Cherokee Morning Song

Monday, November 25, 2013

Native Writings For Your Enjoyment

Elder's Meditation of the Day

 "People and nations who understand the Natural Law are self-governing, following the principles of love and respect that insure freedom and peace."
  Traditional Circle of Elders, NAVAJO-HOPI Joint Use Area

 The Natural Laws work hand-in-hand with the circle. Each part of a circle will look to the center and will see something different. For example, if you put an irregular shaped object in the center of a circle and you have people standing in a circle around the object, each one will describe it differently. Everyone in the circle will be right. Only by honoring and respecting everyone's input, can the truth about the object be revealed. We need to learn to honor differences.
 My Creator, let me honor all differences.
 Don Coyhis

Elder's Meditation of the Day

 "It's the most precious know absolutely where you belong. There's a whole emotional wrapping-around-of-you here. You see the same rock, tree, road, clouds, sun -- you develop a nice kind of intimacy with the world around you. To be intimate is to grow, to is absolutely fulfilling. Intimacy, that's my magic word for why I live here."
 --Tessie Maranjo, SANTA CLARA PUEBLO

 Every human being, to be mentally healthy, must have the feeling of belonging. When we have a sense of belonging we can be intimate. We can feel. We can connect. If we cannot develop this feeling of belonging, then we will feel lost of disconnected. To be disconnected from life is like walking around during the day not knowing the Sun exists. To have the feelings of intimacy is warm, glowy, joyful, loving, and connected. The feeling this Elder is talking about is available to everyone.
 Great Spirit, let me be intimate.
Don Coyhis

Children Are The Future 
Children are gifts of the Creator and of ourselves. By raising them to the best of our ability, we are reciprocating that gift and showing our thankfulness for life and for the blessings of the Great Spirit. This requires much time, love, forgiveness, and understanding on the part of the parents and grandparents-- but the rewards for the child (and for the community as a whole) are immeasurable.
Also, it is not enough to raise your own children and grandchildren. You should bestow what you can to all
 children of the earth.

It is strictly believed and understood by the Sioux that a child is the greatest gift from Wakan Tanka in response to
 many devout prayers, sacrifices, and promises. Therefore the child is consid-ered "sent by Wakan Tanka" through some element--namely the element of human nature.

Elder's Meditation of the Day

 "Language is a vehicle for carrying spirit, life, and family. Language, religion, and land base are three things that characterize culture."
 Edmund Ladd, ZUNI PUEBLO

 The Elders say we need to know the answers to three questions in order for us to be connected; the Earth, the Sky, the East, the West, the South, and the North.

The three questions are:

1. Why are we?

2. Who are we?

3. Where are we going?

If we know the language, if we have our spirituality, and if we can pray on sacred spots, then we are able to seek the answer to the questions.

We must protect the language, religion, and land so our future generations can stay connected.

 Great Spirit, help us maintain our language, spirit, family, religion and our Mother Earth.
By: Don Coyhis

Buffalo and Eagle Wing

 A long time ago there were no stones on the earth. The mountains, hills, and valleys were not rough, and it was easy to walk on the ground swiftly. There were no small trees at that time either. All the bushes and trees were tall and straight and were at equal distances. So a man could travel through a
 forest without having to make a path.

At that time, a large buffalo roamed over the land. From the water, he had obtained his spirit power--the power to change anything into some other form. He would have that power as long as he only drank from a certain pool.

In his wanderings, Buffalo often traveled across a high mountain. He liked this mountain so much that one day he asked it, "Would you like to be changed into something else?"
 "Yes," replied the mountain. "I would like to be changed into something nobody would want to climb over."
"All right," said Buffalo. "I will change you into something hard that I will call 'stone.' You will be so hard that no one will want to break you and so smooth that no one will want to climb you."
So Buffalo changed the mountain into a large stone. "And I give you the power to change yourself into anything else as long as you do not break yourself."
Only buffaloes lived in this part of the land. No people lived here. On the other side of the mountain lived men who were cruel and killed animals. The  buffaloes knew about them and stayed as far away from them as possible.

But one day Buffalo thought he would like to see these men. He hoped to make friends with them and persuade them not to kill buffaloes.
So he went over the mountain and traveled along a stream until he came to  lodge. There lived an old woman and her grandson.

The little boy liked Buffalo, and Buffalo liked the little boy and his grandmother. He said to them, "I have the power to change you into any form you wish. What would you like most to be?"
"I want always to be with my grandson. I want to be changed into anything that will make it possible for me to be with him, wherever he goes."
"I will take you to the home of the buffaloes," said their guest. "I will ask them to teach the boy to become a swift runner. I will ask the water to change the grandmother into something, so that you two can always be together."
So Buffalo, the grandmother, and the little boy went over the mountain to the land of the buffalo.
"We will teach you to run swiftly," they told the boy, "if you will promise to keep your people from hunting and killing buffalo."
 "I promise," said the boy.

 The buffaloes taught him to run so fast that not one of them could keep up with him. The old grandmother could follow him wherever he went, for she had been changed into Wind.
The boy stayed with the buffaloes until he became a man. Then they let him go back to his people, reminding him of his promise. Because he was such a swift runner, he became a leader of the hunters. They called him Eagle Wing.

One day the chief called Eagle Wing to him and said to him, "My son, I want you to take the hunters to the buffalo country.
We have never been able to kill buffaloes because they run so very fast. But you too can run fast. If you will kill some buffaloes and bring home the meat and the skins, I will
 adopt you as my son. And when I die, you will become chief of the tribe."

Eagle Wing wanted so much to become chief that he pushed from his mind his promise to the buffaloes. He started out with the hunters, but he climbed the mountain so fast that they were soon left far behind. On the other side of the mountain, he saw a herd of buffaloes. They started to run in fright, but Eagle Wing followed them and killed most of them.
Buffalo, the great one who got his power from the water, was away from home at the time of the hunt. On his way back he grew so thirsty that he drank from some water on the other side of the mountain not from his special pool.

When he reached home and saw what the hunter had done, he became very angry.
 He tried to turn the men into grass, but he could not. Because he had drunk from another pool, he had lost his power to transform.
Buffalo went to the big stone that had once been a mountain.
 "What can you do to punish the hunter for what he has done?" he asked Stone.
 "I will ask the trees to tangle themselves so that it will be difficult for men to travel through them," answered Stone. "I will break myself into many pieces and scatter myself all over the land. Then the swift runner and his followers cannot run over me without hurting their feet."
 "That will punish them," agreed Buffalo.
So Stone broke itself into many pieces and scattered itself all over the land. Whenever the swift runner, Eagle Wing, and his followers tried to run over the mountain, stones cut their feet.

Bushes scratched and bruised their bodies.
That is how Eagle Wing was punished for not keeping his promise to Buffalo.

Elder's Meditation of the Day

 "Abuse and repression have no place in a traditional family."
  Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

 Traditional families guided by their culture were taught how to live. The were taught about relationships, respect, and spirituality. Only since alcohol was introduced to Indians have we seen physical abuse, sexual abuse and verbal abuse.

These behaviors have no room in traditional families. The cycle of abuse must be broken during this generation. We do this by asking for help to quit drinking and abusing and return to our traditional culture and spirituality.

 Creator, plant inside of me the knowledge of the traditional family.
 By: Don Coyhis

Elder's Meditation of the Day

 "You could study the ancestors, but without a deep feeling of communication with them it would be surface learning and surface talking. Once you have gone into yourself and have learned very deeply, appreciate it, and relate to it very well, everything will come very easily."
 -- Ellen White, NANAIMO

 Inside of every human being are our ancestors, and these ancestors still live. Today, the white man calls this DNA, but there is more than DNA. We have the ability to go inside of ourselves and learn from the ancestors. The ancestor teachings reside in the place of the center. The ancestors are waiting for us to come there so they can share the ancient teachings. It is said, "Be still and know".
 Great Spirit, let me walk in the stillness.
 By: Don Coyhis


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