ZPO Member Initiates a Self-led MN Native American Bearing Witness Retreat

  PREFACE:The following invitation is to a ZPO members-led retreat organized in the spirit of the Zen Peacemakers’ Three Tenets of Not Knowing, Bearing Witness and Taking Action. Zen Peacemakers, Inc. supports but does not administer the retreat. Please follow the instructions below to contact the organizers. This event is another expression of the building momentum between […]

A Gift of Not Knowing

Peter Pierson, a writer and a participant in the Native American Bearing Witness Plunge in 2019, offers us a reflective writing piece that shares a bit about how the practice of « Not Know » remained with him throughout his return home, long after the retreat had come to an end.

Start Talking Lakota: Manny and Renee Iron Hawk Discuss Reviving the Lakota Language, Immersion Schools, Trauma, Prayer, and Spirit

Renee Fast Horse Iron Hawk and Manny Iron Hawk, two of the organizers and hosts of Zen Peacemakers’ Native American Programs, have been instrumental in the opening of Lakȟótiyapi Okáȟtaŋ Wičhóičhaǧe Inc. (LOWI), a school dedicated to education by full immersion in Lakota language. In an interview with Rami Efal, they discuss language loss and immersion, Trauma, Prayer, and Spirit.

Impact Report: Auschwitz-Birkenau Bearing Witness Retreat

Since 1996 the Auschwitz retreat has been an interfaith and immersive cross-cultural gathering event for over 1500 peacebuilders from different war-torn countries such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Palestine/Israel, Syria, Native American Nations and over 20 other countries. This 2018 impact report details some of the many positive results of the program.

Stay Out: Bearing Witness at Wounded Knee Survivors’ Descendants Ceremony

WOUNDED KNEE, SOUTH DAKOTA, USA. Written by Roshi Eve Marko of Green River Zen Center in Levertt, Massachusetts USA, following the completion of the 2018 Zen Peacemakers Native American Bearing Witness Plunge in July. The event, which lasted 5 days and spanned South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska, brought together participants from across the United States and Europe with Elders and their families from Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reservation. « Honor the Treaties. Stay Out. Apologies are useless. » Those words were chalked on the crosswalk they crossed before climbing the hill that leads to the mass grave of the Bigfoot Band, killed in Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1890. How do you stay out?

Bearing Witness at Bear Butte: Reflection from The Wounded Knee Massacre Descendants Conference, October 2017

BEAR BUTTE, SOUTH DAKOTA, USA. In October 2017, Lakota elders organized a conference of Wounded Knee Massacre descendants in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Following from the connections made during the ZPI Native American Bearing Witness Retreats in August, a small group of Zen Peacemakers were invited to join. They were led by Michel Engu Dobbs, who afterwards gave this dharma talk at Ocean Zendo in Bridgehampton, New York:

The Horizon Greets You From Every Side: Reflection on 2017 Zen Peacemakers Week of Service, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation

CHEYENNE RIVER SIOUX TRIBE RESERVATION, SOUTH DAKOTA, USA. In August of 2017, thirty non-Native American Zen Peacemakers conducted two weeks of programs as another step in a years-long-arc of developing relationship and appreciation with the Lakota of South Dakota. Both weeks were based on and held by the Three-Tenets of Not Knowing, Bearing Witness and Taking Action. This reflection is from a participant of our 1st week, in which volunteers were immersed in the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation community where they constructed and helped rebuild community members’ homes.

Taking Action: Building a Year-Round Greenhouse

VERMONT, USA. Continuing the momentum of the work by Zen Peacemakers on Turtle Island (USA), many of our members have followed the Three Tenets, giving rise to organized actions in service of the Native American community, and developing relationships across cultures. Below is a report of one such action.