Tuesday, November 23, 2010


+ updated at 9:14am EST on Wednesday, November 24, 2010

+ My spiritual practice of the week is Solitude.  I have a web page devoted to this discipline which I am revising and expanding this week.  Below are some new thoughts and finds on the web.

+ Solitude does not mean withdrawal from community.  Instead, solitude is the practice which makes community thrive.  We are not robots thoughtlessly doing what society demands.  We are spiritual beings charged with transforming society into the most holy, glorious, fantastic realm of abundance, joy, wisdom, beauty, love, truth, peace, justice and freedom. Getting  awayfrom the demands of society allows one to figure out how to participate in the very just and life-giving demands of God.  Society can be very demanding.  Get away from all those demands from time to time and discover your true self.  Get connected to God intimately.  Solitude miraculously opens the door to heaven.  WOW!

+ An important book on this important practice is Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life by Henri Nouwen.

+ eNotAlone offers an excerpt from Living Peace: A Spirituality of Contemplation and Action by John Dear. It begins: "The life of peace begins anew each morning. We take a breath, awaken, and receive the gift of life, the gift of the present moment. The great spiritual traditions urge us to take time each day to center ourselves in the spirit of peace. If we dare enter the solitude of peace, we will rediscover who we are, each one of us a beloved, precious child of the God of peace." Read More.

+ Experience the Possibilities offers "The Joy Of Silence, Solitude, And Voluntary Simplicity" by Ken Lauher, a Feng Shui Consultant.

+ Ignation Spirituality: Set The World Ablaze is a blog offered by John Predmore, S.J. On April 14, he offered "Spirituality: Silence and Solitude." Here it is:

Silence and solitude are the marks of spiritual maturity. They lead to peace and bliss. The spiritual life is an inner life and cannot be attained on the outside. The spiritual life is its own reward and seeks nothing beyond itself. Once we achieve inner peace and conscious contact, we want to overflow. This is the mark of truth and love to move toward goodness and transcendence.

The ancient philosophers called goodness, truth, beauty and love the transcendental properties of Being.

+ "The best and sweetest flowers in paradise, God gives to his people when they are on their knees in the closet. — Prayer, if not the very gate of heaven, is the key to let us into its holiness and joys." -- Thomas Brooks (found at http://www.quotationpark.com/topics/devotion.html)

+ Discipleship Tools offers "The Discipline of Solitude" by Dr. Richard J. Krejcir. The guidance offered by this Christian is very similar to the Sufi guidance below. The sages of the ages all teach that we get closer to God by stilling ourselves and being receptive. They also teach that we have a mission to take our wisdom into the world and make a difference. First, we make a difference in ourselves and then we display our divine side in the world. This is attractive to seekers and a threat to the selfish and greedy. Be prepared!

Hermitary offers "Solitude in Sufi Tradition." 

Excerpt 1: "The use of solitude as discipline and means may have channeled deep individual and cultural expressions into daily life. Sufism as mysticism was devotional in a way paralleling Hindu Bhakti, but strictly regulated by Muslim and Quranic tradition. Yet who can doubt that the magnificent poetry of Sufi tradition so rich in mystical symbolism, sensual imagery, and Dionysian expression, was not itself a devotional expression that elevated Sufi practice as praise and extroversion, contrasted to the introversion of Western and Far Eastern solitude and silence."

Excerpt 2: "Solitude in the crowd becomes the face of the self going about daily life. Constant consciousness of God in every circumstance preserves a disengagement from the world without disrupting the functions of society, which in turn are supposed to be based on Islamic ethics. The Quran identifies those who successfully practice 'solitude in the crowd' as those 'whom neither business nor profit distracts from the recollection of God' (24:37). Attributed to the Prophet Muhammad is a saying of himself (and as a model to others) that he has 'two sides: one faces my Creator and one faces creation.'"

1 comment:

soma said...

Thank you for speaking on solitude. I too feel when we are silent, we can listen to God speak.