Solitude: Being Still When You Have to Keep Moving


2 The words of my wife rang out clearly in our local coffee shop: “This is the first time all week that I have sat still. I really needed this.” What this moment of respite revealed was an underlying need for extended solitude, silence, and reflection in the midst of an otherwise crazy season of life and ministry. This essay will endeavor to speak to the stay-at-home mother, the commuting gentleman, the over-committed student, and the upward mobile minister by drawing primarily from the life of Jesus and also from the writings of the Trapist monk, Thomas Merton. Discovery will be made as to how to be still when you have to keep moving. Jesus, our ultimate model for balanced living, and Merton, will serve to guide us into a better understanding of how to establish rhythms of work and rest in today’s culture. One would not automatically consider Thomas Merton to be the best voice for how to live within a hurried culture. Did he not withdraw completely? Early in Merton’s monastic focus he was in tension with his desire for eremitism, which is the pursuit of reclusion as a Christian hermit. However, over time he concluded that he had to maintain his active role within the Christian community and yet discover how to pursue the Lord in quiet and seclusion as well. For many the notion of complete removal from society is simply not a possibility. Perhaps, though, there are applicable aspects to all walks of life and not just those that are called to the special vocation of Christian solitude. Juxtaposed with the radical withdrawal of Merton is the ministry of Jesus, who immersed himself fully into the waters of life and the pressing needs of humanity. Here we see the tension between the ever-present necessity for the average Christian to discover solitude within their current context and natural rhythms of life. This essay will delve into some of the dynamics of Christian solitude as found in six Gospel texts that highlight Jesus’ rhythm of silence and solitude in the midst of overwhelming ministry.

3 What is true solitude? In the introduction to Thomas Merton’s sixth volume of his journal entitled Learning to Love, it is noted that “He had chose a life of solitude, yet he was a warm, affable person – one who enjoyed human contact and companionship. But he was no ordinary hermit…. He continued to write letters, receive visitors, and write and publish widely…”1 There is a common misunderstanding about the nature and function of solitude that is often attached solely to the concept of hermitage. Thomas Merton had a longing for complete removal and yet, he still enjoyed “human contact and companionship”. Can that be considered true solitude? Does one have to be completely separated from everything in order to achieve true solitude? Richard Foster refers to solitude as “more a state of mind and heart than it is a place. There is a solitude of the heart that can be maintained at all times."2 If it is indeed a state of mind more than a specific location, then the average person that is unable to become a monk or adopt the lifestyle of a hermit should be able to participate in solitude. Accordingly, Merton establishes the definition of “inward solitude”.3 This is in contrast to ‘outward solitude’ that focuses upon the location or complete removal of all distractions regardless of value. Merton goes on to define solitude as “selfless”. “Therefore, it is rich in silence and charity and peace. It finds in itself seemingly inexhaustible resources of good to bestow on other people. False solitude is selfcentered.”4 The focus is clear according to Merton: others. This is a strange balance to strike in that solitude is often associated with complete isolation from others. Perhaps David Whitney’s definition will give further illumination to the nature of true solitude: “Solitude is the discipline of voluntarily and temporarily withdrawing to privacy for spiritual purposes”.5 True solitude can be found through temporary means if the focus is of a spiritual nature. This enables one to reconnect to people with a resource of charity and peace.

4 Terms associated with Solitude Silence is most often connected to solitude in the writings of Merton and many other ancient and modern contemplatives. Merton says ‘if you go into solitude with a silent heart, the silence of creation will speak louder than the tongues of men or angels.”6 Although not the scope of this essay, it must be understood that silence and solitude are usually found together. In her book, Living the Christ-centered Life Between Walden and the Whirlwind, Jean Fleming observes, "We live in a noisy, busy world. Silence and solitude are not twentieth-century words. They fit the era of Victorian lace, high-button shoes, and kerosene lamps better than our age of television, video arcades, and joggers wired with earphones. We have become a people with an aversion to quiet and an uneasiness with being alone".7 Along with silence, there are other terms often associated with solitude such as loneliness, secrecy, intimacy, dark night of the soul, and desert times. Throughout the New Testament we see a few other key terms: lonely place, withdrew, solitary place and quiet place. The New Testament record of the life and ministry of Jesus captures moments in which Jesus would seek out solitude. These are important times for us to note in that Jesus is our model for life and Godliness. He was an extremely active person that consistently sought to foster intimacy with His Father in ‘quiet places.’ Jesus and Solitude Richard Foster contends “seeking out of solitary places was a regular practice for Jesus. So it should be for us.”8 The scripture text gives us a number of examples of when and where Jesus would withdraw to be with His Father. This essay will highlight six such examples in order to establish both the precedent and the practice of solitude. Jesus, the Master Teacher, instructs by example as to how to be still when we have to keep moving. In Matthew 4:1-11 we are given a glimpse into a protruded season of testing in which Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. For forty days and nights he

5 experienced what has been later referred to as ‘a dark night of the soul’. Merton comments: “When a man suffers, he is most alone. Therefore, it is in suffering that we are most tested as persons. How can we face the awful interior questioning? What shall we answer when we come to be examined by pain?”9 This examination and interior work of the soul happens in solitude. The desert times afford us an opportunity for testing. In Luke 6:12 it says “…Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” When morning came he called his disciples together and chose twelve of them and designated them to be apostles. This time on the mountainside was for the purpose of deciding. He went away to pray and focus on the heart of the Father in the matter of deciding who would be chosen as an apostle. We often make difficult decisions in our lifetime and can draw from the model of Jesus in taking a brief amount of time to remove ourselves from the busyness in order to pray in solitude. In Matthew 14:13 the author details how Jesus responded to a time of mourning. “When Jesus heard what had happened (the beheading of John the Baptist), he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” Merton believes “it is blessed to be reduced to these depths if, in them, we find God.”10 In order to find God we often have to do what Jesus did: he withdrew privately to a solitary place. Each of these terms speaks to the nature of solitude and the reality of Jesus’ ministry. He was now a public figure with a significant teaching and healing ministry, and yet he still had to process the sadness realized in the death of a close friend. He had to first withdraw. The retreat needed to be private. It is called a solitary place, meaning, it was isolated and perhaps unreachable through normal means. This was all for the purpose of mourning. In Matthew 14:23 we are shown another moment of solitude. This one comes quickly on the heels of the private boat trip mentioned in verse 13. Why are we reading of another time of solitude so soon? I believe this time was for the purpose of recharging. The scripture tells us that

6 when Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As the evening approached Jesus was confronted with a considerable issue in which the large crowds were hungry and looking to Jesus to feed them. After the feeding of the 5000 men (not to mention thousands of women and children), Jesus is simply spent emotionally. Immediately he sent the disciples ahead of him and dismissed the crowd, then he went up to a mountainside to pray. This was for recharging. Mark 6:31 reveals another Gospel writers perspective of this event. He quotes Jesus as saying, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Each of us needs those moments with the Father. Solitude can be valuable for effective prayer and receiving what we need in terms of strength and encouragement. In Mark 1:35 and Luke 5:16 we have two synoptic passages that are positioned between two intense times of praying. The crowds were pressing for Jesus to display his healing power and rather than ignore them, He chose to rise early in the morning, while it was still dark, to withdraw to a lonely place to pray. Craig Keener asserts, “It is nearly impossible to find a solitary place in crowded ancient towns such as Galilee. Narrow streets and sometimes 10-20 people living in common one-room houses. Most town blocks consisted of four homes all facing a common courtyard. People got up from work as soon as the sun rose, so Jesus has to get up well before dawn to go out and find a solitary place for prayer.”11 This pattern is seen often in Jesus’ life and is of particular value to those that deal with commitments, family obligations, and job demands. Jesus made a decision to awaken “very early in the morning, while it was still dark” in order to pray so that He, in doing so, was prepared for the obligations of the day. In Matthew 26:36-46 the earthly ministry of Jesus is coming to an end. Soon he will be arrested, tried, and crucified. In this passage his soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Solitude is valuable for dying as well as living. The Garden of Gethsemane was a quiet place for prayer and reflection. Merton inserts, ‘Life and death, words and silence, are given us

7 because of Christ. In Christ we die to the flesh and live to the spirit. In Him we die to illusion and live to truth. We speak to confess Him, and we are silent in order to meditate on Him and enter deeper into His silence, which is at once the silence of death and of eternal life - the silence of Good Friday night and the peace of Easter morning.”12 In his journals Merton muses, “…when it comes to ‘preparing for death’ – in my case it means simply this reiterated decision for solitude as the reality called for me by God…”13 Dying, praying, recharging, mourning, deciding and testing - each of these facets of Christian living are enhanced and facilitated through silence and solitude. What was Jesus' primary response to strenuous ministry settings? He retreated to a quiet place. If Jesus needed solitude for quiet reflection, how much more do we? Roadblocks to effective solitude Many admittedly struggle with solitude. One of the most difficult things to do is nothing. Therefore, Christian leaders, who are classically thought to be in close relationship with God, often struggle the most with solitude. They have so much to do and each pursuit is seemingly right and righteous. How does a Christian leader reconcile the noise of the world with the essentiality for quiet reflection? What are the roadblocks to solitude and how do we overcome those roadblocks in order to enjoy the presence of God in the fullness of intimacy and vulnerability? Culture plays a large role in determining how effective solitude is for our Christian experience. It is the driving force for much of what we do or do not do. There are two aspects to culture: one is of this world and the other is not of this world. One is predominantly the pressure we feel from media and the societal ethos established long before we took our first breath. The second culture-shaping force is that of our enemy – Satan. He is the prince of the air and has worked diligently to form a civilization that by-and-large is given to frenzy rather than

8 quiet reflection. One spiritual blogger wrote, “We have an infinite void in our hearts that we attempt to fill with noise, people, busy-ness, possessions, and other finite things. This is a major sickness in our culture. We are addicted to noise. We need noise. We've got to have noise! Silence is creepy, even frightening. Silence steals away the distractions of life, which anesthetize us from the feeling that our lives are still empty. Noise helps us live on the banks of denial. Noise keeps us concentrated on something else-anything else!”14 Categorization is also a roadblock to solitude. Those that are found postured in meditation are often wrongly stereotyped as lazy. There is an internal struggle to keep moving or be perceived as lethargic. Such is the case with Christian ministers that most certainly work to shun this perception – the one that smugly verbalizes that “it must be nice to only work one day a week!” Rather than embracing the benefits and blessings of regular seasons of solitude, many Christian leaders proceed on so that they are never categorized as less than diligent in their efforts. Complexity is another roadblock to solitude. Our planet has not slowed down and life has gotten much more complex than it was in latter years. The realities are grim. Many wellmeaning believers are losing what vibrant connection they had with the Lord because of being swallowed up by life’s complex configuration. Merton addresses this in his journal writings: “…I knew that whatever God will have granted me – whatever solitude will be truly for the salvation of my soul. And I saw how much I need solitude for that reason. Not solitude for the sake of something special, something exalted: solitude as the climate in which I can simply be what I am meant to be, and live in the presence of the living God.”15 Control is the final roadblock that will be mentioned. It is closely tied to our cravings and addictive behaviors. Silence is necessary to free ourselves from our tendency to control. Silence frees us from the tyranny we hold over others with our words. Thomas Merton wrote, "It

9 is not speaking that breaks our silence, but the anxiety to be heard." When we are silent, it is much more difficult to manipulate and control the people and circumstances around us. Practical examples of Solitude Bible teacher Jim Downing has said, “How well we know God is in direct proportion to the number and depth of shared experiences.”16 This axiom is true of any relationship that we endeavor to develop and deepen: husbands and wives, parents and children, employers and employees, and Jesus and his Father. Relationships require shared experiences. The challenge is in the implementation of practical moments of silence and solitude. How does a 21st century Christian observe consistent times of being alone with the Lord and yet not disregard important obligations such as work and family? There are patterns to be found within the life and writings of Thomas Merton (and other contemplative authors) and each pattern must be contextualized to our current paradigms. The following are a sampling of practical examples of solitude that may serve as springboards into more radical forms of eremitism. Sabbath No discourse on solitude would be comprehensive without a mention of the biblical directive to observe a Sabbath. The Hebrew word for Sabbath is shabbat, which means “to cease”. The Lord gave us this commandment as a blessing to us. Pete Briscoe believes “God intended the Sabbath to be a gift, an opportunity for people to take a break from the toil of life. The Sabbath was designed for us. We are not supposed to fit into the Sabbath any more than we are to serve and live inside that automobile parked out in the driveway.”17 The Lord God created for six days then designated the seventh day to be for rest. Here we find a shift in gears from creation to reflection. This change of activity is so that mankind has a built-in release valve in order to reestablish intimacy with our Maker. A regular Sabbath rest is perhaps one of the most important and yet under-utilized aspects of solitude. If properly employed one is afforded a

10 week-to-week possibility of disconnecting from this world and reconnecting the Source of strength and life. Reggie McNeal offers this stirring exhortation in his book called A Work of Heart. He states, "The recovery of Sabbath would lead to the renewal of spiritual leaders by restoring communion practices where heart-shaping could occur. Leaders who long for the renewal of the church should not let this connection escape them. If God's people are to be once again captured by his heart for them, they are going to have to be in communion with him to hear his voice. Until church leaders come to their senses, they will continue to pass out methodological pabulum to their followers as a drug to dull their pain and to anesthetize their spiritual yearnings for more vibrancy than they currently experience. We will not have renewed congregations and ministries until we have renewed leaders."18 It’s clear to see that the overflow of a life in communion with God will be ministry that is renewed and vibrant. Quiet Times A quiet time is an appointment with God. It is a term not found within the pages of the Bible, and yet it is a concept that has been foundation to the Christian experience for generations, albeit under various names and with various elements. In its simplest form a “quiet time” involves both quiet and time. It is a regular routine in a schedule given for the express purpose to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37). Oswald Chambers wrote, “Routine is God’s way of saving us between our times of inspiration.”19 A quiet time is a routine that creates margin within our driven schedule in order to achieve silence in the moment. Merton says, “There must be a time of day when the man who makes plans forgets his plans and acts as if he had no plans at all. There must be a time of day when the man who has to speak falls very silent. And his mind forms no more propositions, and he asks himself: Did they have a meaning? There must be a time when the man of prayer goes to pray as if it were the first time in his life he had ever

11 prayed; when the man of resolutions put his resolutions aside as if they had all been broken, and he learns a different wisdom…in silence, we learn to make distinctions.”20 Does one have to become a hermit to have a consistent and productive quiet time? Richard Foster believes “it is quite possible to be a desert hermit and never experience solitude.”21 He goes on his writings to refer to a ‘portable sanctuary of the heart’ and to a concept called ‘little solitudes.”22 These are tiny moments of time that are often lost to us. It is the cup of coffee before the children awaken. It is during backed up traffic on the interstate in which a believer can meditate upon the wonder of God. Little solitudes are found in the layover at the airport and in the star-filled night sky just before bedtime. Foster recommends that we develop a ‘quiet place’ within our homes – perhaps an unused room, an enclosed section of a garage or patio, or a special chair that is designated as the ‘please don’t bother me, I want to be alone” chair.23 Selah Henri Nouwen, an influential modern-day contemplative says, “In solitude I get rid of my scaffolding; no friends to talk to, no phone calls to make, no meetings to attend, no music to entertain, no books to distract, just me – naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived, broken – nothing”.24 Practically speaking, solitude allows the believer a season of time in which they are closed off from things of this world, and the focus becomes that of the Lord rather than all of the other classic trappings. Perhaps this takes place in the form of ‘little solitudes’, a day of Sabbath rest, or in an extended silent retreat. The issue is not how it happens, but rather if it happens. Increasingly, we are seeing silence and solitude become a marginalized form of Christian spirituality, one that is often associated with New Age and other similar veins of aberrant mysticism. Perhaps one of the reasons solitude has been marginalized in many Christian circles is because it appears to be impractical considering time constraints and mounting pressures

12 within our fast-paced culture. How does a Christian “be still” when he or she has to keep moving? There is an interesting word seen throughout the Book of Psalms that may serve as a practical directive for solitude: Selah. The term ‘Selah” is found 73 times in the Book of Psalms. The meaning of “Selah” is not entirely known although most commentators speculate that it’s a musical term in which one is directed to pause and reflect. Because the Psalms were Israel’s hymnbook, the term Selah has come to mean “an interruption, accentuation, pause or rest.” This is a valuable concept in reference to solitude. Perhaps solitude becomes much more manageable and functional when thought of as “a pause” – that which could be of varying lengths and contents. One could pause for an hour, an afternoon, for three days or a week. Others may have the resources and availability of taking a month or longer to “pause” which is considered a sabbatical. Eugene Peterson says, “Sabbatical years are the biblically based provision for restoration. When a farmer’s field is depleted, it is given a sabbatical – after six years of planting and harvesting, it is left alone for a year so that the nutrients can build up in it. When people in ministry are depleted, they also are given a sabbatical – time apart for the recovery of spiritual and creative energies.”25 Peterson is referencing a one-year pause based upon the Jubilee concept presented in scripture. If that is simply not a possibility then one may consider a shorter length of time in which to pause for reflection and restoration. A Selah schedule can be adapted to fit most any person’s circumstances. One does not have to become a hermit in order to reach a level of intimacy through a well-placed and well-needed “pause.” Merton agrees, “Not all men are called to be hermits, but all men need enough silence and solitude in their lives to enable the deep inner voice of their own true self to be heard at least occasionally. For he cannot go on happily for long, unless he is in contact with the springs of spiritual life which are hidden in the depths of this own true soul.”26

13 Sample Selah schedule At the beginning of every year I take a personal retreat for the purpose of reflection and anticipation. This Selah is often at a monastery, a secluded cabin, or retreat center. I reflect upon my last year - highs and lows, successes and failures, wins and losses. Everything is mused upon and distilled for value. During this three-day period (sometimes more but rarely less) I spend time in prayer and personal study, allowing the Lord to cleanse me and prepare me for the coming year. Often I will sense particular themes and focuses emerge as to what the Lord will do in and through my life, my family, and the ministry. The most important part of my Selah schedule revolves around the revisiting and revamping of my personal calling and mission statement – which is forged in quiet times of reflection, fasting, prayer, and study. This yearly Selah time gives way to quarterly times that are similar and yet shorter in duration. These are usually one to two days in length and closer to home. This Selah format affords me the chance to readjust areas of my heart that the Lord brings to the surface, and to make seasonal course corrections as the Spirit directs. Another facet of my personal Selah schedule involves a monthly focus. This is a half-day each month devoted to solitude, forward thinking, prayer, and meditation. Three to four hours are given to quietness in a “solitary place”. A solitary place can be almost anywhere where you are given freedom to be still: a coffee shop, nature preserve, park, or library. It could also involve a long hike, floating in a kayak, or taking a scenic drive. The goal is to listen. The results are simple yet staggering: God speaks. Merton said on March 6, 1966 in his journal, “Beauty and necessity (for me) of a solitary life – apparent in the sparks of truth, small, recurring flashes of a reality that is beyond doubt, momentarily appearing, leading me further on my way. Things that need no explanation and perhaps have none but that say: ‘Here! This way!’”27

14 Solitude; the Selah pause that refreshes and restores, says to our hearts: ‘Here! This way!’ We discover how God ministered to Thomas Merton in and through his extended seasons of silence and solitude – we are blessed by his writings to this day. We are moved by the consistency in which the Messiah retreated to quiet places to be with His Father. His lifestyle of serving wholeheartedly and seeking solitude is inspiring and engaging. The challenge I embrace is that of walking the path of Jesus and to further study the ‘breadcrumbs” left by contemplatives throughout history. They have indeed left us with practical models of how to “be still when you have to keep moving.”


Notes 1. Thomas Merton, Learning to Love, ed. Christine M. Bochen (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1997), xv 2. Richard Foster, Celebrations of Discipline, (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1978), 96 3. Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island, (Harcourt, Inc. 1955), 244 4. Ibid., 248 5. David Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, (Navpress, 1991) 6. Merton, No Man is an Island, 256 7. Jean Fleming, Living the Christ-centered Life Between Walden and the Whirlwind (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1985), 73 8. Foster, Celebrations of Discipline, 97 9. Merton, No Man is an Island, 81 10. Ibid., 208 11. Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1993), 138 12. Merton, No Man is an Island, 258 13. Merton, Learning to Love, 26 14.


15. Thomas Merton, A Search for Solitude, ed. Lawrence S. Cunningham (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1996), 27 16. Jean Fleming, Feeding Your Soul: A Quiet Time Handbook (Colorado: NavPress, 1999), 46 17. Pete Briscoe & Patricia Hickman, Secrets from the Treadmill: Discovering God’s Rest in the Busyness of Life, (Tennessee: Nelson Books, 2004), 42 18. Reggie McNeal, A Work of Heart: Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders, (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000), 143 19. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (Westwood, NJ: Dodd, Mead, 1963), 167 20. Merton, No Man is an Island, 260 21. Foster, Celebration of Discipline, 96 22. Ibid., 105 23. Ibid., 106 24. Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart: Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry, (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, reprint ed., 1991) 25. Eugene H. Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor, (Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989), 145 26. Richard Anthony Cashen, Solitude in the Thought of Thomas Merton, (Kalamazoo: Mich., Cistercian Publications, 1981), from article at 27. Thomas Merton, The Intimate Merton: His Life from His Journals, ed. Patrick Hart and Jonathan Montaldo, (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1999), 272


Bibliography ‘A Kempis, Thomas. The Imitation of Christ. Translated by Aloysius Croft and Harold Bolton. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 2003 Briscoe, Pete, Patricia Hickman. Secrets from the Treadmill: Discovering God’s Rest in the Busyness of Life. Tennessee: Nelson Books, 2004. Burrus, Barry. “Dynamics of Christian Solitude: Thomas Merton as Guide.” Spiritual Life, Winter 2003. Carr, Anne. “Prose into Prayer: Merton in His Journals.” The Christian Century 113. 1996. Cashen, Richard Anthony. Solitude in the Thought of Thomas Merton. Kalamazoo: Mich., Cistercian Publications, 1981. Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest. Westwood, NJ: Dodd, Mead, 1963. Fleming, Jean. Feeding Your Soul: A Quiet Time Handbook. Colorado: NavPress, 1999. Fleming, Jean. Living the Christ-centered Life Between Walden and the Whirlwind. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1985. Foster, Richard. Celebrations of Discipline. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1978. Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1993. McNeal, Reggie. A Work of Heart: Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000. Merton, Thomas. A Search for Solitude. Edited by Lawrence S. Cunningham. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1996.


Merton, Thomas. The Intimate Merton: His Life from His Journals. Edited by Patrick Hart and Jonathan Montaldo. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1999. Merton, Thomas. No Man is an Island. Harcourt, Inc., 1955. Merton, Thomas. Learning to Love, ed. Christine M. Bochen. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1997. Merton, Thomas. Thoughts in Solitude. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1956. Moriarty, Michael G. The Perfect 10: The Blessings of Following God’s Commandments in a Postmodern World. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999. Nouwen, Henri. The Way of the Heart: Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, reprint ed., 1991. Opus Sactorum Anglorum. “The Practice of Silence and Solitude.” Peterson, Eugene H. The Contemplative Pastor. Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989. Sardar, Ziauddian. “In Search of the Sound of Silence.” New Statesman 128, no. 4440. London: England, 1996. Water’s Edge. “Silence and Solitude.” Whitney, David. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Navpress, 1991.

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