To have a place of solitude is an inestimable gift. It makes it easy to let the heart expand, to let the senses wake up, one by one, to come alive with fresh vitality. Yet, whatever our circumstances, we need to somehow set aside a time and a place for this kind of experience. It is a necessity in everyone’s life, not a luxury. What comes alive in those moments of solitude is more than eyes or ears; our heart listens and rises to respond. All of us—each in a different measure—have need of solitude, because we need to cultivate mindfulness.
—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life
by David Steindl-Rast, OSB