Leaving Home

farewell 3

On Sunday, August 30th, about thirty members gathered to participate in a farewell ceremony to express our gratitude and formally take leave of our temple home of seventeen years.

We had moved everything out the day before, so the Temple was clean and empty, free of ornament and clutter, yet clearly showing all the loving work that restored and maintained it over our years of stewardship. Even more palpable was the sense of so many hours and years of zazen and practice.

The ceremony began with strikes on the han, the lighting of candles and incense on the small altar, and three prostrations to each of the four directions. Our Maha-kinhin was led by Ken holding our incense offering. We processed through the entire temple chanting the Kanzeon sutra accompanied by bell and umpan.

On returning to the main zendo, we stood in a circle in silence as the densho tolled 108 times. Peggy read the “Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage” by Shitou Xigian, followed by a special dedication (below) and the bell-and-block ceremony, Finally, Karin performed the formal closing of the eyes of the Buddha.

Our special dedication, written by ZCD member Bill Hamaker:

As we leave this place, our practice home of many years,
We offer our gratitude to this sacred space:
To our temple that has nurtured us and given us sanctuary and sustenance,
To the temple of the earth and sky, the temple of fire and water,
And to the wisdom-temple of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
May we go forward knowing that the temple is always within us, around us, wherever we are.
May we keep the temple ever open to:

All beings throughout space and time
All bodhisattva-mahasattvas
The Great Prajna Paramita.

farewell 2

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