Sanctuary - Praise
A singular work of poetic prose exploring otherness and belonging—and what it means to be truly at home.
"Zenju Earthlyn Manuel’s Sanctuary offers us much-needed clarity and light in a time of increasing violence and confusion, daily assaults on our basic sense of belonging. Here is a generous feast of wise and compassionate insights into the deeper meanings of homelessness and home, identity and community, refuge and liberation. This is genuine and nourishing food for the challenging journeys ahead."—Acharya Gaylon Ferguson, PhD Core Faculty Naropa University
"These remarkable essays by Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel make us aware, in important and different ways, of the intimate relationship between home and sanctuary, and the struggle between belonging and homelessness that paradoxically defines the conditions for many who in our contemporary world find themselves living under conditions of oppression, alienation and dehumanization.
A gifted storyteller, Rev. Zenju takes us directly into the struggle to nourish peace by engaging with the practice of establishing sanctuary as a spiritual and cultural project. Sanctuary forms at once an original look at how we might practice within the context of daily life the work of contemplative reflection, and a compelling portrayal of how that reflection can be skillfully wed to a powerful and loving engagement with our world as it is. In the telling of this story, I was immediately moved to feel the allure of home in my life, but to recognize the work of sanctuary as refuge, as well as a space from which to remember what matters, and, in the authors words, “love what is difficult to love.”
By concentrating on this paradox, Rev. Zenju explores the spiritual potential of homelessness, reminding us—at a critical moment of ecological anxiety, political unrest and a renewed intensification of hate and misunderstanding—of the importance of embracing the deep abode of ancestry, while simultaneously seeing the world afresh."—Doshin Nathan Woods, Ph.D
"Zenju’s deep reflections on sanctuary leads us on a profound journey to the place where being home and homeless meet. Her profound reflections point to a spiritual freedom in the full tapestry of our personal and collective lives."—Gil Fronsdal, primary teacher for the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California
"A lyrical, richly insightful meditation pointing the way toward a true sense of home—sanctuary—in our own bodies, complex heritages and awakened hearts. Zenju Manuel's gentle reflections provide deep solace to those living with actual homelessness and housing insecurity, while at the same time illuminating the displacement and longing for home that is present, by degrees, in each of us. An inspired guidepost for these times.—Rhonda V. Magee
“A lovely and timely contemplation. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel writes with a poetic voice of interbeing, gracefully dissolving relative and ultimate truth into each other, compassionately embodying that place where political, spiritual, and cultural realities intersect.”—Ethan Nichtern, Author of The Road Home and One City
“A profoundly poetic, deeply personal, and completely expansive treatise on the power of sanctuary to heal and transform our sense of disconnection from each other and our own selves.”—Larry Yang, author of Awakening Together
“In an era of fearful uncertainty, this book calls us home just in time. Lyrical, warm, unflinching. Rev. Zenju offers a balm of wisdom that fortifies and gives courage.”—Katie Loncke, Co-Director of Buddhist Peace Fellowship