The Way of the Three Steps

A Native American Way to Begin the Day:

Stand on Mother Earth. Face any direction you choose. Take one step forward, looking all around.

O Great, Holy Spirit, I take this step into the day you have given. I embrace all I see – the season, the wind, the fragrances, the weather. Let me always accept the day given with a grateful heart.

Take another step forward.

O Spirit of Life, I put my arms around myself, all that I am, all that I can be. I stand here in my own history, with all my mistakes and victories. I hold all those I will meet today, in my journeying and in my work. I try to walk gently on this earth. Let me walk gently through the lives of my work companions and friends. Though they make way for my passing, may they spring back, neither broken, nor bruised.

Take another step forward.

O glorious Spirit of Mystery, I put my arms around you. I do not know what will happen to me today, but I accept it. Give me a heart of courage and believing, so I may put my trust in you, and fear nothing.

From the Plains tribes: North American, found in WomanPrayers edited by Mary Ford-Grabowsky.

As a little girl my mother used to tell me that my paternal great great grandfather, who was Irish, married an Apache woman. Because my parents divorced when I was young, and I lost all contact with my father and his family, I was never able to confirm this. Nonetheless, it might explain why I have always had an affinity for Native American prayers, jewelry, artwork, and spirituality.


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
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8 Responses to The Way of the Three Steps

  1. karlajean says:

    this is gorgeous. thank you for sharing it.

  2. Sherry says:

    I recall being told that there was Native American in our family too, from Ontario. I have the same love. Every year as a kid, we got rings and mocassins from the NA store in upstate Michigan. I got to spend some time with Navahoes in NM a number of years ago. I’m still in love with the South west and with turquoise today. I tend to feel close to NA spirituality. Thank you for this!

  3. That’s beautiful. I love the part about walking gently.

  4. Purple says:

    I have always found such richness in Native American liturgies. This is beautiful.

  5. Grace thing says:

    This is really beautiful. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Barbara B. says:

    Wow, I love this! (In fact, I’m printing it out!) My grandparents farmed in the Dakotas — and there were Native American prayer circles on their pasture land.

  7. Rev Honey says:

    This is beautiful. What a wonderful way to pray into the day…thank you+

  8. Sophia says:

    Gorgeous, thank you.

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