Thursday Evening Online Program
May 19, 2022, 7:00 to 8:45 pm Eastern Time
Dear Still Water Friends,
A recurring theme in the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) and in our Dharma sharing on Thursdays is that we are a continuation of our ancestors. Their experiences and responses condition how we see, feel, and think — indeed, who we are as individuals. In a recent podcast, Br. Phap Huu, a senior Plum Village monk, remembered Thay emphasizing the importance of ancestors when he said, “When I meet somebody, I never meet that person as an individual, I meet their entire lineage.”
I have had the privilege of facilitating the Three and Five Touchings of the Earth at Still Water gatherings. Each time, I have been moved by Thay’s awareness of the intimate connection between our blood and spiritual ancestors and our suffering, our joy, and our mindfulness. This Thursday evening, after our meditation period, we will read together the “The River of Life,” a guided meditation from Thay’s book, The Touchings of the Earth:
I accept all my ancestors on my mother’s and my father’s sides of the family with all their virtues, meritorious actions, and shortcomings. I also open my heart and accept all my blood descendants with their virtues, their talents, and their shortcomings. My spiritual and blood descendants and my spiritual and blood ancestors are all present in me. I am they and they are me. I do not have a separate self. We are all present in a wonderful stream of life that is constantly flowing and changing in a marvelous way.
Touching the Earth
Lord Buddha, I touch the earth three times to let go of the idea that I am a self separate from my ancestors and my descendants, and to release all the irritation and anger that I still hold towards them.
In our Dharma sharing this Thursday, we will enter the flow of the river and explore the continuation of our ancestors in our lives and our practice.
- When do we recognize in our bodies and thoughts the wisdom, happiness, and accomplishments of our ancestors?
- When do we recognize their thoughtlessness, sorrows, and defeats?
You are invited to join us.