Before Mindfulness, we had Silent RCA. This was a student inspired project that offered fifteen minutes of shared silence each week. People used the silence in their own way. Some just sat, others prayed, and some did meditation. One person sat on the floor and did yoga.
The student who started the project told me when she was a young child her grandmother would say
‘Come and sit with me by the window… let’s watch the darkness fall and the night arrive, then we can light the candle’.
She remembered it as a special time, sitting with her grandmother watching the darkness slowly arrive.
Rowan Williams, when he was Archbishop of Canterbury, was asked a question about how to pray when life is busy. He said that even when life was hectic each day gave two invitations to pause; the arrival of daylight and the arrival of the night time.
In Christianity and many religions, these are the traditional daily moments to pray. Perhaps dawn and dusk remind us of our place in the world and our place in time. The sun will rise and set with or without us noticing. They are always there – an invitation to pause, to pay attention to what’s unfolding around us and to notice ‘where we are’.