IN the West, inheritance almost always involves monetary and real property value. It has always been focused on the material and physical items parents leave behind for their children when they pass on.
Having been born and having lived in the Philippines all my life, I grew up indoctrinated by parents saying the most important and valuable inheritance they could leave their children is education. It eventually affords everyone to change their financial status not only for the children themselves but also for the parents. So it is not unusual for families to go deep in debt when sending their children to college. And no matter how poor a family might be, there is always that one child who would finish university to become a professional and rely on a stable job they could keep for life or until the retirement age of 65: a teacher, member of the police or military force, accountant and the extra brilliant ones would end up as lawyers or doctors.
I have two kids approaching teenage years and I couldn’t help but wonder about their inheritance and what I could leave them with that would most impact their lives and how they live it. I could only think of a couple so far.
Zen & Meditation
I found it during one of the darkest moments in my life two years ago through a stranger I met in one of the political rallies I attended and who led me to a sangha near me. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the weekly zazen and develop the habit. It’s still a struggle sometimes especially when the Ego refuses to yield. The experience of sitting in meditation had been tremendously helpful in peeling away layers and layers of trauma I have shoved deep in my subconscious. It took me this long to uncover and unveil all those wounds that still fester in my soul and my regular Dokusan with my Roshi (Zen teacher) helped me along the path to healing and discarding self-imposed Karma and guilt. More importantly, Zen & meditation practice is a great way to liberate ourselves from delusions that the world and society keep throwing at us. Illusory beliefs and concepts are easier to detect when your mind is clear and has taken hold of what’s true and eternal.
The way of tea started as a business venture for me but later on became a spiritual journey. I’m still on it and it has taken me places and introduced me to people I would otherwise have not met if not for tea. The long-term health benefits of tea drinking and the treasure trove of spiritual insights has served me very well and with my children on it, I would be contented knowing they’d be on a good path. Here’s praying they will heed my invitation.