Try for freeTry for free
PodcastPart Four Practice: The Words Before All Else

Part Four Practice: The Words Before All Else

Tribal Elder and Bear Clan Mother, Mama Bear, from the Mohawk National Council, reads the Haudenosaunee Tribe’s Thanksgiving address.

Try 14 days free

Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

Try 14 days free
Better mental health starts with Headspace

(soft relaxing music) Greetings. I am Mama Bear. Clan Mother of the Bear Clan from Akwesasne in upstate New York. Welcome to this Long Time Academy practice, which is called The Words Before All Else. In the Haudenosaunee way, it is custom before you begin your business of the day to open and to close with an acknowledgement of why we exist in the world, and how we are in relationship to all things. And most people call it the opening address. But the way we look at it is laying down the mat upon which you're gonna sit, which is creation. And it's about a ascension from the obvious which is the people, all the way from the tiniest up to the largest, which is the universe. The Words Before All Else helps us to remember that we are all intricately connected in the web of life. And we welcome you to adopt this practice at sunrise and sunset. In our way, we reciprocate the speaker. And so, I welcome you to join me whenever I say, "Now we wrap our minds together as one, let it be so" by responding with the words tall. The reciprocity of saying this means that you're in agreement with the words. (soft relaxing music) Bring your hands together and position yourself within the colossal universe as a small spec of wonderment, imagination, and wisdom, so that the universe knows that you're here, and you're standing in acknowledgement of the beauty and the power that she is. And we begin to focus on prayer, on the mysterious beauty of that which we are born into in the earth that we walk. We are important to all of creation. We are creators, and we bring our minds together as one. Now, we acknowledge our sacred mother earth, and we acknowledge all that grows on her, and the rivers that run through her, and all the magnificent powers that she possesses in order to bring us happiness. And how she nurtures us, nourish us, and cares for us. We bring our minds together as one and acknowledge our sacred mother earth. Then we move our minds to the waters, the great medicine that we all arrive here on this earth, in the vessel of the mystical magical waters. And how we clear our throats. And we quench our thirst, and we travel the waterways, and how intricately they feed into the oceans. And how magnificent we are that our bodies are a big container of that great medicine that brings us to this place of acknowledgement that we are all part of in relationship of the great mystery of the earth mother. We bring our minds together as one to acknowledge the sacred waters. Now we bring our minds toward the sacred waters and deep into the ocean, into that primordial place where all the sea life live the fishes, the plant life. In great abundance, they have been assigned a purpose, a duty to...


Duration21 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

    More about Andy
  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

    More about Eve
  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

    More about Dora
  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

    More about Kessonga
  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

    More about Rosie
Your lifelong guide to better mental health

Your lifelong guide to better mental health

Stress, sleep, and all the challenging emotions — care for your mind with the everyday mental health app that's shown to make a difference.

Try 14 days free
Look After Your Mind

Look after your mind

Proven guided meditations and programs to help you stress less, sleep more soundly, and better navigate life’s challenges

Science Backed


Studies show that using Headspace for 30 days can reduce stress, increase resilience, and improve overall well-being

Explore Content

Explore 1000+ 
expert-led exercises

Access our library of meditations, breathing exercises, and guidance videos for stress, sleep, focus, everyday anxiety , parenting, and more.

Member reviews

Hear from some of our members

Your app brings so much peace and tolerance to our home.




Changing my thoughts has allowed me to change my life.




The stress and loneliness courses … taught me how to comfort myself.




Headspace provides me with … a connection to myself, and a disconnection from negative thoughts, feelings, and sensations.




Related to 'Part Four Practice The Words Before All'

Loving Earth

Meditation9 min

Take some time to love and respect Mother Nature.

More to explore

Beginning Meditation


Reframe Stress and Relax


New and Popular


Becoming a Mindful Parent

    • Terms & conditions
    • Privacy policy
    • Consumer Health Data
    • Your privacy choices
      Privacy Choices Icon
    • CA Privacy Notice
  • © 2024 Headspace Inc.
  • Terms & conditions
  • Privacy policy
  • Consumer Health Data
  • Your privacy choices
    Privacy Choices Icon
  • CA Privacy Notice