“Meditation is the silence that becomes loud in a thunderous beat of our hearts which keeps us awake to the ordinary and the extraordinary of our existence. It is the invitation that comes from our own suffering, the waiting for our acceptance of an innately divine relationship with everything and everyone.” – Zenju Earthlyn Manuel


Welcome to Still Breathing Zen Meditation Center – A private hermitage in the hills of East Oakland, California. Our Japanese temple name is Yudo-Ji which means excellent way temple.

Still Breathing Zen Meditation Center guided by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel Sensei is a meditation community based in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition within the Suzuki Roshi lineage but open to indigenous practices and other paths of wisdom. Rev. Zenju was ordained by Zenkei Blanche Hartman Roshi and received full dharma transmission or Shiho in January 2016 from Shosan Victoria Austin Sensei on behalf of Zenkei Blanche Hartman Roshi who began the process before her death in May 2016. Although fully a Sensei or teacher in the Zen Buddhist tradition, Rev. Zenju, also uses the terms gatekeeper, one who welcomes you in, and/or spiritual companion, the one who walks with you once you have entered.

As a result of having a small zendo we are not able to accommodate new students at this time. Also, we are moving from an open sitting schedule to a peer selection process in which current students are the ones who will invite newcomers into the regular sittings.

While Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel has a diverse range of students we have decided as a sangha to create a deep refuge in Zen practice for people of African descent. This was a bold, frightening but needed step at this time. However, to remain open and to encourage others to sit with us, our one day sitting retreats will remain open to the public and we will host other events at various locations in the Bay Area. Check EVENTS on this website.

Please contact Unique Holland, Assistant at