Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Words of Wisdom Tecumseh Shawnee

"When you arise in the morning, give thanks
for the morning light, for your life and strength.
Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault
lies with yourself...."

-- Tecumseh

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and
bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like
the company you keep in the empty moments.

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
copyright © 1999 by
 Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Native American Indian Traditional Code of Ethics

  1. Each morning upon rising, and each evening before sleeping, give thanks for the life within you and for all life, for the good things the Creator has given you and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day. Consider your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek for the courage and strengthto be a better person. Seek for the things that will benefit others (everyone).

  2. Respect. Respect means "To feel or show honor or esteem for someone or something; to consider the well being of, or to treat someone or somethin with deference or courtesy". Showing respect is a basic law of life.

    a. Treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest elder with respect at all times.

    b. Special respect should be given to Elders, Parents, Teachers, and Community Leaders.

    c. No person should be made to feel "put down" by you; avoid hurting other hearts as you would avoid a deadly poison.

    d. Touch nothing that belongs to someone else (especially Sacred Objects) without permission, or an understanding between you.

    e. Respect the privacy of every person, never intrude on a person's quiet moment or personal space.

    f. Never walk between people that are conversing.

    g. Never interrupt people who are conversing.

    h. Speak in a soft voice, especially when you are in the presence of Elders, strangers or others to whom special respect is due.

    i. Do not speak unless invited to do so at gatherings where Elders are present (except to ask what is expected of you, should you be in doubt).

    j. Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not.

    k. Treat the earth and all of her aspects as your mother. Show deep respect for the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world. Do nothing to pollute our Mother, rise up with wisdom to defend her.

    l. Show deep respect for the beliefs and religion of others.

    m. Listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel that what they are saying is worthless. Listen with your heart.

    n. Respect the wisdom of the people in council. Once you give an idea to a council meeting it no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the people. Respect demands that you listen intently to the ideas of others in council and that you do not insist that your idea prevail. Indeed you should freely support the ideas of others if they are true and good, even if those ideas ideas are quite different from the ones you have contributed. The clash of ideas brings forth the Spark of Truth.

  3. Once a council has decided something in unity, respect demands that no one speak secretly against what has been decided. If the council has made an error, that error will become apparent to everyone in its own time.

  4. Be truthful at all times, and under all conditions.

  5. Always treat your guests with honor and consideration. Give of your best food, your best blankets, the best part of your house, and your best service to your guests.

  6. The hurt of one is the hurt of all, the honor of one is the honor of all.

  7. Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart and as members of the human family.

  8. All the races and tribes in the world are like the different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful. As children of the Creator they must all be respected.

  9. To serve others, to be of some use to family, community, nation, and the world is one of the main purposes for which human beings have been created. Do not fill yourself with your own affairs and forget your most important talks. True happiness comes only to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.

  10. Observe moderation and balance in all things.

  11. Know those things that lead to your well-being, and those things that lead to your destruction.

  12. Listen to and follow the guidance given to your heart. Expect guidance to come in many forms; in prayer, in dreams, in times of quiet solitude, and in the words and deeds of wise Elders and friends. 

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Cherokee Prayer Blessing

May the Warm Winds of Heaven
Blow softly upon your house.
May the Great Spirit
Bless all who enter there.
May your Mocassins
Make happy tracks
in many snows,
and may the Rainbow
Always touch your shoulder.