Manataka American Indian Council







Grandfather Gray Hawk Speaks






Last month I wrote about the brain and our conscious and subconscious minds. This month my focus will be on creating change within our minds through meditation.


I must point out here that change is tough, and few people want to make changes in their life styles. The actual act of change is made easier by “DELIBERATE AND DIRECTIONAL USE” of the subconscious mind. I recommend meditation as the best tool to achieve change.


The art of mediation is an ancient and honored study. Success often depends on your teacher. Classic meditation forms the base of an Eastern tradition of introspection, tied to the Hindu and Buddhist understanding of the nature of consciousness and life. This type of meditation is meant to quiet the mind from the frazzled state of extraneous thoughts popping into your mind. The teacher will give you a Mantra, a word to stop the ‘monkey chatter’ by breaking your chain of thoughts.  


First, you are taught to relax by putting yourself in a position of resting, which is comfortable but will not put you to sleep. The next phase is to begin clearing your mind, using your mantra when necessary. A teacher I had once told me to use the “Lord’s Prayer.” Each time I needed to refocus, I was to start with the first word of the Prayer and go to the next word as needed. The substitution of the conscious gesture of the mantra is to keep the thought stream from being disrupted, and the mind is again at peace.


This Eastern meditation does have its limitation. To quote T.D. Nehrer, “This approach is like having a bottle full of rotten, putrid  organs and just putting a cap on it, thinking you’ve cleaned up your problems. The rotten stuff is still in there, even though you don’t smell it. The problems do not go away just by choking off the symptom of their existence. So meditation, as practiced and promoted by many a guru and yogi, might get you to the borders of Kansas – a good first move, but not much better.”


Let’s return to the way I am writing about. You start by getting in a safe, comfortable, and quiet place. Then work to put the day’s troubles out of your mind.  This is starting to control and quiet your mind.. This will take practice, so do not become discouraged if you can do this for only five minutes. The athlete has to start slow and easy and build up to the competition. So, think in the way towards meditation. You will increase your length of time as you practice. Can I tell you how long it will take? No. Everyone is different,  but just keep at it  and you will increase your speed over time. In other words, just stay in your comfort zone and keep pushing it larger. At the same time, make use of your questions you need to work with and use your own guided imagery and visualization. Self-talk is what I call this . Whatever your subject is, you need to use as many of your senses as you can to make it seem real.


In the beginning, I had to disciplined my self to meditate each day. I attempted short sessions at first and slowly built up to longer periods. Later on, I was in meditation for 20minutes at a time, then thirty minutes a day just sitting quietly in my room with all sorts of questions (and answers) coming to me.


Today, I can relax in any quiet place and have a dialogue with myself. One such place is taking a hot shower. Many  times I will find answers to questions, either from past days when I wondered if there may have been an easier way to have done what ever I did, or to future days when I know something will need to be done.


Do I think the work to get to this place in meditation was worth it? YES, I do, and so do the people I work with. It has allowed me freedom to flow with less stress.


Next time we will look at MAKING SLEEP USEFUL


Robert Gray Hawk

December 2009


Also Read: 

Using Meditation to Control Emotions - Part 1

Using Meditation to Control Emotions - Part 2

Using Meditation to Control Emotions - Part 3

Using Meditation to Control Emotions - Part 4





Robert Gray Hawk King Coke, 77, Cherokee, is the newest member of the Manataka Elder Council. Coke graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute in 1952 with a biology degree. He served in the U.S. Army with a tour in Europe.


After returning home, Robert Coke, entered pre-seminary school Austin College with a major in Philosophy.  He continued his education by earning a degree in Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Business Administration at Southern Methodist University where he later served on the faculty as an instructor. In 1996, Elder Coke was elected Chairman, of the American Indian Heritage Association and served as an ambassador for the American Indian Center of Dallas. Gray Hawk is now a semi-retired consultant.




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