All meetings and events are open to the public unless otherwise indicated.
All event times are listed in PST.
Please consider joining us!
November 8 @ 9:30 am - 10:00 am
Segaki is our annual Soto Zen “Festival of the Hungry Ghosts.” Mythologically, hungry ghosts are beings who have been reborn after death in a “hungry ghost” realm because of their past stingy, selfish, or grasping actions. In the hungry ghost realm they cannot find sustenance, so are constantly thirsty and hungry – and are unable to accept that which would truly satisfy their longing: the truth, or the Dharma.
According to the mythology, there’s only one way hungry ghosts can get a little satisfaction before they free themselves: Spiritual offerings made by the faithful. Therefore, during Segaki we cover the Buddha image (it would scare the ghosts away) and put out the kinds of foods we think hungry ghosts would like (generally junk food; hungry ghosts are not known to be very self-disciplined or health conscious!). Our chanting invites the ghosts to come and partake, and then we send them on their way again.
Traditionally, Segaki is also a time to remember people who have recently passed away, praying that the recently deceased have peace and are not in the hungry ghost realm. We are also invited to reflect on unresolved karma in our lives – internal “hungry ghosts” still wandering around, causing trouble – and make a compassionate offering in the interest of liberation and peace.
Join us for this ceremony online on Nov 8th, at 9:30am:
♦ Online copies of the chants will be shared so you can follow along.
♦ You are invited to decorate your own altar for Segaki – draping a cover over any buddha or bodhisattva image you might have there, and adding some treats for the hungry ghosts.
♦ Send the names of anyone you would like remembered at Segaki to info[at]brightwayzen.org. Someone will read these names aloud while we are chanting.