Stillness by Four Arrows

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Four Arrows - Stillness

As full of words and enthusiasm as is my nature, I have learned from my Indigenous worldview work and my years living with Indigenous People that stillness has more power than movement and silence has more power than sound. Stillness allows me to move toward nothingness, which in turn leads to openness and humility, which goes deeper into patient self-reflection. This sometimes ends in wisdom. Stillness requires silence and the Lakota say the fruits of silence are self-control, dignity, and reverence.

    I do a lot of work with people’s fears. Helping people learn to be still, and to breathe, and then to trust in the universe, helps them begin to be inclined to act with fearless courage.

Stillness is also part of our hanbleceya (vision quest), where we sit still with our chanpa in a circle of tobacco ties and cry for a vision.

Finally, with my CAT-FAWN* work, “Nature” and being in, with and of it, is an important factor. Learning from our non-human teachers all around us happens when we learn how to be still. 

*See Four Arrows (aka Don Trent Jacobs) Primal Awareness: A True Story of Survival, Transformation, and Awakening with the Rarámuri Shamans of Mexico. Inner Traditions International (1998). Available on Amazon, or preview it below.

Articles by: Four Arrows

Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows), aka Donald Trent Jacobs, Ph.D., Ed.D.

Formerly Dean of Education at Oglala Lakota College and a tenured Associate Professor of Education at Northern Arizona University, Four Arrows is currently a professor with Fielding Graduate University. Selected as one of 27 "Visionaries in Education" for the AERO text, Turning Points, he is author of 21 books on Indigenous Worldview and its applications for education, sustainability, wellness and justice. He is a recipient of a Martin Springer Institute for Holocaust Studies "Moral Courage Award for his activism in behalf of Indigenous Peoples and sovereignty. Co-editor of the Indigenous section of Sage's new International Handbook for Critical Pedagogies, his book, Teaching Truly: A Curriculum to Indigenize Mainstream Education, was selected as one of the top 20 progressive education books along with Paulo Freire, John Dewey and Neil Postman. Other books have been endorsed by Noam Chomksy, Vandana Shiva, Michael Apple, Thom Hartmann, Jon Pilger, Darcia Narvaez, Henry Giroux and other notable educators. Dr. Michael Fisher wrote a book about his work entitled Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows (2018). His newest book is The Red Road: Linking Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives to Indigenous Worldview (in press, IAP). Four Arrows and his mustang Briosos made first alternative to the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team for 1996. He is also a World Champion "Old Time Piano Player."

He lives with his wife in Mexico in the winter and in British Columbia in the summer.
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