Remembrance and Atonement on Thanksgiving Day

· Beyond Fear of Differences, Earth Initiative, Teachings

We share with you this liturgy and dedication for Thanksgiving Day. Developed by Hojin Sensei and Shugen Roshi, this liturgy is offered at Zen Mountain Monastery on Thanksgiving to honor our ancestors, the original inhabitants of this land, and all beings of the great earth that support our lives.

Call and response:

LITURGIST : The Sangha has gathered on this day to witness and transform the karma of this land. May we do so with a mind of reverence and solemnity.

SANGHA: On this day of remembrance

LITURGIST: May we know that these sacred lands belonged to indigenous people for thousands of years

On this day of remembrance

May we honor the people of the tribes Munsee, Lenape, Mohican and others who lived and flourished here

On this day of remembrance

May we know that they revered and lived in intimate contact with all the many creatures of these mountains and rivers

On this day of atonement

May we atone for the violence, deceptions and destruction that was brought upon these peoples

On this day of atonement

May we atone for the ways this was concealed, ignored and diminished in the histories we have learned

On this day of atonement

May we atone for any harms that our presence on these lands has caused and take responsibility for understanding and addressing them, and honor and mourn the lives lost

On this day of gratitude

May we express our appreciation for this land’s ancestors and all they contributed to this nation

On this day of gratitude

May we demonstrate our appreciation by living in peace and harmony with the land and all beings

On this day of gratitude

In offering flowers, candlelight and incense, may the bountiful harvest of these mountains and rivers we are about to receive nourish our wisdom and compassion on this earth.

Sutra of Great Compassion
Kanzeon! At one with the Buddha.
Related to all Buddhas in cause and effect
And to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.
Joyful, pure, eternal being!
Morning mind is Kanzeon
Evening mind is Kanzeon
This very moment arises from Mind
This very moment is not separate from Mind.

LITURGIST: When we carefully observe the true nature of things, all are the marvelous manifestation of the Tathagata’s truth. Atom by atom, instant by instant, all are none other than self-nature’s mysterious radiance. Because of this, our virtuous ancestors extended loving care and reverence toward even such beings as birds and beasts.

Let us then be truly grateful for the food, drink and clothing that nourishes and protects us throughout the day, these being in essence, the warm skin and flesh of the great masters, the incarnate compassion of the Buddha. Let us reflect on all that we receive which supports our lives and the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and offer gratitude with our body, speech and mind.

As we awaken this deep, pure faith, offering humble words and taking sincere refuge in the Buddha, then with every thought there will bloom a lotus flower. May we extend this mind throughout the universe so that we and all sentient beings may equally bring to fruition the seeds of wisdom and compassion.

All Buddhas, throughout space and time

All Bodhisattva Mahasattvas, Maha Prajna Paramita

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