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Old 02-28-2014, 11:51 AM   #1
bluidkiti
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Default Daily Feast - March

MARCH

Unu 'la hee"
Windy Month

We the great mass of the people think only of the love we have for our land, for we do love the land where we were brought up.

CHIEF JOHN ROSS

March 1 - Daily Feast

We thought they would last forever - those old ones who taught us, bent us, sweetened our lives. We thought our questions would always go to them, and answers would return in familiar voices. Too many times we did not appreciate their humor, their words that chided us with lessons. Our differences were great, we thought. Our eyes wandered to other things, our voices mingled with strange ones. And suddenly, like the vapor mists that lift and fade on sunstruck mountain tops, they were gone. We did not see them go. They slipped past the boundaries to joy and rest without limit. Now the questions hang in the midair without voices to answer. And the differences fade like the mists but memory persists with genuine humor, genuine love, and we, in turn, convince our young to "Hear me now, my children..."

~ I have dreamed that he shall live to count many coups and be old. ~

GRANDFATHER OF PLENTY COUPS, 1848

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 1

"The beginning is purification, that's the first step..And purification means purification of body and mind. You don't purify the body without cleansing the mind; that's the way it works."

--Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE

If we have bad thoughts or poison in our minds, they will eventually show up in our bodies in the form of headaches, pains, and stomach problems. It works this way because we are interconnected. Our minds and our bodies are one system. So when we start to grow, or commit to the Red Road, we need to start cleaning up our thoughts and start showing respect for our bodies. We start purifying our minds by prayer and meditation, and we start cleansing our bodies by getting the right amount of sleep and developing good eating habits. Today, I'm going to observe my thoughts. Will my thoughts be clean today?

Great Spirit, let me focus on Your love today so my mind will be pure.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

There is an old Arabian proverb that if you pitch a lucky man in the Nile he will come up with a fish in his mouth. Just to come up would be enough for most of us, but still we do so many things - perhaps half in jest - that we have hopes will throw off the evil spirits and bring good luck to the rescue.

The tokens we carry we've carried from childhood, when we were careful never to step on a crack in the walk, or pick up a pin - the silly poems that fascinate children, and sometimes follow them into adulthood when the laughter is gone.

Who are the wise? Those who can rise with the sun letting yesterday go....and feel within their hearts the gratitude of being alive....to have the opportunity to glean from their mistakes something that will take them far from over that place if ever they pass it again. They know that luck must have a "P" before it to keep them from waiting, to help them turn up something rather than waiting for something to turn up.

And yes, they are lucky who have love to give and the ability to receive it. They have faith in good. And no small amount of peace when they think not how lucky they are, but how blessed!
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March 2 - Daily Feast

"I have a right!" Only, says a wise sage, if you accept the responsibility that goes with it. We have a right to be full-fledged people of dignity and decency and respect, as long as we are decent and respectful to those around us. The right for a good life belongs to all of us - as long as we value it, work for it, and keep it good. We have a right to speak our minds, but we have to know the tremendous responsibility of words. We have a right to cultivate our spiritual preferences and to see them bear fruit in every good thing. It is our right to be who we are without the burden of regret and resentment. But we have to remember that our rights are limited to where our rights end - and another person's rights begin.

~ These were not our ways. We kept the laws we made and lived our religion. We have never been able to understand the white man, who fools nobody but himself. ~

PLENTY COUPS,1848

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 2

".the voice and the heart are not working together."

--Barney Bush, SHAWNEE

We can say any words we want with our voice but we cannot hide the true meaning and the true spirit behind the words. The true meaning is always understood. The voice is heard in the physical world, but the meaning is transmitted in the spiritual world. If our voice says one thing but the heart is saying something else, it's the something else that is heard. It is said that the truth will set you free. Reaching the truth means your voice and your words will be in alignment with the heart.

Great Spirit, let my tongue, speak the truth today.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

In the frantic search for something that has meaning to life, we have a tendency to do a thing simply because everyone else is doing it. It becomes a "thing," a fad that must be done to keep on the inside circle. There's little originality, little thought, but a lot of following along in beaten paths.

It is a mistaken idea to believe that all I see with my eyes and the limits of my thinking are the limits of the world. There is a tremendously interesting world out there never before investigated, and I am an individual like no one else.

It is quite marvelous to break through the shell of the middling and to discover the ability to see and feel, and to hear more keenly. Suddenly, I can feel more kindly, not because of who I am on this earth, but because I'm a child of God.

I can see more color, more light, more vision because I'm not being shown, I'm discovering. My world is no longer based on passing fancies, but on the lasting built slowly within me, with love.

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March 3 - Daily Feast

A great man once said that a human soul may be thought of as seeking a creative outlet. If that outlet is clear and free, all is well. But if the channel is clogged with fuss and worry, we can forget the creativity. Even in quiet, we can be in a frenzy. Quiet desperation, Thoreau called it. True silence comes from directing thought to quiet places and still waters. If we allow our minds to drift toward something that could go wrong, then it steals our peace and clogs our creative capacity. Sit quietly and think of softly flowing water, gentle breezes, and the call of the whippoorwill. Reflect on the joy of thinking freely, of unlimited vitality - and don't tell yourself that it couldn't possibly happen.

~ The American Indian is skillfully artistic, a refined sense that springs from deep wells of ancient vision. ~

MURPHY

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 3

"For me writing has become prayers that say, `Great Spirit, return to us our freedom, our land, and our lives. We are thankful for the present from which to learn how to be thankful for the past, and how to be hopeful for the future."

--Barney Bush, SHAWNEE

We Native people have really been tested. This testing is having our land taken from us, our culture challenged, and our way of living altered. Gratefully, we have not lost our spirituality. Our spirituality has been the key for our people making it through all of these tests. Our prayers are strong. Indian people have also been able to adjust to change and still keep their culture and spirituality. Today, we should be grateful to the Creator for the present, and for the lessons of the past. May our future be guided by the Great Spirit.

Great Spirit, thank You for Mother Earth and Father Sky. Thank You for my life.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

To so many, getting up in the morning is the worst way to begin a day. To them every morning is the morning after, a time to feel nervous anxiety and regret in the deepest sense, while to others morning is a new world. Yesterday ceased to be with sleep last night.

How much better off we'd be if only for a few hours we could put out of our minds every painful thought and every unpleasant person until the mind and body could find enough new life to begin again.

"The early morning hath gold in its mouth," wrote Franklin. But it has things more precious than gold. It has life as fresh and sweet as the shimmering, clinging dewdrops in the first rays of golden sunlight. It has the grace of mimosa leaves rippling in the gentlest breeze. It has the songs of the birds and the love of a new awakening.

And in this breathless creation is something more. A new opportunity, another chance, a challenge to walk on, more strong, more forgiving, more loving.

Sleep deep and rest sweet, but rise glad. Don't let one joyful second be lost in dead oblivion. This is a vision of newness awaiting even the least to arise and accept the best - a new beginning.

Morning need not be a jury trial for oneself. Dawn and sleep can be a miraculous cleansing to set us out on our feet ready to begin again and in a friendlier atmosphere. We must feel friendly toward ourselves before we can possibly find morning good to anyone else.

An unknown writer once wrote, "Every morning lean thine arms awhile upon the window sill of heaven, and gaze upon thy Lord, then, with the vision in they heart, turn strong to meet thy day."

We need to be strong to meet the day with self control, to find our reason and purpose, but, more important, to leave behind us the heavy and darkened thoughts that kept us from seeing the breathtaking beauty of the most important time - this morning.

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March 4 - Daily Feast

Few things that count in life are taken by great strides. Little by little, step by step, we inch forward. Great progress in a short time is so often short-lived and gives us the wrong idea of how things work. We build a consciousness, use good judgment, di gu go at nv in Cherokee, to move slowly and with awareness. But as we build, it is important to override the negatives that try to lodge in what we are doing. Our thinking is like a garden that needs to be cultivated. And our talking is even more important. The twogo, I tsu la, hand in hand, and what happens is a direct result of what we have dwelled on for many seasons. But it is in our power to make corrections and edge out trouble - little by little, but very surely.

~ Certain small ways and observances sometimes have connection with large and more profound ideas. ~

STANDING BEAR

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 4

"My father told me that Hopi earth does contain my roots and I am, indeed, from that land. Because my roots are there, I will find them."

--Wendy Rose, HOPI/MIWOK

Everything that comes from the earth will return to the earth. We should be able to realize the connectedness to the earth. We should be able to feel toward Her just like She is our real Mother. We can easily feel this connectedness if we can answer these three questions: why am I?, who am I?, and where am I going? If we cannot answer these questions, then perhaps we need to talk to the Elders. Go to the Elders and ask, "Grandfather, why am I?; Grandmother, who am I?; Oh Great One, where am I supposed to go?" The Elders will help us with these three questions.

Grandfather, help me to stay centered today.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

There are very few days when we have control of our time. No matter what our schedules may be, there is always a change taking place that keeps something from happening when it is supposed to happen. And when the day is ended and our schedules have no been met, then it begins to drag on our spirits.

Soon we become so wound up in the problems of the moment that the delights of our souls drift away and become a part of the mist of "someday". Someday I will get to do what I want to do. Someday when this necessary work is finished - and is it possible that the things we believe to be so necessary are really robbers of our lives? Do we spend too much time with the menial tasks and allow our creativity - the ability to bring newness into our lives - to dry up and become nonexistent?

William Blake called this within us "God." One of the greatest poets ever to live, he believed that if we keep alive our ability to see and feel the beauty of life, our menial tasks will become easy and the way successful.

Yesterday is only a dream, tomorrow only a vision, but today - we live. If we live as we should, our yesterdays will be dreams of happiness, and our tomorrow's will be visions of hope.

Nothing is so sad as the man who spends all his time today judging tomorrow by his experiences of yesterday. He has a vision, but his faith does not support him to pursue it. If some great stroke of good fortune should overtake him, he will be all ready to go, but he doesn't really expect it to happen. So today he sits waiting for the world to change for him, never guessing that he is the one who must change.

No one is so misled as the woman who has such a busy schedule that she hasn't time to listen to her children. She expects to take the time to play with them - someday. But it is today that the bridges must be built from the soul to the body to the spirit. It isn't something built from a quick kiss or a smart smack in the right place, but from daily communion and understanding.

Today is the very life of life when the best things are nearest - breath in our nostrils, light in our eyes, flowers at our feet, duties at our hand, and the path of God before us.

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March 5 - Daily Feast

It is sad when our children have not been able to reply on us to build their self-esteem. The Cherokees call it, qa lv quo di. Even those of us that have come a long way have memories that need a loving touch. Parents teach only what they know to teach. But we are not set forever in one direction. We reach an age when we must teach ourselves. We learn to forgive and to understand that when we get to the fork in the road we will know the right way. Why go the wrong way because someone before us did? If our self-esteem has been damaged, feeding it more pity and more ill-treatment is not healing it. Criticism is passed to us the same way blue eyes and dark hair are inherited. But criticism can be changed and replaced with love. This is a decision that changes our lives - and those who follow as well.

~ Civilized people depend too much on man-made printed pages. I turn to the Great Spirit's book which is the whole of his creation. ~

TATNGA MANI

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 5

"I have always searched for my place and my people."

--Wendy Rose, HOPI/MIWOK

For every human being to feel connected, we must have the feeling of belonging. That is one of the values and benefits of a culture: it creates the feeling of belonging. If for some reason, while you were growing up, you did not develop the feeling of belonging, a search will be triggered and a restlessness will be present in your heart. You will have a hole inside you, something missing, until you find your place and your people. Remember, we can get this feeling of belonging when we realize we belong to the Great Spirit and that He really loves us a lot.

My Creator, today, I belong to You. Let me feel Your presence. Thank You.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

So you missed an opportunity! And they say that opportunity knocks only once - but, only if you believe it! Opportunity has been known to pound on the door and go unnoticed, and it has been known to whisper and be heard. It is all according to how hard we require opportunity to knock before we recognize it.

Our awareness of opportunity will reveal to us how many times it presents itself; so subtle, it may not be recognized by the casual eye. And usually it seems to be completely unprofitable to us personally. More often than not it is service to others without thought of return. It is humility, a willingness to accept the most humble beginnings. It is joy in finding communication with others and finding a kinship with them.

Have you heard of an opportunity fund? Some call it saving for a rainy day. Rainy days can be lovely, too. A rainy day can be an opportunity to get things done. But an opportunity can be any day, rain or shine.

Do you often have the opportunity to speak to your neighbor? It seems to happen too infrequently these days.

The most fun we can have comes when we've the opportunity to squelch an ugly rumor. You know, "curst be the tongue whence slanderous rumor, withering friendship's faith...." Sometimes a little friendship does wither, but if it really amounts to anything it will survive.

What a splendid opportunity to sit quietly and mentally forgive with such depth and joy as to start life anew. There is no greater blessing, no greater opportunity fund.

American editor A.E. Dunning writes, "Great opportunity come to all, but many do not know they have met them. The only preparation to take advantage of them, is simple fidelity to what each day brings."

A missed opportunity may well be another opportunity to prepare for a bigger and better one!

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March 6 - Daily Feast

Remember when you do anything, there will be someone that will find fault, no matter what you do. The pleasure of an unhappy person is to find something wrong in others to salve his own discontent. The Cherokees believe that tests sharpen their wit and help them, a s qua dv, win or triumph over opposite powers. It would be beneath them to accept criticism as something they must overcome. The Cherokees flick it off like, to is, pesky mosquitos. We all try to understand our differences of opinion, to care what effect we cause in other people. But the bane of anyone's existence is ignorance - our own. We want more than anything to correct what we know is wrong. And what we find wrong in others may be a reflection of our own wrongs.

~ May the white man and the Indian speak truth to each other today. ~

BLACKFOOT

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 6

"And there are Four Corners of the Earth that we talk about, the Four Colors of people, and the Four Winds. You see the winds-they are spirits."

--Grandfather William Commanda, ALGONQUIN

The Elders teach us about the four directions. If we learn about direction, we also learn about attention, about focus, and about power. Each direction has spiritual power. In the morning, go outside, face the East and get still; then, listen to your thoughts. After you have done this for a while, turn and face the West. Get quiet once again and listen to your thoughts. Did your thinking change when you changed direction?

Great Spirit, teach me the power of the four directions.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Haven't you heard someone say, after experiencing something either good or bad, "I knew it was going to be that way." And perhaps the conviction was very strong that certain conditions would take a definite turn. But much of the time we say it not out of conviction, but resignedly, agreeing beforehand that something will be a certain way, and usually with dire overtones.

It used to be believed that we had no power to control anything coming to us. We were mere victims of circumstances, almost like stones waiting to be kicked aside. But we were taught, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is."

We must not be so presumptuous as to believe we know everything there is to know about the workings of the mind. But we attract a great many of our problems simply by dwelling on them in our thoughts.

Premonition, or "knowing" things are going to be a certain way, is merely giving us a little time to head off the trouble. Such things should be a challenge, not an accepted rule. "Know" better until you believe it into conviction and into being.

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March 7 - Daily Feast

The first thing in the morning when our feet touch the floor, our feelings begin to feed us impressions. Not only do they review our situation in a few seconds, they decide if this is a good day or if it should be one of anxiety. This is the precise time to hush feelings and paint the day the way we want it to be - not to be fed from the negative side. We tell the wrong impressions that they are not acceptable, that we feel different than we have in the past. This is a new day and we are free and happy, able to change what needs to be changed, to do what needs to be done. There are times when we must go against our own feelings and dictate what we will have, shaping and reshaping the hours as we see fit.

~ When I make peace, it is a long and lasting one. There is no end to it. ~

SANTANA

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 7

"We are responsible for the condition of the Earth. We are the ones who are responsible and we can change that. If we wake up, it is possible to change the energy. It is possible to change everything."

--Hunbatz Men, MAYAN

The environment we want outside will be created by the mental pictures we have inside our heads. We must have the right environmental picture as well as the right values. These values will give the mental picture its true meaning. If we respected Mother Earth, we would not throw garbage on Her, nor would we put poison in Her. We would not misuse Her in any way. Mother Earth is like She is today because of the mental pictures of previous generations as well as the mental pictures of our own generation. If we want the environment to change, each individual must change their mental picture. "As within, so without."

Great Spirit, today, let me be alert to Your guiding voice.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

First things and first times....the newness of the present moment holds such a breath of youth, such a challenge, there are moments in everyone's life they wish they could relive. Just to recall those times when the newness, the memory of first things were beautiful and exciting.

But life never stands still. It moves forward or it decays. It cannot hold on to the past in any way. If the newness of first things has not grown into finer and more beautiful moments, then it cannot go on.

Everyone can recall something so dear that it becomes new again just by thinking about it. Courage, love, joy, contentment, all these can call to mind the special moments that were beginnings of new eras, new times in living. The scales of life tip this way and that to make those times full of meaning and sometimes vividly painful. And then sometimes it takes a season to mend the heart and spirit. When they are ready, the experience of new times and new beginnings and first things will bloom once more and the youthful challenge again enchants.
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We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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