Essential Importance of Taking Time Out in the Lone Space

Submitted by Open on Tue, 11/05/2013 - 07:25


The unquantifiable importance of solitude.
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 4x4 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 importance of Solitude

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 (as in the photo left).

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 film5GATEWAYS 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 "Free" (which I'll share with you below). Priceless!

Excuses?

"Okay" you might say "it's alright for you Open, but I have a family to look after and a busy job, I don't have the freedom to get away like that". Sorry to burst the bubble, but these are just excuses! Mostly because we don't believe others can look after themselves for a few hours and are sometimes meant to. Or else we're afraid of exactly what might happen in the void of stillness: "Will I have to look deeply at my own reflection? What will I see?" Even if it's just for a few hours, there is nothing more penetrating and cleansing than isolation and absolute stillness.

Speaking of which, the crows outside my window are calling. They're clearly saying I've spent enough time finger tapping and it's time to fly. It's felt good sharing this emptiness with you. I trust it inspires and encourages you to push the boundaries on the lone space a little more. When you do, me and the kestrel will catch up with you, hovering, hanging on the breeze in the space between the spaces.

Till soon.
Open
(on behalf of Openhand)
And here's that video: "Free is all you gotta be..."

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Comments

thank you for the article on solitude.Now that I am not working I feel drawn to going away for a few days. I am about an hour a way from Tintagel and St Nectern's Glen and feel drawn to going back. also to Merlin's cave. I feel an adventure awaits......

Beautiful, that evoked my week of hiking and solitude recently in that very area. Periodic time for self and silence has always been a must for me, space to allow the "silt to settle" and enjoy the peace that follows :)

Thanks for sharing,
Graeme

Open, Thank you for this share. It's a very timely and inspiring piece for me since I recently decided to take a break from the continual mental stimulation and chatter of social media interaction that was taking up too much of my time. I was feeling the overwhelm of too much manic outflow without the balance of soft and soothing inflow. At first I experienced some jittery withdrawal tics and twitches, but I've gradually settled into the welcome, peaceful rejuvenation of silence, solitude, and Presence.

"Solitude is the place of purification." Martin Buber

Thanks for sharing the video - weirdly enough.....I did the think of a number thing...my animal was an elephant - how do they do that???!!!

Enjoy the space Open...open space.....

Great article. It's so so important. I witness in myself and others the affects of not taking this time - increasing identification with the busy matrix lifestyle, increasing inner chatter, and increasing interference from opposing consciousness.

I might add that, yes, although it is hard when you have a family and a busy life, i have found that free alone time in nature is even more needed, so if anything those could be motivations rather than excuses.

Thanks for another great article!
Rich

So many Synchronistic messages I am beginning to be more aware of lately :)and this article strikes the centre point perfectly, Just last night I was chatting with a friend as she was seeking or needing advice or just needed a friend to chat with, I listened to her and one of her fears was 'Being Alone' I provided my understanding of the importance of this from what I have learned from 'Openhand' .....I will share this article with her , Thank-you Open you are touching so many many people. <3

As life expands into more busyness this is exactly the message that is needed.
Sometimes when it doesn't feel possible to actually 'leave the premises', I will find a quiet corner, put on my headphones and take a journey with an Openhand meditation. That can be enough to inspire me to get organized, get my hiking boots on and head out the door.... leaving all of the things 'to do' behind for just a little awhile.
It is only me that makes excuses to myself! How crazy is that ??
Thanks Open - may you be blessed and refreshed on your sojourn.
Much love, Jan

Thank you Open. Right on time and well recieved. I read recently, 'you should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day - unless you're too busy and then you should sit for an hour' Blessings
Heather

Spending time in nature by myself is just amazing. I lose all track of time, cleaning my mind of, like you said Open, debris that does not need to be there. This aloud s me to remain in the moment and chariest this beautiful path we walk. While I write this there is a storm going on outside and this little bird is inside the lilac tree outside my window just pure beauty.

again Thank you Openhand for here
love & gratitude

Hi Everyone - have you managed to steal yourself away from holiday festivities? smiley

I felt to draw attention to this article today... Essential Importance of Taking Time Out in the Lone Space

The mind gets so easily filled with life's agendas that it's essential to get some lone space and strip away what isn't aligned or real for you. That's what I'm doing right now - taking some time on the Windswept Wilderness of Dartmoor in South West England. But I hasten to add, maybe you simply can't get away - that's okay. Nevertheless, do work to create some free space on your own for a few hours. It'll help cleanse the mind and allow your authentic creativity to come through.

I remember the great story of Eileen Caddy when she established the great retreat centre Findhorn in Scotland, which has now become a worldwide phenomenon. She had no space of her own, and so used to meditate in the outside toilet in the garden. It was the only space she could get, but it proved essential openness for what she went onto create...
Findhorn Foundation - Spiritual community, Learning centre, Ecovillage

So what will you be doing to create some lone space today, and what treasures might it inspire?

In loving support

Open heart

Open, this is a lovely invitation to all of us, particularly these festive days! Thank you. smiley And Dartmoor sounds magical and expansive!

Solitude and finding solace in aloneness has been my biggest ally for as long as I can remember.  Taking refuge in nature, be it near the ocean or deep in the woods, withdrawing from the hustle and bustle of everyday life has been an elixir of love.  Such an empowering invitation to create shifts in our life, the shift of choosing aloneness as a way to uncover oneness and express ones soul! The inquiry is: How does aloneness feel in the arms of the Earth and the Skies?

At the same time I have encountered phases in life when accessing nature within a big city made it very difficult for me to occupy ‘another’ more natural space. Or there are times when you are with others in a social/public place or in the middle of a very busy road/neighbourhood/office etc and taking time ‘alone’ feels like it is impossible! So the inquiry then transforms into: What does aloneness mean now?

My favourite poet David Whyte so eloquently says:

To be alone is not necessarily to be absent from the company of others, the radical step is to let ourselves alone, to cease the berating voice that is constantly trying to interpret and force the story from too small and too complicated a perspective. Even in company, a sense of imminent aloneness is a quality that can be cultivated.

Right now we may live in a city where the sounds, smells, sights feel disturbing and invasive. We may not have access to nature in the form of a park or even a bush. We may not even be able to travel in a nearby oasis. Then the inquiry invites us to ask: How do I tap into sweet aloneness here and now? Being present with the sky or the moon or a patch of grass or soil has been a way for me. Or even when that’s not accessible dropping into the silence already present within my body often allows for a sweet expansion to what really matters.

And oftentimes of course solitude is imposed – felt as if it’s not chosen - and in effect, is tinged by anxiety and loneliness. We can then inquire: How can loneliness transform into the sweetness of aloneness? Im fascinated by how a shift here can emerge because particularly these days a lot of people can feel very lonely for many reasons. Sometimes what can turn loneliness to aloneness is to look around and feel what one appreciates in this moment and tap into it.

I feel ‘to be alone’ is indeed a fascinating journey, a dance of the soul! It is to shed layers upon layers of conditioning, to be committed to let the story go and to explore uknowness and immense rawness. And it is a labour of self-love and love for all. So I am off to dance aloneness first in the gym – yes in the gym! - then deep in the woods and finally on the conscious dance floor with other souls dancing to rhythms of solitude and solidarity.

May your day/s be a blessing of solitude and solidarity.smiley  

 

Wow - Iove this....

To be alone is not necessarily to be absent from the company of others, the radical step is to let ourselves alone, to cease the berating voice that is constantly trying to interpret and force the story from too small and too complicated a perspective. Even in company, a sense of imminent aloneness is a quality that can be cultivated.

When I go out alone, I always love to dance on the edge of life - weaving between the countryside, the towns and the matrix. After my evening on Dartmoor, I'm now "alone" in Totnes. Recharging my computer and drinking an organic coffee - seeing signs and synchronicity everywhere - the stag in the form of a cloud over Sharp Tor, and dragons and serpents - just waiting for the story to connect. It reminds me how lucky one is to be able to appreciate this - but then it's not luck at all really!!! It's simply commitment and persistence....

This just came on in the cafe...
 

Hi Aspasia and Open, this is a fantastic exploration. Solitude has been my biggest ally too . Nowadays i feel to take time out evenings into the nearby hill watching the sunset and the birds and connecting with the joy inside. The joy which wants absolutely nothing else but to keep feeling it. It is invaluable for me take time away from the muddled energy of family life such that when i come back i can find the aloneness inside and be with it even with myriads of distraction. I love the poem.

Vimal <3

Vimal, the way you connect with the joy inside by watching the sunset sounds SO beautiful that it makes me feel nostalgic of the amazing Greek sunsets at the beach! Thanks for the image - a gift welcomed in a VERY cold, rainy and windy evening here in the UK :) 

I adore what you say very wisely: "The joy which wants absolutely nothing else but to keep feeling it." No expectations but the rawness of the feeling. 

Yes, im with you in that creating aloneness away reinforces our capacity to find/'remember'/recollect aloneness amidst "myriads of distractions" - finding stillness in the midst of turbulence, the art of living indeed! 

Blessings my friend and thank you for the wisdom. 

Hi Aspasia and Open. Thank you for such a wonderful community. It took me a while to find out what I have is the biggest gift in the world. living so close to the nature.

Open says:"It reminds me how lucky one is to be able to appreciate this - but then it's not luck at all really!!! It's simply commitment and persistence...."

I am so blessed for having a small garden for myself. when I go out I look for a treasure collecting them and placing them in the house. This is another way of being with nature at home.

And when I am back in the capital city with no blue sky then this is the time of challenge. The challenges are to not forget how far I went which to be honest is not easy. Most of the time I stay home and do nothing 
 
So I try my best not to go there but sometimes there is no choice. last year My husband and I made a tiny space in my parent's house for few plants. It helped them to take time out and talk to their plants sometimes. Make me happy :)

Now anytime I go there and feel overwhelm with the things happening in this city I make time to just watering them cleaning them and playing with the soil. It is not comparable with what I have in my own house but it is enough to help me go through the rest of the day with grey sky. 

I always love to take time out and try to create some painting from trees which I love specially in autumn. I am very happy to find Openhand. It is my time to start something extraordinary in my life and I think I took the first step.

Freedom Of Wind

 

Hi Blue Petrichor,

Its lovely to read your sharing and the way you create lone time in Nature. Bringing nature into your parents home in the city speaks to me of a sense of commitment to love, beauty and to sharing it. I am inspired! I have two Peace Lillies in my room with beautiful big green leaves. Sometimes I tend to talk to them, mostly after meditation. It feels like they meditate with me. I know my cat China does!

Your painting is simply remarkable! I love it! Thank you for sharing it! I really would love to know how it felt to paint it. It gives me a sense rootedness, feminine beauty, vulnerability and immense power. The word and exprerience of Earthiness comes to mind and heart.

A big welcome and much love.

Hi Blue Petrichor,

A very warm welcome to the shores of Openhand heart

Your painting is deeply moving - absolutely fantastic. I clearly see the multidimensional self in it.

Great work - lovely to have you in the community.

Open smiley

When I was a kid I hated going to school it was not a nice place to be in anyway. I decided to find a friend to talk to about everything happening in my mind. I Always have few trees which I was trying to take care of them on the to school. I even had one which I only could see it from a very tiny window in the rest room of the school.

I am happy when you said the experience of Earthiness comes to mind and heart.  

I dont usually plan anything before painting but they always appear somehow. During painting this one I was actually thinking about how good it is to be free so, I can say it was a feeling of joy and beauty :)

Thank you 

Today I found solace not in a tree but in the eyes of a wounded wood pigeon. There were many inner and outer synchronicities that led me to this beautiful bird who stood on the pavement of a road in town just waiting. Waiting for something, for someone? Until the moment I saw the pigeon, I couldn't clearly understand why the flow had taken me to town today, although that was not 'the plan'!  There was blood in the pigeon's body and s/he had lost his/her tail. As soon as I saw him/her I stopped the car and picked him/her up. I always have a carrier with me in my car for injured wildlife who I then take to expert friends for rehabilitation.

The pigeon positioned her/his body as close to me as possible in the carrier, which I had put on the passenger's seat, looking at me with her/his expressive eyes. S/he felt trusting ... we talked ... it felt very loving.

S/he had lost her tail; my sacroiliac muscles had been painful.

S/he was waiting for something/someone, standing still, in pain; I was waiting for a moment of directive alignment, partially disconnected, sad for everything that is not real, everything that is violent.

S/he had blood in her body and a limp; I was feeling exhausted in trying to navigate the paradox of form and formlessness.

In the hair of the woman you painted Blue Petrichor I see bird's wings...I see a flow...I see a reaching up while being rooted in the groundness of the Earth. I see freedom of spirit in a wood pigeon's little body.

Love and transition.