Bearing Witness

Bearing Witness

A Zen Master’s Lessons in Making Peace

Written by:

  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101625255
  • 185 Pages
  • Blue Rider Press
  • Adult


Zen practitioner and non-profit community developer Bernie Glassman offers powerful teaching stories that illustrate ways of making peace one moment at a time. Each chapter focuses on an event or person and demonstrates how a particular peacemaker vow is put into practice. Through these stories and Glassman’s personal testimony we come to understand the essence of peacemaking.


“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.