Zen Peacemakers Family


Bernie, Maezumi Roshi (Greyston, NY 1981)

In 1976, the White Plum Asanga was established by Taizan Maezumi Roshi (1931-1995), one of the great pioneers of modern Zen, who opened up a unique tradition of Buddhist practice to a worldwide movement.

The White Plum Asanga is an organization of peers whose members are leaders of Zen Communities in the lineage of Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi.

Maezumi Roshi received dharma transmission from Baian Hakujun in the Soto lineage.  He also received Inka in the Shakyamuni Kai through Koryo Roshi and received Inka in the San Bo Kyo Dan through Yasutani Roshi. He drew from an exceptionally rich background and expressed the teaching of the Buddha in a very broad and colorful way.

Bernie Glassman was the first Dharma Sucessor of Maezumi Roshi and the only teacher to receive Inka from him. The 83-affiliate Zen Peacemakers Family includes communities started by successors of Bernie, communities started by their successors and also spiritual groups from other lineages and traditions who want to find affinity in their commitment to social action. Within the ZP Family, a Zen Peacemaker Order was envisioned by Bernie Glassman in 1994 and formed in 1995. It is currently being re-envisioned by Roshis Wendy Egyoku Nakao and Pat Enkyo O’Hara. Bernie Glassman is the Spiritual Elder.

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 Family and who cite Bernie as inspiration include:

  • the Sweetwater Zen Center leads meditation and council in San Diego prisons
  • 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 Buddhist Chaplaincy Training Program in the areas of Prison, End of Life Care, Peacemaking, Women’s, Youth and Environmental Ministries.