28 of January @11am double feature events! Dōgen Zenji’s birthday & Lunar New Year!

After the dharma talk @10:15am on Saturday January 28th we will have short ceremony to pay homage to the Birth of Dōgen Zenji the founder of our school of Zen Buddhism in Japan and then we will hop the sea of Japan for our 5th annual Chinese New Year Celebration (lunar new year) as we welcome in Chinese Astrology the year of the Fire Rooster or sometimes referred to as the year of the Phoenix.

817 years ago born in Kyōto, Dōgen founded the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan after traveling to China and training under Rujing, a master of the Chinese Caodong (Chinese Sōtō Zen) lineage.

He is widely respected for his  beautiful writing, teachings and thorough documentation of how a monastery should operate. Click here to read more about Dōgen.


Gong Xi Fa Cai ! Please join us for the fifth annual event for a Chinese (lunar) New Year Celebration and remembrance to those who have gone beyond. This is the year of the FIRE Rooster.

After the dharma talk and birthday ceremony by our Abbot Rev Myō Lahey, join us for some Chinese New Year  décor, treats and the symbolic call to our deceased loved ones, followed by offerings to make their current state a more enjoyable one and just remember them and send loving intentions through joss paper offerings.

It is also the event we recognize our completed goals and wishes by offering our Daruma  to the beyond in the joss paper fire and installing a  new Daruma by coloring in one eye as setting the goal (traditional Daruma process).

This day in China is also recognized as the birthday of Maitreya Bodhisattva (better known as the more familiar Budai Luohan), the Buddha-to-be. Thus people also abstain from killing animals (eating meat) on this day.

Every Saturday we offer early morning zazen (seated meditation), morning service, a brief drop-in meditation instruction at 8:30 am. And again zazen at 9:25 am. Dharma talk at 10:15 am followed by tea and cookies.

Please join us this Saturday for this celebration and we hope to see you often!

Dharma talk by Rev Myo “Older…” & Lunar New Year; Sat. Feb 9th

DbrnOur Practice Leader Rev. Myo Lahey will give a talk this Saturday: “Older…” Feb 9, 2013 @ 10:15 am after the morning Zazen periods. Please join us!

After our usual Saturday program will be a Lunar new year event & treats, Joss burning to our loved ones and friends who have passed beyond and to set into motion our next Daruma Goals and say goodbye to our old fulfilled goals!

We hope to see you!

Sat. Feb 9.; A Lunar New Year activity

drmaIn Tibet it is known as Losar and more locally here in San Francisco many of us know it is the start of the Chinese New Year as of February 10, 2013. This is the year of Element Water and Animal Snake in Chinese Astrology.

In our very own SF Chinatown stores are packed full of Joss paper items to burn. This time of year is also said to be when the veil between the living physical world and any spirit worlds are thin and so an ideal time to burn paper representations of money or desired objects to “send” to deceased loved ones in their smoke and ashes.

At the start of our social, tea and cookie time a few of us are going to gather and using a western device of a chiminea burn some Joss paper in our garden to memorialize our passed loved ones as well as the many individuals who passed from this physical seen world at HSZC and Maitri Hospice. It will be a small informal, heartfelt gesture; we can even supply some joss paper for you, followed by a few traditional Chinese new year treats.

This event is not so much one of a specific Buddhist tradition, but has more roots in modern Chinese folk traditions which has some modern expression of Taoism. Ancient Taoism has historical roots that are part of our expression of today’s Zen.

To incorporate our Japanese tradition and lineage we will also burn the 2012 Daruma of HSZC whose goal has been realized and install a new single pupil Daruma for a new year of goals for HSZC! Please feel free to join us in remembering your loved ones, those of Maitri and all beings who have passed beyond the physically viewable world and setting some new hopes and intentions for the upcoming lunar year for you and HSZC.