Online Training

After the ceremony
Circle Training on the streets of Chester, UK

Training as a Peacemaker Circle Steward

Peacemaker Circles are a communal, grassroots approach to socially-engaged spiritual practice, born of the meeting between Japanese Zen Buddhism and contemporary social activism around the world.

The core training for setting up a Peacemaker Circle is called Steward Training. The Steward is a coordinating role to help circles come into being, and afterwards to help keep them running smoothly. Once a circle is established, the role is chosen by an open discussion and consensus vote, and rotates every couple of years.

We can offer personal or group training in the core Peacemaker Circle methods, but the online materials here also pass onto you all the skills you need to set up a circle. If you watch the videos and use them to begin a circle, you will be acting as a Steward in the model created by Bernie Glassman, and you’d be welcome to link with other circles internationally if you’d like.

You don’t need to tell us if you set up a circle – each circle is autonomous, and our coming together is by informed consent. Some circles like to link up, some tend to keep themselves going more or less alone. The vision underlying the circles is one of interconnectedness, and there are many ways to realise and embody that vision. But linking is great and has the potential to nourish us all, if it’s something you decide you’d like to do!

The videos posted right now are informal personal conversations from one of our trainers in the UK, to get the tools online. They’ll be replaced over the next few months with more detailed versions with supplementary written material.

Introduction: What is a Zen Peacemaker Circle?

Steward Training 1: The Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemakers

Steward Training 2: Council Circle

Steward Training 3: Zazen Meditation

Steward Training 4: Consensus Decision Making

Steward Training 5: The Supreme Meal


For more hands-on support, we have experienced community trainers in Europe, the USA and the United Kingdom at the moment, and we’re happy to communicate with anyone globally via Zoom or Skype.

Here is an introduction to our late founder, Roshi Bernie Glassman, in an interview with the actor Jeff Bridges about their book together ‘The Dude and the Zen Master’.