Ultimately, sanctuary is within. We walk spiritual paths by gathering ways of living that are in alignment with peace. Outer sanctuaries help us in doing so. When we are in a spiritual community, perfect or not, we see ourselves more clearly. We see the depth of our pain and rage while bowing or offering incense and flowers. We move so slowly that what is in our bodies cannot be overlooked. Over time, you begin to see another side of yourself, another side of life. This side of life goes unseen in the rush of daily living. Creating sanctuary within requires the practice of stillness and silence provided in outer sanctuaries. When we get a glimpse of the unseen, we are brought back from where we emerged—be it the earth or the source of all life.

From The Shamanic Bones of Zen: Revealing the Ancestral Spirit and Mystical Heart of a Sacred Tradition by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel © 2022 by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc.

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