One Water, One Air, One Mother Earth

This summer Paula Palmer will be leading a series of workshops related to “Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples”. My experiences over the past several years working with people of color and indigenous people on environmental issues has reinforced my belief that a spiritual approach to our social and environmental chaos is what is needed now.

A year ago I posted an introduction to Arkan Lushwala. I was blessed to hearing him speak on the topic of “Indigenous Ways of Restoring the World”, part of which follows:

Speaking about what is happening on Earth right now,
many of the conditions of life that we used to take for granted,
now are really out of balance.
Hopefully we still have time to get back into balance
so life may continue.
I travel around the world and meet people and talk to people
from all different cultures.
And everywhere people ask, “what can we do?”
The question, what can we do, is the second question.
The first question is “what can we be?”
Because what you can do is a consequence of who you are.
Once you know what you can be, you know what you can do,
and we cannot afford wasting time;
we have little time.
We need to be precise now.
When someone sincerely asks, “what can I do?”
my humble answer,
the only answer that I find in my heart to be sincere is,
“First find out what you can be.”
Action is extremely necessary at this time.
This is not a time just to talk about it.
The most spiritual thing now is action.
To do something about what’s happening.
To go help where help is needed.
To stand up when we need to stand up,
and protect what is being damaged.
And still, this action needs to be born
from a place in ourselves that has real talent,
real intelligence, real power,
real connection to the heart of the Earth,
to universal wisdon,
so our actions are not a waste of time.
So our actions are precise,
our actions are in harmony with the movement,
the sacred movement,
of that force that wants to renew life here on Earth
and make it better for the following generations.

Arkan Lushwala

As I see it all around me, the trees are dying out, our water is contaminated, and our air is not good to breathe. Those are the reasons why today I’m trying my best to come back to our ways of thousands of years ago.

We have to come back to the Native way of life. The Native way is to pray for everything. Our Mother Earth is very important. We can’t just misuse her and think she’s going to continue.

We’ve been told to take care of what we’ve got so that we can leave something for the younger generation. We’ve tried to practice that from the beginning of our life, but we forgot our way.

I never have spoken out until lately here, the Spirit coming to me and telling me, ‘Well, you are going to have to give us a hand here.’ It was in a vision, Water said to me, ‘I’m going to look like water, but pretty soon nobody’s going to use me.’

We, the people, are going to have to put our thoughts together to save our planet here. We only have One Water… One Air… One Mother Earth.

Corbin Harney, Spiritual leader of the Western Shoshone Nation, The Way It Is, Blue Dolphin, 1995
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