‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for March 5

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

So you missed an opportunity! And they say that opportunity knocks only once – but, only if you believe it! Opportunity has been known to pound on the door and go unnoticed, and it has been known to whisper and be heard. It is all according to how hard we require opportunity to knock before we recognize it.

Our awareness of opportunity will reveal to us how many times it presents itself; so subtle, it may not be recognized by the casual eye. And usually it seems to be completely unprofitable to us personally. More often than not it is service to others without thought of return. It is humility, a willingness to accept the most humble beginnings. It is joy in finding communication with others and finding a kinship with them.

Have you heard of an opportunity fund? Some call it saving for a rainy day. Rainy days can be lovely, too. A rainy day can be an opportunity to get things done. But an opportunity can be any day, rain or shine.

Do you often have the opportunity to speak to your neighbor? It seems to happen too infrequently these days.

The most fun we can have comes when we’ve the opportunity to squelch an ugly rumor. You know, “curst be the tongue whence slanderous rumor, withering friendship’s faith….” Sometimes a little friendship does wither, but if it really amounts to anything it will survive.

What a splendid opportunity to sit quietly and mentally forgive with such depth and joy as to start life anew. There is no greater blessing, no greater opportunity fund.

American editor A.E. Dunning writes, “Great opportunity come to all, but many do not know they have met them. The only preparation to take advantage of them, is simple fidelity to what each day brings.”

A missed opportunity may well be another opportunity to prepare for a bigger and better one!

 

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Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 5

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 5

“I have always searched for my place and my people.”

–Wendy Rose, HOPI/MIWOK

For every human being to feel connected, we must have the feeling of belonging. That is one of the values and benefits of a culture: it creates the feeling of belonging. If for some reason, while you were growing up, you did not develop the feeling of belonging, a search will be triggered and a restlessness will be present in your heart. You will have a hole inside you, something missing, until you find your place and your people. Remember, we can get this feeling of belonging when we realize we belong to the Great Spirit and that He really loves us a lot.

My Creator, today, I belong to You. Let me feel Your presence. Thank You.

March 5 – Daily Feast

March 5 – Daily Feast

It is sad when our children have not been able to reply on us to build their self-esteem. The Cherokees call it, qa lv quo di. Even those of us that have come a long way have memories that need a loving touch. Parents teach only what they know to teach. But we are not set forever in one direction. We reach an age when we must teach ourselves. We learn to forgive and to understand that when we get to the fork in the road we will know the right way. Why go the wrong way because someone before us did? If our self-esteem has been damaged, feeding it more pity and more ill-treatment is not healing it. Criticism is passed to us the same way blue eyes and dark hair are inherited. But criticism can be changed and replaced with love. This is a decision that changes our lives – and those who follow as well.

~ Civilized people depend too much on man-made printed pages. I turn to the Great Spirit’s book which is the whole of his creation. ~

TATNGA MANI

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Daily Motivator for March 5th – Keep working

Keep working

When you doubt yourself and your efforts, keep working. Your creative energy,  persistently applied, will soon make the doubt go away.

When you’re simply not making any progress, keep working. The breakthrough  you seek may be just one more effort away.

When you’ve enjoyed a great success, keep working. Instead of resting on your  achievements, make them even more meaningful by making good use of them.

When it feels like all your energy is drained, keep working. Your determined  efforts will create their own energy.

When you’re not sure what to do, keep working. The more you do, the more you  learn, and the more clearly you’ll be able to see the way forward.

Life works best when you keep working at it. Keep working, and keep making  life truly amazing.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for March 5th – Constructive Connections

 

Constructive Connections
Sharing with Your Neighbors

 

by Madisyn Taylor

 

If you are craving community look to your own neighbors to forge new relationships and build something new together.

 

Many of our relationships can be fleeting or do not deepen past a superficial level, yet these connections, as trivial as they can seem, often have the potential to grow into something much more essential. When we crave community, we should focus our attention on these casual acquaintances. To forge a bond with neighbors, we need to work together with them so that we have a context from which to begin a more mature relationship. Sharing tasks that are part of living can be a wonderful way to become a part of a larger community, make new friends, and lighten the workloads of everyone involved.

Creating a network of neighbors who agree to pool certain resources and share daily duties can be as easy as taking the initiative. If you are willing to take the first step by reaching out to the individuals and families who share your building or your street, you will likely find that others are receptive to the notion. Starting small, with just a few people, can help you orchestrate a smoothly running system. Together, you will need to decide what chores you want to do communally and what resources can be shared. Ideas for community sharing are child care, errands, housework, keeping a joint garden, cooking for the group, and carpooling. For instance, if you cook large meals for four neighbors once a week, you take off four nights after that. As you grow to trust one another, you can begin adding new members to your evolving network or introducing new tasks to your shared roster of duties.

Actions speak louder than words, so working closely with neighbors to ensure the well-being of the group can be a wonderful way to build a sense of community in your locale. Not everyone you approach will be open to the idea of becoming a part of a network of sharing. As you connect with those who do appreciate the merits of such a system, you will discover that others are just as eager as you are to create interpersonal connections that are defined by substance.

Daily OM

 

RITUAL TO FIND YOUR SPIRIT GUIDE

RITUAL TO FIND YOUR SPIRIT GUIDE

Items Needed
Altar Candle
Day Candle (Monday-white, Tuesday-red, Wednesday-purple, Thursday-blue,
Friday-green, Saturday-black, Sunday-yellow)
Offertory Candles – 3 Violet Candles
3 White Candles

Tools
Athame to inscribe candles
Crystal ball or clear glass of water

Incense
anise, cardamom, and coriander.

Oil
jasmine, lemon, rose and sandalwood

Timing
Best done during the Mercury hour of the day, although any hour should work.
Any moon phase is appropriate.

Preparation
Breathe deeply and build a ball of protective light around you. While soaking
in your ritual bath, meditate on the whole ritual: the steps you will take
and what you wish to say to your spirit guide when you make contact.

Ritual
Enter the circle in the Hour of Mercury. Light the incense. With the oil,
dress the Altar Candle and the Day candle while concentrating on the purpose
of the ritual. Light your Altar Candle and Day Candle and state your intent:

I am here to make contact with my Spirit Guide, and to acknowledge him or
her.

With your Athame, inscribe Violet Candle #1 with the word “Spirit.” Dress it
with oil. Light the Violet Candle #1, direct your energies into it and say:

Here do I light the first Lamp of Spirit.
May its light reach out across the barriers from this world to the next.
May it make contact with that World of Spirit into which we will eventually
enter.

Take your censer or incense wand and swing it around, sensing the whole area
around the altar while rhythmically repeating the word “Merge” and building
up energy to focus. Replace the censer and pick up Violet Candle #2.

Inscribe it with the word “Spirit” and dress it with oil. Put it back on the
altar, light it and say:

Here do I light the second Lamp of Spirit.
May its light also reach out across the barriers from this world to the next?
May it make contact with that World of Spirit and help spread the light,
illuminating the passageway between our worlds.

Again take the censer or incense wand and sense the entire area around while
chanting the word “Merge.” Build up your energy to focus. Take Violet Candle
#3, inscribe it with the word “Spirit,” dress it with oil, charge with your
energy, light it and say:

Here do I light the third Lamp of Spirit.
May the light from these three lamps blend and grow, dispelling all darkness
and lighting the way that my Spirit Guide may come to me and speak with me
here today.

Inscribe the three white candles with the word “Truth” and anoint each candle
with oil. Light the three candles in the order of 1, 2, 3, and say:

Here do I build Truth.

As these candles burn throughout this ritual, their power generating nothing
but truth in all that transpires between this world and the next. Through
these candles there is truth in all communications that come to me. Again
cense the altar area while chanting “Merge.” Replace the censer and continue
chanting. Sit comfortably while chanting, and gaze into the crystal ball, or
the clear glass of water. Continue chanting until you feel it is right to let
the chant taper off. Continue to quietly look into the crystal ball or glass,
not trying to picture anything. Keep your mind blank, so whatever comes will
appear and will come in it’s own free will. Gaze into the center of the
crystal, there is no need to try not to blink. Look into the crystal and
blink naturally. Try not to notice anything in your peripheral vision, just
the center of the crystal. Eventually a face or figure will appear. This may
take a long time, or it may appear almost immediately. If it doesn’t come at
all within approximately 20 minutes, abandon this attempt, extinguish the
candles in the order in which they were lit, leave the altar set up, and try
this ritual again in three days.

You should have results within a month at most. When a figure does appear,
ask if he/she is your Spirit Guide. You will hear an answer, you may not hear
it out loud, or even see the figures lips move, but you will be aware of the
answer. This is how most conversations will proceed. You will ask your
questions mentally (or out loud) and the answer will be clear inside your
mind. Ask if you have more than one Spirit Guide. If yes, ask them to appear
also. You may ask anything you wish to know, but it is better to establish a
connection first where your Spirit Guide may appear to you at any time, or at
specific times, so that you can converse with any other spirits through
him/her. When you have finished speaking with your guide, thank him/her, then
sit for a moment with your eyes closed, meditating on all that you have
learned. Extinguish the candles in reverse order to clear the circle.

CALLING YOUR POWER ANIMAL

CALLING YOUR POWER ANIMAL

There are different names for this exercise in different cultures. It is a way for a person to get in touch with their animal aspects through dance. Keep in mind that a Guardian Spirit can appear in animal or human form.

Undertake this exercise in a quiet, half darkened room which is free from
furniture that can hamper your movements. It is helpful if you have the use of one or two rattles, but these are not necessary.

There are two parts to this exercise, 1- The Starting Dance, and 2- Dancing your animal. In both dances, you loudly shake a rattle in each hand and dance in time to the rattle. In all dancing, you keep your eyes half closed. This allows you to cut down on the light and at the same time enables you to know where you are in the room.

The Starting Dance
Standing still and erect, face east and shake one rattle very rapidly four
times. This is the signal that you are starting, ending or making an important transition in serious shamanistic work. Think of the rising Sun and the power it brings to all living things.

Still standing in place, start shaking one rattle at a steady pace of about 50 beats per second. Do this for about half a minute in each cardinal direction while thinking of the element or power animals of that direction. For example, you can think of an Eagle in the East, a Lion in the South, a Serpent or Dolphin in the West, and a Bull in the North. Move clockwise.

Return to the East and shake the rattle above your head at the same rate for
about half a minute. Think of the sun, moon, starts and the entire universe
above. Now shake the rattle towards the ground and think of the earth, our home and the gifts she gives to us.

Still facing the East, begin shaking both rattles at the same rate and dancing along with the beat as if you were jogging in place. In this starting dance, you are giving proof of your sincerity to the power animals wherever they may be, by making a sacrifice to them of your own energy in the form of dance. Dancing is a form of praying and evoking the sympathy of the Guardian Spirit.

Stop dancing and stand still. Shake one rattle four times to signal that you are about to make an important transition.

Start shaking your tattles loudly, but in a slow tempo of about 60 beats per
minute. Start dancing around the room in time to the rattle. Move slowly and in a free form. Try to pick up the feeling of some kind of mammal, bird, fish, reptile or a combination of these. Once you feel the sense of something, concentrate on it and slowly move your body in accordance with the creature. Be open to the experience and emotion of the creature.

Don’t hesitate to make noises or cries. By keeping your eyes half closed, you
might be able to see the non-ordinary environment in which the animal is living.You may even be able to see the animal. Do this for about 5 minutes. Without pausing, shift to a higher state of rattle shaking and movement. Do this for about 4 minutes. Another shift to a still faster pace of rattle and body movements. Do this for about 4 minutes.

Stop dancing and mentally welcome the animal into your body. To do this, shake the rattle four times and draw it and the animal towards your solar plexes.

Face the East and shake the rattle four times, while standing still. This is the signal that your work has ended.

Once you have successfully gained your power animal, make it content enough to say with you. This is done through exercising your animal through dancing and singing songs of the animal.

Guardian animals usually only stay with a person for a few years, and then
depart. So in the course of a life long shamanistic practice, a person will have a number of animals.

Code of Ethics for Spiritual Guides

Code of Ethics for Spiritual Guides

Preamble
People have long sought to enrich their lives and to awaken to their full
natures through spiritual practices including prayer, meditation, mind-body
disciplines, service, ritual, community liturgy, holy-day and seasonal
observances, and rites of passage. “Primary religious practices” are
those intended, or especially likely, to bring about exceptional states of
consciousness such as the direct experience of divinity or of cosmic unity.

In any community, there are some who feel called to assist others along
spiritual paths, and who are known as ministers, rabbis, pastors, curanderas,
shamans, priests, or other titles. We call such people ‘guides’: those
experienced in some practice, familiar with the terrain, and who act to
facilitate the spiritual practices of others. A guide need not claim exclusive
or definitive knowledge of the terrain.

Spiritual practices, and especially primary religious practices, carry risks.
Therefore, when an individual chooses to practice with the assistance of a
guide, both take on special responsibilities. The Council on Spiritual Practices
proposes the following Code of Ethics for those who serve as spiritual guides.

1.[Intention] Spiritual guides are to practice and serve in ways that cultivate
awareness, empathy, and wisdom.

2.[Serving Society] Spiritual practices are to be designed and conducted in ways
that respect the common good, with due regard for public safety, health, and
order. Because the increased awareness gained from spiritual practices can
catalyze desire for personal and social change, guides shall use special care to
help direct the energies of those they serve, as well as their own, in
responsible ways that reflect a loving regard for all life.

3.[Serving Individuals] Spiritual guides shall respect and seek to preserve the
autonomy and dignity of each person. Participation in any primary religious
practice must be voluntary and based on prior disclosure and consent given
individually by each participant while in an ordinary state of consciousness.
Disclosure shall include, at a minimum, discussion of any elements of the
practice that could reasonably be seen as presenting physical or psychological
risks. In particular, participants must be warned that primary religious
experience can be difficult and dramatically transformative.

Guides shall make reasonable preparations to protect each participant’s health
and safety during spiritual practices and in the vulnerable periods that may
follow. Limits on the behaviors of participants and facilitators are to be made
clear and agreed upon in advance of any session. Appropriate customs of
confidentiality are to be established and honored.

4.[Competence] Spiritual guides shall assist with only those practices for which
they are qualified by personal experience and by training or education.

5.[Integrity] Spiritual guides shall strive to be aware of how their own belief
systems, values, needs, and limitations affect their work. During primary
religious practices, participants may be especially  vulnerable to suggestion,
manipulation, and exploitation; therefore, guides pledge to protect participants
and not to allow anyone to use that vulnerability in ways that harm participants
or others.

6.[Quiet Presence] To help safeguard against the harmful consequences of
personal and organizational ambition, spiritual communities are usually better
allowed to grow through attraction rather than active promotion.

7.[Not for Profit] Spiritual practices are to be conducted in the spirit of
service. Spiritual guides shall strive to accommodate participants without
regard to their ability to pay or make donations.

8.[Tolerance] Spiritual guides shall practice openness and respect towards
people whose beliefs are in apparent contradiction to their own.

9.[Peer Review] Each guide shall seek the counsel of other guides to help ensure
the wholesomeness of his or her practices and shall offer counsel when there is
need.

———-

This draft for public comment was released 17 October 1998. The current version
is available on the Internet at http://www.csp.org.

Copyright © 1995 – 1998 Council on Spiritual Practices

Box 460820 csp@c…
San Francisco, CA 94146-0820 http://www.csp.org
USA

Permission is hereby given to reprint this Code, provided that the text is
reproduced complete and verbatim, including the CSP contact information,
copyright, and this notice of limited permission to reprint.

Power Animal: Dog

DOG

DOG’s medicine includes loyalty, protection.

“DOG, TEACH ME THE IMPORTANCE OF LOYALTY.

SHOE ME THE JOY OF BLIND LOVE.

I FOLLOW MY HEART TO SEE THE UNSEEN.”

Dog is a watcher and protector. He is loyal and trustworthy. Dog is true to himself and lets nobody change his values. His love is absolute and unconditional. Once you have befriended Dog, you have made a friend and guardian for life.

A Dog person is kind and caring. There is nothing Dog won’t do to help their family and friends. Dog doesn’t ask for anything in return for its services as watcher and protector. A gentle touch, a kind word or a friendly gesture has more meaning then money or material treasures. A Dog person also has a tendency to “smell” something bad – they sense trouble from a distance and can tell when a person has evil intentions simply by being near them.

The down side of Dog is that he can be too trusting, allowing himself to be taken advantage of. If you are a Dog person, do not let yourself be walked all over. Don’t let others abuse your generous and loyal nature.

Power Animal: Coyote

COYOTE

COYOTE’s medicine includes shapeshifting, intelligence, cunning.

“COYOTE, TEACH ME THE PARADOX OF LIFE,

THE BALANCE OF THE DARK AND LIGHT,

THE SACREDNESS OF WHAT IS NOT SACRED AT ALL.”

While one may imagine that Coyote represents a trickster (and he does), he also represents one worthy of trust. This is just one way he is a symbol of duality. He teaches us the importance of balance by being foolish and wise, silly and serious, simple and complex, happy and sad.

Coyote is humorous and funny, but sometimes his laughter is a mask for his sadness and desolation. His laughter is really at the very brink of teats. He will do anything to make people laugh, even if it means being a complete fool, as long as nobody discovers his secret pain.

The important lessons Coyote teaches us are to love our children, laugh at our mistakes and appreciate the paradox that is life – all is sacred, yet nothing is sacred at all.