When we are open and listening as Ruth Haley Barton exhorts us to, we relate to God on a much deeper level and in a much more authentic way. Fasting We let go of the need of expressing our opinions. “It is all very well to insist that man is a “social animal”—the fact is obvious enough. Even a secluded chair inside your house may work as long as all your communication and media devices are turned off! Where do you go, or, what do you do to unwind when you have had one of those hectic days? Don’t feel like these brief interludes of solitude and silence aren’t real or “authentic” enough. Let him who is not in community beware of being alone. Second, look for simple ways to incorporate pockets of solitude and silence into your daily routine. . Solitude and society are in fact equally important; each acts as a vital enhancement and balancing mechanism for the other. They feel the allure of these disciplines, but don’t act on them. In defining solitude, we noted that silence is not an essential precondition for its existence. Why do you find this to be of comfort? One’s circumstances don’t alter this equation either. Solitude and silence compel us the way food and sex compel us; they bespeak basic human needs that, if not as physically vital, are psychologically essential. You can achieve complete solitude and silence on every solo drive. There was also a shaft leading to the water pipes. Sought passively, out of visceral craving, the simple forms of solitude and silence provide an elemental salve to the psyche; sought deliberately, for the purpose of exercising and edifying the soul, solitude and silence become spiritual disciplines, and their benefits expand to the spirit. “Solitude bears the same relation to the mind that sleep does to the body. Fortunately, this obstacle is in many ways the easiest to deal with and overcome, as its basis is simply rooted in misconceptions about what these disciplines really require. “if we possess inward solitude we do not fear being alone, for we know that we are not alone. Silence further encompasses not just the quieting of external noise produced by others, but also the noise produced by oneself; it requires the cessation of all talking, or speaking only when absolutely necessary. Too busy? Don’t share anything on social media for an entire week. . 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.”. “I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.” —Henry David Thoreau. We are both attracted to, and repulsed by, our fellow man. Society, to merit its name, must be made up not of numbers, or mechanical units, but of persons. . As Manoush Zomorodi told me in my podcast interview about her book, Bored and Brilliant, research shows that “some incredibly important things” happen when you let your mind wander and space out: “that is when we do some of our most creative thinking, most original thinking. Extroverts may need less, and introverts more, but neither group can entirely do without. Even when you’re not actively attending to it, you may put the radio/television on in the background, to sort of keep you company. This is probably the most common reason people give for not setting apart time for solitude and silence. You can also prepare for the twists of fate in your path by reaffirming your commitment to maintaining a Stoic mindset — rehearsing to yourself the fact that there’s no use in reacting emotionally to things you can’t change, and that you must focus only on that which lies within your control. But as mentioned at the start, men have in fact craved these states for thousands of years, long before anything digital, or electronic, or urban ever existed. Solitude And Silence poem by Kishan Shetty. Though the transition to silence and solitude when entering the monastery had been hard, Fermor reported that “the unwinding process, after I had left, was ten times worse. And humans hate boredom. Do you think Jesus was strengthened by his time on the mountain? Don’t just forgo music during your workout, but leave your phone entirely at home. To care only for the approval of God, and the approbation of your own conscience. Your perspective may feel opaque, like a jar of muddy water that’s been shaken up. . The really diligent student in one of the crowded hives of a college is as solitary as a dervish in the desert.” Or as the Chinese saying puts it: “Greatest hermit in crowded street.”. Similarly, each of us is ill served by remaining constantly on the “frontlines” of life. It’s self-referential processing, literally creating a coherent sense of ourselves. And we must do all this, while making our efforts seem effortless! In the midst of noise and confusion we are settled into a deep inner silence. These are often practiced together as silent time alone with God, they can also be used independently. The advantage of life lived apart is the alternative set of qualities and perspective it furnishes compared to life lived together. The explanation is simple enough: the desire for talk, movement and nervous expression that I had transported from Paris found, in this silent place, no response or foil, evoked no single echo; after miserably gesticulating for a while in a vacuum, it languished and finally died for lack of any stimulus or nourishment. If you can’t stand to drive in silence, spend a few minutes sitting quietly in your car once you arrive in the parking lot of your workplace. We develop empathy for them, and we do something . At the same time, these short spiritual workouts keep your soul in overall good health, achieving effects that are outsized compared to the minimal amount of time they require. In today’s world a wide range of impulses bombards us. Follow along with each part of this practice. Silence and solitude can seem out of reach to the average man — the exclusive purview of the kind of religious ascetics and hermetic philosophers just mentioned, or a luxury that can be indulged only by those leaders who face choices freighted with heavy meaning and high stakes. . Down through the centuries, solitude and silence have been practiced and encouraged by women and men who have grown deep in their lives with God. While this might seem pathetic, it’s really just a variation of the same kind of thing most of us experience when we leave behind “normal” life for a time of silent solitude. When society is made up of men who know no interior solitude it can no longer be held together by love: and consequently it is held together by a violent and abusive authority. Did anybody have a bad week? Scared? You leave the space of silent solitude better prepared to forge your own path, instead of defaulting to the one laid out by others. Ten years from now? “To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven . “Solitude shows us what we should be, society shows us what we are.” —Lord David Cecil, “Do not flee to solitude from the community. Inner silence of television channels and videos web, you ’ ll shocked... Enter into a challenge with a group, or deprivation and quiet, reading,! Once put it, ‘ who am I accomplished one year from now authors, and introverts more but. – often quite early in the thick of this question is honest conversation not... All the distractions in your life rhythm necessary to a monastic cell each day practice, not guilt or.. 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