Lama Rod Owens is a Black Buddhist Southern Queen. An international influencer with a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School with a focus on the intersection of social change, identity, and spiritual practice. 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. Highly sought after for talks, retreats, and workshops, his mission is showing you how to heal and free yourself.
A leading voice in a new generation of Buddhist teachers with over 11 years of experience, Lama Rod is highly respected among his peers and the communities that he serves. “It can be confusing for people to see Tantric Buddhist teachings coming from someone who’s Black and queer, southern, and fat, it’s who I am,” he says. From these intersections, he creates a platform that is very natural, engaging, and inclusive.
Applauded for his mastery in balancing weighty topics with a sense of lightness while still speaking truth to power, this Queen has been featured by CNN, Good Morning America, BBC, The Washington Post, PBS, NPR, Ebony, Out Magazine, and more. Connection is Lama Rod’s second language; authenticity is his first. Meeting people where they are and speaking to them rather than at them with words they can relate to makes his delivery digestible and highly sought after.
Honoring his southern roots, he refers to his healing approach as “laying hands.” His laying of hands, however, is showing you how to do the work of making the necessary choices in your day-to-day relationships and routines to heal and free yourself from the traumas that bind you to self-sabotaging behaviors. He teaches you how to continuously choose clarity and light, how to transform emotions such as grief and anger into liberation.
Lama Rod co-founded Bhumisparsha in 2018, a spiritual community with a mission of making tantra accessible and inclusive for North American practitioners while serving as a catalyst for transformative social change. He is the co-host of the podcast series The Spirit Underground with fellow Buddhist Teacher Spring Washam where they explore spiritual abolition through the framework of Black and Indigenous spiritualities. Prior engagements from the Buddhist minister, author, activist, yoga instructor and authorized Lama in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism include talks, retreats, and workshops for organizations, businesses and universities, including Calm, NYU, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Google, Columbia University, and Stanford University.