Yesterday, two experiences early in the day assured me of the existence of spirit. Then I was, as are many of us, mystified, stunned and fearful as the unimaginable came closer. Donald Trump was elected president. For some the world shattered.
I have to ask: What are we called to at this moment?
Let me say what I must directly. We are stricken. We don’t know what is coming toward us, what we will be called to meet. And we don’t know what to do or how to do it.
I am thinking about the Water Protectors at Standing Rock. Despite adversity, they have created a village. It formed on behalf of endangered and violated Water and on behalf of sacred land and the ancestors. The elders created protocols for entering the culture of Standing Rock:
“Ceremony and prayer are the bedrock of Indigenous peoples’ connection to land and water and are central in protecting them. Actions are ceremony and along with meetings, usually begin with prayer.”
A small group of us will join those at Standing Rock from 11/29 to 12/2. It is more important than ever to stand there on behalf of Water.
There are sacred circles of standing stones across the globe. Dan Berrigan spoke wisely in the midst of the Vietnam war: “Just don’t do something, stand there.”
Several people met at my house on election night. No one should be alone tonight, we said. We agreed that rather than watching the returns constantly, we would spend the night in silence, prayer and council. We invited spirit, we passed a prayer pipe several times; we listened deeply.
A core question repeated itself: How do we meet this moment?
For myself, there is a clear call to divest myself from all the systems in which I am / we are embedded that have led to these dire circumstances. Even as they will beckon more powerfully, so determinedly must I refuse them. I am aware of a similar need to disentangle from Western and colonial mind that have brought us to this brink.
Watching a tsunami of fear and analysis which is reifying the divisions and the danger, I will not declare war or name enemies. i want to walk the No Enemy Way.
It is a time for living the medicine without compromise or accommodation. We are being called to lives of exquisite integrity.
Let us try not to be self-righteous; let’s try to be courageous.
In the darkest times, we have seen people abandon each other out of fear and to serve power. We saw it in this election. Let us try not to be like them. In the darkest times, we have seen people join with and sustain each other. Let us be those people.
We are being called, once again, to meet what we must. Perhaps this is not just a spiritual opportunity but a spiritual demand.
In our circle last night, simple ways repeated themselves:
Invite spirit. Listen deeply.
Move with heart and prayer.
Create, confirm and sustain community.
Stand in communion and community with each other, with all others. Stand in the community of all beings. The 19 Ways became increasingly relevant: http://deenametzger.net/19-ways/
Protect the Mother, Earth, as the primary, daily, on-going activity.
Last night we consulted the I Ching. Question: How do we meet this time?
Hexagram 50. The Vessel. (No changing lines):
Ding is a ritual vessel that signifies connection with the spirit world and the ancestors. It is divination… submitting questions to the oracle, as well as the right moment to act. …It offers nourishment to the warriors and sags and the sage-mind in all of us brightening the eye and ear. It suggests a mandate, a fate conferred by heave that is also a duty or responsibility. It means becoming a true and responsible individual.
1972, I marched with thousands of people in Santiago, Chile, in support of President Allende and the Unidad Popular. One year later, I was in Cuba on 9/11/73 when the brutal golpe in Chile occurred. For the next years, I recited the names of those I had met in Chile as if saying a rosary to protect them. (It was not all I did on behalf of Chile to end the horrific violence. I was devoted.) Whether coincidence, magic or the power of prayer, those whose names I said, were not killed by those who were torturing and murdering.
Today we are putting all the names into the circle. We call you into the circle. Let us stand with and love each other and the Earth very well.
Mitakye oyasin, all our relations.