Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tetsugen Bernard Glassman

Bernie Glassman, aka Tetsugen Bernard Glassman, is an American Zen Buddhist roshi and co-founder of the Zen Peacemakers, an organization established in 1996 with his late wife Sandra Jishu Holmes.
Bernard Glassman was born to Jewish immigrants in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York in 1939.
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.
In 1982 Glassman opened Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, New York, an effort to help alleviate the widespread homelessness in the area. The bakery provided jobs for inner city residents who lacked education and skills. The proceeds helped to fund what he called the Zen Community of New York.
Glassman has become 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 and dokusan in alleys."

1 comment:

  1. If there is any hope for American Buddhism, it rests with people like Bernie Glassman and his engaged Buddhism. I have much respect for him and his outreach work. James Ishmael Ford, someone I've known in the past, eloquently describes the Buddhist reformation/revolution.