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Old 03-23-2014, 12:21 PM   #4
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Default Daily Feast - March 24th - 31st

March 24 - Daily Feast

Evening walks have a beauty all their own as the sun moves through one phase after another, coloring and shading the fields and woods. Although the air is still wintry at times, the calendar says it is spring - good enough to stir up anticipation. The sunset changes from pale pink touched with gold to lilacs and purples and deep blues. The hills along the horizon have the deepest colors, all shades of Indian, gi ga ge, to match the read earth, the red skin. Above the darkening shadows, clouds like long tresses of silky hair spread out to the evening star. Everything gives way to that last bit of color, the burning embers that fire the distant hills - and then the velvet hour. Silence reigns. A coyote's long, thin wail tells the world that night has fallen.

~ I know every stream and every my fathers before me, I lived happily. ~


'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 24

"Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors, the dreams of our old men, given them in the solemn hours of night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people."

--Chief Seattle, DWAMISH

Our Spiritual ways have carefully been given to chosen people. Slowly, through our past generations, through past conflicts, our Elders prayed for guidance, which the Creator provided. Then it was passed down to the next generation through culture, ceremony and oral traditions. Our Indian religion has been tested and is about how we should behave and treat other people, animals and the earth. This knowledge is written in the heart of every person. We can find this knowledge by looking inside ourselves.

My Creator, today, when conflict occurs, I will look inside myself for the answers.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

There comes a time when we have to turn a firm and deaf ear to those people who have no other intention than to disturb our peace of mind. There comes a time when we have to turn ourselves about in our very tracks and ignore the bitter complaining voice of experience.

There comes a time when we have to get angry with ourselves for allowing bad to become worse when there is Someone bigger than we are who can handle everything.

There comes a time when we have to make a decision and to be so firm that it leaves no doubt in our minds that we know what we must do - and then do it.

There comes a time when we have to hear music and feel peace, or we have no foundation for living.

There comes a time when we must learn to appreciate and be thankful or lose all that matters to us.

There comes a time when we recognize the many faces of God as true blessings and give thanks.


March 25 - Daily Feast

A herd of Jersey cows feeding in the meadow is reason to think wealth. Their milk is rich and they give lots of it. But there alongside of them is a patch of coreopsis - golden flowers by the thousands. They come again every year and bloom profusely even when a stretch of dry weather persists. Wealth includes many different things to fill many different needs. The Cherokees call it, nu we hna vi, and to them the most important wealth is that which feeds the spirit - whether it is a field of coreopsis, a bank of oxeye daises or a clean, flowering creek for good fishing. The cows, the milk, the provision for what we need to live are all important, but the Creator was generous in the necessary things - and then he gave us lots of little extras. The extras may be flowers or moonlight when the whippoorwill calls, or music. But it fills a need almost too deep to explain.

~ I want to roam the prairies. There I am free and happy. ~


'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 25

"Come forward and join hands with us in this great work for the Creator."

--Traditional Circle of Elders, NORTHERN CHEYENNE

The Elders have spent years learning to pray and communicate with the Great Spirit. Their job is to pass this knowledge to the younger people. The Elders have told us we are now in a great time of Healing. The Creator is guiding the younger people to help them figure this out. We must get involved and participate. We should pray and see what it is the Great Spirit wants us to do. We need to sacrifice our time and do what is our mission, to help the people and be of maximum use to the Creator. Every person is needed to accomplish this great Healing.

Creator, whisper what you want me to do.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Don't try to tell me what your enemy looks like. My enemy is lazy, a procrastinator that spends most of the time talking me out of success. My enemy says friends are fickle and true ones are most infrequent. Faith, I'm told, is not enough to carry me over barriers. And I'm not loved so much as others, but that's all right because what good is love?

The day is dreary, my enemy says, and the flowers at my feet will soon wilt. I shouldn't smile at anyone today because they won't smile back at me.

This will be one of those days when everything goes wrong, my enemy tells me, and if I do anything right someone else will get the credit. I should watch the clock and realize how long the day is and how weary I am.

Don't tell me about your enemy, I have one of my own. But the fact that I know my enemy makes all the difference. M enemy lies to me and wants to destroy me. So I'll refuse to give my enemy power this day by giving a special measure of love to my friends and knowing that everything is exactly opposite of what my enemy tells me.


March 26 - Daily Feast

To be convinced that we are not alone in whatever place or situation we find ourselves is to have wisdom - exceptional wisdom. But when that wisdom is there and nothing can shake it, a need to share is strong. Everybody doesn't have the gift because everyone doesn't want it. Some can't even believe that anyone else has it. So, we should never try to convince them. If we are convinced, then, that is sufficient evidence, and other things will add to it as we go along. The Great Spirit speaks to us in sweet languages, so unique we cannot miss the import of what is said. To receive such a gift can change a situation from deep fear to one of total contentment and love.

~ I heard the mockingbird singing in the moonlight. I knew that moment that I would get well. ~


'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 26

"In our modern world today, we may seem like drowning men because of the loss of much of our spiritual tradition."

--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Our spiritual tradition shows us the way to live in harmony, balance and respect. The tradition taught us how to behave and how to conduct ourselves. The spiritual way taught us to pray and to purify ourselves. Handed down from generation to generation were the teachings about a way of life. Our relationship to Mother Earth and to each other was very clear. The Modern World does not relate to spirituality but to materialism. If we do not allow spirituality to guide our lives, we will be lost, unhappy and without direction. We are spiritual beings trying to be human, not human beings trying to be spiritual. It is said, Know thyself.

Grandfather, lead me to spirituality.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Life offers us a great deal of stormy weather. In the beginning we are quite strong about it, taking things in stride and moving confidently along. The things that test us seem to give us extra strength we didn't know belonged to us. And quite suddenly there is an awareness that enough is enough. But life doesn't know it, and the storm goes on and so do we.

Even though we are quite willing to give as long as we have to give, there seems to be no more stretch to the strength, either spiritually, mentally, or physically. We question how much longer, how many more times we shall be able to reach into our bag of reserves to borrow another ounce of strength.

Of course, the first thing we must do is take our minds off the thing as we do not want it, and begin to think steadily about how we do want it. It allows our creative minds to find the answers. It may mean we will have to wait a while in the dark, but when the light comes, it is radiant.

There are many things that stay our feet along the way, but faith that this too will pass can make that way serene.


March 27 - Daily Feast

When we were born, we could not walk or talk or even focus our eyes. But the ability to do all these things and more was born in us. By continual effort, we still grow and learn and develop our identities. We learned early that we were not a bird and not an animal. And this is where personality begins to question - then, what am I? Who am I? Why am I here? Is this an identity crisis? No, it is a belief crisis. Every person has a hard time believing he has a specific reason for being here. Some have such a hard time believing that they go out and demand what others have. They see themselves outside the circle - not believing their own words and beliefs put them where they are. To a Cherokee status is freedom to move, freedom to achieve honor within himself, freedom to worship, and freedom to do what is right without ridicule.

~ They (the Cherokees) are apt in catching the spirit of growth.... ~

'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 27

" have to believe it first. Not wait until you see it first, then touch it, then believe it...You have to say it from the heart."

--Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

We are designed to function from faith. First we pray. Then we use our imagination to create a vision or picture in our mind. We surround this mental picture with our emotions or feelings. These feelings are available when we ask or say it from the heart. The combination of the mental picture and asking from the heart to create the emotions will cause us to believe it. Then we just need to wait. We need to believe as though it is already done.

Great Spirit, remove from me any doubt that comes up today.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

We pray for change, we hope for a change, but we wait impatiently. Is God not hearing us? We asked. Where is the answer?

If our prayers were suddenly answered, would be we ready? Or would we look behind us for the familiar things, the people, the habits, the routine?

If we were instantly healed, instantly prospered, instantly sought after and loved, then what would we do? Attention, compassion and self-pity are sometimes more important than having everything changed for the better. The fear of being without something to keep us working with the same burden, dealing with familiar pain, can stop us from knowing what it is to be free and well.

If we can envision life without a particular problem we can turn our minds to real change and have it happen. If we can see change, receive it, and know the joy, then gratitude and thanksgiving sets it in place.


March 28 - Daily Feast
Few sounds in nature are harsh. Even the rolling thunder that rumbles across the sky has solemn beauty. The wind makes whistles in the treetops and wild birds warble like rivulets of water that make harps among the shallows. The frenzied crash and blare come from man. The woods comfort with their sounds. A tiny yellow warbler with black wings sits in the redbud tree and makes the sound of an astral flute, a clear call for peace and harmony. If the bird wants a tranquil place - how much more we need it. A wet-weather spring feeds the ground from beneath, giving ferns moisture and life. In the rainy season the water flows and the delicate fronds mingle with the water creating a swishing sound. Surely we can absorb the serenity to heal and soothe our souls.
~ Creator of the world, Maker of all men; Lord of lords, my eyes fail me.....for the sole desire to know thee. ~
'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 28
"Sacred sites and areas are protection for all people - the four colors for man - and these sites are in all areas of the earth in the four directions."
--Traditional Circle of Elders, NORTHERN CHEYENNE
The Elders say that values come from the Mother Earth. Different places and areas around the Earth have different values. The Water people live in harmony and know the values that correspond to that particular part of the Earth. The Desert people know the values of the desert and respect and live in harmony with that part of the Earth. The Woodland people know the values of their part of the Earth and live in harmony. If you live in harmony with the Earth, you will live a life that is full of values. We should have great respect for the Mother Earth.
Grandfather, today, let me learn values from Mother Earth.
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

In this day of emphasis on right connections with the right people, in the right places, at the right time, we must have truly extraordinary qualities to become successes on our own.
They who have worked hard and achieved success often carry a double burden by wrongful accusations of being privileged characters. Perhaps some to whom doors automatically open because of right connections seem to be privileged characters, but they, like dictators, have a limited existence.
Having connections may help us on the ladder of life, but it will never keep those rungs steady beneath our feet. Only our own greatness keeps us tall, sun-crowned. We must have something to give, something to offer before we can expect to be truly privileged characters. And then, we will have earned the right to our privileges. We are somewhat like God, blamed for much we don't do and seldom given credit for the good we have done.
Whatever the future, the world still needs citizens like those J.G. Holland wrote about nearly a century ago: "God give us men. The times demand strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and willing hands.....Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog, in public duty and in private thinking!"

March 29 - Daily Feast
Nothing ever remains quite the same - but a time comes when we have to follow new guidelines and think new thoughts and do new things. It does not take a superhuman, but it does take a believer - a worker with ears to hear and eyes to see - not just the physical but the spiritual. We cannot take for granted that any other human can have accurate perception and spell things out for us. The miracles are not all in other heads, other hands, other methods. There must be a burst of inner fire that sparks a miracle, that opens a door to a greater life, a greater calm. We are never so blind as when we close ourselves off by our critical views, our hardened hearts, our failure to perceive the greatness of gentle things. O friend, look away from lack and need and pain. Alter your vision and it will alter life.
~ O, great blue sky; see me roaming here. I trust in you, protect me! ~
'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 29
"Tell the people not to cry. Tell them to be happy."
--John Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA (told to his son, Archie, as he died)
Our Elders know about the two Worlds, the Physical World and the Spiritual World. Many times, before we pass to the Spirit World, our relatives, who have gone there before us, will come for us and they will help us. The Spirit World, the Elders say, is a good, happy and harmonious place. When we die, it means we have only entered another world. We will all see one another again.
Great Spirit, allow me to understand both the Spirit World and the Physical World. Today, let me be happy.
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

How much voice do we really have in our own affairs? How free are we to speak out on the things we know and believe and want to say? How much voice to we have in public affairs?
How much goes unsaid because it may be bad for business, or it might make us look foolish? How often we should speak up but think it is none of our business. How quiet we are when someone's unethical hand does wrong.
What is it that inhibits us? Our own fears. Fears of our own ignorance, fear of losing, fear of the bugaboos we know lurk somewhere, but just aren't sure where.
Who are the people who are free of fears? They are the individuals who govern themselves in such a manner as to have thought out their own ideas enough to be able to speak freely for themselves.
Ethics would seem to be something to ignore if you wish to be successful in business. Many people strive harder today than at any other time to divide their lives so that being seen in church is good taste, and being unethical in business proves they are shrewd. Being successful isn't nearly as important as proving that they've gotten that way by the clever undoing of their opposition.
There was a time when building a better mouse trap by the most efficient methods gave us satisfaction, but too often these days we are impressed because someone is smart. Not smart with intelligence, but smart with the cunning that goes along with the jungle code of getting before someone gets you.
The person who tries to get ahead by ethical methods, and by wanting only to provide something better than is already in existence, must also be equipped to withstand ridicule.
Frankly, the race of the tortoise and the hare is still on, and while the hare is tearing around showing off its ability to be a fast runner, the tortoise is making progress, and never losing its way.
Socrates, being asked the way to honest fame, said, "Study to be what you wish to seem." Success takes time and moral discipline, but our successes will be as human beings first, and then the crown of success in business will sit easily and firmly.

March 30 - Daily Feast
Innocent people tend to fall in line behind a person with the magical quality of arousing devotion - even when they do not see the ultimate destination. They simply follow. Their glee is being in a parade makes it seem to bystanders that they are left out if they do not follow too. As painful as it is to admit it, this is the vanguard of massive ignorance. Know what the parade is all about. How sad if we thought we were in the line to get freedom and discovered we were in the slavery line. We have to think for ourselves, as words deceive us unless we know what they mean. Our enemy is not always flesh and blood, but, a da lo nu he di, which means deceit in Cherokee, and trouble in any language. Make it a point of knowing what and who can be trusted. There are many sources but only one Great Spirit.
~ Too many have strayed from the path shown to us by the Great Spirit. ~
'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 30
"If anyone has children, they better teach their children to follow the traditions that we're leaving behind because it is later than we think with all that's going on."
--Juanita Centeno, CHUMASH
The habits, attitudes and beliefs that carry the human through the trials of life are developed at a very young age. If we are taught respect at a very young age, the odds are we'll be respectful through our whole lives. If we are taught to dance at a young age, we'll dance our whole lives. If we are taught to sing the traditional songs while we are young, we'll sing those songs through out whole lives. And who do we drum and sing songs to? Our children. This is how we keep it going.
Great Spirit, today, teach me to teach the children.
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Prisoners never love their jails. And the same holds true for all kinds of prisoners, whether they be dogs on leashes or human beings tied to responsibilities. If they are there of their own free will and because they have a sense of belonging, the connecting link is made of love.
Responsible people with an assignment, and the feeling that it is theirs alone, will do it to the best of their ability and see it through. But if they must be watched and directed in every step, then it is a jail and the first thought is how to get out.
Freedom to be an individual with the right to make even small decisions is a precious possession. Freedom to come and go can build faith and trust within people, to make them stick closer than brothers. The rigid rules and constant prodding of a free spirit will force them to find that freedom.
We simply cannot keep another in bondage without being in bondage ourselves. To hold humanity by invisible force is to keep constant watch. And even beneath that watchful eye there will be a continual search for escape.
Anyone completely dependent upon others must always bear their will-O-the-wisp attitudes and the rising and lowering of the emotional tides. However, it is presumptuous of anyone to believe they can possibly be completely independent of others. Without other people, we cannot exist.
But to believe we are doing our best for anyone except ourselves is to build on sand. Of course others inspire us. They give us reasons to be better. They give us the benefit of their experience, but we seldom learn from that. We demand experience of our own. So consequently, we err and make it right. We mar and erase. And sometimes we try and fail, but always it is up to us to decide whether we do better or worse.
We can despair easily if allowed to become completely and utterly dependent upon others. They are human and they make mistakes. But we must know some measure of forgiveness the same as we must know some independence, if only in the spirit. And if the spirit is free, then all else shall be too.

March 31 - Daily Feast

Be strong, be of good courage - so much we worry about will never happen. Put things in order, change what needs to be changed, but begin at once to count the, wi Tsa to li gi, the blessings that the Cherokee knows must be told again so we will not forget. Forget the past by which so much of life is marked. Painful things happen - and we take a little of all of it with us. This is a new day, I ga, a new time to be renewed. The more we let yesterdays unhappiness slide away, the sooner we come into the fullness of the present. Sorrow will fade. The new hour will bring new experiences, new jobs to do, and even a few negatives may line up to be counted. Don't do it. We can begin at once to call for what we want. We will coax all the sweetness out of every hour and it will sing for us like a bird.

~ We can't go back. The bridge is gone. ~


'A Cherokee Feast of Days', by Joyce Sequichie Hifler


Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 31

"The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man's heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew the lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to a lack of respect for humans too. So he kept his youth close to its softening influence."

--Luther Standing Bear, OGLALA SIOUX

When we live in nature it's like constantly being in school. We are in an environment that is always teaching. We are constantly being reminded hat there are laws, Natural Laws, which are running the universe. Once we know these laws and we drift from them, we start to live our lives in a different way. Soon we become discontent, selfish and disrespectful. Then, we get in trouble. If our lives have become this way, it can be reversed by going back to nature to be among our teachers.

Great Spirit, teach men, again, the Natural Laws.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

The setting of the sun on an old year is a kind of summing up time. What have you accomplished? What were your goals? Will they be higher in the new year?

Whatever your personal plans and whatever the reasons back of them, there are common everyday kinds of people that should be kept in view. They have positive outlooks, and are best recognized when sincerely listening to a child's words.

You will see them when they steady the elderly, you will know them by their kindnesses. You will not often hear their prayers as they are for their God. But you will know they are to be depended upon and that they will not tire of these things, for it is their natural role.

Think about these people when you set your plans. They are good to remember. Your success or failure depends upon these people being you.
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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