Obon Service 3:00 – 5:00 pm (no morning service)Calendar View
Obon is a Buddhist observance that was originally observed in Mahayana Buddhist countries, including China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
Obon season is a time to express our gratitude to loved ones who have passed on before us. Without them, we would not be who we are today, due to the basic tenet of interdependence. We would not be where we are and we would not be able to do the things we do to enjoy life. Just think about the number of people involved in creating each of us. If we go back just thirty generations, we can calculate that there were over two billion parents, starting with our two parents, their four parents, and so on—and that’s just the physical part.
Since we’re all influenced by a countless number of beings, our interconnections, and therefore our debt of gratitude, is without bounds. Thus, temples hold an Obon memorial service to enable people to pay tribute to the departed. The service is usually held separately from the festival so that the sangha (Buddhist community) can participate in this solemn and respectful remembrance in quiet reflection.
The word “Obon” is the abbreviated name of the ancient Ullambana Sutra, whose Japanese pronunciation is Urabon. The sutra tells of the Buddhist monk, Maudgalyayana (Mokuren in Japanese) who offered food to the sangha in an effort to release his mother from her hellish torments. When she became liberated, her son is said to have danced for joy.