Soft heart, strong heart: days of peace and reconciliation in Buchenwald

In the last week of May, 23 practitioners from Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States spent time at the memorial site of the former Buchenwald concentration camp, under the motto ” Go to the places you fear and practice peace “.

The invitation to the peace days in Buchenwald had come from two members of the ZenPeacemaker community Germany and two Ridhwan girls from the Netherlands and Denmark. Thus, these days of peace stood in the living tradition of witnessing as practiced by the ZenPeacemakers around the world in wounded places and on the street, and linked them with the practice of “open exploration” of the Ridwhan School.

The motivations of the initiators

  • We feel the need to look at our personal and collective wounds and see this as a loving action on the path to inner and outer peace.
  • We are determined to open ourselves to our fears and connect ourselves with others.
  • We commit to embody more and more the insight that differences and diversity are part of our learning process on the way to the All-Unity.
    We feel an urgency to understand what causes war, and what peace.
  • We perceive the need for transformative education and training for peace, see the opportunity and are willing to contribute.

Buchenwald Rezitation

Meditations in the morning and in the evening, deep exchange in Council and Inquiry, guided tours of the site and participation in projects of the memorial, writing impulses and proper times gave the days structure. In this secure framework, everyone could find space for their personal process and appropriate contact with others. The overwhelming presence of the place opened up a dimension of compassion for the events for the first time in the concentration camps of the Nazis over the present places of global distress and violence to the innermost perception of their own victims and perpetrators. and shame.

Buchenwald Gedenksteine

The individual participants quickly became members of a group, mirroring each other in Indra’s net – an organism that lived awake, sensitive and in careful contact for days. The result was a field of all-roundness, in which diversity and diversity found recognition and could unfold their opening power.

Some voices …

” It has opened something” – “I got in touch with split-off, repressed aspects” – “I can now understand my sense of fragmentation and take better care of it” – “Something’s melted in me” – “I have finally found words for what I have kept away from me “-” It is amazing, mysterious happened that has changed me “-” This is a direct result of our work here – to look deeply into the shares of my perpetrator “-” I feel the love of life and the blessing of this opportunity to explore life in all its aspects, now so much deeper “-” Through this kind of practice, I remain attentive to the injustice that man and nature are experiencing “-” My heart has softened – and stronger . “

The next peace days in Buchenwald will take place in April 2020.

Buchenwald Gehmeditation


On 10.11.2018 (14:00 – 16:30) Reiner Seido Hühner and Kathleen Hoêtsu Battke will be giving a lecture with Council on the Peace Days in Buchenwald in the Bon San Bo Dojo . The two report in the lecture on the Peace Days / Days of Peace and Reconciliation, which took place as a collaboration between ZenPeacemakers Germany eV and the Ridhwan School (students of AH Almaas) in the Buchenwald Memorial.

The idea for these days originated in August 2016, together with a friend from the Netherlands, Dorle Lommatzsch, who has studied with Almaas for many years and who are friends since a common experience in Auschwitz 2011. The team complemented Kathleen Battke from Bonn (ZenPeacemakers Germany) and Judith Beermann-Zeligson (Ridhwan-School).

The shared experiences with our different tools (Council and Inquiry) in this special place will be discussed in the lecture, which will be rounded off by a discussion circle (Council) as practiced in Zen Masters.

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Kathleen Hoêtsu Battke lives in a multi-generation housing project in Bonn, has been active in the peace and environmental movement since the 1980s, writes, publishes and accompanies people in transition. Since 2011, she has been practicing human beings with the ZenPeacemakers around Eve Marko Roshi and Bernie Glassman Roshi.


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Reiner Seido Hühner lives in Bonn and has been meditating for 20 years and since 2009 with the ZenPeacemakers around Bernie Glassman Roshi and active.


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