Wednesday, May 18th at 6:45pm - Please Register
We will be holding the 1-year Memorial Ceremony for Mark on May 18th, 2022 at 6:45pm in the temple.
This ceremony is open to in-person participation to those who have registered their vaccination status with us. All are welcome to join us online.
On Conducting a Buddhist Memorial Service
“Hoji (a Buddhist service) referred originally to the teachings of the Buddha, and familiarization with the heart of the Buddha. However, it later came to refer in general to a Buddhist ritual or ceremony, or a memorial service for the deceased. In a memorial service, the chief mourner (seshu) gains merit through virtuous deeds like offering food, drink, and flowers to the Buddha, or chanting sutras. S/he then transfers this merit to his/her deceased family members and ancestors, making a prayer that all beings, including him/herself, attain the Buddhist Path. As chief mourner, it is important that one understand the meaning and appropriate manners for the service so that it can be carried out earnestly.”
With the passing of our Dharma brother Mark Bykoski, we have taken up a collection for a memorial bench to be placed in a soon to be revealed on-site memorial garden honoring departed sangha members & supporters. There are multiple ways to contribute to this intention:
- We are looking for folks who are interested in joining a planning group to determine logistics and resources.
- We are fundraising for the purchase of a memorial bench in Mark’s name.
We believe that the creation of such a memorial space in honor and commemoration of AZC sangha members & supporters who have passed will bring great benefit to our sangha and beyond, and look forward to creating a nurturing and contemplative outdoor space for all to benefit from. We believe Mark would have strongly supported such an endeavor!
Thank you in advance for your participation and support.
[Written in July, 2021]
It is with deep sadness to announce the recent passing of our beloved Dharma brother, Mark Bykoski. As many of you may know, Mark had been struggling with metastasized cancer for the past year and a half. Over the past couple of months, Mark’s disease progressed, and he was in and out of the hospital for treatment. Some of you may have seen him at our recent Saturday Morning Program, where he zoomed in from his hospital bed, embodying his usual good-natured humor and warmth.
Mark started losing energy rapidly last week after returning from the hospital to his home in Austin, and passed away peacefully on Tuesday – thankfully surrounded by good friends, and with his cat Emma in his lap. He is survived by his mother and younger sister in Maryland, his uncle in Ohio, as well as a rich and vast network of beings who were fortunate enough to have had their lives touched by Mark’s tremendous kindness, loyalty, humor, and compassion.
A number of sangha friends have come together in memory and honor of Mark, including:
- Kim Mosley has collected some of Mark’s contributions to Just This – Zen Journal from the weekly Zen Writing Group, and is gathering stories, photos, and other reflections about Mark. Kim may be contacted HERE.
- Pat Yingst organized a gathering to make origami cranes together for the memorial service, an activity which delighted Mark. We were able to produce hundreds of cranes together in loving memory of Mark.
- The Memorial Ceremony was held in the side yard at Austin Zen Center on Tuesday, May 25th. Please feel free to Download the Program from the ceremony.
May Mark find peace, contentment, and freedom in his transition from this world into the vast and tender radiance of the Buddha’s Compassion and Wisdom.
In gratitude for Mark, his friends & family, and his wholehearted practice of the Buddhadharma,
Rev. Doshin Mako Voelkel