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Jizo Ceremony for Those Who are Grieving


Saturday, May 30
2-4 pm PT


Ceremony leaders:
Chris Fortin, Rev. Jennifer Block, Dojin Sarah Emerson


 ~  A Zoom-based event ~


Everyone is welcome.
By donation.

About the Ceremony

Jizo Bodhisattva is the bodhisattva of fearlessly shepherding those who are crossing realms: from life into death, from birth into life, from a place of the known into the unknown.

The Jizo ceremony, traditionally focused on protection and nurturance for children who have died, is one that calls forth the qualities of Jizo: unconditional love, great commitment, and unshakable fearlessness. In this ceremony, we will draw upon the power of Jizo as we turn fully towards the deep process of grieving and letting go for loved ones who have died, for losses of any kind, and for the great uncertainty we are currently facing.

While traditionally we gather in person for this ceremony, we have adapted this ceremony to an online format to support one another, even as our ability to join together in person is restricted. The ceremony will consist of three parts:
  1. Gathering together to hear about the tradition and archetype of Jizo Bodhisattva and the traditions of this ritual
  2. Time to create offerings or renderings of Jizo from items found at home to be used in the ceremony.
  3. Coming together again to share what we have made and witness one another's offerings in ceremony

To Prepare

In preparation, we ask that all participants:
  • Create a space in your home that allows for quiet, contemplative atmosphere for the duration of the ceremony
  • If possible, create an altar with a bowl and candle, and any other objects that are meaningful to you
  • Gather materials you would need to render a Jizo (see suggestions below).
It is important to know you do not need to be “crafty” to participate in this ceremony (we have seen participants of all abilities create offerings in this ritual), but please bring a willingness to engage creatively with your hands.

Suggestions for creating Jizos and materials to have on hand:
  • Sewing, bundling, gathering
  • Using found objects from nature or your home
  • Clay, salt dough, bees' wax
  • Knitting/ hand-crafting
  • Drawing, painting, etc.
  • Red is the traditional color associated with Jizo, but red materials are not essential

To Register

Please register by May 28 or ask questions by sending an email to Chris Fortin at or Dojin Sara Emerson at

The link to the Zoom meeting room will be emailed to registered participants.
Header image: Kano Motonobu, Eight Views of the Xiao-Xiang Region (Shosho Hakkei), first half 16th century. Hanging scroll: ink on paper; with ivory rollers. Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery.
© 2020 Everyday Zen Foundation

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