The Four Worlds International Institute

Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 1
"People think other things are more important than prayer, but they are mistaken."
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
An Elder once said the most important thing you can do in the course of a day is to pray. If we get up late or oversleep, which is more important? Rush to work without praying or pray first and then go to work? The Elders say it's more important to pray. If we get angry, should we act on our anger or should we pray first? The Elders say it's more important to pray first. If, during the day, we face indecision, what should we do? PRAY. If, during the day, we become irritated or we experience fear, what should we do first? PRAY. The Warrior who prays first will lead a different life from those who pray last.

Great Spirit, teach me to pray first!



The meditations are copyright of Coyhis Publishing and can also be found in the book,
Meditations with Native American Elders: The Four Seasons.

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Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 14
"The base of all things is love and respect."
--Vickie Downey, TEWA/Tesuque Pueblo
The greatest weapon of any Spiritual Warrior is love. Love will change minds; love will forgive; love will let go; love will cause good luck; love will heal; love will cry; love will get rid of resentments; love will overcome fear. Love loves love. Any human who is loving will be guaranteed respect. Respect loves love. We need to love and respect ourselves.

Grandmother, Grandfather, today, lead me on the path of love.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 15
"When people live far from the scenes of the Great Spirit's making, it's easy for them to forget his laws."
--Walking Buffalo, STONEY
Society today is way off track. Unfortunately, many Indian people are caught up in these modern times. The Elders are telling us we must wake up! We must come back to the culture because this is where His laws are. If we don't follow these laws, we will be unhappy. We cannot do things just because everybody is doing them. This does not make it right. We must follow what the Great Spirit says we must do. We need to pray hard for the courage to come back and live according to the culture. It will be difficult at first but worth it in the end. We must teach our children the culture.

Great Spirit, today, let me listen to the warnings of the Elders.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 16
"But one should pray in one's heart during a sacred ceremony; this is the purpose of the ceremony, to purify the participants both inside and outside."
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
How do you know if you are praying from your heart or from your head? Pray from your head and you will feel nothing; pray from your heart and you will feel feelings. You may feel sorrow, you may feel joy, you may want to cry, depending on what you are praying for. During the ceremony, the cleansing will take place. The Medicine Wheel teaches the four directions of inner power: emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. The prayer controls the emotional, mental and physical. When we ask for purification of our feelings, our mental mind and our physical body, the spiritual direction causes the cleansing to happen.

Great Spirit, create in me a clean heart.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 17
"Women know more about love than men do...Love is taking. Love is sharing. Love is learning things about each other."
--Mary Leitka, HOH
The Elders say Mother Earth shares Her special gifts of love with the Women. The Women know about bringing forth life and nurturing their offspring. Through this gift of love the Earth really makes the Woman special. Men should look upon the Woman with a Sacred Eye. She should be respected. The Woman is a role model for love. When the Woman talks, we should listen; when she shares, we should be grateful. We should all learn about each other.

Grandmother, teach me to love with the power of the Woman.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 18
"Our people don't come in parts. Either you are Indian, or you are not."
--Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE
We really need to take a look at how Indian People are talking about Indian People. We say there are Rez Indians, Traditional Indians, Urban Indians and Breeds. This type of thinking will keep us separated. An Indian is an Indian, a brother is a brother, a sister is a sister. We are all related. Today, let us respect ourselves and our people. Today, let me realize Indians are Indians.

Great Spirit, let me see the Unity of the People. Indians are Indians.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 19
"We all come from the same root, but the leaves are all different."
--John Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA
We all come from one Great Spirit but we are all different and unique. Nothing in the Great Creation has a twin that is identical. Even children that are twins are different. Every single person is extremely special and unique. Each person has a purpose and reason why they are on the Earth. Just like every leaf on a tree is different, each one is needed to make the tree look like it does. No leaf is better or worse than the other; all leaves are of equal worth and belong on the tree. It is the same with human beings. We each belong here and do things that will affect the great whole.

Great Spirit, today, let me see myself as a valuable contributor to the whole.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 20
"You must be prepared and know the reason why you dance."
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
Inside every human being is a need to dance. We dance to music. Have you even wondered why people are moved when they hear an Indian Drum? The drum is the heartbeat of the Mother Earth. Every Indian dance is for a purpose and a reason. Every Song is for a reason. The beat of the drum makes our bodies, minds, and spirits join together in harmony. It allows us to connect to Mother Earth and to each other. The dance aligns our minds to think spiritual thoughts. Dancing to the drum is healthy.

Great Spirit, today, I dance to honor you.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 21
"Conciliation is the key to survival. Peace is the goal."
--Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders
When we make decisions or experience conflict we need to look at the greater whole. The end result we want to accomplish is peace of mind. If we keep this goal in mind, we will, overall, live a happy and fulfilling life. Everything in the world is constantly changing so we should not resist this change. A good question to ask ourselves is, "would I rather be right or happy?". If we would rather be happy, then it is easier to let the little things go. If we would rather be right, we tend to look for the WIN/LOSE.

Great Spirit, today, give me the tools to seek peace of mind.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 22
"Each creature has a medicine, so there are many medicines. Because they are so close to the Creator, they are to communicate that medicine. Then they bring help and health."
--Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA
The Elders say everything has a purpose and everything has a will. We should never interfere with purpose or the will of everything. Every plant, creature, animal, insect, and human being has a purpose to be here on the Earth. Each has a special medicine to contribute for the good of all things. Each person also has good medicine, a special talent, a special gift. These medicines are to help others or to help make us healthy. What is your special medicine?

Creator, today, help me discover and use my medicine to serve a greater good.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 23
"The real meaning of life is your family, the love that you have, the respect, the traditional ways, and carrying on with them."
--Ethel Wilson, COWICHAN
The family is the seed of the future. The family is the key to the transfer of cultural information. We should really take a look at how we are looking at our families. Are we treating each family member with respect? Are we passing on the traditional ways? Are we teaching the old songs? Are we participating in the ceremonies? Are we showing the family members how to pray? Are we encouraging each family member to be spiritual? Think about these things today.

My Creator, today, let me show respect to each family member.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 24
"Each person's prayers can help everyone."
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
Prayer is our entrance into the Unseen World. It is by prayer we can call upon the powers and laws of the Great Spirit. The Spirit World has powers and laws that are different from the Physical World. The spiritual laws allow healing to take place; they allow forgiveness to occur; they cause miracles to happen; they cause hate to disappear; they heal broken relationships; they guide every moment of our lives; they allow us to love even when it's hard. Prayer allows us access to the Spirit World.

Creator, teach me to pray.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, April 25
"In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything, Nephew. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you."
--Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE
In order to experience this, we must be aware of how limited our senses are - eyes, ears touch, smell, taste. These senses help us to function in the Seen World. What we see is interpreted by our minds and put inside our belief system, and this can become our reality. But there also exists an Unseen World. In this world we experience connectedness; we experience the mystery; and we experience another whole point of view. If we pay attention to both the Unseen World and the Seen World, our belief systems will print in our mind a new and wonderful reality. We will see and know we are a part of everything.

Great Spirit, today, give me the knowledge to know this mystery.

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