AA meetings begin with a "moment of silence for the alcoholics who still suffer." Monday night i must have been in a semi-cynical mood becausee i thought: "There must be very few alcoholiics or their level of suffewrinfg must be very low, because the time we take to remember them is so small."
Of course, a monent ia brief. Synonyms include second, instant, flash, and minute. But a minute is 60 times longer than a second, so a "60 second moment" wouild as least give one time to catch one's breathe and perhaps contemplate a bit what suffering feels like.
In Dianne's church, the priest remains silent for a period of time after the gospel is read and before her begins the homily. The first time i noticed this i wondered if the homilist had forgetten what he wanted to say, or lost his nerve, or become ill. He sat there for the looooongest time! As i got used tp this 90 second pause it become for me, the best part of the entire service. I later learned from Jill Bolte Taylor that if you have a bad thought, a poisonous thought, 90 seconds is the length of time it takes for the physiological effects of the emotion that came with that thought to pass through you system and leave your body,
So i pledge myself to the 90 second moment if i ever have an occassion to lead a prayer or a sacred celebration. A 90 second silence is a cleansing silence, at the end of which, what i might have to say
might be more wise or kind or thoughtful or important or necessary than what i might have said otherwise.