A Simplified Life: A Contemporary Hermit's Experience of Solitude and Silence Paperback – 20 Jul 2012
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'There is much spiritual wisdom to be found here, complemented by frequent and helpful poetry quotations.' (Philip Clements-Jewery)
About the Author
VERENA SCHILLER is an Anglican religious sister, a member of the Community of the Holy Name, though living as a solitary.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book made me look again at my approach to life and my relationship to the land and traditions around me.
The book is full of wonderful quotes - my personal favourite was a long quote from Morgan Llwyd (1619-1659) - here's a part of it..
Behold your first task is to be still, and to still every sound that is in your heart, to turn out every thought that is in you but the mind of God in you.... So seek of God (until you obtain) a still heart within, a heart careless of everything but God... hidden with God, in God's peace, ... and as you sink into yourself and from thence out of yourself into God your root, through setting the will on God alone, you shall know the eternal Word in time."
The extraordinary paradox that one also becomes aware of is that although Sister Verena lived for 25 years in that hut way out on the margins, she is deeply connected with humanity and from her still point you sense that she understands the world better than most world travellers.
Her personal story is fascinating beginning with her upbringing in a very creative Austrian family. When Hitler annexed Austria in 1938, she was sent with her brother to her uncle in England.Read more ›
Sr. Verena Schiller leaves her convent, with the blessing of her Sisters, to seek God in solitary fashion, living on the Llyn Peninsula over looking the Holy Island of Bardsey in North Wales. Passion, place, history and the wild excess of God's creation interweave in this account of her 25 years apart. More than an autobiography, more than a book of spiritual thoughts, more than a history of solitary seekers of God and their place and development in the Celtic world, this book does not accept categorisation well. I would label it a "sharing" more than anything else and I would thank Sr Verena for doing so.
If you were looking for chronological account of the dramatic, harsh yet romantic life of the nun on the headland you have chosen the wrong book. Silence and seclusion alters the hold of chronos. Anchoring to a place God calls you too, moving more deeply into Him as he calls, juddering and reeling in unfamiliar silence, navigating calms and calamities being brought to new prayer feeling His light touch in wind and waves. If this is what you seek you have the right book, I think.
All of this is "shared" in her own style, suffused with her own personality (how else could you write a book like this?). Poetry, history, learning, acute observation of herself and God in His wild landscape and a realists grasp of her own fragility and need make of this book a melody of God.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must read if solitude and a different drum beat appeals to your sense of living.Published 18 months ago by stephanie rudd
I very much appreciate Verena Schiller sharing her life experience with us in this book. Her 'simplified life' is inspirational, challenging me to face my busy multi tasking life.Published on 14 Mar. 2014 by Joanna
very well written with a good story and
sincerity in every word . Highly reccomended for serious seekers for spiritual guidance with the hardships required revealed with... Read more
This book is the gentlest book I've ever read. I'm not even quite sure what I mean by that, but it is.
So what have I learnt? Well, the life of the solitary is not easy. Read more
This is a very unusual book about a very unusual life. Varena Schiller describes her personal journey from life as an Anglican nun in a busy convent to a solitary life in a spartan... Read morePublished on 24 Sept. 2011 by Nina Woolrych
This book isn't at all what I expected. I was hoping for a truly personal account of a contemplative life but what I got instead was a history lesson. Read morePublished on 11 April 2011 by auntie4