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Old 03-31-2014, 03:11 PM   #1
bluidkiti
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Default Daily Feast - April

Tsi law'nee
Flower Month

It seems to me that the rulers of the Cherokees have sufficient intelligence to see the utter imbecility of placing any further reliance upon the Supreme Court....

Governor Wilson Lumpkin
Georgia, 1831

April 1 - Daily Feast

In ages past, our old ones were the storytellers. This was the way things were passed along to the generations that followed. For this reason the aged people made it a point to remember every detail so they could relate it at a later time. They were the word and picture carriers making history and spiritual values alive and important. In recent times we have made our old ones think they are not so important. We spoof their stories and make them feel foolish. The truth is that we are ignorant of what is precious and how to, a da li he li tse di, appreciate age. Rigidity can creep in and set even the young mind if there are no soft memories, no laughter, no times too deep for tears. Age is grace - a time too valuable to waste.

~ We can get over being poor, but it takes longer to get over being ignorant. ~

JANE SEQUICHIE HIFLER

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - April 1

"People think other things are more important than prayer, but they are mistaken."

--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

An Elder once said the most important thing you can do in the course of a day is to pray. If we get up late or oversleep, which is more important? Rush to work without praying or pray first and then go to work? The Elders say it's more important to pray. If we get angry, should we act on our anger or should we pray first? The Elders say it's more important to pray first. If, during the day, we face indecision, what should we do? PRAY. If, during the day, we become irritated or we experience fear, what should we do first? PRAY. The Warrior who prays first will lead a different life from those who pray last.

Great Spirit, teach me to pray first!

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

A new galaxy of shining promises made to oneself are resolutions made with the utmost faith that self is listening and will carry out the plans.

But self is as unpredictable as a child playing in the street; it may dart in any direction, according to the mood and to whatever catches its attention. At the first signs of a challenge, self may race back and lean hard upon the old ways of doing things, no matter how wrong it might be. Resolutions do very little to change a way of living. They are easily made and easily forgotten. There may be a sincere desire to keep a resolution, but if self has not changed inwardly, little can depend on the outward change.

It is said that we promise according to our hopes and perform according to our selfishness. Failure to keep our promises to others is a disappointment, but failure within oneself is disaster.

A little performance is worth a host of promises on any day that starts a new year.

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April 2 - Daily Feast

What we know in our heads is not always workable until we get it down in our hearts. The heart is the very core of us, the spirit, the vital, u li s go li yv. Some call it the subconscious, the file room of our experiences and beliefs - the substance of who we are. Sometimes we file things in this inner-storage that are not to our benefit - fear for the most part. And fear is the subtle destroyer of the human spirit. But there are other things there as well, some of it information we neither remember nor even know we have recorded. Like old files, it needs to be cleaned out. But how can we clean out what we do not know we have? By self-monitoring, by plumbing the depths in writing, drawing out our own thought the way we prime an old pump to draw up water. It takes honesty spiked with a good sense of humor. Getting to know oneself is worth the effort.

~ Again....I recall the great vision you sent me. It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. ~

BLACK ELK, 1912

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - April 2

"With children we always have to think about seven generations to come but yet unborn."

--Janice Sundown Hattet, SENECA

What we do today will effect the children seven generations form now. How we treat the Mother Earth will affect the children yet to be born. If we poison the water today, our children's children will be affected by the decision we made. Our children are the gateway to the future. Let us conscientiously think about the children and the seven generations to come.

My Creator, I thank you for my ancestors, seven generations ago.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

It is always amazing to hear someone scoff at the serious things. Perhaps they only scoff because they can't recognize anything really serious outside their own personal problems....Or maybe they are just afraid to acknowledge anything they don't understand.

Whatever it is that keeps people thinking in such a limited area adds to the residue of dullness in their minds. And until they can mature enough to believe in something worthwhile, they continue to add layer after layer of residue to the mind.

It is not surprising that some people believe themselves in possession of all knowledge to the point that they feel free to ridicule those who are still in the process of thinking things out. We can never truly judge another's reasoning. We can only see the results and with time it may be the person will break through that accumulation to wisdom and kindness that is so necessary in tolerating others' opinions and beliefs. Then will the residue diminish and there will be a renewal of the spirit.

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April 3 - Daily Feast

Why must we judge ourselves by what someone else is saying? They only think. Is it possible to fit our lives into the narrow confines of theirs? Let us search our souls. We have spiritual connections uniquely our own - deeper in many ways than those of people who want us to be like they are. But there is no way we can be like another person. We can only be better people in our own way. We know right from wrong, regardless of how the world-at-large has tried to condition us. Nothing can keep us from hearing our own voices of common sense - nothing, that is, but the noise and clamor of outside voice. And yes, maybe some are inside. But they have no good purpose; they mean to destroy. We need not dally with trouble. We can refuse to be a part of anything that was not a gift of, Galun lati - the Great Spirit.

~ To fight is to forget ourselves as Indians in the world. ~

MONTEZUMA

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - April 3

"We know that in all creation, Only the human family Has strayed from the Sacred Way."

--OJIBWAY Prayer

How have we gotten so far off track? What has happened to us? What is happening to our family? How did it happen so quickly? Every individual needs to answer these questions for themselves. What do we need to do to start living the Sacred Way again? Pray! Today I will start praying. I pray the Creator will lead all Native People to a great healing. I pray we'll be free from alcohol and drugs. I pray we will return to the culture, to spirituality and to unity.

My Mother, help us to heal ourselves. Make us strong again.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Frequently quoted American editor and author Christian Nestell Bovee wrote that sensitiveness is closely allied to egotism - indeed excessive sensitivity is only another name for morbid self-consciousness.

He wrote that the cure for it was to make more of our objectives and less of ourselves. And it isn't easy to make less of ourselves.

Everyone at some time has felt extreme sensitivity toward people and surroundings. It is a sensitiveness that does not always have a good effect - seemingly for no reason at all we exercise no control over the emotions. It can be frightening to realize that we are quite as capable of destroying as we are, at other times, of building.

It is written in the essays of Aristotle that there are right things to say and a right way of saying them; and the same is true of listening. So often we make a casual remark, not mean to be tactless, but somehow it turns out that way. When there is a desire to appear witty, or clever, at someone else's expense, there should be no pride in the results.

And when we listen to someone's casual remark and take offense, we must examine our own thoughts. If we allow our minds to run in channels of vulgarity and mockery, then we can also expect to interpret others' words to mean the same things.

We can so easily read the wrong things into others' conversations, and in our own efforts to express ourselves say such foolish things that we lose the priceless gifts of relaxation and fun of conversing with other people. And for these reasons we must cultivate the art of speaking and listening with the warmest heart - which harbors nothing that is not right.

It is a good idea in the most sensitive times to recognize them for what they are and to make a pact within one's self to by pass this time for serious thought and decision making. This, above all, should be a time for relaxing against the wind of oversensitivity. To resist it only strengthens it, and to look at it clearly and coolly will take away its mystery and its heat.

It is well to remember that the too-sensitive person is not the true self, but the one with the marvelous mental attitude most certainly is - wait for that person!

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April 4 - Daily Feast

Our choices have brought us to this place. Other people affected us to some degree, but never so much as what we chose to do and how we choose to react. We are at the point the Cherokees call the hour of, tsu du go at nv, the place where we decide who is to sit at the forefront of our lives to guide the way. The hardest part is to stop thinking dilemma and start thinking and talking solutions. There is no room in problem solving for self-pity, not even revenge. Past events may have been wrong, but now we have to see it as change, not always our doing, but we have to handle it anyway. It is here that we decide to be happy, to be examples so that younger ones will want to follow. It is a worthy thing to be a good example. We may never know who will be watching.

~ Convince the world by your character that Indians are not as they have been shown. ~

JOHN ROSS

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - April 4

"You can pray for whatever you want, but it is always best to pray for others, not for yourself."

--John Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA

When you are selfish and you pray, you are requesting things to flow only to you. When you are selfless, you are praying for things to flow to others. The old ones say this is the highest form of prayer. Praying this way is according to the Natural Laws.

Great Spirit, today, let my thoughts be about others.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Remember all those times when you made three trips to the other room to get something, and before you got there you had already forgotten what it was? Didn't the thought of age dimming your member enter your mind at those times?

There's really no need to waste time thinking that deep. It is not the case of a scattered memory, but a skittery mind, jumping from one subject to another with only circumstances to remind you.

And haven't you awakened sharply in the middle of the night because suddenly you remembered something you should have done, or something you must do? Age again? No, it was the only time your subconscious mind ever found you quiet enough to remind you of something you wanted to remember.

Life would be so much more orderly if we took several minutes night and morning to sit completely away from outside sights and sounds to recall the important things. As long as we are able to see and hear the activity about us we have difficulty thinking soundly. The conscious mind is capable of carrying just so much, and then the debris must be cleared away before the "filed away" things in the subconscious can be remembered.

"Be still and know...."

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April 5 - Daily Feast

Power of some kind affects everything we do. But this power is not political or electronic so that one little glitch can wipe it out in seconds. The real power is what the Cherokee calls, adadolisdi - which is prayer. Quicker than lightning, it if is handled the right way it can do anything. Born of spirit, this power is dynamite. It does not rely on outside currents of energy to keep it going, but thrives on self-generated faith that is properly fed and well-kept. We have no idea how dynamic this inner power is until we begin to rely totally on things and people outside ourselves. It is then that we feel the lack of joy needed to connect us to powerful, adadolisdi, the language of love and worship. We can overcome the impossible with fire and nettle. We can grow in stamina with every breath - when we learn to use the power that is within us.

~ We may quarrel with men about things on earth, but we never quarrel about the Great Spirit. ~

CHIEF JOSEPH

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - April 5

"As we plunge ahead to build empires and race for supremacy we should stop and listen to [the female] song of life. For without the female there is no life."

Women are created with the ability to produce life. Women have a special tie to the Earth Mother. They have something in common. They are the source of life. The Earth Mother gives songs to the Woman to sing. These songs are about life, about beauty, about children, about love, about family, about strength, about caring, about nurturing, about forgiveness, about God. The World needs to pay attention and listen to Her. She knows.

Great Spirit, let me listen to Her songs.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

It doesn't seem that a simple thing like going fishing could have such excellent results when the world suddenly seems too much. It is a very difficult thing to worry when your mind is fixed intently on a little red and white plastic float bobbing in the water.

Just taking one's mind off the general routine of living for even a short time is like a much needed and appreciated vacation. We seldom recognize the need for getting away from the monotony of following each day with another day exactly like it. We lose the value of the hours and minutes and lump them all together and plod along expecting miracles to come someday and save us.

The effort we have to give is in releasing the problem and concentrating on something beautifully simple and uncomplicated. Living doesn't seem so ominous when we can go fishing for a little peace and quiet, and sidetrack the things that weigh so heavily on our minds.

Good health is such a blessing. We don't all realize how much we aid or harm our own health. In fact, we give much more thought to being careful not to get wet than being careful not to get angry. And it is said that anger can lower resistance to colds much quicker than getting wet.

It is a proven fact that to feel love builds a resistance to illnesses while resentment and hate can destroy both mind and body.

Longfellow once wrote that joy, temperance, and repose would slam the door on the doctor's nose. There's no doubt but that most doctor's noses are safe. But they, too, would be glad if more patients would exercise their abilities to lift themselves out of much of their ill health by knowing some measure of joy rather than self pity, some healthy thoughts and less thought of self.

We lower our resistance to ill health in many ways, but none works against us as surely as worry, anxiety, and care, plus our inability to recognize the fact that we are our own greatest enemy.

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April 6 - Daily Feast

These are times when it pays to take a second look - to really pay attention to those things that cross our paths. We may have already missed a wonderful experience by hasty judgment. When quick judgments are made from a limited point of view, the good qualities of anything are hidden. It is essential to look beyond first impressions if we are ever to find a rare jewel. Even, Galun lati, is helpless to send us blessing if we are dull of spirit and incapacitated by our own smart minds. In our "expert" attitudes, we sometimes allow the very things that would make us peaceful and happy pass by without lifting a hand. Wisdom is being able to see quality in the rough - and then being gentle and patient enough to shape it to perfection.

~ How can we trust you? When Jesus Christ came on earth, you killed him and nailed him to a cross. ~

TECUMSEH 1810

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - April 6

"Everybody should pray together, cheer along, root along. That brings the circle together. Everything is together."

--Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

Life on the Earth can sometimes be very complicated. Sometimes we think we are alone in our problems. Sometime we even withdraw. Then the problems become even more difficult. We need to watch out for one another, to care for one another, to pray together, to encourage one another; and we need to support one another. Behaving in this manner will bring the circle together.

Great Spirit, today, let me support my brothers and sisters.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Surely there is nothing so peaceful to the eye as the quiet, soft-hued hills resting in the autumn sun. We think if we could only get to those hills we could walk in the warmth of that sunlight and feel that peace in every nerve and muscle.

But so frequently we are unable to follow our wills. We are forced to sit where we are. And the very thought of being bound to this spot sometimes makes us restless, perhaps beyond reason. It creates a feeling of panic, that life will never be peaceful.

And then we look up into the limitless sky and see the depths and immensity of the universe, and we know that nothing binds us. That is, unless we want to be bound.

If we were to go to those hills, there would be others in the distance that would look as inviting. To hunt for peace outside ourselves is to ever be in search, and so to be bound again. But to loose that infinitely beautiful truth that peace is never there or there - but here, within me.

Most of us are lovers of familiar things. We love the routine of living, the security of knowing what is going to happen at a certain hour on a certain day. We love the knowledge that we will continue to love others even though we may not like what they are doing at the moment. We find great peace in knowing others will continue to love us even when we've been foolish.

The exciting and livable life is not always one of being on the go, being in entertaining places. The real life of life is not spangles that glitter and one continual round of gaiety.

Life is contentment, living in depth with a genuine love for work seasoned with recreation and freedom to worship where we choose and to pursue our talents as we please.

English author Samuel Johnson tells us that the fountain of content must spring up in the mind; and they who have so little knowledge of human nature as to see happiness by changing anything but their own dispositions will waste their lives in fruitless efforts.

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April 7 - Daily Feast

It seems only yesterday when the first cold wind blew in and laid flat the wild rose and turned the canes gray. Leaves turned and dropped. Snows fell and drifted. Winter threatened to last forever. But it didn't. Spring runs in and out like a child opening and slamming a door just to irritate us. The birds are flirting and meadows abound with baby calves in their first days. It is a time of change - not only in nature but in us. We enjoy that breaking point between late winter and early spring. In our mind's eye we know where the wild phlox will spread its fragrance and the oxeye daisies will crowd the narrow path. It is with the same eye that we see ourselves blooming with health and prospering beyond our dreams. Only those who walk under a cloud miss the joy of this time, the open meadows and greening hills.

~ Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play....Where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day. ~

ANONYMOUS

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day - April 7

"Women. They have the power of generations. Women have the power to have children and not to have children."

--Cecilia Mitchell, MOHAWK

The Woman is not only the key to life; she is also the key to future generations. An Elder once joked that the Woman only needs the man for one night. We need to look at and respect the power of the Woman. She is special and we need to treat her that way.

Great Spirit, today, let me show the greatest respect to our Women.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

We all develop our own ways of centering our lives on something. In our minds we each have a design of what we think we are capable of being. If we want to be what we think we are capable of being, then we must hold our design firmly in our minds until it is secured as the focal point.

Each life must have that focal point, that center of interest where all phases of life come together. A focal point gives strength and meaning to the smallest details of everyday living.

Dimension and depth belong to the life that is centered. Though it may take many forms we must always have a "home" to return to, knowing that here are the roots, the things that really matter.

There must be a blending of our lives with others. But to be happy with one's self, that focal point must be steady and true before we can feel contented that "all's right with the world".
__________________
"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!
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