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What is a Street Retreat?

“A Street Retreat is a plunge into the unknown. It is an opportunity to go beyond our imagined limits. It’s the barest poke at renunciation. We live (for example) on the streets of Paris with no resources other than our true nature, experiencing homelessness first-hand, having to beg for money, find places to get food, shelter, use the bathroom, etc. By bearing witness to homelessness, we begin to see our prejudices and boundaries directly and to recognize our common humanness. It is a way to experience our interconnection and realize our responsibilities.”
Michel Dubois, Roshi

The Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemakers

  • Not-knowing, thereby giving up fixed ideas about ourselves and the universe
  • Bearing witness to the joy and suffering of the world
  • Taking Actions that arise from Not-Knowing and Bearing Witness

The Three Tenets, as articulate by Roshi Bernard Glassman, serve as the foundation for the Zen Peacemakers’ work and practice. Using the Three Tenets as an orientation transforms service into spiritual practice. Specifically, these practices suspend separation and hierarchy, and open direct encounter between equals as the spirit and style of service.

Not-knowing drops our conceptual framework from very personal biases and assumptions to such concepts as “in and out” “good and bad” “name and form,” “coming and going.” Not-knowing is a state of open presence without separation.

In this state we can Bear Witness, the second Tenet, merging or joining with an individual, situation or environment, deeply imbibing their essence. From this intimate “knowing,” we can then choose an appropriate response to the person or situation, described as “doing the actions that arise from not-knowing and bearing witness,” our third Tenet. This gives rise to the holistic, integrated, wrap-around style of service projects inspired by Bernie’s vision.

In speaking about the Three Tenets as separate practices and phases of consciousness, we are making deference to the discriminating mind. They are actually a continual flow, each containing and giving rise to the others.

Welcome to Zenpeacemaker Circle Bonn!



7.5. – 12.05.2017

More informations see: 

Street Retreat, Paris

02.06. – 05.06.2017

More informations see:

Eindrücke vom Straßenretreat:


Bernie Glassman Roshi, Founder of Zenpeacemaker Order

Michel Dubois Roshi, Paris

Frank de Waele Roshi,
Zenpeacemaker Lage Landen, Antwerpen

Bernie Glassman im Interview

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Bernie Glassman: “The Dude and the Zen Master” | Talks at Google

Something’s wrong in the State of Denmark