Lessons from Standing Rock

By Susie Kincade, December 14, 2016

turtleisland-prayer-circle-11-24-16

In a protest action at Standing Rock, a prayer circle of 500 people chanted prayers for police who occupied sacred ground atop Turtle Island.

My trip to the Standing Rock camp in North Dakota ranks right up there with my top life events like trying out for the Olympics and birthing my babies! This sacred community on the wind-swept plains attracted people from all over the world, drawn by intense prayer and sense of urgency to protect the commons we all share – water, air, earth. As one elder at camp put it, “This movement is Spiritual Magic being felt all around the world.”

The sacred container held at the camp is incredibly powerful. From the moment I arrived and stepped into the living ceremony that is Standing Rock, I began embodying the spiritual essence that abounds there. Here’s a bit of Standing Rock that now lives within me.

  1. The power of intention and prayer is limitless and does not discriminate by race or religious boundaries; nor is it restricted to humanity’s creations. It manifests far beyond our senses and into the energetic fields, the collective unconscious, the unseen worlds.
  2. Trust #1 above. This is where miracles happen, trust grows and hope floats.
  3. Practice the 7 values of the Lakota: Prayer, Respect, Compassion, Honesty, Generosity, Humility and Wisdom.
  4. Collaboration and harmony flow, and community grows when all members, human and non-human are respected and valued equally.
  5. There are two kinds of Fear. There is irrational Fear through manipulation (inner fear like self-doubt, and outer fear like that generated by media or any others outside of Self).  And there is rational Fear through awareness. Fear through awareness is necessary and beneficial to our survival.  Fear through manipulation is unnecessary fear and we have the power of our mind to CHOOSE not to accept it. I never felt afraid at Standing Rock because the camp felt powerfully protected in a container of prayer, intention and hope – even though drones, planes and helicopters buzzed us incessantly while storm troopers and snipers surrounded the camp. When I observed these attempts to generate fear and intimidation, I simply chose NOT to be manipulated. It’s a continuing practice, to be sure!
  6. Life is a sacred ceremony. Every thought, word, deed feeds one’s personal sacred ceremony – or doesn’t. Therein lies the choice we can make with every breath.
  7. Mni Wiconi (pronounced mini wichoni): Water is Life. Protect the sacred. Everything is sacred.

Embodying these lessons generates a new way of being for me, one that brings grace, resilience and hope together in the kind of Spiritual Magic I discovered at Standing Rock. I saw that we each have the power to conjure up this kind of magic in our life and in the world. It’s an intentional, humble choice we can make each moment.

May it be so.

See my entire Standing Rock Story here: thanksgiving-at-standing-rock

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