What are Bearing Witness Retreats? – Bernie Glassman

In the days of Shakyamini Buddha, during the rainy season, Buddha would stop his meandering and spend time with his monks and nuns in one locale. In Japanese this period is called Ango, a period in space and time of peace. In English we use the word retreat to often mean “getting away from the issues of the world.” A Bearing Witness Retreat is becoming one with the “issues of the world.” A Zen Meditation Retreat is to bear witness to the wholeness of life. I use the word “plunge” for my Bearing Witness Retreats. To plunge into the unknown, i.e., to plunge into that which my rational mind can’t fathom. These plunges or Bearing Witness Retreats have helped folks let go of their attachments to their ideas or concepts and experience things as they are.


Bearing Witness Retreat

Nov 4-8, 2013


 Bernie Glassman and the Zen Peacemakers are returning for the 18th year to the old site of the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oświęcim, Poland, for a Bearing Witness Retreat in November 2013.


Bearing Witness Retreat

April 14-19, 2014


Dora Urujeni and Issa Higiro

In April 2014, Zen Masters Bernie Glassman and Grover Genro Gauntt will go to Rwanda to bear witness to the Rwanda genocide. You are invited to join them for this Bearing Witness Retreat.

 Dora Urujeni and Issa Higiro, representing Memos, will be our hosts in Rwanda.The retreat will be multi-faith and multinational in character, based on the Zen Peacemakers’ Three Tenets: Not-Knowing, Bearing Witness, and Loving Action.
Facebook Twitter Email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *