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Group Description

Obon or "Ullambana" (S) is a Buddhist festival which invites us to investigate our connectedness to others while also reminding us of our great responsibility to repay our deceased parents and family for their care and effort. The Buddha said, "The gravity of debt we owe to our parents is as boundless as the heavens." Obon allows us an opportunity to STOP, and invite our ancestors to once again share our lives. During Obon we repay some of this debt by reaffirming our responsibility to honor our loved-ones and to treat all sentient beings with compassion, understanding and patience. Obon also helps us address our fears and insecurities stemming from the transient nature of form. Obon at Blue Mountain Zendo is open to the public and you do not need to be Buddhist to attend. The ceremony begins with the decoration and lighting of the temple lanterns which guide our ancestors back home. Pictures of our ancestors are then placed on the main alter and lanterns are then offered to each individual to be decorated with the names of their deceased. This decoration is a fun time for the kids to color and decorate while they are reminded of family they never met or who only knew a short time. Family is something that is too often forgotten in this culture and if not for their efforts we would not have the honor of this birth. A catered vegetarian meal is then served in an atmosphere of live acoustic jazz music to celebrate the occasion. After dinner, a special service and Dharma talk are offered outside under the stars. During this service, the names of the deceased are recited by the temple priest and the main bonfire is lite. The lanterns are then lite as well and placed in rows along the Obon alter. Rice and water are then offered to the hungry ghosts while Master *Shakuhachi player Nora Nohraku Suggs offers meditative music. PS - There will be a marionette movement workshop for the children offered by Grace Spruiell.

FMI Please Call - 1-610-760-3033 or email at

Group Information

  • 24
  • Zen
  • Aug 7, 2006
  • English

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