God's family for the whole family

Silence and Solitude

Solitude man sitting silentlyOne of the things we can do to battle ‘hurry sickness’ is to practice solitude and silence.

Solitude is letting go of outer distractions so that we can be fully present with God. It includes people, plus our technology.

Silence is letting go of our inner distractions. Our mental ‘to do’ lists, our excuses, our ambitions, our good intentions. Silence helps us to be fully honest with God.

The following exercise has been adapted from Ruth Haley Barton, author of Sacred Rhythms:

  • Set aside 10+ minutes a day at a time that is best for you
  • Find a spot where you can be quiet and alone
  • Sit comfortably, breath deeply
  • When distracted pray silently: “God help me rest in you”
  • Begin to notice what is true about your life.
    • Is there something that is unclear?
    • Are there emotions that are negative?
    • Are there events that need to be processed?
  • Don’t try “to do” for yourself, instead try “to experience” God with you
    • What does it mean to be still and let God act for you?
    • What did you become aware of in the stillness that you missed in the hurry?
  • Consider writing your reflections as a prayer

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences regarding this exercise. Leave a comment.

Photo Credit – Me by Ricardo Camacho via Flickr

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