Dear Still Water Friends,
I invite you to join us this Thursday evening at Crossings to practice and indeed celebrate the Five Earth Touchings. I say celebrate because this wonderful practice is steeped in the essence of our ability through the ritual of the Touchings to connect in a significant and profound way to our ancestors. It is a direct practice/tradition that sees who we are in the present moment as a manifestation of where we come from. Acknowledging who we are through our ancestors is a tradition that spans many generations and many cultures, and the similarities are abundant. For instance in African culture and pre-ceremonies, groups pour libations and invoke the names of blood ancestors and spiritual and cultural ancestors for guidance and inspiration.
The Touchings also bring to mind the tradition here at Still Water inspired by Mary Beth of having a special sitting in honor and memory of those so very close to us who have transitioned, yet live on in our lives. It is always amazing to hear, as our Sangha collectively shares, the influence our ancestors have had on us all. Additionally, I have sat in on countless Dharma discussions where the legacy of our ancestors and ancestry have had innumerable effects on each of us and on our suffering, our joy, and our generously sharing with each other in the present moment. Our blood ancestors, our teachers, those who have hurt us, those who have sustained us are all referenced in the Touchings, and when we prostrate we plug into the earth that produced us all and is the ultimate ancestor or, as Thay says, “The World We Have.” So, we invite you to come sit and then touch the earth this Thursday. We also invite you to listen carefully to the content of the words associated with the ceremony, for they are directly connected to who we are. Even the most ardent atheist or agnostic cannot deny the connection to ancestors. One look in the mirror solidifies who we are and where we reside in the present moment.
I hope you can join us,