Ruth King
Book Bits

Imagine That Our Only Job is to Mirror Each Other’s Goodness

Ruth King is a writer and Buddhist teacher who focuses on working with racial identity in learning meditation and using the tools of spiritual practice to examine one's own racial being. King combines western psychology with eastern philosophy and indigenous wisdom to coach her students in becoming more aware of their underlying areas of fear and vulnerability as well as the key points of their own rigidity.

James Baldwin
Book Bits

If Love Will Not Swing Wide the Gates, No Other Power Will

James Baldwin describes his own coming of age and awakening to spiritual and political consciousness as beginning with the revelation of sin: 'I became, during my fourteenth year, for the first time in my life, afraid—afraid of the evil within me and afraid of the evil without.'

Ta-Nehisi Coates
Book Bits

The Inscrutable Energy that Preserves the Breach

In this excerpt from an article published prior to the release of Between the World and Me, Coates talks about his childhood in West Baltimore. He describes the gap he felt between his own world and the world he saw through the TV set, as well as the perplexity and disingenuity of being fed a stream of non-violent role models at school.

Vivekananda
Book Bits

The One Motive Power in the Universe

In this extract from an essay about bhakti and devotional love written in the late 19th century, Swami Vivekananda - the 19th century spiritual reformist and teacher of Vedanta who was instrumental in popularizing Hinduism and yoga in the west - makes the difference between empty religious ritual and the burning desire for union with God, which is as real as any hunger or thirst.