using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : May 2013
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2013 60 of hungry ghosts everywhere. Called pretas in Buddhist cosmology, these are beings who experience (and represent) endless and unful- fillable desire. At first he saw these hankering, unsatisfied beings as existing outside himself. But suddenly he had the keen sense that there was no separation: he was those beings, they were him. Glass- man knew then that his life’s calling was to feed the hungry, literally and figuratively. He would not stay forever holed up in a zendo but would take the realizations won on the cushion out into the world. In 1982, Glassman and his students opened the Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, New York, a city then plagued by unemployment, vio- lence, and drugs. His vision was that a business could have a double bottom line; it could both generate profits and serve the community. On the ground this meant hiring people who would conventionally be considered unemployable. But—contrary to what some might expect—this was no recipe for disaster. In fact, Greyston was soon baking cakes and tarts for some of the most exclusive eateries in New York and making brownies for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Today, the bakery is a solid $6 million business with over 75 employees. And it’s just one piece of a larger socially responsible business model. What has become known as the Greyston Foundation also includes the Greyston Family Inn, the Maitri Center, and Issan House. The Greyston Family Inn offers hundreds of low-cost per- manent apartments for homeless families and a child-care center, after-school programs, and tenant-support services. Maitri is a medical center that serves people with AIDS-related illnesses, and Issan House provides housing for many of Maitri’s patients. In 1994, on Glassman’s fifty-fifth birthday, he decided to establish the Zen Peacemakers Order. Originally, it was intended strictly for Zen practitioners, but it eventually blossomed into an international, interfaith network. As articulated by Glassman, the community is founded on three tenets for integrating spiritual practice and social action: (1) not-knowing, thereby giving up fixed ideas about our- selves and the universe, (2) bearing witness to the joy and suffering of the world, and (3) loving action for ourselves and others. Glassman sees these three tenets as the essence of Zen, phrased in a fresh, modern idiom. “In Zen training,” says Glassman, “koan study gets you to experience the state of not knowing.” Then bearing witness is just sitting, or shikantaza, and loving action is none other than compassion. In terms of peace and justice work, Glassman explains the three tenets by saying that positive change doesn’t come out of an activist having fixed ideas. What really helps is being completely open and listening deeply. “I try to become the situation,” he says, “and then I let the actions come out of that.” Bearing witness is at the heart of the groundbreaking retreats for which Glassman has become best known: street retreats and retreats held at the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Street retreats combine meditation with living as a homeless per- son for several days, with no money, no shelter, no job, no usual identity. Retreatants take their meals in soup kitchens and learn to survive without even the guarantee of a bathroom. Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, a Buddhist teacher who was given dharma trans- mission by Glassman, has said that the power of a street retreat lies in how it pushes things “right in your face...so there is no way to exclude anything. Living on the street is scary. But the minute you include the fear in your practice, it’s much less scary because then the fear is there. You can touch it, you can feel it, and it’s not this black cloud that’s following you around.” During the bearing-witness retreats at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the lion’s share of each day is spent sitting by the infamous train tracks, alternating silence with chanting the names of the vic- tims. Glassman was originally inspired to hold these retreats when he went to Auschwitz for an interfaith conference. “I walked into Birkenau,” he told me, and “I could feel the millions of souls crying out to be remembered. I said I have got to bear witness to what’s going on here. I spent a year and a half creating a format, which involved bringing together people from all walks of life—children and grandchildren of SS members, survivors, children of survivors, people from many countries, many religions.” This November will mark the eighteenth annual retreat memorializing the Holocaust. Then Glassman will lead a Rwandan retreat in April 2014, bearing witness to the twentieth anniversary of the genocide there. Their mutual commitment to social action is a big connection between Bernie Glassman and Jeff Bridges. Stamping out hunger is Bridges’ main focus, and he has been dedicated to it for almost as long as he’s been in film. A cofounder of the End Hunger Net- work, he is also the national spokesman for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign; in the capacity of this role, he was invited to speak to both Republican and Democratic governors at last year’s political conventions. You might think that such a speech would be no big deal for an actor, but Bridges tied himself up in knots over it. It was four pages long, and he painstakingly memorized every word of it as though it were a monologue. Yet he was keenly aware that a speech is not a movie. There would not be take after take until he got it right—this was a one-shot deal, and the stakes were high. It was imperative that he impress upon both Republican and Dem- ocratic governors that childhood hunger is an issue that should transcend the political divide. As it turned out, nothing was what Bridges expected. The first surprise was that his speech to the Republican governors was Their commitment to social action is a big connection between Glassman and Bridges. Stamping out hunger is Bridges’ main focus, and he has been dedicated to it for almost as long as he’s been in film.