The Way of Tenderness - Praise

Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender

“What does liberation mean when I have incarnated in a particular body, with a particular shape, color, and sex?”



144 pages, 5x8 inches


ISBN 9781614291251

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eBook Bundle (PDF, epub, mobi)


ISBN 9781614291497

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This book is essential reading for all Buddhists. Essential.”—Full Contact Enlightenment

“Zenju Earthlyn’s book will spark the conversations on race, gender and sexuality that will move Buddhism in the West to a place of accessibility and inclusivity. For anyone who wants to open their heart to others, this book holds the key.”—Lodro Rinzler, author of Walk Like a Buddha

“Manuel’s teaching is a thought-provoking, much-needed addition to contemporary Buddhist literature.”Publishers Weekly

“A challenging and transformative experience.”— (Justin Whitaker, American Buddhist Perspectives)

“[Manuel] argues persuasively for an embodied dharma that admits the ways that appearance and sexual orientation impact how one sees and is seen.”Tricycle

“[Manuel’s] audacious, fearless, courageous Buddhist framework reflects the potential for love and healing in a way rarely addressed within spiritual communities.”—San Francisco Zen Center Blog

This is an important book. Zenju has a powerful, deeply personal, tender, and reflective way of giving voice to the dharma as black, woman, and lesbian.”—Wild Fox Zen

“Zenju Earthlyn Manuel knows both the tyranny of conventional appearances and their ultimate nature. She knows that in order to tread the path to ultimate insight we must use the whole of our ordinary, conventional selves. In this way, our race, gender, and sexuality become sites for our awakening rather than illusions to be transcended. Read her lucid and honest words with attention and with tenderness.”—Jan Willis, author of Dreaming Me; Black, Baptist and Buddhist
“This is such an unusual book! Yes, it’s a Buddhist book, and yes, it’s about race, sexuality and gender as crucial entry-points into the teaching (rather than false identities to be sloughed off). But it’s not what you think. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel writes with such gentle poetic intelligence that the reader’s experience of the truth she tells feels more like a caress than a jab. Of her own difficult experiences, Earthlyn has forged a wise and profound equanimity — the Way of Tenderness.”—Zoketsu Norman Fischer, author of Training in Compassion
“Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, one of only a small number of African American Buddhist priests, has written a transformative invitation, a breathtakingly courageous and heartfelt call to bring our full humanity – our bodies, our pain, our wounds, our differences – to the path. Her ‘way of tenderness’ is a way of acknowledging and healing the hatreds in our own hearts and in the world. I am filled with gratitude for Zenjus embodied and compassionate revisioning of Buddhist teachings. This is a groundbreaking book, the beginning of a whole new conversation in the dharma.”—Florence Caplow, editor of The Hidden Lamp

“Reverend Zenju illuminates many aspects of the First Noble Truth which are invisible to and occluded by the dominant culture of Western Dharma. She does so with force of Truthfulness and the tenderness of Grace. In this way, the offering of her teachings are both the Path and the Fruit.”—Larry Yang, core teacher at East Bay Meditation Center