"According to the Buddha, the birth of a human being is not a beginning but a continuation, and when we’re born, all the different kinds of seeds—seeds of goodness, of cruelty, of awakening—are already inside us. Whether the goodness or cruelty in us is revealed depends on what seeds we cultivate, our actions, and our way of life." (Excerpted from Thich Nhat Hanh’s Introduction to “Love’s Garden: A Guide to Mindful Relationships”)
"His anger will be stored in the depth of his consciousness as what we call an "internal knot". This knot is what becomes a grudge or feeling of resentment. It's like having a cold. When we become sick, if we do not take the right medicine or let someone give us a massage, our cold may go deeply into our body and becomes much more difficult to cure. When our anger goes deeply into our consciousness, it creates an internal knot that might cause us to have agressive gestures or unpleasant behaviour without our knowing it." (Excerpted from Thich Nhat Hanh’s 'Joyfully Together')
Why and how does this happen? Have Thay explained it before?
I remember Thay said that we carry our ancestor's burdens and gifts. I can understand that we are the continuation of our ancestors (not only humans but also animals, plants and minerals), but I want to know why and how this continuation happens. Seeds of consciousness are the key. However, I don't know if Thay has mentioned the mechanism of this continuation. I guess Thay may not have mentioned that mechanism because it has not been proved scientifically. Thay has been very careful to mention about past karma of our previous manifestations because he doesn't want to teach deluded Buddhism. So, when that mechanism (why and how the seeds are sown in store consciousness) and the relation between body and consciousness (every particle enfolds into consciousness, and consciousness unfolds into body) is proved scientifically, Thay may begin to talk about it.
Thích Nhất Hạnh