Sōtō Zen Year-End Ceremony at Austin Zen Center

Things to do Free

Just because it’s not outrageously debaucherous doesn’t mean it won’t be a fulfilling New Year’s celebration. The Austin Zen Center opens its event description with an apt quote from renowned Zen Buddhist monk Suzuki Roshi: “Moment after moment we should renew our life, we should not stick to old ideas of what life is, or what our way of life is. Especially at the end of the year we should completely renew our feelings and completely clean even our cars. If we always stick to old ideas and always repeat the same thing over and over again, then we are confined in our old way of life. Some excitement or some occasion is necessary to encourage us along.” Aligning with that mindset, there will be temple cleaning, chanting for compassion/awakening, toshi-koshi noodles to symbolize “year bringing,” sitting and walking meditations, literally ringing in the New Year with 108 (!) bells and a bonfire purification ceremony accompanied by celebratory toast (we’re guessing it’s tea).

By: David Brendan Hall

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