We had our largest crowd ever for an Ancestors Ceremony as we gathered to commemorate the lives of five individuals whose ashes were then interred in the Spirit Garden.
First, there was Concepcion Picciotto, pictured in the snow, her determined gaze no doubt set on the White House. For 35 years Concepcion stood vigil outside the White House, calling for an end to nuclear weapons and all war. Her witness was legendary even when she was alive, and now her remains have been placed in the Spirit Garden and inspire us to continue our work against the Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge, TN. Kathy Boylan and Michael Walli of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker spoke eloquently of Concepcion's mission.
Pictured next is Danielle Newell, daughter of Redmoonsong, a friend of the Peace Pagoda. Redmoonsong talked of her daughter's difficult life, which ended with an assisted suicide. Her talk was powerful and honest.
Judy Kugler, who we have known since the late 1980s, demonstrating against the Trident submarine in St. Mary's, GA, passed away last October, and her longtime wish was to have her ashes placed in the Spirit Garden, where her husband, Joe, is also interred. We are grateful that this wish was fulfilled by Judy's friend, Charlotte Henegan, who brought those ashes from Georgia to TN.
Kim Bergier, a peace activist from Michigan who has organized many delegations to Oak Ridge, brought the remains of her husband, Roman Bergier, a skilled carpenter who lived life fully. Her co-organizer, Sigrid Dale, also passed away last year. Ron Dale, Sigrid's husband, spoke of Sigrid's childhood in Nazi Germany, where her father was a victim of the Nazi eugenics program. Her experiences as a child made her a lifelong pacifist and peace activist.
A diverse group of people who bless this place and deepen our practice. Thank you friends and family for sharing their lives and stories with us.
We were invited to participate in the Memorial Service for Muhammad Ali on June 10, 2016 in Louisville, KY.
Muhammad Ali wanted a multi-faith service for his memorial; his lawyer and friend who was on the committee for the service knew another lawyer who is a friend of our order; and of all of Nipponzan Myohoji members, we were geographically the closest.
Life can surprise you.What an honor and special day it was.
Click on the link above to view photos albums of past ceremonies at the Atlanta Dojo and the Great Smoky Mountains Peace Pagoda
July 9, 2016 at the Atlanta Dojo
We just celebrated the Ancestors Ceremony. One of our monks from India, Yoda-shonin, was visiting and led the ceremony in Atlanta. And the ceremony at the Peace Pagoda always concludes with a visit to the Spirit Garden. Both were beautiful, heartfelt ceremonies. Below are a few photos from Atlanta. To the right are more from the Peace Pagoda. And further below, our schedule for 2016. Please come visit.
January 1 @ ATLANTA DOJO New Year's Gathering: Prayers at 11 a.m.,
Open House through the afternoon
March 3 thru 8 PEACE PILGRIMAGE Selma to Montgomery
Sat., April 7, 11 a.m. @ ATLANTA DOJO Flower Festival
Sat., April 21, 11 a.m. @ PEACE PAGODA Flower Festival
May 5 through 27 @ PEACE PAGODA Spring Work Party
Sat., July 7, 11 a.m. @ ATLANTA DOJO Ancestors Ceremony
Sat., July 28, 11 a.m. @ PEACE PAGODA Ancestors Ceremony
October 13 thru November 6 @ PEACE PAGODA Fall Work Party