The Order was founded by Roshis Bernie Glassman and Jishu Holmes in 1996. Bernie used a mandala approach to practice which encompassed social service, businesses and non-profits.
Each aspect of our existence, he said, had its own dharma path towards realizing the oneness of life. For this reason, he embraced community activists, business people, homeless families, artists, children, politicians, ex-cons, everyone. He also respected and appreciated other religious expressions, traditions, and practices, and later created an Order of Disorder, comprised of clowns, as an antidote to pretension, demagoguery, and self-righteousness.
The Order’s Founding Teachers are:
In the U.S.: Roshis Bernie Glassman, Jishu Holmes, Grover Genro Gauntt, Joan Halifax, Eve Myonen Marko, Wendy Egyoku Nakao, Pat Enkyo O’Hara.
In Europe: Roshis Bernie Glassman, Malgosia Jiho Braunek, Michel Dubois, Andrzej Getsugen Krajewski, Catherine Genno Pages, Paul Shoju Schwerdt, Frank de Waele, Barbara Wegmueller and Roland Wegmueller, and Roberto Mander.
Zen Peacemaker Priests were also ordained, beginning with Rev. Michael Daigu O’Keefe in 1996.