This is part three of a four-part series reflecting on each day of the Indigenous Wisdom Summit & Four Directions Ride, which took place from July 16th-19th in Colorado. The series will conclude next week. Check out our reflections from Days 1 & 2 HERE and stay tuned for more!
Pictured: Darryl Slim speaks to our circle on Monday, July 18th at the Indigenous Wisdom Summit & Four Directions Ride.
Day 3 of the Indigenous Wisdom Summit & Four Directions Ride was marked by smooth afternoon horseback rides, cross-cultural community building, and an enlightening evening presentation by Navajo wellness educator Darryl Slim.
Darryl - a soft-spoken and deeply spiritual Diné man who is almost never found without a peaceful smile across his face, two neat braids running down his back and a floral hairband that honors the traditional dress of Navajo women - entered our camp carrying an aura of gentleness that was immediately palpable. As teachings around mindfulness stemming from the traditional upbringing he received from his grandparents poured forth into our circle, one could feel the laser-focus with which each attendee was attuned to his words. He taught of the interconnectedness of plants, animals, humans, air and water and the need to tend to each element of life. Throughout the presentation, he encouraged participants to pay attention to the silent stillness “beneath the sound.".
When we tend to the elements of life, he explained, we return to wholeness and thus begin to heal. This type of mindfulness, embodied in protection songs he sang in his Diné language, helps us to “...really get to know who you are really not.” Getting to know who we are really not then opens the way for us to tune into the silent stillness all around: “The more you get to know the silent, the more you get to know yourself.” In this way, we may more fully come into who we truly are and may connect with all things, making our own unique mark on the world in harmony with all other beings. As Darryl’s grandfather taught him, “Everyone should sprout up like a flower, and have their own pollen.”
A'he'hee to Darryl for the sacred teachings he shares and the wonderful presence he brings to each Tipi Raisers event he travels to! We are immensely grateful.
Pictured: Darryl oversees the lifting of a tipi at our camp in Sedalia, CO for the Summit & Ride. Darryl is skilled in tipi construction and often leads our group as we raise tipis at various events!
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