Exploring Buddhist Funeral Traditions on A Good Goodbye Radio

Feb 13, 2014 | 0 comments

If you were to attend a Buddhist funeral in America, would you know how to act and what to do? This A Good Goodbye Radio program can help fill your knowledge gap.

Dharma WheelBuddhist funerals incorporate many elements of other faiths’ funerals, such as programs, flowers, ushers, and working with clergy and a funeral home. Buddhist funeral traditions also incorporate many aspects unfamiliar to most non-Buddhist Americans – the Pillow Service, altar items of fruit, food and flowers, and numerous follow-up memorial services.

Rev. Harry Gyokyo Bridge, the resident minister of the Buddhist Church of Oakland, joins host Gail Rubin on A Good Goodbye Radio to discuss Buddhist funeral traditions.

Reverend Bridge studied Buddhism at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California, and Ryukoku University in Kyoto, Japan. As a multiracial person of both Anglo-American and Japanese heritage, he tries to live up to his family name by navigating between both cultures. He participates in the development of “American Buddhism,” while honoring the history and traditions of the Japanese who brought Jodo Shinshu to the United States. He also hosts an online radio program, The Dharma Realm.

Topics include:

  • The hallmarks of Buddhist funerals, both Japanese and American.
  • Specific rituals Americans need to be aware of.
  • How to express condolences to the family of the deceased.
  • Buddhist teachings related to memorial services.
  • Attitudes toward cremation and disposition of remains.

Listen to the podcast:

A Good Goodbye is an entertaining and educational online radio show on “everything you need to know before you go,” information most people don’t consider until there’s a death in the family. Host Gail Rubin, CT, brings a light touch to a serious subject and presents expert interviews on funeral planning issues with practical insights into the party no one wants to plan.

By planning ahead and having a conversation, families can reduce stress at a time of grief, minimize family conflict, save money and create a meaningful, memorable “good goodbye.”

Sign up for a free planning form and get more information at www.AGoodGoodbye.com.

A Good Goodbye