ELDERS (Meditations)

Definition of Elders: leaders or senior figures in a tribe or other group.
Synonyms of Elders: senior figures, officials, patriarchs, guiding lights, gurus etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.

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Sources
Our true enemies, as well as our true sources of strength, lie within. The seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to  where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is everything where power moves. –Elders | More…

Circle thinking
The Elders tell us to  slow down, to be patient, pray and think circles. Circle thinking applies to relationships, business and every area of our lives. –Elders | More…

Better to give than receive.
But it doesn’t really matter if we are giving or receiving. There is an identical feeling associated with both. We can’t control when we receive gifts but we can control when we give gifts. Therefore, the more we give, the better we feel. When we are given gifts, or someone does something for us, it is the way to honor this person. –Elders | More…

Respect
Understanding begins with love and respect. It begins with respect for the Great Spirit…
All things have their own will and their own way and their own purpose; this is what is to be respected. –Elders | More…

Identicality.
Sometimes we have a picture of how things should be, and often what we see is different from what they really are. When this happens we often want to control how things are, making them act or behave according to our picture. –Elders | More…

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Acceptance
We need to leave things alone. God is running all things. How do we do this? In our minds, we tell ourselves to love all things and respect all things just as they are. accept what we cannot change. –Elders | More…

Equality
No leaf is better or worse than the other — all leaves are of equal worth and belong on the tree. It is the same with human beings. We each belong here and do things that will affect the great whole. –Elders | More…

Sacredness
The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the dust and blood of our ancestors. –Elders | More…

Source
Mother Earth is the source of life and the place all life returns to. She gives us life. She feeds us through our journey and she waits for us to return to her. –Elders | More…

Ritual
In the morning quiet time, we make our request for guidance using our spiritual tools. In the evening we thank the Creator for the day, for the lessons and for the opportunity to be of service to others. –Elders | More…

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Will
Self-control works best when we pray for the courage and power to do the will of the Great Spirit. We are here on the Earth to do the will of the Great Spirit. Sometimes we must battle ourselves to do this.–Elders | More…

Acceptance
If we quit judging ourselves and start accepting ourselves as we are, we will start accepting others as they are. Then we will experience a level of new freedom. –Elders | More…

Harmony
Our culture and spirituality taught us to live in harmony. We must maintain our culture and spirituality, always living in harmony. –Elders | More…

Connectedness
The pain of one is the pain of all. This is true of every interconnected system. Because we are connected, we should respect, and take care of our Earth and each other. –Elders | More…

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Teacher
There are forces in the Unseen World that make sure humans don’t mess things up. The bottom line is, no matter what we do, nature will have the last say. Nature is the teacher, we are the students. May we honor and respect our teacher. –Elders | More…

Love
The natural law says love others as you love yourself. If you hate yourself or feel guilty in some area of yourself, you will tend to judge and condemn your neighbour. You cannot give away what you don’t have. –Elders | More…

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. –Elders | More…

Our earth continues to grow by cycles and seasons: The cycles of growth – spring, summer, fall, winter. The cycles of the human being – baby, youth, adult, elder. It is through these cycles that we will experience the changes.

I will not always necessarily agree with these changes, but I need to trust the Grandfathers are in charge. Things will come and things will go. –Elders | More…

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Let go
The Medicine Wheel represents everything. All the directions originate from the center outward. The center is the home of the Creator. The Medicine Wheel represents the human being. At our center is the home of the Great Spirit. This is why we are spiritual.
The easiest way for us to find God and talk to Him, is for us to become centered. This means, relax our bodies, still our minds, let go of our emotions and listen quietly. Shhh. Be still. –Elders | More…

Forgiveness
The Sweat Lodge represents the womb of Mother Earth. This is the place of forgiveness.
The Sweat Lodge and the ceremony is sacred. We need to know and understand these things. –Elder’s | More…

Prayer
When we are connected to HP, or when we are clear on our purpose, we will feel connected and safe. We will feel love. When we are disconnected from HP, or we don’t know who we are or why we are, we will feel pain. It will be similar to a little child who has lost its Mother. We will hurt inside – we will be wounded within. This is the time of prayer. –Elders | More…

Stillness
Be still and know. The best thing to do is mentally pause, slow down our thinking, breathe slowly, or pray and ask for help. Only when we approach the stillness of the mind do we get access to our spiritual guidance system. To be guided, let your mind be still. –Elders | More…

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Crying
The release of tears is a spiritual act. Our bodies are designed to cry.
We should honor our bodies and use them as the Creator intended. –Elder’s | More…

Living
Living means life – a good life, a happy life. Many of us have grown up without
the teachings and the culture, that is why we don’t know how to live. –Elders | More…

Nature
Natural Laws are running the universe. Once we know these laws and we drift from them, we start to live our lives in a different way. Soon we become discontent, selfish, and disrespectful. Then, we get in trouble. If our lives have become this way, it can be reversed by going back to nature to be among our teachers. –Elders | More…

Prayer
Would I rather be right or happy? When we experience conflict we need to look at the greater whole. The end result we want to accomplish is, peace of mind. –Elders | More…

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Access
Spiritual laws allow healing; they allow forgiveness to occur; they cause miracles to happen; they cause hate to disappear; they heal broken relationships; they guide every moment of our lives; they allow us to love even when it’s hard. Prayer allows us access to the Spirit World. –Elder’s | More…

Guidance
We need to pray for spiritual intervention. We need to have guidance from the Creator to help us rebuild our families, our communities and ourselves. –Elders | More…

Service
Without prayer, we have failed in our sacred responsibilities. Our sacred responsibility is to be of maximum service to the Creator, and to serve the people. –Elders | More…

Harmony
There are certain powers that the human being has no choice but to obey. Our choice is either to conform or to live out of harmony. –Elders | More…

What we really need to learn is how to live life. Nature is the greatest university when we want to learn about balance, harmony, the Natural Laws and how to live life.

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Nature
Nature is full of examples, lessons, and exercises about life. Nature will help humans learn. Nature will help humans heal. Nature will help with Medicine, knowledge, and healing. –Elders | More…

Listening
Go into nature and sit quietly. Then pick up a rock and listen to your thoughts. After a while, put that rock down and pick up another rock. Your thoughts will change. –Elder’s  | More…

Ceremonies
Hidden in the ceremonies are many truths, principles, and guidelines for living, access to the Unseen World, healing and visions. Because the People didn’t have schools or books, the Great Spirit gave us Ceremonies. –Elders | More…

Oneness
The Elders say pray to the East every morning. Just try it! Watch the sun and listen to the morning sounds, the birds, the winds; smell the air, feel the breeze and the warmth of the sun. Your mind will expand and you will experience oneness with the Great Spirit. You’ll realize who is really in charge. You’ll realize interconnectedness. You’ll realize how much the Creator loves you! –Elder’s | More…

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Trees
The trees are the Elders of the Earth. Go to the forest or to the mountains and find a young tree. Then find an old tree. Spend time with each. Sit by the young tree and listen to your thoughts. Then move to an old tree and listen to your thoughts again. Just being in the presence of an old tree, you will feel more calm. Your thoughts will contain wisdom and your answers will be deeper. The trees are the Elders of the Earth. The old trees know more, have heard more, and are the Elders of the Earth. We must ensure these trees live so we can learn from them. –Elders | More…

Red Road
All Indian traditions, customs and ceremonies help us answer three questions: who am I?, why am I?, and where am I going? Only on the Red Road can we find the answer to these three questions. When we can answer these three questions, we are on the Red Road. When we cannot, we have gone astray. That is why the Holy Men tell us to pray to the Great Spirit and to seek the Red Road.
Why am I? My purpose is the serve the Great Spirit.
Who am I? I am an Indian who walks the Red Road.
Where am I going? My vision is to serve my people. –Elders | More…

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Equality
Everything really is equal.
Everybody and everything lives by the same Laws. –Elders | More…

Stillness
Be still and know. The Medicine Wheel teaches the four directions of inner power – not personal power, but the power of God. These four directions are emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual. As our emotions get too far out of control, we simultaneously create an equivalent mental picture, our physical body fills with stress and tension, and we become spiritually confused.

When we experience these uptight feelings, the best thing to do is mentally pause, slow down our thinking, breathe slowly, or pray and ask the spirits to help. Only when we approach the stillness of the mind do we get access to our spiritual guidance system. To be guided, let your mind be still. –Elders | More….

We can watch all forms of nature and see all creatures work in harmony with the seasons. The secret for us is to learn by observing nature. Watch the trees. Learn from them. We human beings need to learn the gifts and blessings of the seasons.   –Elders | More…

Song
Songs allow us to touch the hand of the Creator.
When we sing and touch the Great Spirit’s hand, He gives us power.
Songs are another way to pray.  –Elders | More…

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Teachers
The Medicine people say everyone is their teacher. Maybe we should try to live this way ourselves; humble, patient, honouring the Earth and listening to our teachers. –Elders | More…

Help
We can only be helped if we want to be helped. Because the Medicine People know how to help – that is only one half of it. The other half is up to us. We must have faith that the medicine has powers to help. –Elders | More…

Creator
The god that people reject is not the true god, it is a god they have conjured up apart from proper education, and understanding. The Elders teach us that the Creator is a loving and forgiving God. He loves us during our good days and He loves us during our bad days. There is one thing that God cannot do and that is refuse help to one of His children who asks. –Elders | More…

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Earth
It is said when we walk on the Earth, we are walking on our ancestors and our unborn children. This is the relationship Native People have with the Earth. It is this relationship which gives insight into the Earth’s rhythm and heartbeat and creates the feeling of belonging. If you feel you belong to something, you’ll treat it with respect. If you feel you are above something, you’ll treat it with disrespect. Indian Spirituality is tied to the Earth. We belong to the Earth along with all other creatures on the Earth.
We must align to this realization  –Elders | More…

Vision
All things have their seasons. All thoughts are real. We must think to cause action and each action creates results.  Big visions require many thoughts. It takes a series of thoughts to create a series of actions. A series of actions creates a series of results. These results are what makes vision become real. If we are here to serve the Creator then we can expect to be accomplishing big visions. How do we do this? One step at a time. –Elders  More…

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Trust
With the Creator in our lives, we are everything. Without the Creator, we are nothing.
When the Creator is in our life, suddenly the impossible becomes possible. The extraordinary becomes ordinary. Things we thought could never happen start to happen. Talents we never knew we had, start to blossom. Resources appear.
Help arrives to give us guidance and direction. We become happy. We have peace of mind and confidence.  –Elders | More…

Instruments
In order for the Creator to do His work on this earth, He needs the human being to do it.
How He guides us is through our eyes, ears, hands, nose, mouth, arms legs and feet.
We are instruments of the Creator.
We are His keepers of the earth.
We are the keepers of our brothers.
We are to teach His children.
We are to respect the things He has made.
We are to take care of ourselves and treat our bodies and our minds with respect.
We are to do respectful things.
We are to walk the Sacred Path.
We should have good thoughts.
We should do only things that we think the Creator would have us do.
What an honor to be a human being.
What an honor that He would talk to us and guide us to perform His wonders. –Elders | More…

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Perspective
We forget so we consider ourselves superior. But we are, after all, a mere part of the creation, and we must consider to understand where we are and we stand somewhere between the mountain and the Ant. We are really only one part of a great whole. The universe is all connected. We are neither above nor below anything. We need not be ruler over anything, we need only to live in honor and harmony with the system. –Elders | More…

Spirit
We are a part of an interconnected system. Words in themselves have no meaning.
It is the spirit and intent behind the words that really show the meaning. –Elders | More…

Being
My Creator, today let me remember the reason I’m here on Mother Earth. Let me have good thoughts. Being is not the colour of my skin. Being is to listen to my heart, to think only the things You have taught, to watch nature, and live in harmony. Being is to walk in prayer, to talk to You constantly during the day. Being is to act and to walk in a sacred way. Let me think in beauty, let me walk in beauty, let me pray in beauty –Elders | More…

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Respect
Every plant, every animal, every insect, every bird, every tree is made up of God. God is life and everything is alive. All nature has purpose. All nature participates in the life cycle. Nature communicates; Nature talks; Nature listens; Nature forgives; Nature respects; Nature loves. Nature lives in harmony. Nature follows the law. Nature is kind. Nature is balance. The woods are alive and beautiful. She is our friend. Let me honor and respect the forest and all the life it contains.  –Elders | More…

Silence
Silence is the cornerstone of character. Be still and know. Anyone can be sarcastic, devaluating and belittling. It takes a Warrior to be silent. Silence is so powerful.
Silence can be so loving. –Elders | More…

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Power
There are two worlds – the Seen World and the Unseen World, or the Physical World and the Spiritual World. We need information from both of these worlds in order to live our lives in a harmonious way. The most difficult way is to figure things out by ourselves and leave the Great Spirit out of it. When we do this, we are making decisions with information only from the Physical World. This can be called reliance on self. If we ask the Creator to help us, we then get information from the Unseen World or the Spiritual World. The Spiritual World is where we get our power. When we do this, we are God-reliant. –Elders | More…

Minds
We are as sick as our secrets. Our ego takes over control of our lives and when that happens our minds get very sick. Then we hurt people and our minds will always justify our actions. Our minds will give us rationalization and excuses that we are justified in doing what we are doing. –Elders | More…

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Cycles
Our earth continues to grow by cycles and seasons: The cycles of growth – spring, summer, fall, winter. The cycles of the human being – baby, youth, adult, elder.
It is through these cycles that we will experience the changes. Things will come and things will go. Too often I label things as mine. I say this belongs to me, but it really belongs to the Creator. He gives me things to take care of. I need to do the best I can with what I have, with what I know at the time. And when the Creator changes things, I need to let go for His planning is the best. –Elders | More…

Good
Our bodies are both physical and spiritual. At our very center we are spiritual. Our bodies are built around the spiritual. The center is the unseen world. Therefore, we cannot see it with our eyes and we tend to judge the body because we can see it.
The body is not who we are. We can see the spiritual if we are spiritual ourselves. We won’t see this always with our physical eyes. Usually we will see it with our spiritual eye. We will hear ourselves say “I know this to be true.” At the center of all human beings is the place of good. That includes myself. At my very core is good. –Elders | More…

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Praying
Great Spirit – Sometimes I don’t feel like praying. Sometimes when I have done something wrong, I’m ashamed to come to You. You have helped and guided me in the past. You are life, You are love, You are power, You are desire, You are truth, You are principle, You are intelligence, You are courage. With You I am everything; without You I am nothing. –Elders | More…

Justice
I cannot hide my true spirit and intent from the Creator. He created a system of justice. This system of justice says we will get back whatever we plant. If I plant good then good returns – if we plant bad, then we will suffer the consequences. Whatever we think about another person, the same things are thought about us. Whatever we send out is sent back. Man cannot alter this system of justice. It doesn’t matter what we say or do. What really matters is what we really, really did. –Elders | More…

Laws
The laws of the Creator are designed for us to live in harmony and balance with ourselves and each other. These laws are about having freedom and happiness.
Our Elders teach us these laws. Laws about how to treat each other, laws about how to treat and respect our Mother Earth, laws about the environment. –Elders | More…

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Gentleness
We have been told about the power of the stillness. Physical power is about effort. Mental power is the opposite. It’s about being effortless or less any effort. Gentleness is one of the greatest attributes of the Warrior and one of the greatest mental powers.
It takes a lot of love to be gentle. Gentleness is not an ego word. Gentleness is the weapon of the Great Spirit.  –Elders | More…

Harmony
The outside is merely a reflection of our insides. My mind is designed to tell me that I’m not crazy for thinking what I am thinking. Even if I have an angry thought, my mind is giving me excuses and reasons why it is OK to think what I’m thinking. I need to be knowledgeable about the laws of harmony and balance. I cannot twist the laws to serve me but I can adjust my life to serve the laws. This is the law – I am here to serve the earth. The earth is not here for me to misuse and abuse. –Elders | More…

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Principles
All our choices and decisions will reflect on our people. We need to assume the accountability of honouring people. We must remember to conduct ourselves in a sacred way. 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. –Elders | More…

Teachable
When you get older and you are ready, your ancestors will show up to guide you. 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.  –Elders | More…

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Struggle
It is a paradox that in our desire for peace we must willingly give ourselves to struggle.
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.–Elders | More…

Ceremony
The Creator told everyone of us in our tribal beginnings to look after our ceremonies, and each other. Our ceremonies are important and each has a purpose. They teach us about the Creator and about each other. The ceremonies teach us to be humble and teach us to pray. They teach us to look inside ourselves. –Elders | More…

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Listening
Everything I know I learned by listening and watching. 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 to listen – quietly.
Help me to watch carefully. Help me to listen to my inner voice. –Elders | More…

Song
Everyone has a song.
God gives us each a song.
That’s how we know who we are.
Our song tells us who we are.
As we start to walk the Red Road and as we develop ourselves as Warriors, a song will come to us. This song is given to each of us from the Great Spirit. Whenever we sing this song, we will receive courage and strength not only for ourselves but if we sing this song for others, it will also help them. The song will give us power and make us feel really good. The song will make us see life in a sacred way. If you don’t have your song yet, ask the Creator in prayer if He will give you your song. With the song comes a responsibility – the responsibility to act and conduct oneself as a Warrior according to your song. –Elders | More…

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Equality
As human beings, we are not above anything nor are we below anything. Because of being equal, we need to discuss a little about the value of respect. Not just respect when it comes to human beings, but respect when it comes to everything. We are not masters over things; we are caretakers for the Great Spirit. We need to treat all things with respect. –Elders | More…

Observing
Children learn more by watching than by listening. If we want our children to understand and value trust, they know it by watching how adults live their lives! If we want the children to be respectful, they will observe what the adults do and say to each other. We need to walk our talk. We need to remember the children are watching. –Elders | More…

 Teachings
The teachings are for all, not just for Indians… The white people never wanted to learn before. They thought we were savages. Now they have a different understanding, and they do want to learn. We are all children of God. The tradition is open to anyone who wants to learn. In the summer of 1994, a white buffalo calf was born. This means that now is the time for all races to come together. The Elders say that at this time a voice from within will speak to everyone. It will say now is the time to forgive, now is the time to come together. Are we willing to do this? Are we willing to quit judging other people?
The Elders say, He will be talking through people of all races and gender. We need to open our hearts and welcome our brothers and sisters. –Elders | More…

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