Lama Rod Owens brings ‘Fierce Love’ to Beloit College

MAR 27, 2017
by AMELIA DIEHL

“Love is the strategy” against systems of oppression and violence, but, he added, “you have to be fierce.” He chooses the word “fierce” to acknowledge the ancestors in the black gay community who “embodied fierceness” in being “out and proud.”

While Owens said he grew up with love, he didn’t know what it was until he began practicing Buddhism, which told him “love was the wish for others to be happy and the wish for myself to be happy.”

“Working for others’ happiness allowed capacity for my own love to be deepened,” he said. This fierce love is unapologetic, he said, and “can be so forceful that is almost seems violent. [It means] to be so loving of oneself that you make others uncomfortable. Inspire people. Make others ask, why are you so different? The kind of love that becomes dangerous.”

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