate along with the written word? Do you record the prompts and play them back? Do you read along and then try things? I've never quite figured this out.

I appreciated this immensely for expanding the canon of Buddhist texts' representation to include out queer, Black, and kink/nonmonog voices. This isn't necessarily a book that's looking to speak to me in all ways
Gustave Blåbær
Important book and vibrant writing!
I got a little confused though, about the framework of the book. It was as if I didn't really know how to read and take what was written. I didn't know understand how the book was organized, and how to understand how chapters were coming one after another. Some of the concepts and aspects stayed a bit vague for me, it was a strange experience of reading most of the time. What I think now is that things might have been different if I had heard him talking instea
Michelle Graham
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wisdom speaking directly to these trouble times but also timeless

Lama Rod shares hard earned wisdom in a way that is down to earth, authentic and straightforward. As a white bodied person, it is a privilege to hear this (it’s especially relevant in these times when white people are experiencing some things that Black folk have dealt with for hundreds of years - like feeling threatened by your government) and a pleasure to have it offered to me as well. Lots of concrete practices and topics that
Jennifer O'Kelly
Apr 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Lama Rod Owens speaks a lot in this book about spaciousness; noticing emotions, creating space for them to be, allowing options over reactivity. I'm quite amazed to find that his writing seems to inspire this same effect in me as a reader. It's almost as if there's a sense of his presence in the writing. At times I was challenged by this book, at times I felt soothed. In either case, I had a sense of noticing the experience without needing to react. I still feel like I'm in a spacious relationsh ...more
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am so, so grateful to own this book. Owens' insight into describing how to accept difficult feelings and how to heal, all in the context of the white supremacist late stage capitalism nightmare we're living through, is masterful. He shares simple (never easy, but indeed simple) meditation practices as well as stories of his own vulnerability in the face of racism, homophobia, and burnout. As a white queer cisgender woman, this book will be one of my guides not only for my personal practice, bu ...more
Naveen Srinivasan
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was revealed to me by a dear friend and it came at the perfect moment. Thank you Helya for sharing this with me <3

I haven't stopped thinking about this book since I finished it a few weeks ago. I think I'll carry some of it's ideas for the rest of my life: on love, on anger, on heartbreak, on joy, but most importantly on how to listen to yourself and seek out un-metabolized emotions. I can't recommend it enough :)
Becky Bausman
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I came to this book, as a cisgender white straight female, to learn everything I could from what lama Rod Owens has to teach us. I learned so much (which I hope will help me in my journey to be an ever better anti-racist) but also found some of his advice and ideas and assertions immediately relevant to my own anger and heart-brokenness. Bonus! This is a singular book and I’m grateful for all it offers to you and to me.
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a beautiful window into possibilities for black liberation through Buddhist meditation and philosophy, as well as Buddhist analysis behind the continued PTSD and rage in the black community. A little more beginner Buddhism workshop/self help book-y than I was expecting, and I admit I skimmed over some of those parts, but I also feel like I'm fairly far from the intended audience and this could be an incredible book for some. ...more
C.E. G
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, spiritual
I don't think of myself of a particularly angry person, but this book had so much to offer for any emotion (even lack thereof/numbness). Lama Rod Owens creatively blends Tibetan Buddhism, ancestor work, witchy-ness, activism, queer theory, and more to create a number of practices that feel very fresh and customizable. The 7 Homecomings have been an especially powerful tool for me in the past few weeks. A book to own for reference. ...more
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31 likes · 5 comments
“There’s something about our identity as activists that is so closely related to the anger that we experience. What would it look like if we formed our activist communities around joy, not the suffering or the anger, as a basis for our change work?” 3 likes
“If we don't do our work, we become work for other people.” 2 likes
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