Seasonal Celebrations

Rohatsu, celebrated in December, commemorates Buddha’s Enlightenment. We honor this occasion by reading accounts of his enlightenment experience and sharing our own experiences of personal enlightenment.

In the spring we celebrate Buddha’s birthday. We remember this event by recounting the story of his birth and symbolically bathing a statue of the “baby Buddha”.

We conduct the Udumbara Ceremony in the summer. The udumbara flower, reputed to bloom once every 3,000 years, is a symbol of the rare and precious nature of Buddha’s teachings. The zendo is filled with flowers, and amid their beauty and fragrance, we read the story of the First Transmission of the teachings.

Fall brings O-Bon. The O-Bon ceremony is an opportunity to release those who have departed over the past year, and invite their spirits back for a brief visit. At nightfall, we gather and inscribe lanterns with the names of those individuals, things, or ways of being we have lost. After a procession down the lane, we release the lanterns onto the Julian Woods pond.

All of our seasonal celebrations include a potluck meal. Friends and family are welcome!

Other Programs

In addition to our seasonal celebrations, special Zen events include weekend sesshin (meditation retreats) and full days of meditation. Our teacher also guides Zen students in studying the Ten Buddhist Precepts in preparation for Jukai, a lay ordination ceremony.

O-An also offers workshops in the arts which supplement and enhance formal meditation practice—workshops, for example, in scroll-making, calligraphy and brush painting, haiku, wood working, collage and movement improvisation.

Local teachers and college professors bring students to O-An to learn the basics of Buddhism and Zen meditation. Additionally, representatives from O-An have led meditation groups for neighboring churches and religious groups as well as for a small but devoted group of Zen practitioners at Rockview Penitentiary in Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania.

O-An’s programs are responsive to the needs and interests of our larger community and they include: weekly yoga classes, mediation and conflict resolution, educational meetings and visioning sessions, yoga teacher training courses, house concerts, and more personally significant occasions such as birthdays, memorial services, and weddings. Please Contact Us for details.

In these and other forms of outreach, O-An expresses its commitment to engaged Buddhist practice, to the health and well-being of the ever-expanding community of life with which we are inextricably connected.

O-An Zendo, 1 Endless Circle, Julian Woods Lane, Julian, PA 16844