Born in 1918, Nelson Mandela was a symbol of great courage. After he was released from an unjust 27-year prison stay in 1990, he led negotiations for the abolition of apartheid in South Africa, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He was elected as South Africa’s first black president in 1994. He lived a full life working as a humanitarian, and his efforts—fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa and working to end poverty—changed Africa for the better.
He passed away December 5, 2013. He will be remembered as a hero for generations to come. Here at San Francisco Zen Center City Center, a memorial was held to honor Nelson Mandela. Below is a copy of the eko, the part of the ceremony where all benefit and merit gained by the performance of the ceremony is offered to all beings.
In Buddha’s Diamond Realm
The sun of wisdom shines without ceasing.
The sweet sound of Dharma soothes every troubled spirit
Like a draft of cooling water.
With full awareness we have chanted the Great Compassionate Mind Dharani.
May Buddha with infinite compassion illuminate this endless field
For the inspirational leader Nelson Mandela
Who we remember for his kindness, his compassion and his lifelong struggle to unite his people,
Who endured 10,000 days in prison, but emerged as an advocate for tolerance and reconciliation,
Whose wisdom and humility brought healing to a divided nation,
And who has passed beyond this life into the heart of Buddha.
May he, together with all beings, realize the end of suffering,
And the complete unfolding of Buddha’s Way.