It is time for a Global Wopida, a Prayer of Thanks and Gratitude with Love and Compassion for All of Life. It is time for humans to act as a unified force of nature, to live life as a prayer of gratitude and service for the Earth and for future generations. The Native American Dakota people have a special ceremony used for times of difficulty. It is called Wopida, or Wopila in the Lakota dialect. Wopida is a sacred sharing of gratitude, a connecting with all beings including the Great Spirit through giving thanks. It is is an expression of wisdom, strength, and compassion. Our native allies have survived centuries of genocide yet they still carry this sacred teaching that helps us navigate turbulent times. This is the core teaching of Wopida: This spiritual understanding of Wopida requires each of us to live with honor, compassion, love, respect and harmony with all life. This spiritual understanding recognizes that the Hurt of One is the Hurt of All and the Honor of One is the Honor of All and that we are intimately related as an integral part of all Life. We are all relatives! –
Hereditary Chief, Phil Lane Jr In April of this year a small group of Sioux, the “Chante tin’sa kinanzi Po”, started a peaceful and prayerful resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Slowly people of all faiths and cultural backgrounds flocked to stand in support with the natives to protect their land and water. These Water Protectors have a message for the world to protect the sacred, Mni Wiconi, “water is Life”. This is why Chief Phil Lane, Ihanktowan Dakota, has called for a Global Wopida ceremony, in support of Standing Rock, to occur 10 December, which is United Nations Human Rights Day. The webcasts from both previous events had over 40,000 people listening and almost 300,000 have listened to the recording online. United Religions Initiative Director, Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr., Jon Ramer of the Charter for Compassion, Hawaiian Teacher, Pua Case, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and others will be offering words of wisdom and gratitude in the presentation on Saturday December 10. This heartfelt understanding of the infinite unifying and healing power of Wopida, is to give thanks and gratitude at all times and in all places. This is the State of Consciousness that we always need to be, whatever unfolds at Standing Rock and beyond. – Hereditary Chief, Phil Lane Jr.
Wopida is the understanding that we are blessed regardless of life’s circumstances. When we strive to make our lives, every thought, word and action, a living Wopida, we are given a great spiritual gift. For whenever our soul and the inmost chambers of our heart are filled with thanksgiving and gratitude it also naturally becomes filled with compassion, love, understanding, forgiveness, joy, happiness and oneness. When our lives are centered in this State of Consciousness, there is no room left for the experience of fear, hate, prejudice, revenge, jealousy, loneliness and disunity. There is no room for anything that separates ourselves and our oneness with our Beloved Creator, our Human Family and all Life, seen and unseen. – Hereditary Chief, Phil Lane Jr.
December 10 was designated Human Rights Day which commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human rights include, among others, the right to peacefully assemble, to have clean drinking water, the right to consultation, to peace, and to not be brutalized by police or state agencies. The history between colonists, the US government, and indigenous people, especially the Sioux, has been wrought with human rights violations. Now is a potent time to bring attention to this, to heal it, and set a better course moving forward. This is why elders like Chief Phil Lane and others are calling for a Global Wopida. Global Wopida is a call to live in gratitude as we face great changes on our planet. For updates on this movement and upcoming events, please visit Pray with Standing Rock. This moment represents a shift in consciousness when each of us are given a choice about the kind of future we’d like to create. There are many Standing Rocks around the world, where people are struggling to protect their sacred places, whether they be forests, mountains, oceans, or rivers. The battle is not over, there is much work to be done. It is time for humans to act as a unified force of nature, to live life as a prayer of gratitude and service for the Earth and for future generations. It is time for a Global Wopida. —by Jacob Devaney