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 2
"The voice and the heart are not working together."
--Barney Bush, SHAWNEE
We can say any words we want with our voice but we cannot hide the true meaning and the true spirit behind the words. The true meaning is always understood. The voice is heard in the physical world, but the meaning is transmitted in the spiritual world. If our voice says one thing but the heart is saying something else, it's the something else that is heard. It is said that the truth will set you free. Reaching the truth means your voice and your words will be in alignment with the heart.

Great Spirit, let my tongue, speak the truth today.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 3
"For me writing has become prayers that say, `Great Spirit, return to us our freedom, our land, and our lives. We are thankful for the present from which we learn how to be thankful for the past, and how to be hopeful for the future."
--Barney Bush, SHAWNEE
We Native people have really been tested. This testing is having our land taken from us, our culture challenged, and our way of living altered. Gratefully, we have not lost our spirituality. Our spirituality has been the key for our people making it through all of these tests. Our prayers are strong. Indian people have also been able to adjust to change and still keep their culture and spirituality. Today, we should be grateful to the Creator for the present and for the lessons of the past. May our future be guided by the Great Spirit.

Great Spirit, thank You for Mother Earth and Father Sky. Thank You for my life.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 4
"My father told me that Hopi earth does contain my roots and I am, indeed, from that land. Because my roots are there, I will find them."
--Wendy Rose, HOPI/MIWOK
Everything that comes from the earth will return to the earth. We should be able to realize the connectedness to the earth. We should be able to feel toward Her just like She is our real Mother. We can easily feel this connectedness if we can answer these three questions: why am I?, who am I?, and where am I going? If we cannot answer these questions, then perhaps we need to talk to the Elders. Go to the Elders and ask, "Grandfather, why am I?; Grandmother, who am I?; Oh Great One, where am I supposed to go?" The Elders will help us with these three questions.

Grandfather, help me to stay centered today.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 5
"I have always searched for my place and my people."
--Wendy Rose, HOPI/MIWOK
For every human being to feel connected, we must have the feeling of belonging. That is one of the values and benefits of a culture: it creates the feeling of belonging. If for some reason, while you were growing up, you did not develop the feeling of belonging, a search will be triggered and a restlessness will be present in your heart. You will have a hole inside you, something missing, until you find your place and your people. Remember, we can get this feeling of belonging when we realize we belong to the Great Spirit and that He really loves us a lot.

My Creator, today, I belong to You. Let me feel Your presence. Thank You.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 6
"And there are Four Corners of the Earth that we talk about, the Four Colors of people, and the Four Winds. You see the winds - they are spirits."
--Grandfather William Commanda, ALGONQUIN
The Elders teach us about the four directions. If we learn about direction, we also learn about attention, about focus, and about power. Each direction has spiritual power. In the morning, go outside, face the east and get still; then, listen to your thoughts. After you have done this for a while, turn and face the west. Get quiet once again and listen to your thoughts. Did your thinking change when you changed direction?

Great Spirit, teach me the power of the four directions.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 7
"We are responsible for the condition of the Earth. We are the ones who are responsible and we can change that. If we wake up, it is possible to change the energy. It is possible to change everything."
--Hunbatz Men, MAYAN
The environment we want outside will be created by the mental pictures we have inside our heads. We must have the right environmental picture as well as the right values. These values will give the mental picture its true meaning. If we respected Mother Earth, we would not throw garbage on Her, nor would we put poison in Her. We would not misuse Her in any way. Mother Earth is like She is today because of the mental pictures of previous generations as well as the mental pictures of our own generation. If we want the environment to change, each individual must change their mental picture. "As within, so without."

Great Spirit, today, let me be alert to Your guiding voice.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 8
"Balance is implicit in the Red Road. When you're on the Red Road, you are in the center. Yet, you do not go to either extreme, and you allow both sides to exist. This is accomplished by continually postponing surrendering to temptation, whatever it may be. It is saying `later' instead of `no.'"
--Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA
The Sacred Path of life has a middle, a left side, and a right side. As human beings, we are designed to walk this middle path as much as we can. As we walk, we will stray to the left and to the right and come back to the middle. Straying to the left or right side is as sacred as being in the middle. Sometimes we call this straying our mistakes. We are designed by the Creator to walk the Sacred Path of life, and realize that our mistakes are the source of lessons. These lessons give us our wisdom. It is not wrong that we are tempted. What matters is what we do with the temptation.

Great Spirit, today, let me enjoy the Sacred Path of Life.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 9
"In the life of the Indian there was only one inevitable duty, the duty of prayer, the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal. His daily devotions were more necessary to him than daily food."
--Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), SANTEE SIOUX
The most important habit one can develop is the daily act of prayer. Prayer is our eyes, our ears, our feelings, our success, our guidance, our life, our duty, our goal. There really is only prayer and meditation. We can only help others through prayer. We can only help ourselves through prayer. You can never become an Elder unless you pray. You can never stay an Elder unless you pray. You never get wisdom unless you pray. You never understand unless you pray.

Great Spirit, today, teach me to pray.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 10
"I know Grandpa told me that to smoke is wakan (holy). The smoke you inhale represents the spirits of everything you put into the pipe. When you breathe in the smoke, you are asking to become one with everything or to become whole."
--Dr. A.C. Ross (Enhanamani), LAKOTA
The smoke allows us to go from the Seen World to the Spirit World. It is in the Spirit World where we are all connected. In this way, we can become one with all things. Our pipe is sacred. We need to be respectful of our medicine. When we smoke the pipe, we need to have good thoughts because these thoughts are shared with the Spirit World. The pipe, the smoke, the spirits, our thoughts - these things are Wakan.

Great Spirit, today, let my thoughts be Wakan.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 11
"The symbol of wholeness, represented by the medicine wheel, is still being used in D/Lakota ceremonies today. The center where the "X" crosses is considered the home of Tunkasila, Wakan-Tanka, God. I speculated, `If this is the symbol of wholeness, the symbol of the psyche, with Wakan-Tanka at the center, then Wakan-Tanka or God would be within you.'"
--Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA
The Medicine Wheel represents everything. All the directions originate from the center outward. The center is the home of the Creator. The Medicine Wheel represents the human being. At our center is the home of the Great Spirit. This is why we are spiritual. The easiest way for us to find God and talk to Him, is for us to become centered. This means, relax our bodies, still our minds, let go of our emotions and listen quietly. Shhh. Be still.

My Creator, let me walk in the stillness today.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 12
"The old people say, `Learn from your mistakes'. So I try to accept everything for what it is and to make the best of each situation one day at a time."
--Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA
The Creator did not design us to beat ourselves up when we make mistakes. Mistakes are our friends. It is from mistakes that we learn. The more mistakes we learn from, the faster we gain wisdom. The faster we gain wisdom, the more we love. The more we love, the fewer our mistakes. Therefore, mistakes help us to learn love. God is love. Mistakes are sacred and help us learn about God's will for ourselves.

Great Spirit, help me, today, to learn from my mistakes.

Elder's Meditation of the Day, March 13
"I went to a holy man and asked him for help. He told me to get on the Red Road. Pray to Wakan-Tanka (Great Spirit) to help you walk the Red Road."
--Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA
All Indian traditions, customs and ceremonies help us answer three questions: who am I?, why am I?, and where am I going? Only on the Red Road can we find the answer to these three questions. When we can answer these three questions, we are on the Red Road. When we cannot, we have gone astray. That is why the Holy Men tell us to pray to the Great Spirit and to seek the Red Road. Why am I? My purpose is the serve the Great Spirit. Who am I? I am an Indian who walks the Red Road. Where am I going? My vision is to serve my people.

Great Spirit, when I know You, only then do I know me. Help me today to know You.

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