New Year's Eve Bodhisattva Ceremony | Chapel Hill Zen Center | Holidays | Indy Week
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New Year's Eve Bodhisattva Ceremony 

When: Fri., Dec. 31 2010
Price: Free
intrex.net/chzg

At the freezing turn of the millennium, my two girlfriends and I hiked to the top of a mountain in the dark and lit a fire to purge our past and open ourselves to a white bright future under the sparkling sky. Oddly enough, we weren't the only ones there, suggesting there are other people who seek alternatives to the traditional whoopee blow-out parties traditionally associated with New Year's Eve. This year you won't have to climb a mountain in the middle of a cold night. The Chapel Hill Zen Center, a Buddhist temple and Zen meditation center, will welcome 2011 with two sessions of silent meditation followed by the Bodhisattva ceremony—a renewal of vows and precepts—and the fire ceremony. During the fire ceremony, participants write down habits and difficult states of mind they would like to release, then burn the papers in a bonfire along with name cards from memorial services held during the past year and incense stubs that have accumulated throughout the year. Come for the whole program or just a part of it. It's hangover-free! The two periods of silent meditation are at 8 and 8:50 p.m.; the Bodhisattva ceremony begins at 9:20 p.m. and fire ceremony at 9:50. The evening will end with refreshments around 10:15 p.m. The Zen Center is at 5322 NC Highway 86. —Christina Cass

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