Lion's Roar

Living My Vow

BECOMING A ZEN PRIEST was never about becoming someone other than who I was. I was well aware that I would never be able to escape myself. Instead, in walking the path of Buddha, in living a life of vow, I found I was more present than ever. I was everywhere.

I would see myself in sitting meditation, a little black-girl-me in braids with satin ribbons sitting in church singing hymns. I would see myself standing in the Zen garden, a black militant teenager aligned with the Black Panther Party. There in the corners of the zendo was the college-philosopher-me with the sharp tongue of a Pan-Africanist. As I washed my Zen bowls, I felt myself as a poet, a sister, a daughter to migrants from rural Louisiana, an auntie

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