We have organized Bearing Witness Retreats, including Street Retreats, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Retreat,and Bearing Witness Rwanda Retreats which are designed to address and transform the roots of violence in our societies – from family violence, to urban crime, to genocide and war. A guiding principle for these Bearing Witness programs, along with the Three Tenets above, is to “Include All the Voices.” We seek to include all the voices in any conflict and promote awareness of and space for honoring voices not present. We seek to shift shame and fear-based core beliefs and values to shared values grounded in the recognition of the the oneness of life and the innate goodness of all beings. We seek to shift individuals, communities and institutions from scarcity to abundance thinking and from win/lose to win/win and partnership paradigms.
The practice of the street retreat is a “plunge” – the intentional placement of participants into a completely groundless situation in which anything could happen, while anchored by spiritual practice. Developed by Bernie Glassman Roshi, the Founder of Peacemaker International, the Street Retreat has been described as “an amazingly powerful spiritual practice.” Street Retreats have been held in many countries across Europe, and in various U.S. cities like New York, L.A., Seattle, Denver, D.C. and San Francisco.
For upcoming Street Retreats, please visit our affiliate’s site: http://hudsonriverzencenter.org/
Over the years, our Street Retreats raised money that was donated to Denver and Austin, Texas homeless services providers.