A leader among the first generation of American Zen teachers, Bernie Glassman served as abbot of various Zen centers, was the first President of the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of America, and has 40 successors that teach in various countries around the world.
He is mostly known for his fierce advocacy of Buddhism and social action. Named by Business Week Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 1993, he founded the Greyston Mandala of for-profits and non-profits to benefit homeless and low-income families and served, along with Ram Dass, as Spiritual Director of the Social Venture Network.
He founded Zen Peacemakers, an international movement of Zen social activists working in many different areas of peacemaking, social and economic justice, end-of-life care and sustaining of the earth.
As he approaches his 76th year he continues to do street retreats and lead multifaith, multinational bearing witness retreats at places of searing trauma like Auschwitz and Rwanda