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In Birkenau

I've started to direct occasionally and have put up a clip from my documentary "Raising The Ashes" here. RTA follows the first of several retreats that were done at the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland. One hundred fifty people gathered for five days of prayer and meditation at the camp that is now preserved as a museum. As Peacemakers we believe that places like Auschwitz provide an opportunity for personal reflection in a place of historical significance. To purchase the film send a check for thirty-five dollars (US $35.00) to me. It's twenty-eight dollars for the film and seven for handling and shipping charges. Make it out to the Zen Peacemaker Order. It's a charitable organization with 501 C3 status so you're able to deduct it from your taxes.

More about Raising The Ashes

Mail your check to:

360 N. Crescent Dr.
North Building
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
c/o Alisa Adler

Raising The Ashes Introduction:

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The New York Times described "Raising the Ashes" as follows:

Actor Michael O'Keefe directed this documentary, shot on video and transferred to 16mm, about a five-day interfaith retreat at Auschwitz. Teacher and activist Roshi Bernie Glassman brought together 150 people from different religions, including a few descendants of both camp survivors and Nazis, for a "healing experience". With soundtrack songs by Patti Smith and Neil Young, footage of guests at the retreat are intercut with black-and-white atrocity footage. O'Keefe reads a poem by a camp survivor.

The film is a searching critique of militarism and hatred. It holds out the possibility of healing to all societies scarred by violence and prejudice as well as showing the role of meditation in allowing harmony to emerge after conflict.

After the film Glassman and O'Keefe will chair a discussion at which these themes can be developed.

Bernie Glassman Roshi, whose parents were Eastern European Jewish immigrants to the US, is a noted Zen teacher, ethical businessman and social activist. His professional background is as an aeronautical engineer but since the 60s he has worked to combat poverty and violence. He is a founder of the street retreat movement and of the Greyston Mandala in New York which provides social permanent housing to low income families after temporary shelter as well as employment through a network of socially responsible businesses. Currently, he is the leader of the Peacemaker Community, an affiliation of Zen groups interested in social action.

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