Healing the Ancestral Heart: A Meditation

Join the monastic community founded, ordained, and trained by Thich Nhat Hanh as they tour the United States to continue the legacy of the beloved Zen master. Join us for retreats and days of mindfulness to learn the art of mindfulness and bring collective awakening and healing to our family, society, and the world through mediation and practicing together in community.

Awakening Together, Healing the Ancestral Heart…
When sharing this theme with a friend, an elder from an Alaskan tribe, she said:

Pffffiou…if we can do that now….what an offering to the people who’ll come at the retreat!

Her words engraved themselves in my cells, like a koan from the Heart of the Earth…the Ancestral Heart’s whispering….

So… Why don’t we do it now now?

Sitting on the MountainAwakening Together, Healing the Ancestral Heart…

We are all invited to bring these words to life,
to breathe them in, and see what fills our lungs…
to chew them carefully and see what flavors come to our tongue,
to sing them out loud and see what song comes to our ears…

So that they can be more than just nice words on a poster,
so that they can become a living reality in our lives,
so that, together, wherever we are, we can start this collective journey of Awakening,
of discovering what’s the Ancestral Heart, where does it beat, and how do we heal it.

What is coming together to nourish awakening? What’s the Ancestral Heart? How do we heal it?

Let us take this opportunity to not wait for retreats or tours to practice but do it right here and right now. Let us sit and start the journey with this meditation.

Meditation

Breathing In, I enjoy my in-breath.
Breathing out, I enjoy my out-breath.
Enjoying In-breath.
Enjoying Out-breath.

Breathing In, I become mindful of my heart beating, sending blood and new oxygen to every part of my body.
Breathing out, I smile to this life, flowing inside me
Aware of heart beating
Smiling to life flowing through me

Breathing In, I feel my in-breath bringing life to every cell of my body
Breathing out, I feel my out-breath deepening my awareness of being alive
In-breath, bringing life to every cell
Out-breath, deepening my being alive

Breathing In, I know that my heart beating is also the heart of my ancestors, with all their dreams, joy, happiness, strength and courage
Breathing out, I am determined to continue to nourish this heart for them and for me
My heart, the heart of my ancestors
Determined to continue their joy, courage and strength

Breathing In, I know that my heart beating is also the heart of my ancestors, with all their fears, sadness, hunger, anger, hatred and discrimination
Breathing out, I am determined to practice to transform the afflictions of my ancestors in my own heart
My heart, the heart of my ancestors
Determined to transform their afflictions

Breathing in, I am aware of the very many hearts beating in this room right now, bringing life, blood and oxygen to many parts of the many bodies here.
Breathing out, I smile to this life flowing all around me
Aware of very many hearts around
Smiling to life flowing all around me

Breathing in, I am aware that all these hearts are the hearts of many ancestors, with their joy, dreams and suffering
Breathing out, I am determined to learn to embrace, accept and love all the people around me
Hearts around, the hearts of many ancestors
Determined to embrace, accept and love

Breathing in, I am aware of the Heart of the Earth under and all around me, beating in the trees, rocks, grass, water, birds…
Breathing out, I take refuge in the Heart of the Earth, in Her Love, Strength, Forbearance and Creativity, always bringing forth new life.
Aware of the Heart of the Earth
Taking refuge in the Earth