This picture of my Grandpa (Frank Haubrich) sent to me by his daughter (my mother) reminds us that we are the continuation of our ancestors. The son is always the continuation of the father. Everyone has to agree on this. Well known spiritual leaders like Thich Nhat Hanh and The Dalai Lama have often pointed out that scientist or nonscientist, theologian or nontheologian, you have to accept the fact that the son, the daughter, are the continuation of the father and the mother. In fact, they are the father and the mother. So, it is absurd to say, “I don’t want to have anything to do with my father.”
There are people who get angry with their father and make the declaration, “I don’t what to have anything to do with him.” That would be impossible, because he, whether he wants or not, he is the continuation of his father. He is his father. That is why the only thing for him to do is to practice reconciliation within. Because his father is within him, there is no way of getting rid of his father. There are people who are angry with their mother, and they feel the same. They want to forget her. They don’t want to have anything to do with her. Is that possible? No. They are the continuation of their mothers. They are their mothers. They cannot escape. That is why the practice is to go back and to reconcile with the mother within and with the father within.
Thich Nhat Hanh further points out is his teachings that we have blood parents, we have blood ancestors; but we have also our spiritual parents, our spiritual ancestors. The Buddha can be your spiritual ancestor. You could be born from him. This makes you his continuation. You are him. Many have adopted Jesus as another spiritual ancestor. In them they are alive. One should not have any conflict with them as they should not have any conflict with their blood parents and ancestors. This is a very important practice.
It is very important to make a connection with your ancestors and the future generations. Ignoring this is a kind of sickness. There are people who don’t feel they are connected with anything at all and they suffer from being cut off, from loneliness. There is no understanding. There is no love that can nourish them. Therefore, to practice restoring the connection is very important.
With practise and mindfulness, I can feel that I am the continuation of my ancestors. Every day now I practice touching my ancestors. This can be easily done by simply sitting quietly with your parents or even looking at pictures. If you travel to Buddhist countries you will often see an alter or a table in the home for ancestors. You realize that your ancestors are always alive in you because you are the continuation of your ancestors. My late Grandma Dahl (Rita Dahl) would always sit and simply look at me, now I finally know what she was doing. She was seeing herself in me. My Grandma Dahl was an incredibly compassionate and loving person.
Here is how I have been practising. When I sit with my parents for coffee, we discuss it openly and I say, “Dad, I am your son. Emily is your granddaughter.” That is a fact. You know it so well, but you may not feel it sometimes. You feel that your father is one person and you are another person. But in fact, that is not so. I am a very real continuation of my father and Emily is a very real continuation of me. It is like the plant of wheat is the continuation of the seed of wheat. Although the statement is very simple, you have to perceive it, to feel it, to live the reality of it. “Mom, I am your daughter, I am your son.” No matter how hard it may be for you to make the statement, you have to make it because that is the truth. Even if between you and your father or your mother there is a lot of difficulty, you still are his or her continuation. You are still them. All the sufferings that he or she endured may be still in you, and it is up to you to work for the transformation. If you are able to transform the suffering in you, you have your father and mother in you, you practice for all of you. So, as I practise today it is for both me and my daughter Emily that I practise. That is, and it is real.
It is the goal of The Emily Dahl Foundation to share this truth with others. By doing this we are fulfilling the wishes of Emily and helping others find true happiness.
The Emily Dahl Foundation
The Emily Dahl Foundation
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