Monday, December 13, 2010

Unknown Territory

A few weeks ago, I wrote something about the ino's calendar, and how many ceremonies I still had to do for the first time -  I think from that list there is only New Year to go. I hadn't included funerals in that thinking, but that is going to be the next one now. I have also written about how we use ceremony and ritual to mark transitions, and this is a great example of how that happens.
This morning Michael, who was the doshi as both Paul and Jordan were taking vacation, and Dana the acting director, thought we should do a ceremony marking Jerome's transition. I was able to find a version that was done when Philip Kapleau died, and we did that for morning service. My next job was to prepare an altar for the room where the body is going to be, using objects from Jerome's altar - his okesa, oryoki and incensor, as well as book and sutras that he had, a small bell and mokugyo.
When the body arrives we will perform a small ceremony - Blanche suggested a version of the Bodhisattva precept ceremony. There will be a funeral ceremony, and a ceremony at the cremation, and probably a memorial as well, though the timing of all these things is not yet finalised.
Here is the dedication we used this morning, after we had chanted the Heart Sutra, and an extended chanting of the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo:

In Buddha’s diamond realm
The sun of wisdom shines without ceasing.
The sweet sound of Dharma soothes every troubled spirit
Like a draft of cooling water.
With full awareness we have chanted the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo.
May Buddha with infinite compassion
Illuminate this endless field

­ For our great, abiding friend and Dharma Brother Chikudo Genki Jerome Petersen
Who is passing from this world to the next.
He is taking a great leap.
The light of this world has faded for him.
He has entered solitude with his karmic forces.
He has gone into a vast Silence.
He is borne away by the Great Ocean of birth and death;

And for those who have passed beyond this life
Into the tender radiance of the heart of the Buddha.
 May they, together with all beings, realize the end of suffering,
 And the complete unfolding of Buddha’s Way 

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