Robert Mulholland calls silence the first “inner dynamic of our disciplines” and he calls solitude the second.
“We tend to think of solitude as simply being alone…. however, solitude is, in the silence of release, beginning to face the deep inner dynamics of our being that make us that grasping, controlling, manipulative person; beginning to face our brokenness, our distortion, our darkness; and beginning to offer ourselves to God at those points. This is part of solitude. But more than this, it is being who we are with God and acknowledging who we are to ourselves and to God.”
From Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation by M Robert Mulholland Jr, p 138.