I see a time of seven generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole earth will become one circle again. In that day, there will be those among the Lakota who will carry knowledge and understanding of unity among all living things...
I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells; for when you are at that center within you and I am at that place within me, we shall be one.”
Black Elk, a Sioux, talks about the hoop of many hoops.
He says that above the people is a hoop, a conscience, the total belief of the people.
If the hoop is sick, meaning dysfunctional, co-dependent, a lot of alcoholism, family abuse, violence, racism and sexual abuse, the people can get used to this and think this is normal. In other words, the people are asleep. If we have left the spiritual way of life, the people are asleep.
If we are giving our power to another entity, the people are asleep. In most tribes, there are Coyote Clans. The job of the Coyote Clan people is to wake the people up. They need to become a nuisance and irritate the people.
We must return to the spiritual walk.
Oh Great Spirit, keep me awake today. Let me hear the voices of our ancestors...let me hear the voices of the Grandfathers.
Because everybody is doing it doesn't make things right. Let me hear
the truth today and become a coyote for the people. Give me the courage to be willing to be different.
Let me walk straight on the Red Road.
Copied with the permission of Don L. Coyhis, from the book Meditations with Native American Elders: The Four Seasons
1. The Earth is our Mother, care for her.
2. Honor all your relations.
3. Open your heart and soul to the
4. All life is sacred; treat all beings with respect.
5. Take from the Earth what is needed and nothing more.
6. Do what needs to be done for the good of all.
7. Give constant thanks to the Great Spirit for each day.
8. Speak the truth but only for the good in others.
9. Follow the rhythms of nature.
10. Enjoy life's journeys; but leave no tracks.
1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.
2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance.
3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and honor.
5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community, the wilderness or from a culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not yours.
6. Respect all things that are placed upon this earth – whether it be people or plant.
7. Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression.
8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.
9. All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.
10. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice optimism.
11. Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us. They are part of your worldly family.
12. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow.
13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain will return to you.
14. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of ones will within this universe.
15. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical self – all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.
16. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your own actions.
17. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the personal property of others – especially sacred and religious objects. This is forbidden.
18. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.
19. Respect others religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on others.
20. Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity.
Originally published in the Inter-Tribal Times in October, 1994.