“Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind, and spirit. The man who preserves his selfhood ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence — not a leaf, as it were, astir on the tree; not a ripple upon the surface of shining pool- his, in the mind of the unlettered sage, is the ideal attitude and conduct of life.

If you ask him: “What is silence?” he will answer: “ It is the Great Mystery!” “ The holy silence is His voice!” If you ask: “ What are the fruits of silence?” he will say: “They are self-control, true courage or endurance, patience, dignity, and reverence. Silence is the corner-stone of character”

 - Charles Eastman, The Soul of an Indian (1911, p. 88-89).

Charles Eastman (Lakota name: Ohiyesa)

Charles Eastman’s (1858-1939) ability to work effectively and often brilliantly in the world of both the traditional Lakota Sioux and the nineteenth century white man is an astonishing accomplishment. He entered Euro-American culture at the age of fifteen, eventually completing his medical training at Boston University and becoming a practicing medical doctor. Eastman was the doctor in residence at Pine Ridge reservation at the time of the Wounded Knee massacre, treating the few surviving Sioux. He was a tireless advocate for his people and an inspired writer. See the links below, as well as his own writings (also below) for a more complete biography.

Charles Eastman Links

Lakota Museum


National Library of Medicine


Native American Writers




World Wisdom


Dartmouth College




Free Downloadable Digital Books by Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa)

Indian Boyhood


From the Deep Woods to Civilization


The Soul of an Indian


Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains


The Indian Today



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