Native American Wisdom

_Looking behind I am filled with gratitude.Looking forward I am filled with vision.Looking upwards I am f

May the sun bring you new energy by day.  May the moon softly restore you by night.  May the rain wash away your worries.  May the breeze blow new strength into your being.  May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.

  – Apache Blessing

In my family we have a story that has been passed down through the generations.  My great great grandmother was orphaned at a young age.  She was adopted into a family and they decided to immigrate out west on the Oregon Trail.  Somewhere along what is now Wyoming and Idaho, the wagon train was raided and my great great grandmother was taken captive.  The family story only talks about her being a child, but not an age.  She grew up and had two little girls.  One day a French Canadian Trapper was trading with this tribe and spotted her.  Late that evening he snuck back into the Indian camp and was able to get her alone.  He asked if she wanted to return to her people.  She said yes, but she wouldn’t leave without her daughters.  So they made arrangements to meet the next day.

For two days my great grandmother traveled in the back of the wagon hidden in an old barrel.  She was told not to make a sound or they would all be killed.  After two days the trapper felt safe enough to let the girls out of the barrel.  They ended up near Eugene, Oregon.  My grandfather would not admit that he was part Indian.  He was too ashamed.  He feared the prejudice.  By contrast his sisters kids all attended the Indian School.

Like the grasses showing tender faces to each other, thus should we do, for this was the wish of the Grandfathers of the World.

  – Black Elk

My husband family has a story that is recorded in the Indian Archives of his Great Great Grandfather, who was a Cherokee Indian living in Georgia when the Trail of Tears happened.  His story is of an American Indian who married a white woman with the last name of Tisdale.  They had one son.  Love Deer, my husbands ancestor was the sheriff in their town.  He saw what was happening after gold was discovered in the Indians land.  He saw the hardship of the “relocation” of the Indians of his tribe.  He saw finally that no matter how “white” he became it would never be good enough and he knew that the day had finally come when he would be forced to relocate with his family.

Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.

 –  Sitting Bull

Instead he took his rifle and went out into the woods.  He lodged the rifle in a tree and shot and killed himself.  He knew that his wife’s family would be able to keep her safe if he was gone.  The whole story was recorded when my husbands Great Grandfather came of age and wanted to get his Cherokee Citizenship.  It is all handwritten from several different families, some who were relatives and some who personally knew the story.

As you develop your awareness in nature, you begin to see how we influence all life and how all life influences us.  A key and critical feature for us to know.

  – Tony Ten Fingers

So there came a time when both of us wanted to become more familiar with our heritage.  I always thought that the two of us falling in love with stories from opposite sides of the fence was like the circle being completed.  A time of making everything whole.

By awakening the Native American teachings you come to the realization that the earth is not something simply that you build upon and walk upon and drive upon and take for granted.  It is a living entity.  It has consciousness.

  – Edgar Cayce

I know that this photo is not of an Apache Indian, but it was the closest I could find that fit the prayer.  What my husband and I both discovered is the wisdom of our ancestors was so in tune with the earth.  Whenever one group of people would go to subjugate another, they would justify their wars with how the people were savages, heathens, and somehow a lessor species of mankind.  When you read the stories of Black Elk, and others.  When you read about what the white man did to the Indians in order to destroy them, the term savages takes on a whole new meaning.

When you are inspired to be and do your best, you find everything is right in your world.  Your influence is operating at its highest level and it is the time to influence others in gratitude.

  – Tony Ten Fingers

Just like all peoples, they had very wise men, and they had hot headed men of war.  Every story has my version, your version, and then another and another version to it.  What has to happen at some point in time, is that all become committed to peace.  History can’t be changed.  Those impacted by it are dead.  Those of us who are ancestors carry the history with us.  But that history doesn’t have to become a heavy weight that destroys us still to this day.  It isn’t what the wise men taught.  These are just a few of my favorite quotes, because they are ageless and you would have thought that they belonged to a spiritual master living today. Good wisdom never becomes dated and it is advice we all need to think about for our own lives.

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of the people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Wakan-Tanka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.  This is real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.

The second peace is that which is made between two individuals.

The third is that which is made between two nations.

But above all you should understand  that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which as I have often said,. is within the souls of men.

  – Black Elk

Warriors are not what you think of as warriors.  The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life.  The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others.  His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who can not provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.

  – Sitting Bull

It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome.  Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one’s spiritual balance.  Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving.

  – Ohiyesa (Charles Alexander Eastman)

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of LemonadeMakers.org, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.

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