Zen Peacemakers Blog

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The Zen Peacemakers Blog is dedicated and committed to providing news, reflections, essays and interviews to support, inspire and inform spiritual practitioners and social activists, off high-quality content by our global network of Zen Peacemaker Order members and allies to the Zen Peacemakers.

Everything Has To Do With Us: Roshi Collande Reflects on Bearing Witness at Auschwitz

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Auschwitz Bearing Witness Retreats, Bearing Witness, Bearing Witness Ministry, Blog, Ministries, Racism & Diversity, Reflections, Socially Engaged Buddhism, Teachers, Three Tenets of ZP, Zen Peacemakers | 0 comments

Everything Has To Do With Us: Roshi Collande Reflects on Bearing Witness at Auschwitz

This November, 2017, Zen Peacemakers are returning to the concentration camp site at Auschwitz for the twenty-second time. Read retreat Spirit Holder Cornelius V. Collande’s reflection on entering Auschwitz’s “big not knowing.”

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100,000 Fires to Feed: Roshi Michel Dubois’ Twenty years of Homelessness Ministry in Paris

Posted by on Aug 2, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Homelessness, Hunger, Ministries, Projects, Reflections, Social Enterprise, Teachers, Zen Peacemakers | 0 comments

100,000 Fires to Feed: Roshi Michel Dubois’ Twenty years of Homelessness Ministry in Paris

Roshi Michel Dubois, founder and teacher at Zen – A Way of the Heart center in Paris,  describes how spending a night among the homeless of Dusseldorf gave rise to a social enterprise serving its 100,000th meal this year to the homeless in Paris. Michel has engaged with bearing witness retreats for years, and his experience in Auschwitz, Bosnia-Herzegovina and with the Lakota on Turtle Island give a wider context to his ministry.

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Turning Towards Turners Falls: Local Collaboration Serves Underserved Families in Massachusetts USA

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Featured, Justice & Activism, Ministries, Native American, Opportunities for Action, Projects, Racism & Diversity, Socially Engaged Buddhism, Wellness, Zen Peacemaker Order | 0 comments

Turning Towards Turners Falls: Local Collaboration Serves Underserved Families in Massachusetts USA

Massachusetts USA Zen Peacemakers joined the Montague Catholic Social Ministries group to provide relief for underprivileged families in the Turners Falls area.

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Something to Keep Safe: Georgia von Schlieffen Reflections on Bearing Witness in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Bearing Witness, Bearing Witness Ministry, Handicapped, Ministries, Racism & Diversity, Reflections, Socially Engaged Buddhism, Zen Peacemakers | 0 comments

Something to Keep Safe: Georgia von Schlieffen Reflections on Bearing Witness in Bosnia-Herzegovina

German artist Georgia von Schlieffen reflects on participating in the 2017 Zen Peacemakers Bosnia-Herzegovina Bearing Witness retreat, the connections she found between visiting there and Auschwitz-Birkenau and the balancing of pain and beauty.

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Practicing With The Ten Thousand Opinions

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Blog, Ministries, Socially Engaged Buddhism, Teachers, Zen Peacemakers | 1 comment

Practicing With The Ten Thousand Opinions

Following a letter received at Upaya Zen Center stating they should avoid commenting on politics, Joshin Byrnes, Vice Abbot of Upaya Zen Center responded, advising listening to opinions, patience and political engagement based on spiritual principals.

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The Face I See Everywhere: Why Barbara Wegmüller Returns to Auschwitz

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in Auschwitz Bearing Witness Retreats, Bearing Witness Ministry, Blog, Inter-Faith, Ministries, Native American, Non-Violence, Peace, Racism & Diversity, Reflections, Socially Engaged Buddhism, Teachers, Zen Peacemaker Order, Zen Peacemakers | 0 comments

The Face I See Everywhere: Why Barbara Wegmüller Returns to Auschwitz

“There is the face of a woman, looking at me, ever since I met her eyes for the first time. She is looking at me on one of the pictures in one of the memorial halls in Auschwitz I, the original camp. The photo shows her as she is waiting with a group of women and her children at the selection site. Her face shows disgust, fear, distress, and she seems to know what will happen to her and her children as she looks into the camera.”

Barbara Wegmüller, a Zen Peacemaker Roshi and Bearing Witness retreat Spiritholder (facilitator), responds to the question of why she’s been coming back to bear witness at Auschwitz for nearly 20 years.

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Yet the Ground Holds Firm: Highlights from the 2017 Zen Peacemakers Bearing Witness Retreat in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Posted by on Jun 30, 2017 in Bearing Witness, Bearing Witness Ministry, Blog, Featured, Reflections, Socially Engaged Buddhism, Zen Peacemakers | 0 comments

Yet the Ground Holds Firm: Highlights from the 2017 Zen Peacemakers Bearing Witness Retreat in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bearing Witness Retreats reveal how, even though each place of tragedy reflects a unique circumstance, they all share in common universal human experiences – even the tendency to violence can be seen as a source and expression of commonality and connection. Several years ago, Zen Peacemakers began collaborating with Bosnian peace-builders at the Center for Peacebuilding, to plan a bearing witness retreat following the genocide there in 1992-1995. These planning efforts were passed to local European Zen Peacemakers leaders, who brought it all to fruition this past May. In this post Zen Peacemakers thanks the organizers and features the stories of four European Zen Peacemakers who attended the retreat.

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Rags to Rakusus: Paco

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 in Greyston, Rags to Rakusus, Social Entrepreneurship, Zen Peacemaker Family, Zen Peacemaker Order | 0 comments

Rags to Rakusus: Paco

Lay practitioners of Zen Buddhist lineages who take refuge in the Buddhist precepts and vows prepare and wear a rakusu – a cloth garment around their neck – representing the monastic robe, also known as kesa. In the days of the Buddha, it is said that certain materials called Pamsula were taboo for use by society. This included materials used for shrouds covering the dead, those gnawed by rats, or menstrual rags. These were collected to create the monks’ robes. The late co-founder of the Zen Peacemaker Order, Roshi Sandra Jishu Holmes, first conceived the Zen Peacemaker Rakusu that is made up of pieces of discarded cloth from origins meaningful to their wearer’s life and practice. This series of posts named ‘Rags to Rakusus,’ showcases the personal stories of Zen Peacemakers’ rakusus around the world.

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