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On Death and Dying

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Jack Van Allen Memorial page

Cremation Service (of Berkeley Zen Center)

for Jack Van Allen
conducted by Alan Senauke


Preliminary words by Alan Senauke

I met Jack here at BZC 23 years ago. Everywhere I look around my house, around the zendo, I see his work -- jizos, buddhas, seals, wedding rings. Jack was endlessly generous to me and many others.  He had a challenging life, a long and difficult illness.  Jack was cantankerous and demanding. But the love he asked for was offered back in kind over and over again.  

Offer incense

• Doshi Statement 1

We are gathered here to pay our last respects to this physical form, this body which belonged to Jack Van Allen, Hozo Sanyo — Hidden Treasure, Mountain Form [Dharma name given by Sojun Mel Weitsman of the Berkeley Zendo]

Zen Master Sekito Kisen says:  “The whole process returns to the source.” This is the truth of interdependence, the way all people and things come and go.

Today, Jack enters the inconceivable as a dharma wind, manifesting this truth of interdependence.  The great mystery is no mystery to you now. We now sincerely perform this cremation ceremony, Jack  It is our inmost request that you enter the path of freedom.  We have a simple method, a handful of fire burning this phantom body. Now, in hopes of benefiting your great spirit, let us recite the Ten Names of Buddha.

Homage to the Dharmakaya Vairochana Buddha

Homage to the Sambhogakaya Lochana Buddha

Homage to the Nirmanakaya Shakyamuni Buddha

Homage to the Future Maitreya Buddha

Homage to all Buddhas in the ten directions, past, present and future

Homage to the Mahayana Saddharma Pundarika Sutra

Homage to Manjushri, the Perfect Wisdom Bodhisattva

Homage to Samantabhadra, the Shining Practice Bodhisattva

Homage to Avalokiteshvara, the Infinite Compassion Bodhisattva

Homage to the many Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas

Homage to the Maha Prajna Paramita


• Doshi Statement 2

Jack , we have recited the ten sacred names to nourish your spirit, deeply intending that the radiance of the Jewel Mirror comes forth. May the dharma wind reach everywhere. We lovingly send this flower to the field of enlightenment, offering incense and chanting the Enmei Jukku Kannon Gyo, calling forth the compassion of Kannon Bodhisattva.

Kan ze on na mu butsu yo butsu u in yo butsu u en bup po so en jo raku ga jo cho nen kan ze on bo nen kan ze on nen nen ju shin ki nen nen fu ri shin

(repeated 7 times, offering incense and circumambulating the coffin)


• Upon Starting the Fire

Now Jack bows over the flames.

Flare up! Complete this existence.


All Buddhas, Ten Directions, Three Times,

All Beings, Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas,

Wisdom Beyond Wisdom, Maha Prajna Paramita 

 On Death and Dying

Felo de se  Santhara   Memorial pages   
Zen Aluminati          What's New