Podcast: Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, The Shamanic Bones of Zen

Podcast: Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, The Shamanic Bones of Zen

Anna Cummings

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, African-American Soto Zen Buddhist priest and medicine woman, discusses Soka Gakkai, the importance of chanting, and dreams from an oracle.

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is an African-American Soto Zen Buddhist priest, author, poet, diviner, and medicine woman of the drum whose practices are influenced by Native American and African indigenous traditions. Her new book is The Shamanic Bones of Zen: Revealing the Ancestral Spirit and Mystical Heart of a Sacred Tradition.

Her book was reviewed in the January/February 2022 issue of Spirituality & Health.

In this episode, Rami and Zenju explore her initially reluctant emergence into Zen Buddhism and Soka Gakkai—a Japanese Buddhist religious movement from the teachings of Japanese priest Nichiren. They also discuss the importance of chanting and how it led to Zenju’s experience with an oracle that came to her in a dream. She explains, “To me the oracle came straight out of Nichiren, straight out of my chanting.”

“The alignment is in the sense that we’re now not in our heads, in our story, in ourselves. We’re in the sound ... we’re doing ohm together, we’re in the ohm of the sound. ... you could be chanting with your enemy and you might actually fall in love with that person.” —Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, from the Spirituality & Health Podcast

Subscribe to the Spirituality & Health Podcast for free so that you will never miss an episode.

Want more from Zenju? Read: “Zenju Earthlyn Manuel Is Not Your Typical Soto Zen Buddhist Priest.”

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

Enjoying this content?

Get this article and many more delivered straight to your inbox weekly.