"We were taught
to sit still and enjoy the silence. We were taught to use our organs of smell, to look when apparently there was nothing to
see, and to listen intently when all was seemingly quiet."
Luther Standing Bear Oglala Dakota
From Kay Castle Professor of Physics and Spirituality
WHEN IT COMES TO PRAYER, I FEEL LIKE IT IS ALWAYS
IN THE BACKGROUND.
LIKE A CHANTING HMMMMM. CONSTANT CONNECTION WITH THE ALMIGHTY.
NO SPECIFIC WORDS. JUST THE CONNECTION.THE
IT DOESN'T SEEM TO WAIVER. IT IS ALWAYS THERE.
SO YOU AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS ARE IN THAT HMMMMM,
THE HMMMMM TRAVELS THROUGH GREAT WATERS,
AND RAINBOWS, AND THE UNIVERSE AND THE STARS,
AND THEN BOUNCES BACK TO
PRAYER HAS MOVEMENT.PRAYER HAS SOUND.
PRAYER HAS CONTENTMENT.
IT IS GOD'S HUG AROUND US,
HOLDING US EVER SO CLOSE
Talking Stones and Talking Staff
Honor and Respect
Have you ever found yourself saying, 'Listen to Me, I am talking'? Or before you were able to finish
your thought, were interupted? Have you sometimes had the sense that the person with whom you were talking was really somewhere
else, thinking about something else,thinking about what they were going to say next or just bored?
Of course you have.
And you felt hurt, unimportant and wounded.
Most of our communication is like 'Cross Fire', a bombardment of words
that hurt and wound. words that disregard the value and worth of the person. It does not have to be that way.
of The Talking Stone,The Talking Staff, Talking Feather or Talking Shell used by many Native Peoples show us another way that
is respectful, nurturing, healing, caring and enpowering.
These ways assist us in finding our voice to speak and to
know that we are heard and valued.
Native Peoples recognized that Words have power and people deserve respectful listening;
therefore both the speaker and their words were to be given the most thoughtful attention.
Here is the way it was used
as I was told by Lonnie Bradford of Black Thunder Trading Company, A Cherokee, who makes them.
The Talking Stick or
Talking Feather was used around the Council Fires and in the Lodges as The People gathered for the telling of their dreams,
visions, conquests and accomplishments.
As the stories were told the one holding the Talking stick or Talking Feather
had the Right to Speak
and was not to be interrupted until they were finished telling of their experiences or visions.Each
waited their turn, as it was considered rude and disrespectful to interupt. When the speaker had finished, the Talking Stick
was passed to the next person. Even if a person chose not to speak, others listened in respectful silence.
Stick is made from wood, two to three inches thick, twelve to fifteen inches long, wrapped in places with soft leather and
fur. A leather or cloth bag of herbs; sage, sweetgrass,cedar and tobacco may be used.
Beads,yellow,white.black and red,
representing The Four Cardinal Directions are also appropriate.
Use other items of stones, shells,yarn that have special
meaning for you.
The Talking Stones are also used in the same manner for the purpose of giving honor and respect to
the speaker and to acknowledge the reponsibility and power of the listening presence. They can be any size of stone, designs
can be carved or painted on them. When choosing one, hold the stone, feel its texture and energy, ask it's permission and
willingness for it to be used in this sacred manner. Prayerfuly make an offering of tobacco or corn meal. When not in use,
wrap in cloth, leather or animal fur and keep in a protected place.
Use any of these in family meetings, sharing circles,
or group organization. When talking with another person, imagine they are holding one as you listen to them, imagine yourself
holding one. Wonderful with children in either family or classroom. Experiment!
This is an answer to the cry, 'Hey,
Hey, Any body Listening,Hey, Hey, Any body Care?
You will know that someone IS listening and that someone does CARE.
cannot find God in noise and agitation.
Nature: trees, flowers, and grass grow in silence. The stars, the moon, and
the sun move in silence.
What is essential is not what we say but what God tells us and what He tells others through
In silence He listens to us; in silence He speaks to our souls. In silence we are granted the privilege of listening
to His voice.
Silence of our eyes.
Silence of our ears.
Silence of our mouths.
Silence of our minds.
the silence of the heart
God will speak.
---Mother Teresa, from No Greater Love
All sounds, from a whisper to a classical symphony, arise out of silence and disappear into silence. But silence is
always there beneath sound and is the space where sound can exist. We tend to think of silence as the absence of sound, but
silence has its own weight and quality. When you listen to silence,
you can perceive its intense depth and power. Taking
the time to experience silence calms the mind and rejuvenates the body. Silence is the void where we can hear the many sounds
that we often ignore - the voice of our intuition telling us the truth, the sound of the breeze blowing, the hum of the radiator,
and the noises we make just because we are alive.
One way to experience silence is to wake up before the rest of
the world has come alive. Try not to move into activity, and leave off the lights, radio, and television. Sit still and simply
listen. You may hear your heartbeat or your breath, but keep your attention tuned to the silence that surrounds you. Stay
this way for as long as you can, and allow the sound of silence to penetrate your body until it moves into your core. Feel
the gentle, pulsing waves of silence and allow it to cleanse you. Five minutes of communing with silence can leave you feeling
vibrant and connected to the universe.
At night, choose a moment after everyone around you has retired and tune
in to silence. You can also experience silence throughout the day. Even in the midst of activity, moments of silence are always
present. Usually we ignore or feel nervous around silence and try to fill these moments with sound. Yet silence is always
there - vast, potent, and available for us to step into any time we choose.......
....stevie Pittsley. Native American
Elder. Used with permission and gratitude.
Thoughts on Silence
In the sweet territory of silence
we touch the mystery. It's the place of reflection and contemplation, and it's the place where we can connect with the deep
knowing, to the deep wisdom way.
— Angeles Arrien quoted in The Millionth Circle by Jean Shinoda Bolen
for meaning in the words. Listen to the silences.
— Samuel Beckett quoted in Forty Days of Solitude by Doris Grumbach
is so like God as silence.
— Meister Eckhart quoted in Why Not Be a Mystic? by Frank Tuoti
Silence is God's first
language; everything else is a poor translation. In order to hear that language, we must learn to be still and to rest in
— Thomas Keating quoted in The Sun & Moon Over Assisi by Gerard Thomas Straub
There is no need to go to India
or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden, or even your bathtub.
— Elisabeth Kubler-Ross quoted in Awakening to the Sacred by Lama Surya Das
Silence is the shaft we descend to
the depths of contemplation. Silence is the vehicle that takes us to the innermost centre of our being which is the place
for all authentic practice.
— Elaine MacInnes in Light Sitting in Light
It is in deep solitude and silence that
I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brother and sister.
— Thomas Merton
The silence is there within
us. What we have to do is to enter into it, to become silent, to become the silence. The purpose of meditation and the challenge
of meditation is to allow ourselves to become silent enough to allow this interior silence to emerge. Silence is the language
of the spirit.
— John Mains in Word into Silence
Silence is the cornerstone of character.
— Ohhiyesa quoted
in You Already Know What to Do by Sharon Franquemont
Silence of the heart is necessary so you can hear God everywhere
— in the closing of the door, in the person who needs you, in the birds that sing, in the flowers, in the animals.
Teresa quoted in No Greater Love edited by Becky Benenate and Joseph Durepos
We can't stand the silence because silence
includes thinking. And if we thought, we would have to face ourselves.
— Agnes de Mille quoted in Celebrating Time Alone
by Lionel Fisher
At such moments we don't choose silence but fall silent. Silence, like love, is not something we reason
our way into. And once we are in it, we recognize that it has been there all along. It's there like the background noise of
the universe, that uniform hiss astronomers find when they point their radio telescopes at the space between stars, the remnant
of the big bang, the residual wind of our origin.
— Philip Simmons in Learning to Fall
Let me rest in Your will
and be silent. Then the light of Your joy will warm my life. Its fire will burn in my heart and shine for Your glory. This
is what I live for. Amen, amen.
— Thomas Merton quoted in Dialogues with Silence edited by Jonathan Montaldo
seeker's silence is the loudest form of prayer.
— Swami Vivekananda quoted in Monastic Journey to India by M. Basil Pennington
will illuminate you in God. . .
and deliver you from phantoms of ignorance.
Silence will unite you to God. . . .
the beginning we have to force ourselves
to be silent. But then from our very silence
is born something that draws
us into deeper silence.
— Isaac of Nineveh, seventh century Syrian monk, quoted in The Great Escape Manual by Edward Hays
— C. Alexander and Annellen Simpkins in Simple Zen
sweet territory of silence we touch the mystery. It's the place of reflection and contemplation, and it's the place where
we can connect with the deep knowing, to the deep wisdom way.
— Angeles Arrien quoted in The Millionth Circle by Jean
The friend of silence comes close to God. In secret he converses with him and receives his light.
John Climacus quoted in The Sun & Moon Over Assisi by Gerard Thomas Straub
Listen to God's speech in his wondrous,
terrible, gentle, loving, all-embracing silence.
— Catherine de Hueck Doherty quoted in The Sun & Moon Over Assisi by Gerard
Silence is God's first language; everything else is a poor translation. In order to hear that language,
we must learn to be still and to rest in God.
— Thomas Keating quoted in The Sun & Moon Over Assisi by Gerard Thomas Straub
has many dimensions. It can be a regression and an escape, a loss of self, or it can be presence, awareness, unification,
self-discovery. Negative silence blurs and confuses our identity, and we lapse into daydreams or diffuse anxieties. Positive
silence pulls us together and makes us realize who we are, who we might be, and the distance between these two.
Merton quoted in Thomas Merton: Essential Writings edited by Christine M. Bochen
Are they moved by a sense of human
need for silence, for reflection, for inner seeking? So they want to get away from the noise and tension of modern life, at
least for a little while, in order to relax their minds and wills and seek a blessed healing sense of inner unity, reconciliation,
— Thomas Merton quoted in Thomas Merton: Essential Writings edited by Christine M. Bochen
To 'listen' another's soul
into a condition of disclosure
and discovery may almost be the
greatest service that any human being
ever peforms for another.
From Gleanings;A Random Harvest
People are just as wonderful as sunsets, If I can let them
be. I don't try to control a sunset. I just watch it with awe as it unfolds, and I like myself best when appreciating the
ufolding of a life.
To listen another into giving voice and speech to their
story is a holy and confessional act. We are standing on Holy ground as the protector of another soul and spirt.
the truth of ones own experience requires profound trust in the acceptance from another person.