In other places and contexts


Sitting still isn’t the only way you can begin to introduce the discipline of solitude and silence into your life. Consider the following suggestions that encourage solitude and silence. See if you can think of others. And try at least one of them this week.

Go for a walk alone, perhaps alone a beach, in the bush, or in a park. Use it as a time for observation, thinking, reflection and prayer.

 Visit an old church building. Find another church somewhere that is open to the public during the day. Quietly enter and sit or kneel for prayer. If you work in the city, St Andrew’s Cathedral near Town Hall is a favourite of mine. Another is St Mary’s Cathedral on College Street— although the religious sculptures might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Speak less. This is about how solitude and silence might effect our time with others. Thomas aKempis wrote, “It is easier to be silent altogether than to speak with moderation.” In group settings, try to moderate you contribution to the conversation— especially if you are usually an extrovert. Work on listening well instead.