Showing posts with label climate change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label climate change. Show all posts

Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Lifting of the Veil of Illusion

The first thing you might ask is what is the veil of illusion? The veil of illusion is essentially the boundary between the physical and the spiritual realms. You might think of it as the border between seen and unseen, or known and unknown. The veil is the barrier that restricts our infinite spiritual awareness so we can perceive ourselves as a limited physical beings. When we incarnate into the physical realm, we pass through the veil, losing awareness of our limitless potential. The veil creates the illusion that we are separate and disconnected from others and from everything else. By losing awareness of our immortality and our interconnectedness with all that is, we are able to have experiences which would otherwise be impossible. When we die, we cross over to the other side of the veil. It then becomes possible to view our earthly life from a highly expanded vantage point. When we are no longer veiled in the illusion of time and space, we can see that spirit and matter are truly interconnected.

We live in a time period in which the veil is growing very thin. In other words, the boundaries between spirit and matter have greatly dissolved, and these worlds are currently overlapping and blending together. As the two worlds merge, the invisible becomes visible, leading to an increase of paranormal activity and spirit contact. The realms of the living and the dead naturally intersect. Spirit sightings and interactions are becoming more common. More and more people are awakening to higher consciousness and direct spiritual experience. As more and more people awaken, the thinning of the veil accelerates. Eventually, the veil will completely dissolve. It's uncertain what the consequences of this will be.

Apocalypse: The Lifting of the Veil

The Greek word apocalypse literally means "lifting of the veil" or "revelation." This term has come to mean the end of the world, but originally meant the end of an age. The lifting of the veil is happening all around us. We are experiencing a disclosure of information hidden from us in an era dominated by falsehood and deception. Everything is becoming very transparent. We can clearly see how the patriarchal powers want to dominate us. We realize the folly of materialism and the unsustainability of consumerism. We recognize that happiness cannot be measured by wealth. We can longer deny the risks to our planet and our health. Because we've opened our eyes, we can see through the illusion that spirit and matter are separate. As we awaken to our true nature, we dissolve all feelings of separation and alienation.

We are coming to the end of an age and entering a new one. The veil is lifting, so what can we do about it? The first thing we need to do is to get out of denial about what's happening. It's time to pay attention to what's occurring in the physical world around us--the breakdown of all of the systems and the inevitable collapse of societies that comes with it. There's no way to tell if an impending collapse will take place suddenly or over a long period of time. The thing about collapse is that it can no longer be discussed in future tense. It's happening all around us. We see a global water crisis, severe climate change, destructive earthquakes, massive wildfires, and species dying off...the veil is lifting.

Navigating the Apocalypse

In these uncertain times, it is impossible to find stability in the outer world, so do not waste your time looking for it. Instead, we must hold steady within ourselves and observe the chaos from an inner place of power. When we center ourselves and calm our minds, we stop feeding the negative drama that is playing out on Earth. It can be easy to lose hope at times, yet there are many opportunities for spiritual growth and meaningful action during this time. To navigate these turbulent times and keep yourself sane, you might want to try the following:

1. Learn to Live with Your Heart

We live in a highly visual world that continually bombards us with stimulation, exposing us to a multitude of sensations that keep us in our heads. In a chaotic, rapidly changing world, it can be difficult to figure things out, so it is best to turn away from the external theatrics and move into our heart space--into the stillness at our center. To live fully from the heart, we must learn to still the mind so that our intuitive self can come to light. Stopping the mind's incessant chatter frees us of doubt, fear and limitation. Such inner calm and openness connects us with the guidance of our own inner knowing. Take time every day to quiet the mind, whether in meditation or prayer, and ask to be taken into your heart's sacred space. Then while you are there, practice seeing the world from that point of view. As we learn to live from the heart, we are able to move with the ebb and flow of change with grace and ease.

2. Seek Equanimity or Steadiness of Mind

Equanimity is the capacity to remain poised and calm even when under stress. According to Buddhist teachings, equanimity is an unshakable balance of mind. The kind of equanimity required must be rooted in the insight that we create our own reality. Nothing that happens to us comes from an external source outside ourselves; everything is the result of our own thoughts and deeds. Because this knowledge frees us from fear, it is the foundation of equanimity. To attain equanimity as an unshakable state of mind, we must release all attachments to negative feelings and thoughts that float on the stream of mind. It requires diligence and commitment to release such attachments. Equanimity allows us to stand in the midst of conflict or crisis in a way where we are balanced, centered and grounded.

3. Stay Grounded 

Grounding is a technique that gets you rooted in your body and helps keep you in the present moment. Grounding techniques are designed to redistribute the energy from your head into your body. Doing so has an almost instant calming effect. Grounding can reduce anxiety, quiet the mind and connect you to your inner voice. Grounding begins with mindful breathing. The most basic way to do mindful breathing is simply to focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale. You do not need to do anything to your breath. Just breathe naturally and focus your attention on where you feel your breath in your body. It may be in your abdomen, chest, throat or nostrils. As you do this, your mind may start to wander. This is perfectly natural. Just notice that your mind has wandered, and then gently redirect your attention back to the breathing. Stay here for five to seven minutes. It helps to set aside a designated time for mindful grounding each day.

4. Cleanse Your Space

One of the most important things you can do is to smudge yourself and your home each day. Smudging is a method of using smoke from burning herbs to dispel intrusive spirits and negative energy. Sage, cedar and sweetgrass are traditionally used for smudging. To smudge, light the dried herbs in a fire-resistant receptacle, and then blow out the flames. Then use a feather or your hands to fan the smoke around your body and home. I recommend cracking a window or door for ventilation and for releasing unwanted energies.

5. Develop a Spiritual Practice

The most important thing you can do at this time is to develop a spiritual practice. A spiritual practice is the regular performance of actions and activities undertaken for the purpose of inducing spiritual experiences and cultivating spiritual development. A spiritual practice is something you do every single day that facilitates deeper self-awareness, empathy and connectedness with others. Regular spiritual practice fosters inner peace, insight, compassion, non-attachment, integration and a sense of unity. Consistent spiritual practice helps to build spiritual strength and this in turn becomes our protective armor. We must not fall into hopelessness, but  instead must strengthen our personal practice and act as a light in dark times for those around us that are lost.

The Veil of Illusion, Tree of Life and other fundamental patterns of creation are all illustrated in the sacred geometry of the Flower of Life (pictured above). The Flower of Life is a visual representation of the interconnectedness of life and all beings.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Davi Kopenawa Receives Alternative Nobel Prize

Renowned Yanomami shaman Davi Kopenawa, the "Dalai Lama of the Rainforest," received this year's Right Livelihood Award, known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize" this Wednesday (Dec 4th). The ceremony took place in Stockholm and was the final event of a 10-day long program of celebrations in Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. During his acceptance speech Davi said: "I want to help my indigenous brothers by asking the international authorities to put pressure on the Government of Brazil to demarcate the land of other indigenous peoples. I have always fought for the rights of my people, the Yanomami, and the Ye'kwana. This award is a new weapon to strengthen the fight of our people."

Davi Kopenawa has been on the front lines for over 40 years representing a people whose very existence is in jeopardy. From encouraging tribesmen in villages in the heart of the Amazon rain forest to delivering a speech to Britain's Parliament to addressing the United Nations, he's fought for the rights of his people, the Yanomami of northern Brazil. These travels constitute a shamanic critique of Western industrial society, whose endless material greed, mass violence, and ecological blindness contrast sharply with Yanomami cultural values. Wherever Kopenawa speaks on behalf of his people, he delivers the same message: Help defend this region's natural resources and the health of the Yanomami.

In 2010 Kopenawa wrote The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman, the first book by a Yanomami. The Falling Sky paints an unforgettable picture of Yanomami culture, past and present, in the heart of the rainforest--a world where ancient indigenous knowledge and shamanic traditions cope with the global geopolitics of an insatiable natural resources extraction industry. Kopenawa recounts his initiation and experience as a shaman, as well as his first encounters with outsiders: government officials, missionaries, road workers, cattle ranchers, and gold prospectors. He vividly describes the ensuing cultural repression, environmental devastation, and deaths resulting from epidemics and violence. To counter these threats, Davi Kopenawa became a global ambassador for his endangered people.

Survival International, an organization dedicated to campaigning for the rights of the Yanomami and other tribal peoples around the world, has worked alongside Kopenawa for the last 30 years in his campaign to persuade the government of Brazil to set aside and protect Yanomami tribal lands in the northern states of Roraima and Amazonas. In 1992 the Brazilian government designated 96,000 square kilometers (37,000 square miles, an area the size of Portugal) for the Yanomami "Urihi," meaning "forest" in the Yanomami language. Combined with the Yanomami territory in Venezuela, it is the largest area of rainforest under indigenous control anywhere in the world. Indigenous peoples are the best conservationists and have so much to teach us.

Kopenawa has frequently been threatened by the gold miners and cattle ranchers who target the resources inside the Yanomami territory. Indigenous people in the Amazon are under threat from business interests as well as politicians, including far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has a long history of anti-indigenous statements and policies. The current regime in Brazil is trying now to undo decades, generations of progress in recognizing indigenous peoples' rights. The threat has never been more acute and has implications for the rest of the world.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Greta Thunberg at Standing Rock

On October 9 Greta Thunberg spoke at the Indigenized Climate Forum in Fort Yates, North Dakota. As you likely know, Thunberg comes from Sweden, where, at 15, she began protesting a lack of climate action in Parliament. From there, she quickly rose to worldwide prominence, organizing school climate strikes, giving a TED Talk, and appearing on the cover of Time magazine. In September Thunberg received an invitation to speak at a UN Climate Action Summit in New York. Since then she has made it a point to travel throughout North America to spread her message.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, opened the event with a prayer.

"The old ones tell us through our ceremonies and everyday life we walk with the spirits, and everything has a spirit, we do our ceremonies everyday year round and that's our way of life -- so our prayers and our sacred language is all about the environment," Looking Horse said.

"I am so honored and grateful to be here to visit you in your homelands, to visit Standing Rock, this symbolic place of resistance," Thunberg said. "There was one moment that changed everything. It was a slow process. I started to educate myself about the climate and ecological climate. I just started to understand the urgency. When I understood that, I became furious because I realized that countless people are already suffering and have been for a very long time. These people are being ignored. This is going to affect every one of us in the future, myself included. It is already affecting us in many different ways. I just thought the only right thing to do was to stand back against this and to take a stand and I never regretted doing it."

"It's been very educational I must say, because you get so much experience from meeting all of these different cultures. The basic problem is the same everywhere. It is greed, ignorance, and unawareness -- and basically, nothing is being done to protect our common future. Nothing is being done to save the planet. We as teenagers shouldn't be the ones taking the responsibility, it should be those who are in power... and also it is because you here at Standing Rock, you are on the front line. You are the true warriors. You are the ones standing up for everyone else's future and I have so much respect for you and I am so grateful that you have taken this fight. Just so you know, we look up to you a lot."

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Indigenous Youth Excluded from UN Climate Summit

On September 21 the United Nations held its first-ever Youth Climate Summit, but Indigenous youth were excluded from the sessions. They were given their own event, which was poorly attended. Makasa Looking Horse was invited to open the youth summit with a blessing. The 25-year-old leader is Lakota and Mohawk from Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. She is the daughter of Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th generation keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman pipe.

"I did not come here to play, or this isn't for show," she said, holding the pipe ahead of her prayer.

Looking Horse told youth delegates that the White Buffalo Calf Woman "declared we treat all of creation with respect to honor our mother," adding "she warned my people of the time we are in today, and that she would return to help us as a white buffalo calf."

She said that prophesy has begun. "I will honor her today for asking, honor her today for her blessing to guide us, the seventh generation."

Beyond the blessing, the Indigenous youth felt excluded from the summit and left feeling dejected, they said.

"They need to provide space and get Indigenous people there in those spaces to truly make a difference, I think, because we already have the knowledge, we already know what we're doing. We know what we want," Looking Horse told APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) News.

"There was a disconnect," she said, adding the global youth and Indigenous youth were "both talking about the same thing, and we're in two different rooms. And I think that speaks volumes about how this topic is treated regarding Indigenous people."

Looking Horse said she valued the time she was given to open the youth summit with a blessing, but said knowledge like the teachings of the White Buffalo Calf Woman pipe will not be heard if Indigenous peoples aren't meaningfully included in plans for climate action.

"The message that the White Buffalo Calf Woman gave us was to always work in unity and keep praying together with our bundles, our pipes, because that's the only way that we will get through the tough times that are coming," she said.