Sanctuary: A Meditation on Home, Homelessness, and Belonging

“Sanctuary” is the home we can return to when our lives are under threat, where we can face what’s difficult to love, and have a place where we can truly say, “I am home”—and spiritual teachers often emphasize sanctuary’s inner dimensions, that “our true home” is within. “Homelessness,” in turn, can be viewed as a forced experience or one in which there is a spiritual void in being or feeling home.

Drawing from her life as a Zen Buddhist priest whose ancestors labored as slaves in Louisiana, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel explores the tension between oppression—based on race, religion, ability, class, orientation, gender, and other “ghosts of slavery”—and finding home within our own hearts. Through intimate personal stories and deep reflection, Manuel helps us see the moment when what has gone unacknowledged surfaces is “the time we have been practicing for,” the epiphany when we can investigate the true source what has been troubling us. This insightful book about home and homelessness, sanctuary and refuge offers inspiration, encouragement, and a clear-eyed view of cultivating a spiritual path in challenging times.

Order from Amazon.com or publishers at Wisdom Publications

The Way of Tenderness (foreword by Dr. Charles Johnson)

CoverforTendernessIn The Way of Tenderness, Zen priest Zenju Earthlyn Manuel brings Buddhist philosophies of emptiness and appearance to bear on race, sexuality, and gender, using wisdom forged through personal experience and practice to rethink problems of identity and privilege.
Manuel brings her own experiences as a lesbian black woman into conversation with Buddhism to square our ultimately empty nature with superficial perspectives of everyday life. Her hard-won insights reveal that dry wisdom alone is not sufficient to heal the wounds of the marginalized; an effective practice must embrace the tenderness found where conventional reality and emptiness intersect. Only warmth and compassion can cure hatred and heal the damage it wreaks within us.

This is a book that will teach us all.

Please first ask your local bookstore to order it from the publisher Wisdom Publications.



For appearances and events please go to EVENTS on this website. For questions or inquiries contact Unique Holland, Assistant at uniq.grace@gmail.com

Tell Me Something About Buddhism (Foreword by Thich Nhat Hanh)


After being involved in Buddhist practice for over twenty years, after an L.A. upbringing in an African-American Christian church, I intertwine throughout the book personal experiences as student of Buddha’s teachings. My life in the Sangha, my teaching in local communities, and my travels around the world meeting other Buddhist practitioners enliven my answers to the most fundamental questions about Buddhist practice. I wrote, “Had I not opened myself to the many teachings from the earth, such as Buddha’s wisdom, it would have been nearly impossible to survive the fires of my soul.”

The book is self-illustrated. Please first ask your local bookstore to order it from the publisher or go to amazon.com.

Other Titles by Zenju


Available now!!!! At blackangelcards.com

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 the-hidden-lamp  dharma-color-and-culture