Look behind you. See your sons and your daughters. They are your future. Look farther and see your sons' and your daughters' children and their children's children even unto the Seventh Generation. That's the way we were taught. Think about it: you yourself are a Seventh Generation."-- Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
The Creator designed us with a free will. That means we function from choices and consequences. It is important that we practice thinking about consequences before we make decisions about choices. Every choice I make is like setting up dominos one after the other that produce consequences. Not just for me but also for my children and for the children that are unborn. My choices and decision today will have consequences for seven generations. For example, if I work on my own spiritual development and I walk the Red Road, the odds are that my children will. They will marry and their children will follow the Red Road and so will my grandchildren even up to the seventh generation. This will happen because of the choices and decisions that I make today.
Great Spirit, grant that the choices and decisions that I make today will honor Your laws and values. May I live in peace today that will ripple into the seventh generation.
"You want to know who's a real medicine man? He's the one who doesn't say 'I'm a medicine man.' He doesn't ask you to come to him. You've got to go and ask him. And you'll find he's always there among his own people."-- Louis Farmer, ONONDAGA
The Medicine Man is a role model of what it is like to live in harmony and balance with the Creator. It takes a long time, a lot of sacrifice and discipline to become a Medicine Man. A Medicine Man is humble and never crass about anything. He knows he lives to do the will of the Great Spirit. He knows he is to help the people. He lives very low key - the more low key he lives, the more people seek him out - and such is life. The more one serves the people and is quiet about it, the more he is sought out. The quieter he is, the more powerful is his medicine.
Great Spirit, allow me this day to be humble. Allow me this day not to seek attention, but to live quietly and keep my focus and attention on serving You.
"When we want to talk to Him we burn tobacco and it takes our prayers all the way up to the Sky World."-- Louis Farmer, ONONDAGA
Our herbs and our medicines are all here for the purpose of serving. Offering tobacco as a gift to the Creator is proper use of our medicine. In this way, we are able to communicate from the physical world to the spiritual world. Sometimes we have a hard time coming up with the right words when we pray, especially if we are really mixed up. The tobacco and the sage will take the intent to the spirit world. The meaning behind the words are more important the the words. The Creator always knows our intent. The tobacco helps us get to the Sky World.
Today, my Creator, I offer You this tobacco. I want to thank You for being in my life. I want to tell You how much I appreciate the honor of being here to serve You. Tell me this morning what I can do for You. You are the reason I live.
"A good heart and a good mind - those are what you need to be a chief."-- Louis Farmer, ONONDAGA
The combination of heart and mind is very powerful. The Medicine Wheel teaches that two worlds exist - the seen and the unseen. The seen world is the physical and the unseen is the spiritual world. Both of the worlds are necessary to discover true reality. The seen world is easiest seen by the male side. The unseen is easiest seen by the female side. The heart is the unseen and the mind is the seen. Blessed is the leader or person who has developed the heart and the mind. Truly, the person is of tremendous value to the Creator and the people.
My Great Spirit, help me this day to develop both my female side and my male side. Let me know all the feelings of each, let me develop and grow my intuition and my mind. Let my development only serve You.
"Let us put our minds together as one."-- Irving Powless, Sr., ONONDAGA
If we sat in a circle and put an object in the center of the circle and we all described what we saw, everyone would see different points of view from each other. Some would even see opposites because they would be sitting on opposite sides of the circle. In other words, you don't have to see what I see for you to be right. In fact, everyone in the circle is right based on their own point of view. If we are willing to listen to everyone's point of view, then we can get a more accurate description of the object in the center. This is one way to put our minds together. When we get the clarity from each other, we should give thanks and be grateful to each other.
Grandfathers from the four directions, guide me today with Your wisdom from the east, from the south, from the west and from the north.
"These are our times and our responsibilities. Every human being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our Mother Earth, from whom all life comes. In order to do this, we must recognize the enemy - the one within us. We must begin with ourselves..."-- Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
The outside is merely a reflection of our insides. My mind is designed to tell me that I'm not crazy for thinking what I am thinking. Even if I have angry thought, my mind is giving me excuses and reasons why it is OK to think what I'm thinking. I need to be knowledgeable about the laws of harmony and balance. I cannot twist the laws to serve me, but I can adjust my life to serve the laws. This is the law - I am here to serve the Earth. The Earth is not here for me to misuse and abuse.
Oh Great Spirit, allow me the insight and knowledge of how to live in harmony and balance with my surroundings. Grant me change from within.
"People need to wake up. They can't hear God's voice if they're asleep."-- Vernon Cooper, LUMBEE
Black Elk, a Sioux, talks about the hoop of many hoops. He says that above the people is a hoop, a conscience, the total belief of the people. If the hoop is sick, meaning dysfunctional, co-dependent, a lot of alcoholism, family abuse, violence, racism and sexual abuse, the people can get used to this and think this is normal. In other words, the people are asleep. If we have left the spiritual way of life, the people are asleep. If we are giving our power to another entity, the people are asleep. In most tribes, there are Coyote Clans. The job of the Coyote Clan people is to wake the people up. They need to become a nuisance and irritate the people. We must return to the spiritual walk.
Oh Great Spirit, keep me awake today. Let me hear the voices of our ancestors...let me hear the voices of the Grandfathers. Because everybody is doing it doesn't make things right. Let me hear the truth today and become a coyote for the people. Give me the courage to be willing to be different. Let me walk straight on the Red Road.
"Life is like a path...and we all have to walk the path... As we walk... we'll find experiences like little scraps of paper in front of us along the way. We must pick up those pieces of scrap paper and put them in our pocket... Then, one day, we will have enough scraps of papers to put together and see what they say... Read the information and take it to heart."-- Uncle Frank Davis (quoting his mother), PAWNEE
The Creator designed us to learn by trial and error. The path of life we walk is very wide. Everything on the path is sacred - what we do right is sacred - but our mistakes are also sacred. This is the Creator's way of teaching spiritual people. To criticize ourselves when we make mistakes is not part of the spiritual path. To criticize mistakes is not the Indian way. To learn from our mistakes is the Indian way. The definition of a spiritual person is someone who makes 30-50 mistakes each day and talks to the Creator after each one to see what to do next time. This is the way of the Warrior.
Today let me see my mistakes as a positive process. Let me learn the aha's of life... Awaken my awareness so I can see the great learning that You, my Creator, have designed for my life.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 23
"...the greatest strength is in gentleness."-- Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
Our Elders have taught us many lessons about becoming a Warrior and how to think and act like one. We have been told about the power of gentleness. We have been told about the power of the stillness. Physical power is about effort. Mental power is the opposite. It's about being effortless or less any effort. Gentleness is one of the greatest attributes of the Warrior and one of the greatest mental powers. It takes a lot of love to be gentle. Gentleness is not an ego word. Gentleness is the weapon of the Great Spirit.
My Creator, today I will be gentle with myself and with others. I will listen to the whisper of my heart and learn the power of being gentle.
In this universe, all activities, events, and entities are related. Indians believe that everything in the universe has value and instructs us in some aspect of life. Everything is alive and is making choices that determine the future, so the world is constantly creating itself With the wisdom and time for reflection that old age provides, we may discover unsuspected relationships.-- -Vine Deloria, Jr, STANDING ROCK SIOUX
We are all connected. This is what the Elders have told us for a long time. If we are connected to all things, then whenever we harm anything, it causes harm to ourselves. If we destroy the air, then we will be affected by what we breathe in. If we poison the Earth, we poison ourselves. We must respect our Mother Earth and She will respect us in return. We must open our eyes and obey the spiritual laws that govern the Earth and ourselves.
Grandfather, today allow me to honor and respect the things You have made. Let me see the beauty of all things.
"You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts."-- Cochise "Like Ironweed" CHIRICAHUA APACHE
Come into my heart this morning. Allow me this day to live in the now. Help me to see all the beauty You have created in all things. Let me know myself. Today, as I make mistakes, let me see them as lessons. Guide me. When I see others make mistakes, let me honor them for where they are. Let me realize that they are Your children and only You, my Grandfather, knows what is really going on. When my lips move, let the words be Your words.
Allow me to have the courage to speak Your truth.
"When you begin a great work you can't expect to finish it all at once; therefore, you and your brothers press on and let nothing discourage you until you have entirely finished what you have begun."-- Teedyuschung, DELAWARE
All things have their seasons. All thoughts are real. We must think to cause action and each action creates results. Big visions require many thoughts. It takes a series of thoughts to create a series of actions. A series of actions creates a series of results. These results are what makes vision become real. If we are here to serve the Creator then we can expect to be accomplishing big visions. How do we do this? One step at a time.
Let me focus on what needs to be done today. Give me clear thoughts to accomplish the results that you, my Creator, would have me accomplish.
"We were taught to believe that the Great Spirit sees and hears everything, and that He never forgets, that hereafter He will give every man a spirit-home according to his deserts: If he has been a good man, he will have a good home; if he has been a bad man, he will have a bad home."-- Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE
I cannot hide my true spirit and intent from the Creator. He created a system of justice. This system of justice says we will get back whatever we plant. If we plant good then good returns - if we plant bad, then we will suffer the consequences. Whatever we think about another person, the same things are thought about us. Whatever we send out is sent back. Man cannot alter this system of justice. It doesn't matter what we say or do. What really matters is what we really, really did.
Oh Great Spirit, guide me today to do good, to have good thoughts. Let me remember the things I do are to honor Your way of life.
"Our fathers gave us many laws which they had learned from their fathers. These laws were good."-- Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE
The Creator gives us many laws to live by. These are different than the laws of man. The laws of the Creator are designed for us to live in harmony and balance with ourselves and each other. These laws are about having freedom and happiness. Our Elders teach us these laws. Laws about how to treat each other, laws about how to treat and respect our Mother Earth, laws about the environment.
Oh Great Spirit, teach me the laws of the unseen world. Today I pray You open my eyes so I can better see the Red Road.
"My friends, how desperately do we need to be loved and to love."-- Chief Dan George, SKOKOMISH
Oh my great Creator: Help me this day to love myself. I can't give away anything that I don't have myself. If I am to love others, then I must love myself. If I am to forgive others, then I am to forgive myself. If I am to accept others as they are, then I need to accept myself as I am. If I am to not judge others, then I need to lighten up on myself. Let me experience this power of love...
My Creator, today I will love myself so I can love my neighbor. I will look at each person today and see Your light within them. If I do this, I will hold my brothers and sisters without guilt.
"Grandfather says...you must not hurt anybody or do harm to anyone. You must not fight. Do right always. It will give you satisfaction in life."-- Wovoka, PAIUTE
The question one should ask themselves is: Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? If you want to be right, this is a request from your ego. If you want to be happy then this is of the Great Spirit. The only meaning anything has is the meaning we give it. Maybe we should develop a philosophy of: Today is the last day of the rest of my life. If this were true, how easy it would be to let things go - how easy it would be to forgive.
Oh Great Spirit, let me live today as if it was my last. Let me express Your joy and be happy today. Let me see the joy and honor of living on the Red Road.
Elder's Meditation of the Day, July 15
"We are nothing compared to His power, and we feel and know it."
--Black Hawk, SAUK
Inside of every man and woman is a place of knowing. In this place is the knowing that there is a Great One, the Great Mystery, the Holy One, the Great Spirit. We can deny this all we want but we know what we know. This place of knowing is at the very center of our being. It is gratifying to know that God cannot leave us. It is said we are spiritual beings trying to be human. With this power in our lives, we can accomplish much. We can do many good things for our people.
Oh Great Spirit, I know of Your power. I love the days when I can feel Your presence. Let today be one of those days. Let me walk today in Your beauty.
"I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more."-- Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE
We are as sick as our secrets. Our ego takes over control of our lives and when that happens our minds get very sick. Then we hurt people and our minds will always justify our actions. Our minds will give us rationalization and excuses that we are justified in doing what we are doing.
My Creator, Let me live today with an open heart. Let me realize to be vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness. Let me realize the power of an open heart. Let me be available to truth. If I get into trouble, let me hear the whisper of your guidance. Let me make heart decisions and let my head catch up to that decision.
"Silence is the cornerstone of character."-- Charles Alexander Eastman, OHIYESA SANTEE SIOUX
Be still and know. Anyone can verbally attack another. Anyone can be a smart aleck. Anyone can be angry and tell other people things that will hurt them. Anyone can be sarcastic, devaluating and belittling. It takes a Warrior to be silent. Silence is so powerful. Silence can be so loving.
My Creator, if I get into a situation today that needs me to respond with silence, help me to use my silence in a good and sacred way. In my silence, let me be talking to You and You talking to me. Silence is the way of the warrior.
"It does not require many words to speak the truth."-- Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE
The truth shall set you free. This is the truth. When we speak the Truth, we do not need to be defensive. Truth needs no defense. When we speak the Truth, we do not need to attack because Truth cannot be attacked. It is so easy to want to manipulate or to be deceitful or dishonest. My head tells me I can get away with doing these things, after all everybody does it.
My Creator, today let me know Truth. Let me live Truth. Let me risk the Truth. Let me make the Truth sweet. Help me to make my word good. Let Your spirit and intent be added to by words. Let My thoughts be Truth.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 4
"That is not our way, to set yourself apart and talk about who you are and what you've done. You let your life speak for you. With the Mohawk people, wisdom is how you live and how you interpret what your mother and father, what your grandmothers and grandfathers have told you about this world - and then how you interpret that into the fact of living every day."-- Tom Porter, MOHAWK
It is said, how you live your life makes so much noise that people can't hear what you are saying anyway. It is so easy to see people who do not walk the talk.
Creator, I ask you today to help me be humble. Let me spend the day listening. Help me to not brag or gossip. Help me today not to do those things that seek attention or approval from others. I am only accountable to You, Oh Great Spirit. You will tell me the things I need to know. Let me learn the lessons from my Elders. Let me teach the children by example. Today, let me walk the talk.
"When you are in the woods, you cannot ever be lost. You are surrounded by friends and surrounded by God."-- Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE
Every plant, every animal, every insect, every bird, every tree is made up of God. God is life and everything is alive. When you are hunting, remember all nature is your friend. All nature has purpose. All nature participates in the life cycle. Nature communicates; Nature talks; Nature listens; Nature forgives; Nature respects; Nature loves. Nature lives in harmony. Nature follows the law. Nature is kind. Nature is balance. The woods are alive and beautiful. She is our friend.
Great Spirit, let me honor and respect the forest and all the life it contains.
"If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself."-- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN
It is said, when we need love the most is when we deserve it the least. Whenever I have secret thoughts about someone else, it will put bad feelings inside myself. I will hurt myself. If I secretly hold a grudge or resentment against my brother or sister, I will be a slave to that person until I let them go. Let me remember to look at my brother in a sacred manner. Today, let me think like a Warrior. Let my thoughts toward my brothers and sisters be good thoughts. Let me remember that You are in charge. If I get upset at another person today, let me remember that the most important thing I can do is to first talk to You because when I am right with You, it is impossible to be out of harmony with my brothers and sisters.
My Creator, take my hand and guide me through today.
"I'm an Indian, I'm one of God's children."-- Mathew King, LAKOTA
My Creator, today let me remember the reason I'm here on Mother Earth. Let me look into my own eyes and see the beauty You have created. Let me have good thoughts. Being Indian is not the color of my skin. Being Indian is to listen to my heart, to think only the things You have taught, to watch nature, and live in harmony. Being Indian is to walk in prayer, to talk to You constantly during the day. Being Indian is to act and to walk in a sacred way.
Today, let me think in beauty, let me walk in beauty, let me pray in beauty.