177 Ripley Road
Montague, MA 01351-9541
Attn: Roshi Bernie Glassman
Description of Organization
The founder and Spiritual Director of the Zen Peacemakers, Roshi Bernie Glassman, was internationally recognized as a pioneer of the Zen Buddhist movement in America and was one of the founders of socially engaged Buddhism and social entrepreneurship. He based his life's work on a commitment to service, born from his practice and mastery of the 2500-year-old tradition of Buddhist compassion and wisdom.
Bernie created the Zen Peacemakers in 1980 to embody this commitment in a global network of 60 centers, affiliated with the Mother House in Montague, Massachusetts. What characterizes the socially engaged practices of Zen Peacemakers is how they extend Dharma practice from the meditation hall to the worlds of business, social service, conflict resolution, and environmental stewardship. Zen Peacemakers practice socially engaged Buddhism to transform individuals and communities, and have responded to some of the most difficult problems of our time - poverty, AIDS, homelessness, and a lack of skills necessary for employment.
The central project of the Zen Peacemakers is to establish Zen Houses, which are residential Dharma centers devoted to providing social services for under-served and impoverished peoples. In 2009, Peacemaker graduated its first cohort of Resident Trainees and opened its first Zen House, in Appalachia. To support this effort, the Maezumi Institute, the study and training center of the Zen Peacemakers, offers a Residential Ministry Program for Leadership in Socially Engaged Buddhism to provide leaders and staff to run these Zen Houses.
In 2021, a special COVID-19 Operational Grant of $10,000 was awarded to create, market, and evaluate virtual Plunges (Topics). These Plunges highlight timely and challenging topics, including examinations of genocide, racial injustice, indigenous, immigrants, the prison industrial complex, militarization, and climate crisis. Funding supports operational expenses associated with developing and maintaining an online Bearing Witness environment, including design and implementation, media creation, marketing, staffing, and outcomes research. The COVID-19 Impact: Due to Covid-19, Zen Peacemakers faced the challenge of stabilizing and sustaining the Bearing Witness Program, an essential manifestation of Roshi Bernie’s vision, while operating at a significant loss due to the cancellation of in-person retreats.
In 2009, the Foundation assisted in the underwriting of Zen Peacemaker's August, 2010 Symposium for Western Socially Engaged Buddhism, and to that end made a grant in the amount of $15,000. During a one week period, leading Western socially engaged Buddhist activists, academics and sponsors addressed special topics in the practice of Socially Engaged Buddhism, such as social service, social justice and activism, conflict resolution, compassionate care, prison work, ecological advocacy, social entrepreneurship, mental health, wellness and body-mind healing practices, and arts as social activism.
In October, 2007, the Foundation held its first Buddhist Leadership Conference at the Zen Peacemakers' Maezumi Institute's study and training center at the Mother House in Montague, Massachusetts.
Since 2006, the Foundation has made grants and loans to Peacemaker Circle in the cumulative sum of over $880,000 to support its operations.