Books by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
THE SHAMANIC BONES OF ZEN: REVEALING THE ANCESTRAL SPIRIT AND THE MYSTICAL HEART OF AN SACRED TRADITION
Conceived at the crossroads of Buddhism and indigenous earth-based practice, The Shamanic Bones of Zen explores the deep human traditions of transformation that are made possible by meditation, ceremony, ritual, dreams, and spiritual connection to one’s ancestry.
A beautiful glimpse into the daily practice of a modern contemplative, The Deepest Peace reveals moments of stunning clarity from the eyes of a Zen priest. Through silence, stillness, and practice, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel transmits how it is possible to cultivate and experience peace.
While there is suffering in the world and in each of us, there is also the possibility and the experience of peace. As Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, a Zen priest who has written at length on race, gender, sexual orientation, and homelessness, writes in the introduction: “I have testified many times of my suffering. Before I die, I must speak of peace.” The Deepest Peace is a poetic, lyrical ode to the ways contemplative practice illuminates daily life. It is at once a window into Zenju’s personal practice, and an invitation to begin our own.
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)
In 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.
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.
Compiled by Zenju
Seeds for a Boundless Life: Zen Teachings from the Heart
By Zenkei Blanche Hartman
Zenkei Blanche Hartman is an American Zen legend. A teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, she was the first female abbot of an American Zen center. She is greatly revered, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she has lived and taught for many years. This, her long-awaited first book, is a collection of short teachings taken from her talks on the subject of boundlessness—the boundlessness that sees beyond our small, limited self to include all others. To live a boundless life she encourages living the vows prescribed by the Buddha and living life with the curiosity of a child. The short, stand-alone pieces can be dipped into whenever one is in need of inspiration.
This book was compiled by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, a Dharma heir of Zenkei Blanche Hartman. It was completed while the Roshi’s life was coming to a close. Zenju Sensei says, “It was a profound experience to receive transmission by listening to the many talks and compliing them so that her teacher’s voice remained in the world.”
Available at Shambhala Publications