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Old 07-07-2014, 10:40 AM   #4
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Default Daily Feast - July 24th - 31st

July 24 - Daily Feast

How like moths we are when we are caught in the dark, beating our wings against anything that stands between us and the light. Though we strain against barriers, we are the, a tsv s dv, we are the light or candle that lights the place where we are. Others who follow watch for a signal, a light in the dark, to know they are not alone. We need to take some time to be quiet, to recharge and it may mean waiting a while in the dark. But whatever our need, if we wait, the light will come. And it will illuminate us instead of blinding us with its glare.

~ The path to glory is rough and many gloomy hours obscure it. May the Great Spirit shed light on yours. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day July 24

"Life is like a path...and we all have to walk the path... As we walk...we'll find experiences like little scraps of paper in front of us along the way. We must pick up those pieces of scrap paper and put them in our pocket... Then, one day, we will have enough scraps of papers to put together and see what they say... Read the information and take it to heart."

--Uncle Frank Davis (quoting his mother), PAWNEE

The Creator designed us to learn by trial and error. The path of life we walk is very wide. Everything on the path is sacred - what we do right is sacred - but our mistakes are also sacred. This is the Creator's way of teaching spiritual people. To criticize ourselves when we make mistakes is not part of the spiritual path. To criticize mistakes is not the Indian way. To learn from our mistakes is the Indian way. The definition of a spiritual person is someone who makes 30-50 mistakes each day and talks to the Creator after each one to see what to do next time. This is the way of the Warrior.

Today let me see my mistakes as a positive process. Let me learn the aha's of life... Awaken my awareness so I can see the great learning that You, my Creator, have designed for my life.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

At night sometimes the world seems so topsy-turvy and you're so weary of doing things the same old way. Then nothing seems to please....You try desperately for something new and different, something that doesn't seem so much like you. Why? Tonight you are different.

One cannot expect the world to be top side up all the time. Such perfection does not come so easily to human nature. And always there is a search for something new and different. A change of pace....that thought that I don't want to be me today, to think my thoughts and do my daily chores. I want to make a complete change now, to know a whole new way of life. And it is good to leave behind the many daily situations that sometimes stand too closely to be seen clearly, but to be wise enough to know which things should be left behind.

There have been clean sweeps that have left behind the dearest things....and have taken along the same dreary, dark unhappy things of the mind that should have been left behind.

A line from the prayer of serenity is "The wisdom to know the difference...." And wisdom, says Samuel Taylor Coleridge, is common sense in an uncommon degree. If one has the wisdom to wait a bit, wait until morning - or several mornings - that uncommon degree of common sense will give us the wisdom to know the difference.


July 25 - Daily Feast

The haying season is in full swing and trucks loaded with bales of green-gold leave the meadows stirred into action. Killdeer circle overhead, and quail call for a covey scattered by the noise of machines. To all appearances, this is the quiet season - but appearances are deceiving. The end is never the end but another beginning. The grasses drying in the sun have dropped seeds that will sprout again. Tall graceful sunflowers shade the wild petunias that wait for another rain. We finish one thing and begin another - always with a fresh eye for how we can do better. It reminds us that what we want to reap, we must first plant and cultivate and water with love.

~ The Great Spirit has smiled upon us and made us glad. ~

KEOKUK, 1848

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


Elder's Meditation of the Day July 25

"People need to wake up. They can't hear God's voice if they're asleep."

--Vernon Cooper, LUMBEE

Black Elk, a Sioux, talks about the hoop of many hoops. He says that above the people is a hoop, a conscience, the total belief of the people. If the hoop is sick, meaning dysfunctional, co-dependent, a lot of alcoholism, family abuse, violence, racism and sexual abuse, the people can get used to this and think this is normal. In other words, the people are asleep. If we have left the spiritual way of life, the people are asleep. If we are giving our power to another entity, the people are asleep. In most tribes, there are Coyote Clans. The job of the Coyote Clan people is to wake the people up. They need to become a nuisance and irritate the people. We must return to the spiritual walk.

Oh Great Spirit, keep me awake today. Let me hear the voices of our ancestors...let me hear the voices of the Grandfathers. Because everybody is doing it doesn't make things right. Let me hear the truth today and become a coyote for the people. Give me the courage to be willing to be different. Let me walk straight on the Red Road.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

We often wonder why we must come in contact with some phases of life that seem so unrelated to how we think and plan. It seems we should be able to contend with things that really have little kinship to what we're trying to do.

But no matter how we question and analyze, situations and events continue to present themselves for solving. It takes a great deal of wisdom to know the difference between that which we must do and that which we must refuse serious consideration. This very thin line is the deciding factor in the victory or defeat of a plan.

Like a well-written story, sometimes the smallest incident hidden among our experiences can play a very big part at some later time. It is difficult to know just which parts of the puzzle will fall into place to complete a picture we seek.

We must take one step at a time, being sensibly aware of the thoughts we store in our minds. For "as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is." As long as we dwell on all the unnecessary activities we will never have time for the important things. If we seek the wisdom of the one Creative Mind we have much less chance of being led astray by the glitter of unimportant things.


July 26 - Daily Feast

If we squint our eyes a little when we look in the mirror, the result isn't so bad. But when we pass a mirror and catch a reflection unexpectedly, it reveals more than we wanted to see. In a brief moment, we caught ourselves unaware. There was no time to narrow the eyes - and there we were without a disguise. It was a stranger. No smiles - just grim. Why is it we think we are smiling when we are not? The Cherokee often has a stoic expression, a du tiv to di, a mask that protects his sensitive nature from the world around him. Others are the same way. It helps to have a sense of humor when we are caught off-guard.

~ Old Lakota knew that man's heart away from nature becomes hard. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day July 26

"These are our times and our responsibilities. Every human being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our Mother Earth, from whom all life comes. In order to do this, we must recognize the enemy - the one within us. We must begin with ourselves..."

--Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

The outside is merely a reflection of our insides. My mind is designed to tell me that I'm not crazy for thinking what I am thinking. Even if I have angry thought, my mind is giving me excuses and reasons why it is OK to think what I'm thinking. I need to be knowledgeable about the laws of harmony and balance. I cannot twist the laws to serve me but I can adjust my life to serve the laws. This is the law - I am here to serve the earth. The earth is not here for me to misuse and abuse.

Oh Great Spirit, allow me the insight and knowledge of how to live in harmony and balance with my surroundings. Grant me change from within.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

All of us have at sometime questioned our normalcy as human beings. We wonder why we did this or that, why we reacted to something so violently, or why we failed to react at all. An American author, Katherine Fullerton Gerould, has written, "The only glory most of us have to hope for is the glory of being normal." And for all our questionable actions sometimes normal people must be those who have felt not only the high points, but the low points of their emotions.

It is not the fact that people run the gamut of their emotions that make them normal, but that they have had the ability to right themselves before they could impose upon the rights of others.

The persons who never lose their tempers, nor shed tears, nor refuse to respond to other people, but stay day after day in light, shallow experience, have never known what it is to come into the center of the calm so richly appreciated.

All of us have made mistakes in behavior, some in ignorance, but more in bad taste. Perfection belongs to a higher Source. It is ours to strive for; and our mistakes are to use in the growing-up process.


July 27 - Daily Feast

Perfectly intelligent people lose what they want most by demanding something that is still in the courting stage. There is a time to be bold, or in ga na ye s gv na, says the Cherokee, but it takes wisdom to know when it is. If something is worth having, it is worth waiting for, worth working toward. But fear of losing something before we have had a chance to make it our own can stir us to take risks that are often unwise. Insecurity makes us react in plain-speaking ways that cause us to lose the very thing we want to keep. Action is a necessary part of living, but persuasion is an art and seldom appears demanding.

~ The Great Spirit will not punish us for what we do not know. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day July 27

"Let us put our minds together as one."

--Irving Powless, Sr., ONONDAGA

If we sat in a circle and put an object in the center of the circle and we all described what we saw, everyone would see different points of views from each other. Some would even see opposites because they would be sitting on opposite sides of the circle. In other words, you don't have to see what I see for you to be right. In fact, everyone in the circle is right based on their own point of view. If we are willing to listen to everyone's point of view, then we can get a more accurate description of the object in the center. This is one way to put our minds together. When we get the clarity from each other, we should give thanks and be grateful to each other.

Grandfathers from the four directions, guide me today with Your wisdom from the East, from the South, from the West and from the North.


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 the matters to us.

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


July 28 - Daily Feast

Other people may tell us they know what is best for us. And maybe they do at times. But it is more important that we have time to know for ourselves what we are to do. The strength of other people tends to wane after a while, so we need strength of our own to sustain us when no one else is around. Few stay prepared for any event. But we know to put our, go hi yu di, our faith, where it helps us. When we get to those places of not knowing what to do, we shouldn't do anything - not until we have had time to stand still - and see.

~ The earth and myself are of one mind. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day July 28

"A good heart and a good mind - those are what you need to be a chief."

--Louis Farmer, ONONDAGA

The combination of heart and mind is very powerful. The Medicine Wheel teaches that two worlds exist - the seen and the unseen. The seen world is the physical and the unseen is the spiritual world. Both of the worlds are necessary to discover true reality. The seen world is easiest seen by the male side. The unseen is easiest seen by the female side. The heart is the unseen and the mind is the seen. Blessed is the leader or person who has developed the heart and the mind. Truly, the person is of tremendous value to the Creator and the people.

My Great Spirit, help me this day to develop both my female side and my male side. Let me know all the feelings of each, let me develop and grow my intuition and my mind. Let my development only serve You.


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. My 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.


July 29 - Daily Feast

First impressions are reflections of what we are ready to think. How easy to believe we already know another person when we know ourselves so little. None of us reveal who we really are until we feel safe, and then it is a long time before we trust anyone enough to call them friend. We need to be told that we are liked - not once but many times, at li a le-yu go di-wo di s ge s di, or "twice or more say it," is the way a Cherokee puts it. Even the most innocent of us tends to judge. But to judge before we know someone may show a lack of sincerity in our own makeup - or maybe even a little fear that we may see in others what we are afraid of finding in ourselves.

~ We concealed nothing. We came not secretly nor in the night. We came in open day. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day July 29

"When we want to talk to Him we burn tobacco and it takes our prayers all the way up to the Sky World."

--Louis Farmer, ONONDAGA

Our herbs and our medicines are all here for the purpose of serving. Offering tobacco as a gift to the Creator is proper use of our medicine. In this way, we are able to communicate from the physical world to the spiritual world. Sometimes we have a hard time coming up with the right words when we pray especially if we are really mixed up. The tobacco and the sage will take the intent to the spirit world. The meaning behind the words are more important then words. The Creator always knows our intent. The tobacco helps us get to the Sky World.

Today, my Creator, I offer You this tobacco. I want to thank You for being in my life. I want to tell You how much I appreciate the honor of being here to serve You. Tell me this morning what I can do for You. You are the reason I live.


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 awhile 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.


July 30 - Daily Feast

We talk about choosing our friends, but true friends are self-selected. It is they who decide to respond and by what method. And finally they make themselves our friends by being loyal and having a genuine concern for our well being - or allowing privacy when it is needed. Acquaintances wait and judge. And sometimes it is better to be acquaintances when we cannot find a common ground on which to be friends. There is honesty in admitting we cannot be dear friends to all people. But there is always something special. A friend is, a unali - without question or fear or concern for equal time. This is why friends are dear to us. They have chosen to be so.

~ The white man does not obey the Great Spirit; that is why the Indian never could agree with him. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day July 30

"You want to know who's a real medicine man? He's the one who doesn't say 'I'm a medicine man.' He doesn't ask you to come to him. You've got to go and ask him. And you'll find he's always there among his own people."

--Louis Farmer, ONONDAGA

The Medicine Man is a role model of what it is like to live in harmony and balance with the Creator. It takes a long time, a lot of sacrifice and discipline to become a Medicine Man. A Medicine Man is humble and never crass about anything. He knows he lives to do the will of the Great Spirit. He knows he is to help the people. He lives very low key - the more low key he lives, the more people seek him out - and such is life. The more one serves the people and is quiet about it, the more he is sought out. The quieter he is, the more powerful is his medicine.

Great Spirit, allow me this day to be humble. Allow me this day not to seek attention, but to live quietly and keep my focus and attention on serving You.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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

If our prayers were suddenly answered, would we be 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.


July 31 - Daily Feast

Rejoice when the going gets rough, when everything turns mean. It is time to shout and clap our hands - if only in the privacy of our own minds. To rejoice in difficulty doesn't seem reasonable, because the natural way would be to give up and cry. But we rebound from trouble faster when we turn off the tears and turn on the joy. It comes from the inside and goes to the outside - and that is how the, u hi so di, the spell or gloom, is broken. If we have never done it before, we need to learn how to think joy and act joyful, because the heart is listening - and it is out of the heart that all issues are settled.

~ I beg you now to believe that, all miserable as we seem in your eye, we consider ourselves nevertheless much happier than you. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day July 31

Look behind you. See your sons and your daughters. They are your future. Look farther and see your sons' and your daughters' children and their children's children even unto the Seventh Generation. That's the way we were taught. "Think about it: you yourself are a Seventh Generation."

--Leon Shenandoah, ONONDAGA

The Creator designed us with a free will. That means we function from choices and consequences. It is important that we practice thinking about consequences before we make decisions about choices. Every choice I make is like setting up dominos one after the other that produce consequences. Not just for me but also for my children and for the children that are unborn. My choices and decision today will have consequences for seven generations. For example, if I work on my own spiritual development and I walk the Red Road, the odds are that my children will. They will marry and their children will follow the Red Road and so will my grandchildren even up to the seventh generation. This will happen because of the choices and decisions that I make today.

Great Spirit, grant that the choices and decisions that I make today will honor Your laws and values. May I live in peace today that will ripple into the seventh generation.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

In this day of emphasis on right connections with the right people, into 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!"
"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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