How we live our lives reflects (or should reflect) our beliefs. Quakers try to be attentive to what the Spirit is saying to us at all times, though we often lose our focus.
One of the reasons I treasured my early experiences with Native Americans in Indianapolis as we worked to raise awareness about, and to defund the Dakota Access Pipeline, was because I felt an immediate, deep spiritual connection. And from what I have seen and continue to learn is Native lives do reflect their beliefs.
I had a very strong leading to participate on the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March. This blog post and the video below are about some of the ways faith played a role during the 94 miles we walked along the route of the Dakota Access pipeline in central Iowa.
I’ve been reading “Deer and Thunder, Indigenous Ways of Restoring the World” by Arkan Lushwala. I’ve described an opportunity I had to hear Arkan speak: https://kislingjeff.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/the-answer-to-what-can-i-do/
“Arkan Lushwala is a rare indigenous bridge of the global north and south, carrying spiritual traditions from the Andes in his native Peru as well as being adopted and initiated by the Lakota people of North America.”
Throughout my life, it has been an honor to watch my elders make medicine in their mouths and feed the world with their tender sacred speech. Following their example, I want to share the words that make waterfalls, lakes and rivers, and offer some medicine to those who are wondering how we will continue living when the Earth that sustains our lives is so damaged. What I share here, far from being my own creation, is ancient memory that belongs to all of us.Deer and Thunder, Indigenous Ways of Restoring the World by Arkan Lushwala
My intention is to share the spiritual depths of a culture that creates individuals like my tayta, ones with a real capacity to have an influence on the health of the Earth. I am one of those who believe all of humanity can regain an ancient way of being that allows us to talk to our Mother Earth to resolve dangerous imbalances of the environment under her guidance. The state of humans and the state of the Earth are completely intertwined, and the full recovery of the best of our human nature will be the healing of Nature.
In the thick of the current environmental crisis, it is useful to know there are still people who have the power to call rain or to move clouds when there is too much rain.
I am being increasingly led to see our success in protecting Mother Earth will come from our spirituality (all different expressions of spirituality).
You may think that you are different than what he (Arkan Lushwala) describes. You may be happy in your home and in your neighborhood right now. But will your children be happy with what you have left for them? Will your children’s children be happy with no water to drink or sun to warm their faces?Foreward by Jeannie Kerrigan for the book The Time of The Black Jaguar by Arkan Lushwala, Booksurge. Kindle Edition
I ask you to read every word, ponder each sentence that my brother from another country writes with all of his heart intact. It is in his words and in his message that we will find each other again as one heart, one love, and one single energy flow.
My brother talks of a word haywaricuy – which means to hand someone something with tenderness. I hand you this book with tenderness as a loving gesture to mankind, as sacred movement towards that which seems hopeless but is so easy to heal. We can come back together as one loving heartbeat for the good of all living things on this planet. For this, we need to recover our spirit. In spirit, there are no judgments, no words like hate or greed or mine or war. There are no guns; there is no destruction! Spirit will live on even if our precious Earth does not!
We are spirit, and my brother asks you to remember who you are, to wake up to the beauty that is, and to honor the beauty of life at all times just as your ancestors once did a very long time ago.
I stand next to my brother just as I support you in love! As Arkan says over and over: the essence of humanity can be one heartbeat, one movement of sacred direction! When we go against this direction we destroy. When we open to the spirit that we are and surrender to the sacred motion, then we prosper, we thrive, we love, and we live!