May We Gather: A National Buddhist Memorial Ceremony for Asian American Ancestors is the first national Buddhist memorial service in response to anti-Asian violence. The ceremony will be livestreamed from Higashi Honganji Temple in Los Angeles, which was vandalized earlier this year. The event will be freely broadcast online and will bring together Asian American Buddhists and their allies to heal in community together.
On May 4th, 2021, exactly seven weeks, or forty-nine days, will have passed since the Atlanta shootings claimed the lives of eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, including the 63-year-old Buddhist Yong Ae Yue. In many Buddhist traditions, forty-nine days after death marks an important transition for the bereaved. May We Gather will feature Buddhist chanting and reflections from forty-nine Asian American Buddhist leaders of South, Southeast, and East Asian descent in a communal ritual to honor people who have died from acts of anti-Asian violence in the United States.
The hourlong event will be held on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 at 4pm PDT (7pm EST). Brooklyn Zen Center is a partner sangha to this gathering and we invite all to join us in this ceremony on May 4th.
The livestream is free and registration is not required. Attendees will have an opportunity during the ceremony to jointly recite the names of those who we are memorializing (the names will appear onscreen) and to provide an offering. As you watch from wherever you are, we invite you to come prepared with a light source (such as a candle or flashlight), incense, or a flower (in white, yellow, or a color of your choice) for this part of the ceremony.