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Arts & Culture

On Solitude And Hermits

Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window, Johannes Vermeer, 1659

Before the pandemic, most of us craved of a little solitude away from the hustle of life. Now, we've been  been thrust into a form of solitude far from the idleness of the lazy summer afternoon we imagined. Our minds are restless with uncertainty and fear and without the usual distractions we turn toward when being alone with ourselves becomes too painful to confront. 

Today, we learn there is more to solitude than being alone. It can provide the time and space needed to silence the voices in our head. Poet Marianne Moore said, "the cure for loneliness is solitude." 


  • Stephen Batchelor is a Buddhist teacher and writer. He’s the author of several books including Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide To Awakening and most recently, The Art of Solitude. He’s the co-founder of Bodhi College. 
  • Dr. Lucinda Mosher is a faculty associate in Interfaith Studies at the Hartford Seminary
  • Karen Karper Fredette lived as a hermit for six years in a cabin in West Virginia. She’s the author of several books including, Consider the Ravens: On Contemporary Hermit Life. She and her husband Paul run Raven's Bread Ministries

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Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show. 

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