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7:30 pm - 9:00 pm



Join Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, author of The Shamanic Bones of Zen with Paula Arai, author of the foreword to the book

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, born to parents who migrated from rural Louisiana at the start of WWII, she has walked through many different doors spiritually and academically. She has a PhD; she’s a Zen priest; and she’s also a poet and author. Essentially, she’s a Seer in which she has woven herself into various frameworks to ultimately bring forth her visionary work. Zenju has embraced the active role of Seer, in watching for obstacles to awareness, despite the loss of such a role in the American culture. Her transmissions come through her books The Deepest Peace, Sanctuary, The Way of Tenderness and the Black Angel Cards: 36 Oracles and Messages for Divining Your Life, her first visionary experience. She also teaches from her experience of African and Native American indigenous ceremony and her own awakening on the intersection of spirituality and systemic oppression.


Paula Arai received her Ph.D. in Japanese Buddhism from Harvard University. She is the author of Painting Enlightenment: Healing Visions of the Heart Sutra—The Buddhist Art of Iwasaki Tsuneo; Bringing Zen Home: The Healing Heart of Japanese Women’s Rituals; and Women Living Zen: Japanese Sōtō Buddhist Nuns.Having been raised by her Japanese mother, she has found her home in the aesthetic, moral, and contemplative modes stressed in Sōtō Zen. Spending time with family and living with and near her research consociates in Japan animates her insights. Each of her bodies of research emerge out of deep relationships and she offers them to others as a way of connecting and contributing to our shared condition. Her research has been generously supported by Fulbright and American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships and grants from Reischauer Institute of Harvard University and ATLAS (Awards to Louisiana Artists and Scholars). Teaching Buddhist Studies for over 26 years, she currently holds the Urmila Gopal Singhal Professorship in Religions of India at Louisiana State University. She enjoys being a mother, creating healing rituals, writing poetry, playing the violin, and walking in the woods.