An On-going Exploration into the Mystery
and Practice of Silence
Silence is a vast inner ocean. It is a profound and mysterious state of consciousness. We often find silence in solitude and nature. Here we may experience the most deeply peaceful moments of our lives.
Silence is a great mystery. It is very difficult to say what it is, or where it is. But you can learn how to enter this silent sea, this source of great power and wisdom.
Silent practice is at the heart of the world’s religions. Buddha under the bodhi tree, Jesus in the wilderness, Muhammad’s yearly withdrawal to the cave at Hera – these experiences-in-the-quiet are common ground for the world’s great wisdom traditions.
Solitude, at its best, is not about escaping the world. Solitude allows us to enter a certain kind of attentiveness that is difficult to achieve when distracted by the presence of other people. We can gain the inner freedom to be creative and contributing to the community in new ways.
It is chilling to realize how our inner spaces are being ceaselessly bombarded today like never before. Our inner being may atrophy. Inner peace may become a forgotten relic. The essential conditions of silence and solitude provide a powerful interior source for optimal human development.
Some of us find ourselves becoming monks of a new sort. We sometimes deliberately choose to disengage from ordinary social interactions as we seek to balance our interior and social lives, a puzzle that Thomas Merton called the Contemplative Dilemma. We seek quieter lives and fewer needs. We see nature as part of our community.
The Solitude Project on this website is designed for solo exploration into the realms of solitude and silence. You can explore essential insights and traditional practices for inner exploration. You can find gateways into the interior silence of this ancient path. You can experiment with balancing your outer and inner “good work” through eco-solitude projects in your community. You can contribute your own findings and sources to this on-going investigation, now in its eleventh year. But please consider whether this is the right time for you to do this exploration.
You will find an abundance of ideas and examples about how to explore silence in the chapters of “THE SILENT SOURCE”, and the collection of “ENTRY POINTS” into silence.