Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sioux Prayer

A dear friend, David, forwarded this to me from another friend of his:

A letter from Chief Arvol Looking Horse
(Present Chief and Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Nation of the Sioux)
Gulf Coast Oil Spill - Sioux Prayer Request

****** A Great Urgency ******
To All Nations

My Relatives,
Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.

We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations, eventually all will be affect from the oil disaster in the Gulf.

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we cannot afford to continue to make.

I asked, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.

I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth. As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc'I Maka).

We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children's future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Season Finale! Part 6 of Lost Children of Militarized America

My precious Christopher,
A good rich life is possible, one filled with love and sweet animals, birds, fresh air and sunshine, delicious food, pure water to drink and swim in, mountains to wander over and around, children who don’t know the meaning of the word “hate,” flowers and trees and grass and ocean waves and shells and rocks and friends and comfortable beds where husband and wife hold each other at night . . . this is how I will imagine you in my meditations and dreams.
When your mind is at peace, your world will be at peace. Keep going, Chris, don’t give up your vision. I’ve known all along that you have a pure and secret intention in joining the Marines that you don’t have to justify to anyone, not even your mother, only to yourself. Be strong in your conviction; speak strongly and compassionately from your awakened heart. Nothing can go wrong if you speak from your heart. Goodness and awareness always overcome delusion and ignorance. You may not be able to stop the war in Iraq, or to save the people remaining after the tsunami, but you do have the power to transcend your own suffering and have a taste of real happiness. And if you are happy and at peace, others around you will bask in your glow and you will be helping them by your simple presence. This is why you were born to this American military life, out of such a womb as mine.
from your watching loving mother

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lost Children of Militarized America: Part 5

One has been told that each of one’s hands has a current of energy flowing through it. The left palm receives this flow and the right one sends the flow coming from this body one apparently inhabits for this peculiar human experience of a lifetime.
According to one Japanese Reiki master, when the left hand receives purely and without obstacle or blockage one’s female energy is working to her full potential. She allows herself to be completely penetrated by all impending forces. Likewise with one’s male energy in that when he sends forth a clear unbroken river of life force, a healthy male action is at work in the world.
Both palms are gently joined as if in prayer—like a positive and negative circuit connecting. The right hand sends forth just enough current into the left hand so that she is not trampled and bent back by being overwhelmed. And yet she has strength to hold her own. Her beautiful restraint is nothing without a tiny seed of maleness undergirding her. She allows his surging life force into her, yet counters and supports him with just enough strength and lean to keep him from tumbling into nothingness.
And he has a seed of femaleness in him that fosters this gentle restraint. And when those palms come to equipoise flush to one another, there is only one river flowing through this body, and it nourishes and inspires and energizes the entire realm. No dams. No fences. No blocked arteries. No clogs in the system of life in one’s body.
As with the microcosm of one’s body, so too with the macrocosm of this suffering realm, the planet Earth. If good male energy is strong, protective, embracing, defining, logical, pragmatic, reasonable, then good female energy is amorphous, creative, spacious, undefined, unconditionally accepting and nurturing. The constructive collaboration of these two essences of life is a universal law of nature fulfilled to its finest potential. So say the Buddhists. So say the Japanese Reiki practitioners, the acupuncture therapists, the yoga teachers, the Native Americans, the monks, the nuns, the lamas, et. al. These millions of beings also agree that the domination of one essence over the other just as surely leads to suffering, death and destruction. And if this is truly a natural law by which we all must abide to have even the slimmest hope for ultimate happiness, it seems a logical assertion that this is a viable perspective by which to view the disequilibrium of the planet Earth in the year 2008, with an aim to correct her imbalance. We do this with all humility, recognizing our egalitarian status within the realms of all living things.
So every morning, one checks the status of one’s male and female energies, the condition of the little boy and the little girl tumbling around one’s inner playground. As with oneself, so with the world, and surely one can do nothing to save anyone until she has freed herself from pain. She cannot balance the world, she can only balance herself . . . just yet. So, better to put one’s attention to inner tinkering. And the sometimes recalcitrant spirit embodied in a lotus crystal pendulum quivers, hangs dully, or meanders weakly back and forth in a straight line over each palm, and very often tells her she’s utter confusion and impotence made manifest. But when she writes, or meditates, or contemplates well, or dreams a teaching dream, or sobs quietly resting her cheek on the heart of a loving man, the lotus crystal sings in proper circles on each upturned hand.

My loving Mother,
Your last letter was wonderful Mom. I intend to re-read it immediately after finishing this letter to you. My time here on the Island draws to a close Mom, and my thoughts have turned back to seeing my family and being with my loved ones again.
I cannot put into words all of the experiences that I have had here, and even if I tried there would not be enough paper on this Island. When I see you, I will do my best to tell you everything that I can.
I am still hoping that you will be able to come to graduation. Beth has all of the information about it so contact her a.s.a.p. Do you think Nancy will attend?
I’m going to cut this short Mom because my thoughts are completely scattered. I’ll see you soon.
Love Always,

Like Linda Hogan, I am a woman who watches over the worlds. Who assigned me this task? How do I know this about myself? And is the pen mightier than the sword? Mightier than an M-16 rifle? In a world where every culture, without exception represses the great virtue of womanhood, our brothers, fathers and sons are awash in confusion as to their role in the well-being of the planet.
We are in a state of moral incapacity in this country, the United States of America. We have denied the great virtue of Unconditional Love for so long that we are incapable of remembering it and bringing it to bear on the current atmosphere of world holocaust. The Ven. Sogyal Rinpoche says, "If you want to know who you were in the past, look to your present condition. If you want to know who you will be in the future, look to your present actions."
It is up to women to stop this. Most men seem to have forgotten the bliss of unconditional love. It is extremely difficult for any of us to stay pure in this realm of corrupted values. Fear is so thick you can cut it with a knife, and it blinds us all to others' suffering, as it is intended to do. Yet, everything is happening just as it should, and all for good purpose. I believe in the goodness of the universe. I am full of hope always because I understand the path to real happiness is open to anyone who cares to look for it.
If the mind truly creates its own reality, we can create a world of love and understanding and respect and honor for children, for old people, for George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and Condoleeza Rice, for the lost men and boys and lost women and girls that we all are—in a moment, we can create a clean, pure world with sparkling streams of mountain water and birds and trees and fine sunshine warming and healing all of us earthly creatures. We have this freedom to choose what we think and imagine. Our minds are ours to control yet remain an untapped motherlode of power buffeted day and night by illusory dramas. The charnel grounds surrounding us are fields of flowers where the beings of Mother Earth meander in sensual bliss, each of us, beings of light wearing crowns of understanding and wisdom. All this can be had in a moment of our minds. We only need to come home . . . home to the truth of who we really are, and why we are here. If love is the crowning glory of understanding, we can start to forgive ourselves, yet only to turn away from ourselves to understandingly forgive and cherish all others. This is a truth worth living for. This is real and enduring happiness.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lost Children of Militarized America: Part 4

Dear Mom,
I’m sorry this letter is so late in coming but we have had a busy few weeks here. Let me wish you a slightly belated Mother’s Day and ask now if I can take you to dinner one night in celebration upon my return.
Things here are progressing well. With one or two notable exceptions, the platoon is doing extremely well. We just got done training on the rifle range. I qualified as a “sharpshooter” which is the medium rating. The entire time we were shooting, all I could think of or contemplate was the fact that for some, that very rifle would be used to take another’s life. For me, it was a bit different simply because I will probably never have to fire it in defense or offense [because I’m in front of a computer every day]: for me it is simply a sport that is conducted on the range (for most of the week, I was comparing it to shooting pool).
I had a rather long conversation with our Series Commander, a captain who has taken an interest in me simply because I have my B.A. [in philosophy.] [We talked] about philosophies of killing. It is his contention that when in war, “It is not about political agendas, it is about protecting the Marine to our left and right.” While I must applaud the sentiment somewhat, I also feel that the former cannot be separated from the latter: how can one truly say that political agendas play no part if it is the political that made the protection necessary in the first place?
Being here has, to a great extent, solidified my drive to become a part of the decision-making machine that drives human society.
The two above paragraphs have encapsulated my thoughts over the last two weeks (for there is very little time to think). I hope and pray (yes, pray . . . I am attending Catholic mass each week) that all is well with you Mom. All of my love to you and all those who you love.

My courageous son,
I can feel your troubled heart . . . you have before you the likes of a moral dilemma that has broken many before you and will break other young men and women of your generation after you. Will it break you?
O my love, these are extremely trying and challenging times for you. The existential struggle you are contending with is a microcosm of the macrocosm of this country and its people. What you do, how you behave, what choices you make, matter deeply because, in your position in the U.S. Military that has a choke-hold on the world, you have great power. How one uses such power determines one’s character, degree of dignity and degree of moral discipline.
Yet, I think you are beginning to realize a co-existent powerlessness that potentially pitches you into the throes of paradox. You are impotent and powerful at the same time. You are unable to question the morality of your superiors’ intentions because you are sworn to obey them unswervingly. At the same time, your power rests in your example as a morally dignified critical thinker courageous enough to say no to what you know to be wrong in your heart.
Hitler’s Youth followed his every order . . . how many of them had the courage to question his extermination of the Jews? How many were able to turn their backs on him and walk away with their conscience untainted from the act of mass murder? I imagine there were, out of thousands of young men like you, only as many as you could count on one hand who broke away from the status quo, and they were probably shot in the back as they refused to kill.
I see your dilemma as no less grave. My dear darling one, you have such a difficult task before you and I ache and cry at night and day because of your heavy burden. Here is where I am powerless as a mother to relieve you of any of your current and future suffering. You chose this path and I knew when you chose it that your Highest Self, the Divine in you was guiding you, and I believe that now and forever to be so. That is why I did not panic or try to persuade you not to enter the military which has shaped my entire life since I was growing in my mother’s—your grandmother’s—womb.
Suffering is our friend, not our enemy. Death is our friend, not our enemy. Suffering and Death are our greatest teachers. It is only our Clear Seeing, our Awareness of what is causing the unceasing cycle of suffering, the unceasing cycle of birth, aging, sickness and death, that will enable us to stop going around in circles and getting nowhere but the hell of our mortality. Instead of cleaning up our act in this lifetime, we put it off till the next, or the next, and waste our time by increasing our karmic debt instead of increasing our karmic merit. I wasted 48 years of this lifetime, guzzling alcohol and drugs, greedily eating and grasping and using ten times more than most of the world’s population. I finally understand the depth to which my greed has caused others to suffer.
The quandary you are in is of your own making and yours alone to figure out. Nor can I blame anyone, not my mother or father or sisters or brothers or husbands or son, for my suffering. Neither is anyone else responsible for my happiness, least of all this country’s government, despite giving me the “right to the pursuit of happiness,” (and now I’ve come to believe that any “right” I proclaim to be “mine” is innately a divisive act, increasing hatred in the world.) It is all up to me to relieve my own suffering and find my own happiness without harming others. And so on this basis, I’ve taken up the reins of my life. Only by quieting my mind and beginning to understand why I chose to be in this life is how I experience peace, and love, and sometimes real joy even in the midst of the corruption of war.