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Toronto Zen Centre

A Buddhist Community


Toronto Zen Centre

New Year's Ceremony

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The New Year's Ceremony at the Centre, which will be held on Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 beginning at 8pm, is an especially significant event for Buddhists. Members and their family and friends are invited to attend (but no young children, please).

The Ceremony brings into focus, in a very tangible and direct way, this time of renewal — both spiritual and physical. In advance of the ceremony, we prepare our homes and our practice at the Centre by a symbolic ritual of a thorough-going cleaning. During the ceremony we rededicate our practice: there is zazen, a Repentance Ceremony, chanting, and a Peace Prayer. During periods of zazen, non-sitters may either wait in the downstairs kitchen, or use a chair in the zendo.

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The evening's formal events begin with rounds of zazen in the Zendo, followed by a Repentance Ceremony in the Buddha Hall. After a small break, we continue with Zazen and reading of participants' New Year's Resolutions, followed by a special (and quite noisy!) Driving-out-the-Demons circumambulation of the entire house. At midnight, we conclude with a beautiful candle lighting vigil, and a Reading of the New Year's Prayer.

What to Bring: If attending the ceremony, please bring a noise making instrument: drum, gong, whistle, harmonica, rattle, etc.

Following the Ceremony, in the early morning of the New Year, participants will have refreshments downstairs in the kitchen. Anyone who wishes to stay overnight at the Centre, especially if they are travelling from some distance, is welcome to do so. Please see the office in advance about this.

If you plan to attend the ceremony, please add your name to the New Year's Ceremony sign-up sheetin the Common Room, or contact/e-mail the office to add any name(s) on your behalf. Please be sure to indicate if you are bringing family and/or friends with you.

New to the Centre?

If you are not a member and are visiting the Centre, please get in touch with the office, so that we may plan to give you an advance orientation to some formalities - held at: 7:00 pm.

The Zen Centre's New Year's Eve Ceremony Schedule is:

  • 8:00-9:30 pm — Formal zazen with kinhin. Ringing of Temple Bell begins.
  • 9:30 — Repentance ceremony followed by a short tea break.
  • 10:30 — Formal zazen, including reading of resolutions (anonymously made) in the zendo.
  • 11:40 — Purification of Altars
  • 11:50 — Driving Out of Demons Circumambulation
  • 12:00 — Candle Lighting ceremony, New Year's Prayer.
  • 12:20 — Refreshments

Please come join us if you can, for a most inspiring ceremony.