What is Lantern Floating?


a light of hope.

Shinnyo Lantern Floating began over 80 years ago as a ceremony of remembrance, held by Masters Shinjo and Tomoji Ito, the founders of the Shinnyo-en community.

The floating of lit lanterns traditionally offers a moment to pause, reflect and appreciate; creating a natural sense of connectedness with all - past, present and future.

This year the world has encountered the global challenge of the coronavirus. Her Holiness Shinso, the current head priest of Shinnyo Buddhism, has suggested that participating in lantern floating creates feelings of connectedness with  loved ones who are physically far from us, and with whom we cannot meet. Lantern floating is an opportunity for us to kindle an optimistic light of hope in ourselves and others, and dispel feelings of hopelessness.

Shinnyo is a Buddhist term referring to reality, or the true nature of things. At the core of every living being exists a ‘true nature’ of goodness, wisdom and compassion - shinnyo is the light that exists in, and connects us all.

We invite you to take part in this year’s unique Shinnyo Lantern Floating, as an opportunity to remember loved ones, share the experience of community, and together express your own special light of shinnyo, to build hope for the future.

“Like many rivers that flow into the vast ocean, each participant has travelled a distinctive path and is indispensable in creating this unique event to bring collective hope and courage toward the future.”

~ Her Holiness Shinso Ito, head priest of Shinnyo-en