Buddhism teaches that if you want to know what the course of your past was, you must look at what you are experiencing now. If you want to know your future, you must recognize that what you choose to do in this lifetime, day by day, determines what your future will be. To deal best with our present, we need to be aware of our past, and we need to be aware that the choices we make now will determine our future and that of our offspring. Ancestral veneration is a link that unites the dead and the living members of the family—the past and the present—and can provide a channel of valuable services from our ancestors to ourselves.
The meditative act of communing with the spirit of our ancestors is not ancestor worship but rather ancestor veneration and communication. Respect and admiration for our ancestors aids the feeling of actual contact immensely. Speak and think no ill of the dead; they did their best just as you are doing yours.
Allow your ancestors to remind you of that which is sacred in respect to your life and your relationship to others and the world. Ask your ancestor for his or her wisdom and inspiration when you are having any difficulties in your life. Keep in mind that they may speak to you in quiet, subtle ways, while they protect and guide you. Gently take note of every image and feeling that comes to you during your session for symbols and feelings are the language of the soul.