I just got back from a few days alone in the woods, nothing special there but this time the whole plan was to do nothing. Just me, in the woods, in the cold and snow, sitting in my sleeping bag. I know the photo here doesn’t match but I didn’t bring a camera, so you’ll have to use your imagination.
I also didn’t bring a journal…or a phone…or much food or water…or anything to do in any way. Only the gear I needed to stay safe and warm.
Now…some people will make this out to be an amazing and wonderful experience and in a way it was…especially in hindsight…but it was also quite hard…often boring to the point of mind numbing insanity. It was a challenge for sure…not physically so much as mentally. I was forced to be with myself and only myself but by choosing that I learned a lot about myself too. I learned what I think about…what I miss…what I remember.
If you want to get to know your self, if you want a mental challenge, if you want to be closer to nature, if you want to mix things up in your life…then a solo sit might be the way to go.
Don’t stress about how long you sit for…just make sure it’s uncomfortably long.
Don’t worry about how your sit compares to other peoples…just do it for yourself.
Don’t bring anything, anything, that’s not totally crucial. Survival gear yes…but avoid anything that could become a distraction or entertainment.
And…if possible…find someone to keep an eye on you and welcome you back. This can be way more intense then you might expect, and having someone looking out for you can be a huge help, especially when you try and return to “normal” life afterwords.
Go for it though! Anyone can do this…just be alone, in nature, and do nothing. So simple. For an hour, a day, a week, whatever…a park, a mountain, a beach, a tree, a back yard, a cliff face…any place in nature will do.
It’s easy, it’s hard, be yourself, be with yourself, and see what happens!