with me undergoing a hospice volunteer training course (three hours each week), a lot of questions regarding death, dying and loss come up naturally these days. Last week a wonderful old cat died in my arms that had only found its way to our kitchen a few weeks earlier. I had her cremated, the ashes arrived in the post yesterday. A friend’s mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer a few weeks ago. And the wheel of time turns ?
I am currently reading a book on „Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism" as part of my Ango practice. It is truly fascinating how much approaches and rituals have changed over the past thousand years. Which leads me to the question of this thread.
What should an ideal Zen „buddhist“ funeral be like? Any favourite texts, sutras, rituals (posthumous ordination....someone putting a coin under your tongue). Any fantasies out there?
"I don't care cause I'm gonna be dead." is a very valid zenny answer. But funerals have never been exclusively about the dead IMHO.
Personally I just know that I do find the Heart Sutra to be ideally suited to any kind of funeral-ritual, due to its addressing the natur of non-birth and non-death in such a straightforward manner.
Thank you for your input.