This event takes place in person at Charis and on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. This event is free, but registration is required for virtual attendance. Click here to register to attend virtually. Please read the in-person event guidelines at the bottom of this page to be sure you can participate in the event.
Charis welcomes Lama Rod Owens in conversation with Charles Stephens for a discussion of The New Saints: From Broken Hearts to Spiritual Warriors, a Buddhist Lama and intersectional thought leader shares a guide for those who would dream a more just, ethical world into being.
Saints, spiritual warriors, bodhisattvas, tzaddikim—no matter how they are named in a given tradition, they all share a profound wish to free others from suffering. Saints are not unattainable beings of stained glass or carved stone. “Saints are ordinary and human, doing things any person can learn to do,” teaches Lama Rod Owens. “Our era calls for saints who are from this time and place, speak the language of this moment, and integrate both social and spiritual liberation. I believe we all can and must become New Saints.”
With The New Saints, Lama Rod shares a guidebook for becoming an effective agent of justice, peace, and change. Combining personal stories, traditional teachings, and instructions for contemplative and somatic practices, he shares inspiring resources for self-exploration and wise action. Each chapter reinforces the truth of our interdependency—allowing us to be of service to the collective well-being, access the unseen realms of divine guidance and strength, and call on the support of the countless beings who share our struggles and hopes.
The status quo of our society is crumbling, and rightly so. But what future will emerge to replace it? “There’s nothing like crisis to wake us up and force us to get serious about change,” says Lama Rod. “Ancient, powerful magic is returning. With the end of the lies of the old world comes the awakening of truth.” For those who have the willingness to allow our hearts to break, disrupt systems of violence, and let deep, authentic care guide our actions instead of fear and hate, here is a clarion call for becoming a spiritual warrior—a human refreshed, serving a vision of a world shaped by love.
Lama Rod Owens is a Black Buddhist Southern Queen. An international influencer with over 11 years of experience and a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School. A leading voice featured by various national and international news outlets. Author of Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation through Anger and co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation, his teachings center on freedom, self-expression, and radical self-care.
Lama Rod’s mission is showing you how to heal and free yourself. He activates the intersections of his identity to create a platform that’s natural, engaging, and inclusive. Learn more at lamarod.com.
Charles Stephens is an Atlanta-based writer. He is a 2023 Periplus Fellow, and has participated in the Tin House Winter Workshop, the Hurston/Wright Workshop, and the Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. His short stories have appeared in The Lumiere Review, Isele Magazine, and Queerlings. He has also contributed to Atlanta Magazine, Lambda Literary Review, Advocate, Creative Loafing, Georgia Voice, and AJC.
This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage
In-person event guidelines:
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We will begin seating people at 7:00 PM ET.
This event will be live-streamed via crowdcast. Click here to register to attend virtually.
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A Buddhist Lama and intersectional thought leader shares a guide for those who would dream a more just, ethical world into being.