Originally conceived by Zen Peacemakers and rooted in the Three Tenets, Zen Peacemakers Bearing Witness Programs bear witness to specific and collective expressions of human suffering in various places around the world.  Sensitive to nuances of culture and geographic location in which they take place, Bearing Witness Programs, through meditation, interfaith services, council and listening practices, reveal the universality of human experience — our interconnection.



Since 2015, Zen Peacemakers has conducted annual programs in collaboration with the Lakota community in South Dakota. These programs evolve every year according to the needs of our hosts and our participants, from periods of hands-on service, impromptu plunges, and a large-scale bearing witness retreat. They are co-developed and co-hosted by Native American leaders.


“I would like to share that my family (tiwahe) has been positively impacted by our experiences with the Zen Peacemakers. The bearing witness experience of being actively listened to by people of peacemaking has impacted my family and myself.  In the environment of our present world filled with so much division, violence and indifference, our contact with the ZP have given us brief reprieves from it.  It has benefitted my husband, my children, my granddaughter and myself by giving us hope in knowing and being reassured that there are such beautiful people coming together, endeavoring, bearing witness, living as one consciousness and doing service for others. We look forward to further and future coming together with the Zen Peacemakers in hopes of positively impacting our relatives in our communities, as well as our nation and world relatives. Peace and blessings to all. Staying in prayer for our nation and world.”

–Renee Fast Horse Iron Hawk, Maspegnaka Thiospaye