WHAT’S THE DEAL HERE?
SPONSORSHlP FOR A HEAD costs ten thousand, eight hundred dollars. Sponsors for the heads can either be an individual or group with one person serving as HEADKEEPER.
l WAS lNTRODUCED TO ZEN PEACEMAKERS through its founder and Spiritual Director, Zen Master Bernie Glassman, over ten years ago. Since then, we’ve been smoking cigars, studying Zen and rapping on what’s the deal with the state of the earth and its environs, as well as working on ending hunger and promoting peace.
ALONG WlTH EACH HEAD, THE HEAD KEEPER WlLL BE GlVEN
• A box and pillow for the Head
• A book honoring a generation of 18 Heads
• A Head For Peace certificate
• A signed photograph of the Head
• A What’s The Deal Here document
• A Why Zen Peacemakers document
MY lNTENTlON is for the Heads to promote peace in a continuing fashion.
YOU’RE ENCOURAGED to think of your Head as your ‘Peace Avatar’. How can it best serve your intension to promote peace? You might display your Head in places where it can generate dialogue and conversation about its intended purpose. Some Head Keepers will include them in their travels and share peace in various parts of the world. After donating ten thousand, eight hundred dollars one time, you may keep the head forever. You may also feel at some point that you’d like to pass the Head on to another person, generating another ten thousand eight hundred dollars in support of heading towards peace. Or, have your Head return to Head Quarters at Zen Peacemakers, allowing your Head to be put back to work raising more money to promote peace. lf you do decide to send your Head on one of these two missions, the Head Book, photograph and certificate are yours to keep. The Head, box and pillow will be sent to the new Head Keeper. They will also be provided with a book, certificate and photograph of the Head to keep. A Head Keeper may want to keep the Head and commit to making a yearly contribution to Zen Peacemakers. The idea is to have the Heads continue their work bringing attention and financial support to peace.
PERSONALLY, l’ve become very attached to these Heads and it’s been an interesting exercise for me to let them go. lt goes like this: While l’m making a sculpture, bowl, plate or what have you – inevitably, there will be a small lump of unused clay that remains. With it, l start to make a Head. l get myself into a certain place – l invite a certain energy/mindset/discipline into the situation. The energy is the energy of emptiness – total and unknown potentiality. The mindset is one of openness – not knowing – loving what shows up. The discipline is getting out of the way of what’s coming through – putting my goal-oriented ideas/thoughts aside. What happens is a surprise. Every time a Head is completed l look at it and think – ‘where did this come from?’ Some express anger, some joy, some weariness, innocence, sadness, nobility, pomposity, wisdom – some are masked, some sing. l feel the heads are unisex – as much as they are Heads, they also represent aspects, moods, realms that we all live in and with. All are part of the equation – each an ingredient for the banquette of peace.
Family 1 Photos by Alan Kozlowski, Heads and Hands by Jeff Bridges
Family 2 Photos by Alan Kozlowski, Heads by Jeff Bridges and Hands by
Decades of Experience and Impact
After completing two decades of Zen training, Bernie led his students in the 1980’s to create the Greyston Foundation network of social business and services, which is today considered a model of urban poverty reduction. Through street retreats and the interfaith Auschwitz Bearing Witness Retreat, which Zen Peacemakers has led for thousands of participants for over a decade, the community has become a magnet for peacemakers of all backgrounds.
A global movement of peacemakers
Through this international group including 70 formal affiliates and many informal allies, the Zen Peacemakers have inspired and incubated a number of successful and lasting projects over the years, including multi-faith peace circles in the Middle East, work in prisons and soup kitchens and teaching Nonviolent Communication in Polish schools. Today, the Zen Peacemakers are considered one of the most prominent advocates of social action as a spiritual practice.
Building a peaceful future
The Zen Peacemakers current projects involve “journeys to the field,” to the darkest corners of the globe touched by war, genocide and poverty in order to serve as ambassadors of peace and hope.
The following example illustrates how your support will nurture peace by enabling Zen Peacemakers to continue its work of inspiring, teaching and serving. For many years, Palestinian activist Sami Awad has been organizing to nurture a nonviolent movement in Palestine. Reviled by the minority of militant activists who receive a disproportionate amount of mainstream media attention, the Arab Spring has resulted in more requests for nonviolent training from Sami than ever before. As a longtime friend and admirer of Bernie, he has invited Bernie to join his work in order to share his decades of experience and status as a respected figure in peacemaking.
Your sponsorship will enable Bernie to join Sami in Palestine and provide support, advice and publicity to Sami’s work as well as many other projects around the world. Zen Peacemakers will report on and video-record the voices of nonviolent activists and share them with their extensive online community. If the past is any indication, the Zen Peacemakers style of deep presence, relationship-building, problem-solving and consciousness-raising will plant seeds that make lasting contributions towards building peace.