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Prayers In Action Printer friendly page Print This
By Mankh, (Walter E. Harris III), Axis of Logic
Axis of Logic
Friday, Sep 30, 2016

What if the police showed up at a church and aimed shotguns at devout Christians/Catholics?!
What if the police showed up at a synagogue and aimed shotguns at Jewish People in prayer?!
(They already spy on mosques.)
The Earth and Waters, etc. are sacred places for Native Peoples!
Seeing the news that the peaceful, prayerful, and unarmed Standing Rock water protectors had been surrounded by police, tear- or mustard-gassed (chemical warfare), and had armed vehicles and weapons flexed and/or aimed at them oughta send chills and wake-up calls to American citizens and all human beings. Instead of protecting the people, the government is protecting the oil-banking cartel and threatening the people. This is the complete opposite of how it is supposed to be.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was escorted away from the presidential debates at Hofstra. She noted: “This is not what democracy looks like, but they are being very nice."[1]
Though presumably hip to what’s happening, her comment reflects what Sheldon Wolin, in his book “Democracy Inc.”, described as inverted totalitarianism: “the political coming of age of corporate power and the political demobilization of the citizenry.”
Debate protestors were told by Nassau County police lackeys to not block the road. In other words, an open road is more important than an actual democracy where Stein would have had the opportunity to speak. Again the complete opposite of how it is supposed to be.
Pipelines feed the open road which runs predominantly on petroleum. It's all connected.
String theory
I, and perhaps you, have read enough news and books to know what the enemy is capable of, and it is horrific, for example, a September 29 headline “Protests Continue in San Diego After Police Kill Mentally Ill, Unarmed Ugandan Refugee Alfred Olango”[2]; yet I continue to say prayers for peace because I also know of the transformations and good deeds that all human beings are capable of.
These prayers brought to mind the statue of Natarja, Lord of dance. “The dwarf on which Nataraja dances is the demon Apasmara (Muyalaka, as known in Tamil), which symbolises Shiva's victory over ignorance. It also represents the passage of spirit from the divine into material.”[3]

Before I looked at the actual statue, instead of the dwarf I ‘saw’ the Native prophesied “black snake” aka any black oil pipeline aka the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
What will it take to defeat the DAPL? Perhaps a judicial decision. Perhaps it will get stopped at some other point of the proposed pipeline, for example, in Iowa, where many activists in solidarity with Standing Rock are 'at work,' as well. Perhaps enough people will stop banking with the banks that are funding the DAPL, or the DAPL-banks cartel will walk away because it is no longer profitable. Perhaps President Obama will make a decision and go into the history books for a good deed worthy of his Nobel Peace Prize. (So far he’s not doing too good, what with supporting wars in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, and allowing those in prayer to be physically threatened and chemically attacked; curious that a man with a law degree would overlook the First Amendment’s freedom of religion.)
As for the statue's symbolism, “the passage of spirit from the divine into material,” to paraphrase Hubert Reeves: ‘The insane are those who worship an invisible God and destroy a visible Nature, unaware that this Nature being destroyed is an expression of that God.’

What is happening in North Dakota is an opportunity for a victory of consciousness made manifest, because seeing the divine in matter is reason to stop the DAPL because that matter, oil, would adversely affect the water, which, as the Native Peoples remind us all, is divine aka “Water Is Life.”
I also pondered/prayed: What does it take to stop a hungry ghost? (as Buddhist lore would call such corporate-state beasts) ... for these are momentous times and it is not simply Natives stopping corporate greed run even further amok – this is a crossroads of paradigms, an epic battle between the greedy blind and those who can see that sharing is the wiser path, for that is what Mother Earth does, feeding both the saint and the criminal. Those who can See and Share are described in the Maitreyavyākaraṇa, a Buddhist text:
“They will have torn the net of the passions, they will manage to enter into [meditative] trances, and theirs will be an abundance of joy and happiness...”[4]
The DAPL/hungry-ghosts are enmeshed in a net of passions aka insatiable desire for oil and money. The happier peeps are those with prayer, vision, and if gifted, able to go into a meditative or trance state, which, from what I've read, is some of what made Crazy Horse a renowned visionary warrior and to this day a guiding light for his Peoples.
Again I asked: What does it take to stop a hungry ghost?
From “The Vows of Bodhisattva Samantabhada Sutra” translated by Upasika Chihmann, in section #4 of “Ten Benefits From Printing Buddhist Sutras And Making Buddha-Images”: “Evil ghosts and other yaksha-ghosts cannot encroach on you; poisonous snakes or man-eating beasts can-not harm you.”[5] 

So according to ancient Buddhist texts, there is a way. Without knowing the exact meanings, I would translate “sutras and images” to current times as: wise sayings/prayers and posters/banners/videos/Facebook-posts/etc. Sutra is a Sanskrit word meaning "string, thread," so too, the People must stay connected physically, via social media, and to the ancestors.

Mainstream and local media, also education systems, often squelch true knowledge, hiding “sutras and images.” The Bismarck Tribune curiously had no headlines about the the DAPL/police-state actions when I looked online the day after the above mentioned threats.
Where East and West intertwine
The various other symbols of the Naṭarāja statue also give helpful clues as to how to stop the DAPL. It is interesting to note that many of these things the Native Peoples are already doing: “beat of the drum, Agni or fire, dharma, upliftment and liberation, elephant which leads the way through the jungle of ignorance, the stoic face of Shiva represents his neutrality, thus being in balance.”[6]

There's also a positive connotation of snake. “The snake swirling around his waist is kundalini, the Shakti or divine force thought to reside within everything.”[7]

When properly harnessed, snake energy is healing, as the caduceus – symbol of medical-practice/healthcare and commerce – shows. Standing Rock is a perfect example of such entwining snakes because to the Native Peoples, water is the first medicine and commerce must not taint it.

“The two most common forms of Shiva's dance are the Lasya (the gentle form of dance), associated with the creation of the world, and the Tandava (the violent and dangerous dance), associated with the destruction of weary worldviews – weary perspectives and lifestyles. In essence, the Lasya and the Tandava are just two aspects of Shiva's nature; for he destroys in order to create, tearing down to build again.”[8]

The Standing Rock Sioux along with Native and non-Native allies around the world are dancing the Lasya. I pray that the Tandava not wreak havoc on even an ant and instead destroy the “weary worldviews and lifestyles” that are making it difficult to simply have clean water and go about one's day without having to wonder if the so-called leaders of the free-world will be armed to the teeth and in your face.

That weary lifestyle and it's antidote is summed up with a saying I read online: “When you have more than you need, build a longer table not a higher fence.”

Keep dancing! And for ideas of prayer in action, visit “International Prayer and Action with Standing Rock” 

1. “Police arrest 24 people near Hofstra debate site, officials say
2. See here.
3. Nataraja
4. See here.
5. See here.
6 & 7 & 8: Ibid 3.

Mankh (Walter E. Harris III) is an essayist and resident poet on Axis of Logic. In addition to his work as a writer, he is a small press publisher and Turtle Islander. His new book of genre-bending poetic-nonfiction is “Musings With The Golden Sparrow.” You can contact him via his literary website.

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