In 1994, after a street retreat in Washington D.C., the name Zen Peacemakers was adopted by the socially engaged Buddhist community that grew under Zen Master Bernie Glassman’s leadership starting in 1980. Today Zen Peacemakers is a virtual organization with a small board, advisory board and staff organized around Bernie Glassman for supporting the vision and inspiration for Socially Engaged Buddhism throughout the world.
Like many Dharmic traditions, Zen Buddhism stresses the importance of lineage based on the one-on-one relationship and direct transmission and succession from teacher to student. Successors of one teacher share commonalities and form a community. Bernie and the other successors of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, or Bernie’s “Dharma brothers and sisters” formed the White Plum Asanga. The 70-affiliate Zen Peacemakers Sangha includes communities started by successors of Bernie Glassman and also spiritual groups from other lineages and traditions who wanted to find affinity in their commitment to social action.