Indigenous Teachings and Events

Our community has found spiritual meaning in various different faiths and teachings. We have been especially inspired by the the teachings of the indigenous peoples of our land and seek to learn more to deepen our personal faith through these teachings.

We also follow and promote many of the aboriginal events that happen in Guelph and beyond and will use this page as well as our calendar to share these spiritual and informative activities.

The Seven Sacred Teachings

forest journey with Seven Sacred Teachings verse

We’ve joined together for many discussion groups in the past and the one we had on The Seven Sacred Teachings was a memorable one! The following is the content we used to guide us through 7 weeks (in January and February of 2015) of ‘The Conversation’ discussion group on the indigenous teachings of the Anishinaabe people.

 

The first elder was given these gifts of knowledge by the Seven Grandfathers. These gifts were to help the people live a good life and to respect the Creator, the earth and each other. We have learned how to take care of Mother Earth. In our care Mother Earth, we have learned to apply these gifts to families, communities, ourselves, and to all things.

The Seven Grandfathers told the First Elder:

“Each of these teachings must be used with the rest; you can not have wisdom without love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility, and truth…to leave one out is to embrace the opposite of what that teaching is.”

If one of these gifts is not used the the other, we will not be in balance. We must remember these teachings, practice them, and teach them to our children.

Contemplative Thoughts for each of the 7 Teachings

Wisdom

to cherish knowledge is to know wisdom. To have wisdom is to know the difference between positive and negative and know the result of your actions. Sound judgement, ability to see inner qualities and relationships. Listen and use the wisdom of elders, spiritual leaders and healers.

Wisdom is sound judgement and the ability to use good sense, to have a good attitude and reason of action that runs through and binds the seven teachings together. Wisdom is given by the Creator to be used for the good of the people.

NLT Study Bible, theme notes for Proverbs 2: 1-22
“Wisdom helps us to know how to act and speak in different situations. It provides the ability to avoid problems as well as the skill to handle them when they arise. Wisdom goes beyond simple intelligence. Proverbs notes that even animals such as ants, rock badgers, locusts, and lizards are wise. This is not because they have great intelligence but because they know how to navigate life skillfully.

The foundation of wisdom is God himself. No wisdom exists apart from fear of the Lord. Wisdom is closely connected to righteousness and remains distant from evil. According to Proverbs, wisdom is gained through observation and experience, from instruction based on tradition, in learning from mistakes, and finally, but most importantly, thorough divine revelation.”

 
2016-04-25T12:05:58+00:00
“Wisdom helps us to know how to act and speak in different situations. It provides the ability to avoid problems as well as the skill to handle them when they arise. Wisdom goes beyond simple intelligence. Proverbs notes that even animals such as ants, rock badgers, locusts, and lizards are wise. This is not because they have great intelligence but because they know how to navigate life skillfully. The foundation of wisdom is God himself. No wisdom exists apart from fear of the Lord. Wisdom is closely connected to righteousness and remains distant from evil. According to Proverbs, wisdom is gained through observation and experience, from instruction based on tradition, in learning from mistakes, and finally, but most importantly, thorough divine revelation.”  
George Bernard Shaw
"We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future."
2016-04-25T12:07:58+00:00
"We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future."
Socrates
"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."
2016-04-25T12:12:56+00:00
"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."
Calvin Coolidge
"Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity."
2016-04-25T12:39:28+00:00
"Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity."
Confucius
"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."
2016-04-25T12:40:25+00:00
"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."
Audrey Hepburn
"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."
2016-04-25T12:42:45+00:00
"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."

Love

To know love is to know peace. Feel and give absolute kindness for all things around you. To love yourself is to live at peace with the Creator and in harmony with all creation. Love is to feel and give complete kindness for all things around you. Love is based upon affection, respect, kindness, unselfish loyalty, devotions and concern. Love your brother and sister and share with them. Love cannot be demanded…it must be earned and given freely from the goodness of your heart.

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
2016-04-25T13:02:14+00:00
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”
2016-04-25T13:02:52+00:00
“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”
Mother Teresa
“My daughters, what are these drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things of daily life: faithfulness, punctuality, small words of kindness, a thought of others, our way of being silent, of looking, of speaking, and of acting. These are the true drops of love…"
2016-04-25T13:22:16+00:00
“My daughters, what are these drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things of daily life: faithfulness, punctuality, small words of kindness, a thought of others, our way of being silent, of looking, of speaking, and of acting. These are the true drops of love…"
Holy Bible, Matthew 25:12
“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.

How does a lamp burn? Through the continuous input of small drops of oil. If the drops of oil run out, the light of the lamp will cease, and the bridegroom will say, “I do not know you”.
2016-04-25T13:23:09+00:00
“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. How does a lamp burn? Through the continuous input of small drops of oil. If the drops of oil run out, the light of the lamp will cease, and the bridegroom will say, “I do not know you”.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
2016-04-25T13:24:04+00:00
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
Rumi, The Illuminated Rumi
“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”
2016-04-25T13:25:01+00:00
“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”
Holy Bible, 1 John 4:11
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
2016-04-25T13:25:59+00:00
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
Thomas Merton
“The reality that is present to us and in us: call it Being…Silence. And the simple fact that by being attentive, by learning to listen (or recovering the natural capacity to listen) we can find ourself engulfed in such happiness that it cannot be explained: that happiness of being at one with everything in that hidden ground of Love for which there can be no explanations…May we all grow in grace and peace, and not neglect the silence that is printed in the centre of our being. It will not fail us.”
2016-04-25T13:26:59+00:00
“The reality that is present to us and in us: call it Being…Silence. And the simple fact that by being attentive, by learning to listen (or recovering the natural capacity to listen) we can find ourself engulfed in such happiness that it cannot be explained: that happiness of being at one with everything in that hidden ground of Love for which there can be no explanations…May we all grow in grace and peace, and not neglect the silence that is printed in the centre of our being. It will not fail us.”

Respect

To honor all of creation is to have respect. Showing respect is showing honour for the value of persons or things by polite regard, consideration and appreciation. Honour our teachings. Honour our families, others and ourselves. Don’t hurt anything or anyone on the outside or the inside. Respect, also is not to be demanded. You must give respect freely from the goodness of your heart if you wish to be respected.

Abraham Joshua Heschel
“Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.”
2016-04-25T12:46:35+00:00
“Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I submit that an individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.”
2016-04-25T12:47:17+00:00
“I submit that an individual who breaks the law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.”
Aldo Leopold
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
2016-04-25T12:47:54+00:00
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
Miguel Angel Ruiz
“Respect is one of the greatest expressions of love.”
2016-04-25T12:48:48+00:00
“Respect is one of the greatest expressions of love.”
Holy Bible, New International Version, Romans 12:10
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.”
2016-04-25T12:49:42+00:00
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.”
John Milton
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”
2016-04-25T12:50:30+00:00
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”
Robert Schumann
“Nature best teaches how to pray, and how to reverence all the gifts the Almighty has given us. She is like a vast outspread handkerchief, embroidered with God’s eternal name, on which we may dry alike our tears of sorrow and of joy; she turns weeping into ecstasy, and fills our hearts with speechless, quiet reverence and resignation.”
2016-04-25T12:51:22+00:00
“Nature best teaches how to pray, and how to reverence all the gifts the Almighty has given us. She is like a vast outspread handkerchief, embroidered with God’s eternal name, on which we may dry alike our tears of sorrow and of joy; she turns weeping into ecstasy, and fills our hearts with speechless, quiet reverence and resignation.”

The sacred 7 teachings written on stones

Bravery

To face life with courage is to know bravery. The personal strength to face difficulties, obstacles and challenges. Have courage, make positive choices. Stand up for your convictions–show courage in communicating and decision-making. Do thins even in the most difficult times. Be ready to defend what you believe and what is right. Never give in. Never give up.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”
2016-04-25T12:52:14+00:00
“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”
Prayer of the Mountain Spirit
“Hear a prayer of courage. Lord of the peaks, Reared amid the thunders; Keeper of the headlands, Holding up the harvest, Keeper of the strong rocks.”
2016-04-25T12:53:03+00:00
“Hear a prayer of courage. Lord of the peaks, Reared amid the thunders; Keeper of the headlands, Holding up the harvest, Keeper of the strong rocks.”
Aristotle
“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honour.”
2016-04-25T12:53:54+00:00
“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honour.”
Maya Angelou
“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
2016-04-25T12:54:46+00:00
“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
Rabindranath Tagore
“Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them.”
2016-04-25T12:55:28+00:00
“Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them.”
Theodore Roosevelt
“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
2016-04-25T12:56:04+00:00
“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
C.S. Lewis
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”
2016-04-25T12:56:39+00:00
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”

Honesty

Honesty is to be hones in action and character, be faithful to fact and reality– to walk through life with integrity is to know honesty. Being truthful and trustworthy. Tell the truth. Be honest with yourself, recognize who and what you are. Accept and act on truths with straightforward and appropriate communication. Be honest in every action and provide good feelings in the heart. Do not be deceitful or use self-deception. Honesty keeps life simple.

Thomas Jefferson
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”
2016-04-25T12:57:25+00:00
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”
James E. Faust
“Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.”
2016-04-25T12:58:07+00:00
“Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.”
James Altucher
“Honesty is the fastest way to prevent a mistake from turning into a failure.”
2016-04-25T12:58:46+00:00
“Honesty is the fastest way to prevent a mistake from turning into a failure.”
Albert Einstein
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters”
2016-04-25T12:59:25+00:00
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters”
Holy Bible, 2 Corinthians 8:21 ESV
“For we aim at what is honourable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.”
2016-04-25T13:00:09+00:00
“For we aim at what is honourable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.”
Oscar Wilde
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
2016-04-25T13:00:54+00:00
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Holy Bible, Proverbs 10:9 ESV
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”
2016-04-25T13:01:32+00:00
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”

Humility

To accept yourself as a sacred part of creation is to know humility. Reflecting, expressing or offering in a spirit of deference or submission. Balance of equality with all of life. Recognize the human need for balance in life. Know that you are equal to everyone else. Take pride in what you do, but the pride that you take is in the sharing of the accomplishment with others.

Ram Dass, Grist for the Mill
“We are in training to be nobody special. And it is in that nobody-specialness that we can be anybody…For when we become nobody, there is no tension, no pretense, no one trying to be anyone or anything, and the natural state of the mind shines through unobstructed. Can you imagine when we become that place we’ve only touched through our meditations?”
2016-03-31T22:11:58+00:00
“We are in training to be nobody special. And it is in that nobody-specialness that we can be anybody…For when we become nobody, there is no tension, no pretense, no one trying to be anyone or anything, and the natural state of the mind shines through unobstructed. Can you imagine when we become that place we’ve only touched through our meditations?”
Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man’s Quest for God
“Prayer takes the mind out of the narrowness of self-interest, and enables us to see the world in the mirror of the holy. For when we betake ourselves to the extreme opposite of the ego, we can behold a situation from the aspect of God.”
2016-03-31T22:16:47+00:00
“Prayer takes the mind out of the narrowness of self-interest, and enables us to see the world in the mirror of the holy. For when we betake ourselves to the extreme opposite of the ego, we can behold a situation from the aspect of God.”
Saint Augustine
“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.”
2016-03-31T22:18:48+00:00
“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.”
Maya Angelou
“What humility does for one is it reminds us that there are people before me. I have already been paid for. And what I need to do is prepare myself so that I can pay for someone else who has yet to come but who may be here and needs me.”
2016-03-31T22:20:02+00:00
“What humility does for one is it reminds us that there are people before me. I have already been paid for. And what I need to do is prepare myself so that I can pay for someone else who has yet to come but who may be here and needs me.”
Alfred Austin
“There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.”
2016-03-31T22:21:07+00:00
“There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.”

Truth

To know of these things is to know the truth. Faithfully apply the teachings of our seven grandfathers and trust in the Creator. To show honour is to be truthful and trustworthy, to tell the truth. Sincerity in actions, character, and utterance. Be faithful to fact and reality. Be true in everything that you do. Be true to yourself and true to your fellow man. Understand it. Speak it. Live by it.

Albert Einstein
“The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with joy are goodness, beauty, and truth.”
2016-04-25T13:34:23+00:00
“The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with joy are goodness, beauty, and truth.”
Mahatma Gandhi
“I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world.”
2016-04-25T13:35:54+00:00
“I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world.”
Madeleine L’Engle
“Truth is eternal. Our knowledge of it is changeable. It is disastrous when you confuse the two.”
2016-04-25T13:36:49+00:00
“Truth is eternal. Our knowledge of it is changeable. It is disastrous when you confuse the two.”
Martin Luther
“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.”
2016-04-25T13:43:45+00:00
“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.”

Comments are closed