Teaching #2 - Silence, When and How to Talk
The best Indigenous teachers I have met have one thing in common. They are very silent and very quiet. They reminded me of the few Buddhist monks with whom I have spent little time.
The shaman or master that impressed me the most was almost always silent; I was warned when I met him the first time. “He will not shake your hand, not establish any eye contact, and not talk to you at all.” I was glad I was warned before it helped me feel better in his presence.
They were so quiet that it triggered most non-Indigenous people around them.
From education, we, people who grew up in the modern world, always have questions and want to discuss things. The teachers generally wish to avoid engaging in conversations and do not want to answer questions.
Instead of asking them why they were so silent, which would be another question, I observed them. I have also observed myself always having questions and some fellow visitors even judging them “rude” for not engaging in conversations. It is considered rude not to talk or answer questions in our world.
Here are some thoughts on why they are so silent and not talkative. This is only my experience, and I am tentative about explaining it.
Reception. They are constantly receiving non-verbal information.
Nobody talks to me when I dream or I would wake up and interrupt the dream. Meditating, I observe my thoughts; specific ideas come precisely because I am silent. It does not have to be seated in meditation pause; it does the same to me when I wing-foil flying over the ocean. There are many stimulations from the wind and the practice of the sport itself. Still, I have been sailing since I was eight years old, so whatever I have to do is registered in my body and does not require any thinking, so wing-foiling is very meditative.
The information can come through thoughts, through visions with the help of “supplements,” as some call plant medicine, through sensations (your body showing you something that needs attention or healing, drinking too much, for example), or through animals showing up, anything can be information. Silence means receiving more information, and I keep being constantly surprised by what comes up when I am quiet and silent, observing inside or outside with my eyes open.
Introduce an idea or a judgment that will have an impact on them.
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