Solitude and Quiet

Solitude is much different from just time spent alone. The essential idea is to decrease vigilance, the 'problem-solving framework, and the ideational mind. When tasks, ideas, plans, and analysis recede, the mind comes into better contact with sensations, emotions, and intuitions. Usually one also is better able to recognize the sensations and emotions of others, which is part of contact.

This can happen by actually taking ourselves to a place where there is less of what our modern mind considers stimulation: a garden, a remote place, a place where talking is not allowed, such as a church or monastery, or even a backyard. An additional requirement is that the mind 'let's go of trying to 'solve' things and ideas in general. This is usually the most difficult part.

It is for this reason that many people consider nature a very renewing environment. But many people find nature boring. That is because they looking for 'intertesting', or 'special' A tree for instance affects one differently than a man-made (ego-made) structure say a fancy house. Unlike the house, one does not try to criticize, or remodel or exceed the tree! The effect of nature, like all solitude practices, needs time to work. It is not an instant effect.

Meditation is a practice that in general attempts to restore the ability to let go of vigilance and judgment. It is possible to use meditation practices to restore a more balanced relationship between mind and the rest of the person. Although it is not intrinsically incompatible, meditation is not really part of the Reich and Lowen tradition, because it has been used for quietism.