There is nothing in all creation so like God as stillness.
-Meister Eckhart

From "Honoring the Medicine: The Essential Guide to Native American Healing" by Kenneth Cohen:

When I was thirteen years old, many years before I began training with Native American elders, I had two dreams that taught me the power of silence. When I later discovered that silence was at the heart of Native American spirituality, I knew that I had come home.I dreamed that I was at the ocean, standing alone in sand dunes, listening to the rhythm of the waves. My mind was utterly quiet. In the silence, I knew the meaning of the ocean in a way that words could never communicate. I looked up and saw all the stars of the galaxy glistening in a clear sky. A shooting star fell, and then another, and another. Soon all the stars were shooting across the sky, leaving only black space behind. Gazing into the immensity, I was filled with a profound peace. Out of the blackness, an eagle emerged, slowly flapping its wings. I knew that the world I had previously known had ended.

In the second dream, later that year, I was also near the ocean, looking out, this time, over a quiet evening sea. I inhaled deeply, drawing in the ocean with my breath. My separate self and all the thoughts and belief systems that maintained it disappeared. I became the ocean. I awakened ecstatic, knowing that the dream had shown me a reality deeper and more expansive than the everyday.In the most sacred places, we do not perceive spirits, but only the silence of the Great Mystery. We go to those places to touch the deepest wisdom and to renew our being. I still enter a silent state when I am near the ocean. Silence can awaken the Eagle of wisdom, allowing him to emerge from even the darkest skies. When we breathe with a silent mind, we share the breath of life with nature. We can inhale and exhale the ocean, a tree, or a cloud. Like listening to the ocean waves, breathing also puts us in touch with the energy and rhythm of life. Perhaps the crashing waves and retreating tides are the breathing of the ocean."

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Also on Beliefnet:

  • How Silence Soothes the Harried Soul

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