“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“It’s time Indians tell the world what we know… about nature and about God. So I’m going to tell you what I know and who I am. You guys better listen. You have a lot to learn. –Mathew King, LAKOTA
A long time ago the Creator came to Turtle Island and said to the Red People – “You will be the keepers of the Mother Earth. Among you I will give the wisdom about nature, about the interconnectedness of all things, about balance and about living in harmony. You Red People will see the secrets of nature. You will live in hardship and the blessing of this is you will stay close to the Creator. The day will come when you will need to share the secrets with the other people of the earth because they will stray from their spiritual ways. The time to start sharing is today.”
Oh Great Spirit, today I am ready for You to use me as a channel of Your peace. Let my walk today be visible so the people will say “There goes a Man of God.” I want to know what He knows. If they ask, I will tell them to go out into the wilderness and pray for You to guide them.
“The best teachers have shown me that things have to be done bit by bit. Nothing that means anything happens quickly – we only think it does.” –Joseph Bruchac, ABENAKI
There are no short cuts. Every tree must grow according to the growth plan of the Creator. Every flower must grow according to the plan of God. The moon must make its trip around the earth according to God’s plan. Every human being must grow according to the plan of the Creator. Sometimes we look at ourselves and we think we are not growing but we are always growing. Because we cannot see it with our mind does not mean it is not happening. We must be patient with ourselves and let the Creator direct our growth.
My Creator, let me be patient. Let me realize that You are in charge of all things. Let me realize that I must grow my roots a little at a time to become strong.
“You have to have confidence in your own ability to be able to go it alone, to go against what the rest of the culture is doing.” –Eunice Baumann-Nelson, Ph..D., PENOBSCOT
God, this is hard. Today, allow me to be a Warrior. Let me be strong. Let Your voice be clear to me. Let me hear Your guidance. My goal today is to serve You, to develop myself to be the kind of Indian person that You would have me be.. To Walk the Red Road must sometimes be walked alone.
Great Spirit, let me walk the Red Road today with the confidence that You are with me. If I fall, I will quickly ask You to help me know what I should do next.
“If a child hasn’t been given spiritual values within the family setting, they have no familiarity with the values that are necessary for the just and peaceful functioning in society.” –Eunice Baumann-Nelson, Ph.D, PENOBSCOT
When we are born, we start with a beautiful empty mind ready to be given our beliefs, attitudes, habits and expectations. Most of our true learning comes from watching the actions of others. As we watch our family or relatives, whatever their actions and values are, so will be the children’s values and acts. If we see our families living a just and peaceful way of life, so then will the children. If we see our family shouting, arguing, and hateful, so will it be for the children. The cycle of life – baby, youth, adult and Elder is all connected. If the older ones have good values, it will be connected to the children.
Oh my Creator, if there are values I have missed, it is not too late. I can get them from You. Teach me today Your spiritual values. Respect, trust, giving, honesty, wisdom – teach me these.
“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.