HOLY HERETIC DEVOTIONAL- Aug. 17, 2016-SOLITUDE
Compiled by Holy Heretic Benjamin Foster
“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” –Bell Hooks
There is a Zen Koan, an idea designed to be meditated on in various ways to improve mindfulness, attributed to first century Zen master Linji Yixuan, which states: “If you find the Buddha on the road, kill him!” Obviously the koan is not meant to be taken literally but is phrased as to elicit an immediate and moving emotional response and to inspire thoughtful meditation. To me, killing the Buddha found on the road means simply doing away with any force that may be found outside of ourselves that is impacting our walk with God and how important it is to do so immediately. In seeking solitude we can begin to unravel ourselves from all of the different voices that may have a grip on us spiritually but are not our own or God’s.
In Matthew, chapter six, we find instructions for how we are to serve God through giving, praying, and fasting. In giving we are never supposed to ‘announce ourselves with trumpets.’ In fasting we are never to ‘look somber as the hypocrites do.’ In praying we are to seek the solitude of our rooms. These instructions are given to us so that we will not confuse the true spiritual sensation of serving God with the false sense of accomplishment we receive when praised by others for our works.
Today it becomes easier and easier to substitute the feeling of God moving in our lives with the admiration we get when people commend us for doing good things. This worldly admiration can quickly become the Buddha found on the road, an outside force twisting and contorting our walk with God. Through seeking solitude we can begin to identify the things that negatively impact or warp our spirituality and begin to do away with those things so that we can more wholly feel the will of God in our lives.
Today’s Action: In solitude analyze your spiritual life subjectively and pinpoint what some detractors and outside influences to your own spirituality may be.
Sharing: Share what negative influences you may have rooted out in your time spent in solitude to better be able to conquer these detractors of your walk with God with your spiritual community. Please comment on our Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/HolyHereticZine
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