By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
We are living in extraordinary times. The situation at Standing Rock is symbolic of prophecies made long ago by our Indigenous elders. Chief Crazy Horse’s last prophecy was:
Upon suffering beyond suffering, the Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world. A world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations. A world longing for light again. I see a time of seven generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again. In that day there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things, and the young white ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom.
The Standing Rock Sioux nonviolent efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) have galvanized support from Indigenous Peoples of many nations and people of all races and faiths. Recently, 2,000 US military veterans joined the nonviolent efforts to stop DAPL. The veterans also asked for forgiveness from the Native American elders for the atrocities their ancestors committed against their people. (See Featured Articles)
While the US Army Corps of Engineers recently put a legal block on the DAPL construction, it is clear that the companies involved fully intend to finish the pipeline, potentially by their deadline of January 1, 2017. There is a call for President Obama to send Federal troops to stop DAPL activities near Standing Rock (see Featured Articles).
In this edition of The Catalyst, we have several videos and articles about Standing Rock. Please, share these videos and articles and others about Standing Rock far and wide via social media. (See Featured Media and Featured Articles)
For our Featured Artist, we are highlighting stories of musicians supporting Standing Rock. Music has long played an important role in catalysing social transformation. We encourage you to invite musicians in your community to support Standing Rock.
I want to remind you to visit the new Global Indigenous Wisdom Library, a “virtual council” of leaders and their wisdom available for everyone, everywhere… for free.
Also, we just announced a special discount for our next Shift trip to India when you register by Dec. 15:A Sacred Pilgrimage to into the Soul of India — 17 Days on the Banks of the Holy Ganges and into the Heart of Joy, Yoga and Devoted Service — February 21 to March 9, 2017. This sacred pilgrimage will visit sacred sites in and around Rishikesh, India, the birthplace of yoga. It will include time at Anand Mehrotra’s Sattva Retreat and then the International Yoga Festival. I strongly encourage you to consider this trip of a lifetime! (To learn more, click here and see Featured Media and Movement News.)
As we head into the holiday season, let’s all step forward in supporting our family at Standing Rock and in be loving and present with those in our lives.
Hear the message of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Honor tribal sovereignty and the Earth we inhabit by telling President Obama to deny the easement by calling 202-456-1111. For more information visit standwithstandingrock.net
"We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain... We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness."
— Wes Clark, Jr.
Cannon Ball, N.D. — The department of the Army will not approve an easement that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The following statement was released by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.
“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision.
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is continuing to violate presidential legal orders given on November 14, 2016 and December 4, 2016 by President Obama via the US Department of the Army. DAPL and their partners are moving forward 24/7 and are determined to complete DAPL by January 1, 2017, if not stopped immediately!
To objectively consider the constitutional challenges before us, we need to respectfully transcend personalities and political affiliations and come to definite conclusions and immediate action to protect any and all violations of the United States Constitution, related legislation, and the Supreme Law of the Land, Treaties!
“We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke.”
On Monday, Native Americans conducted a forgiveness ceremony with U.S. veterans at the Standing Rock casino, giving the veterans an opportunity to atone for military actions conducted against Natives throughout history.
In celebration of Standing Rock protesters’ victory Sunday in halting construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, Leonard Crow Dog formally forgave Wes Clark Jr., the son of retired U.S. Army general and former supreme commander at NATO, Wesley Clark Sr.
Even the limited victory (as it seems it will be) at Standing Rock on Monday when the Army Corps of Engineers denied access to proceed with running the “black snake” (pipeline) through Dakota Sioux territory and under the Missouri River brought tears of joy to many of us. Whatever may be the final outcome, it stands as a brilliant image of the dynamics of nonviolence for all of us. Here I would like to provide some insights from various spiritual teachers (including) my own and the great pioneers of nonviolence on how to handle success, which, believe it or not, can be a critical time for nonviolent activists.
What does it take to manifest the love of your life? It’s an easy formula called The Soulmate Secret that requires a little time, energy, intention and attention, and it’s worked for thousands of men and women (all ages, shapes and sizes) around the world.
It starts with what Buddhists call “Beginner’s Mind.” You begin by taking your opinions, reasons and beliefs about why you can’t or haven’t found love and put them on a shelf for now, allowing yourself to “not know” how or when or where your soulmate will appear. You surrender and trust (just for now) that everything is about to work in your favor.
I’ve been teaching yoga in Oregon prisons for almost twenty years. Four years ago, a local effort emerged to reform the use of segregation (solitary confinement). Disproportionate numbers of inmates in segregation had mental illnesses (79% of female inmates). A call to action resounded through Oregon: Alternatives must be created.
The Oregon Department of Corrections asked me to create yoga programs on the inside that could support inmates living with developmental delays, mental illnesses, and traumatic brain injuries. We decided to teach inmates with long term and life sentences to become certified yoga teachers.
Question: “What was your experience writing A Mother Goddess for Our Times?”
How does one reconcile writing a book about the Virgin Mary and maintain a personal viewpoint that stands outside of Catholicism? How does one unite non-traditional beliefs with dogma? It is a challenge to try and put these parts together as I was essentially a person without a conventional religious upbringing, attempting to find my way through deeply rigid boundaries. Writing this book was an attempt to connect these divergent systems.
Shift Trip — A Sacred Pilgrimage into the Soul of India — Join the trip of a lifetime: 17 Days on the Banks of the Holy Ganges and into the Heart of Joy, Yoga and Devoted Service — February 21 to March 9, 2017. Imagine for a moment the fulfillment of a life-long dream in which you experience a soul-filled adventure that takes you not only into the depths of India — one of the most magical countries in the world — but also into deep and lasting communion with the Divine. A true pilgrimage of the heart. That dream can be yours with A Sacred Pilgrimage into the Soul of India, a journey undertaken with supportive allies, wise yogis and sacred friends. Discover a new template for grace. For holiness. For service. For Spirit. For finally experiencing a real “Heaven on Earth.” To learn more, click here.
Join the “Fairy Godmother of Love,” Arielle Ford, for a free online event to learn the 3 Keys to using the Law of Attraction to manifest your soulmate. You’ll discover how to clear out obstacles that are energetically pushing away love, and how to master techniques for attracting the right person to you — almost magically. Sign up at no charge here.
The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a collection of audio and video interviews featuring Indigenous leaders from around the world sharing prayers, sacred songs, prophecies, spiritual teachings and pathways to healing,as well as concrete examples for birthing a new era — one in which all members of the human family are treated with respect, understanding, compassion and justice. This sacred wisdom is important medicine for us all. The production of The Global Indigenous Wisdom Library is a gift from The Shift Network, designed to inspire, inform and involve you by highlighting the voices and important messages of Indigenous leaders from around the world. We thank all the speakers who have contributed to this body of knowledge! To learn more, click here.
More than 18 million people have traveled to the tiny Bosnian village of Medjugorje to witness daily apparitions of the Virgin Mary and experience her healing powers. Author Judith Lambert, a skeptic, was among them. Events that occurred during her four pilgrimages there between 1986 and 1991, however, convinced her that Mary is not only present but “everyone’s goddess,” a culmination of the sacred feminine throughout history who loves and nurtures all of humanity. To learn more, click here.
Gandhi Searches for Truth: A Practical Biography for Children chronicles the path that led Gandhi from childhood to Mahatma-hood in 12 beautifully illustrated stories. Each chapter sheds light on a lesson about the power of nonviolence. For children and adults alike. Author Stephanie N. Van Hook is the Executive Director of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and is trained in Montessori Early Childhood Education. To learn more, click here.
Available in Paperback: Subtle Activism: The Inner Dimension of Social and Planetary Transformation. David Thomas Nicol introduces the concept of “subtle activism” to describe the use of consciousness-based practices like meditation and prayer to support collective transformation, such as global meditation directed toward peaceful resolution of a conflict. Subtle activism represents a bridge between the consciousness movement and the movements for peace, environmental sustainability, and social justice. It is not a substitute for physical action but rather a potentially crucial component of a more integrated approach to social change. To learn more and order a copy, click here.
The California Women’s Conference — Long Beach, California — December 7–8, 2016. This 2-day event will feature some of the world’s top speakers, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders. It’s an event that is designed to inspire and connect you with other empowering women who are making great change in the world. It takes place once every two years! Reserve your seat now and connect your journey with women who are making moves around the globe. To learn more, click here.
Awake: The Life of Yogananda— Now available on Netflix, Amazon and other livestream programs.Plus, DVDs available with subtitles in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Dutch and Japanese. Plus there are new film showings in Australia and United States! You also can bring Awake to your yoga studio or community. To learn more click here. (The filmmakers were interviewed in the Yoga Day Summit, the recording is available for free.)
The Global Peace Index 2016 was released. The Global Peace Index, which ranks 163 countries on their peacefulness, has helped shift the world’s conversation about peace to a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human well-being and progress. Highlights from the report:
Global inequality in peace has widened in 2016 as least peaceful countries spiral into increased violence
The world became less peaceful in 2016, reinforcing an underlying decade-long deterioration in world peacefulness driven primarily by increased terrorism and higher levels of political instability.
The economic impact of violence on the global economy totalled $13.6 trillion or 13.3% of gross world product, equivalent to 11 times the size of global foreign direct investment.
The economic impact of violence was $137 trillion over the last decade — greater than global GDP in 2015.
Refugees and displaced persons have risen dramatically over the last decade, doubling to approximately 60 million people between 2007 and 2016, nearly 1% of the world’s population.
Iceland is the world’s most peaceful country, followed by Denmark and Austria.
Syria is least peaceful, followed by South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.
World Peace Library — Free Resource — Be sure to take advantage of the World Peace Library, a wide-ranging resource on peace newly compiled by the Shift Network: It contains more than 300 inspiring talks and mini-workshops from individuals such as Archbishop Tutu, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, James O'Dea, Karen Armstrong, Chief Phil Lane and many more. With neuroscientists and lamas, faith-based activists and political leaders, this Library offers something for all in their peacebuilding efforts. The Shift Network has made the World Peace Library a free resource for all and encourages its use to promote peace in your families, schools, and wider community.
Stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from ripping through their ancestral homelands. It threatens their water, their sacred places, and the future of their children. Here are 9 ways you can provide support, including making greatly needed financial donations — click here.
• Caroline Casey 7-week course
• Jean Shinoda Bolen 7-week course
• Tim Kelley 7-week course
• Hank Wesselman 4-month program
• Anodea Judith 6-month program
Stand with Standing Rock — We strongly encourage you to support our sisters and brothers at Standing Rock by making a donation to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: click here.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe — We want to acknowledge the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for their leadership and commitment to a nonviolent approach to DAPL. To learn more about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, click here. To follow them on Facebook, click here.
Musicians Supporting Standing Rock
Here are recent articles about musicians supporting Standing Rock. We encourage you to invite musicians in your community to support Standing Rock too.