The loss of a loved one often opens a well of profound grief. No matter how the loved one dies, suddenly or slowly, whether through illness, accident, violence, miscarriage, abortion, or suicide, our sorrow is deep and may be long-lasting. To help families and friends in their process of grief, we will honor our lost loved ones in a ceremony in our Jizo garden on Saturday, October 12, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Jizo, the Earth Store Bodhisattva, one of the four great bodhisattvas in the Mahayana school, is viewed as a wise and compassionate guide and protector for those who are enduring the loss of a loved one, particularly the loss of a child. Jizo’s vow is to remain in the world until all beings are free from suffering. She/he accompanies the dead when they pass out of this world.
Before the ceremony we will spend time in the community room making a personal memorial token for a lost one, by writing a message or by making a simple necklace, a robe for our garden Jizo statue, or some other offering. Attendees are also invited to bring a picture of their loved one or other personal tokens of remembrance for our altar.
The ceremony will be led by two BZC priests, Gerry Oliva and Judy Fleischman. All BZC members, members of other Zen groups, and neighborhood residents are invited to attend. A more detailed description will be posted on the BZC courtyard bulletin board. There is no fee, but offerings of dana are welcome. We will not have a sign-up sheet, but request that those attending let us know in advance so that we can have adequate supplies and refreshments. For more information or to let us know that you’re coming, contact Gerry Oliva at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 652-7217.