A Zen Master's Lessons in Making Peace
ISBN 9781101625255 | 08 Jan 2013 | Blue Rider Press
Summary of Bearing Witness Summary of Bearing Witness Reviews for Bearing Witness An Excerpt from Bearing Witness
From the co-author (with Academy award-winning actor Jeff Bridges) of the New York Times bestseller The Dude and the Zen Master.
Bearing Witness is a book rich with practical and spiritual wisdom for making peace in our hearts and in the world. Bernie Glassman tells how and why he was moved to start the Zen Peacemaker Order and offers powerful teaching stories that illustrate ways of making peace one moment at a time, no matter how difficult things appear to be. Each chapter focuses on an event or person and demonstrates how a particular peacemaker vow is put into practice. In his practice of engaged spirituality, Glassman takes people into situations where they can experience problems first-hand, into circumstances so overwhelming—such as living on the streets of New York City or meditating on the crime of the century at Auschwitz—that they are forced to relinquish the comfort of their familiar view of the world. Out of these actions have come the three tenets of the order: letting go of fixed ideas, healing ourselves and others, and bearing witness to whatever is taking place within us and right before our eyes.
“A book rich in heart and keen in wisdom. Perhaps no Western spiritual master has done more to bridge the chasm between the life of contemplation and the life of action than
Bernie Glassman. What he has to teach us is invaluable, if only for the way he continually underlines the connection between spiritual practice and service: enlightenment does not exist in a vacuum. Bernie’s simple stories often brought tears to my eyes. He paints his scenes in a few deft strokes, like a master calligrapher, often delivering a sharp, poignant image with very little excess verbiage. Bernie Glassman’s ultimate act of service may be to compel us to question our own comfort with the status quo, both material and spiritual, to jettison our own preconceptions, and take the plunge into the unknown.”—Peter Occhiogrosso, Yoga Journal
“This bracing and hope-filled book can change your life. Without a shred of pomposity, it redefines the spiritual challenge facing us all. Its real-life stories show us how to be simply, radically present to our suffering world, without pretending to have the answers. And they show the healing, for all concerned, that arises from that plain act of courage.”—Joanna Macy
“A spirituality of hope, against all odds. Bernie Glassman’s wise and astonishing book takes us to the verge of our tormented world. He is like a guide through Dante’s inferno, showing us that hell on earth need not be our destiny.”—Daniel Berrigan, S.J.
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