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Old 04-29-2014, 11:22 AM   #1
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Default Daily Feast - May


Planting Month

We, the old settlers here in council with the late emigrants, they are perfectly friendly toward us.....we have full confidence they will receive you with all friendship.


May 1 - Daily Feast

A country road in May hums with activity. Bees comb the clover fields for nectar. Buttercups and dayflowers open to the sun and a mockingbird sets out to mimic every sound it has ever heard - even the baby chick. Wild onions and pink verbena share the space and the buttery blooms of buffalo peas nod in spring breezes. Only now the air has warmed to the sun and the plants and leaves of oaks grow so much overnight that the sky closes in like a cocoon. Now is the time to slow down and enjoy the minute changes as they come hourly, the scents, the roadsides filled with new plants, and the green hills and valleys. They come quickly, the di ga ne tli yv sdi, changes, that sometimes mature before we see the difference. If we are not careful, our clouded thought and vision shut it out until we have missed the best part.

~ This brings rest to me heart. I feel like a leaf after a storm, when the wind is still. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 1

"All living creatures and all plants derive their life from the sun. If it were not for the sun, there would be darkness and nothing could grow—the earth would be without life."


This is why we call the sun, Father Sun. Father Sun shines life on Mother Earth and from this Father and Mother all life forms exist and continue to reproduce. The Sun shines on all; it is not selective. We should not allow anything to block the Sun from shining on the Earth. We must not pollute the air because the pollutants block the light of life to the Earth. If the Earth cannot receive this light, then life will start to be affected. We must live in harmony with the Sun and Earth. Otherwise, we are harming ourselves.

My Creator, give me the wisdom to live in harmony with all things.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

There's a song that says " ain't necessarily so," and it certainly isn't! How often we accept someone's casual remarks as fact. Even appearances can be misleading. But, knowing this, we still have a tendency to take a thread and build a yard cloth.

It makes all the difference in the world when we believe. To simply accept an opinion, even our own when hastily formed indicates a lack of sound thought.

We sometimes have the failing of believing everything we hear. But it is far wiser to know with certainty, the facts about a teaching by looking at its followers.

The eyes and ears of our hearts and spirits are often more accurate in determining right from wrong than we can expect from normal hearing and seeing. However blessed we are to have our faculties, we are still in dire need of that sixth sense known as common sense.

Only the very foolish can close their eyes to truth and accept without question the many issues of life that face us daily. Surely we must form opinions and carry on, but we need those who have the ability to think clearly and truthfully. All else is merely opinion.


May 2 - Daily Feast

It is true that if we get past this one hard place, all our problems will be solved? But each day has its share of such places - if not in our lives, then in the lives of those we care so much about. We are so interchangeably connected that whatever touches one of us touches us all. A ne lv to di, one strong effort, one day at a time, one step, one question, Are we reliable? Or do we get other people to cover our tracks so that we can go on doing what we want to do? When a hard spot, a habit, an addiction dogs our tracks, it is because we have not made up our minds to turn around and face it. Trying to make it acceptable only robs us of what we need most of all - to love ourselves and to respect ourselves. But we cannot do it alone. Only the Great Holy Spirit, and He alone, can give us the power.

~ The Great Spirit does right. He knows what is best for His children. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 2

"Think only about what is holy. Empty your mind."

--Archie Fire Lame Deer, LAKOTA

If we let our minds wander, we will come up with a lot of junk: maybe bad thoughts about a brother or sister, maybe angry thoughts, maybe self-pity thoughts. Our minds are not the boss. We can instruct our mind to think about whatever we want to think about. We cannot stop thinking, be we can choose what to think about. The Elders say we move towards what we think about. That's why they say, "Think about what is holy, think about the Grandfathers, think about culture, think about values, think about ceremonies, and think about good."

Great Spirit, today, empty my mind and let me experience what it would be like to think about what is holy.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

All things in sequence, first the bud and then the flower. We can no more hold back the blossom than we can the daylight. It is inevitably there, beautifully delicate and subject to crushing. Only through very careful tending will it withstand the winds and rain and pressures of the outside.

Sequence is the order of human life. God intended us to unfold as the flower: first the seed in fertile soil, the birth, the growth, the learning, the discoveries, the knowledge, the desires, the fulfillment as each phase of life follows its own sequence. We hold back the flowering of life only if we want it to be nonexistent, for it must progress. And in some of the most tender spots progression must be slow, easy, and reverently handled, for it can be as fragile as the flower.

There is within us a delicacy of thought which entwines itself throughout our beings, crossing from phase to phase, creating within us conflicts not easily understood. Something out of sequence in one phase may postpone the flowering of another phase. The very roots of our souls must be watered with reverence to successfully follow the sequence of life. If no other human understands or cares to understand, if we do, then continue - first the bud and then the flower.

Of all the intricate and complicated creations in the world, humanity occupies the first place. Our lives are made up of such flexuous combinations of body, soul, and spirit that we do not even understand ourselves.

We all desire to know what makes us tick and how to go about making ourselves tick better. Whether we realize it or not, we are in search of the truth of our own being. Why are we here? What step should we take next? One problem after another, questions after question brings us to this place again and again.

They are our personal problems and the wisest of persons cannot give us the answers. We will always need help to encourage us in our search, but we must go within ourselves to cure, to live, to feel, to believe.

We must win our own hearts before we can find happiness with others. We must know what we want and be willing to share it with others, for it is written that life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindnesses win and preserve the heart.

English divine John Mason wrote these words, "By these things examine thyself: By whose rules am I acting: in whose name; in whose strength. In whose glory? What faith, humility, self-denial and live of God and to man have there been in all my actions?"


May 3 - Daily Feast

Living catches up with us quickly when we let everything become drudgery. We stop learning. We quit looking with interest, and we stop being aware of our own needs and feelings. Everything becomes routine and nothing new is on the horizon. We blame far too much on age. Age has little to do with the blue fog we let settle over us and the things we usually care about. It is our lack of energy brought about by our lack of vision. A ga yv li, the elderly, are held in high regard in all Indian tribes. They have to remember so they can tell the young - and they would tell us to watch our mouths so not to speak negatively. They would tell us to renew our vision. They say our potential is unlimited and we will know when something or someone lights our candle.

~ What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the Sunset. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 3

"But I have learned a lot from trees: sometimes about the weather, sometimes about animals, sometimes about the Great Spirit."

--Walking Buffalo, STONEY

Nature is the greatest teacher on the Earth. Nature produces many different plants, animals, trees, rocks, birds, insects and weather patterns. Nature designed all these various things to grow and multiply while at the same time live in harmony with each other. We can learn a lot of we observe and study Nature's system of harmony and balance. Today, go sit on a rock and quietly observe and ask to be shown the lessons.

Great Spirit, Nature is my teacher. Today, let me be the student.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Are you one of those people who degrades yourself in idle conversation until it becomes a fact within your mind? Has it become your belief that this is true humility, talking down your abilities, hiding your light, refusing to accept your rights as a child of God as being meek and humble?

This thing called life is given to us for a purpose, never to downgrade; no more than we should blow it out of proportion by thinking too highly of ourselves.

Each life is important, each breath for a purpose, each moment a time for learning. Walt Whitman has written in Leaves of Grass: "Whoever you are! Motion and reflection are especially for you; the divine ship sails the divine sea for you. Whoever you are! You are he or she for whom the earth is solid and liquid, you are he or she for whom the sun and moon hang in the sky, for none more than you are the present and the past. For none more than you is immortality."

By our words we reveal our minds. It is so easy to refuse to be a channel through which the best can reveal itself. And it is so easy to forget that our song of life, as Whitman has written, "The song is to the singer, and comes back most to him. I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall be complete!"

Human beings worry a great deal about what others think. It is a nagging worry that somehow the curtain that protects our privacy from the eyes of the world will suddenly drop and allow us to see all the things our pride has hidden.

Why is it that we seemingly need to be clever in order to handle the world? Why can't we just live honestly and openly, without scheming and trying to appear that we are something we are not? The world is so heavy laden with priggish pride that the clean simple truth is lost in playing it cool. Why can't we quit being something pent up inside and be something like sunshine or showers right out here where we can enjoy it or get over it?

Socrates said that the shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be. And we may just as well, because if there isn't a good cake under all that frosting, someone is going to know it anyway. To drop all pretense and say with genuine honesty, "This is the way I am" would be to find a whole new way of enjoying the simplicity of being ourselves.


May 4 - Daily Feast

Little things speak to our hurts. Sounds, fragrances, music that would mean nothing to others, reach into our souls to do a work that the obvious could not touch. Simple remedies can heal the deepest ills - a smile, a contented whistle of a passerby, the sounds of birds twittering at dusk - these things warm us and give us hope. But we have to listen for voices, inner and outer, to give us rest - and turn away the negative talk, the negative circumstance. We don't always believe we have a choice - but we have more space there to work than we know. We can no longer scoff at the power to help ourselves. We have a bigger hand in it than imagined, and it is our decision to get down to business and be open to help and healing from unlikely sources.

~ Day and night cannot dwell together. Your religion was written on tables of stone, ours was written on our hearts. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 4

"Dead -- I Say? There is not death. Only a change of worlds."

---- Chief Seattle, DWAMISH

There are two Worlds that exist. The Seen World and the Unseen World. Sometimes these worlds are called the Physical World and the Spiritual World. The Elders say, when it is time to go to the other side, our relatives will appear a few days before to help us enter the Spirit World. This is a happy place; the hunting is good; the place of the Grandfathers, the Creator, the Great Spirit, God, is a joyful place.

Grandfathers, today, let me look forward to the Spirit World. Bless all my Relations.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Is there ever a perfect time? A wise mother says there isn't. She advises us to take life by the hand and march right into the middle, and then start digging out the corners. She says not to wait for a perfect time to do anything, because a perfect time never quite makes it. We simply have to go ahead and make it as near perfect as possible.

A perfectionist is usually someone who can never find the perfect way, and gives up in futility. But the one who aims at perfection and does not wait for it, is at least moving and there's nothing useless about that. Unless we are moving, we resemble Tennyson's description: "Faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null, dead perfection; no more."

We have to face life, not under the pressures of perfection, but by pure faith. We have to go on accepting and rejecting as we come to each phase.

"For perfection does not exist," said eighteenth century writer Alfred de Musset. "To understand it is the triumph of human intelligence; to expect to possess it is the most dangerous kind of madness."

In the rush of too much to do, we stack up for ourselves things we are going to do, things we ought to do, and things we intend to do. We do first the things of necessity, we take time to think a little about what we ought to do, and the rest is left to good intentions.

Frequently the good intentions hold the key to our happiness. While we bog down in the necessities of living, the things that mean so much slip away unnoticed. We always expect other people to know that we intended to do this or that, but we must realize that they cannot read our good intentions. Good intentions have the same look as nothing at all. And we have to draw our own conclusions as to what our thoughts and feelings are. Only if we express them can we ever hope for others to know what we would like to do, even though circumstances may hinder us.

It has been written that intelligent beings have what it takes to surpass themselves. By sensible thought we can actively express our good intentions and this opens the way for fulfillment.


May 5 - Daily Feast

Remembering can be painful and sometimes without any real benefit. But much of the time it helps us move ahead like a spur that tells us not to tarry but to go on and do what we have to do. It is far too easy to carry around, a u s ga nv tsv, a false guilt, a wrong idea, to override our good memories. We lose sight of the positive things we have done and the happiness we have shared by recalling a thousand impossible wishes we wanted to come true. But it does no good to dwarf the present time because the past was not what we hoped it would be. We cannot help but recall things and times and people dear to us - but to remember them with pleasure does them more honor than to focus on what we did or couldn't do in the past.

~ Our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch of our ancestors as we walk over this earth. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 5

"There are many things to be shared with the four colors of man in our common destiny as one family upon our Mother the Earth."

---- Traditional Circle of Elders, NORTHERN CHEYENNE

The Elders tell us the time will come when the four colors of Man will unite into one family. According to prophecies, we were told this would happen when the Sun was blocked in the Seventh Moon. There was an eclipse of the Sun in July, 1991. We are now in a new Springtime called the Coming Together Time. Each of the four colors of man has knowledge that the other colors need to heal their families. Let us all be willing to sit in a circle and respect our differences.

Creator, let me be willing to have an open mind.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Realizing that there is a multitude of wonderful things to appreciate, we must shake them all together in our minds and wait for the chosen ones to rise up the top like bubbles. Life is such a challenge, such a joy to live when it is appreciated. If we could only realize who gave is life, we would understand even more why the Creator intended us to appreciate and love all that is about us.

The things we can appreciate are never in any particular order, but mingled together as they are in our lives. We can so beautifully and joyfully appreciate the sound of our children's laughter when sudden happiness overtakes them; the tremendous and moving power of silent prayer; a strong voice singing a song of inspiration, or of sentiment; early morning sunrises, misty pink and fresh; a mockingbird singing out its heart in the depth of night; the touch of souls in understanding; violin music; and our children in prayer, in spells of delight, or in any other movement.

To name them all would be an impossibility, to live them all is a blessing. We must not pass these things by without appreciating them. We must not lose them by failing to give thanks. These are the things we always have near us, and we can appreciate them merely by attuning our senses to them.


May 6 - Daily Feast

When we let down our guard, habit is waiting to reclaim its territory. It seems innocent and it is so familiar that we seldom suspect what teeth it has! Once we decide to change something, we can't expect to do it in one great sweep. What has taken us over by such tiny degrees must be edged out the same way. The fact that we are taking small steps does not minimize a very great commitment. Little by little, we reform our habits, making sure we leave no void for any other bad habit to fill. If we have, a ne lo at nv, made an effort or tried to change and failed, it is probably because we tried to do it along or denied the need to change. The Cherokees believes he needs, a u na li go sv, a help or a partnership, to give him support. It may be another, v da di lv quo at nv, a special or blessed person that is grounded in the Galun lati.

~ I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 6

"We must remember that the heart of our religion is alive and that each person has the ability within to awaken and walk in a sacred manner."

---- Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

The Native Spirituality is full of life. When we seek it we become alive. Even if we have gone astray and have conducted ourselves in a bad way, we can look within and have a new awakening to life. Maybe we have drunk too much alcohol; maybe we have cheated on our spouse; maybe we have done things that make us feel guilty and ashamed. If we look outside ourselves, we will not find life; if we look inside, we will find life. Anytime we choose to change our lives, we only need to look inside. How do we do this? Take some sage and light it, close your eyes and say to the Great Spirit, I'm tired, I need your help. Please help me change.

Great Spirit, I know you exist inside of myself. Let me awaken to your teachings.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Henry David Thoreau, whose cry was "Simplify! Simplify!" went to great measures to prove to himself, and perhaps to society, that life could be lived in the most simple manner and at the least expense. With only a few dollars he managed to provide for himself the things of absolute necessity for quite a long period of time.

Not many of us would care to exist on the absolute necessities. We have become too much accustomed to easier living. Things that were once thought of as luxuries are now considered necessities. And yet, with all of this, life is anything but simple. We seem to have the ability to complicate the best laid plans and find ourselves shadow boxing.

Like many of the trite old adages, "Life is what we make it," is so true. By our own minds we accept of reject, by ignoring or by searching out the causes of shadows and removing the cause. It is whatever we elect to do about our individual lives that makes the difference. But we shall make great strides when we recognize the supreme excellence in all things of simplicity.

We don't need to worry about doing without the necessary things in life - if we have a grateful heart. A grateful heart is not just remembering to write a few words to someone who has done a kindness, or saying thank you graciously and at the right moment. A grateful heart is the feeling of great blessing which precedes that thank you note and that verbal expression.

A grateful heart is one that always known the fullness of that rich feeling of first being grateful without cause. And then, all other gratitude and its expression comes naturally.

Perhaps true gratitude is a grateful thoughts toward heaven that I should be chosen to fill this spot, do this work, and have been given the strength to do it.

It was Romaine, the English theologian, who said, "Gratitude to God makes even a tempered blessing a taste of heaven." We can have so much more heaven with a grateful heart.


May 7 - Daily Feast

If we ignore everything beautiful and look down the road to some future time, chances are it will be the same. This is the time, the e to a, the now, the present, to see the dearness of other people, the chance to be grateful - to enjoy. Why wait? Perfect times are elusive. They create an atmosphere that life should be lived on some high emotional level instead of experiencing love. Time goes by. The peaks were not what made life worthwhile - but the in-between times that gave us a chance to stand in the quiet of a wooded glen, even if it is just in our hearts, and know that love made it all worthwhile. Love will continue to make each a giant of peace in our souls.

~ I want to tell you if the Great Spirit had chosen anyone to be chief of this country, it is myself. ~


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


Elder's Meditation of the Day May 7

"We must all become caretakers of the Earth."

---- Haida Gwaii Traditional Circle of Elders

Mother Earth is the source of all life. We should not only be concerned about the part of the Earth we live on, but we should be concerned about the parts of the Earth that other people live on. The Earth is one great whole. The trees in Brazil generate the air in the Untied States. If the trees are cut in Brazil, it affects the air that all people breathe. Every person needs to conscientiously think about how they respect the Earth. Do we dump our garbage out of the car? Do we poison the water? Do we poison the air? Am I taking on the responsibility of being a caretaker of the Earth?

Great Spirit, today, I will be aware of the Earth. I will be responsible.


By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Today I heard the laughter of children at play. Their voices filled the air almost like chimes. And I felt their arms about my neck and their sticky kisses on my face. How blessed I am! Today I heard a mockingbird trilling out every single song it ever heard from its winged friends. I closed my eyes and in the trees I heard all the voices I've heard since childhood, and it took me through all the happy, breathless, precious times I loved so much.

Today I heard my mother's voice calling to me happily. It was a good, strong, healthy voice that has called to me courage, and hope and peace, and shall continue to call down many lanes to me.

Today I heard my child's voice. I heard her singing, I heard her praying, I heard her laughing and talking. I heard her teasing and moving from place to place in all the activities I love to see her in.

Now, even more than ever I realize how grateful I am that God has given me the excellent faculty of hearing. I shall with all diligence try to hear nothing evil, but only love and peace which is my heritage.
"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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