Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Call to Pray at Bdote Minnesota

On each occasion that I've spent time with Chief Arvol Looking Horse, his presence and words are equally strong.  His tall stature and striking features draw you to listen to him speak, but his humble, reverent devotion to the Creator and his wisdom draws you to hang on each word.

As the 19th Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, he has served as  the spiritual leader of the  Lakota /  Dakota / Nakota (Sioux) Nation since he was twelve when he received the sacred bundle from his grandmother.  He has spent the past sixteen years calling all people to pray as has traveled the world, meeting with other spiritual leaders, government officials and peacekeepers. In March during the national meeting on sacred sites, he invited the Spiritual Elders of all First Nation tribes to join him at Bdote (Minneapolis-Saint Paul Minnesota USA) for World Peace and Prayer Day to pray for the protection of the earth and for the healing of all people: "All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer."  I heard him speak with compassion about those affected by the earthquake/tsunami in Japan and the concern of the nuclear reactor...because "all as symptoms and a warning that we as people from all colors, creeds and faiths need to unite and ensure that we as the human race choose a different path."

Chief Looking Horse is currently en route to Bdote, leading the Peace Riders on horse back as they pray for the healing of the land and healing of relationships. They will arrive in the Twin Cities metro area on June 17 after nearly two weeks on the ride which left June 5 from Pickerel Lake South Dakota.  The Six Nations Runners are also en route.  They left from Tennessee on May 21 and will meet up with the Peace Ride before they enter Shakopee MN, go through Eagan and into Mendota Heights.  Although I'd rather be riding, I get to support them by filling out forms, attending city council meetings and aiding with logistics. 

After going with Chief Looking Horse to see the Dalai Lama several weeks ago, I am still struck by the contrast of Minnesota hospitality. With the Dalai Lama we heard all about it on the news.  I saw the crowds lined up to enter Mariucci Arena with very expensive tickets.  I felt the buzz.

By contrast, in a little over a week the Twin Cities will be able to welcome this amazing indigenous leader and other wonderful indigenous spiritual leaders from around the world.  After riding two weeks on horseback, without a word on the news, the Peace Riders will arrive and yet the only hint about a horse is a news story about a stray animal on highway 35 this morning.  It blows my mind.

Both of the Dalai Lama and the Chief are spiritual leader who have led their people for almost their entire lives.  Although the Chief fully expects that the Peace Riders will process to their sacred site with all humbleness and without a lot of fanfare, I would hope that Minnesota will show the same respect and hospitality we showed the Dalai Lama, especially because they have come through these extremes in temperature and at their own expense.  I hope you will help me welcome the Peace Riders and let's start the conversation about what it would take to bring healing to the next generation during World Peace and Prayer Day 2011.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse: A Great Urgency to all World Religious and Spiritual Leaders
(Reprinted speech from Wednesday, May 12, 2010 after Gulf Oil Spill)

My Relatives,

Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.

We, from the heart of Turtle Island (America), have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations, eventually all will be affect from the oil disaster in the Gulf.

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we
cannot afford to continue to make.

I asked, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.

I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth. As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc'I Maka).

We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we
make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural
site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children's future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe