Posts Tagged ‘Solitude’

If you’ve every dreamed of a quieter, simpler life – then this short story is for you.  Though it’s a favourite among cruising sailors (for obvious reasons when you read it), Martyr’s story is really about the yearning all of us feel from time to time to be FREE. (more…)


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Find a Retreat to Suit You – Trusting your own inner voice of calm

There are as many good reasons to go on a retreat as there are places in Canada offering specific programs or just quiet accommodation where your desire for solitude and calm will be respected. Common to all – and perhaps what separates the experience of a retreat from tourism or staying at a resort hotel – is the desire for peace of mind, deep relaxation and re-connection with our inner being. (more…)

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In 1995, in one of my breaks from writing and travelling, I founded and built a retreat centre on a 90-acre farm in southern Ontario, Canada.  Still Life Retreat was non-denominational, though the teachings of the Buddha inform my own way of life and practice.

Still Life Retreat in winter time.

The intention of Still Life Retreat was support people in whatever type of retreat they needed to make.  I used to joke that Still Life served mostly the “wilted and the wired” – those individuals who were exhausted and needed rest and to refresh themselves, or who were moving and talking too much and needed to slow down.

Part of the outreach (as well as marketing) of Still Life Retreat was to publish the Canadian Retreat Guide, a guide to more than 140 places offering retreats or accommodation for inner personal reflection.  This reading guide was part of the guide.  The book is now out of print, but the information is still available on the net.

I returned to full-time writing and travelling in 2000.  The retreat centre is now operated as Still Life Christian Retreat. (more…)

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A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland

In the course of researching and writing the book Maitland spent silent time in silent places – on Skye in the Hebrides; in the Sinai Desert; in forests and mountains; in a flotation tank; in monasteries and libraries. She was trying to match her personal experiences to those of other people – from fairy stories to single-handed sailors, from hermits and romantic poets to prisoners and castaways, from reading and writing to mountaineering and polar exploration, from mythology to psychoanalysis. (more…)

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The Hermit Writings of S.

These are a remarkable collection of short essays on many aspects of being a hermit – self-sufficiency, hermit and the world, love, time, urban eremitism, and virtue, for example. They are straight-forward, down to earth and direct. The writings are posted on the Hermitary website by Meng-hu. They are presented here with no changes to present them to more people and in a pdf format that may be more convenient to readers. The essays offer sound advice to novice hermits not only about the practicalities of the life (such as suggestions of where and how to live) but more importantly about some of the issues that are bound to come up as soon as the distractions of the world fall away. (more…)

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Hermits, The Insights of Solitude by Peter France

France’s book is a survey of the wide variety of people who have lived as hermits, mostly in the Christian tradition, but including such modern hermits as the late Robert Lax who lived on Patmos. The rich tapestry of lives is a good introduction to how other people in other times have answered the call to intense solitude. The bibliography is a really useful place to start to delve deeper.

Hermits; The Insights of Solitude

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“Serendipity” is the art of finding something valuable or delightful when you are not looking for it. It’s how you might also define living life as an adventure – which is something I seek to do everyday – and accepting whatever happens. So far, my life has taken in a pretty wide range of activities, locations and projects. Ten years ago I never imagined home would be a 32-foot boat or that I’d be sailing off on a 3000 mile voyage to Labrador in northern Canada this coming summer. (more…)

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