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Online: O-Bon

August 16, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Dear Sangha Members and Dharma Friends,

We are nearing our sacred O-Bon celebration, during which we call back the spirits of those who have passed on during the course of our lives. This O-Bon 2020 is an unprecedented occasion, with so many losses all around the globe.

Holding this annual community ceremony is always of great importance as a way of expressing our gratitude to our dear departed family members, friends, and teachers, but it is especially so at this challenging time. With deep concern for each other’s health and wellbeing during the raging pandemic, we have had to come up with a creative way to honor our loved ones even though we must limit in-person attendance to the residents at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, all of whom went through a two-week quarantine earlier this year.

The residents will perform the O-Bon service, following the traditional format. A video will be made of the Friday opening fire and the ceremony on Saturday evening, including the calling of your dear ones’ names; my O-Bon address, which I’ll give that evening from the Zen Center of Syracuse; and the setting forth of the lanterns on Beecher Lake. All of this will be integrated into the video, which we will show at 11 a.m. Sunday, August 16, at our regularly scheduled Threefold Sangha meeting.

We encourage you to participate in calling back the spirits of the departed by sending us the names of those whom you wish to commemorate. We will print out the names, attach them to the lanterns, and read them aloud during the O-Bon ceremony. The full list of names will be incorporated into the O-Bon video.

Please submit the list of your names, in English or Japanese, by August 3rd via email to New York Zendo (office@zenstudies.org). The suggested donation is $100, or whatever your financial circumstances will allow; your support is crucial at this time, when we have no income from our usual programming. Please visit the O-Bon QGiv page to submit your donation, or mail a check directly to New York Zendo, 223 E 67th Street, New York, NY 10065.

We know that some people are struggling financially, and we want to make this offering available to everyone, regardless of ability to pay. If you can afford more, please consider giving at a higher level to help support others. No matter how much you donate, your submitted names will be included. Your generous support will help the Zen Studies Society to remain strong as we continue our work on behalf of all beings.


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August 16, 2020
11:00 am - 12:30 pm



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