The cave

The idea of a cave (and also a closet and a monestary) represents internal separation from the host of thoughts and distractions that comprise the imaginary internal world of the lower self and entering one`s heart to promote efforts to Be Present. One can do this in any and all circumstances and it doesn`t require a literal enactment of leaving the world, becoming a recluse or entering a monastery.


Milarepa in a cave, Tibetan Tanka
Let yoga be practiced within a cave protected from the high wind, or in a place which is level, and which is delightful to the mind and not offensive to the eye. -- Upanishads
I have a cave of my own; a cave with nothing inside, Spotless and spacious, bright and clear every day. I have the Real Buddha.
-- Hanshan, Chinese monk

Spotless means that one`s mind is clear of the thoughts and emotions that normally clouds divine presence. Bright and clear means the light of presence is shining.

When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; the spiritual closet is the heart. -- Dimitri of Rostov, Philokalia (Greek Orthodox Christian text)


Make yourself a rule always to be with the Lord, keeping your mind in your heart, and do not let your thoughts wander; as often as they stray, turn them back again and keep them at home in the closet of your heart, and delight in converse with the Lord. -- Theophan the Recluse, Philokalia

Thy Father, The Lord, and God, all refer to one Higher Self .

What does it really mean to be a recluse? It means that your mind, enclosed in the heart, stands before God in reverence and feels no desire to leave the heart or to occupy itself with anything else.
-- Theophan the Recluse, Philokalia
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