We call on all water protectors, as we have from the beginning, to join our voices in prayer and to share our opposition to this pipeline peacefully.
— Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II
Throughout the months of protest over the proposed pipeline in Dakota, prayer — and the call for prayer — has been a central request from the water protectors at Standing Rock. As thousands have and continue to take to the streets in a global wave of solidarity, prayer remains a simple and effective way in which we can cultivate connection and remember our dependency on one another and on the water that sustains all life.
In a collaboration with the UK-based DANCE (Dharma Action Network for Climate Engagement), One Earth Sangha is inviting mindfulness and spiritual practitioners of all traditions and all over the world to join us in answering this call, the call for prayer.
But what if I don’t pray?
We can keep our definitions loose for prayer isn’t something that necessarily has to be directed in a specific way or attached to a particular religion (although if it’s working for you in that context, then go for it). As the poet Rumi said “There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Mindfulness practitioners might practice the Metta Prayer, any one or all four of the heart practices, or perhaps meditate on the water element. You might send thoughts of solidarity and protection to our friends at Standing Rock, and to give thanks and love to the water, and cultivate, as Eihei Dogen suggests, “our intimacy with all things.”
The invitation is to get creative and experiment with form. What’s more important is to make the commitment to create a space in your practice with the intention to connect your practice to that of the Water Protectors at Standing Rock and around the world on their behalf.
Whether it’s on your own, or in community, whether it’s a few words each day over some period of time, or as part of a larger gathering, event or ceremony, take the pledge below to pray with Standing Rock. Then please invite others and share with your networks using the hashtag #PrayWithStandingRock.
May the water run free of poison and pollution.
May we give thanks to the water that sustains all life.
May those who seek to defend and restore the dignity of the water be protected and may their peaceful endeavors meet with every success.