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Jan 01

The Unquantifiable Importance of Solitude

By Open | Contributing writer for Wake Up World

From time to time, I feel the need to take a well-earned break away from our work here at Openhand. Not that I feel pressurised by my life, not at all. Even though it is frequently full-on, I find it immensely rewarding — and yet, now and then, there’s the undeniable heart-felt pull to spend time alone. I’m blessed to have a little old 4×4 camper van, so as the flow allows, I find myself taking off into nature and the countryside. For me there is nothing more pleasurable than finding some quiet, secluded spot, parking up and simply hanging out…

The Essential Importance of Taking Time Out in the ‘Lone Space’

I couldn’t begin to over-estimate the importance of solitude in my life as a catalyst for accelerating the path and clearing unwanted inner debris. When I do get the time to take off, I find the first few hours can be a touch demanding. If you don’t fill the space with ‘entertainment’, I find the mind needs a little time for ‘detox cold turkey’. Even if there’s no longer the ego to contend with, there’s still the need to clear the inner landscape and expand into the emptiness. When that happens, I find I can sit for hours simply watching life unfold before me.

My favourite would be to park up on some secluded cliffs in Cornwall, like in the photo at the top — a treasured place of many an Arthurian legend near the mystical town of “Tintagel”. (Can you see the Dragon’s head and his wing? Awesome!) I distinctly recall many magical hours there, simply watching the seagulls performing for me a merry wind swept soliloquy or the waves rolling powerfully in off the ocean or dropping naked into the icy waterfall at the mystical St Nectern’s Glen.

Amazing things happen when you spend time on your own. First there’s all the mental chatter to deal with: “I should be doing this”, “Why aren’t I doing that?” “How can I waste my time like this?” There’s the nagging doubt that you’re missing out on something or you really ought to be doing something more responsible and productive. Once you drop through these layers and peel them away, the profoundness of awesomely ordinary simplicity tends to strike one like a thunderbolt to the third eye. How could you pass such simple beauty by and pay so little attention?

Deeper Into Presence

The deeper we drop into this sense of pure presence, the more connected with life we truly feel. From this place of the empty void, the flow arises more strongly and one can be completely overwhelmed by the simplest of things. A recent evening comes to mind where it rained the whole night through and strong winds buffeted my camper backwards and forwards. How wonderful! Rocked like a baby, I was enthralled for hours.

And as I awoke, it was the turn of the crows to be the aerial acrobats. It seems one had mastered hovering on the breeze like the famous kestrel. At first I thought it could have been one, until that is a kestrel flew up in front of it and hovered right in front of my camper. Wow, what a spectacle! Anyone whose seen the Gateway 2 section of our film 5GATEWAYS will know the significance.

It’s these apparently simple things that become more prominent and speak so loudly when the mind and consciousness are still. To me, the crow always represents inner distortions. The aerial display was clearly revealing that the path to truth is by continually watching ones own tightness and tension. It’s only then that freedom and liberation unfold their inner wings. As if to confirm, synchronistically as I write this, my iPod has started playing an old favourite “On a Day Like Today” (which I’ll share with you below). Priceless!

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