"The land is a sacred trust held in common for the benefit of the future of our nations."
--Haida Gwaii - Traditional Circle of Elders
The Creator made the Earth to support life so that life would continue to reproduce, everything would support one another, and future generations would have the same benefits of supply and beauty as the generations the proceeded them. This cycle will only continue to the degree that we make choices and decisions for the future generations. Today, we are too greedy and selfish. We are cheating our children, grandchildren, and the children unborn.
"The Great Spirit is the one that's looking after us."
Jimmy Jackson, OJIBWAY
The only place our minds can find peace is when our focus is on the Creator. Daily we need to ask the Creator to direct our thinking. When we look at our brothers and sisters, we need to see the Creator in them. When we look at the trees, plants and the animals, we need to realize the Creator is within us. Our attention needs to be on the Creator. When we work, we do it for the Creator. When we are troubled, we need to pray to the Creator. When we are happy and joyful, we need to realize we are feeling the presence of the Creator. Thinking God thoughts will produce peace.
"Oh God! Like the Thunderbird of old I shall rise again out of the sea; I shall grab the instruments of the white man's success - his education, his skills, and with these new tools I shall build my race into the proudest segment of your society."
--Chief Dan George, SALISH
One thing the Indian people do well is adapt. This is why we survive. We must learn to keep our culture, but also to learn the good things that other races have to offer. Education is the future weapon of Native people. We must learn the legal system, health, science and engineering. Indian people have great contributions to make to the world. We need to educate ourselves so we can better protect the land and our children. Otherwise, we will lose the things and the land that we have.
"It can be 100 degrees in the shade one afternoon and suddenly there comes a storm with hailstones as big as golf balls, the prairie is all white and your teeth chatter. That's good - a reminder that you are just a small particle of nature, not so powerful as you think."
--Lame Deer, LAKOTA
No event, no relationship, no joy, no sadness, no situation ever stays the same. Every setback is only temporary. Even setbacks change. Why? Because the Great Spirit designed the world to be constantly changing. We are not the center of the universe, we are but a small part. The whole is constantly changing, and we as humans are constantly participating in the change. We have two choices, to resist change or participate in the change. Every change can be resisted, and every change can be made in cooperation. What will I choose today, resistance or cooperation?
"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.
"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
[ send green star]
"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.
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."
"What you see with your eyes shut is what counts."
--Lame Deer, LAKOTA
Another whole world opens up when we close our eyes and calm our mind. Be still and know; be still and hear; be still and see; be still and feel. Inside every person is a still, small voice. Sometimes it is necessary to close our eyes to shut down our perception in order to see. Try this occasionally when you are talking to your child or spouse, close your eyes and listen to them. Listen to the tone of their voice; listen to their excitement; listen to their pain-listen.
"It's not the package and the wrapping which counts but what is inside, underneath the clothes and the skin."
--Lame Deer, LAKOTA
Our eyes and ears gather information that is fed to the mind, and we tend to form judgements, opinions, and assumptions which determine our perception. We might see someone act a certain way, then label that person forever, not at all concentrating on what is inside the person. It matters not our height, our size, our facial features, or our gender. What matters is our thoughts. Good thoughts overcome all obstacles.
"If you have one hundred people who live together, and if each one cares for the rest, there is One Mind."
--Shining Arrows, CROW
One of the principles of Community is Unity. The alignment of thoughts in groups of people will cause One Mind to form. One Mind is Unity. Each individual in the community must align their thoughts with what other members are thinking. If all the people think of helping one another, then the community will be service oriented and powerful results will be enjoyed. Having our thoughts aligned within a group will cause our children to experience a positive environment. When they have children, the grandchildren will automatically experience these results also.
"Come forward and join hands with us in this great work for the Creator."
--Traditional Circle of Elders, NORTHERN CHEYENNE
The Elders have spent years learning to pray and communicate with the Great Spirit. Their job is to pass this knowledge onto the young people. The Elders have told us we are now in a great time of healing. The Creator is guiding them to help the young people figure this out. We must get involved and participate. We should pray and see what it is the Great Spirit wants us to do. We need to sacrifice our time to help the people and to be of maximum use to the Creator. Every person is needed to accomplish this great healing.
"Listen to the howl of our spiritual brother, the wolf, for how it goes with him, so it goes for the natural world."
--Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman, Traditional Circle of Elders
If we watch nature, we can tell a lot about what is going on in the world. The animals and the plants are great teachers. Some time ago, crops were sprayed with a poison to kill the insects. Other animals ate the insects. The small animals were eaten by the Eagles and the Wolves. We live in an interconnected system. What we do to one, we do to all. If our spiritual brothers are living in balance, chances are we humans are also living in balance.
"Praying is what has brought us old people through life. We've all gone through hard times. We've all done our share of bad things. But through our prayers and faith in the Creator we get together again and we try hard to live right."
--Paula Weasel Head, BLOOD
As we go through life we find ourselves on track one day and off track the next day. We gain consistency through prayer. Prayer is our connection to the Great Spirit. Prayer is our channel for knowledge and wisdom. Prayer is how we keep our sanity. The Elders say we should walk in prayer.
"My children, you have forgotten the customs and traditions of your forefathers. ...You have bought guns, knives, kettles, and blankets from the white man until you can no longer do without them; and what is worse you have drunk the poison firewater, which turns you into fools. Fling all these things away; live as your forefathers did before you."
We need to think as our forefathers did. They knew the culture and the customs. The culture taught them how to live in harmony with each other. We need to think like this again. We must be God-reliant. We don't need the firewater. This liquid is very destructive to our native people. It kills our spirit. Our Indian people are happiest when we are spiritual. When we depend on anyone or anything else, we get off track. We need to talk to the Elders and find out what the old ways were. We need to ask them to teach us the culture, the tradition, and the customs. This will help us become whole again.
"What does it matter how long I pray, so long as my prayers are answered?"
Sitting Bull, HUNKPAPA LAKOTA
Too often we worry about the words we use in prayer. We focus on the words. What really counts is the spirit and intent behind our words. It is the spirit and intent that the Creator responds to. He reads and listens to our heart. Prayer isn't only when we fold our hands and pray. Prayer is when we talk to the Creator even when we are walking down a path or sitting on a hill or walking in the mountains. The Elders say, walk in prayer. We should be willing to talk with the Great One.
"We create that bad among ourselves. We create it; then we try to call it devil, satan, or evil. But man creates it. There is no devil. Man creates the devil."
Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA
Inside every human being are the laws and codes by which we should live. These laws and codes are communicated to us through a little voice. When we are still, this voice guides us. If we choose to live out of harmony, our lives become filled with anger, hate, selfishness, dishonesty, etc... When these things appear in our lives, we give up accountability and blame it on something or someone else. If we want to live in harmony, we need to pray our way back to living the principles the Creator gave us.
"There is one God looking down on us all. We are children of the one God. God is listening to me. The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we now say."
The Old Ones before us knew things. Many of them were so spiritual that the Creator told them things through visions, ceremonies, and prayer. The Creator taught them about interconnectedness, balance and respect. The Old Ones experienced these things and told us we are all children of the same God. We all live under the same natural laws. Every human being, every animal, every plant, every insect, every bird, we are all the same in the eyes of God.
"As Elders, it is our place to show respect to our young people in order to gain respect."
--Grace Azak, NISGA'A
The attitude of our leaders will be the attitude of the people. The attitude of the parents will be the attitude of the children. If respect is shown from above, respect will be developed below. If the Elders show respect, the younger people will be respectful. As above, so below. This happens because of interconnectedness. The heart of the Elders is connected to the heart of the youth.
"The teachings are for all, not just for Indians... The white people never wanted to learn before. They thought we were savages. Now they have a different understanding, and they do want to learn. We are all children of God. The tradition is open to anyone who wants to learn."
--Don Jose Matusuwa, HUICHOL
In the summer of 1994, a white buffalo calf was born. This means that now is the time for all races to come together. The Elders say that at this time a voice from within will speak to everyone. It will say now is the time to forgive, now is the time to come together. Are we willing to do this? Are we willing to quit judging other people? The Elders say, He will be talking through people of all races and gender. We need to open our hearts and welcome our brothers and sisters.
"Many religions have been brought to this land. And the way my religion is, they teach me, and they taught me, and told me to respect all religions. And I still do that."
--Horace Axtell, NEZ PERCE The Creator put on this Earth many different religions which represent different roads to walk to God. All religions are right and good if the path is the path to God. Should we be judging which road is better or worse than the other? When we accept each other's way we can stand in a circle, hold hands and listen to each other as we pray to God. Let us be more accepting of the religions of others.
"All of us begin to rethink what is good about ourselves - put the past where it belongs - and get on with the possibilities of the present!"
--Howard Rainer, TAOS PUEBLO-CREEK
There is a saying, you move toward and become that which you think about. So the question for today is, what are you thinking about? Are you thinking bad things about yourself or are you thinking good things about yourself? Are you thinking about a worldly life? Are you thinking good things about people or are you gossiping about people? Are you focusing on past things or are you living in the future? We need to bring our thoughts into the NOW, right here.
"Men and women have an equal responsibility to restore the strength of the family, which is the foundation of all cultures."
--Haida Gwaii Traditional Circle of Elders The family is the heartbeat of strength of the culture. The grandfathers and grandmothers taught their children; they in turn had children who taught their children. If the family isn't taught the culture, then the children become adults, and the adults become the grandfathers and grandmothers, and the result is the culture becomes lost. This is how language is lost; this is how dances are lost; this is how knowledge is lost. We need to listen to our Elders, today, before it's too late.
"That spiritual power I wear is much more beautiful and much greater. We call it wisdom, knowledge, power and gift, or love. There are these four parts to that spiritual power. So I wear those. When you wear that power it will beautify your mind and spirit. You become beautiful. Everything that Tunkashila creates is beautiful."
--Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA
When I was young, I asked my grandfather, "What should I pray for?" He thought for a long time and then he said, "Pray only for wisdom and for the knowledge of love." This makes a lot of sense. No matter what happens I ask the Creator to show me the lessons I should be learning. I pray for Him to help me learn the lessons. By doing this everyday we become beautiful human beings.
Daily Ameerican Indian Elders Meditations October 06, 2009 10:04 AM
Elder's Meditation of the Day October 6
"Lots of people hardly ever feel real soil under their feet, see plants grow except in flower pots, or get far enough beyond the street light to catch the enchantment of a night sky studded with stars. When people live far from scenes of the Great Spirit's making, it's easy for them to forget His laws."
--Tatanga Mani (Walking Buffalo), STONEY
Nature is life's greatest teacher. The natural laws are hidden in nature. Hidden are solutions to everyday problems such as; conflict resolution, how to forgive, lessons about differences, how to manage organizations, how to think. Hidden are feelings. You can look at something and you will feel it. At night, have you ever looked at the sky when there are no clouds? As you look at all the stars, your heart will become very joyful. You will walk away feeling joyful and peaceful. We need to visit nature so we can see and feel these things.