The greatest men and women of all ages have practiced solitude regularly. They learned how to use silence to still their minds and tap into their super-conscious powers for answers to their questions. In this newsletter, you learn how you can apply this wonderful technique immediately to improve the quality of your inner and outer life.
The Magic of Solitude
Your feelings, your emotions, are the access point to your inner powers of mind. The most important part in the process of getting in touch with your feelings is to begin to practice solitude on a regular basis. Solitude is the most powerful activity in which you can engage. Men and women who practice it correctly and on a regular basis never fail to be amazed at the difference it makes in their lives.
Most people have never practiced solitude. Most people have never sat down quietly by themselves for any period of time in their entire lives. Most people are so busy being busy, doing something-even watching television-that it's highly unusual for them to simply sit, deliberately, and do nothing. But as Catherine Ponder points out, "Men and women begin to become great when they begin to take time quietly by themselves, when they begin to practice solitude." And here's the method you can use.
To get the full benefit of your periods of solitude, you must sit quietly for at least 30 to 60 minutes at a time. If you haven't done it before, it will take the first 25 minutes or so for you to stop fidgeting and moving around. You'll almost have to hold yourself physically in your seat. You'll have an almost irresistible desire to get up and do something. But you must persist.
Solitude requires that you sit quietly, perfectly still, back and head erect, eyes open, without cigarettes, candy, writing materials, music or any interruptions whatsoever for at least 30 minutes. An hour is better.
Become completely relaxed, and breathe deeply. Just let your mind flow. Don't deliberately try to think about anything. The harder you "don't try," the more powerfully it works. After 20 or 25 minutes, you'll begin to feel deeply relaxed. You'll begin to experience a flow of energy coming into your mind and body.
You'll have a tremendous sense of well-being. At this point, you'll be ready to get the full benefit of these moments of contemplation.
The River of Ideas
The incredible thing about solitude is that if it is done correctly, it works just about 100 percent of the time. While you're sitting there, a stream, a river, of ideas will flow through your mind. You'll think about countless subjects in an uncontrolled stream of consciousness. Your job is just to relax and listen to your inner voice.
At a certain stage during your period of solitude, the answers to the most pressing difficulties facing you will emerge quietly and clearly, like a boat putting gently to the side of a lake. The answer that you seek will come to you so clearly and it will feel so perfect that you'll experience a deep sense of gratitude and contentment.
When you emerge from this period of quiet, you must do exactly what has come to you. It may involve dealing with a human situation. It may involve starting something or quitting something. Whatever it is, when you follow the guidance that you received in solitude, it will turn out to be exactly the right thing to do. Everything will be OK. And it will usually work out far better than you could have imagined. Just try it and see.
You must learn to trust yourself. You must develop the habit of listening to yourself and then acting on the guidance you receive.
Here are three steps you can take immediately to put these ideas into action.
First, select a specific time and place to sit quietly and practice one full hour of solitude. Don't put it off.
Second, take small periods of silence and solitude during the day, especially when you feel overwhelmed with problems or responsibilities.
Third, take action immediately on the ideas and insights you receive while in solitude. One good idea can save you months and years of hard work. The key is trust.
(Courtesy Anup Sen's mail)