HOLY HERETIC DEVOTIONAL- Aug. 10, 2016-SOLITUDE
Compiled by Holy Heretic Benjamin Foster
“Alone let him meditate in solitude on that which is salutary for his soul, for he who meditates in solitude attains supreme bliss.” –Guru Nanak
As seen in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John, after being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus went into the Judaean Desert to fast for 40 days and nights. The devil came to Jesus repeatedly trying to tempt him with various vices. Offering him to turn stone into bread to alleviate his hunger, to bestow upon him all the kingdoms of the world, and testing Jesus’ divinity in telling him to jump from the temple, the devil’s temptations were denied by Jesus every time.
This story shares great parallels with one told in traditional Buddhism of the demon Mara tempting Gautama Buddha. During Buddha’s time spent on the road seeking enlightenment, Mara presented Buddha with seductive visions aimed at distracting him from his solitude and derailing his spiritual development. In modern Buddhism, Mara is known for being a catalyst of lust, hesitation, and fear that distracts and obstructs meditation.
In our own lives, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the different distractions that prevent us from finding our own spiritual solitude. There will always be something to try and lure us away from spending alone time with ourselves and God. However, in putting away those distractions and allowing ourselves even moments of solitude each day, many things will be revealed to us. After Jesus had denied the Devil’s temptations he was fed by Angels. Buddha achieved enlightenment after refusing the visions of Mara. When we put away our temptations and find our solitude we can begin to not only realize God’s will in our lives but ultimately apply it.
Today’s Action: Make a list of all the things that seem to obstruct your spiritual solitude on a daily basis: the ringing phone, the messages coming in, the e-mails piling up. Put these things away, if only for a moment, and enjoy your time in solitude without distraction or temptation.
Sharing: Share what you do to free yourself from distractions and obstruction when you’re seeking spiritual solitude. Please comment on our Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/HolyHereticZine
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