Standing Rock- Touching the first Domino


“If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world.” Noam Chomsky


Blessings all beings,

As I have fully stepped into this effort of support for organizing and engaging food, supplies, and unity to Standing Rock, I am being flooded with love and encouragement for doing ONLY what I believe every citizen of this country and this planet should do. Support, be humble support, engage your heart and activate your actions and your voice in the face of wrongdoings. To stand tall and hands together when the marginalized, the oppressed the forgotten are kicked while no one is looking or listening.

First, I want to answer the question of “who am I”, since I’m now getting asked a lot.I am David Starbear, born David Michael Avalos. I took on the name Starbear years ago after it was given to me in a vision quest ceremony in the Lakota tradition and language.

And, that does NOT make me a Native American.

I have spent my life in sacred indigenous ceremonies around the planet, studied shamanic and metaphysical ways

And that does NOT magically make me a Native American or a Shaman or a Guru.

I was taught to make drums by Native Americans, taught to create herbal medicines and remedies by natives around the world, spent much time on different reservations and still,

This does NOT make me a Native American.

I even grew up with my stepmother Susan, who is full native Cayuga-Seneca from the Iroquois nation,

And even that does not make ME a Native American.

In fact, in this incarnation, I like many am a mixed up human stew. I have a Mexican lineage from my father Rudy, and lots of European ingredients from my Mother Mary. I’m just an average human like anyone reading this. What I am, what I own and hold sacred is that I am indigenous to this planet, with blood and a heart and a precious perspective gifted to me to carry thru this journey on earth. To me that is more than enough to go, stand and defend what is rightfully all of ours. The right to stand and be seen and heard in the face of wrong actions.I choose to first share this insight so there are no misunderstandings or reasons for anyone to think otherwise. I am just someone whom deeply loves and honors the ways of spiritual traditions, and those are typically found and held at the core of native peoples.

I also share this because, as I choose to go and be in support in Standing Rock, to stand next to my brothers and sisters and family in a good way, because it is the right thing to do as a human in these times. It is an opportunity to stand for truth, humanity and unity. To not just do what is right but to do what is fundamentally necessary.

My observation is that even though the catalyst for this particular movement is big oil and the DAPL pipeline it is certainly not all that is unfolding. The crimes they are  perpetrating against our native family and all of us is only the tip of the massively dark iceberg that needs to be witnessed and uncovered. For me, it is about the water, and our precious endlessly abused mother earth. Not just the actual life-giving river water at risk of contamination or the vanishing health of our planet due to our actions. It is also about the Water and Earth that we all share, inside of us, in our blood, in our flesh, in our hearts. Water is vital, it is fundamental to all of our lives, and because it is in us all, we should all stand to protect it, inside and out. When our drinking water is completely contaminated, when our earth is poisoned and stripped of her last gifts, we will all unquestionably perish. And if our priceless internal water and earth stays contaminated with hate and division and dis-empowerment, with everyone turning a blind eye, there is just as little hope for our survival.

I am not a politician; I am not an expert on the complicated problems of land rights or the future of renewable power or big oil. I know enough to consider myself mildly educated as well as far more unenlightened and unaware. There are many who are experts on many topics and I stand with them holding space, listening and learning, but not getting caught in the divisive arguments or foolishly speaking about that which I don’t know.

I do know that it is easy to get quickly divided by the details of each and every uprising, especially one as complicated as relinquishing our addiction and dependence surrounding the use of fossil fuels. These are not my reasons for activating to this cause.

The reason to activate I believe is to wake up and step out of the spell of our oppressed disempowerment and to stand with those courageous enough to do so in our stead.

To demand that we are honestly shown all of the options for a sustainable future and not be bullied, quieted or shamed by those with nothing more than money and power to loose.

What I am is an activist for the raising of human consciousness and human empowerment. A global citizen willing to stand next to someone who has been oppressed, marginalized, taken advantage of and kept hidden away. And that is exactly what is happening in front of us all now in so many ways. In Standing Rock in inner cities, in Black Lives matter campaigns, in women’s safety movements even in our country’s election process. We are being divided and dissuaded with extreme prejudice and tomfoolery to not look behind the controlling jester’s curtain.

We are however being forced to look at the dark truth of suffering and oppression that no matter what, we are all engaged in. Especially if we ignore it, deny it or pretend it is not there. Acting like it is someone else who is prejudiced or hateful, while not owning our own relationship to these feelings regardless of how it is expressed is polluted ignorance and keeps the cycle rolling. For those illusions are only the tragic deceptive conditions of false comfort and imbalanced entitlement.

If you believe tyranny only exist overseas, look closely, here.

If you believe persecution, harassment and cruelty only exist somewhere else, look closer, here.

If you believe that being oppressed is only present in third world settings, and poor neighborhoods than take a look at your bank account, your debt load and how hard you work to get ahead, to put your kids in school, to keep rent paid or food in the fridge, to receive fundamental and affordable medical care.Take into consideration your real choices, not your never-ending options of stuff to buy. Real choices that affect the core of your life and the future of our children’s generations. Like, how our poor and marginalized are treated, which energy to use, or which real leaders we really want to lead us.

Now ask, who’s the slave? Ask yourself, who’s the oppressed?

And then,

If you are willing, engage your compassion and recognize that for some folks in your own backyard, fellow humans, this reality has been their painful experience for generations, with no one to stand for them, no one to hear them or care. Cultivating a bleak landscape with absolutely no reason to believe in hope.

Why do we allow it anywhere? How is this not cultural insanity?

If we don’t stand now, in connection, in numbers, somehow, the same will find us all where we each are, if it hasn’t already.

Still think that Standing Rock is “JUST” about oil pipes?

These are all important and complicated issues, with resolute and even unfortunate violent actions engaging to serve and play out the details and fine points. And yet to me, it still comes down to what should be obvious and simple humane points; open communication, compassion, cooperation, human decency, and truth.

When did we actually become so self-involved and so comfortable in this illusion to stop talking and listening, to stop caring, to stop looking for solutions and finding cooperative consensus.

When did we become so turned around that we actually help create excuses for those that continue to abuse their power and wealth to enslave us?

When did it become so inconvenient that we can’t be bothered to engage and pay attention to what really matters and easily forsaking that we are all one sentient family? To realize that when any one of us is poor or beaten or broken, that we are all affected.If we are to survive all that we are facing now, we must be willing to address and correct these flaws in ourselves with direct love. Not the overstated fluffy stuff, but hard truth, transparency, accountability and compassion.

For me, what is happening with the brave activist movement initiated by the water protectors at Standing Rock is about inviting all of us in and extending our hands together to courageously touch the first Domino. And as the first domino falls it engages the next, gaining momentum and forming a beauty and a sound as we willingly watch the lines and shapes fall in rattling form. Watching each connection and curve of the dominos structured illusions raging forward as they topple in perfect and necessary harmony.

And then we engage the future restructuring, together, with a firm belief and unified intention that what is rebuilt and co-created will be even more spectacular. A work of brilliant cooperation that will serve, support and empower all of our global humanity and every earthly presence.

May there be peace to all sentient beings
David Starbear









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