Select Page

Nehan Ceremony

Our annual Nehan ceremony commemorates the death of Shakyamuni Buddha.

First, we’ll read a brief story of when the Buddha was approaching death. Because he had been such a generous and loving teacher, his monks, lay followers, the gods in the heavens, and all the animals gathered around and grieved.

During the ceremony we’ll be chanting and processing. Partway through, the teacher blows out all the candles on the altar and we turn off the lights in the zendo, marking the end of the Buddha’s life.

Momentarily we contemplate loss, but a candle remains lit behind a screen and a Sangha member relights the altars from it. This symbolizes how the Dharma is passed on, and isn’t dependent on the presence of any one individual – even the Buddha!

Upcoming Ceremony:

Sunday, February 12, 2023 ~ 9:30-10:00am Pacific Time

The ceremony will take the place of our regular chanting service, please arrive early if you would like to participate.


Nehan Ceremony Program


Nehan Instructions for Sacristan

Nehan Ceremony in the Cloud Zendo

This year’s Nehan festival will feature ritual instructions for at-home participants. Download below.

As in the dirt zendo it is recommended that you replace your altar statue with our provided cutout of the reclining Buddha (see below). At certain points in the ceremony you will be asked to light and extinguish candles, and process around your practice space.


Nehan Ceremony Program – Cloud Zendo



Download Cutout of Reclining Buddha


Join Us In the Dirt Zendo (in person) or the Cloud Zendo (via Zoom)

Click here to learn how to join us. 

Joining us from another time zone?

Please click HERE to download the Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday practice schedules in your time zone.