The Four Worlds International Institute

Elder's Meditation of the Day, August 1
"Everyone has to find the right path. You can't see it so it's hard to find. No one can show you. Each person has to find the path by himself."
--Charlie Knight, UTE
There are certain times in our lives when a voice whispers to us. The voice doesn't always talk. Usually we hear it best when we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Inside every person is the knowledge that a Supreme Being exists. Sometimes a restlessness occurs and it makes me feel I need to be doing something or I need to be going somewhere or maybe I start wondering who am I? Often when this happens, I feel lost. Inside of everyone is the natural, built-in desire to be walking the Red Road, or to be seeking a relationship with the Creator. No one can force us to make this journey. We must make this journey because we want to. This journey is not on the outside. The path is inside of ourselves. It is inside that we must begin our search.

Oh Great Spirit, help me this day to look within myself. If trouble arises, let me realize that it's not what is going on but how I am looking at what is going on. Give me Your power this day to conduct myself according to Your way of life.

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, 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 teachable.

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 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 5
"It is a paradox in the contemporary world that in our desire for peace we must willingly give ourselves to struggle."
--Linda Hogan, CHICKASAW
The Grandfathers have taught us about sacrifice. We have been taught to pray for the people in a pitiful way. Struggle and conflict is neither good nor bad, it just is. Everything that grows experiences conflict. When the deer is born it is through conflict. When the seed first grows, it is through conflict. Conflict precedes clarity. Everything has the seasons of growth. Recognize - acknowledge - forgive and change. All of these things are done through conflict.

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 6
"We have to have one mind for the Four Directions. Until we reach that one mind, we cannot be filled with understanding.... The Creator will not answer until you have just one mind, just like if you have one person."
--Grandfather William Commanda, ALGONQUIN
The Elders have taught us to balance our lives emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. If I am out of control emotionally, I get angry, doubtful or erratic, I am out of balance. If I trigger bad mental pictures of my brothers and sisters, I am out of balance. If I get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, I am out of balance physically. If I don't pray and talk to the Creator daily, I am out of balance spiritually. To be centered, I must be in balance. The Creator talks to me in the quiet and still place. So if I get angry, what I should do first is to pause and get still so I can hear the guidance of the Grandfathers.

Oh Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds, protect and keep me safe today - hear my prayers.

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 8
"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 9
"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.

Oh Great Spirit, give me a vision for today. Let me see truth. Let me walk in beauty. Let my heart guide me in truth. The law says the truth shall set you free. Let me be free today.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, August 10
"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.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, August 11
"May there be peace when we meet."
--Audrey Shenandoah, ONONDAGA
The Elders tell us the greatest gift we can seek is peace of mind; to walk in balance, to respect all things. For us to do this, we must have peace within ourselves and peace within ourselves cannot come unless we are walking the path the Creator would have us walk. Sometimes the tests on this path are difficult, but we know that each test makes us stronger.

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.

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.

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.

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