#386. Sitting with Chaos | Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

Ten Percent Happier
October 11, 2021
#386. Sitting with Chaos | Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

Very few of us relish chaos and disruption, but they are facts of life, given the nonnegotiable nature of change. In this episode with Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, we’re going to talk about how to tune into the value of disruption, and learn how to sit with the chaos. 

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is an ordained Zen priest, holds a Ph.D., and worked for decades as a social science researcher and development director for non-profit organizations. She is also a prolific author.

In this conversation we’ll explore: what to do with the unknown and not having any answers; the power of a “sip of silence” (her term); what she means by the phrase “death as a doorway to tenderness;” how she defines tenderness - a word that can easily get bogged down in sloppy sentimentality; and what she meant when she wrote “I'm not advocating love as an answer to all of the ills of the world. Then again, it is just that simple to be love.”

Content Warning: There are brief mentions of assault; spiritual, sexual, and substance abuse; and racism, including a recent incident Zenju experienced herself. 

If you want to hear more of Zenju, we’ve brought her wisdom into the Ten Percent Happier app, where she has recorded her very own Teacher Talk. Teacher Talks are bite-sized recorded talks (ten minutes or less) available in the Ten Percent Happier app, featuring many of the teachers you know and love from the podcast. Download the Ten Percent Happier app today, then click on the "Podcasts" tab, and then on "Teacher Talks" to find Zenju's Talk, which is called "It's Okay To Be Afraid."

Where to find Zenju Earthlyn Manuel online: 


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