Ancestors’ Night, Jan 29

Event Details

“Buddha’s and ancestors of old were as we; we in the future shall be buddhas and ancestors. Revering buddhas and ancestors, we are one buddha and one ancestor; awakening bodhi mind, we are one bodhi mind.”

– Eihei Dogen, Eihei Koso Hotsugamon

In Soto Zen temples, the ancestral lineage is chanted daily. When students receive the Bodhisattva Precepts, they are gifted with a lineage paper showing the direct line of ancestors from Shakyamuni Buddha to their teacher.

In recent years, in Soto Zen temples in the west, buddhas embodied as women, going back to the time of Shakyamuni Buddha, are honored in the chanting of their names and the performing of prostrations.

Who are these buddhas and ancestors? On Ancestors’ Night we will meet them, one or two at a time, learn what is known about their life and practice, and reflect on what we can apply to our everyday life and practice.

Ancestors’ Night will start at 8 pm, after evening zazen at 6:50 pm, service at 7:30 pm at and a short period of temple cleaning. Ancestors’ Night is part of the Wednesday evening program.

No registration required. All are welcome!

Access Notes: There is one short flight of stairs leading to the Carroll Street entrance of the building; please press 3-0 to be buzzed in. From there, the center is located at the top of a longer flight of stairs. A ramp and elevator are available via an alternate entrance on President Street; please email us in advance if you need access to the ramp. Chairs, benches, and extra support cushions are available. We are not yet a fragrance-free space; our hand soap is scented with essential oils. Visit our Accessibility Page for more detailed access info. If you have any additional questions about accessibility, please contact us at