Vivek gives an introduction: World Peace and Prayer Day was commemorated in Ashland, Oregon on the weekend of June 18-21, 2015. Because of the short notice, I was not able to go but my friend Morelle Foster was there, among other friends. I thought Morelle’s summary of events and my reply would interest you.
I had a wonderful weekend, and I am truly grateful to you for drawing my attention to it. It was not only very informative and interesting, but also moving and very spiritual. It was Chief Arvol’s 10th Celebration of World Peace and Prayer Day. I did not know that he had founded the whole movement ten years ago. A year or two ago he held it in Japan, and apparently 7,000 showed up. We were about 700. He is indeed an impressive human being – powerful, capable in physique, yet having that gentleness and humbleness that always marks out the truly evolved, the truly spiritual. And he displayed such wisdom! He and Paula were never together, as far as I could see, except on one occasion when they were eating together. I made myself known to Arvol quite early on, and yes, he remembered you well. He was very thoughtful about you, and about what you are doing. I felt honored to have had that opportunity to make myself known to him. Thank you, dear Vivek. The following day, I made myself known to Paula, at a moment when she was not surrounded by people. I gave her your letter, and she read it very slowly and very thoughtfully, as though she had all the time in the world. She was very touched, moved even, to hear from you in this way, although she did mention that she has received e-mails from you. Yes, their work is along the same lines as you.
Chief Arvol Looking Horse on his way to address the gathering. Ashland, Oregon, 20 June, 2015
He arrived into the meeting area on the Saturday morning on a beautiful horse (well-groomed and cared for), and then dismounted, and spoke. He said that now the disasters, earth changes and climate change will be more, will increase. He said the values of today are money, profit and there is no reverence for life. Fukushima is hurting the wind, the air and the water. The prophecies of the Kogis are all being born out now; this is the reason why all these white animals are now being born. The fracking must be stopped. So much badness now, e.g. Monsanto. The Dirty 30s when man did not follow Spirit; that generated a big wind which created the Dust Bowl. (It is so satisfying to learn that effects do really take place, that karma is a very real force.) The earthquakes, tornadoes and volcanoes happening now – these never happened before; Mother Earth is speaking to us. In fact, he reiterated all that the global ‘aware’ community knows, but coming from such a leader it was all given such a ring of authenticity.
Chief Arvol addressing the gathering, Ashland, Oregon, 20 June 2015
As if to make the point, the beautiful lake, on whose shores the campsite is, is only 30% full. Our tent sites were all up a little from the edge of the lade, under the fir trees, and the sites were all beautifully organized. Normally, you would only have a short walk to the water, but now you walk a long way to the water, over hard, cracked, parched mud. The floating docks for all the boats normally there now lie in a meadow full of grass and flowering weeds, some of them knee high. It underlined all that Arvol was talking about. Climate change is real. I was talking to some of the camp staff, the park wardens, and they were telling me they have lost tens of thousands of dollars in lost boat berthing fees, lost revenue from their pleasure boats, etc., etc. There are no tourists. The staff has been pared down to a skeleton crew, because there is no money for salaries, and for events like Arvol’s, for which they are extremely grateful, these few staff must perform the duties of many. They were working so hard round the clock, doubling up in many roles.
This park is high up, quite a long way from Ashland, on the lower slopes of Table Mountain. I did not know I would be camping high up, and during the night I was cold! I hardly slept the first night. On the second night, I donned 3 pairs of trousers, numerous tee shirts, sweaters and a jacket, and I slept well!
Arvol’s services (powers) were much in need this weekend, in other ways too. Much of the time was spent on the Native people, who had been adopted into white families both in the US and in Canada, being re-adopted back into their own native families in a special ceremony. There was so much trauma, so many stories of abuse and neglect from the children (now adult) who had been taken away and other stories of horrifying grief and trauma by the mothers who had had their child taken from them. All this was carried out by the social services, using a certain amount of subterfuge, e.g. not telling the mothers and fathers of their rights before asking them to sign the forms. Apparently, all this is still going on in Canada and Dakota. So, at the end of the main part of the event, a special ceremony was carried out in which the participants who wanted healing came and knelt before an altar taking sacred tobacco and offering it on the altar, after which Arvol blessed that person with some special feathers. There was one poor mother who had had her baby daughter taken from her, and made to promise she would not look for her. She did, of course, but could not find her. Eventually, the daughter found her. But there was a sadness to this story, as the daughter must have been about 18 yrs. when she found her mother, and is now wholly ‘white’ in her ways, and does not want to return to the native ways and customs.
Mataji, of Los Angeles, speaking at Ashland, Oregon, 20 June 2015
A black woman, Mataji, originally from Kenya, and now living in LA spoke. She spoke in the typical ‘Black’ way of the preacher, inspired directly by God, and she was inspiring! She spoke of that ‘sweet boy, who carried out those murders in South Carolina. Just look at his face. He is sweet; he did not mean harm. He was capable of that act, because his spirit is deranged, in fact his spirit has left him. How can anyone do that if the spirit is within?’ I was so moved. Here is a member of one of the races most persecuted by the whites, taking such a forgiving perspective. But it is not only a stance of forgiveness, it is the truth. Yes, how indeed can anyone do that if the spirit is residing within? The judge too in the case, commenting before the trial begins, has said ‘his mind is deranged.’ This is very different to the accused in these cases normally being labelled as terrorists. Are we moving into a new understanding of the mental/spiritual state of these murderers? It could be.
Dearest Vivek, I sign off in the spirit of gratefulness with much to ponder on as I read my notes that I took of all the main speakers. As always, when in the presence of great spiritual beings, one is raised up. I feel I am!
with so much love to you, dear Vivek,
My dear Morelle (and All),
My grateful thanks to you for this graphic résumé of events in Ashland this weekend. It makes up for the fact that I could not be at the World Peace and Prayer commemoration myself. Yet you have so eloquently captured the spirit of events there.
Thank you so much for taking my message to Chief Arvol and Paula. I hold them in great esteem for the work they are doing so selflessly for not only the Sioux nation but also mankind and Mother Earth. I am especially grateful to them for the fact that they have continued with the yearly commemoration in the United States after having taken it seven times to various countries around the world despite the greatest odds.
Both Chief Arvol and Paula have my greatest admiration for the fact that they are not bitter or vengeful for what was done to the Native American peoples. They are undoubtedly among the world’s most maligned and repressed peoples. The forced adoption of Native American children by white families is so similar to the abuse and humiliation of the aboriginal people of Australia.
In my years in Australia I knew two sensitive Aboriginal people who had been forcibly taken from their parents and given for adoption to white sheep farming families. In later years, they were not angry. They were filled with consummate sadness.
After great difficulty , both had much later found their way back to the native groups from which they had come. Despite their years of acculturation and success in white society, their greatest desire had been to find their cultural roots again. Only then, they told me, would they be whole again. It was only after meeting them in the Western Desert that I realised that the Aboriginal people of Australia are amazingly spiritual beings, perhaps more so than most people.
Years after leaving Australia, I had the good fortune to meet Chief Arvol and Paula. They too, have known of the white man’s propensity to assume that he alone knows what’s best for others and, thus armed with selfish arrogance, stamp roughshod over the sensitivities of other souls.
It is the likes of gentle souls like Chief Arvol and Paula who will one day succeed in stirring the conscience of the world and make mankind rise in unison to defend its tenuous niche in a complex though fragile natural order.
Thank you once again, Morelle. You have helped recharge my spiritual batteries. Like wars and rumours of wars, news of recent corporate excesses had drained my energy.
Om Nama Shivaya,
Om Sai Ram
In a gloriously cooler Puttaparthi,