Bearing Witness Training Program-Second Cohort

Program Begins July 9-12, 2015

Participation Limited to 25 Attendees

When we bear witness, when we become the situation — homelessness, poverty, illness, violence, death — the right action arises by itself. We don’t have to worry about what to do. We don’t have to figure out solutions ahead of time. Peacemaking is the functioning of bearing witness. Once we listen with our entire body and mind, loving action arises.

Loving action is right action. It’s as simple as giving a hand to someone who stumbles or picking up a child who has fallen on the floor. We take such direct, natural actions every day of our lives without considering them special. And they’re not special. Each is simply the best possible response to that situation in that moment.

—Bernie Glassman

Description of Bearing Witness Training Program

We are happy to announce that the Zen Peacemaker Order has opened the second cohort for the training program for those interested in training in Bearing Witness.

The program begins with a two-day workshop led by Jared Seide, the Director, Center for Council, on The Way of Council, on July 9-10, 2015  at Greyston in Yonkers, NY.

This is followed by a two-day workshop (July 11-12, 2015) on the Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemaker Order (ZPO), i.e., Not-Knowing, Bearing Witness and Loving Actions led by Bernie Glassman.

In November 9-13, 2015, there will be the Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz.  Before the Retreat, on November 7-8, 2015 there will be a two-day workshop, led by Jared Seide, on Deepening the Practice of Council. After the Retreat there will be a one-day workshop on Evaluation of the Retreat via the Three Tenets and how these Tenets can be integrated into our lives led by Bernie Glassman.

Please visit the webpage describing the Auschwitz/Birkenau Retreat and read more about the details of that retreat.

This training is required for those wishing to become staff at ZPO Bearing Witness Retreats and for those that wish to create a Bearing Witness Retreat under the auspices of the Zen Peacemaker Order.

Registration, Payment and How to Get More Information

Fee: $3500
2015 Auschwitz Retreat Single Room Add-on: $800

Travel to Workshops and Retreats is not included in the Fee.

Provide a Tax Deductible Donation for supporting this Program.

Please specify in the comments block, of the donation form, that your donation is for the support of the 2nd Cohort BWT Program.

You can also give Laurie Smith, (413) 367-5278,  your credit card information, or send a check made payable to Zen Peacemakers, PO Box 460, Sunderland, MA 01375 attention 2nd Cohort: BWT  Program.

If you have special needs please list them in the comments box in the Registration Form.

For more information, please contact Laurie Smith by: email or by Phone: 1 (413) 367-5278.

Lodging

There are a small number of single rooms at the Auschwitz Retreat. When you fill out the Registration Form please help us with room asignments by filling in your gender. If you are attending this program as a couple, please list your roommate and select “yes” on the couple’s button in the Registration Form. If you have a desired roommate, please give us their name in the appropriate box.

Housing and food for the workshop at Auschwitz after the retreat is included in the fee. Housing and food for the workshop in Krakow before the retreat is not included in the fee.

The housing for the workshops at Greyston in Yonkers, New York is not included in the fee. We can assist you in obtaining lodging nearby Greyston. Let Laurie know if you wish this assistance. Laurie Smith at 1-(413) 367-5278 or by email,

We are making arrangements at the Hampton Inn Suites in Yonkers. We will have a block of rooms at a discounted price, so when you register please give the code: Zen Peacemakers.  The Inn has a courtesy van that can bring you back and forth to Greyston. It is about a 15 minute ride. They also serve free breakfast. You may cancel this reservation up to 24 hours ahead of time.

What does the Fee include?

The fee includes the tuition for the four workshops and the Auschwitz retreat listed in the Schedule of Trainings below.

The fee includes all buses, food and accommodations at the Dialogue Center in Oświęcim (walking distance to both Auschwitz 1 and Birkenau) for  the 2015  retreat. Housing and food for the workshop at Auschwitz after the retreat is included in the fee. Housing and food for the workshop in Krakow before the retreat is not included in the fee. Travel to Krakow and your stay in Krakow are not included in the fee.

The fee includes lunch but not the other meals, travel and accommodations for the three workshops at Greyston in Yonkers, NY, USA.

Schedule of Trainings

Travel to Workshops and Retreats is not included in the Fee.

Date Training Location
Jul 7-8, 2015 2-Day Workshop on An Introduction to The Way of Council. Food and Lodging not included in fee. Led by Jared Seide. Greyston, Yonkers, New York, USA
Jul 9-10, 2015 2-Day Workshop: Council 2: Deepening the Practice: we explore working with challenging situations, conflict, and ‘The Shadow.’ Other than Lunch, Food and Lodging not included in fee. Led by Jared Seide. Greyston, Yonkers, New York, USA
Jul 11-12, 2015 2-Day Workshop on Zen Peacemaker Order 3 Tenets. Led by Bernie Glassman. Greyston, Yonkers, New York, USA
Nov 9-13, 2015 Auschwitz/Birkenau Bearing Witness Retreat. Food and Lodging included in fee. Auschwitz, Poland
Nov 14, 2015 1-Day Workshop on How 3 ZPO Tenets Were Manifested or Not-Manifested at Auschwitz/Birkenau Bearing Witness Retreat. Food and Lodging included in fee. Led by Bernie Glassman. Auschwitz, Poland

The Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemaker Order

Entering the stream of Socially Engaged Spirituality, I vow to live a life of:

  • Not-knowing, thereby giving up fixed ideas about ourselves and the universe
  • Bearing witness to the joy and suffering of the world
  • Loving actions towards ourselves and others

The Three Tenets 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 the services offered through Zen Houses.

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 “taking loving actions,” 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.

Cancellation Policy

If the workshop is canceled by the Zen Peacemakers, registrants will receive full refunds of the paid registration fees. No refunds can be made for lodging, airfare or any other expenses related to attending the workshop.

If a registration is canceled by the participant more than one month (31 days) prior to the retreat start date, all but $100 of the paid fees will be refunded.

If you cancel 15-30 days before the start date of the workshop, you will receive all but $300 of your retreat fee.

Fees are non refundable if a registration is cancelled by the participant within two weeks (14 days) of the start date of the retreat.

All refunds will be processed within 60 days of notification of cancellation.

For more information, please contact Laurie Smith at 1-(413) 367-5278 or by email