Episode 153: Osho Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Ph.D.

On the life-giving, natural practice of listening well, the core of poetry and the inextricable ties between Buddhism and true shamanism.

On The Shamanic Bones of Zen and the practice of zazen as a portal for wisdom. A conversation addressing the importance of ritual and ceremony in connection with our self and ancestors.
  • 0:42 – Introducing Osho Zenju Earthlyn Marselean Manuel
  • 3:35 – Seeds For A Boundless Life by Zenkei Blanche Hartman; The Deepest Peace; The Shamanic Bones of Zen.
  • 6:15 – The Naked Nothing – Joy in just sitting. Being awake to life.
  • 8:10 – Discovering poetry. Being a conduit, writing the essence of something, and finding a voice in writing poetry.
  • 12:05 – Letting go and finding new words. “Explaining magic strips the ocean of its waves.”
  • 14:45 – Who will show up in an inner monastery for poetic solitude? Rituals and Ceremonies are to be lived.
  • 17:00 – Recognizing the parallels and merging of the shamanism and zen. The power of ritual and ceremony.
  • 19:25 – The daily devotion to things unseen. ‘Zazen is good for nothing.’ Not looking to gain anything, but seeing deep into life.
  • 21:30 – Seeds For A Boundless Life by Zenkei Blanche Hartman; speaking of what our teachers speak of; The student writes the book transmitted by the teacher so that the ego of the teacher is not in the book.
  • 24:45 – Becoming completely intimate with yourself. Through this intimacy, the possibility of intimacy with another arises.
  • 27:00 – Chanting spells – In transporting the breath the inhalation must be full…
  • 29:20 – The practice and purpose of zazen. Zazen is a portal for wisdom. Chanting gives you the rhythm that goes along with the stillness and silence. The indigenous bone is the voice of the drum.
  • 32:15 – Celebration and initiation rituals; speaking to the ancestors is part of many earth based traditions. The ancestors are inside of us, we are them.
  • 36:20 – Taking the vows; standing at the gateway of freedom; making the vow to live a particular way; receiving a new dharma name.
  • 40:40 – The Gate of Sweet Dew; To engage the body and mind in ritual and ceremony will reveal the soul and spirit of your own life.
  • 43:30 – The process for moving into a new project – Opening to Darkness; Exploring the nature of life. Sharing what has been explored and received about living.
  • 46:40 – Black Angel Cards
  • 48:45 – The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender; The two truths – relative and absolute. Exploring the relative life as the gateway to the absolute.
  • 51:10 – You cannot achieve Buddhist teachings. There’s nothing to show that you have become accomplished, but there is a way of seeing how life is experienced through each other.

Osho Zenju Earthlyn Marselean Manuel, poet, author, ordained Zen priest, and medicine woman of the drum, was born in Los Angeles, California. She is the middle daughter of Lawrence Manuel Jr. and Alvesta Pierre Manuel, who both migrated from rural Louisiana. Zenju Osho was raised in Los Angeles, with her older and younger sisters. As a child, she was referred to by the name her mother gave her, Earthlyn, her middle name Marselean (Marceline) was her grandmother’s name. Zenju is a dharma name. Osho is a title meaning Zen teacher.

She is the dharma heir of Buddha and the late Zenkei Blanche Hartman in the Shunryu Suzuki Roshi lineage through the San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC). She was Shuso (head Student) with Kiku Christina Lehnherr Roshi and her Dharma Transmission was completed by Osho Shosan Victoria Austin. Prior to enter Zen Buddhism, Zenju practiced in the Nichiren/Soka Gakkai tradition for 15 years. She entered Zen in 2001 and began again as a beginner on the path.

Zenju’s practice is influenced by Native American and African indigenous traditions. She participated in ceremony with Ifá diviners from Dahomey, Africa and briefly studied Yoruba. She was raised in the Church of Christ where she was an avid reader of the Bible and adored the true mystic teachings on Christ’s path well into adulthood. She holds a Ph.D. and formally worked for decades as a social science researcher, development director for non-profit organizations and those serving women and girls, cultural arts, and mental health.

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