“ She of the true gaze, she of the pure gaze, gaze of great and encompassing wisdom, gaze of pity, gaze of compassion, ever longed for, ever revered...Her eye of compassion views all sentient beings. Her ocean of blessings is beyond measure. Therefore you should pay homage to her.”
On Sunday, January 13, from 8:30 am – 12 noon we will pay homage to Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. This bodhisattva, so beloved in Mahayana countries, is the embodiment of tender compassion. Through this ceremony, we thank Kannon for her unceasing help.
After a half hour of zazen, we begin a series of rounds of sitting, bowing, chanting, and circumambulating. We chant the Kannon sutra in English and Japanese a total of 108 times, recite the mantra of Kanzeon (“Praise to Kannon bodhisattva”) 108 times, and chant the Lotus Sutra Scripture of Kanzeon Bodhisattva and the Dharani of Avalokitesvara three times each.
By the end of the ceremony, we will have made 108 prostrations. Even if you are unable to do prostrations, you can still participate by making standing or partial bows.
In addition to the bowing, there will be circumambulations, incense offerings, special readings, and a vigorous Rinzai-style chanting of the Kanzeon in Japanese. A few notes about the ceremony:
The celebration of Kannon Day affords us a way to express our boundless gratitude to the Bodhisattva of Compassion for her ceaseless, wondrous help. We hope you will join us on this special day.