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Old 08-05-2013, 05:57 AM   #1
bluidkiti
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Default Daily Feast - August

AUGUST 1st - 7th

Galo'nee
End of Fruit Month

Inclination to move from this land has no abiding place in our hearts, and when we move we shall move by the course of nature to sleep under this ground which the Great Spirit gave to our ancestors and which now covers them in their undisturbed repose.

CHIEF JOHN ROSS, 1830

August 1 - Daily Feast

Going fishing to the Cherokee is a na su hv s gv, and it is never a waste of time. And neither is dawdling along, or staring into space. Great people have known the wisdom of taking time to let their minds drift with the cork on a fishing line. Who is to say that sitting quietly doesn't do more than running all over looking aggressive and building up blood pressure? Silence and down-deep thought can be just as active as making a big stir. Sometimes we learn something by study, but going fishing makes us wise. We know we can't sit still forever - but a little escape from the stress and pressure certainly makes a happier, healthier person.

~ Several of our young people.....were instructed in all your sciences....but when they came back to us they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods.... ~

SIX NATIONS

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day August 1

"Everyone got to find the right path. You can't see it so it's hard to find. No one can show you. Each person got to find the path by himself."

--Charlie Knight, UTE

There are certain times in our lives when a voice whispers to us. The voice doesn't always talk. Usually we hear it best when we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Inside of every person is the knowledge that a Supreme Being exists. Sometimes a restlessness occurs and it makes me feel I need to be doing something or I need to be going somewhere or maybe I start wondering who am I? Often when this happens, I feel lost. Inside of everyone is the natural, built-in desire to be walking the Red Road, or to be seeking a relationship with the Creator. No one can force us to make this journey. We must make this journey because we want to. This journey is not on the outside. The path is inside of ourselves. It is inside that we must begin our search.

Oh Great Spirit, help me this day to look within myself. If trouble arises, let me realize that it's not what is going on but how I am looking at what's going on. Give me Your power this day to conduct myself according to Your way of life.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

How much voice do we really have in our own affairs? How free are we to speak out on the things we know and believe and want to say? How much voice do we have in public affairs?

How much goes unsaid because it may be bad for business, or it might make us look foolish? How often we should speak up but think it is none of our business. How quiet we are when someone's unethical hand does wrong?

What is it that inhibits us? Our own fears. Fear of our own ignorance, fear of losing, fear of the bugaboos we know lurk somewhere, but just aren't sure where.

Who are the people who are free of fears? They are the individuals who govern themselves in such a manner as to have thought our their own ideas enough to be able to speak freely for themselves.

Ethics would seem to be something to ignore if you wish to be successful in business. Many people strive harder today than at any other time to divide their lives so that being seen in church is good taste, and being unethical in business proves they are shrewd. Being successful isn't nearly as important as proving that they've gotten that way by the clever undoing of their opposition.

There was a time when building a better mouse trap by the most efficient methods gave us satisfaction, but too often these days we are impressed because someone is smart. Not smart with intelligence, but smart with the cunning that goes along with the jungle code of getting before someone gets you.

The person who tries to get ahead by ethical methods, and by wanting only to provide something better than is already in existence, must also be equipped to withstand ridicule.

Frankly, the race of the tortoise and the hare is still on, and while the hare is tearing around showing off its ability to be a fast runner, the tortoise is making progress, and never losing its way.

Socrates, being asked the way to honest fame, said, "Study to be what you wish to seem." Success takes time and moral discipline, but our success will be as human beings first, and then the crown of success in business will sit easily and firmly.


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August 2 - Daily Feast

It is not easy to forget the hours we spent as children along some sparkling stream - and there were more sparkling streams then. It is not hard to remember every sound that carried up the creek, how the fishing was, and how it tasted fresh from the water and cooked in an old tin skillet over an open fire. There were a nv s tsigi, violet flowers, blooming in clusters along the banks - and poison ivy we had to avoid - and didn't always. A cardinal sang a fishing song and the sound of oars dipped in warm water with a soft splish-splash. Bugs, like people on water-skis, slipped over the surface of water. And as we passed, tsisdvna, crawfish backed into holes in the mud. Every moment was a thing of joy and knocks softly on our minds today when the need for solitude is there.

~ What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night....the breath of a buffalo in the winter time....a little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. ~

CROWFOOT, 1821

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day August 2

"When you get older and you are ready, your ancestors will show up to guide you."

--Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE

Many of us, when we are young, spend a portion of our lives in learning. Unfortunately, some of us spend this time learning the hard way. When we are young we sometimes think we know everything. Sometimes we do foolish things. As we get a little older, we realize we don't know anything. This is when we become teachable. There is a saying that goes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. We usually aren't teachable unless we are ready. The ancestors are waiting and willing to help. When we are ready, many beautiful teachers start to come into our lives. Then we really start to grow and mature. We are ready for the spiritual lesson.

Creator, help me to become ready and teachable.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Prisoners never love their jails. And the same holds true for all kinds of prisoners, whether they be dogs on leashes or human beings tied to responsibilities. If they are there of their own free will and because they have a sense of belonging, the connecting link is made of love.

Responsible people with an assignment, and the feeling that it is theirs alone, will do it to the best of their ability and see it through. But is they must be watched and directed in every step, then it is a jail and the first thought is how to get out.

Freedom to be an individual with the right to make even small decisions is a precious possession. Freedom to come and go can build faith and trust within people, to make them stick closer than brothers. The rigid rules and constant prodding of a free spirit will force them to find that freedom.

We simply cannot keep another in bondage without being in bondage ourselves. To hold humanity by invisible force is to keep constant watch. And even beneath that watchful eye there will be a continual search for escape.

Anyone completely dependent upon others must always bear their will-O-the-wisp attitudes and the rising and lowering of the emotional tides. However, it is presumptuous of anyone to believe they can possibly be completely independent of others. Without other people, we cannot exist.

But to believe we are doing our best for anyone except ourselves is to build on sand. Of course others inspire us. They give us reasons to be better. They give us the benefit of their experience, but we seldom learn from that. We demand experience of our own. So consequently, we err and make it right. We mar and erase. And sometimes we try and fail, but always it is up to us to decide whether we do better or worse.

We can despair easily of allowed to become completely and utterly dependent upon others. They are human and they make mistakes. But we must know some measure of forgiveness the same as we must know some independence, if only in the spirit. And if the spirit is free, then all else shall be too.



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August 3 - Daily Feast

Love and abuse are never compatible. When someone claims to love us regardless of how they treat us, we should take it with a grain of salt. It is the cry of someone who needs to lean more than to love. Need is a net thrown over a prey. It is the spider tightening the threads of its web to catch what it needs. Love doesn't threaten and intimidate one minute and practice persuasion and promises the next. Love is not just emotional words. It is the need to give and support and protect, even when comfort is threatened. It is not manipulation and it is never, never u yo I gv ne di, abuse.

~ A child believes that only the action of someone who is unfriendly can cause pain. ~

CHASED-BY-BEARS

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day August 3

"Always remember you are Indian - do things to make your people proud."

--Joe Coyhis, STOCKBRIDGE-MUNSEE

All our choices and decisions will reflect on our people. We need to assume the accountability of honoring people. We must remember to conduct ourselves in a sacred way. Sometimes this is hard. But we must remember we have the assistance of the Spirit World, and we have the principles and values by which we should live written in our hearts. The Creator will help us develop into a strong people if we just learn to depend upon Him.

Great Spirit, lead me on the path of the Red Road.

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'THINK on THESE THINGS'
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

The setting of the sun on an old year is a kind of summing up time. What have you accomplished? What were your goals? Will they be higher in the new year?

Whatever your personal plans and whatever the reasons back of them, there are common everyday kinds of people that should be kept in view. They have positive outlooks, and are best recognized when sincerely listening to a child's words.

You will see them when they steady the elderly, you will know them by their kindness. You will not often hear their prayers as they are for their God. But you will know they are to be depended upon and that they will not tire of these things for it is their natural role.

Think about these people when you set your plans. They are good to remember. Your success or failure depends upon these people being you.



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August 4 - Daily Feast

Anytime we fall down in doing anything and we get up and have another go at it, count it all progress. It is getting up that makes a warrior, di tli hi, as the Cherokee says it. Getting up doesn't mean the warrior is fearless or that he is totally self-confident. It does mean that he gains confidence as he persistently keeps trying, and he fully expects strength to come as he needs it. He asks, na quu na? How about now? Everyone is afraid of a challenge, afraid of being down and staying down. But relying on the Great Spirit gives the courage to speak powerful words to bolster the human spirit. So, how about now?

~ I know the Great Spirit is looking down upon me from above, and will hear what I say.... ~

SITTING BULL

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day August 4

"Telling about our lives is important for those who come after as, for those who will see our experience as part of their own historical struggle."

--Linda Hogan, CHICKASAW

How important it is for us to support one another. How important it is for us to know our culture and to share our experiences with one another. How powerful it is to be authentic. How important it is to hold no secrets. I am as sick as my secrets.

Grandfather, allow me today to be willing to share with my brother and sister. Let my eyes see You in their eyes. Let me not judge them but only love them. Grandfather, help me, for I am Your humble servant.

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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 meant 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 those 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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August 5 - Daily Feast

It is strange how the same words spoken yesterday have a different meaning today. What can we say that we have not already said before? And what can be said that has not been said so many ways? Some words can be said any number of times and still be new. The Cherokees say, Gv ge yu a, I like you or I love you. I love you to the ultimate amount for one day. But it will not compare with tomorrow. Tomorrow brings its own container to be filled. As the sun rises and the moon sets, time moves swiftly, and the need to love and be loved never changes. It helps us appreciate the finer things, knowing our hours together are beautiful as polished gems that never lose their glow and always retain their value.

~ I felt glad as the ponies do when the fresh green grass starts in the beginning of the year. ~

TEN BEARS

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day August 5

"It is a paradox in the contemporary world that in our desire for peace we must willingly give ourselves to struggle."

--Linda Hogan, CHICKASAW

The Grandfathers have taught us about sacrifice. We have been taught to pray for the people in a pitiful way. Struggle and conflict is neither good nor bad, it just is. Everything that grows experiences conflict. When the deer is born it is through conflict. When the seed first grows, it is through conflict. Conflict precedes clarity. Everything has the seasons of growth. Recognize - acknowledge - forgive and change. All of these things are done through conflict.

Great Spirit, give me the courage today to see that struggle and conflict are here to teach me lessons that are a gift from you.

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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 diminishing your memory enter your mind at those times?

There's really no need to waste time thinking that way. 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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August 6 - Daily Feast

Nature is positive. When one part of it drops away and returns to the great continuum of life, new shoots, new sprouts of life stand nearby to complete the purpose. One season moves on so that another can take its place - but it is no more and no less important than the one before. It is inherent in nature to be positive - as it was in the beginning for human nature. But human nature was given the option of choosing good or bad. It chose to disobey, and now we know fear and anxiety. A Cherokee expression, u so nv-I ya dv ne di, calls this a wrong act, a misdeed, that brought about a long-standing situation that has to be dealt with more than we would like. But we have a choice as well, and we must consider who is standing alongside to be the new sprout to complete the purpose.

~ Great Spirit.....To the center of the world you have taken me and showed me the goodness and the beauty and the strangeness of the greening earth.....you have showed me, and I have seen. ~

BLACK ELK

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day August 6

"We have to have one mind for the Four Directions. Until we reach that one mind, we cannot be filled with understanding.... The Creator will not answer until you have just one mind, just like if you have one person."

--Grandfather William Commanda, ALGONQUIN

The Elders have taught us to balance our lives emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. If I am out of control emotionally, I get angry, doubtful or erratic, I am out of balance. If I trigger bad mental pictures of my brothers and sisters, I am out of balance. If I get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, I am out of balance physically. If I don't pray and talk to the Creator daily, I am out of balance spiritually. To be centered, I must be in balance. The Creator talks to me in the quiet and still place. So if I get angry, what I should do first is to pause and get still so I can hear the guidance of the Grandfathers.

Oh Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds, protect and keep me safe today - hear my prayers.

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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 thoughts 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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August 7 - Daily Feast

The path through the woods has a light layer of scarlet leaves that have fallen early from the woodbine. Crickets are chirping the coming of a new season - and the sassy blue jay, tla yv ga, agrees. Touching the earth is a lovely feeling that once again we find our beginnings. Whether we walk of plant or plow, it is a place created for us, a place to stand with bare feet to feel comfort spread quietly through us. The pulse of the earth slows our own and tranquilizes confusion. Seeing the ga lv lo I, sky, in its limitless depths stirs us to imagine, to stretch our awareness to know how much beauty is provided for us. It helps us to see that mean things can only last as long as we allow them. Nothing can hem us in when we know the freedom of spirit.

~ I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures.... ~

GERONIMO

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

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Elder's Meditation of the Day August 7

"Everything I know I learned by listening and watching."

--Vernon Cooper, LUMBEE

Sometimes my mind is talking so fast about so many different things that I can't slow it down. All day long I am judging and making assumptions about everything.


Great Spirit, help me this day to slow down. Help me to listen – quietly. Help me to watch carefully. Help me to listen to my inner voice. Let me listen and watch only the thing You would have me observe. Guide my eyes and my ears to be focused on You. Grandfather, love me today and teach me to be quiet.

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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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