Fusatsu Ceremony and Precepts Talk by Ryotan Roshi

Thursday, November 30

5:30pm – 7:15pm

Traditionally held at the full moon, the Village Zendo community gathers once a month for its Fusatsu ceremony of repentance or atonement. It is our way of acknowledging that we are not separate from all the harm and disharmony in our world and that our practice should naturally lead to us to ethical action. In the latter part of the ceremony, the officiant gives a Dharma talk focussing on the Zen precepts of ethical conduct.

A key piece of the Fusatsu ceremony is bowing. Over and over again, we lower our heads. The action of bowing down, together with the action of chanting, helps us to let go of the usual stream of thoughts and reopen the body, heart, and mind. We can all do this, whether we do a full prostration or a standing bow. In that moment of lowering our heads, we can release our vain presumptions about what we know and what we can control. This is the moment of purification and atonement. It is not a transcendence of our lives and our evil karma, in their endless ramifications, but an open engagement with them. Bowing down and letting go of thoughts, we can also naturally connect with our innate capacities, which we identify with the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha and Bodhisattva ancestors. And with the reopening of body, heart, and mind, we hold the means to respond to the suffering in our lives and the world around us.

SPECIAL NOTE TO OUR ONLINE COMMUNITY: Those who attend online can, if they choose, chant along with those attending in-person. They can also do full prostrations at home, or simply do bows while standing or sitting.


5:30pm  –  Zazen
6:05pm  –  Fusatsu Ceremony

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