This is why you should join us at Auschwitz.

Via on May 27, 2011

The city of death…

…could not have been created…

…without modern technology…

… and modern mass media and politics.

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How can we respond to the world’s suffering?

We can remember,

…practice additional technology,

… and create new media.


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When I entered the gates of Auschwitz, I was struck by the shear scale.  How could I practice the three tenets of the Zen Peacemakers (not-knowing, bearing witness and loving actions) here?  No pre-modern king could have motivated and organized a society to execute such a task.  The same collective power that toppled monarchy starting with the French Revolution reached its darkest pinnacle at Auschwitz.  It couldn’t have been done without modern transportation, communication and weapons.

But I don’t blame technology.  I love technology.  I love connecting with people all over the world.

‪At the death camp, it struck me how blogging and participating in the retreat is a way to use that same technology to create a world of compassion and connection instead of violence.‬  With an Internet that provides the potential for any individual to reach unprecedented numbers, weapons getting more heinous every day and a dwindling fuel supply, how can we use our technology wisely?

The Auschwitz Bearing Witness Retreat: 15 years of leading interfaith Peacemakers bringing intensive practice beyond the meditation hall into society, bearing witness at the world’s most horrific relic of our darkest depths.

Sitting, re-membering, sharing, connecting.

Fostering our determination to create a more compassionate world and opening our hearts enough to transform that determination into reality.

As I’ve written in ele before, the trip means a lot to me.  The returning practitioners who gather there have become family.  Would you please consider joining the circle?

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About Ari Setsudo Pliskin

Ari Setsudo Pliskin is Zen Yogi who works to actualize the interconnectedness of life online and on the streets. While once addicted to school, Ari has balanced his geekiness with spiritual practice and time spent on society’s margins. As a staff member of the Zen Peacemakers, Ari assisted Zen Master Bernie Glassman in his teaching around the world. Ari studies Zen at the Green River Zen Center in Greenfield, MA and is an Iyengar-style yoga teacher. Ari loves comic books as well. Ari currently serves as the Executive Director of the Stone Soup Café . Connect with Ari on Facebook or Twitter: @AriPliskin.

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