"Time spent alone returns to you a hundredfold because it is the proving ground of the spirit. . . .
"Loneliness is small; solitude is large. Loneliness closes in around you; solitude expands toward the infinite. Loneliness has its roots in words, in an internal conversation that nobody answers; solitude has its roots in the great silence of eternity. . . .
"In solitude silence becomes a symphony. Time changes from a series of moments strung together into a seamless motion riding on the rhythms of the stars. Loneliness is banished, solitude is in full flower, and we are one with the pulse of life and the flow of time. . . .
"As always, look at the world around you. The mountain is not restless in its aloneness. The hawk tracing circles in the sky is not longing for union with the sun. They exist in the perfect peace of an eternal present, and that is the peace that one finds only in solitude. Find this peace in yourself, and you will never know another moment of loneliness in your life."
— Kent Nerburn's Simple Truths
"A certain brother went to Abbot Moses in Scete, and asked him for a good word. And then the elder said to him: 'Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything.' " Here is something essential, inescapable for any of us. Unless we learn to live with ourselves, how can we live with others? Unless we know ourselves, accept ourselves with honesty and forgiveness, how can we possibly know or accept other people?"
— Esther de Waal's The Celtic Way of Prayer
"A first step in practicing solitude is learning to take advantage of 'mini retreats' or 'little solitudes' that comprise our days. Ideally, these moments of solitude will also be silent, such as when you first wake up or while you sip your coffee before work. More likely, they'll include the noise of everyday life as you make your way through traffic or ride in an elevator or wait on hold for someone on the other end of the phone. The point is to make the most out of these moments by quieting the noise within yourself and being present to the here and now rather than becoming impatient or getting lost in to-do lists and worries.
"Additional steps in practicing solitude include setting aside a small block of time each day to rest and recharge, limiting how much you speak (try to go an entire day without speaking!), and designating a quiet place (inside or outside your home) and a time when you can retreat there for a regular period of solitude and silence. One of the hardest things about the practice of solitude is to do nothing except be still and listen. Practice is the key.
"To take your practice of solitude further, try to get away for a few half- or full-day periods each year. Or, if possible, go on a retreat for two days or more. Take little more with you than a change of clothes, a Bible, and a journal. Use this time to reevaluate where you are in life: Where do you want to be in three years? In five years? In seven years?"
— Jeremy Langford's Healthy Spiritual Life