Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 30
"Always remember that the Great Mystery is good; evil can come only from ourselves!" --Grandmother of Charles Eastman. SANTEE SIOUX The Great Mystery is love, good, and principle. He is a guiding Father. He doesn't play games. He knows only how to love. Sometimes, when things go wrong, we blame Him or others. Usually, if we are honest, we can see how decisions or things done in the past put us in a position to be hurt. It comes back to us. When this happens, it is not something the Creator caused, but something we, ourselves caused. Most of our problems are of our own making. When this happens, we should correct what we've done, ask the Great Spirit for forgiveness, and pray for guidance in the future.
"Always remember that the Great Mystery is good; evil can come only from ourselves!"
--Grandmother of Charles Eastman. SANTEE SIOUX
The Great Mystery is love, good, and principle. He is a guiding Father. He doesn't play games. He knows only how to love. Sometimes, when things go wrong, we blame Him or others. Usually, if we are honest, we can see how decisions or things done in the past put us in a position to be hurt. It comes back to us. When this happens, it is not something the Creator caused, but something we, ourselves caused. Most of our problems are of our own making. When this happens, we should correct what we've done, ask the Great Spirit for forgiveness, and pray for guidance in the future.
My Creator, bless me with Your good.
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 28
"I believe that being a medicine man, more than anything else, is a state of mind, a way of looking at and understanding this earth, a sense of what it is all about." --Lame Deer, LAKOTA The Medicine Wheel explains different ways of looking at the world. The four directions are the East, the South, the West, and the North. In the East is the view of the eagle. The eagle flies high and sees the earth from that point of view. The South is the direction of the mouse. Moving on the earth, the mouse will not see what the eagle sees. Both the eagle and the mouse see the truth. The West is the direction of the bear. The bear will see different from the mouse and the eagle. From the North comes the point of view of the bison. To be a Medicine Man you must journey through all points of view and develop the mind to see the interconnectedness of all four directions. This takes time, patience, and an open mind. Eventually, you understand there is only love.
"I believe that being a medicine man, more than anything else, is a state of mind, a way of looking at and understanding this earth, a sense of what it is all about."
--Lame Deer, LAKOTA
The Medicine Wheel explains different ways of looking at the world. The four directions are the East, the South, the West, and the North. In the East is the view of the eagle. The eagle flies high and sees the earth from that point of view. The South is the direction of the mouse. Moving on the earth, the mouse will not see what the eagle sees. Both the eagle and the mouse see the truth. The West is the direction of the bear. The bear will see different from the mouse and the eagle. From the North comes the point of view of the bison. To be a Medicine Man you must journey through all points of view and develop the mind to see the interconnectedness of all four directions. This takes time, patience, and an open mind. Eventually, you understand there is only love.
Great Spirit, today, allow my mind to stay open.
Elder's Meditation of the Day December 27
"When temptation comes, I don't say, `Yes," and I don't say, `No.' I say, `Later,' I just keep walking the Red Road - down the middle. When you're in the middle, you don't go to either extreme. You allow both sides to exist." --Dr. A. C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA We need to practice controlling our focus. Whatever we focus on we become. We also become whatever we practice. We need to focus on balance. Whenever something comes along to tilt us off balance, we need to be grateful, because it allows the opportunity to practice our focus. Sometimes this is called temptation. Temptation in itself is not bad. What really counts is what we do with it when it happens. We need to practice controlling our focus and keeping our thinking focused on the Red Road.
Great Spirit, today, guide me through my temptations and allow me to focus on the Red Road.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 26
The way of knowledge is like our old way of hunting. You begin with a mere trail - a footprint. If you follow that faithfully, it may lead you to a clearer train - a track - a road. Later on there will be many tracks, crossing and diverging one from the other. Then you must be careful, for success lies in the choice of the right road." --Many Lightenings Eastman, SANTEE SIOUX An entire apple tree is initially contained in the seed. Visions are initially contained in the idea. If you trace the path of a blooming flower backwards, it goes from the blooming flower back to a bud, back to a stem, back to a seed. So it is in the way of knowledge. Often we will experience a hunch or a feeling that we are supposed to do something. At first it may not make any sense. This is the seed stage. Once we start to investigate, more gets revealed. As more is revealed, the more knowledge we get. This is the way the Great Spirit guides us.
Great Spirit, help me to choose the right choices.
"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.
Oh Great Mystery, let me know how to use these powers. Today, let me love life, let me know truth, let me live by principle, and let me follow Your intelligence.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 21
"He [The Great Spirit] only sketches out the path of life roughly for all the creatures on earth, shows them where to go, where to arrive, but leaves them to find their own way to get there. He wants them to act independently according to their nature, to the urges of each of them. --Lame Deer, LAKOTA Every person is created with purpose and with direction. This purpose and direction is written in our hearts when we are conceived. In addition, we are given access to a quiet guidance system which helps us find our purpose and our direction. We need to recognize this guidance system. It's called intuition, the quiet voice, urges, the knowing, or the feeling. Once we locate our purpose and direction, we are given skills, talents and abilities that are unique to only ourselves. We must practice daily prayer and meditation with God to find this information. To be solid and confident in ourselves, we always need to be able to answer three questions: why am I?, who am I?, and where am I going? If I can answer these three questions, I always know I'm OK!
Great Spirit, show me my path of life.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 19
Flexible strength is better than inflexible. Let the storm flow over you, and then pop back up." --Michael Kabotie, HOPI Flexibility is taught by nature. You will see the trees bend in the wind. You will see that tree branches are flexible. To be rigid is to break. When we have life problems it is good for us to be flexible. Sometimes we need to flow with what is going on. If we resist, it becomes more painful. We need to be on the path of least resistance. Water flows down the mountain through the path of least resistance. Electricity flows through the path of least resistance. Power flows through the path of least resistance. As Indian people our strength has always been our flexibility.
Creator, I will be flexible today because I know You are with me.
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 15
"People are equal partners with the plants and animals, not their masters who exploit them." --Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders As human beings, we are not above anything nor are we below anything. Because of being equal, we need to discuss a little about the value of respect. Not just respect when it comes to human beings, but respect when it comes to everything. We are not masters over things; we are caretakers for the Great Spirit. We need to treat all things with respect.
Great Spirit, let me accept and see all things as equal.
Grandfather, Grandmother, bring the spirits to teach us.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 13
In our language there is no word to say inferior or superiority or equality because we are equal; it's a known fact. But life has become very complicated since the newcomers came here. And how does your spirit react to it?. It's painful. You have to be strong to walk through the storm. I know I'm a bridge between two worlds. All I ask is for people to wash their feet before they try to walk on me." --Alanis Obomsawin, ABENAKI For native people who speak their language, English can be very confusing. Many times you cannot express in English the true meaning of Indian words. When we hear something in English we sometimes react or our spirit reacts. Sometimes we need to use English words out of order to express our true meanings. We need to be patient and pray. Living in two worlds can be difficult. Life is painful sometimes. The pain of life is where the lessons are learned.
Creator, let me learn the lessons You have taught my people
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 12
In order for our children to survive in the world, they need a firm understanding and belief in the basic principles of sharing freedom and respect of individuality." --Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders There is a saying: Tell me, I'll forget; Show me, I'll remember; Engage me; I'll understand. The adults need to determine what the younger generation is learning. The principle of sharing keeps the youth from being greedy and selfish. The principle of freedom teaches the youth about choices, decisions and consequences. The principle of respect keeps us from playing God and becoming a controller of all things. We need to learn these lessons so we may demonstrate them for our children.
Great Teacher, help me to understand Your principles.
Creator, help me to find peace.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 9
"The Natural Law will prevail regardless of man-made laws, tribunals, and governments." --Traditional Circle of Elders, NAVAJO-HOPI Joint Use Area The Great Spirit made Laws by which Man needs to live. These Laws are just and are about living in harmony. Man has passed many laws that say it is okay to do things. Many of these man-made laws are out of harmony with the Laws of the Great Spirit. These man-made laws will cause trouble for the human being if they are out of harmony with the Laws of the Creator.
Great Spirit, teach me Your Laws.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 8
We as men should not fear our mates; we should listen to their counsel." --Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman, Traditional Circle of Elders The Elders say the men should look at women in a sacred way. The men should never put women down or shame them in any way. When we have problems, we should seek their counsel. We should share with them openly. A woman has intuitive thought. She has access to another system of knowledge that few men develop. She can help us understand. We must treat her in a good way.
Great Spirit, let me look upon the woman in a good way.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 5
"I've had a long regard for generational things: pottery, cultural things, participation in dancing, and extended family. Only in that way does culture survive; only in that way is culture active. --Tessie Naranjo, SANTA CLARA PUEBLO Culture teaches us how to live and it ensures that knowledge about life is handed down from generation to generation. Culture gives us the feeling of belonging. It helps us raise our family in a good way. It teaches us how to treat one another. Culture sets boundaries for societies. We need to develop our culture. If we have left our culture, then we need to come back to it. Culture leads us back to the Great Spirit. Sometimes in our lives, we leave what we know works and experiment with something else. Then we get into trouble. So we need to come back home. Indian people are lucky to have a culture to return to.
Creator, thank you for the culture. Let me live it today.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 4
In the end I tell my children, there's no way I can tell you how to be an Acoma, how to be an Indian. You have to experience it." --Stanley Paytiamo, ACOMA PUEBLO Each person must make their own journey. It is like every human is given a life canoe. The canoe has one seat and one paddle. In order to get anything out of life we must be in the canoe and we must paddle down the river of life. Now, I can share with you how my journey has been, but I cannot paddle your canoe. You must paddle your own. Good luck!
Creator, I'm so glad I have You to guide my path.
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 2
"The smarter a man is the more he needs God to protect him from thinking he knows everything." --George Webb, PIMA A spiritual person needs to be careful. The more confident we are, the more likely our egos will get us into trouble. It's relatively easy to become self-righteous. We start to think we are teachers and others are students. We start to judge others. We start, very subtlely at first, to play God. After a while we really get good at it. This is very dangerous. We need to remind ourselves, we are here to do God's will. We need to pray every morning. Each day we need to check in with God to see what He would have us do. At night we need to spend time with God and review our day. By doing these things, we will stay on track.
My Creator, guide my path and show me how to correct my life.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 1
"Sometimes dreams are wiser then waking." --Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa), OGLALA The Great Spirit has many ways of communicating with the human being. He talks to us through the five senses; sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. For example, we can observe nature and see a lesson or get an answer. These five senses function primarily in the physical world. But we also have the ability to receive communication from the Unseen World. To do this we have a sixth sense. It comes in the form of dreams, imagination, intuition, inspiration, or a hunch. Along with the dream or intuitive thought there is a feeling, a knowing. We just know it's true without the need for proof. We need to pay attention to our dreams and intuition. Don't cast them off as being silly or useless. Be respectful to our dreams and feelings.
Creator, if you speak to me through dreams, let me know it in terms I can understand.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 30
"Someone must speak for them. I do not see a delegation for the four footed. I see no seat for eagles. We forget and we consider ourselves superior, but we are after all a mere part of the Creation." --Oren Lyons, ONONDAGA Whenever we make decisions, we need to look around to see who would be affected. If we change the course of a river, who, what will be affected? If we put poison on the gardens, who, what will be affected? If wee cut the trees and too many are cut, who, what will be affected? We need to become aware of the consequences of our actions. We need to pay attention to our thoughts. We are accountable to our children to leave the Earth in good shape.
My Creator, help me make right decisions
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 29
"Life, the circle, a measurement with no beginning and no end." --Phillip Deere, MUSKOGEE-CREEK The circle teaches us how the Creator made things and how to live. It teaches us how we should look at creation. Life travels in a circle. In the East is the baby, to the South is the youth, in the West is the adult and in the North is the Elder. Then we return to the Earth Mother to start the cycle again. We observe what is `around us' from the center of the circle. This develops our point of view. We must be careful not to become self-centered.
Great Spirit, let me observe life from the circle's point of view
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 28
"People say that crisis changes people and turns ordinary people into wiser or more responsible ones." --Wilma Mankiller, CHEROKEE There is a saying, conflict precedes clarity. The Medicine Wheel teachings say, in order for something to change it must first go through a struggle. When a crisis enters our lives, other powers are there to help us. We will learn some lessons. Will I honor and respect the next crisis?
Great Spirit, if a crisis occurs today, let me learn the lessons of wisdom.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 27
The Natural Law is a spiritual law. Its powers are both light and dark." --Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman Traditional Circle of Elders There are some characteristics that are evident in the system which the Creator made. He made balance, harmony, and polarity. In other words, every (+) plus has a (-) minus. Every positive has a negative; every up has a down; every problem has a solution. The Spiritual Law is the same - it has light and dark. Both are good, so both need to be honored. Lessons can be learned on both sides.
Great Spirit, teach me the powers of the Natural Laws
Elder's Meditation of the Day November 24
"Things would go well for us if we would think positively about everything."
--Mary Hayes, CLAOQUOT
Each of our thoughts are like individual seeds. These thoughts will plant our life garden. Whatever our thoughts, they grow in our gardens. Each day we will process about 50,000 thoughts or thought seeds. Positive thoughts will produce positive results. Have you ever been aware of what you are thinking about during the day? Of the possible 50,000 thoughts in one day - if the positive thoughts were flowers and the negative thoughts were weeds - how would your garden look at the end of the day?
Great Spirit, let me plant positive seeds.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 22
It's the most precious thing...to know absolutely where you belong. There's a whole emotional wrapping-around-of-you here. You see the same rock, tree, road, clouds, sun -- you develop a nice kind of intimacy with the world around you. To be intimate is to grow, to learn...[it] is absolutely fulfilling. Intimacy, that's my magic word for why I live here." --Tessie Maranjo, SANTA CLARA PUEBLO Every human being, to be mentally healthy, must have the feeling of belonging. When we have a sense of belonging we can be intimate. We can feel. We can connect. If we cannot develop this feeling of belonging, then we will feel lost of disconnected. To be disconnected from life is like walking around during the day not knowing the Sun exists. To have the feelings of intimacy is warm, glowy, joyful, loving, and connected. The feeling this Elder is talking about is available to everyone.
Great Spirit, let me be intimate.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 20
Money cannot buy affection." --Mangas Coloradas, APACHE In these modern times we put too much emphasis on material things and on money. We believe that money is power. If we have money, people will respect us. If we have money, people will admire us. If we have money, we can have anything we want. Maybe we can purchase anything in the material world, but we cannot purchase anything in the Unseen World. The Unseen World is not for sale. It can only be given away. Love, affection, admiration, trust, respect, commitment -- these must be earned or given away. If we use these things from the Unseen World, we are using real power.
My Creator, let me demonstrate Your power today. Let me be loving to all I meet.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 19
Where there is vision, the people live. They are made rich in the things of the spirit; and then, as the logical next step, they are rich in human life. --Phil Lane, Sr., YANKTON SIOUX Since the beginning of time, Indian people have been blessed with the ability and knowledge of the vision. The vision determines our future. The concept is, we move toward and become that which we think about. We have known that all visions are about the Great Spirit. They should include God's will in every area of our lives. We should have visions about our people, about healthy relationships, about helping others, about being happy, about being educated. Each day we should renew our vision. We should ask the Creator to give us a vision of what He wants us to be and where He wants us to go in our lives. We should be the seekers of vision.
Great Spirit, give me a vision to follow today. Let me do Your will.
Great One, guide me to use Your power well. I will use it only to serve the people.
Creator, give me courage to walk the Red Road
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 16
"We do not want riches, but we want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches, we want peace and love." --Red Cloud, OGLALA LAKOTA The Elders say that what is important is peace and love. To have material things is okay, but if not, that's okay too. To have peace and love is more important than anything material. Our children will see the value of peace and love only if adults show they are a priority. Too often we think we can offer material things and they will replace the time spent with our children. But the most important way to give our children peace and love is to spend time with them.
My Creator, give me Your peace and love today.
Elder's Meditation of the Day November 15
Our Spiritual belief is that we were created as part of the land - so our identity, our names, and our songs are all tied to the land." --Chief Roderick Robinson, NISGA'A In the traditional way, the names of native people had great meaning. We even had naming ceremonies. The naming of someone was very important and had great significance because it was tied to the Earth. The identity of each member and the teachings of the songs were all tied to Mother Earth. We need to know these teachings from our culture. This knowledge will help us heal the people.
My Maker, today help me find my identity.
My Creator, have the grandfathers teach us today about the old ways.
"If you don't know the language, you'll only see the surface of the culture...the language is the heart of the culture and you cannot separate it."
--Elaine Ramos, TLINGIT
The Creator gave to every person their own special way to communicate and understand. Indians understand connectedness, balance, harmony, spirituality, and the relationship to Mother Earth. The understanding of these things is expressed in the language. The true understanding of culture is expressed in the language. The language is the heart of the people. If we have not learned the language, we need to find a teacher.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 10
"The battle for Indian children will be won in the classroom, not on the streets or on horses. The students of today are our warriors of tomorrow." --Wilma P. Mankiller, CHEROKEE The world is constantly changing. One of the strengths of Indian people has been our adaptability. In today's world, education is what we need to survive. We need doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists. We can become these things and still live in a cultural way. We need to live in two worlds; the educated world and the Indian cultural world. Education will help protect our land, our people's health, and provide knowledge for our people. We must teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. Also, we must teach the language, the culture, the ceremony, and the tradition of our people.
Creator, let me remember You are my teacher.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 8
"See how the boy is with his sister and the other ones of his home lodge and you can know how the man will be with your daughter." --LAKOTA Proverb Very early in our lives we form beliefs, attitudes, expectations, and habits. We will live by these habits when we are older. The Elders say to watch the boy with his sister. If he is respectful and treats her good, then odds are that's the way he will treat all women when he is older. Also, watch the young girl and how she treats her brother, for that will indicate what kind of woman she will be to her man. We need to teach our children to respect one another while they are young. The best way to teach them is to show respect ourselves.
Great Spirit, let me ba a role model for the children.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 7
"Abuse and repression have no place in a traditional family." --Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders Traditional families guided by their culture were taught how to live. The were taught about relationships, respect, and spirituality. Only since alcohol was introduced to Indians have we seen physical abuse, sexual abuse and verbal abuse. These behaviors have no room in traditional families. The cycle of abuse must be broken during this generation. We do this by asking for help to quit drinking and abusing and return to our traditional culture and spirituality.
Creator, plant inside of me the knowledge of the traditional family.
Great Spirit, let me walk in the stillness
Elder's Meditation of the Day November 4
"The honor of the people lies in the moccasin tracks of the woman. Walk the good road.... Be dutiful, respectful, gentle, and modest my daughter... Be strong with the warm, strong heart of the earth. No people goes down until their women are weak and dishonored, or dead upon the ground. Be strong and sing the strength of the Great Powers within you, all around you."
--Village Wise Man, SIOUX
The Elders say the Native American women will lead the healing among the tribes. We need to especially pray for our women, and ask the Creator to bless them and give them strength. Inside them are the powers of love and strength given by the Moon and the Earth. When everyone else gives up, it is the women who sings the songs of strength. She is the backbone of the people. So, to our women we say, sing your songs of strength; pray for your special powers; keep our people strong; be respectful, gentle, and modest.
Oh, Great One, bless our women. Make them strong today.
Elder's Meditation of the Day November 2
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 1
"Times change but principles do not. Times change but lands do not. Times change but our culture and our language remain the same. And that's what you have to keep intact. It's not what you wear - it's what's in your heart." --Oren Lyons, ONONDAGA Going back to the old ways doesn't mean giving up electricity, homes, and cars. It means living by the same principles, laws, and values that our ancestors lived by. This will allow us to live successfully in today's world. The spirituality our ancestors lived is the same spirituality we need in these modern times. There are too many influences from TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and negative role models that are guiding our lives in a bad way. Our stability is in the laws, principles, and values that our ancestors were given and that our Elders teach us.
Great Spirit, let me live my life in a spiritual way.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 31
"One is not born a Tewa but rather one is made a Tewa... once made, one has to work hard continuously throughout one's life to remain a Tewa." --Alfonso Ortiz, SAN JUAN PUEBLO Being Indian is being spiritual. It is not the color of our skin. Being Indian is how we think. We need to learn our culture, our language, our dances, our traditions, and customs. It is one thing to know these things, but another to live them. We need to spend time with the Elders and get their guidance. We need to go to the mountains, woods, and desert to pray. Being spiritual is the way for us to think right. Walking the Red Road and thinking right is the greatest gift we can give to our children.
Grandfather, help me to Walk the Talk
"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.
"Mothers must protect the lives they have helped to bring into the world."
--Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders
Every child is subject to the seeds each adult plants in his/her mind. If we plant praise and "you can do it", the child will grow up with certain predictable behavior patterns. If we plant ideas that there's something wrong with you or you're good for nothing, the child will grow up with predictable behavior patterns. We need to honor and respect the mothers who protect the children and plant positive seeds for their growth.
Great Spirit, bless each mother and give her courage and faith.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 28
"Our religion seems foolish to you, but so does yours to me. The Baptists and Methodists and Presbyterians and the Catholics all have a different God. Why cannot we have one of our own?" --Sitting Bull, HUNKPAPA LAKOTA The Creator gave each culture a path to God. To the Indian people, he revealed that the Creator is in everything. Everything is alive with the Spirit of God. The water is alive. The trees are alive. The woods are alive. The mountains are alive. The wind is alive. The Great Spirit's breath is in everything and that's why it's alive. All of nature is our church, we eat with our families in church, we go to sleep in church.
My Creator, let us leave people to worship You in the way You have taught them.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 27
"O Great Spirit Whose voice I hear in the winds, And whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me! I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom. Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset." --from, PRAYER TO THE GREAT SPIRIT The Great Spirit runs the world and the people by a set of natural laws and principles. He says we are to live our lives and make decisions that will be in harmony with these laws. He says we should be respectful to all things and to all people. He says we should pray for each other. He says we should forgive one another. It is easy to tell if a person is following the ways of the Great Spirit. You can tell by how a man walks in life. He doesn't need to say anything. If we are dishonest or deceitful, other people will know. This is true because we are all interconnected in the Unseen World.
My Creator, let me obey Your ways. Let me Walk the Talk.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 26
"It seems that if Elders can feel that you are open to learning, they are more than generous with their teaching." --Chief Councilor, Lenard George There is a saying, when the student is ready the teacher appears. If the Elders sense that you are ready, they will help you see and learn new things. Most human beings love to share what they know with people who are excited to listen. If you are talking to someone and you feel they really aren't listening, you won't want to tell them much. Before you go talk to the Elders, examine your motives - are you really excited about listening to them?
My Creator, give me an open mind
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 24
"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.
Grandfather, today let me walk with the principles.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 23
We do not walk alone. Great Being walks beside us. Know this and be grateful." --Polingaysi Qyawayma, HOPI Many religions have different names for these Beings. Some are called angels, some are called spirits. These Spirit Beings are helpers. They guide us, protect us and will help us during our times of need. Sometimes they give us dreams. We need not be afraid when these Spirit Helpers come. We need to understand they are the Creator's helpers.
Great Spirit, send me the helpers to guide my path as I seek to walk in Your service.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 22
"Growth is a painful process." --Wilma Mankiller, CHEROKEE Whenever we grow, we usually need to let go of emotional attachments. Letting go can be painful. Sometimes growth allows us to deal with fear. All fear can fit into two categories: one, we're going to lose something we have, and two, we're not going to get something we want. Both of these categories can cause pain. The best way to grow is to pray to the Great Spirit and ask Him to guide and protect us. All growth is guided by God.
My Creator, guide my growth today and give me Your love and courage to help my pain.
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 19
"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.
Great Spirit, let my ears be open as I walk the path You have chosen for me.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 18
"But we have to stick by the wisdom of our ancestors..." --Paula Weasel Head, BLOOD A long time ago the Elders and our ancestors learned to walk on the Earth and to live in harmony. They were taught the Laws which govern everything, and they were taught traditional values. This wisdom should be made available to the younger generations. We need to speak to the Elders and learn from them. We need to do this so we can pass the knowledge on to our children.
My Creator, help me learn the wisdom of my ancestors
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 17
Peace... comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the Universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us." --Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa) OGLALA SIOUX If we are to know peace we must look within ourselves. In order to do this, we must learn to be still. We must quiet the mind. We must learn to meditate. Meditation helps us locate and find the center that is within ourselves. The center is where the Great One resides. When we start to look for peace, we need to realize where it is within ourselves. When we experience conflict we need to pause for a moment and ask the Power within ourselves, "How do you want me to handle this? What would you suggest I do in this situation?" By asking the Higher Power for help we find peace.
Creator, help me to find peace.
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day October 15
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 14
Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth and the Great Silence alone!" --Ohiyesa (Dr. Charles A. Eastman), SANTEE SIOUX The most important thing we can do during the course of the day is pray in the morning. There is a special time in the morning that has great power. This is the exact time the sun is rising. During the rising of the sun, everything on the Earth is waking up. Animals, plants, birds, and humans will be blessed at the rising of the sun. This is a special time to help us prepare for the day. During this time we ask the Creator to bless our day. We ask Him to guide us, to protect us and to give us courage to overcome the day's obstacles. Doing this everyday will give us knowledge of God's will for us.
Grandfather, Grandmother, guide my path. Let my thinking be guided by You.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 13
So unbelievable things like that happen. But you have to believe it first. Not wait until you see it first, then touch it, then believe it... You have to say it from the heart." --Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA The power of our belief system is incredible. The power of faith is a very natural power. How do we have faith? Inside of our minds we form a mental picture with our self talk. Self talk is recorded in our minds in three dimensions - words that trigger a picture, which has a feeling or an emotion attached to it. Once we get the words and the picture, it is the emotion that makes the idea turn into a belief. You get the right emotion by saying things from the heart. The heart is the source of emotions which can cause unbelievable things to happen.
Great Spirit, with You everything is possible.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 12
"The greatest obstacle to the internal nature is the mind. If it relies on logic the domain of the inner nature is inaccessible. The simple fact is a man does not challenge the wisdom of the Holy Mystery." --Turtleheart, TETON SIOUX Why is it we need to analyze and understand everything? The Great Mystery has designed certain areas of creation to be a mystery because humans usually misuse it. We use the Great Mystery and see it unfold only under the direction of the Great Spirit. The Creator is in charge.
Great Spirit, let me realize You are in charge. I'm to do what You want.
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 10
"I think that's what unity is - knowing one another,coming together, and working with no conflict." --Chief Alan Wilson, HAIDA When we are aligned with spiritual values, we cannot be in fear or conflict. When we are aligned to spiritual values, we have the Creator whispering solutions in our ears. Unity is one of the spiritual values. When we value unity we value solutions. If we think this way, then we have no conflict within ourselves.
Great Spirit, let me see through Your eyes.
Elder's Meditation of the Day October 9
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 8
"I think there was a big mistake made (when) people separated religion and the government. That was one of the big mistakes that was made, because when they did that, then they removed the Creator from their life - or at least from half to three-quarters of their life." --Tom Porter, MOHAWK The Elders tell us that every thing the Creator made is interconnected. Nothing can be separated. The Elders say we should pray before we do anything. We should ask the Creator, what do You want us to do? We are put on the Earth to do the will of God. If we run our governments, communities, families, or ourselves. Without the spiritual we are doomed to failure.
My Creator, guide my life to include the spiritual in everything I do.
Great Spirit, thank you for being my Father. Teach me to honor the Earth.
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.
My Creator, let me learn nature's lessons.
Elder's Meditation of the Day October 5
"The dances are prayers."--Pop Chalee, TAOS PUEBLO When we dance to the drum we pray to the Creator and attract the heartbeat of the earth. We never dance without reason; every dance has a purpose. We dance for rain; we dance for healing; we dance for seasons; we dance for joy; we dance for our children; we dance for the people; we dance for courage. The drum plays to the beat of the heart, to the beat of the Earth. The drum connects us to the Earth while we dance our prayers.
Oh, Great One, let my dance and prayer be heard by You.
This post was modified from its original form on 05 Oct, 8:51
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 4
"Search for the truth. Indian values teach the holistic approach to the use of technology for mankind's good." --Al Qoyawayma, HOPI The Great Spirit had given us certain values to live by. If we learn to think in harmony with these values such as; respect, love, patience, tolerance, commitment, trust, etc., we cannot get off track. No matter what we do, we will always be in harmony. For example, if we are respectful, then we will respect the earth, our children, our women, our men, and ourselves. Indian values help us walk under the guidance of the Great Spirit.
My Creator, today I search for the truth, Your truth. Please let me see it.
Great Spirit, teach me the significance of spiritual values.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 2
"Laughter - that is something very sacred, especially for us Indians." --John (Fire) Lame Deer, ROSEBUD LAKOTA Laughter is mental, laughter is emotional, laughter is physical, and laughter is spiritual. Laughter helps us find balance. If we get too angry, laughter will turn that emotion in a balanced direction. If we have a mental picture of someone who is too strong, laughter will help ease the tension. If the body is stressed, laughter will release natural relaxants into our muscles and our nervous system. Laughter often changes our attitude. We need to lighten up and laugh more.
Great Spirit, teach me to laugh.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - October 1
"So don't be afraid. What we left behind, leave it back there. Try to do some good. Let's try to take a step, try to think something good." --Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA Every day is a new day. Sometimes we make mistakes. We do not need to carry these mistakes along with us. Take the lessons and leave the mistakes behind. Look forward to today. Today we can do something good. Today we can have good thoughts. Today we can think kind, uplifting thoughts about ourselves. Today I will think good about ...
My Creator, today I ask You to direct my thoughts.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 30
"Don't be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts." --Don Talayesva, HOPI Human beings function from choice. We can choose to stuff things, or we can choose to let go of things. If we choose to stuff things, then we will feel a heaviness, or sorrow, self pity or fear. Sometimes we feel the need to cry. Sometimes we are taught it is not okay to cry. The creator designed the human being to cry. Crying is a release. This release allows us to let go of thoughts that are not helping us so we can open to new thoughts that will help. Crying is natural for women and men.
Grandfather, if I need to cry, let me realize it's a natural process and help me to let go.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 29
"So I prayed, but I had to pray from my heart. All of my concentration and thoughts went from my head to my heart. All of my senses - hearing, smell, taste, and feeling - were connected to my heart." --Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA The heart is the gateway to the Unseen World, to the Spirit World. It takes real concentration to do this. To connect to our own heart is also a mental state. It starts in the head and transitions to the heart. This mental state is our inner stillness. Be still and know. This place of the heart is very joyous and peaceful. It is this place that we become one with God, our Creator.
Great Spirit, teach me to be a heart warrior.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 28
"Love is something that you can leave behind you when you die. It's that powerful." --John (Fire) Lame Deer, ROSEBUD LAKOTA The Old Ones say, love is all anyone needs. Love doesn't go away nor can love be divided. Once you commit an act of love, you'll find it continues. Love is like setting up dominos one behind the other. Once you hit the first domino, it will touch the second one which will touch the third one and so on. Every love act or love thought has an affect on each person as well as touching the whole world. If you live a life filled with love, the results will affect your friends, relatives, and other people, even after you go to the other side. So... Love.
My Creator, let me love. Let me put into action the love dominos.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 27
"I received my education from my culture. My teachers were my grandmothers, and I am really thankful for that." --Mary One Spot, SARCEE Our often unrecognized, but most powerful teachers are our women. In order for men to learn a balanced way, we need to learn from our men Elders and our women Elders. Learning from the women Elders will teach us a whole different set of values and insights to life. When we have life problems, we need to go to the grandmothers to get their advice.
Grandmothers, teach me the values of the Great Mystery.
Great Spirit, today, if I need it, please provide me positive criticism.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 25
"Even the trees have spirits - everything has a spirit." --Mary Hayes, CLAYOQUOT The trees are great teachers. The trees are great listeners. That is why we should meditate in their presence. The Great spirit is in every rock, every animal, every human being, and in every tree. The Great Spirit has been in some trees for hundreds of years. Therefore, the trees have witnessed and heard much. The trees are the Elders of the Elders. Their spirits are strong and very healing.
Great Spirit, teach me respect for all spiritual things.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 25
"Even the trees have spirits - everything has a spirit." --Mary Hayes, CLAYOQUOT The trees are great teachers. The trees are great listeners. That is why we should meditate in their presence. The Great spirit is in every rock, every animal, every human being, and in every tree. The Great Spirit has been in some trees for hundreds of years. Therefore, the trees have witnessed and heard much. The trees are the Elders of the Elders. Their spirits are strong and very healing.
Great Spirit, teach me respect for all spiritual things.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 24
Touch not the poisonous firewater that makes wise men turn to fools and robs the spirit of its vision." --Tecumseh, SHAWNEE It's not an accident that firewater is also called spirits. Firewater affects our judgments. The Great Spirit created a set of laws and principles by which we are to live our lives. When we have problems we should pray and ask for the wisdom of these laws. If instead we turn to liquor, our judgement will be affected. It is the decision and choice made under the influence of booze that causes us to be fools. We need to learn to lean on prayer and not on the spirits of alcohol.
Great Spirit, teach me to pray. Let not one drop of liquor touch my lips today
"I think the spiritual values come first and everything else follows."
--Leonard George, Chief Councilor
To properly develop, the human being needs to learn the guiding principles. It is from these principles that we make our decisions. Spiritual values are the guiding principles given to us by the Great Spirit. He says if we live by these spiritual values, the results we experience will be good. These spiritual values will develop and guide the human being by helping us to think right. Right thinking will improve our choices and decisions. Doing this will bring good consequences.
"everything is laid out for you. Your path is straight ahead of you. Sometimes it's invisible but it's there. You may not know where it's going, but still you have to follow that path. It's the path to the Creator. That's the only path there is."
--Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA Everything on the earth has a purpose and a reason for its existence. Every human being is a warrior and every warrior has a song written in his/her heart and that song must be sung or the soul forever remains restless. This song is always about serving the Great Spirit and helping the people. This song is always sung for the people. Many times I need to learn much about the difficulties of life. I need to know this, so I must experience it. Then I can be of use to the people. Because I am experiencing difficulty does not mean I have left the path or that I have done something wrong. It means I'm doing the will of the Great Spirit during these times of testing. I need to pray constantly to keep a good attitude.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 20
You will only get back what you give out." --Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE The Great Spirit created a system of balance and justice. This law says, if you treat others with respect, you will be treated with respect. If you gossip about no one, no one will gossip about you. If you are fair in all of your dealings, you can expect the same. If you share with others, others will share with you. If you judge others, others will judge you. You will always get back what you give out. The original teaching talks about being a giving person. A giving person will constantly be on the receiving end.
My Creator, help me to be a giving person today.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 19
"I am building myself. There are many roots. I plant, I pick, I prune. I consume." --Wendy Rose, HOPI/MIWOK The most sacred thing on this Mother Earth is life. My life on this earth is governed by God's laws, principles, and spiritual values. These things are my roots. Let me see Your gifts of growing and becoming a spiritual warrior. Make my strength based on values - spiritual values; on principles and laws, the laws of God that really run the universe. We need to realize the seeds we plant in the spring will be what shows up in our summer season of growth and will be the fruits that we will harvest in our fall season. We really have a lot to do with what shows up in our lives.
Great Spirit, let my seed that I plant today be based on values that will make You pleased with my selection.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 18
"I walk in and out of many worlds." --Joy Harjo, CREEK/CHEROKEE In my mind are many dwellings. Each of the dwellings we create ourselves - the house of anger, the house of despair, the house of self pity, the house of indifference, the house of negative, the house of positive, the house of hope, the house of joy, the house of peace, the house of enthusiasm, the house of cooperation, the house of giving. Each of these houses we visit each day. We can stay in any house for as long as we want. We can leave these mental houses any time we wish. We create the dwelling, we stay in the dwelling, we leave the dwelling whenever we wish. We can create new rooms, new houses. Whenever we enter these dwellings, this becomes our world until we leave for another. What world will we live in today?
Creator, no one can determine which dwelling I choose to enter. No one has the power to do so, only me. Let me choose wisely today.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 17
The old people must start talking and the young people must start listening." --Thomas Banyacya, HOPI We are at a critical time in transferring cultural knowledge and spiritual ways. During the last few years the young people have not been interested in learning the old ways. The only place this knowledge is found is among the Elders. We must encourage the young to visit with the Elders. The adults need to think also about learning the culture. The Elders are getting old and soon will go to the other side. Each of us must pause and think about our individual responsibility to learn the culture and teach this to our young.
Great Spirit, help us to learn and remember the old ways.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 16
To me, the wisdom the Elders have to manifest is in teaching people how to live in harmony and balance with each other and the Earth." --Sun Bear, CHIPPEWA You cannot give away what you don't have. You need to give away what you have in order to keep it. Our Elders have lived their lives with a lot of trial and error. They have experienced how to do things well and they have experienced what didn't work for them as they grew old. They know things about living that we don't know. So, through the years the Elders have gained wisdom. They usually have a whole different point of view because of all their experiences. There are two ways to learn. Someone tells us what they did and we do the same thing or someone tells us what they did and we choose not to do it. Both of these paths will help us to live.
My Creator, teach me about choices and decisions and consequences. Put an Elder in my life to guide me.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 15
Knowledge is a beautiful thing, but the use of knowledge in a good way is what makes for wisdom. Learning how to use knowledge in a sacred manner, that's wisdom to me. And to me, that's what a true Elder is." --Sun Bear, CHIPPEWA We grow in wisdom by developing ourselves according to the four directions of the Medicine Wheel - emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Let's say we started drinking and drugging in our teenage years. Our emotional development will stop, but we will grow older physically. We could then develop into an immature adult. As adults we might be acting like we were teenagers. Once we stop drinking or drugging, our emotional development will begin again. We need to grow and nurture ourselves in all four directions. We need to involve the Great Spirit's guidance in our development. That's the only way we become wise individuals and live our lives in harmony and in a sacred way.
Oh Great Spirit, guide my thinking today. Let me walk in a sacred way on the Red Road. Let me be a learner of lessons and give me Your greatest gift - wisdom!
Elder's Meditation of the Day September 14
"Follow the Old One's advise."
--Tom Porter, MOHAWK
The Old One is called by many different names - Grandfather, The Four directions, Father Sky, Mother Earth. We should seek the advice of the Old One to help us build our vision. He will put inside of our mind and heart the vision that we are to follow. This vision is recognizable by the feeling that it has with it. This feeling is hard to describe. It feels right, it feels calm, it feels joyful, it feels warm, it feels sacred. The Old One has a way of letting us know it really is His advice. Listen carefully!
Grandfather, I'm listening.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 13
"The most important thing you can do during the course of the day is to pray." --Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE There are many things we do during the day that are important. There are many places we have to go and there are many things to accomplish. The old ones say, the most important thing we can do is remember to take the time to pray. We should pray every morning and every evening. In this way we can be sure that the Great Spirit is running our lives. With the Great Spirit we are everything but without Him we are nothing. All Warriors know their greatest weapon is prayer. To spend time talking to the Creator is a great honor.
Great Spirit, thank You for listening to my prayers.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 12
"If you get troubled, go and sit by the river. The flowing water will take your troubles away." --Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE Sometimes we get mixed up and we don't know what to do. Go to the river or creek. Take your sage and tobacco; sit and be still. Talk to the water, offer tobacco and the healing water will take your problems downstream. Give thanks.
Great Spirit, heal my mind today, let me see love.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 11
"Listen to all the teachers in the woods. Watch the trees, the animals, and all living things - you'll learn more from them than from books." --Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE Nature is a living example of how communities live in harmony. If you go into the forest or mountain and sit still and watch, ask yourself, what lessons are being taught? Then watch how the animals conduct themselves. The trees could represent diversity. The flowers could represent people. Notice how everything in nature assists one another. See how balance works. See how conflict is handled. Can you see acts of forgiveness? Can you spot respect? Nature is full of wisdom if we will only consider her to be our teacher.
My Creator, today let me learn from nature.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 10
"One of the first things Seneca children learned was that they might create their own world, their own environment, by visualizing actions and desires in prayer. The Senecas believed that everything that made life important came from within. Prayer assisted in developing a guideline toward discipline and self control." --Twylah Nitcsh, SENECA All permanent and lasting change starts first on the inside and works its way out. Having constant prayer and Creator directed visions helps us to live in harmony. This is the best way to grow strong and become a Warrior. No matter what is going on outside of ourselves, it is our projection that makes it so. It is our projections that even give it any meaning. Another way is each day to turn our life and our will over to the care of the Great Spirit. Then He will show us His desire for us. When we are in alignment to His desire, we become very joyful and very happy.
Oh Great Spirit, You take care of me today and tell me what I can do for You today. Give me the discipline to talk to You whenever I am in doubt or fear. Let me come to You if I get irritated. You are my solution.
"If we keep everything in balance, we are in harmony with ourselves and are at peace."
Fools Crow - Lakota
I need help - I need to know how to obtain and maintain the above - my heart is weary as is my soul. I went to try to write a new resume, so I called Who' Who to find out what editions I had been named in and the customer service person told me that I was supposedly deceased ..... Everytime I take a step forward I seem to be going 30 back. I only want a chance to start over. To find a job and get somewhere small to live. I feel like I keep losing my life over and over again. So now I am reaching out - I cannot walk this path alone. Please how can I obtain this harmony and balance. Please.
I remain Kathryn
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 9
My Great Spirit, today I surrender my life and my will to Your care.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 8
Keep your life simple because the more you get, the more complicated it becomes." --Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE The old ones say, lead a simple life. The society we live in is all about getting more houses, cars, luxury and credit cards. The law of worry says, the more you have, the more you need to worry. You get a house, then you need insurance, then you need to take care of the yard and the list goes on. Next, you may want a bigger house with a bigger yard which costs more in insurance. Along with the accumulation of materialism, are other "gifts." Soon you become a slave and the materialism owns you. Lead a simple life and have peace of mind. Lead a simple life and be spiritual.
Creator, let my foundation be spiritual and simple.
Elder's Meditation of the Day September 7
"Education is the new weapon of Indian people." --Eddie Box, SOUTHERN UTE People have the ability to adapt. In these modern times we must get educated so the people don't lose. We need lawyers, doctors, nurses, foresters, scientists, educators, carpenters, welders. These skills are needed to help the people. While we are learning, we need to remember to keep the culture, learn the dances, sing the songs, learn the language and maintain the Red Road for future generations.
Great Spirit, let my education never lack the meaning and value of spirituality
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 2
"I remember Dawson (No Horse) said, 'Once you say your prayers, don't worry about them. If you worry about them, they'll just fade away.'" --Chuck Ross, LAKOTA Today I need to remember You are everywhere. I need to remember how much You love me. I need to know, Grandfathers, that You are always listening. Today I need to know how much You care. Today I will remember the advice of the Elders. "Say your prayers and then don't worry - know that the Great One has heard you." It's so much easier to do this, Grandfather, when I feel connected to You.
My Creator, allow me this day to feel your presence. Let me walk the path of life today and talk to You many times. Give me faith, my Grandfather.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 1
"Everyone has a song. God gives us each a song. That's how we know who we are. Our song tells us who we are." --Charlie Knight, UTE As we start to walk the Red Road and as we develop ourselves as Warriors, a song will come to us. This song is given to each of us from the Great Spirit. Whenever we sing this song, we will receive courage and strength, not only for ourselves but if we sing this song for others, it will also help them. The song will give us power and make us feel really good. The song will make us see life in a sacred way. If you don't have your song yet, ask the Creator in prayer if He will give you your song. With the song comes a responsibility - the responsibility to act and conduct oneself as a Warrior according to your song.
Oh my Creator, let me live my song. Let my song honor Your way of life. Let me sing my song each day. At the end of today, let my song tell people who I am. I am a beautiful child of the Creator.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 31
Our Creator makes available to us all that we need. It is an honor to go out and gather it. We must remember to say 'Thank You.' It is honorable to give away, to show our gratitude... and to let the children see this." --Barney Bush, SHAWNEE So many times we forget to say "thank You" to the Creator. He made for us an abundant universe. He built the Mother Earth to reproduce plenty of everything. It is an honor to be a part of the Great Spirit's world. The Creator always gives us what we need. When we are given things, we should be willing to share it with others. Whenever we give to others, this makes us feel good inside. The more we give, the better we feel. The better we feel, the more we want to give. We need to teach this to our children. The children learn by our behavior.
My Creator, thank you for today. Thank you for the sun. Thank you for the earth. Thank you for my life. Thank you for......
Elder's Meditation of the Day August 30
I started drinking more seriously, seeking refuge, seeking death actually, from a world that was feeling more and more unnatural to me. Following a painful accident related to drinking, I finally realized that I must decide whether I want to follow my grandparents or truly take up this life. Circumstances that followed led me to choose life." --Barney Bush, SHAWNEE My life is run by choices and decisions. Every choice I make today will carry with it the consequences of that choice. Every decision I make today will carry with it the consequences of that decision. The question I will ask myself today is, "Do I want to be happy or do I want to be right?" Which ever one I choose will have a lot to do with the consequences I will experience today. If today was the last day of my life, what choices and what decisions would I make?
Oh Great Spirit, guide my path today and help me see the value of choosing the Red Road.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 29
The devastated earth, the air, water, the extinct species of mankind, animalkind, and plantkind, the drugs, suicides, family separations - these are all the result of false ceremonies." --Barney Bush, SHAWNEE All life is a ceremony. Every act is a ceremony creating a result in our lives. Every ceremony we do always brings results to our lives. If we do bad medicine to others, we do bad medicine to ourselves. If we keep on doing bad ceremonies, we will eventually destroy ourselves. Any time we live our lives out of harmony, we are doing bad ceremonies. Any time we treat anything with disrespect whether it is another human being or a plant or an animal, we are performing bad ceremonies. These ceremonies not only have an effect on ourselves but will simultaneously affect everything. We need to use our power well, only do good ceremonies.
My Creator, teach me only good ceremonies. Teach me ceremonies that accomplish good for all the people. Good ceremonies cause good results. Teach me ceremonies that are helpful.
My Creator, let me know what You would have me be today. Let my intentions be honest, respectful, humble, and loving.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 27
--Fools Crow, LAKOTA There are certain prayers or actions we can take that will call the Powers. The Powers can only work through the people. The Powers are always waiting to express themselves through people that are ready. Every person born is born with a purpose. They have a song to sing. They have a mission to accomplish. Every true purpose will always be about serving the Creator and helping others. When we let the Powers know that we are ready to serve the people, the Powers get excited because they can now do things to help the people and make things better for them. The decision is powerful because it turns an idea into action.
Great Spirit, the greatest joy or feeling that I have ever experienced is when you are using me to help the people, the feeling of giving, the feeling of being your channel. Today, let me have that feeling of giving. Use me as You will.
--Mathew King, LAKOTA
The Creator can only create through human beings. Each human being has a purpose given to us by the Creator. We are on this earth to fulfill this purpose. Our only work is to make ourselves ready, to become a channel, to perform for the Creator. We prepare ourselves by prayer. We prepare ourselves by becoming unselfish. We prepare ourselves by seeking and choosing to walk on a spiritual path. Each morning we look to the east and we say an honor prayer to the Creator. We offer our gifts: tobacco and corn. We ask him to help us do His will for today. In this simple way, we still fulfill our purpose. It should be an honor to serve the Creator.
Great Spirit, today I am ready to serve You."God is making use of you - you should be grateful He's found a use for you."
--Fools Crow, LAKOTA "
What you see is what you get." Our head has inside it a movie projector that projects out from our foreheads and shines on a screen a picture of our true thoughts. This is our reality. We can only see what we project (our beliefs). If we believe someone is a jerk, every time we see them we reflect our beliefs about what we think about that person and that is all we can see. Even if someone tells us this person is a kind, loving, caring, intelligent individual, we wouldn't be able to see it. If we change our belief about them, that person will change and so will our judgment about that person.
My Creator, let me realize the power of choice. Let me see the advantages of changing my beliefs. Today, if I am judging my brother, let me change my beliefs to acceptance. If my thoughts are of anger, let me change them to love. Let my eyes only see you in everything and every person.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 23
They also learned, and perhaps this was the most important thing, how to look at things through the eyes of the Higher Powers." --Fools Crow, LAKOTA Our eyes can only see our beliefs. Our beliefs cause us to make assumptions, draw conclusions, and cause confusion. Our five senses are very limiting. The Creator has a way of allowing us to see or know in the spiritual world. This is called the Sixth Sense. The Sixth Sense is like a radar system; our personal radar system. It will help us "see" opportunities and help us avoid disaster. This Sixth Sense is controlled by God. We must learn to listen to it. We must learn to trust it. We must learn to act on it even if our head says differently. We must learn to look at things through the eyes of God.
My Creator, guide me today. If my eyes cause confusion, let me close them and see through Your eyes. If my ears hear confusion, let me listen to my heart. Let me let You guide me.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 22
When life is too good, we think too highly of ourselves and our blessings. Then we decide we are the wisest and the favored ones, and we don't think we need Wakan-Tanka and the Helpers anymore." --Fools Crow, LAKOTA It is sometimes easy to get off track when times are good. We start to take the credit and start to think we are in control. We start to think we are smart. Then we quit praying or pray only with lip service. We say the words but don't mean them. Sometimes our head is our greatest enemy. We start acting like a foolish child. We must develop the discipline to be humble during the good times. We need to remember how honorable it is each day to come into the presence of the Creator. How happy we should be to talk to the Grandfathers, to have the choice to start each day on the Sacred Spot - our place of communion with the Great Spirit.
Oh Great Spirit, first let me thank You for the honor of talking to You today. To have the insight of Your love, that only You can love me when I don't deserve to be loved. Let me be reminded to talk to You all day long.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 21
The greater the faith, the greater the result." --Fools Crow, LAKOTA The Creator designed us to act on faith. We are able to do this by holding firm to our beliefs. If we believe something and if we don't want the belief to change, we need to add the power of the Great Spirit to this belief. We must always have the spiritual added to our beliefs. If we don't add the Spirit, then we may very well change our minds the first time we are tested. Each time we are tested and we don't change our minds, we get stronger. The wind may blow on the red willow trees bending them and causing the roots to grow deeper. The more the wind bends the tree, the bigger, stronger, and deeper the roots grow. We should be happy that we are tested. It's the Creator's way of making us have greater faith for greater results.
Great Mystery, Grandfather, I know if I am tested today that I can count on You to give me the courage to get to the other side. On the other side of every test is the reward of strength. Make me strong
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 20
"...remember and think about the closeness of Wanka-Tanka. If they live in this wisdom, it will give them endless strength and hope." --Fools Crow, LAKOTA The value of staying close to the Creator is the immediate help we have available to us whenever we need it. I can listen to the whisper of my heart for this is the place He communicates with me. Staying close helps me remember that we are here to serve Him and to help other people. The Grandfathers are my direct access to wisdom. He who has wisdom has everything. If we have wisdom, then we will see our lives become more effective in the areas of jobs, relationships, family, friends, and finances.
My Creator, today grant me the wisdom to seek Your wisdom. Help me to Walk of the Red Road.
"If we keep everything in balance, we are in harmony with ourselves and are at peace."
--Fools Crow, LAKOTA
As within, as without, our present thought determines our future. If we want peace outside ourselves, we must first have peace inside ourselves. It's not what is going on but how we are looking at what is going on. We need to keep ourselves in balance. We must be careful to not get too hungry, angry, lonely. or tired. We must know the times - time to work, time to rest, time to play, time to sleep, time to pray, time to lighten up, time to laugh, time to eat, time to exercise. There is a saying "The honor of one is the honor of all." This means when we work with all, we need to also work on one. We need to take care of ourselves. You cannot give away what you don't have.
"You have to have confidence in your own ability to be able to go it alone, to go against what the rest of the culture is doing."
--Eunice Baumann-Nelson, Ph.D., PENOBSCOT
God, this is hard. Today, allow me to be a Warrior. Let me be strong. Let Your voice be clear to me. Let me hear Your guidance. My goal today is to serve You, to develop myself to be the kind of Indian person that You would have me be. To Walk the Red Road must sometimes be walked alone.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 17
"If a child hasn't been given spiritual values within the family setting, they have no familiarity with the values that are necessary for the just and peaceful functioning in society." --Eunice Baumann-Nelson, Ph.D, PENOBSCOT When we are born, we start with a beautiful empty mind ready to be given our beliefs, attitudes, habits and expectations. Most of our true learning comes from watching the actions of others. As we watch our family or relatives, whatever their actions and values are, so will be the children's values and acts. If we see our families living a just and peaceful way of life, so then will the children. If we see our family shouting, arguing, and hateful, so will it be for the children. The cycle of life - baby, youth, adult and Elder is all connected. If the older ones have good values, it will be connected to the children.
Oh my Creator, if there are values I have missed, it is not too late. I can get them from You. Teach me today Your spiritual values. Respect, trust, giving, honesty, wisdom - teach me these
Elder's Meditation of the Day August 16
"The best teachers have shown me that things have to be done bit by bit. Nothing that means anything happens quickly - we only think it does." --Joseph Bruchac, ABENAKI There are no short cuts. Every tree must grow according to the growth plan of the Creator. Every flower must grow according to the plan of God. The moon must make its trip around the earth according to God's plan. Every human being must grow according to the plan of the Creator. Sometimes we look at ourselves and we think we are not growing but we are always growing. Because we cannot see it with our mind does not mean it is not happening. We must be patient with ourselves and let the Creator direct our growth.
My Creator, let me be patient. Let me realize that You are in charge of all things. Let me realize that I must grow my roots a little at a time to become strong.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 15
"There are many people who could claim and learn from their Indian ancestry, but because of the fear their parents and grandparents knew, because of past and present prejudice against Indian people, that part of their heritage is clouded or denied." --Joseph Bruchac, ABENAKI There were many injustices done to Native people. Sometimes I wonder; why am I connected to the past injustices done to Indian people? Why am I so angry about the past? The Elders say our ancestors are alive within each of us. Therefore, I may experience anger and resentment inside of me because of the injustice done to them. The way I get rid of these past feelings is to forgive. It may be necessary to even learn to forgive the unforgivable.
Great Spirit, teach me the path of forgiveness; teach me the courage to forgive; teach me to let go. Give to me a forgiving heart.
"It's time Indians tell the world what we know... about nature and about God. So I'm going to tell you what I know and who I am. You guys better listen. You have a lot to learn.
--Mathew King, LAKOTA
A long time ago the Creator came to Turtle Island and said to the Red People - "You will be the keepers of the Mother Earth. Among you I will give the wisdom about nature, about the interconnectedness of all things, about balance and about living in harmony. You Red People will see the secrets of nature. You will live in hardship and the blessing of this is you will stay close to the Creator. The day will come when you will need to share the secrets with the other people of the earth because they will stray from their spiritual ways. The time to start sharing is today."
Oh Great Spirit, today I am ready for You to use me as a channel of Your peace. Let my walk today be visible so the people will say "There goes a Man of God." I want to know what He knows. If they ask, I will tell them to go out into the wilderness and pray for You to guide them.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 13
"A bit of sunshine, a drop of rain, a puff of life from the Great Spirit as He gently breathed upon that spot, created the Native Americans. They were well formed and agile, copper colored and proud. --Harriet Starleaf Gumbs, SHINNECOCK We are made in the image of the Great Spirit. A long time ago He breathed life into our ancestors. He made the Indian strong. He created a Warrior. Our ancestors created more warriors. We have been tested throughout the seasons and we are still here, stronger than ever. It is good to be Indian. We are proud of ourselves and our ancestors. Mostly we are proud the Great Spirit has never forsaken us, and continues to guide us.
My Creator, let me live my life today in a way that would make my ancestors proud. Let me remember each month that I am here to serve You. Today let me conduct my life in a way that also would make You proud.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 12
"With one mind we address our acknowledgement, respect, and gratefulness to the sacred Cycle of Life. We, as humans, must remember to be humble and acknowledge the gifts we use so freely in our daily lives." --Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA The sacred Cycle of life - the baby, the youth, the adult, the Elder. Let us respect all directions, the four directions of the Grandfathers; let us respect their power. Let us remember we belong to the earth, the earth does not belong to us. Help us to be respectful to all the gifts You have given us.
Oh Great Spirit, help me this day to be humble. Let me not attack anything in deed or in my thoughts. Let my thoughts focus on the beauty You have created in all things.
Oh Great Spirit, I ask You to whisper Your wisdom in my heart. You are the only one who knows the secret to peaceful living and the mystery of harmony. Teach me of Your peace, understanding and balance, and guide me onto your good path.
"Nature is the storehouse of potential life of future generations and is sacred."
--Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
We need to honor and respect our Mother Earth. She is the source of all life. The sun shines life to the earth, then the earth produces life in all forms and in a balanced way. Everything is here to serve everything else. If we interrupt the flow in any way, we leave nothing for the future generations. Before every decision is made, we should ask, and answer, a final question; "If we do this, what will be the effects on the seventh generation? What will we cause our children to live with?" We need to have respect and love for all things and for all people. We need to do this for ourselves and for all the children still unborn.
My Creator, let me look at nature today and let me have the highest respect for all the things I see. All the two legged, the four legged, the winged ones, the plants, the water, the air, the Mother Earth. Let me have respect for myself.
"Praying to seek a vision, to seek truth is always right. Truth builds upon itself - as the true mark of a warrior who conducts himself/herself accordingly - so that its beauty may shine in the faces of our children."
--Barney Bush, SHAWNEE
We move toward and become like that which we think about. What we think about creates our vision. If our thoughts are wise and good, then our vision becomes strong and truthful. If our thoughts are junk, then our vision becomes contaminated. It's important to be aware of what we are thinking about. As I live my vision, my children watch and live their lives the same way. We need to live the walk of the Warrior. We need to walk in beauty and respect.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August
The Creator told everyone of us in our tribal beginnings to look after our ceremonies, and each other." --Barney Bush, SHAWNEE Our ceremonies are important and each has a purpose. They teach us about the Creator and about each other. The ceremonies teach us to be humble and teach us to pray. They teach us to look inside ourselves. We should remember to pray each morning. Ask the Creator to guide our thinking. Think only good thoughts. Think good thoughts about our relatives and about our brothers and sisters. Pray for our children in ceremony. Give thanks to the Great Mystery of life. All life is sacred. Pray in a sacred way.
Oh Great Spirit, I come to You this morning in ceremony. I come to this sacred place to talk to You. I thank You for Your guidance and protection. Give me Your eyes today so I may see the beauty in all things.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 7
Everything I know I learned by listening and watching." --Vernon Cooper, LUMBEE Sometimes my mind is talking so fast about so many different things that I can't slow it down. All day long I am judging and making assumptions about everything.
Great Spirit, help me this day to slow down. Help me to listen - quietly. Help me to watch carefully. Help me to listen to my inner voice. Let me listen and watch only the thing You would have me observe. Guide my eyes and my ears to be focused on You. Grandfather, love me today and teach me to be quiet.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 6
Great Spirit, give me the courage today to see that struggle and conflict are here to teach me lessons that are a gift from you.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 4
Telling about our lives is important for those who come after as, for those who will see our experience as part of their own historical struggle." --Linda Hogan, CHICKASAW How important it is for us to support one another? How important it is for us to know our culture and to share our experiences with one another? How powerful it is to be authentic? How important it is to hold no secrets? I am as sick as my secrets.
Grandfather, allow me today to be willing to share with my brother and sister. Let my eyes see You in their eyes. Let me not judge them but only love them. Grandfather, help me, for I am Your humble servant.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 3
Always remember you are Indian - do things to make your people proud." --Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE All our choices and decisions will reflect on our people. We need to assume the accountability of honoring people. We must remember to conduct ourselves in a sacred way. Sometimes this is hard. But we must remember we have the assistance of the Spirit World, and we have the principles and values by which we should live, written in our hearts. The Creator will help us develop into a strong people if we just learn to depend upon Him.
Great Spirit, lead me on the path of the Red Road.
Elder's Meditation of the Day August 2
"When you get older and you are ready, your ancestors will show up to guide you."
--Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE
Many of us, when we are young, spend a portion of our lives in learning. Unfortunately, some of us spend this time learning the hard way. When we are young we sometimes think we know everything. Sometimes we do foolish things. As we get a little older, we realize we don't know anything. This is when we become teachable. There is a saying that goes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. We usually aren't teachable unless we are ready. The ancestors are waiting and willing to help. When we are ready, many beautiful teachers start to come into our lives. Then we really start to grow and mature. We are ready for the spiritual lesson.
Creator, help me to become ready and teachableflag for delete
Elder's Meditation of the Day - August 1
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 31
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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 30
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 29
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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 28
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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 25
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 24
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
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 22
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.
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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 19
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 18
"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 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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 16
"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.
It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth... The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing."
--Chief Luther Standing Bear, TETON SIOUX
Touching the earth - getting grounded, centered. There is magic in touching the earth and feeling her healing power. This is especially healthy to do during a troubling time when our minds are racing or can't stop thinking or are locked onto fear or resentment. When I need to feel free I can go to the Mother Earth. The Mother Earth is full of life and love. She always gives her powers to those who come to her. The Mother Earth is alive.
Today, my Great Spirit, let me remember to touch the earth. Let me slow down and live just for today. Let me be gentle, patient and kind.
Elder's Meditation of the Day July 13
"Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice. You lived first, and You are older than all need, older than all prayer...You are the life of all things."
--Black Elk, OGLALA SIOUX
Great Spirit - Sometimes I don't feel like praying. Sometimes when I have done something wrong, I'm ashamed to come to You. Even though You have always been there for me, I sometimes choose to stay away. It's hard for me to understand what all knowing is. Sometimes it's hard for me to see how much You really care. But I know if I take a few minutes and think about what I know to be true about You, the things change and I am able to realize Your power and Your love. Today, I'll start by thinking of You. I'll think about all the times You have helped and guided me in the past. You are life, You are love, You are power, You are desire, You are truth, You are principle, You are intelligence, You are courage. With You I am everything; without You I am nothing.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 12
"Each man is good in the sight of the Great Spirit." --Sitting Bull, TETON SIOUX Our bodies are both physical and spiritual. At our very center we are spiritual. Our bodies are built around the spiritual. The center is the unseen world. Therefore, we cannot see it with our eyes and we tend to judge the body because we can see it. The body is not who we are. We can see the spiritual if we are spiritual ourselves. We won't see this always with our physical eyes. Usually we will see it with our spiritual eye. We will hear ourselves say, "I know this to be true."
At the center of all human beings is the place of good. That includes myself. At my very core is good. I can find this place by staying free of resentments, fear, dishonesty and self-seeking motives. My Creator, keep me free this day of resentment, selfishness, dishonesty and fear
Elder's Meditation of the Day July 11
"Do not grieve. Misfortunes will happen to the wisest and best of men. Death will come, always out of season. It is the command of the Great Spirit, and all nations and people must obey. What is past and what cannot be prevented should not be grieved for..."
--Big Elk, OMAHA Chief
Our earth continues to grow by cycles and seasons: The cycles of growth - spring, summer, fall, winter. The cycles of the human being - baby, youth, adult, elder. It is through these cycles that we will experience the changes. I will not always necessarily agree with these changes, but I need to trust the Grandfathers are in charge. Things will come and things will go. Really, I own nothing, the Creator owns all. Too often I label things as mine. I say this belongs to me, but it really belongs to the Creator. He gives me things to take care of. I need to do the best I can with what I have, with what I know at the time. And when the Creator changes things, I need to let go for His planning is the best.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 10
"Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new, sweet earth, and the great silence alone." --Charles Alexander Eastman, OHIYESA SANTEE SIOUX Each morning a new sun for a new day arises. Each morning the sweet perfume from the Mother Earth spreads across the land. This combination of sun, earth, smell and quiet is a magic door for me to enter to kneel before the Grandfathers. The sacred time to commune with the Great Spirit.
Oh Great Spirit, I humbly stand before You along with the new sun, the Mother Earth and the smells of the morning. I ask You to direct my thinking today. Let me live in the silence. Teach me Your wisdom, Teach me to love my brothers and sisters. Let me respect the things You have made.
"We have to educate ourselves to know who we are. That's what I mean when I say, 'Teach the children.'"
--Eddie Benton-Banai, OJIBWAY
It is only by knowing ourselves that we can get in touch with our power. It is said, "Tell me what you know about yourself and I'll tell you what you know about God. Tell me what you know about God and I'll tell you what you know about yourself." As we increase knowledge of ourselves, as we choose to grow spiritually, as we clean up our act, then we can teach the children.
My Creator, You have said "Know thyself." Today let me see the wisdom of this Truth. Give me Your insight of myself. I am always walking the talk and most people can see it. Today, help and guide me on the Red Road
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 8
You are going to learn the most important lesson - that God is the most powerful thing there is." --Mathew King, LAKOTA The Medicine Wheel teaches that there are two worlds - the Seen World and the Unseen World, or the Physical World and the Spiritual World. We need information from both of these worlds in order to live our lives in a harmonious way. The most difficult way is to figure things out by ourselves and leave the Great Spirit out of it. When we do this, we are making decisions with information only from the Physical World. This can be called reliance on self. If we ask the Creator to help us, we then get information from the Unseen World or the Spiritual World. The Spiritual World is where we get our power. When we do this, we are God-reliant. Being God-reliant is the same as being on the Red Road.
Great Spirit, whisper the secrets of the Unseen World in my mind's ear.
Elder's Meditation of the Day July 7
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 6
"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.
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 3
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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day July 2
My Creator, take my hand and guide me through today
Elder's Meditation of the Day July 1
"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.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - June 30
Words hypnotize and deceive everyone at one time or another, but these hypnotic words cannot last long in the hearts of true warriors." --Barney Bush, SHAWNEE We are a part of an interconnected system. Words in themselves have no meaning. It is the spirit and intent behind the words that really show the meaning. We are connected to each other at the center of the atom which makes up the air and our body. The center of the air's atom system is connected to the center of our body's system. I am connected to you and you are connected to me in the center of our being. If my words have no meaning, you can feel this through the center of your being.
Great Spirit, help me make my word good. Let me do the things I say I will, and let me say the things I will do - and do it
Elder's Meditation of the Day June 28
"Whenever you take anything from the Earth, remember to leave an offering." --Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE We need to look at nature and its inhabitants as our brothers and sisters. Whenever we pick plants or herbs, we should leave an offering of tobacco. We should talk to the plants and ask their permission to use them. The plants will feel honored to be of service for each of them knows they are here to serve. Each of them knows they carry a special medicine and this medicine is about continuing the cycle of life. We need always to be grateful to our brothers and sisters.
Creator, I thank you for the opportunity of life
Elder's Meditation of the Day - June 27
"What could be greater than to be Wakan-Tanka's mind, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, hands, legs, and feet here on Earth?" --Fools Crow, LAKOTA In order for the Creator to do His work on this earth, He needs the human being to do it. How He guides us is through our eyes, ears, hands, nose, mouth, arms legs and feet. We are instruments of the Creator. We are His keepers of the Earth. We are the keepers of our brothers. We are to teach His children. We are to respect the things He has made. We are to take care of ourselves and treat our bodies and our minds with respect. We are to do respectful things. We are to walk the Sacred Path. We should have good thoughts. We should do only things that we think the Creator would have us do. What an honor to be a human being. What an honor that He would talk to us and guide us to perform His wonders.
Oh Great Spirit, let me appreciate the role you have given me. Let my sense be sharp to hear Your voice. Keep my mind clean so I can do the things You would have me do
"...when faithful human beings or other creatures called upon them for help, they [the Powers of the Four Directions] must send their powers..."
--Fools Crow, LAKOTA
Each of the four directions has special powers. These powers or Grandfathers are there to help us. The powers are from the East, the South, the West, and the North. To call upon the power we need to stand in the center and face each of the directions and honor all forms of life in each direction. Facing the East we honor all the two legged, four legged, winged ones, plants' nation and the animals. We repeat this prayer in each of the four directions. This allows us to become centered. When we are centered, then we are ready to call the helpers. It is said, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. If we are to be ready, we need to remember to always get quiet first. We do this by honoring and praying to the four directions.
Grandfathers from the four directions, come to me today with Your powers. Give me Your gifts so I can serve the people.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - June 25
We are called hollow bones for our people and for anyone else we can help, and we are not supposed to seek power for our personal use and honor." --Fools Crow, LAKOTA In order for us to use our power well, we must become a hollow bone. We must prepare ourselves to become a channel. Our channel must be clean before we can use our power well. We must be free of resentments, guilt, shame, anger, self pity, and fear. If these things are in us, we cannot be hollow bones. These things block us from our power. The cleaner we are, the more power we move. We must become a hollow bone so the Creator can use us to do what he wants us to do.
My Creator, remove from me today all resentment, anger, fear, guilt and selfishness. Do not let my weaknesses stand in the way of my usefulness to You. Make me a hollow bone so Your power can flow through me.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - June 24
Believing people can soar beyond ordinary life." --Fools Crow, LAKOTA We are created by God to be vision people. First we set the goal and then we see. If we create within ourselves a picture or vision and we hold that picture or vision in our mind, whatever we picture will show up in our reality. If we can see ourselves being educated, then schools and teachers will show up in our lives. If we picture in our mind a positive, spiritual person to be in our lives, we will attract this type of person in our relationships. How big can our dreams be?
Great Spirit, let my visions today be Your vision. Put within me a vision of the being you would have me be. Then help me to keep the vision in my mind.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - June 23
"He [Wakan Tanka] walks with us along the pathways of Life, and He can do for us what we could never do on our own." --Fools Crow, LAKOTA With the Creator in our lives, we are everything. Without the Creator, we are nothing. When the Creator is in our life, suddenly the impossible becomes possible. The extraordinary becomes ordinary. Things we thought could never happen start to happen. Talents we never know we had, start to blossom. Resources appear. Help arrives to give us guidance and direction. We become happy. We have peace of mind and confidence.
Oh Great Spirit, today I want You in my life. The days that I know You are with me are the days that are perfect. Let me be joyful today.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - June 22
"The one who wishes to be a true medicine person must be a person of faith, and they can only work successfully with those who also have faith." --Fools Crow, LAKOTA Medicine People are spiritual beings who have made a decision to seek the Red Road. They sacrifice and seek the way of the Creator. After many years of dedication, the Grandfathers teach them about power, and about laws, and about how to use the medicine. The Medicine People develop tremendous faith in their medicine and in the Creator. When we go to the Medicine People, we too must have faith so they can help us. We can only be helped if we want to be helped. Because the Medicine People know how to help - that is only one half of it. The other half is up to us. We must have faith that the medicine has powers to help.
My Creator, faith is belief without evidence. Today, give me the faith. Let me trust that You are running my life. Let me know You are in charge of all things. Let my mind not wonder; let me stand strong on Your path today
Elder's Meditation of the Day - June 21
"The god that people reject is not the true god, it is a god they have conjured up apart from proper education, and understanding. In such cases, the least Fools Crow will do is to call their assumptions into question, and force them to re-evaluate their position." --Thomas Mails on Fools Crow, LAKOTA Inside of every person - man, woman, and child - is the knowledge that there is a Supreme Being. Many of us have been taught that the Creator is a punishing God. We have been taught about feelings of guilt and shame when we do things wrong. We have been taught that God gets angry and disappointed with us. The Elders teach us that the Creator is a loving and forgiving God. He loves us during our good days and He loves us during our bad days. He doesn't know how to do anything but love. If I really want to find out about the true God, I only need to ask in prayer. There is one thing that God cannot do and that is refuse help to one of His children who asks.
My Creator, I ask You to be a part of my life today. Whisper to me Your wisdom. Let me feel Your presence. If I am doubtful and afraid, show me, in terms I can understand, You are real.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - June 20
"But in the Indian Spirit the land is still vested; it will be until other men are able to divine and meet its rhythm. Men must be born and reborn to belong. Their bodies must be formed of the dust of their forefathers' bones." --Luther Standing Bear, OGLALA SIOUX It is said when we walk on the Earth, we are walking on our ancestors and our unborn children. This is the relationship Native People have with the Earth. It is this relationship which gives insight into the Earth's rhythm and heartbeat and creates the feeling of belonging. If you feel you belong to something, you'll treat it with respect. If you feel you are above something, you'll treat it with disrespect. Indian Spirituality is tied to the Earth. We belong to the Earth along with all other creatures on the Earth. We must align to this realization.
Great Spirit, today, teach me to respect the Earth Mother.
Elder's Meditation of the Day June 19
"Respect should be given those indigenous nations who still carry on their ceremonies; still following the ancient laws of nature with songs and ceremonies."
Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman, Traditional Circle of Elders
Many of our Tribes still have the ceremonies, songs and traditions. Today, the ceremonies and songs are coming back even stronger. The Elders have a lot of this knowledge. The young people need to learn these songs and traditions from the Elders. This is the strength of the people. The ancient Wisdom and Knowledge of ancient Laws are hidden in the ceremonies and songs. We should seek out these songs and ceremonies.
"I am particularly fond of the little groves of oak trees. I love to look at them, because they endure the wintry storm and the summer's heat, and, not unlike ourselves, seem to flourish by them."
Sitting Bull, SIOUX
Every season, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, has gifts that it gives to all creatures. The animals will develop thicker furs just before Winter and will shed this fur in the Spring. Squirrels will store their food in the Fall; other animals build up fat so they can hibernate during the Winter. We can watch all forms of nature and see all creatures work in harmony with the seasons. The secret for us is to learn by observing nature. Watch the trees. Learn from them. We human beings need to learn the gifts and blessings of the seasons.
"Your power comes from the songs."
Ethel Wilson, COWICHAN
If you do not know any of the songs, ask an Elder to teach you. Get yourself a drum. When you sing a song and play the drum, you'll be surprised how your mind, body, and spirit will react. Everything becomes calm and joyful. Our bodies love the songs. The songs allow us to touch the hand of the Creator. When we sing and touch the Great Spirit's hand, He gives us power. Songs are another way to pray.
Elder's Meditation of the Day June 16
"For me, the essence of a medicine man's life is to be humble, to have great patience, to be close to the Earth, to live as simply as possible, and to never stop learning."
--Archie Fir Lame Deer, LAKOTA
The Medicine people focus on their Being, not their doing. After all, we are human beings not human doings. The Medicine people are very patient and consciously trying to live a life of humility. Medicine people are servant leaders. Their main purpose is to serve the needs of others. By this service attitude, they become the leaders people listen to and the leaders the people want to follow. The Medicine people say everyone is their teacher. Maybe we should try to live this way ourselves; humble, patient, honoring the Earth and listening to our teachers.
"Today, what is important for us is to realize that the old sacred ways are correct, and that if we do not follow them we will be lost and without a guide."
Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
A long time ago the Creator gave to the people all the knowledge on how we should live and conduct ourselves. The Native people have been influenced by outside "tribes" who don't know about the Sacred Way. Our Elders still know about the old sacred ways. We need to consult and talk to them before it's too late. Every family needs to seriously evaluate whether they are living according to the old knowledge. If we are faultfinding, putting one another down, being selfish, being violent to our spouses or children, if we are cheating and being dishonest, then we are not living the old Sacred Way. The old way is about respect, love, forgiveness and sharing.
"The basis of knowledge is the fire, rock, water, and green. But when that power was given to man, he used it to twist his own mind. Tunkashila gave man just one drop of that wisdom."
Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA
All of Nature has the wisdom to follow the Natural Laws. All of Nature knows how to live in harmony and use this wisdom in a good way, with exception of the human being. Often we misuse this wisdom. Wisdom always remains with those who use it in the proper way. Nature has used this wisdom well, so now we need to go to Her so we humans can relearn and change our lives. May we start doing this today, before it is too late.
"We have an old saying, Everything living must die. Only the rocks and mountains are forever."
Archie Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA
The Creator designed all life to happen in a circle. For example, the cycle of life for the human being is Baby, Youth, Adult, Elder, then we die. The trees and the leaves happen in a circle; the leaves bud, then the leaves mature, next the leaves change color, and at last they fall off the tree to return to the Mother Earth. The birds bear their young, raise their young, then they die. The salmon are born, swim to the ocean, live their lives, swim back to the spawning grounds, then die. All aspects of the Life Cycle should be honored.
"The faces of our future generations are looking up to us from the earth and we step with great care not to disturb our grandchildren."
Traditional Circle of Elders
The leaves, when they are finished with their life on the trees, will return to the Earth. The leaves that return to the Earth are the future trees. So inside the Mother Earth are the future forests. The human, when finished with its life on the Earth, will return to the Earth. So in the Earth are our future grandchildren. Knowing this, we should be respectful of the place where our future generations live. Only take from the Earth what you need. Every time you pick a plant or Medicine, leave an offering and leave a prayer. Be respectful and walk in a sacred way.
Elder's Meditation of the Day June 11
"Behold, my bothers, the spring has come; the earth has received the embraces of the sun and we shall soon see the results of that love!"
Sitting Bull, SIOUX
Spring is the season of love. Spring is the season of new life, new relationships. It is the springtime that really reacts to the new position of Father Sun. New life forms all over the planet. Life is abundant. New cycles are created. Mother Earth changes colors, the flowers are abundant. It is the time for humans to observe nature and let nature create within us the feeling of Spring. We should let ourselves renew. We should let go of the feeling of Winter. We should be joyful and energetic.
Elder's Meditation of the Day June 10
"Each day, whatever I am doing, I am always praying and thinking of God." --Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
Have you ever tried going through your day and carrying on a conversation with the Creator? Many of our Elders live in prayer. They talk to the Creator like the Creator is their best friend. It is easiest to do this if we pray in the morning and ask the Great Spirit to direct our thinking. When the Creator is involved in guiding our lives, we will have less stress, anxiety, and tension. Maybe this is something we would like to try today. "Oh, Creator, look at the Sun, how beautiful you have made it. Oh, look at this child, isn't she just beautiful! Well, Creator, I'm not sure how I should do this task, what do you think? This person is starting to irritate me; I need your help to redirect my thinking. Thanks for returning me to a peaceful mind." Remember, the Creator also has a sense of humor.
"So we are connected to the moon. That gives us power, a connection to the Earth and the moon, men don't know about."
Cecilia Mitchell, MOHAWK
The Elders tell us that the Woman has access to special powers. The Earth Mother gives her love in a special way to the Woman. The Moon also gives special powers to the Woman. She uses these powers to nurture, heal, and guide the people.
Elder's Meditation of the Day June 7
"If there is a shadow of a doubt someplace, that will cause a weakness." --Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA In the Spiritual World there is a spiritual Law. The Law says; like attracts like. This means whatever mental picture we hold inside our minds we will attract from the Universe. To make this Law work we must maintain a constant picture. If we picture or vision something, and along with this picture we have doubting thoughts, our vision will not happen and we will get EXACTLY what we picture or vision. The Law always works. A doubting vision will not materialize what we want. A vision without doubt will always happen. This is a spiritual Law.
My Maker, today, let my vision become strong.
Elder's Meditation of the Day June 6
"We need to save those Elders who cannot speak for themselves -- the trees."
--Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders
The trees are the Elders of the Earth. Go to the forest or to the mountains and find a young tree. Then find an old tree. Spend time with each. Sit by the young tree and listen to your thoughts. Then move to an old tree and listen to your thoughts again. Just being in the presence of an old tree, you will feel more calm. Your thoughts will contain wisdom and your answers will be deeper. Why is this so? These old trees know more, have heard more, and are the Elders of the Earth. We must ensure these trees live so we can learn from them.
"It is not through the great skill of the hunter himself that success is achieved, but through the hunter's awareness of his place in Creation and his relationship to all things."
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
If only the human being could understand the power of proper relationships, the need for power and control could be abandoned. It's not what is going on that matters, but how we look at what is going on. It's our relationship to it that counts. Nothing in the world has any meaning except the meaning we give to it. To be more effective at this, we need to consider our relationship with the Creator. Our relationship to the Great Spirit determines how we will perceive the meanings we put to places, people, institutions, and things. We need to let the Creator tell us and guide our thoughts about these relationships. Any relationship that we have that is causing problems means we need to pray for a new point of view.
Creator, let me see the world and the people through your eyes.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - June 4
Wakan Tanka never stops creating." --Archie Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA The Medicine Wheel teaches about change. It says that which is created will fall apart; that which is loose, will be used to create new. In other words, everything on Earth is participating in a constant change that is being directed by an order of laws and principles which were originated by the Great Spirit. We humans are equipped with natural change abilities. We have the ability to vision; we can use imagination and imagery; we can change belief, attitude, habits, and expectations. We need to know ourselves and we need to know how we work inside to enable us to change naturally.
Great Spirit, teach me to change in harmony.
Thank you Runningfox
Elder's Meditation of the Day June 3
Photo by Care2 member Karen S.Gowanstown, Canada
"IN THE BEGINNING were the Instructions... The Instruction was to live in a good way and be respectful to everybody and everything."--Vickie Downey, TEWA/Tesuque Pueblo A long time ago, in the beginning, the Creator gave to all people and to all things the Wisdom and the knowledge of how to live in harmony. Some tribes call these teachings the original Instructions, the original teachings, or the Great Laws. All of Nature still lives and survives according to these teachings. In modern times, human beings are searching for the Instructions. Many churches claim they have these Instructions. Where are these teachings? The Instructions are written in our hearts.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - June 2
The Natural Law is the final and absolute authority governing E Te No Ha, the earth we call our Mother." --Traditional Circle of Elders There is no power greater than the Natural Laws. These powers were set up by the Great Spirit in such a way that the human being has no access to it, except by obeying. If we choose not to follow the Natural Laws, our live will be filled with confusion, tension, anxiety and stress. If we poison the Earth, we poison ourselves. If we poison the Water of the Earth, we poison ourselves. As we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves and our children, even the children unborn. May we think about this today and ask ourselves, "Are we holding and acting toward the Mother Earth in a good way?"
Great Spirit, teach me the Natural Laws that govern the Earth.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - June 1
You have to have a lot of patience to hear those old people talk, because when they talk, they talk about motivation, the feeling, the unsound that is around the universe. They explain everything to one understanding. They bring it all together, and when they finish, just one word comes out. Just one word. They might talk all day, and just one word comes out." --Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA We need to be careful about judging the old ones when we talk. At first they may not make sense to us. Maybe we'll say they're old fashioned and don't understand. But the old ones do understand! When they speak, listen very carefully. Often it will take weeks or maybe even years before we understand what they are really saying. This is the way of Wisdom. We need to listen, listen, listen.
Great Spirit, today, open my ears so I can hear the Elders.
"Sell a country? Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the Earth? Did not the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children?"
The White Man's way is to possess, control, and divide. It has always been difficult for Indian people to understand this. There are certain things we cannot own that must be shared. The Land is one of these things. We need to re-look at what we are doing to the Earth. We are digging in her veins and foolishly diminishing the natural resources. We are not living in balance. We do not own the Earth; the Earth owns us. Today, let us ponder the true relationship between the Earth and ourselves.
Great Spirit, today, let me see the Earth as you would have me see Her
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 30
Power comes and goes. It can vanish in the twinkling of an eye, like smoke dissolving in the air." --Archie Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA The East, South, West, and North are the powers of the four directions. The Creator makes these powers available to do things. We pray to the Creator to give us the power to do these things. Often, we are given these powers for awhile, then these powers disappear. Power is given and taken from us by the Great Spirit, the source of power. During the time we have this power, we should be responsible and use the power in a good way. Many good things can be accomplished when we realize where this power really comes from.
Great Spirit, today, show me how to use Your power.
Elder's Meditation of the Day May 29
"Humility is probably the most difficult virtue to realize."
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
Two definitions of humility are; one, being aware of one's own defects of character, and two, giving credit where credit is due. This means if you do something and are successful because God gave you certain talents, give credit to God when someone tells you how well you did; this is being humble. If you are successful at something, but had help from friends, spouse, neighbors, give credit to those who helped you; this is being humble. If you have done a task and you alone accomplished it, give credit to yourself; this is being humble. Say the truth and give credit where credit is due.
Grandfather, let me walk a truthful road today.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 28
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.
Creator, let me see the consequences of my decisions, and show me how to make healthy corrections.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 27
One of the things the old people taught me about the spirits was to never have a doubt." --Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA The spirit world is sometimes hard to believe in because we can't see it. Our minds convince us to seek proof for everything. We need to believe that the Unseen World exists and the Unseen World is guided by principles, laws, and values. If we have doubts, we can pray to the Great Spirit to remove the doubt. He understands how difficult it can be sometimes, so He's always ready to help us during our doubtful times. We are lucky to have such an understanding and helpful Father.
Great Spirit, today, divorce me from doubt
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 26
"The man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures, and acknowledging unity with the universe of things, was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization." --Luther Standing Bear, OGLALA SIOUX There is a concept that says you move toward and become that which you think about. If we think about everything as interconnected and interrelated, we will begin to accept the greater whole and that there is a power who is in charge. If we see the cycles of life, if we see the inner powers, if we see the interdependence of the universe, then we will participate in a harmonious way. We all need to pray and meditate on this. We need to understand the property of unity.
My Creator, let me have the insights of nature and give me the power of acceptance.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 25
"If you listen close at night, you will hear the creatures of the dark, all of them sacred - the owls, the crickets, the frogs, the night birds - and you will hear beautiful songs, songs you have never heard before. Listen with your heart. Never stop listening." --Henery Quick Bear, LAKOTA The night time is full of life, full of song, and full of beauty. Have you ever gone outside at night and listened? One has access to serenity and peace. At night all our senses change their roles. Because we can't see, our hearing is much stronger, our smell is even more enhanced, our sight is different. We are able to join nature through sounds and smells, through the songs of the night birds, and through the night winds. We can close our eyes and experience interconnectedness in a different way. Try it tonight and experience oneness with the Creator.
Great Spirit, allow me to listen to the teachers of the night.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 24
"...in Tunkashila, there is no time. Everything moves in the blink of an eye. It's as fast as thought. So there is no speed there. There is no time in between." --Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA There is a relationship between thought and reality. Every thought is alive, and as soon as you think it, a result occurs immediately. However, to make something happen it may take a series of one thousand thoughts before you can actually see it with your eyes. This occurs because the Laws of the Great Spirit act immediately. When you tell a lie, you immediately experience fear. When you tell the truth, you immediately experience freedom. To the Creator, there is no time. For us to experience the meaning of this requires us to act on faith. Faith is belief without evidence.
Great Spirit, today, let me act on my faith.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 23
"To me, if you're Indian, you're Indian. You don't have to put on your buckskin, beads, and feathers, and stuff like that." --Cecilia Mitchell, MOHAWK The most important thing that determines who we are is on our insides, not our outsides. If we are Indian inside, that's all that matters. Being Indian means to think right, to be spiritual, and to pray. Feathers and beads don't make us Indian. Being Indian means to have a good heart and a good mind.
Great Spirit, today, let me think Indian.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 22
"The earth was created by the assistance of the sun, and it should be left as it was... The country was made without lines of demarcation, and it is no man's business to divide it..." --Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE There is danger when we start to draw lines and boundaries. This is true whether outside ourselves or inside ourselves. The danger is losing sight of the interconnectedness. When we lose sight of interconnectedness, separation, possessiveness (this is mine, I can do what I want) and infighting results. Even at an individual level, if we don't believe we are connected to all things we get self-centered and have self-seeking motives. We must think in harmony, balance and integrity. We must see our relationship to the great whole and conduct ourselves accordingly.
Great Spirit, today, let me think beyond boundaries.
Great Spirit, today, give me Your vision to follow.
Elder's Meditation of the Day May 20
"...the sacred ceremonies given to us by the Creator are the Heart of our existence. These ceremonies are our first duty." --Traditional Circle of Elders. NORTHERN CHEYENNE Hidden in the ceremonies are many truths, many principles, many guidelines for living� our access to the Unseen World, healing and visions. Because the Indian People didn't have schools or books, the Great Spirit gave us Ceremonies. The ceremonies are handed down from generation to generation to learn their meaning. Today, many Indian People live in cities or urban areas where it's hard to learn the ceremonies. We need to go to the Elders and learn the ceremonies so we can pass them on to our children.
Great Spirit, teach me the Secrets of the Ceremonies.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 19
To be able to greet the sun with the sounds from all of Nature is a great blessing, and it helps us to remember Who is the real provider of all of our benefits." --Thomas Yellowtail, CROW The Elders say we should pray to the East every morning. Just try it! Get up early in the morning, watch the sun and listen to the morning sounds, the birds, the winds; smell the air, feel the breeze and the warmth of the sun. Your mind will expand and you will experience oneness with the Great Spirit. You'll realize who is really in charge. You'll realize interconnectedness. You'll realize how much the Creator loves you! Just try it!
Great Spirit, today, let me feel the Earth, the Father Sun and your presence.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 18
"...Grandmother the Earth. That power is here all the time. It is continuous, and nobody controls it." --Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA There are certain powers that the human being has no choice but to obey. We cannot negotiate or barter with this power. Our choice is either to conform or to live out of harmony. Whatever our choice, it will be the end result in our lives that we notice. So it is with the powers of the Earth which produce life. The Earth has the life force power. If anyone plants a seed, the seed will grow. The Earth treats everyone equally. The human cannot interfere, only obey. We should all show great respect for the Earth and Her powers.
Great Spirit, today, let me honor and respect the power of the Grandmother, the Earth.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 17
Great Spirit, today, let me see the harmony of Yours, truly changing world.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 16
It's time. If you are to walk the path of heart, then it is time..." --Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE If not now, when? If not me, who? To walk the path of the heart is a great honor. Every human has the choice to walk this path, but very few will decide to make it. Why? Well, because you can't act and behave like everyone else behaves. You must be the person who will learn to look within. You must be the person who will be fully accountable for yourself. You must be the person who prays and meditates. You must be the person who will sacrifice. You must decide to be a Peaceful Warrior. What will you decide today?
Oh, Great Mystery, lead me on the path of the heart.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 15
"We must have respect and understanding for women and all female life on this Earth which bears the sacred gift of life." --Traditional Circle of Elders. ONONDAGA At a gathering of Native Elders we were told that many men of today had lost their ability to look at the Woman in a sacred way. They said we were only looking at Her in a physical sense and had lost the ability to look at Her sacredness. They said the Woman has a powerful position in the Unseen World. She has the special ability to bring forth life. They told us to start showing Her respect and to look upon her in a sacred manner. We must start this today.
Grandfather, show me how to see in a sacred way.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 14
Prayer is the best answer to all of the trials that face us, because without prayer, even if we succeed in accomplishing some great goal in the eyes of men, we have failed in our sacred responsibilities, and thus we have failed in what is truly important." --Thomas Yellowtail, CROW What are our sacred responsibilities? One is to be of maximum service to the Creator, and two is to serve the people. In a way, it's like the Great Spirit is the employer and we are the employees. We live each day, do what we do, accomplish our goals, face our difficulties, overcome them all to the Glory of the Creator. We do these things to make Him proud! Even if we work for a company, agency or tribe, they are nor really our employer; the Creator is our employer. Working for the Creator is better than working for a human being, because each night we can talk to the Creator and ask Him, "Well, how did I do today?" He answers back each night, "I'm proud of you, my child; sleep well, and in the morning I'll give you a new set of growing experiences."
Great Spirit, today, let me work for you. You will be my new boss.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 13
"But the great spirit has provided you and me with an opportunity for study in nature's university, the forests, the rivers, the mountains, and the animals which include us." ---- Walking Buffalo, STONEY What we really need to learn is how to live life. Nature is the greatest university when we want to learn about balance, harmony, the Natural Laws and how to live life. But we will never learn unless we spend time in the "living university." Nature is full of examples, lessons, and exercises about life. Nature will help humans learn. Nature will help humans heal. Nature will help with Medicine, knowledge and healing. The reason our Elders are so wise is because they have attended the right educational system - nature's university.
Great Spirit, help me to become wise.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 12
"All the stones that are around here, each one has a language of its own. Even the earth has a song." ---- Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA To believe that every tree, plant and insect can talk takes an open mind. Go by yourself into nature and sit quietly. Then pick up a rock and listen to your thoughts. After a while, put that rock down and pick up another rock. Your thoughts will change. These are the voices and wisdom of the Stone People. Each one has different wisdom and they are willing to share their wisdom with you. Many of the Stone People are very old and very wise.
Great Spirit, let every rock and leaf be my teacher
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 11
My Creator, today, let me be aware of the sacred path.
Elder's Meditation of the Day May 10
When you go inside that power, there's no fear. It's so beautiful!! There's no fear there. There's no pain." ---- Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA Imagine you are standing on the edge of a stage. In the center of the stage is a spotlight shining from above. If you stand anyplace outside the spotlight, in the darkness, you will experience fear. But as soon as you step into the light in the center of the stage, all fear and pain go away. When we stand in the power, fear cannot exist. How do we find this place of power? We pray our way into it. We ask the Creator to take our hand and help us. When we get to that place, we will feel the fear go away.
Great Spirit, hold my hand and guide me today.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - May 9
Without a sacred center, no one knows right from wrong." ---- Thomas Yellowtail, CROW In the center of the circle is where the powers reside. These powers are called love, principle, justice, spirtual knowledge, life, forgiveness and truth. All these powers reside in the very center of the human being. We access these powers by being still, quieting the mind. If we get confused, emotionally upset, feel resentment, anger, or fear, the best thing we can do is pray to the Great Spirit and ask Him to remove the anger and resentment. By asking Him to remove these obstacles, we are automatically positioned in the sacred center. Only in this way do we know right from wrong.
Great Spirit, allow me this day to live in the sacred center.
"Anyways, with medicine there's a time and a place for everything. It only comes around once. You have to get it at the right time."
---- Cecilia Mitchell, MOHAWK
The old ones say two things must be present for a miracle to take place. One, the right time. Two, the right place. This is why we need to honor our ceremonies. Ceremonies are done in an order. This order is applied to open a "door" to the right time and place of the medicine. This door opens to the Spiritual World. The Spiritual World is available to us at the right time and the right place.