Lifting as They Climb
- Shambhala Publications02/13/2024Pages: 328Size: 6 x 9ISBN: 9781645470762Details
The lives and writings of six leading Black Buddhist women—Jan Willis, bell hooks, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, angel Kyodo williams, Spring Washam, and Faith Adiele—reveal new expressions of Buddhism rooted in ancestry, love, and collective liberation.
Lifting as They Climb is a love letter of freedom and self-expression from six Black women Buddhist teachers, conveyed through the voice of author Toni Pressley-Sanon, one of the innumerable people who have benefitted from their wisdom. She explores their remarkable lives and undertakes deep readings of their work, weaving them into the broader tapestry of the African diaspora and the historical struggle for Black liberation.
Black women in the U.S. have adapted Buddhist practice to meet challenges ranging from the injustices of the Jim Crow South to sexual violence, social discrimination, and bias within their Buddhist communities. Using their voices through the practice of memoir and other forms of writing, they have not only realized their own liberation but carried forward the Black tradition of leading others on the path toward collective awakening.RelatedCheck items to add to the cart orAuthor BioDR. TONI PRESSLEY-SANON is an associate professor in the Department of Africology & African American Studies at Eastern Michigan University, having previously held positions at the University of Buffalo and Pennsylvania State University. Her work dwells on the intersections of memory, history, and culture in both Africa and the African diaspora. She is the author of four books and numerous journal articles and book chapters on these subjects. Toni has practiced Buddhist meditation and mindfulness for the past ten years.Praise
"Essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the important contributions black women Buddhist practitioners are bringing to the efflorescence of Dharma in America." —Charles Johnson, author of The Eightfold Path and Middle Passage
"Toni Pressley-Sanon uplifts the profound wisdom of Black Buddhist women writers and provides for us not only the tremendous practices of awareness that have anchored their lives, but also the contexts that have been so formative for them. And we learn Toni’s story as well. Several pages into reading this beautiful text, I thought to myself: I am going to buy this book for every person in my life. It is that rich, important, necessary." —Rima Vesely-Flad, author of Black Buddhists and the Black Radical Tradition: The Practice of Stillness in the Movement for Liberation
"Lifting as They Climb is a beautiful tribute and testimony to the labor and care of Black Buddhist women who, in the very spirit of the Buddha, continue to show us how to get free." —Lama Rod Owens, author of The New Saints: From Broken Hearts to Spiritual Warriors
"Each of these wise, awake Black Buddhist teachers is my teacher. Together, they shine a light that reveals the constricting and deluded lens of the dominant White culture, a healing light that celebrates the potential for all to embody infinite, loving awareness. This collection of writings is an essential weave in our precious, ever-evolving dharma." —Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and Trusting the Gold
"Toni spotlights the transformative stories of remarkable black women who have embraced Buddhism, weaving together spirituality and collective liberation. A compelling exploration of their journeys, this book celebrates the intersection of personal growth and societal change. Toni’s work is an inspiring tribute to the resilience and profound impact of these women." —Devin Berry, Dharma teacher and cofounder of Deep Time Liberation
"Toni Pressley-Sanon has written a unique and poignant account of Black Buddhist women stewarding a subtle yet fierce movement of liberation, not only for herself but for a multitude of Black women embarking on their meditative journeys. As a seeker, Toni graciously allows us to witness her personal voyage of spiritual growth by elevating the voices of contemporary scholars, practitioners, and Dharma teachers. Honoring the intricate intersections of race, gender, and Buddhism, this book assures readers they are welcomed, embraced, and valued in their individual and collective path of practice, just as they are." —Noliwe Alexander, Dharma teacher and founder of Peace At Any Pace, Inc.
"A worthwhile glimpse at the rich and complicated intersections of Blackness, womanhood, and spirituality." —Publisher's WeeklySelected Reader Reviews