Kannon Day CeremonySunday, January 24, 2021 | 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. via Zoom
She of the true gaze, she of the pure gaze, gaze of great and encompassing wisdom, gaze of pity, gaze of compassion, ever longed for, ever revered...Her eye of compassion views all sentient beings. Her ocean of blessings is beyond measure. Therefore you should pay homage to her.
At this ceremony, we pay homage to Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and thank her for her unceasing help. This bodhisattva, so beloved in Mahayana countries, is the embodiment of tender compassion.
After a half hour of zazen, we will begin three sections with bowing, chanting, and circumambulating. We will chant the Kannon sutra in English and Japanese a total of 108 times, recite the mantra of Kanzeon (“Praise to Kannon bodhisattva”) 108 times, and chant the Lotus Sutra Scripture of Kanzeon Bodhisattva and the Dharani of Avalokitesvara three times each. By the end of the ceremony, we will have made 108 prostrations. In addition, there will be special readings and a vigorous Rinzai-style chanting of the Kanzeon in Japanese.
Even if you are unable to do prostrations, you can still participate by making standing or partial bows. Members and their families, as well as friends of the Center and non-members are all invited to participate via Zoom. Anyone who wishes to pay homage to Kannon Bodhisattva is most welcome to attend.
A few notes about the ceremony:
Dedication—Everyone is invited to dedicate the merit of this ceremony to anyone or anywhere they wish. There will be a table for names of those to whom the ceremony is being dedicated. Since the ceremony is via Zoom, you will need to enter the information on this page well ahead of the ceremony so that the cards can be made. (The dedication is no longer available as the cards have been printed. You can make a card for your home altar instead.)
Home Altar Figures—Due to the pandemic, we will not be able to place figures from people's homes on the altar, so the altar will be smaller this year. Instead, you are encouraged to make a Kannon altar in your own home.
Donation—As a concrete expression of compassion, please make a monetary donation for the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) which provides temporary housing for those in need. Checks should be made out to the Zen Center, so that we can present one donation from the Sangha. Or make a PayPal donation here. Be sure to indicate it for the Kannon Ceremony or COTS:
The celebration of Kannon Day affords us a way to express our boundless gratitude to the Bodhisattva of Compassion for her ceaseless, wondrous help. We hope you will join us on this special day.