There’s a difference between solitude and loneliness. I can understand the concept of being a monk for a while.
Probably we all can see the difference Tom Hansk talks about. Maybe we haven’t thought about it, but there is one. So let’s see what makes these two concepts different. The solitude is being alone by your own choice. You need to think in silence, you need to forget hurtful things, meditate, be with yourself for a while. That is solitude, you want it and you can have it if you want to. Just take your thoughts and feelings, focus on them and the solitude is there. But it is different with the loneliness. In this case, the solitude chooses you, you can’t help it, you are alone so nobody can fill the empty place. That is the difference! You chose the solitude, but the loneliness chooses you! In what monks are concerned, we talk about solitude. Their faith made them chose another way, far from the others, but they could come back anytime.