Native American-Zen Vredestichters

Native American-Zen Peacemakers Bearing Witness Retreat 2023

Wolakota Makasintomni Awachekiyapi
Bidden voor heilige harmonie
en wereldwijde vrede

Medicine Wheel in de Bighorn Mts. van Wyoming en op de plaats van de Rosebud Battlefield in Montana
Zondag 9 juli tot en met zaterdag 15 juli 2023.


Zen Peacemakers organiseert sinds 1996 getuigenisretraites volgens de principes van niet weten, getuigen en actie ondernemen in Auschwitz, Rwanda en de Black Hills. Dit programma is een voortzetting van deze rijke erfenis en onderdeel van onze toewijding om te groeien in verband met de inheemse gemeenschappen van Turtle Island.

Bekijk onze Journal voor verslagen en reflecties van onze eerdere retraites.

We nemen deel aan een Zen Peacemaker Bearing Witness Retreat
Wanneer we deelnemen aan een vredesproces

Informatie over retraite


Cost for the Plunge is $750.00. Additional donations are encouraged to help cover costs and support. Participants will be responsible for all travel expenses, lodging and meals. Attendees are responsible for travel costs to and from the retreat locations, and all lodging and meal costs. Attendees are also responsible for making their own hotel reservations.

When We Participate in
A Zen Peacemaker Bearing Witness Retreat,

We Participate in a Peacemaking Process

To Bear Witness is to have a strong glimpse into the truth that the life of the other is actually our own life itself, that we are, indeed, one body.

Our Bearing Witness retreats take place in places where deep human trauma occurred and where healing is endlessly needed. With our retreats we intend to contribute to this healing.

To do this we rely on the Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemakers. All aspects of the retreat are founded on these Three Tenets:


letting go of fixed ideas about ourselves, others, and the universe.


to both the joy and the suffering of the world.


that arises from Not-Knowing and Bearing Witness.

These will be our anchors to which we will return throughout each day of the retreat. They are a powerful way to live one’s life and respond to the needs of the world.

While a Bearing Witness Retreat cannot precisely be a Zen Sesshin, we do create a container of intention and awareness we all share the responsibility to maintain. Moving as one, sharing meals, adhering to the schedule, and attending all activities are part of this. Everyone is asked to maintain presence and attention throughout the retreat as each setting allows.

Often, we experience strong emotions and reactions in these places of profound human trauma. Our retreat is designed to support us, with Council practice, meditation periods, prayer sessions, and the presence of senior Spirit Holders who are available to you if you need them. All of us should remain vigilant about how our fellow participants are doing. These reactions can be transformative, and we want to protect the space to fully experience them.

Please prepare to arrive with this spirit in heart and mind.

Refer to the webpage on the Three Tenets to learn more


and contact a retreat leader if you have questions.


Bearing witness retreats often take us to places of deep suffering and even trauma. Participants are encouraged to bear witness not just to certain external and historical events, but also to personal issues of vulnerability and darkness. While the entire staff, including spirit holders, council facilitators, religious leaders and coordinators, tries to create a retreat environment that serves these goals, it is the responsibility of all of us, staff and participants alike, to maintain this environment for the sake of all participants. For this reason I agree to uphold this Code of Ethical Conduct, which is based on principles of trust, integrity, justice, respect and accountability, in order to nurture this bearing witness retreat.

I understand that this retreat provides an opportunity to practice the Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemakers: (1) Not Knowing, (2) Bearing Witness, and (3) Taking Action from Not Knowing and Bearing Witness.

>> Accountability. Maintaining the well-being of the retreat is the mutual responsibility of all participants. I agree to consciously cultivate a space where all voices and opinions are heard, the diversity of individual experiences is affirmed and encouraged, and where all participants feel safe in sharing personal shortcomings and concerns. Clear communication supports taking responsibility for both oneself and the retreat, and is thus an act of service to all participants.

>> Transparency. Transparency is crucial to maintaining balance and harmony. I will speak out on matters that, if left unaddressed, may foster doubt, suspicion or resentment.
Self-Awareness. Knowing that this retreat may be arduous to both mind and body, I will take responsibility for monitoring and caring for myself.

>> Right Speech. Mutual respect manifests when we treat each other with dignity and engage with everyone truthfully and compassionately. Harmony is promoted when I observe right speech: refraining from lies, self-serving talk, slander, or apportioning blame. It also includes proactively and skillfully speaking out in a manner that respects all persons involved. Recognizing the potency of anger, I will practice self-awareness and endeavor to express myself openly and generously, without blame or rejection.

>> Confidentiality. I understand that the retreat includes processes and procedures that may involve the sharing of sensitive personal information, and that this information should be held in confidence as much as possible. This caution particularly applies to staff members. On those occasions when, for the well being of specific individuals, staff members need to consult with each other, such consultations will be maintained in confidence.
Boundaries. I am responsible for clarifying, maintaining and communicating appropriate and clear boundaries with other participants.

>> Sexual Conduct. I acknowledge that sexuality is a highly vulnerable part of human experience, and even more so in retreats that challenge our bodies, minds and hearts. For this reason I will not form a new sexual relationship during the retreat with other retreat participants.

>> Use of Intoxicants. I understand that clarity of mind is a fundamental component of the practice of the three tenets. The use of non-medically prescribed intoxicants during retreats is acceptable only when prescribed by the retreat staff.

>> Practices Outside the Scope of the Retreat. All activities should support the purpose of this retreat as declared in the advertised description. No staff member or leader can give teachings or practices that lie outside its purview. Any doubts or questions about this should be taken to the spirit holders for resolution.

Mitakuye Oyasin – al mijn relaties – – is een essentieel begrip van Lakota, en Zen Peacemakers is vereerd om onze relatie met de Lakota en andere inheemse stammen in de Black Hills te blijven verdiepen. Hoewel de formele programma’s onlangs zijn begonnen, zijn ze het resultaat van een 18-jarige relatie tussen Lakota-individuen en Zen Peacemaker-leden.

Sinds 2015 voert Zen Peacemakers jaarlijks programma’s uit in samenwerking met de Indiaanse gemeenschap in South Dakota. Deze programma’s zijn elk jaar anders, afhankelijk van de behoeften van onze gastheren en onze deelnemers: ze hebben zich gemanifesteerd als de grote Black Hills Bearing Witness-retraite met 180 deelnemers in 2015, de intieme, door leden geleide Plunge in 2016 op Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation (CRST), en de dubbele programma’s in 2017 van een Week of Service op CRST en de Bearing Witness Plunge in Montana, Wyoming en South Dakota.

Elk opeenvolgend jaar bouwt voort op de relaties die we ontwikkelen met onze gastheren. En onze programmadeelnemers hebben hun relaties individueel voortgezet door middel van communicatie en acties, zoals een landelijke kledingactie, samenwerkingen op het gebied van sociale gerechtigheid, hun aanwezigheid op Standing Rock Camp in de winter van 2016, een door leden geleide Bearing Witness-retraite in Minnesota, gebouw een het hele jaar door broeikas in Pine Ridge, en in vele andere vormen. Sommige van deze verhalen worden verteld in ons online Journal .

Onze Lakota-vrienden, met hun diepe reserves van nederigheid, geloof en volharding, zullen de weg wijzen. We zullen hen ontmoeten met een diep luisterend oor, respect en de intentie om nieuwe zaden van zorg, vertrouwen en welzijn te planten voor al onze relaties.

Dit programma zal worden uitgevoerd door het leiderschapsteam en in de geest van de drie principes van Zen Peacemakers. Hoewel er een vaste structuur en raamwerk is dat wordt gefaciliteerd door de leiders, moet u er rekening mee houden dat de agenda op elk moment kan veranderen, omdat we getuigen van wat er van moment tot moment en van dag tot dag gebeurt. Flexibiliteit is essentieel.

De bedoelingen en de geest van dit programma zullen zorgvuldig en subtiel worden gehandhaafd door de programmabegeleiders. Houd rekening met hun instructies.

Zen Peacemakers Journal