We gather to practice lighting up the lamp of awareness of ancestors. We offer them our gratitude, and we feel our obligation to them and to our native land which lies deep in each of us. As we practice looking deeply, we see our ancestors and our grandparents within us. We see the truth that, wherever the children and grandchildren are, the parents and grandparents as well as the whole ancestral line are there. The seeds of love, understanding, the skills and capacities as well as the happiness of our ancestors have been handed down to us, and it is our deepest aspiration to water these seeds every day so that we and our children may grow in peace and joy. We also see the seeds of suffering, anger, grief, anxiety, and fear which are in us, and we are determined to practice to transform these seeds. We know that in this way we are being loyal to the expectations of our ancestors. There were wonderful things which our ancestors longed to do but were not able to do, and we want to do something towards accomplishing these things. The trees have their roots. Water has its source. Birds have their nests. And human beings have their ancestral lineage. We know that we are alive today because of our ancestors and that the foundations of our way of life were laid by our ancestors. Ancestors, please be witness to the sincerity with which we offer our gratitude. We shall never forget the source from which we come. We promise to maintain the treasure of our native culture whose foundations were laid by you. We promise to use the riches of our culture constructively and hand them on to our children.
This text is read during the Ancestors' Festival at Plum Village