Sacred Activism at Work – by Wynter Worsthorne

From  http://animaltalkafrica.co.za/sacred-activism-work/#sthash.BRR4UZXc.dpbs

Whew! What a month it has been. A while ago I wrote a bit about Sacred Activism and the teachings of Andrew Harvey. During the organising of the Global March for Lions, I experienced first hand how sacred activism works, as opposed to “angry activism”.

The golden rule in connecting and communicating with animals and nature is to work with love for all beings, respect and positive intention. When you use this rule in all aspects of your life, it is incredible what can be achieved. As human beings we have been very conditioned to hearing and communicating in the negative, with very little attention focused on the positive. You only need to watch the news to see what gets the most attention- not the happy, beautiful stories, but the horrific stories of death and destruction. I believe there is a very fine line where we need to balance the negative and the positive. Never more so when working for the animals, and raising awareness about animal rights.

Animals suffer the most horrific injustices in this world. Animal lovers are sickened when they get to hear about the specific cruelties that are inflicted on their beloved friends. Some get incredibly angry and scream and shout, some get depressed and shut themselves off from the world. Some will put themselves out there and speak out and find solutions, working with the perpetrators to end the cruelty. Speaking on behalf of all animal lovers, if I may, I know that at times, we all feel angry, depressed, frustrated and often helpless in the face of the enormous mass of unconscious humanity who think of animals as nothing more than commodities that have no feelings.

On the 15th March 2014 thousands of animal loving people across the globe, came together to speak out against the injustice of the canned hunting industry in South Africa. It was an incredible day where humanity came together for the lions with one voice, and we were heard.

However, what disturbed me was the lead up to the march and the amount of infighting amongst the very people who came together to help the animals, all with a common goal. What I have realised is that when people are filled up to the hilt with rage and sadness it spews out in the most inappropriate ways and often all over the very people who share our vision, and who we should be working with. The violence and aggression that I witnessed amongst some animal activists towards each other, was unbelievable. The march, in some instances, became about the people and their egos, and not about the lions at all. Sadly this is how the darkness prevails. When we focus on the negative and destructive energy, we create more negativity and through this we destroy the very thing we are creating. Isn’t that an anomaly?

So how can we rectify this, how can we make sure that there is a balance where we are able to express our anger and outrage about the cruelties, without that anger destroying ourselves and our cause? As I mentioned before it is a fine line. The animals need us to be their voice, and they need us to shout for them, but they also need us to show people their value, their beauty, their majesty. They need us to educate the ignorant about how important their survival is to our own. How we are all connected and when we destroy one of them, we ultimately destroy our selves.

When we are filled with anger, we act impulsively and impetuously, often doing more harm than good. So the first thing we need to do is address the anger and convert it into an energy that can be used to utmost positive effect.

SACRED PRACTICE

Andrew Harvey shared a couple of spiritual practices at the White Lion Leadership Academy last year. I have found one particularly helpful, especially when I am feeling angry and helpless in the face of cruelty.

I would like to share this with you, and have adjusted it a little for more focus.

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Image from www.angelheartconnections.com

Lie down on Mother Earth. (It’s great if you can be outside, but if its not possible, just lie down on the floor, in a safe place- it is as effective.)

Visualise the golden centre of the earth and become aware of any anger, pain, darkness that you are holding within your heart. Then feel it being drawn from your core down into the earth. The golden centre of the earth is like a magnet drawing out the darkness then absorbing and transforming it into molten gold. Let Mother Earth transform your anger and pain into pure gold. Stay with this until you feel calmer and lighter.

Then feel pure rays of golden light beaming down from the sky/sun, from above you and filling your body, washing away the last of the darkness. The golden light fills your heart, and you feel the absolute unconditional love from the Earth and all who live upon her and within her. This golden light and unconditional love is a strength that empowers you to act for the good of Mother Earth. This is the energy which connects us to her and all her children.

If you do a practice like this regularly, it will help you to become stronger and cope with the harsh reality of this work. You can empower yourself to make a difference and help the animals you love so much.

When you do have successes, hold onto that feeling, knowing that you can and do make a difference. Focus on that, rather than the pain and suffering. In this way you can only be more and more successful.

If this resonates with you and you do activist work, in whatever field, I encourage you to share this practice with those who you work alongside, and who you feel could benefit.

PRAYER

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Another way we can focus our energies is through prayer and having positive intentions for whatever cause we are supporting. One of the beautiful things that came out of this march for lions, was this prayer lead by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who because of this march became aware of the plight of lions in South Africa, and specifically the very much endangered white lions. The Arch prays not only for the all wildlife and nature, but for the “human predators” who put nature at risk.

- See more at: http://animaltalkafrica.co.za/sacred-activism-work/#sthash.BRR4UZXc.dpuf

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