Famine Relief Ceremonies are a concrete way to express compassion for those who are suffering from the deprivations of hunger.
Some people choose to fast that day according to their desires and abilities—for example, foregoing solid food or skipping a meal. Once a year, during the Fall Famine Relief Ceremony, the Zen Center matches all donations. This year, the donations will be matched at the ceremony on November 3.
Zazen begins at 6:30, the ceremony starts around 7:30 with chanting, prostrations and circumambulation.
A monetary donation is part of the ceremony. Proceeds are sent to Oxfam or local food shelves. It is preferable to bring cash for this offering so that a single check can be sent to the organization.
A vegetarian food offering is also made. This should be packaged vegetarian food such as rice, beans, soups, pasta, cereal (always needed), juice, etc. This is given to the Emergency Food Shelf.
Specific instructions are given just prior to the ceremony. All are welcome to attend virtually—in-person participation is for fully vaccinated and boosted members only.