"In sharing, in loving all and everything, one people naturally found a due portion of the thing they sought, while in fearing, the other found need of conquest."-- Chief Luther Standing Bear, SIOUX
There are two systems of thought that are available for us to choose from. One is the love-thought system and the other is the fear- thought system. If we choose love, we will see the laws, principles and values of the Creator. If we choose fear, the results will be so paralyzing that it will cause us to take over and not rely on the Great Spirit. The fear-thought system will automatically cause attack, conflict, need to control over others. The love-thought system seeks peace of mind, unity and causes us to be love seekers.
Great Spirit, today let me see only love.
"Bright days and dark days were both expressions of the Great Mystery, and the Indian reveled in being close to the Great Holiness."-- Chief Luther Standing Bear, SIOUX
The Great Spirit created a world of harmony, a world of justice, a world that is interconnected, a balanced world that has positive and negative, this way and that way, up and down, man and woman, boy and girl, honest and dishonest, responsible and irresponsible, day and night. In other words, He created a polarity system. Both sides are to be respected. Both sides or anything are sacred. We need to do good and we need to learn from our mistakes. We need to honor what takes place in the daytime and we need to honor what takes place in the nighttime. We learn that we need to learn and we see what we are supposed to see by staying close to the Great Spirit. We need to be talking to Him all the time, saying "Grandfather, what is it you want me to learn?"
Great Spirit, let me learn today that all things are sacred. Help me stay close to You, my Creator.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - January 29
"We grieve more because we have been disconnected from our earth, our first Mother, our spiritual Mother." -- Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
Where does all life come from? The Earth. Where does everything return to? The Earth. Where do values come from? The Earth. Many people are lost because they don't know the importance of connection to the Earth. They connect to money, to relationships, to success, to goals. When we are disconnected from the Earth, we have feelings of being sad or lost. When we are connected to the Earth, we feel warm and secure.
Great Spirit, help me to stay connected to the Mother Earth.
"We call it the `sacred' red road because it is the road that will lead us to living the good life, an honest and healthy life."-- Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
The Red Road is the path we walk on when we want a direct relationship with the Great Spirit. This requires sacrifice. This requires us to have our beliefs tested. To walk this path is really an honor. The returns for doing so are exciting, not only for ourselves but for the effect that will be felt for three generations. This means your children will see the benefits as well as your grandchildren. Do I want to walk this sacred road?
Great Spirit, guide myself and my family on the Red Road.
"The journey to the Spirit World is a long one, my friend. But when you die, that doesnt mean that this is the end."-- Buddy Red Bow, LAKOTA
The Elders tell us of the other dimension, the Spirit World. Our spirit in our bodies does not die, it only looks that way to our eyes and our brains. Some of our ceremonies allow us to see into the Spirit World. Death is only part of a process of life. It shows the transition into the Spirit World. The Elders tell us this is a joyful life journey.
My Creator, help me to understand both the seen world and the unseen world. Let me not be afraid of the world You live in.
"All life is a circle."-- Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE
The atom is a circle, orbits are circles, the earth, moon, and sun are circles. The seasons are circles. The cycle of life is a circle: baby, youth, adult, elder. The sun gives life to the earth who feeds life to the trees whose seeds fall to the earth to grow new trees. We need to practice seeing the cycles that the Great Spirit gave us because this will help us more in our understanding of how things operate. We need to respect these cycles and live in harmony with them.
Great Spirit, let me grow in knowledge of the circle.
"Always listen to what the Elders say."-- Dona Josefa Medrano, HUICHOL, SIERRA MADRE, MEXICO
In school we have been taught to go to the encyclopedia when we need information about certain subjects. From the time we are little, we have a natural tendency to seek out role models. When we need information about living we tend to seek out books about living. These maybe self help books. The world is full of information. For the Native people, we have our Elders. All races have Elders. Our lives will run much smoother when we listen to the Elders. They don't always tell us what we want to hear, but they always tell us what we need to hear. The Elders have the ability to make the truth sweet.
Creator, thank You for the Elders. Help me this day to listen to them.
"Our true enemies, as well as our true sources of strength, lie within."-- Willaru Huayta, QUECHUA NATION, PERU
A long time ago, the Creator put inside the human being the secrets to the laws of life. We usually know this is true even though we may not know what these laws are. If something goes wrong with our lives, we usually fix the blame on something outside of ourselves. We tend to give up accountability. One way or another we say, "It's not my fault." We need to realize that all permanent and lasting change starts on the inside and works its way out. If it's meant to be, it is up to me.
Oh Great Spirit, let me realize fully that my problems are of my own making. Therefore, so are the solutions.
"The first factor in the revolution of consciousness is the mystic death of the ego - the death of negative thinking, negative personalities. We must purify the soul of the inner enemies. Every time a defect manifests - envy, gluttony, anger, lust, whatever - that impulse to the heart. Ask, `Do I really need to invoke this?' And then honor the heart."-- Willaru Huayta, QUECHAU NATION, PERU
Our egos have character defects. These character defects we sometimes act out and they invariably bring results to our lives that we might not want. If we continue to use these character defects, we will continue to have undesirable results in our lives. How do we change ourselves or get rid of a character defects. We can go to the heart and ask a question, make a decision, then honor the heart. For example, say I get angry today. I would go to the heart and ask, would I rather be right or would I rather be happy? How we answer this question can have an enormous impact on how our day goes. Once we decide the answer to this question, we need to honor the heart by saying, "Thank you for the power of changing my thoughts. I choose to be happy and to experience peace of mind."
Great Spirit, today, let me teach only love and learn only love.
"This is the time of awakening to the inner father and the inner mother. Without this we will receive no high initiation; instead we get initiated into darkness. That's because any investigation or revolution without God leads, not to freedom, but to more slavery."-- Willaru Huayta, QUECHAU NATION, PERU
Honor the Father and the Mother. Father stands for wisdom and Mother stands for feelings. Inside each of us is the Father and the Mother. If we do not honor both, we will not grow in balance. To honor both the Father and the Mother helps our masculine and feminine sides grow. The winter season is a good time to focus on this. This is our season of reflection. Honoring both sides allows us to see the Creator is both Father and Mother.
Great Spirit, Father Sky, Mother Earth, guide me today. Let me experience balance.
"The most important thing now is to reveal the inner temple of the soul with right thinking and right activity."-- Willaru Huayta, QUECHUA NATION, PERU
The key to growing a strong tree is to have a good system of roots and to feed the roots with good medicine. If we put poison in the root system, it will affect the tree, and it will become obvious to the rest of the forest what is being fed to the roots. This is also true of the human being. We need to feed our roots with right thinking. If our thinking is right, it will become obvious to the rest of the people. We don't need to tell people about ourselves with our mouth because our actions always tell them.
Great Spirit, direct my thinking today. Feed my roots.
"Heal yourself - your physical and spiritual bodies. Regenerate yourself with light, and then help those who have poverty of the soul. Return to the inner spirit, which we have abandoned while looking elsewhere for happiness."-- Willaru Huayta, QUECHUA NATION, PERU
It is difficult to look inside ourselves, especially when we see conflict or confusion. During times of conflict we need to realize that we are talking to ourselves about our thoughts. This conversation is printing in our subconscious and forming our beliefs. During times of conflict we need to ask the spirit to control our self-talk. Only thorough finding that inner place and going there during troubled times will we ever find happiness.
Great Spirit, You are my peace and you dwell within me. Let me look for You within myself.
"Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit."-- Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), SANTEE SIOUX
Be still and know. All new learnings, all ideas about new things, creativity, daydreaming and mental effectiveness come to those who learn about silence. All warriors know about the power of silence. All Elders know about stillness. Be still and know God. Meditation is about the place of silence. This is the place to hear God's voice. We can find tremendous amounts of knowledge in the place of silence. This is the sacred place of God.
Great Spirit, teach me the power of silence.
"In our story of Creation, we talk about each one of us having our own path to travel, and our own gift to give and to share. You see, what we say is that the Creator gave us all special gifts; each one of us is special. And each one of us is a special gift to each other because we've got something to share."-- John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG
We are all equally special. We need to focus on what is right for ourselves. As we focus on what is right for ourselves, we will start to see our special gifts. Then we can see how to share our special gifts with others. If we focus on what's wrong with ourselves, we will not be able to see our gifts. Then we will think we have nothing to give others and we become selfish and withdrawn. The more we focus on our good, the more we see the good in others. The more we see the good in others, the more we see the gifts they have to share. What you sees is what you gets!
My Creator, today, let me use the gifts You have given me. Let me use them wisely.
"If people are going to get back into balance, one of the things they have to do is seek the truth. They have to start really speaking the truth themselves, and that's a difficult thing to do. The way it is now in the world, we don't mind lying."-- John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG
Well everybody's doing it. Do unto others before they do unto you. If it wasn't for bad luck I would have no luck at all. These are excuses and rationalizations for giving up accountability. Be true to yourself. Seek the truth, the Great Spirit is the truth. The truth shall set you free. This is the truth. We cannot be free if we are dishonest nor can we live a balanced life if we are dishonest. As we grow, we need to start taking stands. All warriors take stands. The warrior's belief is constantly being aligned to truth. The warrior will always know where he/she stands.
Great Spirit, help me today to seek Your truth, not my truth.
It's all spirit and it's all connected."-- Grandfather William Commanda, ALGONQUIN
If everything is connected, we cannot disconnect. To disconnect is not a real choice. This is why we are always spiritual no matter what we do. Every alcoholic is spiritual. All our brothers and sisters are spiritual. We may not be behaving correctly, but nevertheless, we are spiritual. Our choice is to live out of harmony with spiritual ways or in harmony with spiritual ways. Everything is spiritual.
Great Spirit, give me the knowledge to be in harmony with the spirit today.
"It is a native tradition to sit in a circle and talk-to share what is in your heart."-- John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG
The talking circle is also a listening circle. The talking circle allows one person to talk at a time for as long as they need to talk. So much can be gained by listening. Is it a coincidence that the Creator gave us one mouth and two ears? The power of the circle allows the heart to be shared with each other. What we share with each other also heals each other. When we talk about our pain in the circle, it is distributed to the circle, and we are free of the pain. The talking circle works because when the people form a circle, the Great Mystery is in the center.
My Creator, give me the courage to share, and the courage to listen.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - January 13
"When you remove love and try to replace it with monetary things, you've got nothing ... get him to understand that he has to love himself before he can love anything else." -- John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG
It is said, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." That's the trouble, most of us do.
Great Spirit, You are love; You are spirit. Spirit and love are interconnected. I am spiritual. Let me realize what I am really made of.
"The first thing that we want you to understand is that spirit has no color or race to it. It doesn't matter whether your skin is white, black, red, brown - whatever. No one out there is any better than you, and you are no better than anyone else out there."-- John Peters (Slow Turtle), WAMPANOAG
We are all created to be of equal worth. We may be different sizes, different heights, different ages, different colors, we may have different beliefs and be of different cultures. In the unseen world, we are all spirit formed into different shapes and colors but we are all worthy. For example, you can have water, you can have steam, or you can have ice. Which of these is not made up of H2O?
My Creator, today, let me see equal worthiness in all people.
"Race and language makes no difference; the barriers are gone when persons can come together on high spiritual levels."-- Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE
Not only are race and language barriers overcome by spirituality, but all things are overcome by spirituality. Inside every human being is the spirit. When we see people, we can choose to look at their outside or we can choose to look at their inside. Spirituality resides inside of others, we must be able to look at our own inside. If we see spirituality inside ourselves, we will see spirituality inside others. The saying is, "what you sees is what you gets."
My Creator, let me see all my brothers and sisters through the spiritual eye.
"We cannot escape remembering the important things that have happened, and we cannot escape the awareness of the important things that have not happened."-- Ralph Salisbury, CHEROKEE
There is a Master Plan. There are Natural Laws that run the universe. Everything on the earth has a purpose. Change is constant. That which is built is constantly being destroyed. That which is loose is being used to build new things. Nothing can be destroyed, only rearranged. Change will happen and every setback is only temporary. In other words, the Creator is in charge. We are not in charge. He designed the universe. He runs the universe and He will change what needs to be changed. As humans, it is easier for us to participate in all of this if we are spiritual. We need to be tuned in. Therefore, God gave us the spiritual concept of acceptance. When things change, we can change ourselves through the principle of acceptance.
Great Spirit, let me live today in acceptance of Your will. Today let us do it Your way.
Elder's Meditation of the Day, January 9
"So, with the Native way, it's not whether people find out about what you've done or not... that's not nearly as strong as having your source of morality within you, having your morality arise out of an inner perception of what is wrong, ridiculous, or shameful. You are your own judge."
--Eunice Baumann-Nelson, Ph.D., PENOBSCOT
Inside each of us is a voice. It is a quiet voice. It is a guiding voice. If we listen for it, it will guide us, and help us avoid disaster. It is especially active when we are afraid, when we are in doubt, when we are scared, when we need help, and when we get angry. If we are excited emotionally, it is hard to hear this voice. If we are angry, it's hard to hear this voice because it is usually quiet. The best thing we can do is to practice getting quiet. If we don't get quiet, there is another voice called the judge. It tells us to attack or say bad things to other people or to judge ourselves. This voice is loud and usually gets us into trouble.
Creator, Great Mystery, help me listen for the quiet voice. Let me know this voice of Yours. Your ways are gentle. Guide me with this voice. Thank you.
"Native Americans are essentially calling for righteousness. By this they mean a shared ideology developed by all people using their purest and most unselfish minds."-- Lorraine Canoe/Tom Porter, MOHAWK
The Native way is to first focus on decisions that will be good for the people and then for yourself. Righteousness means "to think right." Our way is to consider the good of all first. This helps our minds to be unselfish and pure. This it he spiritual way. This can be very hard to do because the world we live in says to take care of yourself first. A man of God cannot be taken advantage of unless it is the will of the Creator. The Creator really controls everything. To have a good future, the people must gather in a circle and pray for the highest good for the people.
Great Mystery, today let me love instead of being loved. Let me be giving instead of receiving. Show me the advantages of having a giving heart.
"When we become hollow bones there is no limit to what the Higher Powers can do in and through us in spiritual things."-- Frank Fools Crow, LAKOTA
If we want to be of maximum use to the Creator, we must ready ourselves to do so. if we are to become a channel for His purposes, we must prepare ourselves to do so. If we have resentment, fear, selfishness, or anger, we are not hollow bones. We must be rid of these things. We must change ourselves. We must ask for forgiveness for ourselves and forgive our brothers and sisters. We must keep our insides clean. We cannot use our power in a good way when we have blockages such as hate, judgement, and envy. When we are free of these things the Higher Powers can use us beyond our wildest imagination. Then we can really help ourselves and help our people. Only when we are hollow bones can we have an effect on the world.
Oh Great Spirit, remove from me the things that block my usefulness to You. Remove from my day all thinking that is out of harmony with Your ways. Grant me Your peace and allow me to function as a hollow bone.
"When we're through with this earth and all these problems, we don't have to come back. But as long as we're here we have a job to do and a purpose to fulfill, and that means dealing with the circumstances around us."-- Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE
We are put on the earth to participate in life. We have a beautiful mind, we have the ability to pray, we have the ability to change, we have the ability to accept, and we have choices. All things God created are constantly changing. This constant change causes our circumstances to change. Sometimes we say life is difficult. During these times we need to use our tools: the tools of prayer, and the tools of meditation. We are designed to change and live joyfully on this earth. The only requirement for living joyfully is to live according to the laws, principles, and values given to us by the Creator.
Great Spirit, give me Your courage today, and guide my footsteps.
"But first, let us join hands and pray."-- Starleaf, SHINNECOCK
Where two or more human beings joined together for a common cause, the helpers and the Grandfathers will show up to help. When our Indian people come together, the Elders say, "Always pray first, do a ceremony and ask the Creator to be with us and to help us. We can never pray enough." The Elders also say, "pray in a circle because the Creator made things in circles. When we stand in a circle and pray together, a sacred hoop will form above the people. This is the spiritual way."
Oh Great Spirit, through my prayers I can find Your guidance. I pray You guide my path today. Touch my life with Your holy breath.
"Our circle is timeless, flowing, it is a new life emerging from death-life winning out over death."-- Lame Deer, LAKOTA
When we look at the world in the manner which the Great Spirit designed it, we can see why it makes sense to live in harmony with it: the trees grow and bear fruit, the fruit has seeds, the seeds fall to the ground, the ground grows new trees, old trees die to make way for the young. Any time we think we can interrupt this cycle or change it we will experience turmoil and confusion. The Human Cycle exists as the baby becomes the youth, the youth becomes the adult, the adult has children, the adult becomes the Elder, and the Elder teaches the youth. Elders go on to the Spirit World. Spirit comes into babies to produce new life. Flow into the flow. Be the path of least resistance.
My Creator and my Maker, today, teach me to just flow with the river of life.
"We don't have to say or think what we don't wish to. We have a choice in those things, and we have to realize that and practice using that choice."-- Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE
Having choices makes us fully accountable. No one can make us think anything we don't want to think. No one can determine our behavior and how we act. It's not what's going on but how we look at what's going on. If someone does something and we get upset, we can change how we look at it any time we want. We can tell ourselves in the morning that the day is going to be beautiful and that we have expectations that great things will happen. Doing this daily sets our mind to look for the joy and the excitement of each day.
Great Spirit, help me to choose my thoughts with Your wisdom.
"People have to be responsible for their thoughts, so they have to learn to control them. It may not be easy, but it can be done."-- Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE
We control our thoughts by controlling our self talk. At any moment we choose we can talk to ourselves differently. The fight comes with the emotions that are attached to our thoughts. If our emotion is high and seems to be out of control, we can say to ourselves STOP IT!, take a few deep breaths, then ask the Creator for the right thought or the right decision or the right action. If we practice this for a while, our thought life will be different. It helps if in the morning we ask God to direct our thinking. God loves to help us.
Great Spirit, today, direct my thinking so my choices are chosen by You.
".because if you believe in something, and believe in it long enough, it will come into being."-- Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE
We are created by the Great One to accomplish His will through our mental pictures or visions. Our thoughts are three dimensional: words, pictures and feelings. We create the vision by thinking the words and we create feeling for the vision by feeling enthusiasm, desire, commitment and other strong beliefs. Once we create the vision, we move toward and become like that which we think about. All visions are tested by our self talk; for example, "This isn't going to happen, where is the money coming from anyway?" When this happens, we need to let go of the test and focus on belief in the vision. Why? Because God said if we believe it long enough, He will guarantee it!!!
Great One, let my beliefs be strong today. Help me to have faith in my visions.