Si’ahl and Non-violence

Si'ahl
Chief Seattle

The Dawes Act and subsequent legislation may have benefitted white settlers, but it provided the framework that reduced many proud Native American tribes and their holy traditions to poverty and disrespect.

In honor of Si’ahl’s stand on non-violence, tVM is proud to print the ‘Prayer to the Four Directions’ attributed to Chief Seattle with the hope that all mankind will heed his wisdom to destroy, not re-enforce cultural barriers.  We remain connected… all of us, and through our connectivity, we are obligated to eliminate conflict and to commit ourselves to respect each other.

 


 

Great Spirit of Love, come to me with the power of the North (white).
Make me courageous when the cold wind falls upon me.
Give me strength and endurance for everything
that is harsh, everything that hurts,
everything that makes me squint.
Make me move through life
ready to take what comes from the north.

Great Spirit of Light, come to me out of the East (red)
Come to me with the power of the rising sun.
Let there be light in my words.
Let there be light on the path that I walk.
Let me remember always that you give the gift of a new day.
And never let me be burdened with sorrow by not starting over again.

Great Spirit of Creation,
send me the warm and soothing winds from the South (yellow).
Comfort me and caress me when I am tired and cold.
Enfold me like the gentle breezes that unfold the leaves
on the trees.
As you give to all the earth your warm, moving wind,
Give to me, so that I may grow close to you in warmth.

Great Life-Giving Spirit,
I face the West (black),
the direction of sundown.
Let me remember everyday that the moment will come
when my sun will go down.
Never let me forget that I must fade into you.
Give me a beautiful color,
Give me a great sky for setting,
and  when it is my time to meet you,
I come with glory.

And Giver of all life, I pray to you from the earth,
help me to remember as I touch the earth
that I am little and need your pity.
Help me to be thankful for the gift of the earth
and never to walk hurtfully on the world.
Bless me to love what comes from mother earth
and teach me how to love your gifts.

Great Spirit of the heavens,
lift me up to you
that my heart may worship you
and come to you in glory.
Hold in my memory that you are my Creator,
greater than I,
eager for my good life.

Let everything that is in the world
lift my mind,
and my heart,
and my life to you
so that we may come always to you
in truth and in heart.

 

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  1. I believe it is the Dakota nation who also has prayer while facing each of the four directions in turn, but perhaps does not include ‘colors.’ I am reminded of the question, “What color is God’s skin?” posed in a Carey Landry song. God’s creation of all ‘nations,’ who come from all ‘directions’ in different colors and shades becomes so obvious to us when we listen to the heart prayers of each other. There is a similar language spoken by all of us to the One who loved us into being.