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 14
"The hearts of little children are pure, and therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss."
--Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa) OGLALA LAKOTA
Sometimes adults think they know more than the children. But the children are closer to the truth. Have you ever noticed how quickly they can let go of resentments? Have you ever noticed how free they are of prejudice? Have you ever noticed how well the children listen to their bodies? Maybe adults need to be more like children. They are so innocent. The children pray to the Creator and trust that He will take care of them.

Grandfather, today let the children be my teacher.

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.

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 17
"Humbleness means peace and honesty -- both mean Hopi. True, honest, perfect words -- that's what we call Hopi words. In all languages, not just in Hopi. We strive to be Hopi. We call ourselves Hopi because maybe one or two of us will become Hopi. Each person must look into their heart and make changes so that you may become Hopi when you reach your destination."
--Percy Lomaquahu, HOPI
The Creator has made available to us all the laws, principles and values which we need to know to live in harmony. The Creator also designed each human being to learn and grow by trial and error. We have tools to help us live the right way. We have prayers, visions, nature, teachers, Elders, and we have the Great Spirit to talk to and ask for help when we have problems. We also have choice. To walk the Red Road takes courage and a lot of prayer.

Creator, give me courage to walk the Red Road.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, November 18
"Power is not manifested in the human being. True power is in the Creator."
--Oren Lyons, ONONDAGA
The Old Ones say the only true power is spiritual power. Sometimes our egos tell us we have power but really we don't. Great Spirit power is called by other names such as love, forgiveness, intelligence, life, principles, and laws. When the Creator uses this power to make the human being powerful, we must stay humble. We should constantly acknowledge that we are who we are. We do what we do because of the power of the Great One.

Great One, guide me to use Your power well. I will use it only to serve the people.

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.

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 21
"In the absence of the sacred, nothing is sacred, everything is for sale."
--Oren Lyons, ONONDAGA
The Elders often say that when something is sacred it has spiritual value. You'll hear, on the Earth there are sacred spots. You'll hear, our ceremonies are sacred, our children are sacred, marriage is sacred. When something is sacred it means it's so holy you can't attach a value to it. Therefore, it's not for sale. It's an insult to suggest buying something sacred. On the other hand, if we look at it differently, as there is no sacred land, ceremonies are not sacred, our children are not sacred, etc., then everything is for sale. Sacredness creates spiritual space. Sacredness makes things holy. Sacredness shows respect for God.

Great Spirit, let me honor things that are sacred.

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 23
"We're sitting on our blessed Mother Earth from which we get our strength and determination, love and humility, all the beautiful attributes that we've been given. So turn to one another; love one another; respect one another; respect Mother Earth; respect the waters-because that's life itself!"
--Phil Lane, Sr. YANKTON SIOUX
Our entire point of view can be altered by making one change to align with the principles of the Great Spirit. Let's say we decide to become respectful. As we become respectful, our attitude will change. We will automatically draw into our lives knowledge about the other principles of the Great Spirit such as love, appreciation, trust, beauty, and peace of mind. By focusing on these principles, we will let go of selfishness, self centeredness, self pity, dishonesty, and fear. You focus on respect, you get respect; you focus on love, you get love; you focus on the Red Road, you get peace of mind.

Great Spirit, let me learn the lessons of respect.

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 25
"People and nations who understand the Natural Law are self-governing, following the principles of love and respect that insure freedom and peace."
--Traditional Circle of Elders, NAVAJO-HOPI Joint Use Area
The Natural Laws work hand-in-hand with the circle. Each part of a circle will look to the center and will see something different. For example, if you put an irregular shaped object in the center of a circle and you have people standing in a circle around the object, each one will describe it differently. Everyone in the circle will be right. Only by honoring and respecting everyone's input, can the truth about the object be revealed. We need to learn to honor differences.

My Creator, let me honor all differences.

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