Solitude is truthful and often delightful, even when painful. Loneliness is a hell made up of the illusion of separateness. In solitude we are capable of strong and deep relationships because in solitude we discover our uniqueness. If meditation is about getting free from attachments and going to the desert of solitude, it is also about the discovery of the communion with others we call community. Knowing that we are with fellow disciples in the presence of our teacher is, even when things are falling apart, a source of incomparable joy.
—from the book Sensing God: Learning to Meditate during Lent by Laurence Freeman, OSB