Bernie Glassman and the Zen Peacemakers are returning for the 16th year to the old site of the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oświęcim, Poland, for a Bearing Witness Retreat in November 2012.
Bernie Glassman began the annual Bearing Witness Retreats in 1996, with help from Eve Marko and Andzej Krajewski. They have taken place annually every year since.
"I so connect with last year's (2010) experience in Oswiecm [the original Polish name for Auschwitz], I so long to go again, at least part of me does. My parents never went back to Poland and in some ways something about that feels like how I can align with them in a deep way, my yearning to go back."-Estelle Hackermann, USA
Most of each day is spent sitting by the train tracks at Birkenau, both in silence and in chanting the names of the dead. There is time to walk through the vast camps, do vigils inside women’s and children’s barracks, and memorial services. Prayer Services from various religious traditions are offered daily. Participants meet daily in small Council groups designed to create a safe place for people to share their inner experiences. The whole group meets in the evenings to bear witness to oneness in diversity.
I have started a new webpage as a way to discuss issues that you, the reader, would like to discuss. I have started off with some questions that I frequently am asked. I will provide my thoughts on these questions, once per week. Please email me with questions you would like my opinions on and remember that the thoughts I have are just my opinions, man!
Bernie Glassman and the Zen Peacemakers are frequently on the road working to bear witness, wage peace and inspire hope in the corners of the globe touched by war, poverty and genocide. Support this work by becoming a Friend of Bernie today.