Sejiki Ceremony

Registration and the list of names is closed, but you are welcome to join the ceremony tonight!

ALL ARE WELCOME at this year’s Sejiki, a traditional Japanese Zen Buddhist ceremony honoring our ancestors, calling forth the spirits of the untamed wilderness, and offering nourishment and a wish for peace! This is one of the most important Sōtō Zen Buddhist observances of the year, a time to remember and call forth the spirit realm by making offerings of food to ancestors and any ‘hungry ghosts’ (including our own neglected or unsatisfied body-mind states).

This powerful ceremony summons forth these restless spirits and pacifies agitation and violence within and without. It involves setting up an elaborate special altar, sounding percussion instruments to attract the spirits, and the chanting of the “Gate of Sweet Dew,” a series of mantras and wishes for well-being. The names of our departed friends & family are collected beforehand to be strung around the ceremonial space and are spoken aloud during the ceremony.

The Buddha recommended in the Ullambana Sutra that this ceremony be performed at the end of the summer practice period. Many Zen Centers hold the Sejiki ceremony around the time of Halloween, when in our culture we call forth the spirit world. Participants are encouraged to dress in halloween costume and to participate chanting. Children are welcome!

Suggested Donation:

$20-30/adult; if submitting a name to be read, please consider making an additional offering in support of the temple.

Please donate an amount you feel comfortable donating. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.