Interesting article with links:
Some quotes from:
A monk living with another monk is not like a monk living as a solitary. When a monk is alone, he has need of great vigilance and of an unwandering mind. The former is often helped by his brother; but an angel assists the latter. ~ St. John Climacus,
And here are the signs of those who are practicing stillness in the wrong way: dearth of (spiritual) wealth, increase of anger, a hoard of resentment, diminution of love, growth of vanity; and I will be silent about all the rest which follow. ~ St. John Climacus,
He who is sick in soul from some passion and attempts stillness is like a man who has jumped from a ship into the sea and thinks that he will reach the shore safely on a plank. ~ St. John Climacus,
He who wishes to dwell in the solitude of the desert is delivered from three conflicts: hearing, speech, and sight.
He who dwells with brethren must not be square but round, so as to turn himself towards all. ~Poemen
The Lord knows that I love you all, but I cannot speak with God and people at the same time.
~ St. Arsanius the Great
There are many in the mountains who behave as if they were in towns, and they are wasting their time, it is better to have many people around you and to live the solitary life in your will than to be alone and always longing to be with a crowd. ~ Amma Matrona
Thus, when a young brother asked him to recommend whether to live as a solitary or to stay in the monastery, Abba Joseph of Panephysis replied that whichever state brought him peace was to be preferred, and that if he could not decide even then, it should be based on whichever enabled him to make spiritual progress.It is not through virtue that I live in solitude, but through weakness; those who live in the midst of others are the strong ones. ~ Poemen
If you have not first of all lived rightly with others, you will not be able to live rightly in solitude. ~ Abba Lucius
What others think of your life is not as important as what you know about your life in Christ. What you think about your life is not as important as what God knows about your life in Christ. ~ Abiah+
Restrain your desire to mingle with crowds. Crowds of people distract your spirit and disturb your inner peace.
~ Abba Evagrius
Detach yoursel from the enjoyment of crowds or your enemy will challenge your spirit and disturb your peace.
~ Abba Doulas
... the basic motive for choosing the solitary life in a hermitage consists in an existential longing to meet and talk to God. The hermit chooses silence in order to enter fully into a dialogue; (she) chooses solitude in order to meet closely a personal presence. The way of the desert is thus not a stray and arid path, it does not lead to the negation of all the values of the world and of other people. Just the opposite: it is the way of mutual presence, dialogue, and friendship that shines where two freedoms and two hearts, divine and human, meet." C. Wencel