ZPI encourages reflections from retreat participants, staff, members & others touched by our work and doing similar work from around the world, as part of the practice of bearing witness. Kineret Ando Yardena, a poet, artist, chaplain and long time participant of many of the Zen Peacemakers bearing witness retreats, shares a poem that draws upon the practice of ZPI’s three tenets- Not Knowing, Bearing Witness, and Taking Action.
For the ones who choose to walk towards suffering
trying to scoop it up,
to tend it
to carry it even for a pulse – before handing it back;
who move again and again toward the seeing, the bending, the scooping
even when what is scooped
spills out like sand between the hollows and knuckle cracks of our fingers
leaving us unsure
if we have done any good.
It is a different kind of scooping.
It is a different kind of good.
Maybe that’s why against our better knowing
we keep choosing to walk towards suffering
when every other impulse, every other voice, would have us stop.
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