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What Is a Hermit?

A hermit is someone who practices an ascetic way of life to pursue spiritual development or enlightenment to the true nature of life and all phenomena. They are often isolated or separate themselves from the rest of the society to free themselves of impurities, temptations and excessive desires that could hinder their spiritual quests. Originally, the word hermit means desert dweller. In the ancient times, the term also referred to people who intentionally isolate themselves from the society, a person who has an independent way of life and different way of thinking than the rest of the people in the society. They live simple lives of meditation, contemplation, simplicity and are committed to create meaningful changes in their society.

In the Christian world, the term hermit refers to a person dwelling and travelling in the desert, preaching good thoughts and deeds and struggles or aspires to transform people’s lives and bring about dramatic changes in the lives of others. For Buddhist, a hermit is equivalent to that of a monk whose life revolves around meditation and spiritual convictions. Monks meditates or chants to attain a high state of life which can also be taught and gained by the people from all walks of life. Their environment is very simple, usually naturalistic in setting, which enable them to reflect, refresh, release and control their behaviors and emotions. They aspire for contentment that is different from the mainstream. Being secluded from the society gives hermits the chance to contemplate on the meaning of life as well as on individual transformations.

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