Real solitude

Jan. 17, 2016 

Being alone is a skill, an art—and a right

Many of the great contemplatives of history came to their deepest insights while in solitude—ranging from the Buddha to Darwin. 

It seems that there must be something there—some penetrating reason why humans may benefit from time spent alone, looking within. 

But what is solitude? Real solitude? 

I often convince myself that I’ve spent time alone when I really haven’t. I’m constantly connected to others through my phone or the computer or watching TV. Sure, no one is in the room with me at those moments, but I am connected, however dimly, to other people’s thoughts.  

I’m only really alone when I go for a walk in the neighborhood and leave my phone at home. Or when I sit down to meditate in an open, softly lit room. 

Or when I’m in the shower. 

Solitude, I think, is a chance to notice the profound. 

Or the simple. 

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