Tag Archive | native american spirituality

Water is Life! Defend it.

My daughter is going to Standing Rock in North Dakota on Wednesday. I feel she is going for all of us, to defend our rights to clean water and to fulfill our responsibilities to protect the earth. I worry for her, with all the haters out and about, but I see her bravery. I applaud her solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and other indigenous nations, the heart of today’s resistance to the beast that is devouring our planet.

circle of DAPLprotesters.jpg

The resistance spans the globe. DNBthe largest bank in Norway, just announced that it sold its assets in the Dakota Access Pipeline and is considering terminating its loans to the project. On Tuesday, 300 protests took place. Here in San Francisco I partook in a march to the local office of the Army Corps of Engineers, the agency in charge of permitting for the pipeline section that threatens the integrity of the Missouri River and Standing Rock sacred sites. Hundreds of us spiraled around those risking arrest for their opposition to the pipeline. As Native American men drummed and prayed, their voices rose like the sage smoke wafting from abalone shells, and the rest of us pressed together, ten and twelve abreast, to circle round, circumambulating and blessing the people risking arrest. It was a powerful moment, a joining of prayers and hope.

We can stop this pipeline. Here are a few things you can do today:

Call the Army Corps of Engineers and demand that they reverse the permit to build the pipeline: (202) 761-5903

Donate directly to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe to support their fight.

Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp Supply List.

Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp Legal Defense Fund.

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Drumming for Mother Earth

Dionne photo

“I drum for Mother Earth,” says Dionne, one of the women interviewed in Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine. Of Yurok-Karuk descent, Dionne has been a drummer since she was ten and has felt the pulse of the earth in her blood.

We all can be drumming for Mother Earth – in the drum circles that Dionne leads at herchurch*, but also in our lives, by attuning ourselves to others and by listening and responding to the rhythm of this planet. We begin by celebrating the rhythm of our own bodies as part of planet earth’s mega-rhythm. The beating of our heart. The rush of our lungs. The swish of our gait. Listen. Tune in. Awareness is the first step. And prayer is the second. “I pray for mother earth with my drumming,” says Dionne. I echo her sentiment: I pray for mother earth with my breathing. May each inhalation, each exhalation be a “thank you” borne of awareness and a desire to live attuned to those around me, all throbbing in harmony and the will to do good.

*Women’s drumming at herchurch (678 Portola, SF) is on every third Wednesday from 5:45 – 6:45 p.m. Feel free to drop by! Drumming every first and third Sunday during 10:30 a.m. Sunday service also.