Lama Rod Owens









About Lama Rod
Meet Lama Rod's Team



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 The New Saints: From Broken Hearts to Spiritual Warriors and 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, but I love it. It's who I am.” he says. From these intersections, he creates a platform that’s 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, 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 guidance. It's 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.


Lama Rod teaches you how to continuously choose clarity and light, how to transform challenging 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 also co-founded Dharma Queens, a series of conversations on Instagram Live with sister sadada, to help people get freer faster. 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, Harvard, Google, Columbia University, University of Vermont, Boston College.

Want to keep tabs on what Lama Rod is doing next? Be sure to sign up for his email list below. For current offerings and programs, click here.

Meet Lama Rod's Team


A. Nia Austin-Edwards (ANAE)

Conjurer.Organizer.Oracle. (COO)

Nia (yeye/they) is a southern-ish queer Black nonbinary witch*-child of the Edwards, Austin, Veit, and Jones clans. Grand-witch-child of the Cole, Greene, Biddle, and Eversley clans. And great-grand-witch-child of many more.

Yeye’s dance began in a mother’s womb, developed in Atlanta, GA at Total Dance / Dancical Productions, Inc., and was further formalized through Tri-Cities Visual and Performing Arts Magnet High School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. This lifelong choreography has cultivated Nia’s praxis of collective care through writing, performing, creating, marketing, listening, mothering, and more.

Nia named and claimed PURPOSE Productions during Kwanzaa of 2012. For 11 years, this collective of anti-capitalist freelancers supported artists and organizers in the mothering of purpose-full work that unified and developed our world community.

*In the traditions indigenous to the many lands of Nia’s people, a witch is a healer and worker for the community.

sister sadada

Teaching and Learning Guide

sister sadada (she/they) is a guide, a mentor, and a teacher of embodied liberation. she works at the intersection of healing and learning/teaching. a member of lama rod’s team since 2020, she serves as the teaching and learning guide for lama rod owens.  she has assisted lama rod owens on retreat in the us and the uk and is the cofounder of dharma queens.

she is trained as an actress, dancer, educator, yoga instructor and an indigenous ritual and ceremony practitioner with over 15 years of experience. they have earned two masters: one in indigenous traditions and the other in secondary education. they work with artists, activists, teachers, healers, practitioners, and leaders to manifest liberation in their teaching, learning, and healing practices. her core values are clarity, creativity, sovereignty, and radicle self-love. sister sadada is black nipmuc.


Daniel Sutton-Johanson

European Retreats Manager

Daniel (he/they) is the founder and Community Dharma Leader of Southsea Sangha, a small dharma community which is rooted in social justice and removing barriers to the dharma and meditation on the island city of Portsmouth, U.K, where he lives with his son Oshan and their little dog, Stevie Nicks. 

Daniel began dharma practice in 2004, encountering Vipassana at a time of addiction and clinical depression and now practices as a Psychotherapist, trained through the Metanoia Institute masters program. Daniel is a member of the Radical Therapist Network and member of the GSRD (Gender, Sexuality & Relationship Diversity) Special Interest Group for The Person Centred Association.

He is trained by L.A. based Mindful Schools as a mindfulness educator with young people, and has worked as a mentor for young people with iBme UK. Daniel is also part of the organizing group for Beyond Patriarchy, a meditation space from Southsea Sangha. Daniel assists Lama Rod in facilitating workshops and meditation retreats, around gender liberation and undoing patriarchy work with masculine and male identified folks. He identifies as Welsh, a queer white cis male and is currently rooted in co-parenthood, spiritual social justice, exploring the intersections of celtic mythology and Buddhist psychology and building community.

Eric B.

Practice and Path Shepherd & Administrative Care Collaborator

Eric (he/they) has been collaborating with Lama Rod since connecting over a platter of dumplings in 2015. Now based in Minneapolis, his life is devoted to supporting creative emancipation and the embodiment of freedom in all its diverse expressions.

As a lifelong chaplain-in-training, Eric brings an existential, non-sectarian sensibility informed by his broad range of experience as a community organizer, researcher, and general rabble-rouser. He is also passionate about sharing mindfulness practices with teens and young adults as a Teacher with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education.

Eric is indebted to the generosity of many lineages and mentors who continue teaching him the meaning of liberation, especially: Lama Rod Owens, the Black Prophetic Tradition, Zen Peacemakers, queer friendships, Roshi Joan Halifax, Ms. Ayesha Ali, Lama Justin von Bujdoss, and Dr. Nida Chenagtsang.

Vivian Mac

Digital Community Caretaker

Vivian (she/her) learned about Lama Rod through reading Radical Dharma in college, where she explored the connection between contemplative practice and social justice in higher education. She met Lama Rod at an event on Juneteenth 2016. In the years following, she hosted Lama Rod at sangha gatherings while working at New York Insight Meditation Center.

In 2019, she dreamt about walking with a group of people in the forest. There she encountered a beautiful banquet table filled with food and drink for the ancestors. The ancestors said, “No, it’s not time to sit down and enjoy the food with us right now, you need to keep moving.” She, along with Lama Rod and others, did a walking meditation amongst the trees, all while encountering loud angry, activated words which would flash in front of the trees. Not long after in real life, Vivian joined the Lama Rod team to support as a project manager and tech host for the first Love and Rage online course, and the rest is history (in the making)!

In addition to supporting Lama Rod’s online community, Vivian is a Spiritual Herbalist, astrologer, and is currently completing a Masters/Doctoral dual degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She is passionate about offering ways for people to deepen their inner work, heal themselves, and take inspired action for inner and collective liberation.


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