“No one likes to be criticized, but criticism can be something like the desert wind that, in whipping the tender stalks, forces them to strike their roots down deeper for security.” –Polingaysi Qoyawayma, HOPI
You move toward and become that which you think about. Creating a vision is what guides our lives. If we get off track with our vision, then we experience conflict. Conflict is nature’s way of telling us we are not in harmony. Criticism can be a way for one human being to help another. Often our Elders will give us criticism. This feedback is intended to be helpful. Criticism from our Elders helps us grow strong.
Great Spirit, today, if I need it, please provide me positive criticism.
“Love is something that you can leave behind you when you die. It’s that powerful.” –John (Fire) Lame Deer, ROSEBUD LAKOTA
The Old Ones say, love is all anyone needs. Love doesn’t go away nor can love be divided. Once you commit an act of love, you’ll find it continues. Love is like setting up dominos one behind the other. Once you hit the first domino, it will touch the second one which will touch the third one and so on. Every love act or love thought has an affect on each person as well as touching the whole world. If you live a life filled with love, the results will affect your friends, relatives, and other people, even after you go to the other side. So… Love.
My Creator, let me love. Let me put into action the love dominos.
“Even the trees have spirits – everything has a spirit.” –Mary Hayes, CLAYOQUOT
The trees are great teachers. The trees are great listeners. That is why we should meditate in their presence. The Great spirit is in every rock, every animal, every human being, and in every tree. The Great Spirit has been in some trees for hundreds of years. Therefore, the trees have witnessed and heard much. The trees are the Elders of the Elders. Their spirits are strong and very healing.
Great Spirit, teach me respect for all spiritual things.
“So don’t be afraid. What we left behind, leave it back there. Try to do some good. Let’s try to take a step, try to think something good.” –Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA
Every day is a new day. Sometimes we make mistakes. We do not need to carry these mistakes along with us. Take the lessons and leave the mistakes behind. Look forward to today. Today we can do something good. Today we can have good thoughts. Today we can think kind, uplifting thoughts about ourselves.
Today I will think good about … My Creator, today I ask You to direct my thoughts.
“Laughter – that is something very sacred, especially for us Indians.” –John (Fire) Lame Deer, ROSEBUD LAKOTA
Laughter is mental, laughter is emotional, laughter is physical, and laughter is spiritual. Laughter helps us find balance. If we get too angry, laughter will turn that emotion in a balanced direction. If we have a mental picture of someone who is too strong, laughter will help ease the tension. If the body is stressed, laughter will release natural relaxants into our muscles and our nervous system. Laughter often changes our attitude. We need to lighten up and laugh more.
Great Spirit, teach me to laugh.
By: Don Coyhis
“Touch not the poisonous firewater that makes wise men turn to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.” –Tecumseh, SHAWNEE
It’s not an accident that firewater is also called spirits. Firewater affects our judgments. The Great Spirit created a set of laws and principles by which we are to live our lives. When we have problems we should pray and ask for the wisdom of these laws. If instead we turn to liquor, our judgement will be affected. It is the decision and choice made under the influence of booze that causes us to be fools. We need to learn to lean on prayer and not on the spirits of alcohol.
Great Spirit, teach me to pray. Let not one drop of liquor touch my lips today.
“Men and women have an equal responsibility to restore the strength of the family, which is the foundation of all cultures.” –Haida Gwaii Traditional Circle of Elders
The family is the heartbeat of strength of the culture. The grandfathers and grandmothers taught their children; they in turn had children who taught their children. If the family isn’t taught the culture, then the children become adults, and the adults become the grandfathers and grandmothers, and the result is the culture becomes lost. This is how language is lost; this is how dances are lost; this is how knowledge is lost. We need to listen to our Elders, today, before it’s too late.
Great Spirit, teach me the culture so I can teach the children.
“The greatest obstacle to the internal nature is the mind. If it relies on logic, the domain of the inner nature is inaccessible. The simple fact is a man does not challenge the wisdom of the Holy Mystery.” –Turtleheart, TETON SIOUX
Why is it we need to analyze and understand everything? The Great Mystery has designed certain areas of creation to be a mystery because humans usually misuse it. We use the Great Mystery and see it unfold only under the direction of the Great Spirit. The Creator is in charge.
Great Spirit, let me realize You are in charge. I’m to do what You want.
“I think that’s what unity is – knowing one another,coming together, and working with no conflict.” –Chief Alan Wilson, HAIDA
When we are aligned with spiritual values, we cannot be in fear or conflict. When we are aligned to spiritual values, we have the Creator whispering solutions in our ears. Unity is one of the spiritual values. When we value unity we value solutions. If we think this way, then we have no conflict within ourselves.
“Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new sweet earth and the Great Silence alone!” –Ohiyesa (Dr. Charles A. Eastman), SANTEE SIOUX
The most important thing we can do during the course of the day is pray in the morning. There is a special time in the morning that has great power. This is the exact time the sun is rising. During the rising of the sun, everything on the Earth is waking up. Animals, plants, birds, and humans will be blessed at the rising of the sun. This is a special time to help us prepare for the day. During this time we ask the Creator to bless our day. We ask Him to guide us, to protect us and to give us courage to overcome the day’s obstacles. Doing this everyday will give us knowledge of God’s will for us.
Grandfather, Grandmother, guide my path. Let my thinking be guided by You.
“Many religions have been brought to this land. And the way my religion is, they teach me, and they taught me, and told me to respect all religions. And I still do that.” –Horace Axtell, NEZ PERCE
The Creator put on this Earth many different religions which represent different roads to walk to God. All religions are right and good if the path is the path to God. Should we be judging which road is better or worse than the other? When we accept each other’s way we can stand in a circle, hold hands and listen to each other as we pray to God. Let us be more accepting of the religions of others.
Great Spirit – God, Grandfather, Grandmother, Lord – let me know peace.