January 18, 1939
|Died||November 4, 2018 (aged 79)|
|School||Zen Peacemaker Order|
|Lineage||White Plum Asanga|
|Education||Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute|
University of California, Los Angeles
|Other names||Bernie Glassman|
Father Robert Kennedy
Wendy Egyoku Nakao
Pat Enkyo O'Hara
Grover Genro Gauntt
Anne Seisen Saunders
Francisco "Paco" Lugoviña
Barbara Salaam Wegmueller
Roland Yakushi Wegmueller
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Bernie Glassman (January 18, 1939 – November 4, 2018) was an American Zen Buddhist roshi and founder of the Zen Peacemakers (previously the Zen Community of New York), an organization established in 1980. In 1996, he co-founded the Zen Peacemaker Order with his late wife Sandra Jishu Holmes. Glassman was a Dharma successor of the late Taizan Maezumi-roshi, and gave inka and Dharma transmission to several people.
According to author James Ishmael Ford, in 2006 he
Bernie Glassman was born to Jewish immigrants in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York in 1939. He attended university at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and received a degree in engineering. Following graduation he moved to California to work as an aeronautical engineer at McDonnell-Douglas. He then received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Glassman first encountered Zen when he was assigned Huston Smith's The Religions of Man for an English class in 1958. From there, he continued reading including books by Alan Watts, Christmas Humphreys, and D.T. Suzuki. In the early 1960s, Glassman began meditating and soon after sought a local Zen teacher. He found Taizan Maezumi in Los Angeles, California and Glassman became one of the original founding members of the Zen Center of Los Angeles. He received Dharma transmission in 1976 from Maezumi and then inka in 1995 shortly before Maezumi's death.
In 1980, he founded the Zen Community of New York. In 1982 Glassman opened Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, New York, which initially provided jobs for the Zen students and evolved into an effort to help alleviate the widespread homelessness in the area. The bakery provided jobs for inner city residents who lacked education and skills. Greyston employed low-skilled workers from the neighborhood, many of whom were homeless themselves, and sold baked goods to shops and restaurants in Manhattan. In 1989 Glassman entered an agreement with Ben & Jerry's, and Greyston Bakery has become the supplier of brownies for several lines of ice cream.
Through the success of his bakery–which in 2016 was earning $12 million in revenues–Glassman founded the Greyston Foundation (sometimes called Greyston Mandala) with his wife Sandra Jishu Holmes in 1989. He retired from the Greyston Foundation in 1996 to pursue socially engaged Buddhist projects through the Zen Peacemakers. As of 2004 the Foundation had developed $35 million worth in real estate development projects in Westchester County, New York. The Foundation offers HIV/AIDS programs, provides job training and housing, child care services, educational opportunities, and other endeavors. In 2003 the bakery moved to a new building, which allows for higher output and more employment opportunities.
In 1996 Glassman, with his wife Sandra Jishu Holmes, founded the Zen Peacemaker Order. According to professor Christopher S. Queen, "The order is based on three principles: plunging into the unknown, bearing witness to the pain and joy of the world, and a commitment to heal oneself and the world." Richard Hughes Seager writes, "The Zen Peacemaker Order...has the potential to rival Thich Nhat Hanh's groups and the Buddhist Peace Fellowship as a force in American activism."
Glassman taught about what his teacher, the late Taizan Maezumi, called the "unknowing." Not-knowing is the first tenet of the Zen Peacemakers, and Glassman said of it, "In Zen the words source and essence are the equivalent of Unknowing, and they come up again and again. We have the absolute and the relative perspectives about life, and Unknowing is the one source of both of these." Also, Glassman was known for his many "street retreats." Author James Ishmael Ford writes, "...'street retreats,' for instance, moves sesshin into the streets: participants eat in soup kitchens, and, if they know they're not displacing homeless people, sleep in homeless shelters or, otherwise, sleep in public places. Zazen takes place in parks." In the 2000s, Glassman developed an experiment in sociocratic consensus-based zen training and interfaith facilitation, known initially as Peacemaker Circle International, and later Zen Peacemaker Circles. Interconnected projects were established globally, replacing the role of 'Zen teacher' with participants learning from each other and sharing ideas between Circles. Starting in 2001, Glassman taught "Clowning Your Zen" workshops with Moshe Cohen, and founded a "clown order" called the Order of Disorder within the Zen Peacemaker Order. In his last years, having disrobed from the priesthood, Glassman together with his third wife Eve Marko continued the work of his teacher Koryu Osaka Roshi in developing lay forms of Zen practice.
Bernie Glassman appointed several "senseis" and "roshis" in traditional zen, and established the non-hierarchical roles of 'Steward' and 'Circle Dharmaholder' as coordinators and visionholders to continue the Zen Peacemaker Circles model. A number of his successors have also given dharma transmission to some of their own students:
- Ancheta, Alfred Jitsudo Roshi
- Baker, Nancy Mujo Roshi
- Barragato, Stefano Mui Sensei (b. 1930)
- Barragato, Margaret Ne-Eka
- Wohl, Peter Seishin Sensei
- Peter Joryu Harris
- Jaime Heiku McLeod
- Todd Hotai Watson
- Wohl, Peter Seishin Sensei
- Paquin, Linda-Lee Abhaya
- Barragato, Margaret Ne-Eka
- Bastien, James Daikan Sensei
- Byalin, Kenneth (Ken) Tetsuji Sensei
- Ciepielewski, Jakub Bokkuren Roshi
- Collande, Cornelius v. Roshi
- Dubois, Michel Roshi
- Gauntt, Grover Genro Sensei
- Gyger, Pia Jinji Roshi
- Halifax, Joan Jiko Roshi
- Krajewski, Andrzej Getsugen Roshi
- Harkaspi, Helen Kobai Yuho
- Hixon, Lex Nur Jikai (1941-1995)
- Hixon, Sheila Jinen Sensei
- Holmes, Sandra Jishu Angyo Roshi (1941-1998)
- Kahn, Paul Kuzan Genki Roshi
- Ackerman, Joan Noge
- Brown, Tucker Sansui
- Bruce, Susan Kijin
- Bruner, David Moksui
- Dowd, Cathleen Kanno
- DuFrene Troy Kyokai
- Duncan, Shoko Sings-Alone
- Greenberg, Bill Jikai
- Kahn, Jacks Jocelyn Myoen
- Kahn, Monika Seiryo Genmitsu Roshi
- Johnson, Trish Kojindo
- Mancuso, John Mitsudo
- Kolman, Phil Sengetsu
- Koopalethes, Wally Toryu
- Noble, Greg Tensho
- Peterman, John Reizan
- Sato Gerpheide, Karen C. (KC) Zero Kyozen Sensei
- Schmachtenberg, Wolfgang Okami
- Stern, Paul Kisho Roshi
- Hansen, Eileen Toshin
- Tirch, Dennis Doshini
- Vardi, Eran Kyoka Junryu Roshi
- Wagner, Ann Ankai Roshi
- Senegeto, Thomas Kian Sensei
- Kennedy, Robert E. Jinsen S.J. Roshi (b. 1933-)
- Abels, Gregory Hosho Sensei
- Abels, Janet Jiryu Roshi
- Bachman, Carl Genjo Sensei
- Birx, Charles Shinkai Sensei (b. 1944)
- Pumphrey, Ben Mui Sensei
- Thompson, Scott H. (b. 1948) Dharma Holder (Assistant teacher)
- Birx, Ellen Jikai Roshi (b. 1950)
- Butler, Tim Tomei Sensei
- Cicetti, Raymond Ryuzan Roshi (b. 1950)
- Daniels, Michele Keido Sensei
- Eastman, Patrick Kundo Roshi
- Averbeck, Marcus Hozan Sensei
- Collingwood, Chris Ryushin Sensei
- Woodcock, Jeremy Ryokan Sensei
- Efird, Susan KoDo Sensei
- Healy, Miriam Yukan Roshi
- Holleran, Michael Koryu Sensei
- Hunt, Kevin Jiun Roshi (b. 1933-), O.C.S.O (Order of Cistercians of the Strict Order)
- Taberner, Cynthia Kin Ryu Sensei
- Tacy, Madeleine Seikai Sensei
- Onge, Timothy Mangetsu Sensei
- Seul, Jeff Kōgen Sensei
- Laheen, Mary Soshin Sensei
- Maher, Carl Chimon Sensei
- Montecel, Maria "Cuca" Kosen Roblwedo Sensei
- Richardson, Janet Jinne, CSJP Roshi
- Blackman, Bruce Seiryu Sensei (b. 1942)
- Craig, Barbara Shoshin, RSM Sensei [Religious Sisters of Mercy] (b. 1932)
- Falcone, Anthony Hoetsu Sensei
- Hebb, John Joho Sensei
- Sullivan, Edward Sangetsu Sensei
- Dougherty, Rose Mary Myoan Sensei
- Dietrich, William (Bill) Ji An Sensei
- Ertman, Robert Jin Gen Sensei
- Palmiter, Martine Taikai Sensei
- McQuaide, Rosalie Jishin, CSJP Sensei
- Schubert, Paul Seiko Sensei
- Yee, Amy Enhai Sensei
- Viggiani, Carl Chimon Sensei
- von Wobeser-Hopfner, Inge Eigen
- Lee, Robert Sokan Roshi
- Lugovina, Francisco Genkoji "Paco" Roshi
- williams, angel Kyodo Sensei
- Nelson, Craig Daiken Sensei
- Salazar, Joaquin Ryusho Sensei
- Marko, Eve Myonen
- Matthiessen, Peter Muryo Roshi (May 22, 1927 – April 5, 2014)
- Bastis, Madeline Ko-i Sensei
- Cantor, Mitchell Doshin Sensei
- May, Wilbur Mushin Sensei
- Cantor, Mitchell Doshin Sensei
- Dobbs, Michel Engu Sensei
- Friedman, Dorothy Dai-en (Daien) Sensei
- Campbell, Chodo Sensei
- Paley Ellison, Koshin Sensei
- Bastis, Madeline Ko-i Sensei
- Maull, Fleet Shinryu Roshi
- Merzel, Dennis Genpo Roshi
- Nakao, Wendy Lou Egyoku Roshi
- Berge, Raul Ensho, Dharma Holder (2006)
- Boyd, Merle Kodo Plum Dragon Sensei
- Hawley, Kipp Ryodo Sensei
- Janka, Gary Myogen Koan Sensei
- Nordstrom, Louis Mitsunen Roshi (b. 1943)
- Denton, Timothy Issai Sensei
- Hawkins, Roger Sensei
- Thompson, Phil Zenkai Sensei
- O'Hara, Pat Enkyo Roshi
- Saunders, Anne Seisen
- Singer, Don Ani Shalom Rabbi Sensei
- Richardson, Janet Jinne Roshi
- Waele, Frank de Roshi
- Wegmueller, Barbara Salaam Roshi
- Wegmueller, Roland Yakushi Roshi
Circle Zen Dharmaholders:
- Margueritte Gregory
- Jeana Moore
- Barbara Wegmueller
- Gabriele Blankertz
- Chris Starbuck
- Geoff Taylor and the Western Massachusetts Circle
- Frances Collins
- Steve Hart
- Franziska Schneider
- Kathleen Battke
- Roland Wegmueller
- Ohad Pele Ezrahi (Rabbi)
- Bridges, Jeff; Glassman, Bernie (2013). The Dude and the Zen Master. Blue Rider Press. ISBN 978-0399161643.
- Maezumi, Taizan; Glassman, Bernie (2007). The Hazy Moon of Enlightenment: Part of the On Zen Practice Series. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 978-0-86171-314-1. OCLC 73742251.
- Glassman, Bernie (2002). Infinite Circle: Teachings in Zen. Shambhala Publications. ISBN 1-57062-591-3.
- Maezumi, Taizan; Glassman, Bernie (2002). On Zen Practice: Body, Breath, Mind. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-315-X. OCLC 49822921.
- Glassman, Bernie (1998). Bearing Witness: A Zen Master's Lessons in Making Peace. Bell Tower. ISBN 0-609-80391-3.
- Glassman, Bernard; Fields, Rick (1996). Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master's Lessons in Living a Life That Matters. Bell Tower. ISBN 0-517-88829-7.
- Wegmüller, Roland (documentarian). Japan Tour of Temples, Monasteries and Tradition.
- Wold, Christof (director) (2006). Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master's Lessons in Living a Life That Matters. Loyola Productions Munich GmbH. ISBN 3-939926-00-0. OCLC 182060644.
- Gregory, Peter (director) (2004). Gate of Sweet Nectar: Feeding Hungry Spirits in an American Zen Community. Zen Center of Los Angeles. OCLC 56132158.
- O'Keefe, Michael (director) (2001). Raising the Ashes. Polonia Films. OCLC 51062604.
- Eich, George (director) (1999). Zen on the Street. Project Ananda Productions. OCLC 51062219. Archived from the original on 2005-12-26. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- 1991 Best of America Award for Social Action, U.S. News & World Report
- Ethics in Action Award, Ethical Culture Society of Westchester
- E-chievement Award, E-Town, Tom’s of Maine
- Man of the Year, Westchester Coalition of Food Pantries
- 2016 Babson College Lewis Institute Social Innovator Award
Selected board participation
- The Temple of Understanding
- White Plum Asanga
- AIDS Interfaith National Network
- Social Venture Network
- Westchester Interfaith Housing Corp.
- Christopher S. Queen. "Buddhism, activism, and Unknowing: a day with Bernie Glassman (interview with Zen Peacemaker Order founder)". Tikkun. 13 (1): 64–66. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- James Ishmael Ford (2006). Zen master who? : a guide to the people and stories of Zen. Wisdom Publications. pp. 167–168. ISBN 0-86171-509-8.
- Christopher S. Queen (2000). Engaged Buddhism in the west. Wisdom publications. ISBN 0-86171-159-9.
- "Sweeping Zen Interview with Bernie Glassman". Sweeping Zen. May 2012.
- Ari L. Goldman (December 23, 1991). "Cookies, Civic Pride And Zen". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- Perry Garfinkel (2006). Buddha or Bust. Harmony Books. pp. 33–34. ISBN 978-1-4000-8217-9.
- Robert Egger; Howard Yoon (2004). Begging for change : the dollars and sense of making nonprofits responsive, efficient, and rewarding for all. HarperBusiness. pp. 136–137. ISBN 0-06-054171-7.
- Chris Lazarus. "Recipes for Empowering Community Greyston, Mandala, Yonkers". New Village Journal (1). Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- Mark Roseland (2005). Toward sustainable communities : resources for citizens and their governments. New Society Publishers. p. 173. ISBN 0-86571-535-1.
- Richard Hughes Seager (1999). Buddhism in America. Columbia University Press. p. 209. ISBN 0-231-10868-0.
- Bernie Glassman Passes Away
- Eve Marko, in Women Practicing Buddhism: American Experiences by Peter Gregory and Susanne Mrozik (1998, Wisdom Books US), p114
- "UK Zen Peacemakers". ukzenpeacemakers.blogspot.com. Archived from the original on 2013-05-15.
- ""Bernie Glassman 2: The Circles Are Us"". Michael Stone Teachings. 11 October 2014. Archived from the original on 9 November 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
- "My Story". Moshe Cohen. Archived from the original on 9 November 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
- "Zen-Buddhist Clown And Associate Of Human Evolutionary Biology". Red Nose Factory. 14 February 2019. Archived from the original on 9 November 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
The Zen Peacemakers founder, the late zen teacher and author Bernie Glassman also started a clown order known as the Order of Disorder [...]. Bernie thought that clowning and Zen have a lot in common and that clowning could help people not to be too serious with their practice.
- "Order of Disorder". Zen Peacemakers. Archived from the original on 9 November 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
- "Koryu Osaka Roshi".
- Sanbo Kyodan: Harada-Yasutani School of Zen Buddhism and its Teachers
- White Plum Asanga teachers (Maezumi lineage)
- "Houston Zen Center".
- "Forest Wind Zendo". Archived from the original on 2019-01-25. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
- "Lineage". Treetop Zen Center. Archived from the original on 9 November 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
- "Bernie's Zen Teachers & Dharma Successors". zenpeacemakers.org. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
- "Sensei Irene Kaigetsu Bakker @ Upaya Zen Center". Upaya Zen Center. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
- "Sensei Joshin Byrnes (Vice Abbot) @ Upaya Zen Center". Upaya Zen Center. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
- "Stolte, Beate Genko | Sweeping Zen". sweepingzen.com. Archived from the original on November 1, 2015. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
- "About me..." Shinzan. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
- "Sensei Genzan Quennell (Guiding Teacher and Temple Coordinator) @ Upaya Zen Center". Upaya Zen Center. Retrieved 2018-03-04.
- "Morning Star Zendo". Retrieved 3 May 2015.
- Still Mind Zendo
- "Wild Goose Zen Sangha". Retrieved 2019-11-08.
- "Zen Peacemaker biographies". Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
- One Heart Sangha
- "Rapaport, Al Tendo Fusho". SweepingZen. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015.
- "Lehrhaupt, Linda Myoki". SweepingZen. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015.
- "Teachers". Sweetwater Zen Center.
- "Sara Kokyo Wildi, Yogalehrerin und Leiterin von sarva". www.sarva.ch. Archived from the original on 2016-01-25. Retrieved 2016-01-09.