Do you like solitude? It can be a month alone at a remote retreat or a quiet corner in a crowded bar. Reading a book in my back yard, riding my bike along a gentle path in the early morning or quietly watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. It can be an extended time of thought and reflection on life or a few quiet moments before a gig. It is a calm retreat from a noisy world that is always competing for my attention. My mind can refuse to settle in to repose, it churns and jumps from one fragmented thought to another. Before long I find myself focused on the dust on the floor, what my neighbor said yesterday or the danger of tuna noodle casserole. I have learned over the years that solitude is more a state of mind than a place of isolation. Without quiet soul searching I end up wandering though life with no awareness and no direction. It can be a spiritual experience but it also can be very secular, either way it is a life giving practice. Do you enjoy solitude and/or contemplation? Maybe a quiet moment at breakfast or a week camping next to your favorite lake? No doubt, it can take on different forms for each of us.