Introducing ZPI Affiliate Groups: Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community

To strengthen our planetary network, ZPI will feature newly affiliated groups.  Join HERE to explore some of the offerings of the organizations affiliated with ZPI, and visit here for a full list of these groups.  Following is an introduction to Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community in Cornwall Vermont, United States.

What is your organization’s name?

Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community


What is your mission?

BLMZC’s mission is to support a sincere and dedicated Zen Peacemaker practice community, to serve others by providing training, service, and programs for social and individual transformation. BLMZC fosters the integration of Buddhism, social action and spiritual care to serve people in rural Vermont who are marginalized, alienated, or isolated because of age, ability, health, education, and economic status. We also offer opportunities for people from everywhere to study the ZPO Three Tenets and engage in ZPO practices. We offer study groups, street plunges, days of reflection, monthly Gate of Sweet Nectar ceremonies, ZPO precept renewal ceremonies, and other ZPO practices.

Sensei Joshin Byrnes with Roshi Bernie Glassman.


Where is your organization based?

Cornwall, Vermont

How many regular members do you serve?


Tell us a bit about how the group was conceived?

After a street retreat in Rutland VT, a small group of meditators in this region decided to create a hub for practice and social action.

Tell us about one exciting project, program, retreat or other offering you are currently working on?

In addition to numerous street retreats planned for 2019 and 2020, we are also beginning to plan a Bearing Witness retreat in Montgomery AL, to bear witness to the genocide of African Americans there as well as the development of the Civil Rights movement.

How do the Three Tenets inform your social engagement? 

Bearing witness to poverty in Rutland Vermont during a street retreat in 2016 and another in 2018, has led us to consider serving those who are food insecure in the Rutland region. As a result of those retreats, we started Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community, and we now host meals weekly at a free food cafe in Rutland, in partnership with an evangelical Christian group there. We did not know what Rutland needed, but by bearing witness to life on the streets there, we came into relationships with many people in the community who have invited us to join them in taking action against hunger and social disconnection.

Sensei Joshin Byrnes, in pink with beard, leading a street retreat in New York City


Your main website URL

Your main contact email address for members


Learn more about Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community by visiting their website, and visit to find more great work by our global affiliate network.  A complete list of our affiliated groups can be found here.


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Introducing ZPI Affiliate Groups: Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community

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