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Old 05-21-2014, 11:21 AM   #4
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Default Daily Feast - May 24th - 31st

May 24 - Daily Feast

A thick layer of doubt like fog across the hilltops, can shut out the light. Without light, we are depleted of energy and vitality - and eventually hope. An elderly Cherokee woman said, "It is true that the Cherokee suffered when their houses and gardens and very way of life were taken from them. We loved the land and trees and treated them as family. It was not the Great Holy Spirit that caused it. It was the, a s ga na (wickedness) of the world." It seems that no good time exists when we can despair. The Cherokees still dance - but to the Great Spirit in gratitude, the way David danced before the Lord. And it is high time we shout and clap our hands right in the face of trouble.

~ You have said to me....that I could send out a voice four times....and you could hear me. Today I send a voice for a people in despair. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 24

" Tunkashila, there is no time. Everything moves in the blink of an eye. It's as fast as thought. So there is no speed there. There is no time in between."

--Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

There is a relationship between thought and reality. Every thought is alive, and as soon as you think it a result occurs immediately. However, to make something happen it may take a series of 1,000 thoughts before you can actually see it with your eyes. This occurs because the Laws of the Great Spirit act immediately. When you tell a lie, you immediately experience fear. When you tell the truth, you immediately experience freedom. To the Creator, there is no time. For us to experience the meaning of this requires us to act on faith. Faith is belief without evidence.

Great Spirit, today, let me act on my faith.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

"Though we speak with the tongues of men and angels and give our bodies to be burned, if we are irritable or hard to live with, it all accounts for nothing," wrote Margaret Widdemer.

Wouldn't it be a blessing to ourselves and to others if we could be as gentle and considerate in temper as we expect others to be? It is not a good thing to keep pent up the emotions that rule us so continually, but neither is it good to be too quick and too constantly blowing off steam.

It may serve as a tension reliever to us, but it can also ruin our relationships with others. And without our realizing it, we can soon become chronic complainers.

Worry, physical ailments and weariness can cause a short temper that we think others should understand. And most have a way of knowing if that is the case, but prolonged impositions on other people will wear that tolerance very thin. It takes two to have an argument, but it takes only one to start it.

The need to forgive and to be forgiven should never be overlooked. To pass over a disagreement quickly without thought to the damage we've done can take the shine off any friendship. There can be no merit in forgetting if we cannot first forgive.

There are two voices in this world that will be forever unpopular. One is the voice of self-pity, the other the voice that yells all the time. One declares itself to be the victim of great injustice, the other yells to demand justice.

Those who believe themselves to be the victims of injustice - those who believe they are meant to suffer - will always find conditions to prove they are right.

And those who yell, "Look what I've sacrificed," and always with the theme, "What I've tried to do for you," have slowed another's progress and stopped their own.

True victims of circumstances are easily recognized, and do not care to be noticed as such. And those who tell their merits have received their rewards, so there aren't any others.

Both have their attentions turned inward, but to the sorrow of most....their voices are not.


May 25 - Daily Feast

Greatness is in having a purpose - not in just having a personality. Purpose shapes personality, not the other way around. Chief Joseph, Chief John Ross, and Sitting Bull were all great leaders, but their central purpose was even greater. Every seed of knowledge, every ounce of wisdom, was to lead and guide their people. They were constantly reminded of how much was yet to be learned. When a purpose and a goal stand for the good of the people, it carries a seed of greatness. In its simplicity it has no time for constant limelight, but only to accomplish more and reach farther. In areas of service, doing something to help other people humbles willing workers. They know they only scratch the surface of what there is to do - and unbelievable barriers are set in their way by ignorant people.

~ We are peaceful, we are not aggressive. In this lies our strength. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 25

"If you listen close at night, you will hear the creatures of the dark, all of them sacred - the owls, the crickets, the frogs, the night birds - and you will hear beautiful songs, songs you have never heard before. Listen with your heart. Never stop listening."

--Henery Quick Bear, LAKOTA

The night time is full of life, full of song and full of beauty. Have you ever gone outside at night and listened? One has access to serenity and peace. At night all our senses change their roles. Because we can't see, our hearing is much stronger, our smell is even more enhanced, our sight is different. We are able to join nature through sounds and smells, through the songs of the night birds and through the night winds. We can close our eyes and experience interconnectedness in a different way. Try it tonight and experience oneness with the Creator.

Great Spirit, allow me to listen to the teachers of the night.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

True forgiveness could be described as a divine amnesty where we receive a pardon from the unworthy things we've done, and have another chance to prove our worth. Forgiveness is something we must give in order to receive. And we have a tendency to linger over old grudges, using them to bolster our reasons for not forgiving. But we cannot return to the past, nor can we change one whit of anything that happened then. We cannot make up for resentments we've caused in others, no more than they can make up for ours.

To forgive is divine. God is above punishment, but we are not. It is we, not God, who punish by taking things into our own hands and making them work for our own selfish reasons. We demand punishment by hanging on to painful past experiences that produce self-pity. We are the ones who blame God's will for our illnesses, our poverty, our lack of friends. But we are wrong, for there is a moment of truth when we face ourselves and know that we are the guilty.

And there is a time such as William Wordsworth wrote about, "That blessed mood, in which the burden of the mystery, in which the heavy and weary weight of all this unintelligible world, is lightened"....because we've been forgiven.


May 26 - Daily Feast

Does a child look at an older person and say, "I want to be just like you?" Not usually. More than likely they say to themselves that they hope they are doing better than what they see when they reach the same age. It is a fear thought. Time is getting away and this is what I fear I will be. We are one with other people, we need each other, but we are not all destined to be exactly alike. Common sense and individuality were put in us when we were created - not to be idle but to be used. Why give in to every negative suggestion when all we have to do is tell ourselves it is not, and never will be, acceptable. Tradition is strong in the Cherokee family. Old ones are thought wise and they are respected. But we are all individuals with different gifts that are enhanced by heritage.

~ We never made any trade. Part of the Indians gave up their lands; I never did. The earth is a part of my body, and I never gave up the earth. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 26

"The man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures and acknowledging unity with the universe of things was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization."

--Luther Standing Bear, OGLALA SIOUX

There is a concept that says you move toward and become that which you think about. If we think about everything as interconnected and interrelated, we will begin to accept the greater whole and that there is a power who is in charge. If we see the cycles of life, if we see the inner powers, if we see the interdependence of the universe, then we will participate in a harmonious way. We all need to pray and meditate on this. We need to understand the property of unity.

My Creator, let me have the insights of nature and give me the power of acceptance.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Hardly any of us are without some jealousy. We like to think of ourselves above that painful emotion, because such a monstrous feeling is a destructive thing. But if we have not felt a normal amount of it, it is because we have yet to doubt something we love very much.

Margaret, Queen of Navarre, and sister of Francis I, King of France in the fifteenth century, wrote the following words:

"Love may exist without jealousy, although this is rare; but jealousy may exist without love, and that is common; for jealousy can feed on that which is bitter, no less than on that which is sweet, and is sustained by pride as often as by affection."

Jealousy can rear its head when logic is giving you the facts, and throw the whole thing into chaos. But confidence is the enemy of jealousy. Confidence, trust, and faith are all strong parts of a nature where jealousy does not rule.

And jealousy, even in moderation, can introduce us to a serious problem with ourselves, if we let it grow out of proportion. It breed rejection while maturity and understanding keep us safely within the bounds of permissiveness rather than possessiveness.


May 27 - Daily Feast

Suddenly the hour is gone - and it is anybody's guess what we did with it. Did we enjoy anything? U li lo hv s gi, pleasant times are for a purpose, the Cherokee believes. It is not just u wo tiv di, something to amuse us, but pleasure slows the heart, lowers the blood pressure, and gives ease to the mind. Something beyond the awareness tries to slow the human spirit from living so intensely. It is not natural to push the mind and body until such weariness takes over that there is no natural relief. A pause, a a Tsa we so lv s di, which means a reprieve or rest, will give us strength and renewed vision. Without it, we are burned out and we enjoy nothing.

~ Lots of us may not have learned yet....we all have brains and are anxious to work. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 27

"One of the things the old people taught me about the spirits was to never have a doubt."

--Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

The spirit world is sometimes hard to believe in because we can't see it. Out minds convince us to seek proof for everything. We need to believe that the Unseen World exists and the Unseen World is guided by principles, laws and values. If we have doubts, we can pray to the Great Spirit to remove the doubt. He understands how difficult it can be sometimes, so He's always ready to help us during our doubtful times. We are lucky to have such an understanding and helpful Father.

Great Spirit, today, divorce me from doubt.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

The destructive hand is one that never finds a friendly hand to shake. Its finger is always pointed at someone in an accusation. It is shaking in someone's face in a threat. The destructive hand is forever lifted against anyone who differs, ready to strike in disagreement, always lifted for attention to let them tell the wrong someone has done.

The destructive hand tries desperately to hold another's good back...ready to sign a complaint....forever in a gesture of disdain.

But pity the destructive hand. It will never know the tenderness of love nor find the clasp of friendship. It will never feel the sun warm on its palm while it lifts someone...or guide another to happier things....or wave or cheer or praise and give thanks.

The destructive hand is the negative approach to all of life. It can never do anything but discourage and frighten. The positive approach to life is found in every gesture of the productive hand; it builds unbreakable structure, unbroken peace, and joy to soothe the most savage heart.


May 28 - Daily Feast

Too much is learned that adds nothing to life. With the advent of "tell it like it is" the flow of troubled water washed in a mountain of debris. The unlearned feel it necessary to empty their garbage into the ears of other people without considering whether anyone wants to hear it. U yo tsv hi, the Cherokee calls it - not music, not poetry, not gracious words - but pure trash. The container may be new and shiny and touched with bits of colorful paint - but inside is the same old decaying, ga da ha, (spoken with disgust), and the word is filth. Little things reveal much about a person - but none more than what he talks about, what he laughs at, what he finds amusing - or even helpful. No matter how beautiful or handsome - the tongue tells all.

~ Yesterday I heard something that made me almost cry. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 28

"The land is a sacred trust held in common for the benefit of the future of our nations."

--Haida Gwaii - Traditional Circle of Elders

The Creator made the Earth to support life so that life would continue to reproduce, everything would support one another, and future generations would have the same benefits of supply and beauty as the generations the proceeded them. This cycle will only continue to the degree that we make choices and decisions for the future generations. Today, we are too greedy and selfish. We are cheating our children, grandchildren and the children unborn.

Creator, let me see the consequences of my decisions, and show me how to make healthy corrections.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Don't allow life to mean too much. Keep it light and shallow; spend as much time as possible scoffing at those things meaningful to others; forget the decency and patience in their attitudes.

And look with overbearing revenge to make them pay for what they believe....laugh at the attention to their imperfections....and don't forget to learn how to live alone....if not in body, then in spirit. And then don't take the blame for a desert-island soul. It is of one's own making. But remember; oh so well, that life does not stand still while we search for someone to blame for our isolation.


May 29 - Daily Feast

Little is more symbolic to the Cherokee than a crystal-clear flowing stream. The banks of such a stream have known the most meaningful prayers, the worship and gratitude of the innermost soul. It is here that the Great Spirit speaks to us in supernatural ways, a da to li s to di, for the Cherokee. The stream not only cleans and washes away wrong and error but it is the tongue over which slip the words that have been fed there by the last rain. The words are a direct form of communication to the Great Holy Spirit, Who so centers our lives. All rivers run to the sea - whether it is a person's life or the flowing stream. Some of it is turbulent, some peaceful - with depths and shallow places, with swift mainstreams and circling eddies. But it is always moving, always gathering into its flow the experiences that make us who we are.

~ The bathe in them gives new life; to drink them cures every bodily ill. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 29

"Humility is probably the most difficult virtue to realize."

--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

Two definitions of humility are (1) being aware of one's own defects of character, and (2) giving credit where credit is due. This means if you do something and are successful because God gave you certain talents, give credit to God when someone tells you how well you did; this is being humble. If you are successful at something, but had help from friends, spouse, neighbors, give credit to those who helped you; this is being humble. If you have done a task and you alone accomplished it, give credit to yourself; this is being humble. Say the truth and give credit where credit is due.

Grandfather, let me walk a truthful road today.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

There must be a great many persons who have questioned their own wisdom in having fought for a principle. To so many, it seems all they gleaned from it was the title "different." Isn't this why so many refuse to stand up for what they believe? We look at them in disbelief, the idea that someone is trying to attract attention. If they are not twitted about their actions they are treated with cold indifference which can be even worse.

It seems that if persons have the strength to say they will fight for a certain truth, they must also have the strength to fight alone without depending on those around them to tell them how they should conform. They must not be embarrassed to be counted as unusual in the pursuit of their particular belief.

But the individuals who find themselves alone in the stand they take must remember that if it is truth they are following it will eventually win and at least they can live with themselves. Not everyone can say that.

H.W. Beecher has written, "It is often said it is no matter what a man believes if he is only sincere. But let a man sincerely believe that seed planted without ploughing is as good as with; that January is as favorable for seed-sowing as April; and that cockle seed will produce as good a harvest as wheat, and is it so?

Sincerity, like trust, must be rooted in those basic truths that are for the good of everyone. If that which we sincerely believe in and live by is truly good, then the results will speak so loudly that all who really want to will see. Until we sincerely want to know good and do good, we will never know it. And until we do, we only half live.


May 30 - Daily Feast

When we have lived a long time with trouble we learn to recognize it a long way off. Sometimes it hides behind the look of serenity, sometimes in laughter - but nearly always in the way a person jokes. It takes some understanding, some go li s di yi, some recognition or reckoning, to sense the pain that is so well hidden. In such cases, it often takes one to know one. We need each other. This unusual ability to see and form a kinship with another person makes us friends and loving partners. We have to be true to ourselves, to keep a part of the innermost heart sacred. A friend knows and respects in us what he, himself, must have as well.

~ I speak straight and do not wish to deceive or be deceived. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 30

"Power comes and goes. It can vanish in the twinkling of an eye, like smoke dissolving in the air."

--Archie Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA

The East, South, West and North are the powers of the four directions. The Creator makes these powers available to do things. We pray to the Creator to give us the power to do these things. Often, we are given these powers for a while, then these powers disappear. Power is given and taken from us by the Great Spirit, the source of power. During the time we have this power, we should be responsible and use the power in a good way. Many good things can be accomplished when we realize where this power really comes from.

Great Spirit, today, show me how to use Your power.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

The truly humble are those who have no thought of using other people to their own avail. They are aware that any success they may attain comes not entirely from their own intelligence and abilities, but because somewhere along the way they have acknowledged how inadequate they are alone.

The day of the self-sufficient person has never truly been. Without other people, without a sense of humility, success is lost to the overambitious.

English critic John Ruskin once said that the first test of a truly great person is humility.

There is greatness and sincerity when we can say to ourselves that we are only human and except for the grace of God we would even lack those qualities. We realize that the world owes us nothing, and no person owes us anything but love. It is not simply our job to serve ourselves, but it is our duty to serve others.

Humility is one of the finest qualities found in human nature. Without it we are nothing but a brash machine, with it we are warm and kind and always respected.

If we want to be friends to others, we must meet them on their level. This isn't to say we have to be the type they are, but understand them and realize that it is a good thing that we are not all alike. This is the beauty of humanity, the variations that keep the human race from being monotonous.

And there is nothing sweeter to the human ear than to hear someone talk its language. Great persons have realized this and have made themselves adaptable to the little and to the big, to the learned and to the unschooled, in order to be more widely understood.

Who knew better than the Wise Master the importance of meeting others on their own level? The Master looked into the lives of every type of person and saw many changes that needed to be made, but also saw much to love and to waken. And in this gentleness and compassion the Wise Master could meet us all and speak our languages, then to be understood and followed.

We live in such narrow existence's when we cannot communicate with anyone except those on our own level of thought and action. And if we only have one level on which to operate, there's danger of it becoming a shelf for immovable objects.


May 31 - Daily Feast

In this age of defending and demanding rights, we are often faced with the question of who holds us back more than anyone else....and in all honesty we must admit we are the ones. We narrow our vision and develop helpless and hopeless attitudes to defeat us. And yet, we are the ones who speed us on as well. Our good attitudes keep us moving and active and able to do everything without reacting to the smallest incident as a barrier in our way. We are willing to work, to initiate and set in motion the good of life, and do it by not stepping on others. We keep a constant vigil over our, lo quiis, star, and reach up that we may lift others up with us.

~ Misfortunes do not flourish particularly in our path. They grow everywhere. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 31

"Sell a country? Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth? Did not the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children?"

--Tecumseh, SHAWNEE

The White Man's way is to possess, control and divide. It has always been difficult for Indian people to understand this. There are certain things we cannot own that must be shared. The Land is one of these things. We need to re-look as what we are doing to the Earth. We are digging in her veins and foolishly diminishing the natural resources. We are not living in balance. We do not own the Earth; the Earth owns us. Today, let us ponder the true relationship between the Earth and ourselves.

Great Spirit, today, let me see the Earth as you would have me see Her.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Human dignity is that silent something in us that keeps us from falling below the level where others look down on us to make light of our very existence. None of us exists who cannot sense to some degree the feeling that others hold for us. It may create in us a "show them" attitude that takes us through life more successfully, but it will more likely destroy our desire to be anything more than what is expected of us.

It is an appalling thing to see other impose their superiority upon the human dignity of those whose literacy may not be equal to their own. Only profound ignorance could convince anyone they have the right to see and idly judge another's intelligence, or to insult the dignity of any human being.

The little silent people who have not yet discovered within themselves the abilities they need to lift themselves, still have the right and dignity of being human. A small amount of respect and direction might start them on the road to better things, though it might be all uphill. At least if they know it is all uphill they may work harder and reach a place where they can look back at those with lofty ideas about themselves, standing forever stagnant, and feel more compassion than they could ever have felt.
"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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