Over seven billion people swarm among the planet today. Being alone and finding solitude is not always easy or even sought after. Some people crave it, others abhor it. However, solitude is a good remedy for the constant exposure we have to people both virtually and in reality. Secluded time away from people, cell phones, and email offers the body a rest from exposure to electromagnetic fields as well as an energetic break from the biofield of others.
As with silence and stillness, employing solitude is a doorway inward. As with its counterparts, solitude provides an opportunity for introspection, reflection, contemplation and the possibility of meditativeness that is found no other way.
Solitude allows space for inspiration to rise and simply learning to be alone without a sense of loneliness is another benefit that comes from experiencing a little intentional solitude.
Solitude, silence, and stillness are established practices employed in traditional Japanese Zen Monasteries. Other yogic practices also utilize these three as technologies to facilitate the revealing of one ultimate reality.
Solitude assists in the dismantling of the false sense of a separate self. This idea of dropping the sense of a separate self is often misunderstood. It does not mean denying the body’s separate existence within time and space, nor does it mean denying an individual mind. It simply is referring to the build-up of impressions within our nervous system via our five senses. These impressions accumulate over time from all this sensory information from the outside world one is exposed to. Whether awake or asleep, the body is receiving information 24/7. These subsequent impressions create certain patterns within us. These patterns slowly grow into behavioral tendencies and with time the groups of these tendencies solidify into what we call a personality or what we claim ourselves to be.
This build-up “self” from our external impressions constitutes the veil that separates us from a complete unfiltered experience of life. If we strip away our compulsive tendencies and dissolve our externally constructed personality that is responsible for creating a false sense of who we think we are, what remains? Who remains? Perhaps total free will and the ability to consciously construct the life and personality we wish to have.
Many renowned thinkers, philosophers, scientists, and inventors were famous for spending long periods of time in seclusion. Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Isaac Newton and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn were well-known loners. The spiritually inspired also tend to naturally seek out periods of solitude.
John of Patmos (John the Apostle) is perhaps the West’s most famous individual for self-secluding. He withdrew to a cave now known as Patmos cave on the island of Patmos in Greece, where he wrote the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation.
Together with silence and stillness, solitude constitutes a practice that requires no belief system. These three abilities lie within our body and our consciousness and belong to no single religion, yet their practice can be found within all religions.
Solitude, stillness, and silence have been a practiced technology available to seekers for millennia. This is true simply because they constitute a way, a path, a practice, a natural technology that holds the potential for awakening to a certain state of a natural, experiential understanding of the foundation of being.
Spend some time each day in solitude, stillness, and silence. Balance movement with stillness, sound with silence, and social exposure with solitude. You can perform all three simultaneously if for only a few minutes each day. If you do, you will find deeper and more balanced well-being of body, mind and spirit.
Ian founded The True Wellness Center with his wife Kelly Kennedy and continues to guide people in restoring, maintaining and advancing their optimal health. He is on the advisory board for BRMI (Bioregulatory Medicine Institute) and is a frequent contributor to their newsletter. He has also been a presenter at a BRMI conference sharing his unique approach to health and wellness with other doctors and practitioners. Today, his multi-level approach goes beyond the health of the body for those seeking a deeper holistic lifestyle with what he has termed as a Bioregulatory Lifestyle. Currently, he is working on his first compressive book focused on living a Bioregulatory Lifestyle.