The Practices of Jesus:
Silence and Solitude
The Practice of Silence and Solitude
Before you begin the practice with your family and support group, listen to this sermon to understand why this practice is so important and discover what it can do in your life.
Here are some suggestions for how you can begin leaning in to the practice of silence and solitude. These are by no means the only way, but are meant to be a starting point from which you can discover what works best for you. Much like getting out on the ski hill, it is important that you start where you are not where you would like to be.
If you are new to Silence and Solitude begin here:
- Pick a duration of time for silence, start modest, even 10 minutes can feel challenging at first.
- Schedule your silent time. Leave your phone off or in another room, to remove the things most likely to distract you.
- Pick a location, a sacred space, it might be under a blanket on your favorite chair, it might be on a bench on your daily walk.
- Settle into a comfortable yet alert position, back straight, hands on lap.
- Begin by closing your eyes, take 3 longs breaths, just focus on your breathing- offer a simple prayer short prayer that expresses your desire, “here I am Lord” “Meet with me Jesus”
- And be still. Distractions and thoughts will come crashing in, thoughts of the laundry piling up, the text I need to send, that thing the person said that made me mad, try to let those go, each on like a cloud you let drift by.
- Refocus your breathing, try to let the distractions go. Early on, the 10 minutes might well feel like a constant tug of war with distractions. Don’t despair it takes practice to be quiet, we are not familiar with it, if anything we are addicted to noise and words, “doing”, and performance driven activity.
- Don’t be quick to judge the experience, “I didn’t get anything out of that.” “That felt like a waste.” God said there is a knowing of him that only comes through stillness. The silence is creating a space for God’s activity to begin, letting him meet us in the stillness.
- The main goal is to be with Jesus, not do anything, or think anything in particular. So just get used to being still and slowing your breathing and thinking, trusting the scriptures that silence and stillness will be conduits to meeting with Jesus.