HELP US CREATE A SOUND FOUNDATION!
Our Accomplishments since our launch of the new Membership Platform in November 2017:
- overÂ 700 members have joined â€‹â€‹fâ€‹rom Brazil to Cyprus, from Australia to Finland,Â contributing to our community ofÂ socialÂ actionÂ and spiritual practice.â€‹
- We are strategically developing ourÂ BearingÂ Witness programs, â€‹a Three-Year PlanÂ for â€‹Native American â€‹Programs, (2018â€™s program is already at half-capacity)Â and our annual BearingÂ WitnessÂ Retreat inÂ Auschwitz-Birkenauâ€‹,â€‹ to continue to innovate around? theâ€‹ core themes of â€‹uâ€‹nity, â€‹dâ€‹iversity and â€‹aâ€‹ction.
- +20 affiliateÂ groupsÂ and growing, across Europe and the US, make our network vibrant. This March we held our firstÂ affiliate conference online,Â initiating personal connections among our international affiliate leadersÂ and exploringÂ theÂ subject of “Depth and Breadth: How to maintainÂ the integrityÂ with whichÂ we serve,Â whileÂ expanding the scope of ourÂ impact.”
- 7 Monthly council meetings open to all members.
- +70 â€‹eâ€‹vents have been hosted by our affiliates, including Street Retreats, Zen Trainings, Bearing WitnessÂ Events and Councils, all shown on a strikingly visual global map.
- 14 original articles and interviews have been featured on our Journal, written by our staff, covering indigenous peoples’ rights, social enterprise, Bearing Witness Retreats andÂ members’ actions.
- ZPI staff has met with local sanghas and activists, presented on diversity and non-violence in local high schools and colleges, and promoted the three tenets in international summit for indigenous leaders and in multi-national human rights think-tank.”
- We haveÂ supportedÂ and will continue to support our founder, Bernie Glassman,Â through the challenges of old age, the stroke he suffered in 2016, and the recent cancer treatments he has received. Bernie is getting stronger thanks to your support and care.
All of this was possible with the gifts of our followers, members and donors.Â Thank you for your enthusiasm and inspiration, for joining and supporting us as we grow ourÂ planetary network for change.
HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR WORK IN 2017Â
Continued Relationship with Lakota: Zen Peacemakers is committed to continue honoring, learning from, and supporting the indigenous peoples and the Native Americans on Turtle Island. Following the success of our 2015 and 2016 programs, Zen Peacemakers held two programs in 2017:
- 2017 Week of Service: Thirty participants partnered with the local community and non-profitÂ Simply Smiles to renovate homes in the town of La Plant and build a cistern to collect rainwater for irrigation, and supported local youth with summer camp activities, art projects, a basketball tournament and community meals.
- 2017 Bearing Witness Plunge: Lakota Hosts Manny Iron Hawk, Rene Fasthorse Iron Hawk and Violet Catches led twenty-eightÂ Zen Peacemakers in an intimate ‘rolling’Â retreat through sacred sites like The Little Bighorn River and Bear Lodge.Â There, peacemakers were told cherished traditional stories and listened to present-day experiences of Lakota life in the United States. Many of the participants had been to bearing witness retreats in Rwanda, Auschwitz and Bosnia, and weaving those experiences together with the narrative of the Native Americans resulted in a rich and powerful experience.
â€śWe had the honor of working on a house that will be the home of a local man. The conversations, the companionship of the people from Simply Smiles, the chance to talk with the future-owner of the home and get his perspective on the Res, and the satisfaction of contributing to such a worthwhile project filled our hearts.â€ťÂ —Â Plunge Participant
Support of our MembersÂ Around the World – Zen Peacemakers International is dedicated to supporting our members in carrying forward actions in the spirit of the Three Tenets, by providing guidance along the way and outreach through our global network. In 2017 we supported our affiliates in:
- SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: BEARING WITNESS RETREAT in Bosnia-Herzegovina:Â Zen Peacemakers Members, led by Zen Peacemaker Order Founding TeachersÂ in Europe, have successfully realized a bearing witness retreat in the Balkans, initiated by Zen Peacemakers International. Nearly 70 participants from all over Europe and the US attended.Â Partnered with theÂ Center for Peacebuilding staff, participants spent a week immersed inÂ the lively culture and complex history of the Balkans, and the trauma of the 1992-95 Bosnian War. The organizers drew from their participation in, and long-time contributions to otherÂ Bearing Witness retreats to make this retreat the success it was. Read more here.
- NEW YORK, USA: BEARING WITNESS RETREAT to Land Food and Race:Â For this retreat, Rev. Ariel Pliskin of Unity Tables and Roshi Paco LugoviĂ±a partnered with Soul Fire Farm in New York State.Â Twenty participants from different states in the USA, mostly people of color and non-gender conforming people, contemplated the relationship between American’s legacy of slavery and present-day inequity, and the intersection between this inequity and food production.Â The retreat included ‘hands-on-the-land’ activities interwoven with meditation, council practice and bonding with the local community. Both Ariel and Paco drew inspiration from their long-time contributions as staff on the Auschwitz retreat, and consulted with ZP staff throughout the envisioning, execution and aftermath of the retreat.
- HELSINKI, FINLAND: STREET RETREAT in September 2017 Zen Peacemakers members, led by Roshi Frank DeWaele, spent four days begging for food and money, sleeping where they could, and plunging into the rich history and presentÂ of this fascinating city, using only the Three Tenets: Not Knowing, Bearing Witness, and Taking Action, as their guides.Â Mikko Rakushin IjĂ¤s, Member and First time retreat organizer said, â€śThe whole Zen Peacemakers International community has been [an] extremely helpful and crucial resource as I was setting up this retreat. I had so much support through our online groups, emails and meetings. It really changed everything.â€ś Read more here.
Thank you for your support of Zen Peacemakers in 2018.