Archives for category: Ceremony

On Saturday June 25 shuso (head monk) Myomon Choro (“Subtle Gate, Clear Dew”) Carla Antonaccio participated in the Hossenshiki, or ‘Dharma Inquiry’ ceremony that concluded this year’s six week ango (practice period). In addition to the practice period participants, attending and taking part were former shuso Kuden Paul Boyle who traveled from Ontario, Konin Melissa Cardenas, guiding teacher of Empty Hand Zen Center in New Rochelle, New York, and Dai-En Bennage Roshi of Mt. Equity zendo in Pennsylvania.After receiving the shippei (bamboo staff) from the teacher, the the shuso reads a case (koan) and at the end, comments on this case. Each participant asks a question and receives an immediate response. After making a ritual statement of apology for mistakes, the shuso returns the staff and congratulations are offered.

Procession arrives in zendo

Procession arrives in zendo

Josho passes the dharma staff to the shuso

Josho passes the dharma staff to the shuso

The shuso makes several statements during the ceremony.

The shuso makes several statements during the ceremony.

Practice Period 2016

Konin, Kuden, Josho, Choro, Dai-En, Bunkai, Jakuko

Konin, Kuden, Josho, Choro, Dai-En, Bunkai, Jakuko

On August 9th, 2015, former sangha member Amy Leung and Ethan Elash came from California to Chapel Hill to be married at Red Cedar Mountain. It was a beautiful summer day, and the sangha was happy to be able to support these two joyful people in making their commitment to one other in the Ceremony of Flowers and Candlelight. Buddhist weddings at the temple are solemn but intimate occasions and always full of sweet hope and quiet joy.

Many thanks to John Paredes for his photography.

Preparing the wedding altar

Preparing the wedding altar

CHZC Amy + Ethan-August 09, 2015-10

Taking the refuges and precepts

CHZC Amy + Ethan-August 09, 2015-16

Listening to Josho’s words – after candle lighting

CHZC Amy + Ethan-August 09, 2015-18

Exchanging rings of redwood

CHZC Amy + Ethan-August 09, 2015-19

The rings were beautiful, handmade, and matching

The sangha witnesses

The sangha witnesses

CHZC Amy + Ethan-August 09, 2015-37

Complete joy!

CHZC Amy + Ethan-August 09, 2015-55

Sangha and friends

CHZC Amy + Ethan-August 09, 2015-62

Mary and Amy

CHZC Amy + Ethan-August 09, 2015-65

With Jakuko, such happiness

CHZC Amy + Ethan-August 09, 2015-76

Jakuko, Amy, and Josho….all smiles

CHZC Amy + Ethan-August 09, 2015-90

They went straight to the airport!

At the community room altar

At the community room altar

Sunday January 18 started with clouds and rain but clear skies prevailed by midday, in time for the ceremony of homeleaving and receiving the precepts as a priest for Myokyo Zenki (Bright Mirror, Total Function), Kathleen Batson. This was the fourth time we had shukke tokudo at Red Cedar Mountain. Preparing for this ceremony involves much effort over many months, on the part of the person to be ordained (each, with help, sewing their own okesa or priest robe and other accessories), the ordination master, the sewing teacher and many others.

On the way to the final altar

On the way to the final altar

The ceremony begins with the ordainee offering incense at all the altars of the temple and then arriving in the zendo to begin the ceremony itself.

The official photo for the Japanese authorities of Soto Shu – yes, her head was shaved!

Head shaving during the ceremony

Head shaving during the ceremony

Putting on the koromo

Putting on the koromo

Bowing in the new clothes

Bowing in the new clothes

Zenki’s vows were witnessed by her family, including her husband and son, friends, and sangha, and followed by a lovely reception.

The okesa goes on

The okesa goes on

The new priest receives, in addition to her robes, the priest’s eating bowls and lineage papers.

Procession: Michael Emberson, Jakuko Mo Ferrell, Zenki, Josho, Robert Haake

Procession: Michael Emberson, Jakuko Mo Ferrell, Zenki, Josho, Robert Haake

Priests (including Kevin, now sewing)

Priests (including Kevin, now sewing)

Congratulations to Zenki!

Zenki. Present.

Zenki. Present.

 

On Sunday, May 18, Kengan Jakuko, Maureen “Mo” Ferrell, took her seat as shuso, or head monk, for the 2014 Practice Period at Red Cedar Mountain Temple. Carrying the inkin is her brother Peter (PJ) Mooney and Michael Emberson is jisha or attendant. The entering ceremony traditionally features a ritual invitation from the officers of the temple and a formal request from the teacher (Taitaku Josho, Pat Phelan, sensei) to the shuso, to share her responsibilities.

The photos below show the procession in the abbess’s room in the order in which it moved in and out of the meditation hall.

Congratulations to the shuso!

Procession

Procession

PJ, Josho sensei, Jakuko, and Michael Emberson

PJ, Josho sensei, Jakuko, and Michael Emberson

For the first time in about 20 years, we had to hold our spring commemoration of Buddha’s Birthday inside on Sunday, May 5…rain threatened and temperatures were in the 50s. Nevertheless, we had our largest kid turnout perhaps ever – and the usual fantastic potluck to go with it afterward, with music provided by Kathleen and Tray Batson.

Usually outside!

Usually outside!

The kids did a great job of decorating....

The kids did a great job of decorating….

Josho gave a short talk, and then the kids regrouped for the procession (usually through the woods) into the zendo and offered incense to the baby buddha and poured a ladleful of sweet tea to bathe him. The adults followed afterwards.

Buddha received offerings of a cupcake (with lots of add-ons), sweet tea, and strawberries, which we had also enjoyed during the ‘strawberry meditation’ with Josho before the ceremony.

This event involves much organization and labor, so thanks to all! especially the parents, parent coordinators, and everyone involved in the ceremony. It’s the most sangha-centric day of the year – more photos to come.

On Sunday October 14, 2012, on a beautiful fall day, the Chapel Hill Zen Center sangha and friends celebrated our new temple space, built during the spring and the summer through the efforts of many.

We had a two part ceremony, the first an “Eye Opening” for the large buddha figure now in the room, empowering the figure, and then a dedication of the space itself. The ceremonies started and ended with a procession, and offerings of light, bows, fruit, cake, tea, incense, and words.

During the Eye Opening ceremony the assembly chanted the Ten Epithets of Buddha while the Abbess used a paint brush to open the eyes of the figure: Thus Come One, One Worthy of Offerings, Fully Enlightened One, Complete in Wisdom and Practice, Well-Gone One, The Knower of the Worlds, The Unsurpassed, Tamer of People, Teacher of Devas and Humans, World Honored Awakened One. 

We chanted the Heart Sutra and the Disaster-Preventing Sho Sai Myo Kichi Jo Dharani. And then we enjoyed warm sun and shared in the reception. Thanks to Robert Haake for these wonderful photos, and to all who participated and helped to make the ceremony so memorable.

Thanks to everyone in the ten directions, for your support of the project, and for your practice.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.