Kate Johnson, Dawn Haney, & Katie Loncke - U Mad? Wisdom For Rageful Times

Kate Johnson, Dawn Haney, & Katie Loncke - U Mad? Wisdom For Rageful TimesU Mad? Wisdom for Rageful TimesEnrolled and trying to get “Just like our organs, our...
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Kate Johnson, Dawn Haney, & Katie Loncke - U Mad? Wisdom For Rageful Times

Kate Johnson, Dawn Haney, & Katie Loncke - U Mad? Wisdom For Rageful Times

U Mad? Wisdom for Rageful Times

Enrolled and trying to get

“Just like our organs, our anger is part of us. When we are angry, we have to go back to ourselves and take good care of our anger. We cannot say, ‘Go away, anger, I don’t want you.’ When you have a stomachache, you don’t say, ‘I don’t want you stomach, go away.’ No, you take care of it.

In the same way, we have to embrace and take good care of our anger.”


—Thich Nhat Hanh


Does anger have you tied up in knots? As a spiritually-minded activist, you still aren’t alone in finding anger challenging.

Anger is a very human feeling. It identifies injustice against yourself and others, offering a sharp sword of clarity. Black lesbian feminist Audre Lorde lays down how women (and we can expand this to people of all oppressed or marginalized genders) channel anger into action:

Every woman has a well-stocked arsenal of anger potentially useful against those oppressions, personal and institutional, which brought that anger into being. Focused with precision it can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change. And when I speak of change, I do not mean a simple switch of positions or a temporary lessening of tensions, nor the ability to smile or feel good. I am speaking of a basic and radical alteration in those assumptions underlining our lives.

Yet anger isn’t everything. If it’s your only fuel to action, you’ll be quick to lose steam. And you’ve heard that the Buddha isn’t a cheerleader for anger. In some traditions, he even admonishes his most devoted students to train anger completely out of their hearts:

Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding. Even then you should train yourselves: ‘Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words.’ — Kakacupama Sutta

In BPF’s most popular online course, you’ll have a chance to grapple alongside others with these questions and more:

  • Can I calm my anger and still fight for justice?
  • How do I work alongside people bursting with rage?
  • How do I work with those who shame me for being angry?
  • What fuels my activism beyond anger?
  • Is anger as bad as the Buddha says?
  • Is anger as useful as the activists say?
  • What practices can help me transform rage into wisdom?
  • What practices will cultivate my capacity to work with others?
  • When, if ever, can I punch Nazis?


Benefits For Your Practice and Activism

We all have habits around anger. Some of us avoid it at all costs. Others embrace righteous rage as essential self defense. Trauma and anger (its presence, or conspicuous absence) often intertwine.

When you take this 7-week online series, you’ll find:


  • Wise reflections from dharma teachers who care deeply about social justice
  • Techniques for working with rage, trauma, and betrayal
  • Exploration guides to discover your own relationship to anger
  • Tools to evaluate when rage is more skillful or less skillful for you


  • Community support from like-minded wisdom seekers
  • Opportunities to build your skills at allyship and solidarity
  • Ability to face rage-making realities with more compassion, balance, and action
  • Increased capacity to work with others toward liberation — including difficult people

Enjoy Wisdom from Guest Teachers including:

Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is an author and ordained Zen priest who combines Buddhism, intuitive knowing and indigenous wisdom in a path of liberation. She is author of many wonderful books including The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality and Gender, available in paperback and as an audio book.

Rebecca Li is a Dharma heir and teacher in the lineage of Chan Master Sheng Yen. She attended her first intensive retreat with Chan Master Sheng Yen in 1996 and began serving as his interpreter in 1998 and ed teacher training with him in 1999. She is also a sociology professor at The College of New Jersey. Her Dharma teachings and schedule can be found

Ruth King is an Insight meditation teacher, emotional wisdom author, and consultant. Ruth teaches at Insight communities nationwide, including on the Dedicated Practitioners Program at Spirit Rock and as the founder of Mindful Members Practice Community in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her next book,Mindful of Race, will be published in Spring 2018.

Venerable Prenz Sa-Ngoun was born in Seattle, Washington and has been a monk since the early age of 12. Now, at 18 years old, he resides with Watt Dhammacakkaram in Seattle, Washington. He ed Cambodian Cooperative of Seattle (CCS) to support younger generations of Cambodians in Seattle to know more about their culture and heritage.

Larry Yang teaches meditation retreats nationally and is committed to creating access to the dharma for diverse multicultural communities. He is a Spirit Rock teacher and is a core teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center (Oakland) and Insight Community of the Desert (Palm Springs). Larry was honored for his work in racial justice by being selected as the community’s choice for Grand Marshal in the 2016 San Francisco LGBTIQ Pride Parade. His book Awakening Together will be released in October 2017. For more of Larry’s writings and teachings visit


Lama Rod Owens is the Guiding Teacher for the Radical Dharma Boston Collective and teaches with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) where he is also a faculty member for the organization’s teacher training program. He holds 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. He is a co-author of Radical Dharma, Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, which explores race in the context of American Buddhist communities. Lama Rod was officially recognized and authorized as a lama by the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Pablo Das was empowered as a Dharma teacher at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society 2009, and served on the founding teachers council at ATS until 2016. A practitioner of Somatic Experiencing, he offers trainings and privately works with clients to integrate Buddhist practice and principle, trauma resolution and holistic health models. For writing, events and one-on-one coaching, please visit

How the Online Program Works

Sign up today to get access! We’ll release the entire 7 session program to you when you sign up, full of gems to help you touch into your anger with wisdom.

Practice Partners or Study Groups

We’ve found that the best support for learning in this course is a partner or small group to share your learnings with — online or in real life. Invite neighbors, siblings, friends, or co-workers who would also love U Mad? to sign up, and take the course together!

Interviews with Teachers

You’ll hear from wise teachers 30-60 minute video or audio interviews — Buddhist teachers and political activists who are attuned to the experiences of communities targeted by hate. All videos and audio recordings come with full transcripts.

Practice Ideas and Insightful Readings

You’ll get practice suggestions for working with rage, trauma, and betrayal, as well as some of our favorite Buddhist and political readings to scale up your dharma & activist wisdom.

Recorded Community Conversations

During the original run of the course, we conducted three live video chat sessions to help people connect with other spiritually-minded activist who share some common experiences around anger. While we won’t be able to offer these live video sessions again, recordings of the original sessions will be offered for your inspiration.


When can I ? Now! You’ll receive access to the whole 7 week series at once, so you (and/or your study group) can watch or listen at your own pace. You’ll receive reminder emails from us, to help keep you connected to the course over the next 7 weeks. We’re using Teachable, an online platform that you can log into any time.

Course Curriculum


  • 10 Tips for Getting the Most out of this Course (4:40)

    Lama Rod Owens on Love, Liberation & the Uses of Anger

    Teacher Interview: Lama Rod Owens with Kate Johnson (52:02)
    Practice: Tonglen (8:39)
    Discussion Questions & Supplemental Readings

    Rebecca Li on Finding Compassion without Losing Accountability

    Teacher Interview: Rebecca Li with Kate Johnson (42:51)
    Discussion Questions & Supplemental Readings
    Open Discussion: Rebecca Li

    Ruth King on Overcoming the Sting of Betrayal in Social Justice Alliances

    Teacher Interview: Ruth King with Katie Loncke (32:36)
    Discussion Questions & Supplemental Readings
    Remember to Practice
    Open Discussion: Ruth King

    Dr. Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel on Stillness and Sanctuary While Embracing Anger’s Fire

    Teacher Interview: Rev. Zenju with Katie Loncke (60:17)
    Discussion Questions & Supplemental Readings
    Practice in Action: “Beyond Vietnam,” Beyond the Moment — and 3 reasons why Buddhists should care
    Open Discussion: Dr. Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

    Pablo Das on Trauma, Anger, and Freedom

    Teacher Interview: Pablo Das with Kate Johnson (41:13)
    Practice: MINC (11:24)
    Discussion Questions & Supplemental Readings
    Open Discussion: Pablo Das

    Larry Yang on Uniting Anger and Integrity as a Source of Courage

    Teacher Interview: Larry Yang with Kate Johnson (26:21)
    Discussion Questions & Supplemental Readings
    Open Discussion: Larry Yang

    Venerable Prenz Sa-Ngoun on Buddhist Anger and Mindful Resistance

    Teacher Interview: Venerable Prenz Sa-Ngoun with Katie Loncke (32:54)
    Discussion Questions & Supplemental Readings
    Open Discussion: Venerable Prenz Sa-Ngoun

Call Recordings
  • Call #1 recording & transcript (57:06)

  • Call #2 recording & transcript (92:59)
  • Call #3 recoring & transcript (90:44)
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