Loading Events

This event has passed.

Holy Week Street Retreat New York City, April 2020

April 8 @ 2:00 pm - April 12 @ 12:00 pm

April 8-12, 2020 New York City

2,500 years ago Shakyamuni Buddha led his monks each day in the practice of begging for food, receiving whatever was offered with gratitude. In 1996 Bernie Glassman started with the Holy Week Street Retreats. In this 2020 Holy Week Street Retreat led by Joshin Byrnes, Kineret Ando Yardena and Áine Pierandi McCarthy we will plunge into a variation on this early Buddhist practice of renunciation and the practice of Bernie Glassman.

We will live on the streets of New York with no resources other than our true nature, experiencing homelessness first-hand, having to beg for money, find places to get food, shelter, to use the bathroom, etc. By bearing witness to homelessness in this way, we can begin to see our prejudices and our boundaries directly and to recognize our common humanness. It is a way to experience our interconnection and realize our responsibilities.

We begin our begging practice by assembling a mala, or beads that are strung together and worn like a bracelet or necklace. Each bead represents a person who sponsors your street retreat, and the entire mala represents the community of support. We will wear our malas on the street retreat. Participants are asked to raise a minimum of $500 by asking at least five different people to support them. After the retreat, we collectively decide how to give the money we have raised to organizations that support our lives on the street or to seed-fund new activities that address homelessness.

“When we go… to bear witness to life on the streets, we’re offering ourselves. Not blankets, not food, not clothes, just ourselves.” – Bernie Glassman, Bearing Witness

Please click here to fill out a simple questionnaire, which is the first step toward registering for the street retreat. After it is reviewed, you will receive a personal email directing you to registration for the retreat Thank you.

Click here for info on Preparation, Logistics and Guidelines

Click here for info on Raising a Mala

Click here for info on Bearing Witness Practice

Kineret Ando Yardena is a ceremonialist and hospital chaplain, rooted in the Jewish and Zen traditions. She is also a poet and artist, with a deep love and commitment to the earth. Kineret has co-facilitated and participated in numerous Zen Peacemaker street retreats, bearing witness plunges, council gatherings, and retreats in other traditions. She currently resides in Dallas, TX.

Áine Pierandi McCarthy holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Connecticut where she studied Religion and had the chance to spend four months in Bodh Gaya, India studying meditation and Buddhist traditions. She is also a graduate of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Training at Upaya Zen Center and served as co-director of this program with Joshin Brian Byrnes from 2014-2017.  She recently graduated from the Living School at the Center for Contemplation and Action in Albuquerque. She is currently hatching Chrysalis, a nonprofit dedicated to offering creative and contemplative programs for women rising from the ashes of addiction, abuse, and incarceration.