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Lions Roar : July 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2006 91 LEAVING HOME and BECOMING HOMELESS A Monastic Youth Retreat July 21 to August 18, 2006. For young adults 17-25 years of age. We invite you to participate in a month-long practice intensive steeped in the disciplines of Tibetan Buddhist Monasticism. For information and application materials: (902) 224-2752, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gampoabbey.org GAMPO ABBEY A WESTERN BUDDHIST MONASTERY IN THE SHAMBHALA TRADITION on it. She said, ‘This leads to an imbalance of power, and an im- balance of relationship in the community. What ways can we find to work with it?’” WHEN I ASK Joan Halifax why it was that Glassman made inter- dependence the center of his teaching, she says, “Well, I think at the wisdom level, Bernie sees the truth of interdependence really closely. And at the compassion level he wants to actualize it. And at the level of reality, that’s both his aspiration and his shadow.” “His shadow?” I say. “He’s very individual,” she says. GLASSMAN CELEBRATED his fifty-fifth birthday in 1994 on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., with Holmes and some other students. They were doing a weeklong “street retreat”—living on the streets of Washington with no money, no food, no place to go to the bathroom or take a break from what Glassman called “the coldest winter in fifty years.” It was a memorable plunge. During that retreat, Glassman and Holmes came up with the idea for the next phase of their life together: They’d start what they’d call the Zen Peacemakers family—an international orga- nization of social activists devoted to “peacemaking and partner- ship.” The idea was that Holmes would run with the organiza- tion—she’d take control—and Glassman would be freed up to go off and finally train with his friend Wavy Gravy to be a clown. It took the couple three years to wrap up their work at Greyston. During that time, Maezumi Roshi died unexpectedly. Since Glassman was the only student of Maezumi to have received inka, transmission, the official confirmation from the teacher that the student has completed his training, he became the head of Maezumi’s large and far-flung association of Zen teachers, the White Plum Asanga. But even with all that—and what must have been a huge sense of loss—Glassman and Holmes packed up their things and caravanned from Yonkers to New Mexico at the beginning of 1998. They were going to live there together, in a house that Holmes loved. She was going to develop the Zen Peacemakers community, and he was going to be a clown. But six days after they arrived in New Mexico, Holmes suddenly got very sick, and four days later, after two heart attacks, on the first day of spring, she suddenly died. ONCE YOU’RE in a state of not knowing, you can, as Glassman calls it, “bear witness.” That is, you can be present for the joys and the suffering in the world around you, without separating from them in the way we normally do. And bearing witness in that way naturally leads to what Glassman calls “loving actions.” These are the three tenets of Glassman and Holmes’ Zen Peacemakers community: not-knowing, bearing witness, and loving action. Weekend at Bernie’s continued from page 39