Mission & Vision

Our Mission

We seek to bear witness to the joy and suffering of the universe, and to realize and actualize the oneness and interdependence of life through study, practice and action for personal and social transformation. We seek to connect and empower peacemakers throughout the world. We are committed to nonviolence, inclusivity, free expression and experimentation.

Our Vision

We envision an enlightened society where suffering is transformed into wisdom and compassion and all beings live in harmony and are relieved of the afflictions of hunger, war and disease. Spirituality and service are tools we use to help all beings find freedom regardless of race, religion, ability, gender or nationality.

Statement on Peacemaking and the Three Tenets

Zen Peacemaking is helping individuals and societies realize and actualize the oneness (interconnectedness) of life. This actualization results in a reduction of suffering for both the individual and society.

The Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemakers

  • Not-knowing, thereby giving up fixed ideas about ourselves and the universe
  • Bearing witness to the joy and suffering of the world
  • Taking Actions that arise from Not-Knowing and Bearing Witness

The Three Tenets, as articulate by Roshi Bernard Glassman, 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 service.

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 “doing the actions that arise from not-knowing and bearing witness,” 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.