Solitude Tools Practices

Keywords: Tools, Weather Reports, heuristic inquiry, search terms, keywords 

Tools and Practices for Exploring Solitude

Many people today have developed some familiarity with several wisdom traditions and methodologies. Most wisdom traditions have developed practices which are entry points into solitude. A list of solitude practices would include:

● meditation and centering, prayer

● voluntary simplicity

● writing

● chanting

spiritual journey writing

● dance, yoga

         and many more

 Some Lesser-Known Tools and Practices used in this Project: 

● Weather Reports   

One practice that has emerged as an essential part of this Project is  “Weather Reports”,   a method of journal writing that it is entirely focused on interactions and observations with nature rather than the human community.  

These daily “field observations” bring a tangible and vivid awareness of ecological interconnectedness. 

Thoreau kept a similar journal, as did Thomas Merton who wrote “I am myself part of the weather and part of the climate and part of the place… I have a real need to know these things.” (Journal, 27.2.1963)  

●  Heuristic Inquiry    

The primary methodology that has inspired and provided the foundation for the Solitude Project  is called Heuristic Inquiry.  This valuable qualitative research strategy, developed by Clark Moustakas, is particularly relevant to understanding subjective experience. It is an  excellent approach for investigating solitude and studying the evolution of personal quests.   http://www.psy.dmu.ac.uk/drhiles/HIpaper.htm 

Searching the Internet 

“Solitude” is a highly interdisciplinary subject, not at all confined to one discipline or way of thinking. Relevant information appears in a wide range of fields from theology to wilderness management to psychology. There are many paths to be explored. The Navaho encouraged quests and the importance of following your own “pollen path”.  

Here are some search terms that may not be obvious. Follow your trail intuitively and you will find clues to help you continue your quest. 

You might try combining: 

●  the names of a specific ethical or wisdom tradition such a Quakerism or humanism   (or any religion or tradition) 

with terms like: 

● solitude

● quiet

● silence,

● stillness

● retreat

 

You might try combining:

● “solitude”, or similar words,

with terms like:

● wilderness

● community

● creativity

● experience

● phenomenology

● religious aspects

● sociology

● psychology

NEXT: The Spiritual Journeys Project