Oct 11, 2013

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MEDITATION: An underrated pleasure

MEDITATION: An underrated pleasure

But He withdrew to the wilderness and prayed (Luke 5:16)
 
This week I came across two quotations that once again stressed and made me aware of the importance of solitude and silence.
 
The first quotation comes from John Gierach’s book on trout fishing called,  “Another Lousy Day in Paradise”. It goes like this: “If nothing else, people would leave you alone, and being left alone is one of the great underrated pleasures of life.”
 
Solitude indeed has its own pleasures. It takes you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Also from the often meaningless and empty chatter of people, as well as the many obligations and claims with which we are daily confronted.
 
Solitude offers one the opportunity to explore and enjoy aspects of life that one would under normal circumstances never get or tend to. Like that young man who felt anxious and overworked. One day he just decided to put in leave, take his car, drive up the coast and spend a few nights all on his own in a tent next to the sea – reading, reflecting and just enjoying the wonders of nature around him.
 
Solitude and especially the silence that go with it also bring us closer to ourselves. It breaks open that crust of deadly routine, convention and apathy that we are often trapped in. It moves us closer to our core where we truly can deeply feel, live more honestly and are often more fragile, naked, open and receptive.
 
A second quotation reminded me of this. A friend brought it up during a meeting. It goes as follows: “Nothing dethrones the artificial ego like silence.”
 
Perhaps that is why so few people risk it with silence and solitude. They even say it is not their cup of tea.
 
Which of course can never be true.
 
The Lord himself gave us the example.
 
Carel Anthonissen

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