Honoring our Ancestors
“Breathing in, I see all my ancestors in me: my mineral ancestors, plant ancestors, mammal ancestors, and human ancestors. My ancestors are always present, alive in every cell of my body, and I play a part in their immortality.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Living
“You are the fairy tale told by your ancestors.”
― Toba Beta
“When we listen to those stories, not only are we hearing tales of days gone by, we are also hearing the voices of all of those who lived before us. Those ancestors are not gone from our lives. They live in the stories, and they linger in our environments. They come to us in dreams and during ceremonies. They whisper to us in quiet moments and bring us comfort. One of my favorite stories is about a friend's experience with the ancestors. She was doing repatriation work, which involves caring for the remains of an ancestor until they can be properly buried with their people. In this instance, the ancestor that she was caring for had been part of a gruesome display in a museum. During her time with him, she remained in prayer when he came to her and gave her a message. First, he thanked her for bringing him back home. Then, he told her, "we dreamed you into the future." Our ancestors lived for us; they died for us; and they dreamed for us. Through their collective imaginings, we were all brought into being. What an incredible honor it is for us to carry their life forward through our own.”
― Sherri Mitchell, Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change
“Your existence is defiance: as those around you perish, you gather those passed souls and rise with them, as if your voice and leadership is made stronger by a long line of ancestors who stand tall, in spirit, with you. And I think that's what I loved most about your description of your physical self: 'I would not change anything about me. I represent my ancestors.”
― Ashley Asti
I hope you are well and happy and enjoying these first days of a brand new year.
This is a reminder that we will be gathering Sunday evening at 6 PM at our home (725 Matunuck School House Rd, Wakefield) We will enjoy a sitting meditation and the focus of the evening will be on honoring our ancestors. If you have a photo or photos of an ancestor/s who you would like to honor, please bring it with you. We will create an ancestor altar and honor them. It is wonderful to remember all of the strengths and gifts we have inherited and be grateful for this gift of life. We also will welcome in the new year with a bell meditation. If you have a bell or two, please bring them also. I hope you will be able to join us.
This is also a reminder that we will be meeting next Sunday at our home as well. The West's are not able to host that evening.
Please continue to hold Laura French in your prayers. She has experienced a couple of falls in the last couple of weeks and enjoys receiving your notes and cards. you might like to send a card to her at at The Genesis Rehab and Nursing Home, 740 Oak Hill Rd, North Kingstown, RI 02852. Please let her know that you are a “Clear Heart Sangha member” when you sign your name to the card. If you are visiting her, she has been only able to answer yes or no questions. We took her a communication board, so she might be better able to communicate with her caregivers. If you go to visit, please try to use the board with her so she might be able to get used to it.
I would like to thank all of you who have been holding me in your prayers...and I would also like to request continued metta. Today and tomorrow, I have another round of scanning and tests. Envision clarity!
For your enjoyment, I am including this Dharma Talk that Thay gave for children about our ancestors
and for even more enjoyment...someone shared this with me....
Let's plant and nourish all of the highest and best seeds in us and each other and co-create a lovely new year.
with much love and many blessings,
“An honest, poor, but otherwise unremarkable man and his loving, tender-hearted wife, though long forgotten and lost to history, may have been the ancestors who are most worthy of our admiration today.”
― Laurence Overmire, Digging for Ancestral Gold