The Four Worlds International Institute

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.



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, 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.

Great Spirit, teach me to walk in prayer. Help keep my faith strong.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, November 3
"A sundance woman is like the morning star, filled with spiritual beauty, wisdom and knowledge. Men and women are the most powerful of the polarities. We walk beside men as equal partners. It takes men and women who have respect and love for one another to live within the embrace of Father Sky and Mother Earth."
--Dr. Henrietta Mann, SOUTHERN CHEYENNE
Our ceremonies bring out the best in us. It's in the ceremony that we find the place of honor and respect for each other. The place where the men honor the women and the women honor the men. We dance for each other. The ceremony helps us remember our responsibility toward each other. Men and women need to be strong, to love one another and be faithful. Only by doing this can we give our children knowledge of good relationships.

Great Spirit, today I will notice the power of the women; today I will notice the power of the men.

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 5
"You could study the ancestors, but without a deep feeling of communication with them it would be surface learning and surface talking. Once you have gone into yourself and have learned very deeply, appreciate it, and relate to it very well, everything will come very easily."
--Ellen White, NANAIMO
Inside of every human being are our ancestors, and these ancestors still live. Today, the white man calls this DNA, but there is more than DNA. We have the ability to go inside of ourselves and learn from the ancestors. The ancestor teachings reside in the place of the center. The ancestors are waiting for us to come there so they can share the ancient teachings. It is said, "Be still and know".

Great Spirit, let me walk in the stillness.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, November 6
"It is well to be good to women in the strength of our manhood because we must sit under their hands at both ends of our lives."
--He Dog, OGLALA LAKOTA
The women bring us into this life and nurture us as we grow up. When we reach our manhood, she supports us and sings the songs to help the family grow. The Elders say we must look at the woman in a sacred way. We must realize how special her powers are in brining forth life. The woman will bring balance to a man. The woman will help him see. It is said, behind every successful man is a supporting woman. Maybe we should examine how we are thinking about women. The Great Spirit says we should honor them. Are we respecting and honoring our women today?

Grandmother, Grandfather thank you for our women. Today, let me honor them.

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.

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 be a role model for the children.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, November 9
"Language is a vehicle for carrying spirit, life, and family. Language, religion, and land base are three things that characterize culture."
--Edmund Ladd, ZUNI PUEBLO
The Elders say we need to know the answers to three questions in order for us to be connected; the Earth, the Sky, the East, the West, the South, and the North. The three questions are: 1. Why are we? 2. Who are we? 3. Where are we going? If we know the language, if we have our spirituality, and if we can pray on sacred spots, then we are able to seek the answer to the questions. We must protect the language, religion, and land so our future generations can stay connected.

Great Spirit, help us maintain our language, spirit, family, religion and our Mother Earth.

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 11

"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.

Great Spirit, help me to learn the culture. Let me pray and sing to You in my language.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, November 12
"I don't think that anybody anywhere can talk about the future of their people or of an organization without talking about education. Whoever controls the education of our children controls our future, the future of the Cherokee people, and of the Cherokee Nation."
--Wilma P. Mankiller, CHEROKEE
The world has changed in the last 50 years. It will change even more in the next 50 years, and it will change even faster. We must educate ourselves to ensure our future generations will maintain the language and the culture of our people. We need to be concerned about our land because when our land goes away, so will our people. We need to be concerned about leadership, our families, and about alcoholism. We need to be concerned about what's going on around the world. We can only do this by being educated. Then we can control our future.

Great Spirit, please guide our children; let me know how I can help.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, November 13
"My Grandfather survived on this earth without using anything that did not go back into the earth. The whole world could learn from that."
--Floyd Westerman, SIOUX
Our grandfathers knew how to live in harmony. They did not create poisons or technologies that destroyed things. They did not make their decisions based on greed or for selfish reasons. They did not take more then they used. Their thoughts and actions were about respect. The Elders conducted themselves in a respectful way. We need to consider our actions around respect for Mother Earth.

My Creator, have the grandfathers teach us today about the old ways.

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