The Four Worlds International Institute

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 1
"The beginning is purification, that's the first step. And purification means purification of body and mind. You don't purify the body without cleansing the mind; that's the way it works."
--Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE
If we have bad thoughts or poison in our minds, they will eventually show up in our bodies in the form of headaches, pains, and stomach problems. It works this way because we are interconnected. Our minds and our bodies are one system. So when we start to grow, or commit to the Red Road, we need to start cleaning up our thoughts and start showing respect for our bodies. We start purifying our minds by prayer and meditation, and we start cleansing our bodies by getting the right amount of sleep and developing good eating habits. Today, I'm going to observe my thoughts. Will my thoughts be clean today?

Great Spirit, let me focus on Your love today so my mind will be pure.



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, March 14
"The concept that we are all related is one of the basic philosophies of D/Lakota religion."
--Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA
The Medicine Wheel teaches the four directions of the races, Red people, Yellow people, Black people and White people. These four directions are symbolic of all races. Everything in the circle is connected and related. All races are brothers and sisters. If we are related to each other, then it is important to love one another as brother and sister, aunt and uncle, Fathers and Mothers, Grandfathers and Grandmothers. We need to care for each other and especially respect each other. We need to honor one another's differences whether that difference is the color of our skin or our opinions. We should respect differences.

My Creator, let me feel the connectedness to all things. Let me know the lessons I need to learn today. Above all, let me feel my connectedness to You.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 15
"We were taught generosity to the poor and reverence for the Great Mystery. Religion was the basis of all Indian training."
--Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), SANTEE SIOUX
Every Indian knows and has a feeling inside that, bottom line, our real purpose on earth is to be of service to our fellow man and to be of maximum service to the Great Spirit. The Creator designed the earth to be self supporting - everything is interconnected and all things were created to be of service to each other. The Indian way is to pray about all things. Religion is not separate from any part of our lives. Everything is spiritual and we are to view all matters in this way. Family is spiritual, work is spiritual, helping others is spiritual, our bodies are spiritual, our talk is spiritual, our thoughts are spiritual. We need to practice seeing all things as spiritual.

Great Spirit, today let me help the needy and allow me the wisdom to have respect and reverence for Your teachings.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 16
"Each of us must know in our minds and believe in our hearts that even though we are different, you are like me and I am like you."
--Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
One of the definitions of humility is having an awareness of one's own character defects. To recognize and acknowledge that one has imperfections is being humble. We should never pray for ourselves unless by doing so it would help another person. To have self-importance puts self first and this is not humble. We each have strengths and we each have weaknesses. Both the strengths and weaknesses are sacred. Life is sacred. We learn sacred things from weaknesses also. Therefore, all lives are developed through trial and error, strength and weakness, ups and downs, gains and losses - all of these are part of life and life is sacred.

Great Mystery, let me see and know about the sacredness of life.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 17
"By listening to the inner self and following one's instincts and intuitions, a person may be guided to safety."
--Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA
Be still and know. The Medicine Wheel teaches the four directions of inner power - not personal power, but the power of God. These four directions are emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual. As our emotions get too far out of control, we simultaneously create an equivalent mental picture, our physical body fills with stress and tension, and we become spiritually confused. When we experience these uptight feelings, the best thing to do is mentally pause, slow down our thinking, breathe slowly, or pray and ask the spirits to help. Only when we approach the stillness of the mind do we get access to our spiritual guidance system. To be guided, let your mind be still.

Creator, today, let me reside in Your stillness.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 18
"The sacred fire used to heat the rocks represents the eternal fire that burns at the center of the universe."
--Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA
Our Sweat Lodge represents the womb of Mother Earth. This is the place of forgiveness. The altar is the place where the Grandfathers are heated. The Sweat Lodge and the altar represent the whole story of the universe. The Sweat Lodge and the ceremonies are sacred. The Great Spirit gave these things to us to help us. He taught us to do the ceremonies in harmony with Mother Earth. We need to know and understand these things.

Great Spirit, let me understand harmony.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 19
"There's a deep wound in people - that they have been so cut off from the source of their being, their mother, their Earth Mother."
--Francis Story Talbott II (Medicine Story), WAMPANOAG
When we are connected to the Earth Mother, or when we are clear on our purpose, we will feel connected and safe. We will feel love. When we are disconnected from the Earth Mother, or we don't know who we are or why we are, we will feel pain. It will be similar to a little child who has lost its Mother. We will hurt insid - we will be wounded within. If this happens to the whole community, the people will be very sad and lost. It will seem like there is death in the air. When this happens, it is time for ceremony and reconnection to God and Mother Earth. This is the time of prayer.

Great Mystery, today, help me to stay connected to the Earth and to You, my Creator.

Elder's Meditation of the Day March 20
"You have wandered away from your teachings. You must concentrate on your spiritual teachings...Don't be sidetracked."
--Henry Quick Bear, LAKOTA
Why are the Elders always telling us to know The culture and listen to the teachings? When we go off track, why do the Elders say, return to the teachings? The teachings tell us how to live in harmony with the Laws and principles of the Great Spirit. Living means a good life, a happy life. Many of us have grown up without the teachings and the culture, that is why we don't know how to live. To improve on relationships, to treat our children with honor, and to respect our Elders, we need to live by the old teachings again.

Great Spirit, today, show me how to live.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 21
"The manner with which we walk through life is each man's most important responsibility, and we should remember this with every new sunrise."
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
Every spiritual person should carry a vision of God's will in every area of their life. One day at a time, each morning at sunrise, we should spend time praying to the Creator. We should say something like, my Creator, this morning I ask you to show me, in terms I can understand, what you have for me to do. By doing this daily, over time, we will develop an unquestionable vision. Each person is responsible for taking the time to do this. It will bring great joy and peace of mind to those warriors who do.

My Creator, give me the vision, today, of what you want me to do.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 22
"Everything's so simple, and we make everything so complicated. That's why we're confused."
--Vickie Downey, TEWA/Tesuque Pueblo
The Creator designed a very simple set of Laws for us to follow. If we follow these simple things, we'll be happy. If we don't follow these simple things, our lives become complicated. For example:
  • Respect Mother Earth
  • Love one another
  • Be truthful
  • Give to your brother and sisters
  • Be gentle with each other
  • Be happy

Following these simple Laws will have great rewards.

Great Spirit, let me lead a simple life.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 23
"We must relearn how to cry. A strong man cries; it is the weak man who holds back his tears."
--Archie Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA
Indian men and other men should really meditate on this Elder's saying. So many men have been taught it is unmanly to cry, to show emotions or to feel. When people cry, the Elders say there are two types of tears: one type will taste salty; the other type will taste sweet. One is caused by pain, and the other is caused by the release from the pain, or joy tears. A strong man knows himself and knows his relationship with the Great Spirit. The release of tears is a spiritual act. Our bodies are designed to cry. We should honor our bodies and use them as the Creator intended.

Great Spirit, Grandfather, today, teach me to cry.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 24
Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors; the dreams of our old men, given them in the solemn hours of night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.
--Chief Seattle, SUQUAMISH
Our Spiritual ways have carefully been given to chosen people. Slowly, through our past generations, through past conflicts, our Elders prayed for guidance, which the Creator provided. Then it was passed down to the next generation through culture, ceremony and oral traditions. Our Indian religion has been tested and is about how we should behave and treat other people, animals and the earth. This knowledge is written in the heart of every person. We can find this knowledge by looking inside ourselves.

My Creator, today, when conflict occurs, I will look inside myself for the answers.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 25
"Come forward and join hands with us in this great work for the Creator."
--Traditional Circle of Elders, NORTHERN CHEYENNE
The Elders have spent years learning to pray and communicate with the Great Spirit. Their job is to pass this knowledge to the younger people. The Elders have told us we are now in a great time of Healing. The Creator is guiding the younger people to help them figure this out. We must get involved and participate. We should pray and see what it is the Great Spirit wants us to do. We need to sacrifice our time and do what is our mission: to help the people and be of maximum use to the Creator. Every person is needed to accomplish this great Healing.

Creator, whisper what you want me to do.

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