The Fuel List//

The Zen Priest Creating Social Change Through Meditation and Mindfulness

And how she’s making meditation and mindfulness accessible for everyone.

Thrive Global and The Quaker Oats Company present The Fuel List—20 people changing the way we fuel our minds and bodies every day. These are the leaders making an impact in the worlds of sleep, nutrition, movement and mindfulness right now.

Rev. angel Kyodo Williams is one of the most influential voices in American Zen Buddhism. As the founder of the Center for Transformative Change in Berkeley, California, she focuses on creating social change by helping people change their inner selves first. She seeks to make meditation and mindfulness accessible for everyone, regardless of race, background or social class. A longtime social activist, Williams is known for tackling pressing and complicated social issues with patience and courage. She gained widespread acclaim for her 2000 book Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace, a guide for the black community on how to use the principles of Eastern philosophy and develop a “warrior-spirit,” while last year’s Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation addressed racial injustice in Buddhist and secular communities. Williams is also an ordained Zen priest and the second black woman to become a teacher in her lineage. 

Williams is open about igniting mindfulness and meditation without racial barriers, as demonstrated through her books: Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace and Radical Dharma. Having broken racial barriers as a Zen master, she is creating a path for others to follow.” — Candice Morgan, Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Pinterest

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

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