Bernie, Maezumi Roshi (Greyston, NY 1981)
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 Glassman and the other successors of Taizan Maezumi Roshi, or Bernie’s “Dharma brothers and sisters” formed the White Plum Asanga. The 75-affiliate Zen Peacemakers Sangha includes communities started by successors of Bernie and also spiritual groups from other lineages and traditions who wanted to find affinity in their commitment to social action.
Elder Bob Lee blessing ZPS Co-Spiritual Directors, Bernie & Enkyo O’Hara (May 2005)
Never predictable nor conventional, Bernie’s dynamic and visionary leadership has inspired many to experiment with new forms of practice and service over the years. In addition to the Greyston Foundation and Bearing Witness Retreats, many of these experiments have grown into substantial programs that have impacted the lives of thousands over many years. A small sample of programs whose founders identify as members of the Zen Peacemakers Sangha family and who cite Bernie as inspiration include:
- the Sweetwater Zen Center leads meditation and council in San Diego prisons
- the Jada Bascom Foundation recruits bone marrow donors
- the John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School is a New York charter school that supports students with serious emotional challenges by integrating them with other students
- New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care integrates Buddhist contemplative practices into the professional training, creating a dynamic program that is interfaith and experience-based, geared toward developing professionals and those seeking to deepen their spiritual, caregiving practice.
- My Gluten Free Bakery, a North Carolina Bakery based on the Greyston model that will be operated by at-risk and homeless youth ages 19-22 under supervision of 2 seasoned bakers
- the Prison Mindfullness Institute provides mindfulness-based programs for prisoners, prison volunteers and prison staff.
- the Upaya Zen Center has a two-year Certificated Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program in the areas of Prison, End of Life Care, Peacemaking, Women’s, Youth and Environmental Ministries.