Street Retreat Reflections, Heinz-J√ľrgen Metzger
This article is part of a series of articles written about a Holy Week 2011 Street Retreat, which took place in New York City. This retreat commemorated the 20th Anniversary of the first Zen Peacemakers street retreat, also in New York.¬† Zen Master Bernie Glassman invited several longtime students and companions to the retreat to become recognized as Senseis and Dharma Holders.¬†Read bios and reflections of retreat participants. Read explanation of ceremony by Bernie Glassman. See more retreat pictures by Peter Cunningham.
Fourteen years ago, in 1997, Bernie invited me to a street-retreat in New York
City. After having been together with him in the retreat at Auschwitz, this
street-retreat was my second experience of practice outside a traditional zendo.
Both retreats helped me to see my true zendo, my true place of practice: our
Fourteen years later, on Easter Holy Weekend, we met again at Tompkins Square
Park in the Lower East Side of New York City. ¬†This time, it was a family
gathering: ¬†some of us had already been previously together at the 1997 Street
Retreat; and the remaining I have been working with in the context of the
Peacemakers for the past fourteen years.
All of us participated in a ceremony of recognition with Bernie. For me, this
recognition has two aspects: Of course, Bernie recognized the work of each of
us, but he also recognized the work of us as a group, as a mandala of
Peacemakers.¬† How will this mandala actualize itself in the future? How will we
keep alive and continue to develop the vision, Bernie shared with us?
It‚Äôs not easy to be a visionary, it‚Äôs even harder to stay a visionary: There‚Äôs
the gap between vision and reality, year after year, year after year. – Thank
you, Bernie, for keeping your vision alive all the years!
January 23, 2020
January 22, 2020
January 20, 2020