Koans on the Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemakers


Roshi Eve Myonen Marko and I (Bernie Glassman) have started a Koan System based on  the Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemakers.  We will probably wind up with two different sets of koans (hers and his) and I have posted my initial thoughts on this koan system.

The Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemakers

 Entering the stream of Socially Engaged Spirituality, I vow to live a life of:

  • Not-knowing, thereby giving up fixed ideas about ourselves and the universe
  • Bearing witness to the joy and suffering of the world
  • Loving actions towards ourselves and others

The Three Tenets serve as the foundation for the Zen Peacemakers’ work and practice. Using the Three Tenets as an orientation transforms service into spiritual practice. Specifically, these practices suspend separation and hierarchy, and open direct encounter between equals as the spirit and style of the services offered through Zen Houses.

Not-knowing drops our conceptual framework from very personal biases and assumptions to such concepts as “in and out” “good and bad” “name and form,” “coming and going.” Not-knowing is a state of open presence without separation.

In this state we can Bear Witness, the second Tenet, merging or joining with an individual, situation or environment, deeply imbibing their essence. From this intimate “knowing,” we can then choose an appropriate response to the person or situation, described as “taking loving actions,” our third Tenet. This gives rise to the holistic, integrated, wrap-around style of service projects inspired by Bernie’s vision.

In speaking about the Three Tenets as separate practices and phases of consciousness, we are making deference to the discriminating mind. They are actually a continual flow, each containing and giving rise to the others.

…….Read More about the Koan System

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4/18/2014