solitude and silence
Where I grew up, Bolivia, it is not uncommon nor strange to see people sitting on a bench in a beautiful park doing nothing. Many meet up with friends to chat and sing, but there also those who sit alone in quietness. And this is no strange sight; nothing awkward about it.
On the other hand, in this busy society, it would indeed seem strange to see someone in public simply doing nothing. It is expected that people be always doing something--eating, sleeping, reading, chatting, listening to music, watching TV, etc. To see people sitting by themselves, in silence, doing nothing, would indeed seem strange and even make others feel awkward to be around them. When was the last time any of us were alone in silence, simply doing nothing. We were not walking to reach a particular destination; we did not have the music or the TV on; we were not chatting with anyone; we were not reading; in short, we were simply not tryting to get anything done.
In my times of solitude and silence, I have discovered that these two disciplines are essential for the nurturing of my heart, though it is not easy to practice them. One thing I've realized is that during times of solitude and silence I am able to listen and hear the cries of my heart. I am able to be honest with myself and confront the pain or grief within me. And as result, I am able to live from my heart.