Meaning of Eitaikyo

“Eitaikyo” is a tradition that started in Japan’s Edo Period, hundreds of years ago. Literally it means “perpetually chanting Buddhist sutras” and it has become an annual service at our temples. They are held in January or February, depending on the temple.

Our lives are created by many causes and conditions, such as our environment, education, nature and society. Probably the most meaningful connection we have is to our family and friends, especially those people who have lived before us, such as our parents, grandparents and others. Without them, we would not exist.

Eitaikyo is a memorial service, which honors those people and helps remind us of our connection to them. By thinking of these connections, we can see our lives as part of a greater whole, rather than standing alone. Thus, we feel a sense of gratitude and appreciation for those lives.

Traditionally, families who have had funerals and memorial services for loved ones at the temple are invited to the service, regardless of the date or year. Consequently, many people who don’t normally visit the temple or who live far away, often will attend. Their offerings help keep the temple and the Buddha’s teachings alive “perpetually” for future generations.

Anyone may attend this special service, which includes incense offering, chanting and a dharma talk. If you are interested, please check our calendar and individual temple websites for more information.

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