Brian, I’ve been practicing for eight years. I will soon be going to an attorney to do my Will. I plan to be cremated. To be buried as a Buddhist, what other arrangements should I include in my Will?
We discussed the preference of most Buddhists to be cremated here:
There were many great comments and additional thoughts on that posts , so be sure to look at the comments.
Now on to your question. First, I am not a lawyer; my own will doesn’t contain anything special about my funeral. I’ll be dead, I don’t really care.
As far as special arrangements put into your will are concerned, that would be up to you. Like many other Buddhist practices and rituals, funerals are heavily influenced by the local culture. If you live and die in Japan or China, you would probably want a Japanese or Chinese-style funeral. Similarly, if you are an American or European, you would probably want a funeral that is “normal” for your homeland. If, however, you want a Japanese-style funeral in America (or any other non-standard combination), you should probably make arrangements for that beforehand.
In the other article I mentioned above, some of the commenters mentioned that they wanted a simple, environmentally-friendly funeral. These are things to discuss with your attorney, but if you really want it done right, you may want to contact a funeral director and talk about pre-planning. There’s always a chance that the executor of your estate won’t know anything about Buddhism. You probably don’t want a Zen ceremony if you are Tibetan, so it’s best to be very clear.
I dont really have much in the way of advice about this, so I’ll ask for reader input here. Have you done anything in YOUR will or made any special after-death arrangements that relate to your Buddhism? Please explain in the comment section.