December 31, 2011, 2:23 pm ~ by in news
All the altars have been decorated with hand and machine pound rice -mochi- made early on the 28th of December.
The last days of the old year of the rabbit are spent with cleaning inside and outside, to welcome the New Year fresh and clean.
At 3pm the Roshi and sangha meet for afternoon sutras BANKA followed by sutras in different buildings of Sogenji: Itaten, Sanmon (picture above), Kyozo, Kaisando, Zendo, Chinju, Graveyard and by the lake. At 7pm a SOSAREI tea in harmony for the whole sangha with greetings by the Roshi is taking place, and after KAICHIN the last sutras at 9pm, ToshiKoshi Soba - buckwheat noodles are traditionally being served for safe passing from one year to the next. From 11:30 pm the big bell is being rung, symbolically 108 times to purify the 108 desires mentioned in Buddhist philosophy. For this occasion, the neighbors line up to ring the bell. Of course, the bell is usually being rung more than 108 times, yet it is important to give everyone present a chance to ring it. During this time, the neighbors and people connected to Sogenji give their greetings to the Roshi, and members of the Sunday zazen group sit silently in the Hondo.