The Shift Catalyst - Thanksgiving and Indigenous Wisdom
By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network
I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving, and that you took the opportunity to experience gratitude for the many blessings in your life.
It’s so easy to focus on what’s missing in our lives and take for granted the little everyday miracles, from a hot-water shower to being able to communicate across the world with email to just listening to the trilling of a bird’s call in the forest.
May we take the time to feel gratitude for blessings such as the basic needs of food, water, and shelter that hundreds of millions of people around the world are lacking. With our own abundance comes the responsibility to create a world that works for all by extending these blessings to more people.
On Thanksgiving, I also believe it’s important that we take some time to address the painful history of a holiday that celebrates pilgrims while we too often forget the past (and current) atrocities committed against Indigenous Peoples.
The Shift Network is deeply committed to our Indigenous brothers and sisters and see their upliftment as essential for the larger healing of our world. That’s why we dedicate this issue to hearing more of their voices of wisdom, which carry important medicine for our time.
My dear friend Saniel Bonder said it well: “America’s spiritual destiny can likely never be fully realized without the healing of its relationship with its Indigenous Peoples.”
The same is true for all nations in which Indigenous Peoples have suffered from colonization and Western “progress.” It’s time for all of us to embrace and embody the deep wisdom from Indigenous traditions about our innate oneness and how to be in right relationship with Mother Earth, with one another, and with all of life. And it’s also time to take actions that create opportunities for their communities and nations to thrive.
In this edition of The Catalyst, we’re honored to introduce you to 23-year-old Native American activist Isabella Zizi, who attended the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. If her vision represents the future of our environment, we’ll be in good hands.
Also in Featured Media, Abuelo Antonio Oxté shares his wisdom on healing and Mayan consciousness; and Angela Mooney D’arcy speaks at the California Vision 2020 Conference about the need to raise awareness about the history of Indian homelands.
And our Featured Artist is two-time Grammy winner and Emmy nominee Mary Youngblood, one of the premiere Native American musicians in the country.
On other fronts, we hosted the first-ever California Vision 2020 Conference in September, which featured some of today’s top leaders, changemakers, activists, and “solutionaries” sharing their personal stories of victory, as well as best practices for BEING the change the world needs right now.
This is likely the MOST important conference we have ever created, as it brings a deeper consciousness perspective to critical issues such as climate change, poverty alleviation, racial healing, and more. As we’re now at a crossroads as a planet, it’s all the more important that we identify the best solutions and work together to get them implemented at state and national levels to light the way forward.
So we’re delighted that we are bringing ALL of this inspiring visionary work to you as part of the Vision 2020 Summit, taking place on December 5-7. This important summit features visionaries such as Dolores Huerta, Marianne Williamson, Sister Jenna, Shariff Abdullah, Andrew Harvey, Anodea Judith, and Rabbi Michael Lerner.
If you’re committed to creating a peaceful, sustainable, healthy, and thriving future for your family, community, and planet, be sure to listen to these free talks addressing groundbreaking strategies and real solutions in realms from education to criminal justice.
You’ll also be given an abundance of resources to help you turn your passion for peace, justice, and equality into constructive action. Click here to watch the video trailer and to register for this free online event.
Also in this issue, we’re excited to present a long-form video interview with author and Shift faculty Marcia Wieder on the importance and power of dreaming, and a beautiful story by author and philosopher Jean Houston on her childhood experience that even today serves as the foundation of her spiritual view of life.
Finally, we would love to hear your answer to the question, How has Indigenous wisdom deepened and enriched your life? To share your thoughts in our Facebook Page community, click here.
In this exclusive 14-minute video interview for Catalyst, Indigenous activist Isabella Zizi shares her thoughts and experiences on attending the annual UN Climate Change Conference and the necessity for climate change protests.
I learned a lot by just being there for one week. I learned that we're able to put our message across within a 30-minute time frame when it comes to directly impacted communities, uplifting our voices, uplifting our actions in a nonviolent way. I've been down that path, thanks to Idle No More SF Bay, to really put a positive intention within my heart and have that connection that we should all walk in love, we should walk in peace.
And no matter what role people have on this earth right now, it's important to understand that we are all human beings on this earth, and that eventually we will transition together to be on the same side, to understand the values of our own lives and our own opportunities here on the earth, and then in a respectful way to find that equal balance. To just walk hand in hand, side by side to make that just transition so that our nonhuman relatives — like the four-legged, the winged, the plants, the waters, the air — can be in alignment with us as humans. And that the next seven generations after us will be able to thank us and be grateful for all the great things that we have done to stop climate chaos
This video talk by Angela Mooney D’arcy, Executive Director, Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples Sustainability Initiative, was presented at the California Vision 2020 Conference. In her talk, she spoke of the need to raise awareness with young people about the history of Indian homelands. “We have to be proactive about combating our erasure,” she says. “Otherwise, that erasure will be perpetuated.” To watch Angela’s 15-minute talk, click here.
Guardian of the Mayan Ancient Energy Medical Tradition, Abuelo Antonio Oxté was born in the community of Tzucacab, Yucatan, México. He received his first initiations by the hands of his maternal grandmother, parents and family.
Click here to read Shift founder Stephen Dinan’s account of how he and his wife Devaa spent New Year’s with Abuelo Antonio Oxté n sacred ceremony three years ago.
Join The Shift Network, The Gaiafield Project and people around the world for Global Shift Meditations on the first of each month. On November 1, we featured Prayer for World Peace advocate Rita Canning.Click here to listen to the free recording and to register to receive future free recordings.
With our lives centered in Thanksgiving, there is no room left for the experience of fear, hate, prejudice, revenge, jealousy, loneliness, and disunity. Nothing remains that separate us and our Oneness with our Beloved Creator, our Human Family, and all Life, seen and unseen.
This spiritual understanding of Wopida requires each of us to live with honor, compassion, love, respect, and harmony with all life, including ourselves! This spiritual wisdom and understanding recognize that the Hurt of One is the Hurt of All, and the Honor of One is the Honor of All!
We are all Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth, the Beloved Children of one Father and one Mother. Each one of us a Sovereignty — Ancient, Imperishable, and Everlasting. For all of these blessings and many more, may we be infinitely and eternally thankful!
Grandmother walked softly upon the trail, greeting the children of the Earth Mother, bidding a “Good Day” to the tiny flowers who stretched their faces to catch a glimpse of the wise elder. They had greeted her the first time she came to this Sacred Place to seek the healing of her body, to ease her mind, and to comfort and nurture her heart, Here, Grandmother always received the healing she needed, even if when did not know what healing was required.
“Good day, children! What beautiful colors you are wearing today,” she acknowledged each flower as she walked gracefully down the road toward a large boulder. As she approached, she heard the Stone Person call out.
Over the past year, we have all experienced extraordinary resistance to corporate greed and unjust actions by federal and state governments. We realize our power as human beings. That power and love for our Lakotah teachings is stronger now than ever and we must continue to rise up for all that is sacred.
In this exclusive 60-minute video interview for Catalyst, author and speaker Marcia Wieder talks about the importance and the power of dreaming.
When going to and from Egypt I always stopped in Rome and I had one of those, "Maybe someday I would love to live in Rome." I have aging parents, and the logical good daughter would say, "I need to be here for my family, and after they pass and later in life, then I'll pursue my dream."
But I talked to my parents. They're in Florida, and their response was charming. My mother said, "What do I care where you live? It's not like I'm coming to visit you." If I'm in Italy, every time I go to California, I'll stop in Florida and my parents actually see me much more now than they did when I lived in California, but what I realized is at some point they probably will need me in Florida. Rather than waiting around, and to be really honest, maybe feeling somewhat resentful that I was putting my dreams on hold, I moved to Italy now with the thought that if and when they need me close, I'll come and I'll move to Florida, but I'll have had this amazing magical experience of following my heart.
To watch the video and read the text, click here. To download a free ebook gift from Marcia, click here.
My father, Jack Houston, an agnostic Baptist and a descendent of Sam Houston of Texas, wanted to marry my mother, Maria Annuciata Serafina, a Catholic born in Siracusa, Sicily. So dad had to go to religious instruction school, taught by a young priest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. He and the priest traded jokes instead of theology, and finally the priest said, “Oh, Jack, you’re just a natural born pagan. Here, I’m going to give you a learner’s permit so you can become a Catholic. But if any children come along, you have to bring them up Catholic and send them to Catholic school.” My father said, “Oh, yeah, sure, sure, I just want to get married.”
Since my father had promised to send me to a Catholic school, I went to St. Ephraim’s in Brooklyn. Everything was fine except that my father would “gag up” my catechism and give me the most interesting questions to ask the poor little nun in the morning. Like, “Sister Theresa, I counted my ribs and I counted Joey Mangiabella’s ribs, and we’ve got the same number of ribs. And I wonder, if God created Eve out of Adam’s ribs, how come we all have the same number of ribs?” Before the startled nun could respond, I added, “I’ll prove it! One, two, three, go!” And, right on cue, thirty little children lifted their undershirts.
For several years, The Shift Network has hosted Indigenous leaders from around the world and invited them to share their sacred knowledge, rituals, and practices to guide us in a way of living that is sustainable, healthy, and just. We’re thus delighted that the Global Indigenous Wisdom Library makes this “virtual council” of leaders and their wisdom available for everyone, everywhere… for free. 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 want to give a heartfelt thanks to Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. (“Brother Phil”) for his partnership in helping create this Indigenous Wisdom collection. And we thank all the speakers who have contributed to this body of knowledge. To discover more, click here.
In mid-October, two weeks prior to the annual UN summit on climate change in Bonn, Germany, a delegation of indigenous leaders and activists from Mesoamerica, the Amazon, Congo, and Indonesia held press, advocacy, and cultural events in several European cities, including Cologne, Brussels, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin. Click here to see the delegation welcomed by the Mayor of Cologne.
During the Guardians of the Forest tour, the campaign sought to highlight the indispensable role that Indigenous and local communities play in the fight against climate change. They held meetings with policymakers and civil society organizations to talk about the dramatic situation they face in their territories in their quest to protect the forests.
Their key messages were:
A halt to the violence and criminalization of indigenous leaders and activists
Recognition and enforcement of legitimate territorial rights of indigenous peoples and local communities
Access to funding for initiatives and programs for climate change mitigation and adaptation
Full respect of the right to free, prior, and informed consent
Valuation and incorporation of ancestral knowledge in the measures and strategies to face climate change
Join Dharma Teacher Dawa Tarchin Phillips on a special 30-day pilgrimage around the world to the 7 chakras of our planet. Designed with care and intention, this is the first time in history a pilgrimage around the world and through the 7 chakras of our planet is offered to the public. The intention of this journey is to experience the sacredness of our planet beyond the usual divisions and separateness, and to awaken to the unifying consciousness that connects all life on Earth. Click here for all the details and to discover how you can be a part of this Incredible journey.
This visit to the wellspring of humanity is designed to empower groundbreaking interactive initiatives. Altruistic intentions, loving and kind interactions, and ethical leaders and organisations are the touchstones of creating and renewing the world. Each person is important, each voice is heard. You are invited to participate in this experience. We are the new community and our efforts matter for the healing and wellbeing of our planet and all life that depends on it.
This is a 7-day residential retreat in beautiful Costa Rica — with six presenters from various parts of the world, each working within the fields of Altruism, Loving Kindness and/or Ethical Leadership. A flyer with full details is available here.
If you are deeply concerned about the direction our country has been moving, and you've noticed that resistance efforts and that shaming and blaming others are having little impact in changing things, then you probably recognize we need to have better strategies to transform our society and the world.
If so, and you are interested in integrating your ethical awareness and your concern for the well-being of the planet by becoming active to help heal and repair our world, we recommend joining the next Spiritual Activism training with Rabbi Michael Lerner and Cat Zavis to get the skills you need to actually make a difference by helping to build a loving and just world.
Join us for a week of deep spiritual exploration in the serene and beautiful surrounds of the Blue Spirit Yoga and Meditation Retreat Center in Nosara, Costa Rica (Blue Spirit has been named a Yoga Journal “Best Yoga Escape 2017”). We will be breaking down the walls of resistance by going deeper into peace and tranquility through meditation. The week will include in-depth exploration of the technology of Kundalini Yoga for re-rooting, rest and restoration of the Complete Self from the stresses of daily life. You’ll develop a fulfilling everyday discipline, creating devotional practice with Sadhana at the ambrosial hour, meditation and chanting, and breath walks on the oceanfront, experiencing deep immersion into the Soul! For more information, click here.
Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World by Phil Bolsta of The Shift Network. Through God’s Eyes is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the only book that shows you how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to bring joy and vitality to your daily life. One reviewer called it “the owner’s manual God should give you when you’re born.” To order your copy, click here. To request a sample chapter from the author, email Phil at GodsEyes@me.com.
Book by Stephen Dinan: Sacred America, Sacred World. Infused with visionary power, Sacred America, Sacred World is a manifesto for our country’s evolution that is both political and deeply spiritual. It offers profound hope that America can grow beyond our current challenges and manifest our noblest destiny, which the book shows is rooted in sacred principles that transcend left or right political views. To order your copy, click here.
If you would like to submit something to The Catalyst, please see the submission guidelines: click here.
Reverence, Ritual & Renewal: Being a Shamanic Evolutionary Healing Force for Our World — The Newest Offering in the Path of the Universal Shaman Series — An Immersive Journey Into Peruvian Earth Regenerative Healing & Ceremonial Arts With Renowned Peruvian Shamanic Healer and Transpersonal Psychologist don Oscar Miro-Quesada. Nourish Your Heart and Soul With Ancient Inka Wisdom Teachings and Shamanic Rituals — to Bring Healing and Balance to Your Life and Our World. 17-week Live Video & Audio Training Starts Wednesday, December 6, 2017
• David Crow 7-week course
• Stan Grof & Rick Tarnas 18-week program
• Hank Wesselman 7-week course
• Donna Eden 12-week course
• Suzanne Scurlock-Durana 22-week program
• Gregg Braden 7-week course
• Wendy De Rosa program
• Caroline Casey 12-week program
• Ram Dass 4-week course
• Chloe Goodchild 16-week program
• Jean Shinoda Bolen 7-week course
Every 98 seconds a woman is raped… Her rape kit is most likely sitting in an evidence room untested.
Liberation Prison Yoga's mission is to bring trauma-informed yoga and meditation empowerment programs to those whose lives are affected by incarceration, and to educate the public about the Unconditional Model we developed. We recently hired our first four employees to effectively sustain and grow our programs and increase impact. Your support is needed now more than ever.
Our Mission: To end all forms of violence to women and girls, men and boys, and to promote peace in our homes, schools and communities. Our secondary mission is to reduce the impact of domestic violence on children and the next generations.
Our Vision: Peace in every home, every school and every neighborhood.
Click here to make a donation to A Community for Peace.
The Four Worlds International Institute was established in 1982, at Canada’s University of Lethbridge, by Indigenous elders, spiritual leaders, and community members from across Canada and the U.S.
FWII is an internationally recognized leader in holistic human, community, and economic development because of the Institute’s unique focus on the importance of culture and spirituality in all elements of development. During the past 35 years, FWII has worked extensively with Indigenous Peoples across the Americas and SE Asia. Click here for more information.
Two-time Grammy winner and Emmy nominee Mary Youngblood was the first Native American woman to receive a Grammy Award for "Best Native American Music Album,” and the first Native American person to win two Grammys. She garnered the 2002 Grammy for Beneath the Raven Moon and the 2006 Grammy for Dance with the Wind, bolstering her reputation as one of the premiere Native American musicians in the country.
When Mary performs, it takes only a moment to acknowledge the profound spirituality of the sacred Native American flute and its historical courtship and wooing attributes. Her haunting music is much more than a song... it's liquid poetry, a prayer. Mary takes little credit for the intense emotions people feel when they listen to her music.
When Mary reflects on her life, writes Silver Wave Records, “she resonates with the peaceful warrior. Both softness and strength come through in her deeply passionate music, which is inspired by the wonders of nature. These peaceful and vibrant songs have been carefully selected to quiet the mind, relax the body, and inspire one to contemplate the Sacred Place within.”