Monday, 8 July 2013

The Great Gift of Nothing

After last night's Contemplarium gathering at Lampeter, one person said to me, "That fifteen minutes of silence in the middle wasn't at all like I expected." Wondering whether we'd stepped out a little too far for a first session (fifteen minutes sitting still in a roomful of people can seem amazingly long to those unused to silent prayer and contemplation), I asked what the person meant. "It seemed so short," they replied. "It was over so quickly. Are you sure it was a whole fifteen minutes?"

Pretty sure, yes. I use an app on my phone to time the silence (Insight Timer) so I can join in myself without watching the clock. But I knew what the person meant. The silence has a way of drawing you in, and although it can seem daunting from the outside it's quite marvellous from the inside. Last night we gave each other the opportunity to stop - just to stop. A great gift of nothing. It's a deeply refreshing experience.

By the way, look to the top of the page and you'll find a little audio player (the excellent - and free! - SCM Player); click play and you can listen to a recording of the chanted service we used to end last night's gathering. Enjoy!