The bare bones structure of a PZI Funeral Service begins with the koan, “Where do we go when we die?” and includes the Heart Sutra and the Kanzeon Sutra of Endless Life.
PZI Funeral Service
THE KOAN: Where do we go when we die?
Sunlight and moonlight and rain,
dawn and noon and dusk and deepest night
reveal the Buddha heart at peace
each being perfect in your time.
each creature perfect in its time—
vivid in the light.
As waves come home to sea
now you return
you move beyond this earth and our concerns
we bless you, we wish you well,
[name of deceased]
Thank you for your time with us,
Go on with thanks and sweetest love.
All Buddhas throughout space and time
All awakened beings, great beings
The heart of perfect wisdom
Words from friends
Music (if any)
Kanzeon is the one who hears the sounds of the world—the embodiment of mercy: the grandmothers, mothers and daughters of countless generations. Also countless fathers and uncles and brothers. This is the crucial sutra for crossing over.
ENMEI JIKKU KANNON GYO
KAN ZE ON
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
Kanzeon Praise Awakening
We are born with awakening
We grow with awakening
We grow with awakening, the Way, and our companions
Eternity is full of joy, the self is pure
Morning’s thought is Kanzeon
Evening’s thought is Kanzeon
Thought after thought rises in the mind
Thought after thought is the mind
All living things are one seamless body
and pass quickly from dark to dark.
We remember you who cared for us and are gone, may you find safe passage and all the gifts of welcome as you go.
Four Boundless Vows