The Inner and Outer of the Gulf Oil Deluge


    I have noticed that there are significant numbers of people praying and meditating about the deluge of oil spilling into the Gulf.  Marianne Williamson and a host of  others have been tweeting about meditating everyday at noon and making this a global effort. But what is the content of those prayers? Are we sending love to all species and to the human communities affected? Are we expressing inner concern? Are we looking for miraculous clean-up? Are we looking for remorse by those responsible? Are we looking for remorse in ourselves for the way we live? Are we looking for transformative insight? Are we practicing deep non-judgmental detachment? Are we intending the healing of the waters? Are we healing our own despair? Are we channeling moral outrage into a wave-form in consciousness which will bring our gas guzzling greed to an end? Are we seeing in those prayers what we have to do to change the story?

    I know some people think it is quite old-fashioned to actually have content to your prayers. But here is my prayer for the Gulf:

    Forgive me, all life forms of the Gulf, and all exquisitely unique and diverse sentient beings. I have colluded in your poisoning. Forgive me people of the Gulf I saw it coming; saw the ruin that would befall you, but I did nothing effective to stop it. I said a lot over the years but did not really transform my words into creative enactments of moral imagination or sacred activism to end our dependence on fossil fuels.  Forgive me beautiful waters of the Gulf and the ocean, I am one of those so called civilized ones who is addicted to fuels and all of the plundering and destruction of Nature which that addiction causes.   I know that this is the way the human species “evolved” to date: by overlooking our rapacious appetite for machine-driven luxury. I know I am part of the blindness and distraction that seduces us into participating as a species in the destruction of the collective habitat of all life on this jewel of a planet. Other species do not destroy the very habitat needed for their survival.

    Help me now to return to deep community. Help me to commune with Nature, not as a tourist but as a co-inhabitant of what was always designed to be an inter-species domain of optimal co-existence. Help me to participate in finding communal transport, communal food sources, communal spirituality and a politics of local ecology in resonance with global ecology.

    May consciousness witness the travesties and crimes that humans have committed against Nature; and may this consciousness not seek guilt and punishment as its new distraction. But, rather, let it seek to restore, to renew and revitalize its common aspiration with all of life to live in the beauty and natural fecundity of eco-Logical design.  Inspire us to harmonize once again with Nature’s powerful wisdom and intricate generosity. Allow us to live without these  insatiable accoutrements of our marauding vanities.

    Let our leaders fall to their knees in awe at the restorative justice within the natural order and let it mirror for them the teachings that must be followed if we are to end this era of ego-driven defiance of Nature’s Holy Order.  I know that if we seek forgiveness the only atonement Nature will ask of us will be to rejoin its oneness and end our rebellion.  Are we ready? Or must we kill more Life before we see that we  have definitively signed the death-warrant of our own species?

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    James is currently Co- Director of The Social Healing Project funded by the Kalliopeia Foundation. This work has led him to Rwanda, Israel/Palestine, N.Ireland and elsewhere. He is a member of the extended faculty of The Institute of Noetic Sciences and its immediate past President. He was Executive Director of The Seva Foundation, an international health and development organization and, for ten years, was the Washington Office Director of Amnesty International. James O'Dea is a renowned figure in international social healing who has conducted healing and reconciliation dialogues for twenty years and was director of Amnesty International's Washington, D.C., office for over ten years. His work as co-director of the Social Healing Project led him to Rwanda, Israel/Palestine, and Northern Ireland. The lead faculty of the popular Peace Ambassador Training hosted by the Shift Network, James is also on the extended faculty of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and he is its immediate past president. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Peace Alliance.


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