Endowed with all blessings

Eyes of compassion

Assemble an ocean of blessings beyond measure

Thus with reverence we bow.

        - The Lotus Sutra

A special ceremonial Okesa has been sewn by the sangha.  It will be presented to Shao Shan Temple for all future Abbotts. Taihaku will wear this most sacred robe (Funzo-e) when she is installed as the Abbott of Shao Shan Temple at the Mountain Seat Ceremony, which will take place September 15, 2013.  It is a wonderful occasion for the sangha to unite in the creation of this okesa, which will be passed forward through time together with the transmission of the Dharma. It is an expression of our hope and prayers for the future.    



The robe is made from used fabric that traditionally would have been undesirable or discarded. There are 4 layers, the fourth being appliquéd mountains. These and the Zokin-Zashi (literally, “cleaning cloth stitch”; sometimes called "rain stitch") over all panels tie it all together and provide strength to old and worn fabrics. We have been fortunate to get guidance on the measurements and sewing instruction from Zen Sewing Teachers from across the country (special thanks to Jean Selkirk of Berkley Zen Center, Yuko Okumura of Sanshinji, Anita Swann of Texas, and Dianne Riggs of California). This passing along of an ancient honored practice, in and of itself, has been an amazing experience to enter into as a sangha.  

Used grey silk sari fabric, donated by Child Haven International, a local organization that fundraises to support orphanages for children in India, Nepal and Tibet, will be the panels that represent rice paddies on the Okesa. Mountains and the other layers and parts come from varied sources, making this truly ALL Buddhas making Buddha's robe. 


    Donna O'Malley is the 
    sewing teacher for 
    Shao Shan Temple 
    and coordinated the 
    creation of the 
    Funzo-e Robe.