Thursday, April 07, 2011

Seven Sacred Spaces : 1 : Cell

The cell is the only space that is solitary, and silent, free from distraction.  I know extraverts who believe that solitude and silence is cruel and unnatural; but I believe it has a necessary place within a bigger picture – which includes places that introverts will find hard to inhabit.  Within a monastery, the cell is usually the simply-furnished bedroom.  For those who do not live in a monastery, the bedroom might not be a distraction-free place (for example, it has become normal to have a television in the bedroom); and for those who are not single, it is not a place of solitude, but shared.  Creativity is required to define a cell: perhaps a garden shed to retreat to, or a comfortable armchair in a secluded corner.  Key to the cell is taking enough time to enter into silence: clearly this is hard to do within busy lives with multiple demands on our time; it requires both the discipline to protect this space, and the grace to establish a sustainable pattern rather than take on an unsustainable demand.

What experiences do you have of the cell within missional community?

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