The Way of Tenderness: A Self-Paced Retreat


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The Way of Tenderness is an audio retreat that explores the interconnection between spirituality, internalized oppression and systemic oppression. In this audio retreat, our political challenges are addressed as a part of our spiritual awakening. Zenju Sensei guides us inward to draw on the wellspring of tenderness in the midst of personal and collective suffering. She reveals how to use racism, sexism and so forth as gateways to experiencing peace and oneness.


This book spoke to me about this matter in a way little else I’ve read has. Zenju embodies this apparent contradiction, as she moves between the rage arising out of mistreatment and feelings of separation and disconnection, into glimpses of letting go, yet she is adamant about the need to be with the pain that arises out of being embodied, out of identity, and history, most specifically related to race and sexual identity. These cannot be ignored. She dives into these waters not as a philosophical question, but as lived experience she has wrestled with, courageously, and with an ever-greater open heart.” Jorge Armesto

The ten hours of recordings highlight the teachings found in the book The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender written by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel and published in 2015 by Wisdom Publications. The retreat includes 8 sessions 60 plus minutes long including a total of 4 hours of meditation spread out in 10-minute intervals. PLUS new updated teachings that are not in the book.

Zenju says, “I had a chance to share more of what I couldn’t in writing such a book that revealed my suffering and at the same time affirmed the freedom I was born with.

The retreat includes poetry from ancient Chinese poets Hanshan and Huixu, Rumi, plus Audre Lorde, Pablo Neruda and haiku by novelist Richard Wright. It includes the philosophy of Elizabeth Alexander, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Adyashanti. Imagine them sitting around the table with you on this retreat.

GUIDANCE IS AVAILABLE: While you on your retreat you can send questions and comments via email to Zenju Sensei.

Arrange your retreat in a way that works for you: Take a day off and do an 8 hour intensive one day retreat, or two 4 hour retreats, or do 8 mornings, or 8 evenings, once a week on Sunday morning for 8 weeks, whichever works for you. This is a self-spaced retreat, meaning you can access the retreat at any time for the rest of your life.

Please contact us at for further discounts for monastics and for those who are financially challenged.



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