November 23, 2011. Yonkers, N.Y. – Jeff Bridges, actor/activist and Academy Award winner, toured the Greyston Foundation last week with world-renowned Zen Buddhist teacher, Bernie Glassman to launch the Head for Peace Campaign together.
Jeff Bridges has been a friend of Bernie Glassman for over 10 years, is an active supporter of Zen Peacemakers, founded by Glassman, and is leading the fundraising effort, “Head for Peace.” Jeff has personally sculpted 108 ceramic heads that become sponsored by individuals who share the intention to embody and promote peace around the world.
“Visiting Greyston was a real inspiration,” said Bridges. “It serves as a great example of how communities can support their disenfranchised. It feels good to be able to be a part of the Zen Peacemakers family and Bernie’s work with the Head for Peace project.”
Mr. Bridges toured Greyston Foundation in support of Bernie’s vision to create holistic support services for the low-income and homeless in Southwest Yonkers. Begun by Bernie in 1982, Greyston Foundation now serves more than 3,200 community members annually through its programs. Greyston Foundation is a national model for comprehensive community development and is best known for the Greyston Bakery, which has provided jobs and opportunities for hundreds of individuals. The Bakery’s mission is to work as a force for personal transformation and community economic renewal while operating a profitable business that bakes high quality gourmet products, for clients including Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. The Greyston Foundation is a $15 million integrated network of for-profit and not-for-profit entities that provide jobs, workforce development, childcare, housing, after-school programs and a comprehensive HIV health care program.
“Having spent decades teaching Zen and working in Socially Engaged Buddhism,” said Bernie, “I am now spending these early years of my ’70s serving in socially engaged projects in places including India, Israel, Palestine and back at Greyston. I am grateful to Jeff and others who partner with us in this work to Head for Peace.”
About Bernie Glassman
The founder of the Zen Peacemakers, Zen Master Bernie Glassman, shifted from a traditional Zen Buddhist monastery-model practice to become a leading proponent of social engagement as spiritual practice. He is internationally recognized as a pioneer of Buddhism in the West and as a founder of Socially Engaged Buddhism and spiritually based Social Entrepreneurship. He has proven to be one of the most creative forces in Western Buddhism, creating new paths, practices, liturgy and organizations to serve the people who fall between the cracks of society.