Chicago River ceremony with sangha children

Ancient Dragon Zen Gate held a special event for sangha children on Sunday morning, July 31. While adults were sitting zazen in the zendo, ten children and some parents, guided by intrepid naturalist Laurel Ross, went for a nature walk through the surrounding neighborhood, then returned for a Dharma discussion and treats. We chanted and talked about how we are each part of nature, all deeply interconnected, and the children shared many examples of their appreciation for nature, inside and beyond our city. The children in attendance ranged from ages three to twelve, accompanied by bigger children of a wide range of ages up to 70.

After the Dharma discussion, children and adults traveled to a natural area on the Chicago River one mile from the zendo that has been beautifully restored by neighbors. There they performed a blessing ceremony for the river and for all waterways. They placed flower offerings on the river, and chanted a short traditional chant for protection and the Metta Sutta of loving kindness.

Sangha children outside Ancient Dragon Zen Gate Wildflowers at the Chicago River
Blessing the Chicago River Blessing the Chicago River
Blessing the Chicago River Blessing the Chicago River
Blessing the Chicago River Blessing the Chicago River
Blessing the Chicago River Blessing the Chicago River
Blessing the Chicago River Blessing the Chicago River
Blessing the Chicago River Blessing the Chicago River