I have started on a new journey which, I know, will take me further than before towards the perfect life I was instinctively seeking.
I began this journey by exploring the unmapped territory of my own mind...
This endeavour is as vast as life itself because it requires the analysis of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being...
--Ella Maillart, explorer-traveler-writer, Cruises and Caravans.
The traits of the solitary bird are five:
first, it seeks the highest place;
second, it withstands no company;
third, it holds its beak in the air;
fourth, it has no definite color;
fifth, it sings sweetly.
These traits must be possessed by the contemplative soul.
It must rise above passing things, paying no more heed to them than if they did not exist.
It must likewise be so fond of silence and solitude that it does not tolerate the company of another creature.
It must hold its beak in the air of the Holy Spirit, responding to his inspirations, that by so doing it may become worthy of his company.
It must have no definite color, desiring to do nothing definite other than the will of God.
It must sing sweetly in the contemplation and love of its Bridegroom.
--St. John of the Cross, Sayings of Light and Love.
To drift like a dead leaf fallen from the tree and taken up by the wind, knowing not if the wind carries you or if you are carrying the wind
...-- Michel Jourdan (French hermit writer)
You do not need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
--Franz Kafka, Senses.
Outwardly go with the flow, while inwardly keeping your true nature.
Then your eyes and ears will not be dazzled, and your thoughts will not be confused, while the secret within you will expand greatly to roam in the realms of absolute parity.
In solitude we are in the presence of mere matter:
the sky, the stars, the moon, blossoming trees, things of less value,
perhaps, than the human spirit.
The value of solitude lies in the greater possibility of attention.
--Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace.
Everyone says Tushita Heaven is fine,
but how can it match this old hut of mine?
-- Stonehouse (Ching-hung), from his Mountain Poems.
Solitude and nature are absolutely necessary for the proper development of a human being.
It is an admixture of natural life, lived in solitude, amid beautiful surroundings of nature and what we call an arboreal life, which is absolutely necessary for the poise and harmony of the human mind.
Genuine tranquility of the heart and perfect peace of mind,
the highest blessings on earth after health,
are to be found only in solitude and, as a permanent disposition,
only in the deepest seclusion.
-- Arthur Schopenhauer, World As Will and Representation
Every time you feel lost, alienated, or cut off from life, or from the world, every time you feel despair, anger, or instability, practice going home.
Mindful breathing is the vehicle that you use to go back to your true home.
--Thich Nhat Hanh, Going Home
(Thanks so much to Wendy..The sage who wanders alone is like the wind that is not caught in a net, like the lotus not soiled by water, leading others but not led by them.-- Sutta-Nipata... Pali)