In honor of Black History Month, Tricycle is presenting a special video series, “Teachings for Uncertain Times,” featuring 13 teachers of color, here on our blog, Trike Daily, throughout February. The videos are free to watch.
In the following video, Lama Rod Owens, a Tibetan Buddhist lama, Master of Divinity student at Harvard Divinity School, and core teacher at the Natural Dharma Fellowship, talks about his struggle to recognize the different aspects of his life, which include him being dharma teacher and a black queer man from the South.
“The dilemma really came out of the conflict of my root identity as it was merging into this new identity as a lama. Now, this identity as a lama was deeply influenced by the Tibetan culture as well as white European sangha cultures. I had to take time to step back and figure out how to reground myself,” Lama Rod says in his talk. “What I began to study . . . was the practice of intersectionality”—the theory that we are “complex individuals who are deeply influenced by different sets of identity locations.”