Reading List


Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds UK where a Peacemaker Circle organiser Steve Hart arranges regular mindfulness training and interfaith events


You don’t need to read anything to create a Peacemaker Circle, and Circle Zen is a living teacher when you engage with it with commitment and fun. Bernie Glassman said in a workshop for Google a few years ago that he no longer reads Buddhist books – the best ideas haven’t been written yet!

But it can still be a good thing to study and understand the roots of Circle practice and how the tools work. When we began the Circles, three books were particularly recommended to us:

The Way of Council, by Jack Zimmerman and Virginia Coyle

We The People: A Guide to Sociocratic Principles and Methods, by John Buck Jr.

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, by Marshall Rosenberg


and a fourth book was lovingly passed around on Bernie’s advice:

Liberating Intimacy: Enlightenment and Social Virtuosity in Ch’an Buddhism, by Peter Hershock


Bernie’s own books are well worth reading:

Instructions to the Cook (with Rick Fields)

Infinite Circle

Bearing Witness

The Dude and the Zen Master (with Jeff Bridges)


Finally, if you would like to study the Buddhist framework underlying our Zen tradition, the following curriculum was designed for the Zen Peacemakers by Prof Peter N Gregory, Buddhist scholar and husband of Margi Gregory who helped create the Peacemaker Circles:

The Mahaparinibbana Sutta

The Lotus Sutra

The Vimalakirti Nirdesa

The Platform Sutra of Hui Neng